Codex of the Synapse: Folio D4.3

Am I the Keepers? : The Problem of Origins



The Shinto Shrine at Issa, Japan, is at once 1500 years old, and at the same time brand new. For a hundred generations the material Shrine has been destroyed every 20 years, and then faithfully and precisely rebuilt on the same site.

A Canadian joke tells of the woodsman's axe, so old that its handle has been replaced five times, and its blade, seven.


As I sort through the disparate ruins of The Synapse, I sometimes unearth drawings that, like mine, are blueprints for its reconstruction. Strangely I find that these blueprints, drafted to rebuild the Synapse from its ruins, pre-date the ruins themsleves. Now I realize the ruins I am investigating are really only a ruined replica of The Synapse, undertaken by a historian like myself. So I abandon the site, in search of its predecessor, the source for the reconstruction. Here, too, among the ruins I find documentation of a still-older site of which this site is a mere replica. Like a succession of buried Troys, the Synapse sites seems endless. The Original Synapse (like the Original Codex) may not have ever existed. Perhaps it is in the nature of the Synapse to exist only as a replica, made by historians like myself, or as the replica of a replica. In reconstructing the Synapse, am I making a copy, or in making a copy, am I making the thing itself.

Am I the Keepers?