Thursday, December 16, 2010

Who is the Dreamer who Dreams the World?

We're now down to Day One and Miracle Seven. But Day One also implies Day Zero, since there are no days prior to their creation. All we know from Genesis is that "the earth was without form, and void," and that "darkness was on the face of the deep," a wonderful phrase that conjures a profound nothingness, an existential swamp, an absolute nihil of opacity and meaninglessness.

Is the Bible suggesting that creation arose from a liberal university? I don't think so. The UN? No.

If I'm not mistaken, just as it doesn't spookulate much on the afterlife, Judaism discourages fertilizing too mulch about the state of affairs prior to creation.

This is the purpose of the definitive statement at the outset of Genesis: to put an end to idle speculation about matters we cannot possible imagine. Yes, we are all aware of vivid accounts of "heaven" and "hell," but in my view these are intended to be didactic and pedagogic. Really, they're a little like stop signs. When you see one, you just stop. You don't spend time thinking about why the sign is there, if it's really needed, whether you can ignore it if no one's looking, what the fine will be if you get a ticket, etc.

The first creative act serves as a template or fractal that is mirrored in the other six days of creation, and therefore creativity as such. In fact, according to Tomberg, the subsequent six days can be seen as an extended commentary on the first, which embraces in its essence the whole miracle of creation.

As such, the first day is not just dealing with creation but the principle of creation. One might say that it is "the creation of creation," which must precede this or that particular creation. Therefore, one might even say that it is the creation of the Creator, who paradoxically becomes One only by virtue of his creation.

Clearly there is no creation without a Creator. But there is also no Creator without a creation (so to speak). If you're really the One, Show us the many!!!

In a way, this is analogous to our dreams, which, in my opinion, are an important part of our deiformity, and can therefore tell us something about what goes on "in God." (As we have said many times, we take seriously the principle that man in his essence is in the image of his Creator.)

What distinguishes daytime consciousness from night time consciousness is that in the former mode we are separate from the creations of our consciousness -- or at least we weave in and out of them, merging and observing, producing and critiquing, spewing and cleaning up.

At night things are different. Although there is a Dreamer and a dream, we only know this after the fact, upon awakening. We generally cannot experience the distinction when the dream is occurring. This is a fascinating principle of consciousness, because it means that in the most profound sense, we are both the subject (creator) and object (created) of our dreams, even though we identify only with the object pole.

But once you appreciate the protean genius of the Dreamer, you cannot possibly believe that your little ego is anything more than a tiny satellite in the orbit of a higher conscious power. But who is the Dreamer if not you?

However, this You is like the dark side of the moon. I Syd you not. It is always there, even if we cannot see it. Indeed, we cannot see it because it is in a permanent dialectical relationship with the visible side; even if you bring a portion of darkness into the light of consciousness, it is now in the latter world, just as there is a distinction between dreaming vs. recalling and interpreting a dream. Note that the latter activities can never exhaust the Dreamer. Truly, to interpret a dream is like bringing a sponge to the ocean.

Grotstein writes of the unconscious as a sort of alter-ego or background presence with (or in) whom we go through life -- the “stranger within” that shadows our existence in a most intimate, creative, and mysterious way. We don't necessarily notice the relationship, but we would if it weren't there. That is, everything would go suddenly "flat," and be robbed of the extra dimensions that we only apprehend because of the conscious/unconscious resonance and dialectic.

We all know people who live only on the conscious/rationalistic side, which is precisely why they are so boring and clueless. They've all gone off the shallow end.

Think of what goes into the dream, which "is a unique and mysterious event, an undertaking that requires an ability to think and to create that is beyond the capacity of conscious human beings.... [D]reams are, at the very least, complex cinematographic productions requiring consummate artistry, technology, and aesthetic decision making.... [D]reams are dramatic plays that are written, cast, plotted, directed, and produced and require the help of scenic designers and location scouts, along with other experts.... I am really proposing the existence of a profound preternatural presence whose other name is the Ineffable Subject of Being, which itself is a part of a larger holographic entity, the Supraordinate Subject of Being and Agency" (Grotstein).

So to say "let there be light" is to say more than a mythfull, for it is also to say "let there be consciousness," specifically, a separative consciousness that may know both the interior,vertical and exterior/horizontal worlds.

Now in the beginning (of the Coonifesto), when One's upin a timeless without a second to spore, we are summarily plunged into "nothing, pure emptiness, a formless void without mind or life, a shadow spinning before the beginning over a silent static sea, unlit altar of eternity." It is "One brahman deathless breathing breathless, darkness visible the boundless all, unknown origin prior to time and space, fount of all being, unborn thus undying, beginning and end of all impossibility, empty plenum and inexhaustible void."

Sri Aurobindo's epic poem of cosmic all-possibilty, Savitri, begins with the line, "It was the hour before the God's awake." It is the "huge foreboding mind of Night, alone," "opaque, impenetrable," "the abysm of the unbodied Infinite" "between the first and last Nothingness." Later comes the first "event" or act:

Then something in the inscrutable darkness stirred;
A nameless movement, an unthought Idea....
A thought was sown in the unsounded Void,
A sense was born within darkness' depths,
A memory quivered in the heart of Time
As if a soul long dead were moved to live....

Like Savitri, Genesis can only be misunderstood literally, and therefore must be read slowly overhead and meditated upon, for it is trying to convey something from across the horizon of knowability -- something that cannot be known, only unKnown and undergone.

To unKnow something is not equivalent to being ignorant about it. Rather, it is a special way of knowing what is beyond the brightly but ill-luminated area of consciousness -- it is to unvision the perfect night that precedes sight. In other worlds, it is a way to try to get past the phenomena -- which we know can only be a shadow of the Real -- and to try to intuit the noumenon, or the reality behind appearances.

As it so very very happyns, we undo this every naught when we enter the state of deep, dreamless sleep, or what is called in the Upanishads turiya. But how do we enter that state with eyes wide shut?

Ah, that's the trick, isn't it, for this is to die before you die and to have your wake while you live, and eat it too. They say that to leaven the lightenment is to dance along the penumbra of this razor's edge. Or so we have heard from the wise, from Petey, the mirthiful, the compassionate!

In The Beginning -- which is always now -- God creates heaven and earth, the above and below -- which is to say, two worlds, two tendencies, two impulses, two realities -- or let us say reality and unreality, O and Ø, for there can be only one reality.

But in order for us to know it, there must be unreality, which is not a paradox when you think about it. For it does not mean to say that unReality, or maya, is false, only to say that it is not the ultimate Real. It may be a bit cramped, but it's still a womb with a pew that'll do until

"Let there be light!"

"Lazarus, March Fourth, it's Coonday morning!

How do these relate?

To be continued....

Oh, BTW. This is sort of the effect we were aiming for -- how it sounds in our head, only with light yokes -- in the dreamlike Cosmogenesis and Cosmobliteration sections of the book (HT Maggie's Farm via Vanderleun). If I could just hire this guy to read it, I'm sure I'd understand it better:


Van said...

"In a way, this is analogous to our dreams, which, in my opinion, are an important part of our deiformity, and can therefore tell us something about what goes on "in God." (As we have said many times, we take seriously the principle that man in his essence is in the image of his Creator.)"

I once set a leftie friend to babbling after one of his challenges about how stoopid Christians were to ever believe in something like a trinity, "One God of three persons... one of ANYTHING that is three, it's not just illogical, it's STOOPID!".
'So... you're saying that anyone who could even imagine that one could be three, and the three could be one, is somehow mentally defective?'
'You ever have a dream?'
'uh... yeah... so?'
'Were you in the dream?'
'Were you, in the Dream?'
'Do you think you were transported to the Enterprise holodeck on initiating REM... or was the dream occuring within you?'
'... whachyapoint?'
'The point is that you experienced a situation in which there was a dreamer - which was you - along with the material of the dream - which is MADE of You - and there was at least one character within the dream - which was YOU, but somehow separate from the you that was the dream, and separate from the you that was dreaming the dream... sooo that's at least three separate You's, all of which are made up of one single You... right?'
'... er...(blink)... ahhh...'
'Whatchamatterwidyou... are you Stoopid or something?'

Watching him try to extricate himself from that... you'd think he was trying to wake up from a bad dream or something.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, the logic of dreams illuminates many a mystery.

julie said...

For it does not mean to say that unReality, or maya, is false, only to say that it is not the ultimate Real. It may be a bit cramped, but it's still a womb with a pew that'll do until

"Let there be light!"

"Lazarus, March Fourth, it's Coonday morning!

I remember those dreams...

The look and feel of this dream was quite similar to those other two after I saw the lights in the sky – hiding in a house, windows as vulnerable points, threatening lights shining in and trying to find those of us hiding inside. This one had a new twist, though, with that soldier at the end who was there all along.

Before that, most of my dreams were obviously inspired by things I'd read or seen within the previous few days. They didn't seem to have any meaning beyond entertainment. Since then, the ones that stick with me tend to be rather more reveiling. Coonday morning, indeed...

julie said...

Heh - sometimes wv is a bit like a digital mini dream cypher. Like this:


esse omne

the essence of all?

Grant Maher said...

Less commonly, dreams are not created by the dream participant but are caused by travel in the spirit world.

A section of consciousness breaks off or rather extrudes like a psuedopod and goes inward, upward, or sideways into the spirit world.

In these dreams the dreamer does not fully control the environment or the action, however can exercise free will and make choices as in waking life.

A vivid, premonitory, and memorable dream should carefully written down and contemplated ASAP upon waking up. These dreams may contain significant informanton.

I have no way of knowing if the statement I have just written is factual, however. I'm sorry.

Good post, Bob. One of the top twenty.

julie said...

OT, the new book you're reading looks interesting. Going by the blurb, I don't think I'll be guilty of most of those; I hope not, anyway.

Along similar lines, now that I have my book back I'm rereading the coonifesto, in fits and starts, and was just struck by something (which is probably patently obvious) that seemed worth mentioning, regarding all of the pathological parenting, particularly the bit ending on page 162.

Anyway, what struck me was that in the history of man, pathological parenting was the norm, not the exception. In other words, from a Darwinian perspective it makes no sense whatsoever that humans should be fitter and healthier with styles of parenting that nobody was practicing. It would make more evolutionary sense if we thrived under conditions we know today to be abusive, cruel, and horribly damaging to the growth of mind, body and spirit. After all, nature doesn't care if we're neglectful and mean or if we're loving and nurturing, it only matters that we pass on the genes.

Per the Elias quote at the top of pg. 162, the innate parental love modern man takes for granted as something natural is in fact completely unnatural, just as much so as refrigerated food or modern medicine. Actually, supernatural is probably a more precise word here.

The wonder is that the capacity for that love was there all along, hidden in our warped brains like an Easter egg waiting to be hatched.

Gagdad Bob said...

That is indeed an issue I grappled with -- that is, how can something that is so obviously normative have been so scarce in the past? When an organ does something "new," it's virtually always pathological. So how to assess a new style of parenting?

The essence of pathology is failure to fulfill a function or end. But in in the case of humans, the end is in the future, so we have to evaluate everything human in the light of that future or transcendent ideal. It is simply impossible to discuss humanness in the absence of final causes....

julie said...

Seen that way, of course, it makes perfect sense. Going back to the miracles, all the talk of seeds and growth work very well as a metaphor for the growth of mankind towards an end we can't yet properly know, any more than a toddler knows what sort of adult they will become.

When Christ is described as bridegroom, another way to see the depth-charge that was his insertion into time could be as the fertilizing sperm to mankind's fertile eggheadedness. One could consider the time between then and modernity as the gestation of mankind; if so, as a culture we're practically newborn, and it's no wonder we persist in so many culturally infantile behaviors. Maybe. I could be way off-base on that one...

julie said...

Back to the post,

Like Savitri, Genesis can only be misunderstood literally, and therefore must be read slowly overhead and meditated upon, for it is trying to convey something from across the horizon of knowability -- something that cannot be known, only unKnown and undergone.

I'm reminded of the experience of learning music, at least for me (and speaking particularly of sight-reading as opposed to learning something by ear). First there is the basic reading of the music, translating lines and dots on a page to actual sounds. At this point, it's fairly mechanical. After a couple of readings, the meaning becomes apparent, and the logic of the whole becomes internalized. A few more repetitions and the sheet music is no longer needed; mistakes made are likely to still sound right in context; the piece is "memorized."

I used quotes there because it isn't as though the whole thing sits there in one big chunk in the brain, nor is it that by closing my eyes I can see the music. It's more like an unKnowing that makes itself accessible at the right moments. Our concerts were this past weekend, and there were more than a few points where I was curious as to what notes and words I would sing next, because I genuinely didn't know until it was time for them to come out. So at times, the concert was as much a surprise and a revelation to me as it was to the audience.

Magnus Itland said...

Due to the nature of time and eternity, whatever was before the Beginning must necessarily still be.

As children, we thought of eternity as just a lot of time. And there certainly is a lot of time, but that is not the true nature of eternity. Eternity is everywhere and everywhen.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

One thing I really appreciate about dreams...well, mine anyhow, is this:
There are no damn shaky cams!

Jest sayin'...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I have noticed that, since I have been reading One Cosmos (and the Coonifesto), along with MOTT, and of course, the Bible, etc., the production values of my dreams have really gotten much better.

As has the directing, acting (although it's easy to act yerself, it's even better when you know who you are to begin with), writing, soundtrack, o-diting, and Coonvision punnedOrama camera work (special thanks to the stuntguys and get-a-grips).

None of which would be possible without my prOducer and executive prOducer. Without their funnyding I couldn't afford to get these flicks off the ground.

I'd also like to thank my special coonsultants: Bob, and all you raccoons, for helping me to keep it Real. Yer attention to Othenticity is top notch, and coontributes sign-ificantly to each prOduction. :^)

PS- I call my production company DreamSlack. :^)