And thank you for sharing your complex with us, Lisa. I missed the workshop but I viewed the recording.
This is my response from a meta-perspective. As we are in a civilizational collapse, I am aware that we have no maps for what happens next. None of our books, theories, or models will show us.
And what do we do when we don’t know what to do?
And what motifs will you take with you as you leap into a new cosmology?
~ ~ ~
A sign is a vehicle conveying into the mind something from without
A sign is something that by knowing it we know something more
A sign stands for something
While sweeping my apartment, I found a crumpled up piece of paper with my handwriting on it. Rather than tossing it in the garbage I opened it up and read it. I found the paper, waded up, and on the floor behind a pile of papers, an it is undated.
That I found it today while re-arranging things persuades me that this is a good group to share it with. I guess it occurred about a decade ago, when in my mid fifties. I had an eruption of cultural shadow material that I had no clear models for interpreting.
Strangely, the dream report got deleted, so I will pick up where I left off, and try again. I feel the presence of a trickster that is trying to stop this message from being delivered. Here is the report.
I am in a room with a man and a woman playing cards. The woman asks me to cut the deck. The deck is made of silver. I say," I have never been dealt a pack of cards like this."
I then am in a strange place. I am lifted over a body of water. My body is dropped into the water but I can view it from above, as it floats face down in the water. I can breathe in the body, face down in the water, as I view it from above.
Then I feel the presence of a demonic force, masculine, invisible, not quite human, a strong, erotic charge. I feel that I’m afraid of his power and will be possessed by him and obliterated. I wrestle with him and recite the Jesus Prayer and cry out," Get thee gone!"
Then, I am walking in a crowded area, that reminds me of downtown Manhattan, near where the World Trade Towers used to be. I enter a Café where I notice the presence of a young man that I fear is crazy. He carries a knife. I ignore him and join a circle gathered around a piano.
I asked them," Does everyone know this is a dream?"
They answer in unison," Yes, we all know that."
" And where does this dream come from?"
A woman responds, " No one can answer that for you."
" And where do you come from?" I ask her.
" I am myself," she says," I am my own person."
Then I ask," And what shall I do with the Demonic that keeps attacking me?"
Another woman answers," He is only a problem if you cling to the notion of inside or outside."
They start singing and I start to float into a space where there are not minds or comparisons or objects. There is a soft light without a source. I float and feel a sense of movement. I explore movement and stillness.
And I imagine that there are some overlaps between my report and what Lisa reported. I sense that we are using the English language in different ways to create an attentional space. I also sense that we are trying to explore in a public forum endogenous ( self-generated) imagery.
As our civilization is drowning in external images, generated by machines, I imagine that this is a group exercise in trying to hold the tensions between the endogenous/exogenous and the analogue/ digitized. This is an oscillating rhythm that is hard to capture in words. Drawing and dance are better at this than words.
I found this scribbled on the back of the page-
A Near Death Rehearsal
The difference between God and Human
*God * doesn’t breathe Teach God how to breathe
That is very interesting, John. I feel that there is a Trinity at work in your dream and waking serendipities. There is the vast, unmoving, measureless, causal, infinite God (who doesn’t breathe, not like mortals breathe); and there is the Spirit, breath, prana, chi, life-energy; and there is the Self (or son, or daughter)—one’s own person, who breathes but only temporarily while the body is intact, maintaining the balance between inside and outside, infinite and finite, mortal and eternal.
It seems to me that beyond the binary, there is a third term. Is this the excluded middle? And what about a language of the third, which harmonizes the other two terms? I seem to recall dreams of sacred geometries. I am imaginging triangles, pyramids, tetrahedrons… What other shapes might a consciously evolving language take?
The ancient Celts divided the year into the light half and the dark half and, surprisingly, the dark half of the year was the more inspired time. Since eternal darkness preceded creation, the dark of the year could be a time of great imagination and creativity. In addition, they considered that there was a little gap between the ending of one half of the year and the beginning of the opposite half. In the slight gap between things, the eternal enters this world and stimulates the process of renewal. The same little gap in time was seen to occur between the dark of night and the light of day and, importantly for us, the same subtle space appears between inhaling and exhaling as we each participate in the breathing of life on earth. On one level, it is valuable to know that as the dark time of the year approaches there is a little space that involves the touch of the eternal. At an individual level, it is especially important to imagine that each breath we take not only sustains our life, but also connects us to the gap through which the eternal passes through us, just as it moves through the world and keeps creation ongoing.
" Unused capacity is the matrix of pain and/or transformation. Many symptoms are siddhis unexpressed: then neurosis is our practice. Right practice turns the fires of hell into the fires of heaven, and symptoms turn to grace." Michael Murphy
“I don’t like to admit it, but even all of these kindred souls, these oddkin, can seem like they have hit a concrete wall.” -Doug’s remark from a review of recent Cultural Somatics episode.
A concrete wall? And is there anything else about that concrete wall?
For me, I feel that we are touching a boundary. It is not solid nor made of concrete, but is made of a fine, sheer, material, like a scrim used in a theatre, to amplify mood by reflecting lights upon it or backlighting, making opaque surface, transparent. This theater trick is way of playing with light. We can even project onto the surface of the fabric a concrete wall image. Thanks, Doug, for your thoughts about that thread and I bring your remarks to this thread as an attempt to transform the concrete wall into a boundary that you can breathe through, a veil that can be lifted, occasionally, without doing damage to the aesthetics of the complex ensemble. And we sometimes need a concrete wall to stop us from driving bus over a cliff.
Sacred non-Euclidean geometries…galleries of fractalholographic shapes…can be touched which reminds me of my dreaming body…and crossing over the threshold…in a non-binary self/other flow state…How do I know this?
Last night, I woke up after several hours of sleep and did my dream yoga practice. The breathwork which I had performed started a shift in consciousness…I was on my back, eyes closed, feeling the sound waves ebbing and flowing, a sign that something was happening in the subtle, hybrid body…but I found this frustrating as there was no movement…then I was told to shift to the visual system and shift my attention to seeing beyond my dark cranium and through my forehead into an imaginary point on the horizon.
I did so and quickly felt the sound waves, turn into light waves…what happens next is a report from the other side of the boundary of futures/pasts/selves/others…a glimpse into the nature of the DIvine Double.
I am looking at a face, which is looking at me, we are face to face …the face looked like my own, as if I was gazing in a mirror. But he is a different person…a different body…
." How can this be?" I ask. I get out of the bed and look around. We are in the backyard of a house. It is dim outside but the house looks like it is well lit. Another world.
" What difference does it make," he asks," that we look alike?" As he says this I notice that his appearance is changing. He looks like a mixture of people I have known. He appears to be a person who died many years ago in a terrible accident, his physical body was crushed. But this body, which I behold, is whole.
I ask," Shall we go into the house?"
" No," he replies," not yet?" I realize I am a bit of an intruder in his world.
i ask, " How did you find me here, asleep? Were you scanning for me?" I felt that I had been directed to his world. He is silent. I ask," What year is this?"
He says," 2016."
" Oh no, " I respond," we have a problem. I come from your future. I live in 2020. I think I have seen a movie about this. Who is your president?"
" George Bush."
I realize that this is the wrong thing to be talking about. Facts and frameworks are infinitely variable and I am not sure I can handle this inquiry as I am most interested in more metaphysical inquiry than politics or history. I m being too literal and left brain dominant
He gestures to a couch. I sit upon it. I notice there is a TV and I ask," Would you like to cuddle?"
He puts his head in my lap and we watch TV. His body is solid to the touch. I un my fingers through his thick hair, I touch his firm chest, I reach down and touch his bare feet. He is human, his anatomy is perfect. I find this to be a thrilling recognition beyond my ability to understand cognitively. I have no idea what kind of technology could create this display and the mood is so serene, so perfect, that any words become obtrusive and unnecessary All that matters to me is that we are together again.
I wonder who’s memory stream does this belong to? I also don’t really care as my joy in this moment is supreme. And so simple, I am again reunited with the person I loved most, whom I thought was lost, but who is still alive and we are watching Cosmic TV, cuddling on a Cosmic Couch, and enjoying a perfect union. The rest is silence-
"Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts, Which I, by lacking, have supposed dead, And their reigns love, and all love’s loving parts, And all of those friends which I thought buried.*"-*William Shakespeare
I am interested in the Energy-Intensity which brings the material together to create these Boundaries,Veils & Walls. Also the Same Energy-Intensity to remember the creation of,See through them & sometimes the need to Deconstruct-Destroy !!!
I like that you picked up on the term concrete wall. I believe I unconsciously overextended my metaphor. It was a loose reference to our new friend’s thread on Concrete Time. The term concrete is even appearing in my dreams (as a decrepit concrete monstrosity that is the mini-golf course, concrete material poured into shapes…now these sites have paint peeling away from the concrete or areas where the wires underneath are exposed)…I feel, as a human body watching all of these external stimuli, I am a bit more detached. I am closer to a critic than an active participant. I need to be a part of the conversation to go beyond the concrete sense of divided boundaries.
I did have a chance to review the first of the Consciously Evolving Language offerings and I just spoke yesterday about the seeming concreteness of the skin. Lisa spoke in the conversation of the porousness of the skin, this boundary as truly interacting with the environment, taking in, letting out, sensing and feeling, adjusting and responding; in constant flux; the dying and the birthing of new cells. This is the type of flexibility that appeals to me.
If you’ll indulge me, I have a relevant dream to share. I had been trying to incubate a library to explore if I was to reach the state of lucid dreaming. I ended up in a conversation with Matt Segall
I appear in a bookstore and know I am there to speak with Matt Segall. Immediately I begin chatting with Matt with brief introductions. He starts the conversation by saying it is nice to have a chance to speak with me and that the conversation was a long time coming. I let him know that I had watched his latest recording and had to agree that it does seem that the world is fucked (saying this explitive much quieter because of people around). I go on to explain myself, that there is really no true hope that the world will shift to our ideas (implying that there are just too many personal views to get out the way first). He sort of agrees and allows for me to continue.
We are walking down a separate aisle with a few people around and we continue with me saying thtat I am apolitical. He seems to question the word, questioning if that is really a true word possibility and I assure him that I know what he is thinking by letting him know that I grew up without any knowledge in the home about politics (and also implying that it is somewhat arbitrary in the first place). We walk around another aisle as the place gets noticeable more occupied by people. We walk past Jeremy Johnson saying hello as he speaks with another familiar face.
The conversation comes to a close or a pause when we are near the door. A man is heard saying “and that is why we gotta tell the women how we men do it” (or similar) and comes passing by and walks out the door. I say to Matt “see, thats what we are up against.” (mentally I am implying that people have different views on things and this man clearly has a misogynistic mindset and is raising a child with the same views). I continue by asking rhetorically “so what are we to do?… we could go to the man and confront him…” and I proceed to go up to the man who has entered back in to the building and speak to him softly “ey, rememeber saying …. I didnt really apprec…” and the man runs off to avoid further confrontation. I go back to Matt and tell him that I am not the type to confront others while at the same time I sing “ruuuuunnnn awaaaayy” to the tune of Total Eclipse of the Heart and am prepared to mock the man for all to see. The man never comes back and Matt doesn’t really respond.
We continue walking down the aisle again and this time we speak directly to Jeremy and his friend, doing introductions. The other guy says ‘hey Doug” and I smile and wave back but dont know his name. We move on towards Matt’s office at the other end of the bookstore/library. He is the one talking now, letting me know that he appreciates having the opportunity to speak to a father like me and that it is good to have heard a voice from a father. It does not seem like he means it (and plus we did not speak about father issues which is my “talking point”)…we end by Matt having me go into his office for a quieter chat for it has become very busy. As we enter his hole-in-the-wall office cluttered with stacks of books I notice a familiar Bergson title Time and FreeWill. I wish to talk about Bergson but he is talking about something and I dont want to interrupt and I wake soon after.
I follow Matt and Jeremy online and appreciate their offerings. This dream marks my first (remembered), in-depth conversation with a dream character. It felt more real than any conversation I have had recently and much more real than the one-sided listenings I do with YouTube, The Stoa, and yes, sadly, sometimes even when I listen to my closest kin here in the Cosmos. I do appreciate the opportunity to continue the conversation here. And I am starting to understand the depth of the dream conversation. Its power to bring that missing element front and center. Perhaps if I view these treasures online not as concrete offerings but as flexible evolving boundaries of loving language and channeling I can find the deeper meanings.
A quote from Big Dreams by Kelly Buckeley," Meta-cognition ( thinking about thinking) involves self-reflection and awareness of ongoing thoughts and perceptions. Complex meta-cognition occurs in dreams as well as waking states. A fully lucid dream is the best example of this but such metacognitive abilities appear in non-lucid dreams, too…Dreams have a prominent social dimension, usually containing multiple characters with whom the dreamer interacts in a variety of ways."
I have always said that the next frontier is not outer space but sleep. We know very little about sleep and dreams but it seems obvious that our over reliance upon the cognitive is a block towards a more subtle discriminations. With more people having access to the continuity between waking and dreaming and hybrid states that emerge, I would predict that what we now consider laws of nature could become much more like habits we can change. We could then change the laws of nature, much like gay people, with a little help from their friends, changed the laws about same sex marriage. Such social transformations are initiated in dreaming, art, and anomalous events and then feedforward into our social networks in strange ways. Hence, my on going drive to bring attention to the multi-phasic and endogenous which are habitually ignored in our top heavy culture. Increasing awareness of this latent and underdeveloped capacity could greatly enhance our communications. Our symptoms are siddhis we have left unexpressed. If we don’t use what we are given wisely we will be destroyed. And this is perhaps necessary destruction. My attention is directed towards the interiors of a future people who will have gone beyond our stagnation. In many ways, the interiors of those future people already function a lot like ours. We can feel the body as time remembering itself. The implications are vast.
I found Big Dreams when I first read it to be an insightful read, a step above the somewhat dry and “stating-of-the-obvious” scientific journals on sleep and dreaming. Kelly and others are able to integrate others accounts into some semblance of a guide towards the unknown,
Another quote from the book:
Gackenbach’s studies have shown that experienced transcendental meditators have much more metacognitive dreaming than do people who have never meditated, and Hunt’s work has shown that lucid dreaming experiences include many of the same mental attributes reported in the contemplative practices of various religious traditions.
Meditation is a crucial part of the exploration process. I am no seasoned meditator but having practiced Yoga Nidra (in some personal formation) has allowed my definition of meditation to evolve into something well beyond the cut and dry version of “sit” and “let go” … even “letting go” has an infinite amount of meaning these days.
I finished Jurgen Ziewe’s book Vistas of Infinity yesterday and greatly appreciate his candid, down-to-earth perspectives, though much of the alternate realms he speaks of are lightyears beyond anything I have experienced. He has had many years of oobe’s and has over forty years of journaled dreaming experience. He is a highly visual person and explores his realms further through his artwork. We need more accounts from people like you and Jurgen to take a front seat as we blast off into the unknown.
He is stating in the book that oobes are a step beyond lucid dreaming One major factor that I took away from this read was his deep, consistent meditation practice. He had a designated “meditation room” for morning and night sessions. Much can be extracted from first-person accounts such as that which Ziewe offers. I hope we continue to share our processes with each other John.
Jurgen is a great inspiration and I have read all of his books. I consider him to be in the same class as Swedenborg. Both men had considerable cognitive dissonance around these experiences.
Jurgen is an artist, and Swedenborg a scientist but both of them were terrific journalists. If I could recommend one practice above all others it would be journaling. Putting these weird states of body/mind into language is as difficult perhaps as creating conditions for hosting these strange experiences, strange because they do not sit still and allow themselves to be studied with an objectifying rationality. Unfortunately, we live in an age that is dominated by a deficient rationality that too easily gets high jacked by transhumanist hype. I try to strike a balance between phases, stages and stations. Zak Stein, as I have mentioned, lays this out very nicely.
I have read all of Harry Hunt and draw upon him a great deal. He is an academic meta-theorist, but has done comparative work in poly-phasic vs mono-phasic culture . We live in a profoundly mono-phasic culture and it is killing us.
I am not a theorist but am a practitioner, who has made lots of mistakes, and suffered the horrors of the damned. So, I have little patience for arm chair critics, who generate theories of everything, from the books that they have read, but are afraid to admit to having meta-normal experiences.
Clean Language is the most powerful tool I have come across that can handle the complexity of stages, phases, and stations. I call it modeling in the moment. Clean language is a tool that trains the attention to ‘go meta’ without contaminating the metaphorical landscape. We are working this out experientially at Cultural Somatics and I believe we are working with a similar orientation here with this course under Lisa’s guidance.
I got inspired by the discussion of boundaries and surfaces. So many wonderful reflections on dreams and where they want to take you. The body of water or cuddling on a couch, there is this fluid state of engagement that is not concretisizing the experience but invites further exploration into itself.
In the book “When words become flesh” by Paulo Virno he brings up an interesting fact that the verbal communication exists in two symbiotic aspects: "a) what we say, the semantic content expressed by the enunication thanks to certain phonetic, lexical and syntactic characters; b) the fact of speaking, the decision to break the silence, the act of enuciating as such "
I have a very awesome book that is written by Desmond Morris called Peoplewatching: The Desmond Morris Guide to Body Language " that shows how much of our communicational abilities lies in all these subtle to extreme gestures that signals various things between us. I call them dramatic expressions.
Also the voice have this melodical capability beyond the said words, thinking for example of stressed words, and emphasis form this melodic expression that is using the words as a vessel but lives in the voice.
I also think fondly of timbre:
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