Friday, April 08, 2011

The Dream of Peace in Our Nighttime

Speaking of dreams, mine have undergone a profound shift in the last week.

It started when we decided to get a new bed. Aging hippie that I am, I'd been sleeping on a waterbed for some thirty years (a few different mattresses as the technology advanced). I drained, dismantled, and said goodbye to the old friend, but the new bed hasn't yet arrived in the mailbox, so in the meantime we've been sleeping on an air mattress that we use for guests.

This is going to sound like I'm furiously deepaking the chopra, but it seems that sleeping on air instead of stagnant water has some kind of effect on dreamworld. (I'm sure Will will have an explanation.) No other variables have changed, so I can't identify any other reason for the shift. But these dreams are truly better than life.

At least in a sense. I'm not prepared to stay there yet. The problem with dreams is that you seemingly lose control in them, and become subject to the whims of the Dreamer.

But what if you could somehow harness the pneumatechnology of dreaming? I mean, clearly, dream consciousness has potentials that are simply unavailable -- or available in a severely attenuated form -- in waking consciousness.

Daytime imagination pales in comparison to the powers of night. You should see my paintings! During the day I can barely draw a stick figure.

Again, the problem is one of control. Nuclear energy is vastly superior to conventional energy, but not if you can't control it. Then it becomes a nightmare, if you will. Or, what if you give this superior technology to barbarians who can only misuse it?

That goes for both nuclear and imagination power. For when it comes right down to it, aren't the vast majority of human problems caused by the misuse of imagination? By people imagining things that just aren't so, and then acting on them? It's not just stupidity, but stupidity filtered through imagination, which is a farce multiplier.

In the bʘʘK, I tried -- at least I tried, you damn dirty apes! -- to undress this problem: the problem of why man has such a poor track record of managing the content of his own mind.

In no other animal is this the case. Rather, evolution sees to it that there is a perfect fit between animal and environment, with no psychic "remainder," so to speak.

But in man alone there is quite literally this infinite gap between being and becoming, or existence and potential, or "is" and "can be." This "remainder" -- this imarginal space we in-habit at the vertical center of the cosmos -- is everything.

Obviously, a man without imagination is not a man; but a man with imagination is dangerous animal, to be sure. So where does that leaf an upright biped who is downright out of his tree?

Much of history -- and certainly on an individual basis -- has to do with adapting to the exceedingly strange condition of having a mind. Think about it: it is the only organ that has a mind of its own except for the penis.

Only man is not Master of his Domain. To paraphrase Bion, the perennial problem for man is thoughts and what to do about them. But man must first evolve the thinker in this life. Thus, in the words of Don Colacho, Men disagree less because they think differently than because they do not think.

And many -- if not most -- people never reach the stage at which they are able to think their own thoughts and then take them deeper: "Religious thought does not go forward, like scientific thought, but rather goes deeper" (Don Colacho's Aphorisms). Religion is here to (among other things) help us manage our minds and go deeper with them.

But people will do virtually anything to avoid thinking their thoughts, and the very existence of my disreputable profession proves it. No other animal needs a "psychologist" to help it find out who it actually is and to manage what it is thinking behind its back!

The evolution of the thinker involves first and foremost interiorizing what is exteriorized. For most of man's history, he has instinctively projected and exteriorized consciousness, either in toto or in bits and pieces that he cannot tolerate and/or integrate.

Only very gradually has man discovered that consciousness is within. And not only that, for consciousness is withinness as such; the I AM is the within of Being; and I is prior to AM. It's really I → AM → Me, or beyond-being, being, existence.

But man repeatedly makes the error of projecting existential problems into the world and then imagining they can be solved that way. But they cannot be. They are permanent features of human existence. Which is why Social problems are the favorite refuge of those fleeing their own problems (DC).

And not only! For the frustrations intrinsic to life -- to the embodiment of imagination -- are often the very boundaries that need to be respected in order for growth to take place: The barriers life frequently throws across our way are not obstacles for us to demolish; they are silent warnings that divert us onto the right path (DC).

The leftist unconsciously knows -- or unKnows -- that the problem is man, which is why all forms of leftism ultimately redound to the elimination rather than cultivation of man. For the Lie is always parasitic on the Truth which it requires in order to exist at all; the Lie requires a perverse sort of thinker, whereas Truth just is. If no one thinks it, it will still exist. Forever.

The genuine problems that confront man are by no means "solved" by the left, just systematically ignored and obliterated, to man's eternal detriment. In the ideal world of the left, it would be against the law to even talk about the real problem(s); hence, political correctness, which is simply totalitarianism by other means.

It is analogous to the street maps of the old Soviet Union. You could be standing right outside a grand Orthodox church which was nowhere depicted on state-approved maps. Thus, you could be cheek-to-jowl with the Truth, and yet, "nowhere."

It is also possible -- and likely -- for a man to only imagine that he knows: We eventually understand the man who knows what he is saying, no matter how complicated what it is he is saying. But it is impossible to understand the man who merely imagines that he knows [what he is saying] (DC).

The Raccoon knows that the world cannot be explained "scientifically," for this would not only make for a world unworthy of man's presence in it, but would render life completely worthless, not to mention as dull as dirt and tedious as the tenured.

But The expert believes he is a superior being, because he knows what, by definition, anybody can learn. And bear in mind that this is not so much an imaginary world as an abstract one. No one can actually live in the scientistic world, and only a severely autistic person would even try.

The great danger of the scientistic worldview is that it not only allows, but forces, one to think thoughts one never had, and therefore to be something one is not and could never be.

Anyway. Back to Dante's dream, wherein we are finally about to enter purgatory proper. We've been fumfering around the first terrace long enough. Time to be an accomplice to Dante's climb. Let's do this thing!

Monday. Until then, pleasant dreams.

26 Comments:

Anonymous will said...

>>it seems that sleeping on air instead of stagnant water has some kind of effect on dreamworld. (I'm sure Will will have an explanation.) <<

Why, yes, yes, I do. Obviously an aggregate of cosmically intelligent dolphins - and you can tell they're cosmically intelligent by those goofy grins they always have plastered on their faces - are sending you telepathic dream messages instructing you to get back on the water because water is, as every self-respecting dolphin knows, virtually everything.

On a slightly more pedestrian level - mercury recently went retrograde, which means foul ups in communications, tech stuff, etc. (the new bed not being delivered in timely fashion). Meanwhile, a retro merc tends to turn mental energy *within*, not bad for certain creative endeavors. It can also be a conduit for some interesting, unusual dream states.

As for me, I'm experiencing a huge cluster#&*%# of car and puter probs.

4/08/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous dloye said...

This post has the bees buzzing again. But to the deepakest, "You should see my paintings! During the day I can barely draw a stick figure."

I imagine everyone can identify; I have woken a couple times with a setting, conflict, characters, a decent skeleton of a short story or larger fiction work. I can't even manage a well shaped three point essay when I'm awake.

You and DC are dancing quite a rumba! And I was careful to read Canto IX before catching the blog. Glad to have done so. Now it can ferment a day or two before you explode it.

4/08/2011 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

And bear in mind that this is not so much an imaginary world as an abstract one.

That explains my dogawful paintings.

4/08/2011 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

A rich and nutritious Friday feast.

Can we call this something like Gagdad's Law of Personal and Political Reality?

The vast majority of human problems are caused by the misuse of imagination.

Or, if you are feeling humble, maybe we could add it to this one:

But people will do virtually anything to avoid thinking their thoughts ... ,

as Godwin's Corollary to Pascal's Axiom on Meditation:

All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room.

4/08/2011 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

'quietly in a room.'

some indian guru opined if anyone could sit PERFECTLY still for an hour they'd reach Samadhi

4/08/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I know personalme an armachair scientist who will tell you there is no difference between the air and water mattresses -- except for the difference in atmospheric pressure.
Will is talking about cosmospheric pressure.
Which of course..
..is everything.

4/08/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Incidreamally, this buzness about "dreams is somethinglike afterlife"...
I think it's true that they may be similar experiences. But I wonder if we can even begin to imagine what it will be like and what you are left with when you (know?) you no longer have or need or want the things of this world. What are you left with?
As St. Lloyd once said, "We got no food! We got no no jobs! Our pets heads are falling off!"
None of these matter anymore. I believe they still matter in dreams.
I think you are left with facing what you have "thought about doing" perhaps more than "what you have actually done". All "faced" while face to face with this fact of Love and your distance from it and from your loved ones and those you didn't.

4/08/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Anyway, just a thought.
For now..

4/08/2011 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"It is also possible -- and likely -- for a man to only imagine that he knows: We eventually understand the man who knows what he is saying, no matter how complicated what it is he is saying. But it is impossible to understand the man who merely imagines that he knows [what he is saying] (DC). "

, combined with this,

"The great danger of the scientistic worldview is that it not only allows, but forces, one to think thoughts one never had, and therefore to be something one is not and could never be."

, leads to a world that will never gno peace in their nighttime's... but it generates 'experts' by the woe'atload.

4/08/2011 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Rick,
it certainly matters to me, after about seven hours of sleep, that I can't find an open toilet or even any sufficiently private shrubbery. I sincerely hope that my afterlife won't be spent in the same way...

4/08/2011 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

;-)

You will not have to pee in the afterlife.

Wee guarantees it!

But you will have to put the seat down.

4/08/2011 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . aren't the vast majority of human problems caused by the misuse of imagination? By people imagining things that just aren't so, and then acting on them?<<

Yeah. Of course, there is imagination in the William Blake-ean sense, which amounts to a pure spiritual sobriety that perceives what is really there.

Then there is fantasy, which is the corruption of imagination - this is a kind of sodden inebriation, the very opposite of true imagination. And it does lead to every imaginable trouble.

4/08/2011 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Rick -

>> . . you no longer have or need or want the things of this world.<<

Well, there's the rub. I think there are plenty of departed souls who still very much want the things of the world. Thus the need for purgatory where the passions can be burnt away, eventually.

4/08/2011 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Will,
Yes, I think it depends on whether you know where you are in the afterlife.
Jesus refers to hierarchy and placement, "...seated at the right hand of the Father.." and such. So we at least know that. That's what I meant by "distance from"... and that perhaps all those in the afterlife sense that they desire to be closer to God, but must learn to know that that is what the desire really is, rather than the old desires..

4/08/2011 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Lewis' The Great Divorce talks about that. The people who are in something like purgatory and could move up may not because they cling to pieces of the old life. Generally the things they cling to are fantasies or imaginings or views of themselves that they can't release.

4/08/2011 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"But what if you could somehow harness the pneumatechnology of dreaming? I mean, clearly, dream consciousness has potentials that are simply unavailable -- or available in a severely attenuated form -- in waking consciousness. "

I'm working on this particular problem. It's probably one of the reasons I'm here on this blog.

Give me some time here.

I have no idea exactly what I'm doing, but I'm pretty sure it will work when I'm finished with the project.

4/09/2011 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

Uma's dad posits the soul as a microscopic particle in the ...heart, duh---winning.
which is where c'sness must 'go' [from the head area] for deep sleep to occur, and where a beacon of awareness must remain to consciously direct one's dreams...
which ties in w/ patanjali's "Samadhi = deep blank sleep + awareness"

& also the sleep tips: on back, stretch your heels away from your body a few times to stretch lower spine downward, think: 'Warm Feet' and with both palms rub down with increasing pressure from clavicle to knees [to send blood away from thoughts/head area to feet]

wv
rearea

4/10/2011 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

"cosmic lovebox"

:D

That would make a pretty good band name, especially if the members were all female...

4/10/2011 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger SippicanCottage said...

Life is not a watch to be wound.

4/10/2011 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why it is preferable to make time with the timekeeper's daughter while the timekeeper's busy keeping time.

4/10/2011 04:32:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Tom Waits for no man.

4/10/2011 05:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Sigmund Fraud said...

I am a tenured professor of literature and psychology and a widely published author with a monthly income of six figures.

Now, from what I've read of your work, I must automatically be an idiot by association with tenure and money.

But, I assure you your writing is better than mine. So, aside from the artificial imposed titles and the swollen bank account, we are roughly similar, are we knot?

Can you give me a temp pass as a "raccoon" and take a chance on it? Especially please don't let your readers revile me.

Now I wish to pose a question: Should humanity exist, and why or why not?

Thank YOu in advance.

4/10/2011 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

zigmind fraud said “Now I wish to pose a question: Should humanity exist, and why or why not?”

Feel free to ask that question of yourself first; widening the field any further, however, cannot be done without reviling yourself... and who are we to interfere with that?

4/10/2011 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Now that's just a silly question. We do exist. Whether we "should" is moot, and if we didn't the cosmos would have to create us if it ever wished to know itself. And vice versatile.

(That last word is courtesy of my doohickey, but I like it so much I'm leaving it in. Thanks, Autocorrect!)

Also, you're fooling nobody. Once a hole, always a hole.

4/10/2011 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And yes, I know, the Don has it right again. This is a stupid way to kill time. I'd be better served back at the gates of Purgatory...

4/10/2011 09:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Sigmund Fraud said...

Van and Julie: Thank you for your replies. Van did not answer the question, but Julie states the purpose of humankind is for the cosmos to know itself.

The follow-on question would be, why we should cooperate with the goals of the cosmos? Why not defy the cosmos and choose annhilation?

What do we get out of existing?

Van mocked my handle and Julie called me a "hole." HOw she figured out I was female is a mystery. Enlighten me?

4/10/2011 10:39:00 PM  

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