[Part 3, of 3]
And the thing that you’re hearing
is only the sound
of the low spark of high-heeled boys.
– Stevie Winwood, Traffic
One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self:
of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
I do not take drugs — I am drugs.
– Salvador Dali
He who knows the territory
tells the direction to him who asks the way.
– The Rig Veda
In 1969 I received a letter in the mail notifying me that I was to report for induction into the armed services (in three months … or by that date, to be enlisted in some branch of the U.S. military). My father had been an officer in the Air Force. I enlisted into the Navy. It was November. I was in Ohio. I had requested to attend Boot Camp in San Diego; so that’s where I went. A few weeks later, I came down with a cold. And not an ordinary cold. The cold of my life.
You know how sometimes a cold will affect your sense of smell & taste? Well that was part of this cold. Except – my sense of taste was not decreased … it was intensified. My sense of taste was amplified by at least twice.
And there were other experiences (which appeared to be symptoms of this weird ‘cold’) … including a peculiar kind of visual distortion (or disruption. Though this lasted only briefly, probably less than an hour.)
I’m sure most of you are too young to have experienced what the early (black & white) TV’s were like. Well … they didn’t always behave the way they were supposed to. They had little adjustment knobs on the back – one labeled “horizontal hold” … and one labeled “vertical hold”.
Sometimes you were obliged to make use of these adjustments – to make your TV screen’s display behave itself.
But, suppose it was already working properly … if you messed with the horizontal hold knob, the image would move away to the right (or left), to be replaced with another image, right behind it … as though you were pulling a film strip past the viewer … and you could make this go quite fast. And the vertical hold knob could produce similar results (except the image would move up or down); but I think that if you turned the knob very far, the picture itself would be replaced by just black bars … which seemed to move and flicker. (And as to whether there was ever a diagonal hold knob, I am uncertain.)
Anyway … the visual distortion I experienced was a bit like this … it was as though what I was watching was some sort of electronic display … with the diagonal hold out of adjustment.
I could still see what I needed to (I think I could have driven a car without much danger) … but the disruption/distortion (diagonal flickering) was quite pronounced.
Well … it was enough to make me wonder – Is the screen of our consciousness … in some way related to electronic displays? (or even … is it one?)
Anyway … once you see it once you realize – that that thing you’re looking at, which appears to be ‘your surroundings’ … is actually your own dream (a dream, in real time, of your surroundings … just the way they would appear if you could “see them” directly) … once you see it … you’re stuck with it. You can’t go back. You cannot unsee it.
And … what can you expect? How will this insight alter your life?
Will you be enlightened?
No. (But it may make room for that.)
I can tell you what happened to me.
All MIU students learn about the subjective symptoms of (the various stages of) enlightenment. So, when I had this conceptual breakthrough … I gradually learned to use it to contextualize the experiences of enlightenment. And this was very interesting, indeed.
I felt as if the INSIGHT had brought me to a high ridge (such as one sometimes get to, when hiking in the high country)
It allowed me to see not just where I had been … but a whole new ‘watershed’, as well.
And I presumed that the treasures lay … on the far side of the ridge, in the never-before-seen territory. And for about THREE DECADES, that was my presumption. But THEN (I had the grace to) look back … at the slope – the way I had come … and where I had grown up. (And I am GLAD that I DID)
Allow me to tell you of some of the treasures I have found on that very slope where we all live :
I can now see – that we are all … ‘under (enormous) pressure’ (all day, every day) – to believe that we are IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH REALITY. (And THIS is due to the fact that think we SEE the WORLD, as it were, WITHOUT the mediation of our OWN CONSCIOUSNESS.
When we recognize (misrecognize) our dream of the world AS the world … the dream (AS the dream) DISAPPEARS. And so – every minute that we’re awake, we are … ‘having the experience’ that we are in Direct Contact with Reality.
It’s an experience. We don’t talk about it. We don’t think about it … but we experience it.
(and the accumulated weight of this [constant] experience … is HUGE)
It is NO WONDER … that everyone in the world … thinks they’re RIGHT! Mmm?
Animals appear to be less inclined to fight about “who’s right” than we are … but I am confident that they experience “reality” through the same recognition /(misrecognition) that we do. And this fact contributes to the bond that we share with them.
We humans have had a tendency to regard ourselves as a kind of ‘walking meat-ball’.
But once you see what role the waking dream plays in our lives, such a (materialistic) view of life is no longer believable.
We are truly miraculous beings. Every last one of us.
Here is a “philosophical poem” I wrote a couple years ago.
It’s an attempt to lift the veil from the face of one of the Great Mysteries.
The people who sit in a theater
Watching a movie
(without much thinking about it)
That the film they are watching
Is being projected
(onto the screen in front of them)
From a place they cannot see
A projection booth
Above and behind
When a person falls in love
He sees a sort of Glow
Around his sweetheart. But
He probably does not realize
That the Glow he sees
Comes from within himself
That it is his own
(followers of Carl Jung)
Say that what is being projected
(when In Love)
Is one’s own Anima
Which is what they call the Soul.
But there is a
GREAT PROJECTION (compared to which, Falling in Love is child’s play)
Which we live with
All day, every day.
we live THROUGH it.
We live IN it, even.
It is what allows us
To live and function in the world.
For it IS our own
It is This Projection
We recognize it
It is Our Dream of the world
In Real Time.
And as we recognize this Dream as the world
(as we construe that it IS the world)
The World Appears and
And we are left simply
With an experience of
This is the
We also experience the
Sleep state and the
But it is to the Waking State
That we all
A dozen red roses.
The colors of it
(by the way)
Come from us.
They are one of our contributions
To the Great Projection.
Color does not exist in the world itself.
Wavelength (and frequency)
Are properties of light.
And while there is a correspondence
Between a given wavelength
And a given color,
Color is NOT a property of light.
It is a property of US
A property of Consciousness.
All these Colors make the projection beautiful.
But what makes the Illusion
(and it is completely convincing)
Is the fact that we seem to see
The various things of our surroundings
Where the things ARE.
So, we live
INSIDE our projection.
When we have a Sleeping dream
We are convinced (at the time)
That it is Real.
But then, when we wake up, we find
To our astonishment
That it was
“Only a Dream”.
This means that a sleeping dream
of our actual surroundings.
But the Waking State occurs
In the physical presence of our surroundings.
And what makes it so powerful
Is that it is a Dream
(and of ourSelves as well).