The Highest Form of Gnosis


I was standing in the middle of a field in a remote and unknown area of northern Italy, located on the outskirts of one of the meaningless little towns gracelessly crammed into that part of the world. In the centre, right in front of me, stood a high-voltage electricity pylon, larger than Christ on his bare cross. There I stood, struck by the overwhelming no reason why we, as a sentient species, would want it to be there. It wasn’t transmitting any electricity, and it certainly wasn’t a segment of the long electrical artery that turns earth into energy. It was not connected, it was not transmitting life to anyone.

It was a ganglion cyst—not cancerous, not fatal, but malignant enough—growing in the flesh of an absolutely insignificant city: a city like the one I was born in. It was one of the many fruits of forgotten post-industrial putrescence, just like me, and its function was also the same as mine: to be an antenna for the land that generates us. Unlike other pylons, this one functioned as a spirit box, using its incomprehensible tangle of cables and metal rods to capture and crystallise those stifled voices that weave a black market of sighs3 in these outlands that make up the ‘provinces’. It was a dark tree, narrating the lies and deceptions, the angelic and demonic choruses sung by the ruins of the wastelands of Italy.4 It was a messenger of the chthonic neuroses of this city, a symptom emerging from the inversion of an involuntary psychoanalysis of the flesh of that part of the world, the referent of an unpronounceable lalangue.…