Friday, November 07, 2008

To Sleep Perchance to Dream; To Die Perchance to Wake (11.21.11)

Letter XIII, our old friend Death. What would life be without him?

This is another chapter that has a lot of ideas I've covered in previous posts, so I'll try not to be too deathly repetitive.

How do we think about death? One of the reasons it is difficult to think about, is that it is such a concrete fact -- just a big black wall over the subjective horizon. What do we really know about death? What can we say about it that isn't merely an abstract idea or dead metaphor?

At first blush, it seems that death is one of those existential parameters that the mind can never contain, but rather, contains us -- like time or sexuality. Perhaps this is one more reason why those two are closely linked (sex and death, out of which emerges their baby, knowledge).

In fact, if we didn't sexually reproduce, we wouldn't die, at least for any biological reason. Rather, we would live endlessly, except that it would be a horizontal endlessness, which is not to be confused with eternity (which is outside time). And without the boundary of death, we couldn't know nothing, which is the beginning of knowledge. Animals can only know something, but even then, they don't know that they know. Only man can know that he knows nothing, and therefore potentially everything.

UF says that it is this latter form of a purely biological pseudo-eternal life that the serpent promises when he tells Adam and Eve that "you shall not die." Thus, technically he wasn't lying, because a vertical lie may well be a horizontal truth, as our scientistic jester never stops teaching us. Although perhaps he finally has, since he hasn't commented in several days.

In my book, I wrote of the extreme unlikelihood that anything resembling human intelligence could ever have evolved elsewhere, for it is not just a matter of evolving "big brains." Far from it. Look at Noam Chomsky.

Rather, humanness emerges specifically because of the trimorphic situation of an immature and incomplete nervous system in dynamic rapport with an "empathic" mother and "protecting" father (and when I speak of "mother" and "father," I am doing so from the infant's archetypal perspective, wherein early empathy becomes mother, or is directed into that a priori archetype; in this view, mother emerges from baby, and then father from mother -- more on which below).

UF writes of the connection between, on the one hand, sleeping, forgetting, and death; and on the other, waking, remembering, and life. For example, psychoanalysis has long posited the idea that chronic insomnia can result from an inability to die to the day. You live your day, and then must let it go in the death of sleep. So many people cannot "let the day go." Instead, it intrudes upon their peaceful death, persecuting and tormenting them. Then, even worse, they dream -- or more often have nightmares -- by day.

For other people, they cannot die to the unconscious because of the monsters that lie there in in wait. This is a routine result of a traumatic childhood, of things that happened to them -- and more commonly, what didn't happen to them, in the form of a secure and "containing" relationship with the mother. For these individuals, they cannot "rest in peace," because their dream life is like a continuous horror movie, a "living death."

For that is what a monster is, isn't it -- a conflation of the categories of life and death? During Holloween week they showed all of the classic monster movies on TMC, and they all share this feature of living death or death living: Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Mummy. Perhaps this gives us a clue about death, i.e, that it is not so much the opposite of life, but a perverse or depraved form of it. You might say that Christmas celebrates life amidst death, while Halloween "celebrates" death in life. Probably no coincidence that the holiday has become much more popular with the increasing secularization of our culture, i.e., the death culture. It does nothing for me.

In fact, I remember reading a book -- here it is, Vampires, Burial, and Death -- that explains that most funeral rites evolved around concerns about making certain that the dead stayed that way -- that the corpse is not merely dead, but really most sincerely dead. (The book takes an academic and positivistic approach, so it's of limited usefulness except for the historical trivia, which is at times nevertheless fascinating.)

So, to sleep is to forget the day and awaken to the world of the Dreamer: "One forgets, one goes to sleep, and one dies." In turn, "One remembers, one awakes, and one is born."

In a previous post, I have discussed the idea that from a developmental perspective, one may turn Genesis on its head and see the infant-Adam as the creator of God and everything else.

In fact, from a certain perspective, this is how it must be, and to the extent that you fail to understand this distinction, you may well fail to appreciate the difference between God and infantile omnipotence. Not only is this conflation commonplace, but it might even be the norm. Certainly the Islamist god is indistinguishable from an enraged baby, while the infantile dreams of the left are suspiciously similar to those conjured by the omnipotent gods of the nursery.

Looked at in this way, the discovery of Adam and Eve -- or a Mother and Father separate from the baby -- is an insult to the baby's omnipotence. How dare Mommy and Daddy exist separate from my magical wishes! Therefore the baby-god banishes them from the infantile paradise, where the infant restores his "oneness with God." No coincidence therefore that the way back to paradise is blocked by a coterie of babies with flaming swords. (I should acknowledge that this idea was playgiarized from Grotstein. But I think I won't, for he is an insult to my omnipotence.)

To fall asleep is not just to give up everything, but to do so in the faith that everything will somehow be cleansed and transformed when we are reincarnated and reborn in the morning. So sleep has a sort of "digestive" or metabolic property; which must mean that death and forgetting do as well.

And in fact, one doesn't have to comb very far through the esoteric literature to discover this idea, that the initial postmortem state is very much analogous to the metabolic function of dreaming, except that it will range over our entire life, so that whatever was "inessential" is consigned to the flames, while what is essential lives in eternity. In any event, know that your life is being dreamt by forces far greater than yourself, and not just at night.

This could be an extremely lengthy sidetrack, so I think I'll just mention it briefly, but this is the whole point of Finnegans Wake, which is like a dream of all human history within the ultimate Dreamer (wake is a play on words, meaning the wake of death and the a-wake of resurrection and the Dreamer). Here's how Joseph Campbell expressed it:

"Finnegans Wake is a mighty allegory of the fall and resurrection of mankind. It is a strange book, a compound of fable, symphony, and nightmare -- a monstrous enigma beckoning imperiously from the shadowy pits of sleep. Its mechanics resemble those of the dream, a dream which has freed the author from the necessities of common logic and has enabled him to compress all periods of history, all phases of individual and racial development, into a circular design, of which every part is beginning, middle and end.... Joyce presents, develops, amplifies and recondenses nothing more nor less than the eternal dynamic implicit in birth, death, conflict, death, and resurrection."

Well, we didn't get very far into this chapter, did we? Time to die to the dreamer and awaken to the day. To be continued....

O Death, you old mahahasamadhi, show us your secret mannascrypt, your Divine Cosmodeity. Take us before and beyond this womentary maninfestation, reveal not the horizontal but our inmost upmost vertical bigending --The Book of Petey

63 Comments:

Blogger jp said...

On the subject of Death, I've noticed that Vegas, may, in fact be dying.

Apparently the Las Vegas Sands may be on the brink of bankruptcy.

The moral of the story?

Debt that Goes to Vegas Stays in Vegas.

I guess if you need to get rid of anything in your life, you should make sure it gets to Vegas really soon.

11/07/2008 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

In other news, I spoke with a couple of Mormon missionaries yesterday.

They gave me the Book of Mormon card.

I told them that I would join them in a heartbeat if I could be on the ruling counsel of 12.

They told me that, no, they could not do that for me. One commented that he guessed that I knew something about them.

That's all I have to say about Death, Debt, Vegas, and Mormons for today.

11/07/2008 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

So, I've been busy a while, no time for fluff. What'd I miss?

I have a question. Why a craving for eternity, as in 'outside of time'? Without time, there cannot be change or growth. Or purpose or intent. Or thought. Or action. Or...

11/07/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Ray says:

"I have a question. Why a craving for eternity, as in 'outside of time'? Without time, there cannot be change or growth. Or purpose or intent. Or thought. Or action. Or..."

...Vegas.

11/07/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To address the topic of death in general and Ray's question in particular: what is the benefit of being removed from time?

The Mother had some specific claims:

1. The only place to make spiritual progress is here on Earth, in a physical body. Progress does not occur anywhere else.

2. After death, the soul goes to its 'home' to rest up, and does not do any work or make any progress; what it does is assimilate and organize what it learned from the life it just completed. (The place of rest is a real feel-good resort; purportedly, pure "Ananda." Blissful.)

3. After having taken a rest, the soul gets itchy for another go, and chooses or locates a new body to inhabit. It then takes the water of Lethe (or, as the Mother puts it, falls on its head) and is reborn forgetfull of what it is or what it has done. This is necessary so that the issues of the previous life don't jack up the issues of the current life, which are usually totally different. All preconceptions, fears, and predjudices of the past life would distort and destroy efforts to learn something new.

4. The object is acheive a balanced program of soul "education" leading to a soul that eventually becomes master of itself.

To answer Ray then, by the accounts of the Mother, Eternity or timelessness is useful for the task of soul repose, assimilation, etc. Assuming these things don't take "time" to do; they just are, kinda.


Why should we believe the Mother? She gave no evidence. She didn't even state where she got this stuff. Did she make it up? You decide.

11/07/2008 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Christ Bob, you are omnipotent! Why, after Ray disappeared, you made him re-appear!

And more: I bet he he even thought it was his own idea.

You've got powerful stuff! And, you write pretty well, too . . .

11/07/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Jp said "On the subject of Death, I've noticed that Vegas, may, in fact be dying.
Apparently the Las Vegas Sands may be on the brink of bankruptcy."

Engaging in a little of rebirtherizing there yourself, aren't you? I seem to recall watching the Sands go down in a big cloud of Poof!, many moons ago... mid 90's?

11/07/2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "...Without time, there cannot be change or growth. Or purpose or intent. Or thought. Or action. Or..."

...hhh...
(draws gasping breath, forces it out quickly, gasps another lung full, resumes laughing)

ahh... ha-aha! Ha-ha haHHH!..AH-H...

11/07/2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Ray says:

"Engaging in a little of rebirtherizing there yourself, aren't you?"

You mean in the not-commenting?

I guess you could say that I've been spending a lot of time thinking and writing about economic Death.

For example, I'm now pretty sure that the entire 401(k)/Pension system is Dead, I just think that most people have not realized that yet.

Never thought I would get to see an honest to goodness stock market crash.

Apparently, U.S. stock markets are only allowed to crash in Ocober.

11/07/2008 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Van, maybe you are like prescient or physic or something ... Clicky right here

11/07/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

JP, you need to let go. I didn't write that, Van did.

11/07/2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger jp said...

Ray says:

"JP, you need to let go. I didn't write that, Van did."

That's fine. It was just a good opportunity to use the word "Vegas" again.

It actually fits better as a Van quote, since it flows better with Vegas.

I can't even remember how to link on this thing. That Bloomberg link was what I was trying to link to.

How do I link here again?

11/07/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

JP, no, no, no... the Sands Hotel being ...was imploded early on the morning of November 26, 1996.

I guess the Corp continued on? Didn't realize....

11/07/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Jeez. The world is a getting crazier. Reading Whittle and Patterico and so on, there's a lot of flailing and posturing - and from people I respect - I'm certain of it, I'm doing full withdrawal. I've got things to do.

11/07/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Niggardly Phil said...

LVS was down big on bankruptcy fears, but then Singapore govt said they would back up debt in their Macau investment, so it took off, had five or six big days, but lately seems to have dropped the soap.

11/07/2008 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you mean the Sands in Reno, Nevada. They have a really big facility there that I've stayed in several times. Not a bad place in which to hole up, get intoxicated and go after whatever hedonistic pleasures tickle the fancy.

The following afternoon, after regaining consciousness, there are several beautiful churches in downtown Reno in which to worship and ask forgivness. And then evening falls again...

Ah yes, good times. I hope the Reno Sands doesn't go belly-up.

11/07/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

jp,

try this Blogger Linky-dink page

11/07/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

"[Halloween] does nothing for me."

Too bad you're not into the spook stuff, Doc, since you're a Russell Kirk fan. Being a coon-o-sewer of classic supernatural fiction myself, I can tell you that Kirk was probably the best writer of ghost stories that America ever produced, including Henry James and Edith Wharton. (For anyone interested, see the collection called "Ancestral Shadows".)

11/07/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

The previous discussions are like attending a wake (real, not literary) and listen to everyone talk about the weather, baseball, cars...anything but Death, which was the subject of the post. Well, maybe it's not avoiding the matter, but rather, as Bob indicated, that there is nothing to be said about it?
The End

11/07/2008 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Okay, bob, I'll bite. How about this: So sleep has a sort of "digestive" or metabolic property; which must mean that death and forgetting do as well.

I'd contend that sleep and death are very different things, and indeed different in precisely the way that makes that 'conclusion' invalid.

11/07/2008 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Judging by your question, sleep and death aren't very different.

11/07/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Petey, feel free to explain how change can happen without time. Or is it that you want to stop changing?

11/07/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Holy smokes, Bob - it's amazing how you pulled that wabbit out of your hat.

Hey, Ray - riddle me this:

What is smiling?

11/07/2008 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous slim pickens said...

If you don't sleep, you get more and more irritable and stupid. If you don't die, the same thing happens.

It's probably too late for some people.

11/07/2008 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

It's been awhile since I read it, but I believe UF stated that sleep and death were analogous in certain ways.

11/07/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

I got yer whacked out hello kitty cute anime japanese tarot cards RIGHT HERE!\

http://miji.hp.infoseek.co.jp/illust/tarot/index.htm

11/07/2008 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

We don't really believe in death until we find ourselves close to our own. And even then, the immediacy of encounter(mercifully) fades pretty quickly. The after effects stay with you, though.
Once you draw the "Any Day Now" card you can't put it back in the deck. You can try - I mean, you could ditch it in an airport trash can, and hop a flight to Vegas, but as soon as you got off the plane you'd find it right there in your pocket again. Can't lose the damn thing if you try.
One good thing about the card: you don't really appreciate just how fucking awesome life is- even the shitty parts- until you get yours.
Other than that, there's very little to recommend it.

JWM

11/07/2008 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray's got a point. If there is a timeless place, then nothing would happen there. Because, things take time to happen.

I'd venture to say there are probably different "time zones" depending on what state of consciousness a being is in.

When alive, it's clock time. When dead, there may be a different time, not an absolute stoppage.

Certain elements of the Brahman, we may surmise, are essentially static in time, eternal, and indeed "timeless." But I would hazard to say the ordinary soul doesn't get to that, because then you couldn't get out; once caught in zero time, it would require some change to leave, which would be impossible.

Or, a being is like a layer cake, and has an eternal element which is the base, an immortal yet not eternal element (the soul) and a mutable element, body and mind, subject to death as we know it. The whole cake walks around, thinking it's mutable most of the time, which justifiably causes it concern.

There you have it, Ray. A response that is of absolutely no use to you. I'm a quack, of course, a real nut job.

11/07/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Gerard:
Love the anime Tarot deck, but OMIGOD, They killed Jigglypuff!
You bastards!

JWM

11/07/2008 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Live webcast of Van Morrison performing tonight at the Hollywood Bowl.

11/07/2008 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JWM--

I'm curious; isn't there even a small part of you that welcomes death and looks forward to it?

Death seems easier than life to me; I'm not suicidal, just a little tired.

I've not gotten my card yet, which is probably why I can natter on like this.

11/07/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Ah ain't no ways tarred yet.

11/07/2008 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Bulletproof Monk said...

I'll take a stab at Ray's question regarding time and timelessness, without resorting to metaphysics.

Ray wrote:
"I have a question. Why a craving for eternity, as in 'outside of time'? Without time, there cannot be change or growth. Or purpose or intent. Or thought. Or action. Or..."

Right now, and assuming my understanding is correct, it is thought that spacetime is an emergent property of a more fundamental physics. For example, we know that the Planck length is 10^-33 cm. However, spacetime appears to emerge at around 10^-31 cm, or two orders of magnitude greater. Therefore space and time are not fundamental and it is reasonable to infer some form of infinity and eternity as being the basis of all existence as we know it -- we just can't go there yet physically.

And yet, from that infinite and eternal physics comes spacetime, within which change and growth, purpose and intent, thought and action CAN exist, since we experience them. So in a real physical and scientific sense, all that we know of existence flows from something infinite and eternal. We know this scientifically, though we don't really understand it yet, nor do we have the technology to explore it directly. The best we can do at this time is the LHC which explores (or will explore once they fix it) at the scale of 10^-17 cm.

11/07/2008 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Locked and loaded for VM. Webcast starts at 8 PM PST, btw.

11/07/2008 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Anon:
I never lose sleep worrying about death.
I do lose sleep over whether I have the wisdom,strength, and forbearance to fulfill the tasks that are in my path. I'd like to be able to pass Life with at least a B-, but I'll settle for a well earned C, and no remedial reincarnations.
On a related note-I think that everyone- even Ray, (and yes, Ray, I'd like to hear your take) harbors some yearning that they will awaken from death to that fairytale heaven-The pastoral paradise where the blind see, the lame walk, and we are united once again with our lost loved ones.
I don't care how convinced anyone claims to be that such an afterlife doesn't exist; given the choice, who would wish other than to have it be so?
I know- wanting something to be true doesn't make it so. But it doesn't make it not so either.

JWM

11/07/2008 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

His first press conference.

11/07/2008 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Little dig at Nancy and Ron?
Way uh-too cool, huh?

JWM

11/07/2008 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Also, inaccurate.

No one recalls how Hillary used to go onto the roof of the WH and "talk" with Eleanor Roosevelt? I forget the New Age lady's name who "helped" her do this.

11/07/2008 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Credit where it is due: a classy gesture.

11/07/2008 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob Woodward wrote about it. She was assisted by Jean Houston.

That was around the time that Bill had several meetings with Anthony Robbins.

11/07/2008 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

Comment tease.

They bagged the live stream of the V Morrison concert.

I blame Bob.

11/07/2008 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh well. Let's console ourselves with another interview.

11/07/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

File under 'too good to be true.'

11/07/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Monk, I wasn't denying the notion of 'eternity'. The question was: Why desire to get outside of time, seeing as that's equivalent to stopping changing, which means stopping growing and learning and loving and so forth?

11/07/2008 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Popemobe said...

That's a little like asking, "Why think if you want to act?" Well, of course you can think in order to act and it makes perfect sense unless you're crazy Theodore Roosevelt or somebody.

So can you get out of time in order to dwell in it.

"In the world but not of it."

11/07/2008 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous popemobe said...

So many of our problems could be dissolved into nothing by recognition of the fact that everything has an insides and an outsides. I mean, if you make that distinction suddenly you can see that science and philosophy are complementary rather than antithetical.

11/07/2008 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't know. Maybe Obama is just a jerk. However, I'd like to keep my powder dry until he actually makes some bad decisions, which will be soon enough.

11/07/2008 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking for myself, and this theory that I am about to say is mine, and I own it, it's no one else's, not being able to imagine being outside of time - or life - I don't bother trying... but that isn't to say that we aren't able to imagine a sort of timelessness. Our distinctive way of thinking, that being conceptually, allows us to disconnect from the demands of the immediate moment, and in doing that we are conceptually able to range from the present moment to the future, back through to the past and back again, forming thoughts that encompass all, and guide us in our actions through time. The higher we go in our thoughts, the more we are able disengage from the constraints of the moment, and there is a definite timelessness (yes, I get it) that we become aware of in doing so.

Not having died, I've no clue what that'll be like, and more than likely, even that's a completely inappropriate way of describing it. However, I've been in situations where death, or the apprehension of it, has been palpably close, and that does prompt a suffusing dread of losing all moments, there was was a sense of experience itself as being something within my grasp... but which I barely have a grip upon and the palpable sense that it can be pulled from my grip like candy from a baby.

Another 'however', however, when I was young I had several instances, where on passing out, and both on the way out of, and the way back into consciousness... there was a sensation where 'time'... well... 'was not there'... also of what I normally identify as being 'me'... was not there either, and as "I" began to come back on line, time did as well, and I was back 'in' the world. It wasn't then, and is even less so now, describable, and even though I assume they were more cases of mental faculties being down, than time or myself actually being absent, the sensation was enough that I don't completely scoff when people speak of such things.

"I'm curious; isn't there even a small part of you that welcomes death and looks forward to it?"

And speaking for myself anon, no I don't have any interest in either welcoming or looking forwards to Death. When the time comes, I flatter myself to think that I will meet it without attempting to abandon myself, but I've certainly no... eagerness... for the rendezvous

11/07/2008 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

"However, I'd like to keep my powder dry until he actually makes some bad decisions, which will be soon enough."

Indeed.

On a tangential (to the post) note, I was thinking tonight while having a tasty dinner with fruit and wine about the significance of Communion and its relation to the Death card. Once upon a timeless, Prager was talking about the significance of the Jewish diet, specifically that certain combinations of foods are not permitted, because they combine death and life (for instance, meat and milk are not eaten together). When Christ held forth the Bread and the Wine, and called them His body and blood, wasn't he in a sense combining (or rather[?] vanquishing) death and life? By equating bread (life) with corpus (death) and wine (life) with blood (death)?

Maybe I'm just stating the obvious (what can I say? the wine was potent) but it's just one more way of looking at Communion that hadn't occurred to me before. I think there was more to it than that, but... what'reyagonnado?

Anyway, there's my light thought for a Friday evening :)

11/07/2008 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You're starting to think like a hermit.

11/07/2008 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - I know :) It's a relief that I can mention these things here; most people would probably just look at me askance and slowly back away, with expressions of great disturbance upon their faces, thinking:

"just smile and nod. Don't make any sudden moves, and for gaia's sake don't blanch when she mentions Communion at the dinner table!"

11/07/2008 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . . the initial postmortem state is very much analogous to the metabolic function of dreaming, except that it will range over our entire life, so that whatever was "inessential" is consigned to the flames, while what is essential lives in eternity<<

Yes, another death, postmortem - and one that can be considerably more agonizing than physical death, depending on how much of the inessential has to be cauterized.

All the more reason to be mindful and as self-aware as possible while we're still "awake" in the flesh.

Of course, if, as we speak, the earth environs is undergoing a universal Kundalini activation - and the above is conjoining with the below - then we may all experience something of the purgatorial fires while we're still here. That sort of thing does indeed happen with individuals now and then.

11/08/2008 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Maybe Obama is just a jerk<<

I don't think one has to be a personal jerk per se to be a living embodiment of the death culture, as he is.

I think O's real "jerkiness" will manifest in cosmic inversions of Truth. I think that O is seamless in a way, he can't be anything other than what he is. He's the new horizontal man.

Of course, he could be a personal jerk, too.

11/08/2008 01:26:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

As to the question of why one would have the desire to seek Eternity/Timelessness while knowing that it would spell an end to "change" -

Well, it's simply a desire for Divine Stasis, a desire for rest and motionlessness, a change-less change. Taken on a (very) mundane level, people have a desire for sex because it brings about a momentary stasis - and depending on one's vertical awareness - this can be a momentary timeless-ness.

Personally, I don't think we can ever reach the perfect Timeless-ness/Tranquillity in the same sense that we, individuals that we are, can never become God. However, we can as individuals, be forever moving upwards on the vertical scale, moving from one stage of time to another, growing ever closer to the Timeless Source - and this process unfolding in an unending series of alternating periods of change and stasis. The nearer we get to the Timeless Source, change and stasis almost become one.

11/08/2008 02:34:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Will - So, short version, you don't actually want to stop changing, you don't actually crave eternity. 'Kay.

11/08/2008 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I love the title of this post, Bob!

"So many people cannot "let the day go." Instead, it intrudes upon their peaceful death, persecuting and tormenting them. Then, even worse, they dream -- or more often have nightmares -- by day."

The "living" dead, which isn't really living at all. Just goin' through the motions, senses numb to everything.

Night n' day merge into confusion, time becomes irrelevant as does eternity, as one enters a static death-like state where there is no joy and the future is as bleak as the past and present.
Meanin is meaningless.
Vanity of vanities!

I know when I have been in that state, I hungered for Good, as the life within me dehydrated and withered.
I hungered but I didn't have the will to move or to do what I knew I must do to live life abundantly.
Almost as if I was lookin' at my soph in third person.

The trick is to whet the appetite knowin' your tastebuds are dead.
Takes a special kind of food to do that.
IOW's to reawaken my hunger for life I had to learn to die perchance to wake. To get out of that state between life (awake) and death (asleep).

11/08/2008 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Damn, Ray. I'm glad you don't play outfield on my team.

"The nearer we get to the Timeless Source, change and stasis almost become one."

I thought that was clear.

11/08/2008 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"During Holloween week they showed all of the classic monster movies on TMC, and they all share this feature of living death or death living: Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Mummy. Perhaps this gives us a clue about death, i.e, that it is not so much the opposite of life, but a perverse or depraved form of it."

Yes, I might even add zombies to the list.
One can use those "templates" to describe some people.

For instance, a Rev. Wight is definitely a vampire, while Chomsky would be what? A mummy?
Hitchens seems to me to be a werewolf.
Useful idiots are zombies or perhaps frankenstein (the two are very similar).

11/08/2008 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Ben, I'm just using Van's technique, rephrasing something to show what it (allegedly) "really" means.

11/08/2008 06:15:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

Nice admission, Ray.

11/08/2008 06:41:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

BTW Ray - while sleep and death are obviously distinct from one another, thanks to the Law of Likenesses the correlation between the two - which has been taken note of by writers, poets, philosophers,visionaries, and for all I know, turnips since time immemorial - is certainly patent enough to validate Bob's point.

Of course, you have to be aware of and alive to the Law of Likenesses to comprehend this.

11/08/2008 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

One could even say that "sleep" is a smaller iteration of the fractal "death." But again, perhaps I'm merely stating the obvious.

11/08/2008 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ray said "Ben, I'm just using Van's technique, rephrasing something to show what it (allegedly) "really" means."

Worth a try. But if you don't know what they're talking about, let alone what you're talking about, it's just you saying silly things.

11/08/2008 08:40:00 AM  

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