Sunday, July 24, 2011

Off We Go Into The Dream of Sleep

Off We Go Into The Dream of Sleep is excerpted from Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness. I've edited for online reading.

Off We Go Into The Dream of Sleep

When we go into meditation or even deep sleep, we pull down some walls, roll up the sidewalks and wander more freely through awareness. We see things we’re taught to pass off as dreams, as if dreams don’t count.

Dream interpreters put together stories in which unconscious travels explain cramps and blocks in our waking lives. What happens beyond the curtains of sleep is reshuffled and categorized as one more collection of symptoms, reinforcing perceptions of life as a jaunt from illness to illness, one all-inclusive disability.

But isn’t it just as easy to explain what goes on when we melt the three dimensions as a timeless swim through dimensions, realities and alternatives normally unknown by us?

What we call consciousness is a result of being awake, so why not unconsciousness as leaning in the direction of what's missing in ultimate reality?

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It’s very hard to go there in conversation because, as far as we know, our travels are made alone and seem nonconformist and singular, as if we’re shaping new languages and arts.

What we know about our dreams is that every reality and every memory is reduced in translation to rational reality. We interpret strange perceptions within the limits of conscious awareness.

Our ultimate reality is left incomplete through an excess of common sense. Our weirdest memories are probably never laid down because we have no context for them, no city in which they can live. We don’t know what the hell kind of building we’re supposed to make out of these strange materials, even as we go back every night and fondle the them again.

But if those of us eager to know, to push discovery with philosophical-lyrical imagination, can scrape up some truth out of the crazy stuff underneath, maybe making it seem less crazy, we can get past the barriers of logic.

That’s what Timothy Leary was trying to do with LSD before popularity and scare tactics crushed the effort.

Physicists analyze tons of data, looking for new information, as particle accelerators detail quantum interactions, but we need to fit what we learn into a context more holistic than mechanics now permit. We need to imagine new sorts of gears, pulleys and electrodes. We need to get back the spiritual awe the founders of modern physics had.

Are we looking at energies left over from the Big Bang, or are we seeing the tracings of God? Is life
accidental, or is it full of meaning, information and wisdom?

Even something else, maybe more directed but not controlled? Can we ever know truth by leaning from facts alone?

Answers to those questions have begun to percolate through public conversations. Zen meditation, for example, is being claimed to have informed monks centuries ago of insights physicists are getting to now, but meditators explain it in spiritual terms, as Oneness, while science reaches for a Theory of Everything. Each is a little leery of the other, but what they heck, maybe they can still get married.

It’s a worthy courtship, after all. Pretending that we are what we are or “It is what it is,” as the self-appointed realists say, ignores significant evidence about ultimate reality that points in the other direction, toward “It is what it isn’t.”

Down deep, the things (for lack of a better word) that make us up are different from the ones we know in the reality we see every day in conscious awareness. We must accept that realism is realistic only at a level and is far from the fantasies of ultimate reality. We’re stuck.

To know who we are, we have to get beyond the security of conventional thinking and see what there is to know when we become revolutionary, radicalized irrationalists, pioneers in search of ultimate reality.

David Stone
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