Monday, September 18, 2017

Seeing Ourselves

NOMINDFULNESS

"There was a young man who said, 'Though
it seems that I know that I know,
What I would like to see
Is the 'I' that knows 'me'
When I know that I know that I know."

I've seen a quote that says "mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it.
I sense this thought ends too soon, for the real questions then become:
  • Why would we ever forget such a thing in the first place? 
  • Why would it take conscious attention and volition to bring us back into this desired state? 
  • If this desired state lapses incoherent with our conscious, present mind - then how and why did it ever get separate from us? 
  • Was this desired mindful state ever one with us in our present in an effortless way? If so, when was that? If not, why not? 
  • What is it about where or how we live that possibly disjoints us from our mindfulness? Is this incoherence more due from causes within us or without? What's the distinction?
Instead of reacting to this incoherence by focusing on establishing a practice of just remembering to do something, perhaps we should be asking why it isn't integrated in us in the first place. Perhaps remembering to do something that should be so second-nature is not the primary issue. Unless it's not second-nature to us to begin with. Do we even know if this is so? And if it isn't a part of our nature, why then are we so determined to do it?

The practice of remembering to be mindfully aware -- this itself can lead to an endless progression. At first we ask "what the heck is this no-thing that is aware" and that begs the question, "what the heck is this no-thing that asks what the heck is this no-thing," which prompts, "what the heck is this no-thing that asks what the heck is this no-thing that asks what the heck is this no-thing..." - and so on ad infinitum.  Awareness at another meta-level implies another iteration. If we're honest and thorough with this process, it'll never end. And yet, facing this may ultimately be the point -- it forces us into a state where trying to find the final and optimal mindful state is akin to how Alan Watts described trying to define oneself -- which is like trying to bite one's own teeth

Reading a friend's blog got me thinking about all of this again. His posts are always intriguing, enlightening, challenging. As he so eloquently stated: "Mindfulness has become the darling of pop psychology. But a teacher in the older traditions once said something, almost as an aside, that is not usually reflected in the contemporary self-improvement approaches. He said it’s not enough to sit and be aware of our thoughts and feelings, we must also be aware that we are doing this."  

Read my friend's entire blog entry here:  Small-Detail-Great-Importance

I remember listening to lectures on the radio late at night as a kid. A rock FM station in Los Angeles dished up all sorts of funky eclectic content in the after-midnight hours. Headphones in place, I was treated to all sorts of things. One of those were the weekly talks by Alan Watts. Going back over some of what Watts said back then, I found resonance with this mindfulness topic. I thought I'd post a sample of that to add to the discussion. So put on your virtual headphones, turn off all the lights except for the blacklight shining up on your blacklight poster of the Andromeda galaxy, and let's go back to those nights in the early 1970's and tune-in to KMET 94.7 FM (it's not the same station now)... Alan Watts chuckles and begins...  

"...most Westerners locate the ego in the head, from which center the rest of us dangles. The ego is somewhere behind the eyes and between the ears. It is as if there sat beneath the dome of the skull a controlling officer who wears earphones wired to the ears, and watches a television screen wired to the eyes. Before him stands a great panel of dials and switches connected with all other parts of the body that yield conscious information or respond to the officer's will. This controlling officer 'sees' sights, 'hears' sounds, 'feels' feelings, and 'has' experiences...All of this can get marvelously complicated when we begin to wonder whether our officer has another officer inside his head, and so ad infinitum!

"If you think you have a lower self or an ego to get rid of then you fight against it so it strengthens the illusion and causes tremendous schizophrenia in human beings from thinking that they are righter in course, so in command of body or will and command of passions, wrestling with them. All that time of split thinking only aggravates the problem and we get more and more split and so we have all sorts of people engaged in material conflict in which they will never resolve because the true self you either know it or you don't. If you do know it, then you know it is the only one, and the other, so called lower self, ceases to be a problem. It becomes something like a mirage and you don't go around hitting mirages with a stick or try to put names on them, you see through them.

"...the Dramatic Myth. The idea that life as we experience it is a big act, and that behind this big act is the player, and the player, or the self, as it's called in Hindu philosophy, the atman, is you. Only you are playing hide and seek, since that is the essential game that is going on. The game of games. The basis of all games, hide and seek. And since you're playing hide & seek, you are deliberately, although you can't admit this--or won't admit it--you are deliberately forgetting who you really are, or what you really are. And the knowledge that your essential self is the foundation of the universe, the 'ground of being' as Tillich calls it, is something you have that the Germans call a hintengedanka.  A hintengedanka is a thought way, way, way in the back of your mind. Something that you know deep down but can't admit.
So, in a way, then, in order to bring this to the front, in order to know that is the case, you have to be kidded out of your game...

"You see, the problem is this. We identify in our experience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us. We have a certain number of actions that we define as voluntary, and we feel in control of those. And then over against that, there is all those things that are involuntary. But the dividing line between these two is very inarbitrary. Because for example, when you move your hand, you feel that you decide whether to open it or to close it. But then ask yourself how do you decide? When you decide to open your hand, do you first decide to decide? You don't, do you? You just decide, and how do you do that? And if you don't know how to do it, is it voluntary or involuntary? Let's consider breathing. You can feel that you breathe deliberately; you don't control your breath. But when you don't think about it, it goes on. Is it voluntary or involuntary? So, we come to have a very arbitrary definition of self.   

"Omnipotence is not knowing how everything is done; it's just doing it. You don't have to translate it into language. Supposing that when you got up in the morning, you had to switch your brain on. And you had to think and do as a deliberate process waking up all the circuits that you need for active life during the day. Why, you'd never get done! Because you have to do all those things at once. That's why the Buddhists and Hindus represent their gods as many-armed. How could you use so many arms at once? How could a centipede control a hundred legs at once? Because it doesn't think about it. In the same way, you are unconsciously performing all the various activities of your organism. Only unconsciously isn't a good word, because it sounds sort of dead. Superconsciously would be better. Give it a plus rather than a minus.

"When you put a chicken's beak on a chalk line, it gets stuck; it's hypnotized. So in the same way, when you learn to pay attention, and as children you know how all the teachers were in class: 'Pay attention!!' And all the kids stare at the teacher. And we've got to pay attention. That's putting your nose on the chalk line. And you got stuck with the idea of attention, and you thought attention was Me, the ego, attention. So if you start attending to attention, you realize what the hoax is. That's why in Aldous Huxley's book 'Island,' the Roger had trained the myna birds on the island to say 'Attention! Here and now, boys!' See? Realize who you are. Come to, wake up! Well, here's the problem: if this is the state of affairs which is so, and if the conscious state you're in this moment is the same thing as what we might call the Divine State. If you do anything to make it different, it shows that you don't understand that it's so. So the moment you start practicing yoga, or praying or meditating, or indulging in some sort of spiritual cultivation, you are getting in your own way.

"Now this is the Buddhist trick: the buddha said 'We suffer because we desire. If you can give up desire, you won't suffer.' But he didn't say that as the last word; he said that as the opening step of a dialogue. Because if you say that to someone, they're going to come back after a while and say 'Yes, but now I'm desiring not to desire.' And so the buddha will answer, 'Well at last you're beginning to understand the point.' Because you can't give up desire. Why would you try to do that? It's already desire. So in the same way you say 'You ought to be unselfish' or to give up you ego. Let go, relax. Why do you want to do that? Just because it's another way of beating the game, isn't it? The moment you hypothesize that you are different from the universe, you want to get one up on it. But if you try to get one up on the universe, and you're in competition with it, that means you don't understand you ARE it. You think there's a real difference between 'self' and 'other.' But 'self,' what you call yourself, and what you call 'other' are mutually necessary to each other like back and front. They're really one. But just as a magnet polarizes itself at north and south, but it's all one magnet, so experience polarizes itself as self and other, but it's all one. If you try to make the south pole defeat the north pole, or get the mastery of it, you show you don't know what's going on.

"There's no road to here, because you're already there. If you ask me 'How am I going to get here?' It will be like the famous story of the American tourist in England. The tourist asked some yokel the way to Upper Tuttenham, a little village. And the yokel scratched his head and he said 'Well, sir, I don't know where it is, but if I were you, I wouldn't start from here.'

"Most people think when they open their eyes and look around, that what they're seeing is outside. It seems, doesn't it, that you are behind your eyes, and that behind the eyes there is a blank you can't see at all. You turn around and there's something else in front of you. But behind the eyes there seems to be something that has no color. It isn't dark, is isn't light. It is there from a tactile standpoint; you can feel it with your fingers, but you can't get inside it. But what is that behind your eyes? Well actually, when you look out there and see all these people and things sitting around, that's how it feels inside your head. The color of this room is back here in the nervous system, where the optical nerves are at the back of the head. It's in there. It's what you're experiencing. What you see out here is a neurological experience. Now if that hits you, and you feel sensuously that that's so, you may feel therefore that the external world is all inside my skull. You've got to correct that, with the thought that your skull is also in the external world. So you suddenly begin to feel 'Wow, what kind of situation is this? It's inside me, and I'm inside it, and it's inside me, and I'm inside it.' But that's the way it is.

"What I think an awakening really involves is a re-examination of our common sense. We've got all sorts of ideas built into us which seem unquestioned, obvious. And our speech reflects them; its commonest phrases. 'Face the facts.' As if they were outside you. As if life were something they simply encountered as a foreigner. 'Face the facts.' Our common sense has been rigged, you see? So that we feel strangers and aliens in this world, and this is terribly plausible, simply because this is what we are used to. That's the only reason. But when you really start questioning this, say 'Is that the way I have to assume life is? I know everybody does, but does that make it true?' It doesn't necessarily. It ain't necessarily so. So then as you question this basic assumption that underlies our culture, you find you get a new kind of common sense. It becomes absolutely obvious to you that you are continuous with the universe.

"If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can conceive yourself. Not conceive, but feel yourself, not as a stranger in the world, not as someone here on sufferance, on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental. What you are basically, deep, deep down, far, far in, is simply the fabric and structure of existence itself. So, say in Hindu mythology, they say that the world is the drama of God. God is not something in Hindu mythology with a white beard that sits on a throne, that has royal perogatives. God in Indian mythology is the self, Satcitananda. Which means sat, that which is, chit, that which is consciousness; that which is ananda is bliss. In other words, what exists, reality itself is gorgeous, it is the fullness of total joy.

"Listen intently to a voice singing without words. It may charm you into crying, force you to dance, fill you with rage, or make you jump for joy. You can't tell where the music ends and the emotions begin, for the whole thing is a kind of music—the voice playing on your nerves as the breath plays on a flute. All experience is just that, except that its music has many more dimensions than sound. It vibrates in the dimensions of sight, touch, taste, and smell, and in the intellectual dimension of symbols and words—all evoking and playing upon each other.

"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.

"We accepted a definition of ourselves which confined the self to the source and to the limitations of conscious attention. This definition is miserably insufficient, for in fact we know how to grow brains and eyes, ears and fingers, hearts and bones, in just the same way that we know how to walk and breathe, talk and think—only we can't put it into words. Words are too slow and too clumsy for describing such things, and conscious attention is too narrow for keeping track of all their details.

"A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusion.

"The transformation of human consciousness through meditation is frustrated, as long as we think of it in terms as something that I, my self can bring about. Because it leads to endless games of spiritual one-up-manship, and Guru competitions.

"Most philosophical problems are to be solved by getting rid of them, by coming to the point where you see that such questions as “Why this universe?” are a kind of intellectual neurosis, a misuse of words in that the question sounds sensible but is actually as meaningless as asking “Where is this universe?” when the only things that are anywhere must be somewhere inside the universe. The task of philosophy is to cure people of such nonsense. . . . Nevertheless, wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

"We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”

"Our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.

"All your five senses are differing forms of one basic sense—something like touch. Seeing is highly sensitive touching. The eyes touch, or feel, light waves and so enable us to touch things out of reach of our hands. Similarly, the ears touch sound waves in the air, and the nose tiny particles of dust and gas. But the complex patterns and chains of neurons which constitute these senses are composed of neuron units which are capable of changing between just two states: on or off. To the central brain the individual neuron signals either yes or no — that’s all. But, as we know from computers which employ binary arithmetic in which the only figures are 0 and 1, these simple elements can be formed into the most complex and marvelous patterns. In this respect our nervous system and 0/1 computers are much like everything else, for the physical world is basically vibration. Whether we think of this vibration in terms of waves or of particles, or perhaps wavicles, we never find the crest of a wave without a trough or a particle without an interval, or space, between itself and others. In other words, there is no such thing as a half wave, or a particle all by itself without any space around it. There is no on without off, no up without down. While eyes and ears actually register and respond to both the up-beat and the down-beat of these vibrations, the mind, that is to say our conscious attention, notices only the up-beat. The dark, silent, or “off” interval is ignored. It is almost a general principle that consciousness ignores intervals, and yet cannot notice any pulse of energy without them. If you put your hand on an attractive girl’s knee and just leave it there, she may cease to notice it. But if you keep patting her knee, she will know you are very much there and interested. But she notices and, you hope, values the on more than the off. Nevertheless, the very things that we believe to exist are always on/offs. Ons alone and offs alone do not exist.

"The person, from the Latin persona, was originally the megaphone-mouthed mask used by actors in the open-air theaters of ancient Greece and Rome, the mask through (per) which the sound (sonus) came. 

"The self-conscious feedback mechanism of the cortex allows us the hallucination that we are two souls in one body — a rational soul and an animal soul, a rider and a horse, a good guy with better instincts and finer feelings and a rascal with rapacious lusts and unruly passions. Hence the marvelously involved hypocrisies of guilt and penitence, and the frightful cruelties of punishment, warfare, and even self-torment in the name of taking the side of the good soul against the evil. The more it sides with itself, the more the good soul reveals its inseparable shadow, and the more it disowns its shadow, the more it becomes it. Thus for thousands of years human history has been a magnificently futile conflict, a wonderfully staged panorama of triumphs and tragedies based on the resolute taboo against admitting that black goes with white.

"The hallucination of separateness prevents one from seeing that to cherish the ego is to cherish misery. We do not realize that our so-called love and concern for the individual is simply the other face of our own fear of death or rejection. In his exaggerated valuation of separate identity, the personal ego is sawing off the branch on which he is sitting, and then getting more and more anxious about the coming crash!

"An experience of this kind cannot be forced or made to happen by any act of your fictitious “will,” except insofar as repeated efforts to be one-up on the universe may eventually reveal their futility. Don’t try to get rid of the ego-sensation. Take it, so long as it lasts, as a feature or play of the total process — like a cloud or wave, or like feeling warm or cold, or anything else that happens of itself. Getting rid of one’s ego is the last resort of invincible egoism! It simply confirms and strengthens the reality of the feeling. But when this feeling of separateness is approached and accepted like any other sensation, it evaporates like the mirage that it is.

"This is why I am not overly enthusiastic about the various “spiritual exercises” in meditation or yoga which some consider essential for release from the ego. For when practiced in order to “get” some kind of spiritual illumination or awakening, they strengthen the fallacy that the ego can toss itself away by a tug at its own bootstraps.

"There is no fate unless there is someone or something to be fated. There is no trap without someone to be caught. There is, indeed, no compulsion unless there is also freedom of choice, for the sensation of behaving involuntarily is known only by contrast with that of behaving voluntarily. Thus when the line between myself and what happens to me is dissolved and there is no stronghold left for an ego even as a passive witness, I find myself not in a world but as a world which is neither compulsive nor capricious. What happens is neither automatic nor arbitrary: it just happens, and all happenings are mutually interdependent in a way that seems unbelievably harmonious. Every this goes with every that. Without others there is no self, and without somewhere else there is no here, so that — in this sense — self is other and here is there.

"Once you have seen this you can return to the world of practical affairs with a new spirit. You have seen that the universe is at root a magical illusion and a fabulous game, and that there is no separate “you” to get something out of it, as if life were a bank to be robbed. The only real “you” is the one that comes and goes, manifests and withdraws itself eternally in and as every conscious being. For “you” is the universe looking at itself from billions of points of view, points that come and go so that the vision is forever new."
-- Alan Watts

"This is It
and I am It
and You are It
and so is That
and He is It
and She is It
and It is It
and That is That"
-- James Broughton

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Maelstrom Dance

UNPACK A FRACTAL MAELSTROM

I start out fully aware I'm going to fail. But failing is not a defeat in this endeavor, since the core experience stays with me, even if I cannot adequately externalize it now or ever. I relate it here, as much as I can, simply to provide myself some record. Porous memory needs reminders as time passes. Someday I might look back, read this, and perhaps be reminded of details long dissipated or obscured. Those details hopefully will spark an experiential flashback into the state of grace that produced the effect. And that effect will once again show the way. The way to me and what was gained that day in ceremony so long ago. 

But for now, that San Pedro ceremony is recent, and near, and still reverberating through me in a way only plant spirit contact can resonate. There is no chance anyone else but me will ever understand or feel what my experience in the medicine that day was like. There are no substitutes for direct experience. And when it comes to ceremony, everyone's journey is unique and profound for them. I share this not to say you should do this, learn from this, or you should do anything. I went somewhere and something happened, that's all. For what it's worth, the reader of this can take away what they will -- curiousity, comparative analysis, or simple amusement.

My intentions for the day were simple enough. They usually are since experience with Grandfather San Pedro has shown me how much our true intentions are without words. Those realms of feeling most of interest by the medicine are easily and promptly accessed without Grandfather being given a word road-map to them. More often than not, our word intentions before the ceremony are for our benefit, to get us into a proper frame of mind and heart -- they really aren't for Grandfather because he doesn't need them for what he's about to do. 

On this day, I simply wanted to continue my path from the ceremony before. There is a sense of surrender and trust and gratitude to bring into ceremony that I find best suits entry into deep medicine space, the place where the most profound journeys happen. On this day, I drank the medicine and awaited my ten-hour encounter with Grandfather with the same approach. 

As soon as I felt myself entering medicine space, I found a secluded place out in nature, someplace conducive to what I thought was about to begin. Immediately, Grandfather presented me with an abrupt question -- "Why are you here?"  

He was compassionate but very serious, as dead serious as if he had asked for my greater purpose or the universe's final equation. My mind raced over my intentions for the day and knew they were lacking; in fact, I instantly knew that anything that came from mind would be lacking. A frozen panic chilled me from head to toe. I had no answer for Grandfather. None. It was like finally getting your one-time audience before the supreme being and finding out you had nothing to say.  This went beyond embarrassment, this was existential crisis territory. Because there is always something, something more going on within us. With all of creation unlocked before you, within you, how could anyone stand there with nothing to say?

I may have been at a loss for words, but Grandfather is never at a loss for action. He swept right past my stymied mind, threw open the lid on the cedar chest of my feelings, dug deeper, and explored what all those feelings were connected to. Right on top, forefront in my feelings, was my sadness and disappointment that my wife was not able to join me at the ceremony location. Spending quality time together is one of the primary aspects of our relationship I enjoy. To miss out on such a wonderful chance to share the day with her went deeper than I ever suspected. 

With the uncovering of deeper feelings, I began to see visuals, fractals, colors, a maelstrom of movement tunneling ever deeper. I realized I was seeing myself, where I placed my energies, my concerns, my priorities. The unending kaleidoscope of roiling shapes and tunnels and colors reflected me. I was staring into my own cedar chest of heart. I may not know why I was there but Grandfather could easily access what was next for me. In doing so, he was about to spend the next five hours answering his own question (why are you here?) by opening me up.


Unpacking the hidden

Like a thread once pulled, 
brings forth a scarf, 
and that once tugged, produces a tapestry, 
and that once unfolded, drags open a mural -- 
feelings about missing out on sharing the day with my wife 
opened up feelings about needing connection to feminine energy, 
and that opened up the duality of male/female, 
and that opened up the counterbalance necessary in my need for female influence, 
and that took me back to reliving being a child with my mother, feeling her unconditional love and caring, 
and that took me deep into the desire for the comfort and trust and caring so unquestioned with a mother's love, 
and that drove me into a sense of loss at missing that feeling of total trust and comfort and caring felt as a baby in my mother's arms, 
and that soared me beyond into the arms of Pachamama, the matriarch of planet Earth and the natural world, 
and that expanded into a sense of the female energy in the universe, beyond the Earth, then beyond the universe into the creative force itself, 
and that exploded open into my sense of being separate from the union with source, 
and therein a perfect union with the female principle and energies on the other side of the duality I was subject to in life. 


PACHAMAMA
At the deepest root of my feelings unveiled in my cedar chest of heart was a longing to once again experience the connection, the caring, the total trust and comfort of being back in a state of unconditional, perfected love. I was, in essence, homesick. 

The hours to get through this journey rippled through endlessly layered feeling and ongoing kaleidoscopes revealing ever more overlapping stratums within myself. Everything was shown to twist and spiral into the next thing.  Wife, male/female duality, mother, Pachamama, and ultimate source unity. All things were related. All was cause and effect of everything else. The journey shuddered and tumbled into so much more. 

The prime mover of me was nowhere to be found as a point of existential origin. There never could be a point of origin for the vastly interconnected fractals of infinite potentials erupting from unending creativity and loving, even playful expression. In my energy was the fractal pattern of everything else, even source. Thus, to unpack me would entail unpacking everything -- and thus, the hours of falling into tunneling kaleidoscopes I recognized as me. 

In that source potential anything was possible. In the game of play and discovery and creativity and possibilities, even the one was many as a creative probability had to be explored.  Infinite individual expressions of source all forever finding new ways of being the unending creative discovery from unique points of view. The magic of being was so strong and the need for total adventure so inherent in the unlimited process, that creating things we got lost in was also one of the possibilities that infinite creation needed to explore. Even the idea that one could be on one's own, separate from source, might happen in these spaces. If so, actions could stem from the ego of this separateness instead of the fundamental source love. 

Time meant nothing to the infinity of this process, so source energy could forever flow through spaces that were trapped by their own cleverness, their own creativity. Grandfather made it clear, there were even spaces that creation explored where it was possible to dis-invent love. Counter-intuitively, only love was the lifeline back out where the source energy in these spaces could find re-connection with true love. The way back out was simply dependent on the magic of one giving one's energy to love to reinvent it, to keep it alive in the space until one woke up to the realization that love was never gone, never far away, for indeed one is made of love, so the idea of being separate from love is the ego's way of separating us from our true selves.

Grandfather tumbled me through interlocking feelings and states of being. All action, all intent, was to be measured by whether it was rooted in ego or in love. Every time one based an action or intent in ego, a fractal tunnel into the trapped space opened up. Every time an action was rooted in love, one connected back with unrestricted, unlimited source where anything is possible again. So much happened over the five hours, but at one point, Grandfather took me to a mansion in the hills and then a tropical island estate. 


These were opulent places, filled with objects and potentials for maximum joy and pleasure. In the expression of these, I was thrust into unimaginable ecstasies, enjoying every possible thing available, and anything I wanted was available. As I started to sink into this ecstasy, believing such a joyful thing could only serve me and signal connection with source, Grandfather questioned me -- "Is this joy from ego or from love?

It was instantly clear that joy and even love itself could be motivated by ego. Once you went into that feeling all the way, you could get lost there and lock yourself out of experiencing love for its own sake, the true love that powered the universe. Immersed in the joys and ecstasies of the places I had been taken to, I felt myself slipping into total relaxation, total acceptance of the joy and love offered. As I sank deeper into the angelic pleasure of it, I saw a twisting gear-like-tunnel fractal open before me. Swirling red and white opalescence hypnotically drew me forward, making me ready to release myself into the feeling. I was seeing my own energy, my own intention. 


Then, in my peripheral vision, I saw a figure. It stood a few yards away, looking out at the scenery. It was totally in shadow. I could only see the side of it. But, like flipping a switch, the figure popped closer, then a bit back. It seemed to be waiting for me to release totally into the fractal maelstrom of ecstasy. I was being offered total infinite pleasure and joy. The only catch was - this was all from ego. There was no other motivation, even though the joy and pleasure and ecstasy and love were completely real.

Even now I cannot be sure who or what this shadow form was. At first I thought it was the ceremony's facilitator, but that was not so. I considered the possibility it was something nefarious that had come out of the fractal tunnel I was opening, but that didn't feel right. If anything, since all I was seeing up to this point was my own energy and intention, my gut feeling was the shadow form was indeed my shadow self, becoming more obvious as I let myself relax into the slide to pleasure and ecstasy. But seeing the shadow figure did jar me into a new sense of anxiety and suspicion. As soon as my spidey-sense went up, the feeling of Grandfather came near. He reminded me what was happening, where all of this led. A breath before succumbing to the tunnel of love centered in ego, I pulled back my psyche. Instantly, the joy and pleasure and ecstasy left me. The fractal gear-tunnel morphed into a blue and white sky field. Both were my energies, both were me. But then, once again I felt separate, homesick for the love, the caring, the comfort of being with source. As much as the disconnection didn't feel right, it was. I was left longing for the feeling of being with my mother as a child, or the feeling of letting myself go in the arms of Pachamama. Both had approximated what source love truly entailed. 

The lesson was clear and chilling. Even joy and love itself could be a soul-wrenching trap set by oneself. Anything done from ego and not love, even love itself, took one to the place where in reality, love had been dis-invented. There was nothing inherently wrong with experiencing these realms, since creation contained and explored all possibilities. The catch was, don't get trapped there -- and the easiest one to fool and trap you would always be yourself. 

You could trick yourself into these realms better than anything else could. Never think that joy and ecstasy and love were always weighted only one way, the way that served you. How they got expressed would always be up to us. We could make them the source of creation itself or the snare that would encapsulate us in a self-serving box. It was a box of infinite pleasure and joy that folded back upon itself in limitation. It was a box that would always seem designed with no escape. And the idea that there was no escape from these realms was the biggest trick of all. Such a trick was typical of ego. But who we really are would always be the key to get us out. To lose oneself to find oneself is a cliche but one that applies. To accomplish such a feat would always entail unpacking oneself and the fractal maelstrom the ego had trapped within.


Many odd and terrific things happened during this five hour journey, too many to relate or even remember as distinct events. For example of one brief interlude, at one point during my flight from Pachamama to an even more expansive expression of universal feminine energy, I found myself in a space where I could encounter and speak to any of the dearly departed. In my state, the concept was not even questioned. I knew this was possible because I was where they were. Having recently watched a movie about Steve Jobs and discussed it afterwards at length with my wife, Steve was the first one who came to mind to contact, strangely enough. 

Instantly, he was there with me. I could ask him anything. Given his personality and beliefs in life, I gravitated instantly to a snappy question I'd thought would evoke something pithy from him. I asked simply, "So what do you have to say for yourself now?" His eyes smiled as his thin lips pursed to hold back the full measure of the humor he held within. His whole demeanor was relaxed, breezy, content. He took the question in for only a few moments before answering with a self-effacing humor intent upon having fun with his in-life persona. He chuckled and delivered his reply with soft-spoken in-credulousness -- "Why didn't I think of this?" With accent on the "I." The visit continued with other crossed-over souls coming by. Jobs got a bit more serious at one point when he said to me in passing, "Never put down any part of yourself. It's all you. It's all good."

Later, while spinning through far-flung spaces while lying on the grass under some citrus trees, I opened my eyes to find energy forms swirling around me clockwise in a dance circle. They had humanoid forms but the forms were only clear lines of energy with no solid surface. They were playful, highly energetic, and driven with ceremonial purpose. Repeatedly they coaxed me to get up and join them. I didn't for two reasons. I didn't know who they were and I physically couldn't get up if I wanted to. Instead, I asked Grandfather about them. Who exactly were they? He answered right away -- "The ancestors."

Even later, I turned over onto my back and opened my eyes once again. The instant view I was greeted with shook me with stunned amazement. I was staring straight up into the sky. Low and fast-moving, puffy white clouds were gliding left-to-right before a deep blue sky. But that wasn't the startling part. The dimensional view I had was impossible -- impossibly beautiful and intense. Every feathery fragment of moving cloud-mass was receding to an infinite vanishing point. My perspective was not just where I lay on the grass but at every point along the way to that vanishing point somewhere lost in the background blue. 


3d feathers

I watched as an unending third-dimension depth of feathery clouds moved around and by me. It was as if the clouds had been stretched as far as the third dimension could reach and I had my focal point along the entire length of them. Before I could recover from this augmented sight ability, the blue sky behind it all suddenly showed its underlying superstructure, an energy grid of cathedral-like girders that made up the otherwise hidden framework of the sky itself. This clear structure appeared to be moving to the left as the clouds slid right. I was seeing with a multi-dimensional ability of sight, one that included not only perspectives unknown to regular sight but also gave one access to the hidden energy fields underlying reality itself. This was not something flaring behind closed eyes. This was being seen with open eyes.

How the day's many departures and inward spirals coalesced from hour to hour cannot be described with words or in time. They all unpacked and unfolded in multiple dimensions only to fractally interconnect and intertwine with emotion and energetic transport through experiences that impressed lasting lessons on the heart. Feminine energy was strong. Source unity and ecstatic bursts of consciousness dominated. Temptations into rabbit holes of ego seduced over and over with joy and pleasure. 

Flights into deep aspects of my true nature co-located me with my mother and Pachamama. I was tested and taxed to limits of comprehension and thresholds of emotional acceptance. I started the day not knowing how to answer the simple question, "Why are you here?" I ended the day wondering if I could ever integrate all of what I had been through. It had all been inside of me. The me left speechless in the morning was once again left speechless in the evening. One was the silence of a vessel closed up. The other was the silence of the ocean emptied. At the end of the day, San Pedro reminded me -- the idea of being separate from love is the ego's way of separating us from our true selves -- so understand, any feeling of being homesick and separate, that too is from ego. In truth, always remember, we are never separate from home, from love. 

After dinner I drew one Angel Card to get a comment on my day. The card I chose was "Sensitivity."

You’re extra-sensitive to energies and emotions right now. Honor yourself and your feelings. Sensitivity is a beautiful and powerful gift, and there’s no such thing as being ‘too sensitive.’ Your sensitivity helps you know the truth about situations and people, and it’s important for you to trust and follow these hunches, intuitions, and impressions. Spend some time alone in nature to further develop your sensitivity. Avoid harsh situations and chemicals. At home or at work, ask me to help you choose life-affirming foods, beverages, companions, and activities. Know that it’s safe for you to feel deep emotions, as they’re a part of your sensitivity. Visualize the two of us sealed in beautiful bluish-white light. This light dissolves any lower energies, transmuting them into love. The light also helps you distinguish between your own feelings and those of other people.  Working with Archangel Haniel: Haniel helps us honor our natural cycles, moods, and rhythms. She assists us in embracing all aspects of ourselves, including our strengths, setbacks, and shadows. Call upon her if you ever feel unsure, or bad about yourself. Haniel will help you appreciate yourself and see how beautiful you are right now."


Flight over a field
unpack a fractal maelstrom
moving opposing infinities in endless time
over and above where we get all tales from
tossed by the expanding chaos of the sublime
it ebbs and flows from deep inside
a state of grace beyond all primes
a joy greater than anything all answers provide
move on into losing oneself in the discovery
heart is the lifeline or the illusion in the sentient void
a phantom ego so solid when love is forsaken
we are the choice, the magic, or the trap we set for ourselves
we are and always have been more than we know or could know
the one is the many, there's nothing to seek, there's everything to be
the dream and game are one
you can't find it, it never ends, there's always more
it has no explanation, it needs no reason
any purpose would be a limitation, don't you see?
everywhere is the vanishing point
so let it go, let it go, and wake up.
--
(unspoken San Pedro, paraphrased of course)

Monday, September 4, 2017


Three

THREE DREAMS / THREE NIGHTS / THREE WORDS

One would expect much to tell coming away from a significant lucid dream. And yet I've had three lucid dreams on consecutive nights that left me amazed -- but here I am, with only three words to take away from all of it. The only thing I remember from each lucid dream is a single word, even though the impression I get is that so much more went on within the dreams. Each time in the dream, a word was impressed upon me three times. Each of the three dreams contained a different word. Each time I was told to remember the word and take it outside the dream. This was very important. I'm not sure who was telling me this. As far as I know now, I never saw them. But the feeling of them was very near, being intensely serious while lovingly compassionate.

1st DREAM
The first dream occurred after receiving a blend of Rapé called "Goddess." This was also only two days after a very intense San Pedro ceremony in which feminine energy predominated, including transport back to being a child with my mother, who passed away fourteen years ago, and a powerful passage into the arms of Pachamama.  This first dream yielded a word I never heard before and didn't know the meaning of. At first it sounded to me like something in Italian but for the heck of it I put it in Google Translate as Spanish -- the word "cuido" translated as "I care."

This was interesting, for in a dream I knew was a dream, someone told me to remember this word when I left the dream. How could I have dreamed up an insistence to find importance in an unknown word from a foreign language, a word I didn't know and didn't know the meaning of? Since it was the only thing that survived my lucid dream, it was easy to conclude that someone or something wanted to impress upon me a simple but powerful message.  "I care." That was all, but it was enough to get my attention. The fact that I had to decipher it seemed to be an extra layer of non-deniability to get me to listen to it, to sit up and take notice. If I had simply heard "I care" in English in my dream, it could have been easily dismissed as something coming from myself. But the way this message came to me was saying something more than the word itself. I took this in as wonderfully suggestive and then let it go and didn't think much more about it.

2nd DREAM
But then, the second night brought a second lucid dream, and a second word. Once again this word was the only thing that survived the dream -- I don't know what else went in the dream except I feel all sorts of stuff transpired that I don't remember. And again, I was implored three times not to forget one word -- and to take this word outside the dream. This was a new word, not a repeat of the first word. Again, it was a word I didn't recognize, never have used, and didn't know what it meant, if indeed it meant anything. The experience was so strange, having happened once again on a second consecutive night, that I actually woke up in the dark about 5:30 am, startled at what was happening. Intensely curious at what any second message might be, I jumped up and scrambled in the dark to find my iPhone so I could plug the new word into Google Translate as Spanish. 

Standing in the dark, my surroundings lit only by my phone, I entered the word -- "camelo."  Immediately, GT responded with "baloney." WTF?!  Baloney? Seriously? This was too bizarre. Someone or something was having fun with me. Either that or all my lofty, esoteric explanations for what was going had just been skewered. This had to be some joke. Or GT was seriously off in its translation, which wouldn't be the first time. I had no patience to research the matter further. I set the phone down and found my way through the dark back into bed. And that was that, as far as I was concerned. Some things are strange in a good way, others in just a weird way. No sense chasing down the simply weird -- or so I thought. 

Once morning came and I got up, I got some coffee and checked email as I'm accustomed to do. There in my inbox was the following email, in Spanish first with English translation following:

---------------------------------------------------------
Soy Maria Nichon,
El ex Ingeniero de la construcción de la carretera y el puente. Durante mi carrera ingenieure , tuve que crear mi propio negocio
de la construcción . Soy francés y, por desgracia, no tengo hijos.

Mi Médico me ha diagnosticado con cáncer de garganta, y que mis días estaban contados, a causa de mi salud se deterioró, yo estaba asesorado por el padre de mi iglesia y guías espirituales después de la confesión y hacer una obra de caridad con una gran parte de estos fondos que tengo disponible en este banco francés para diferentes personas, en casi todos los países del mundo, para que el señor perdona mis Pecados. Usted recibirá una donación de 100.000 euros. El nombre del señor, creador del cielo y de la tierra. Me voy para los estados UNIDOS y El reino unido esta noche para continuar mi atención.

En el nombre de Dios, creador del cielo y de la Tierra , le ruego que acepte este regalo y en el intercambio que requieren Orando para que mi operación es que va muy bien yo te ofrezco este Regalo desde el corazón. Yo pido que por favor póngase en contacto por correo electrónico por primera vez con mi notario para reclamar su donación.

-----------------------------------------------
I am Maria Nichon,
The former engineer building the road and bridge. During my engineer career, I had to create my own business of the construction . I am French and, unfortunately, I have no children.

My Doctor has diagnosed me with throat cancer, and that my days were numbered, because my health deteriorated, I was advised by the father of my church and spiritual guides after the confession and do a charity work with a great Part of these funds that I have available in this French bank for different people, in almost every country in the world, so that the Lord forgives my Sins. You will receive a donation of 100,000 euros. The name of the Lord, creator of heaven and earth. I'm leaving for the UNITED STATES and UK tonight to continue my attention.

In the name of God, creator of heaven and earth, I beg you to accept this gift and the exchange you require Praying that my operation is going very well I offer you this Gift from the heart. I ask that you please contact me by email for the first time with my notary to claim your donation.

-----------------------------------------------------

This email was funny to me -- the first time I had gotten a scam email in Spanish. It was so obviously a scam attempt, preying upon people's greed in an attempt somehow to rip them off -- but I noticed that the email was sent to several people, one of which was an acquaintance of mine. I was writing this acquaintance an email anyway, so I thought I'd mention the scam email to them -- and a strange thing happened as soon as I typed the word "scam" in the new email -- the word "baloney" came to mind. Naw, it couldn't be, could it? I set about researching the lucid dream word from the night before -- the word "camelo." Here's what I found:

Definition of "camelo" - hoax, con, lie, swindle, fool with praise, baloney, humbug, to cajole, to con, to snow, to sweet-talk, cock-and-bull story, jest, joke, deceit, rip-off
also, secondarily -- flirtation, instant or excessive praise
flattery, gallantry (especially towards women)
conquer, seduce, gain trust by flattery
As in, "me huele a camelo" -- there's something fishy going on

But even freakier, this word is rare, last used a lot in the late 1700's. The word origin is from old Portuguese for camel, the Spanish word is Castilian and derives originally from vulgar Latin camellus.

camelo usage

Whew! Not only was I implored to take a foreign word I didn't know outside my lucid dream, but the translation turned out to be an apt warning about the strange scam email I then received. The scam email entered my inbox, you guessed it, around 5:30 am, the same time the word "camelo" woke me up and I translated it in the dark. Who or whatever was giving me these words had definitely gotten my attention. What it meant or what I could do with it was anyone's guess.

For fun, I answered the scam email and they answered me -- 
to which I sent one last message, a message they never replied to.
Here's that exchange:

My answer to the scam email:
-------------------------
Siento mucho oir eso. 
Mis oraciones están contigo. 
Por favor dé el dinero de la caridad a un orphange. 
Que Dios esté contigo.

So sorry to hear that. 
My prayers are with you. 
Please give the charity money to an orphange. 
May God be with you.

Scammer's answer back:
--------------------------------
buenas noches, señora yo soy serio y estoy muy feliz que respondiste tiene mi mensaje, quisiera realmente que donó esta y sabes que es la voluntad de Dios si te hice. Pueden tomar a ese dinero y ayudar a niños huérfanos y construir un templo de Dios, que estaría muy agradecido.

Good evening, ma'am, I'm serious and I'm very happy that you answered you have my message, I really want to donate this and you know it's God's will if I did. You can take that money and help orphaned children and build a temple of God, which would be very grateful.

My final email to them:
---------------------------------
Dios me dijo que recibirás muchas más bendiciones si dás el dinero directamente a los niños. 
Espero que hagas lo correcto. 
Bendiciones para ti.

God told me you will receive many more blessings if you give the money to the children directly. 
I trust you will do the right thing. 
Blessings to you.
---------------------------------

All of which was great fun. After which, my thoughts returned more seriously to the two words in two days from the lucid dreams. For this to happen once was strange enough, but on back-to-back nights? It made me wonder but there was little I could do other than note that possibly some sort of communication had been established. With who or why was anyone's guess.

3rd DREAM
Then came the third night. This sleep followed receiving a different blend of Rapé; I'm not sure the name. Different Rapés produce such varied results, from the subtle to the intense, from the outgoing to the "in-going." The "Goddess" variety had opened my feelings intensely even as I felt my "floaty" condition was still too much "in the body" for such an opening to take place. As a result, I became sound and light sensitive and wanted nothing else but to float away into the exploration of feeling in a place completely silent and dark. Such a place being impossible at the time, there resulted a discordant edge to what otherwise was a quite remarkable, energetic "in-going" among feelings. 

Having the second Rapé on the third night, the effects were starkly different. I was overcome with a strength of being in the body, of being centered, of being focused and aware in the moment. Senses were heightened as was an aura of strength for whatever needed to be done. I could definitely see why tribal people might take such a blend before going out on a grueling hunt that lasted the day or days traversing the jungle. The energy felt was very concentrated in the body, unlike some Rapé that conveys supercharged energy but the energy is used to float one out of body.

That night I had the third lucid dream, out of which I awoke with a third foreign word. Once again, it was a word I didn't know the translation for. The third word was "fuerza" -- which I discovered upon waking means "force, strength, or power."

In the last couple days, no more words have come. There were three words in three lucid dreams and for now the pattern has stopped. But then, the number three has its own significance, if one digs deep enough. On the surface, there is the common “the rule of three” (Latin-"omne trium perfectum") principle, which suggests things that come in threes are inherently more humorous, satisfying, or effective than any other number of things. 

Beyond that, one can get submerged into all sorts of Biblical references that equate significance to the number three in the Jewish and Christian traditions. For example, in Jewish law, once something is done three times it is considered a permanent thing. This is called "chazakah." Once we have done something three times, we have connected to it and connected it to this world. Also, the number three is used in the Torah to mediate between two opposing or contradictory values. The third value mediates, reconciles, and connects the two. Three is therein known as the number of truth. And, of course, time itself is divided into three portions.

In the Old Testament:
It is the first of the four so called perfect numbers: 3 (divine perfection), 7 (spiritual perfection), 10 (ordinal perfection), and 12 (governmental perfection).  
The earth was separated from the waters on the 3rd day.
There are 3 Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.
The 3 verses of the Priestly Blessing in which the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, God's holy covenant name, appears 3 times (Numbers 6:24-26).
3 times the Seraphim cry "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8).
After the Great Flood mankind descended from the 3 sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
3 "men" announced to Abraham that his barren wife would bear a son (Genesis 18:14).
Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son after a 3-day journey to Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22:1-4).
Baby Moses was hidden by his mother for 3 months (Exodus 2:1), and the adult Moses requests of Pharaoh that he let Moses take his people on a 3 day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to their God (Exodus 3:18).
There were 3 divisions of the desert Tabernacle and later the Temple in Jerusalem: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies (Exodus 27:9; 26:1-30, 35-37; 31-34; 38:9-20; 21-31; 40:1-33; 1 Kings 6:1-37).
The Theophany at Sinai was on the 3rd day after the people arrived.
God is mentioned 3 times in the Shema (the first profession of faith in Deuteronomy 6:4) and 3 times in the blessing in Numbers 23:24.
There are 3 attributes of God mentioned in Exodus 33:18-19: hen, rachum, and hesed (gracious, compassionate /merciful, and loving kindness).
Of the 7 Holy Feasts of the Sinai Covenant, 3 are pilgrim feasts in which every man 13 years or older must present himself before God at the Temple in Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17; 34:18-23; Deuteronomy 16:5-17; 2 Chronicles 8:13).
Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of the great fish (Jonah 1:17); Jonah took a 3 day journey across the city of Nineveh (Jonah 3:3)

In the New Testament:
Jesus' ministry covered 3 Passovers (John 2:14, 6:4; 12:1).
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about 3 months (Luke 1:56).
Jesus was missing for 3 days when He was twelve years old (Luke 2:46).
Jesus took 3 men, Peter, James and John, up on the Mt. of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1; Mark 2; Luke 9:28).
Jesus prophesized that He would arise from the dead on the 3rd day (Matthew 16:21: 17:23; 20:19; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 18:33).
Saul was blinded for 3 days (Acts 9:9).
There are 3 theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity (1 Corinthians 13:13).
The heavenly Jerusalem has 3 gates on each of its four sides (Revelation 21:13)
Christians saw 3 as symbolic of the Trinity, the triune nature of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).
3 is also recognized as the number of the Holy Spirit. 
http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/documents/The%20Symbolic%20Significance%20of%20the%20third%20day.htm

In Islam too, the number three holds significance:
During the Wudu, hands, arms, face, etc. are all washed 3 times, each one. Also, during the Salat, many prayers are repeated 3 times. Also, to divorce, the talaq word has to be repeated 3 times. According to Sheikh Nezaam bin Yahya Ali, he says the following in regards to this question:

"In Islam, accomplishing certain tasks in odd numbers is significant. Imam Tirmidhi mentions a Hadith in which Nabi (SAW) is reported to have said, “Certainly Allah is odd and loves that which is odd.” In Arabic, the first (odd) plural number is number three. If a person counts from number one, the very first number which denotes multitude is number three, which is odd. It is for this reason, that in certain aspects of Shari'ah, when a large amount is intended, then it must be done in the least odd number which denotes multitude, and that is number three."

Another reference notes, "I have read that odd numbers symbolize Tawheed or Monotheism. Since God is a supreme unitary being without counterpart that encompasses all multiplicity, odd numbers best symbolize this reality for an odd number can not be divided into equal smaller numbers, and their progressive division ultimately ends in number ONE! This also holds true for even numbers such as 10, 12, 40 and 70 that frequently occur in Islam. The common feature of these numbers is that they are ultimately divisible into the smallest odd numbers that can not be further divided, i.e. 3, 5 and 7. And interestingly these last set of numbers also frequently occur in Islam."

Other world religions contain triple deities or concepts of trinity, including:
the Hindu Trimurti
the Hindu Tridevi
the Three Jewels of Buddhism
the Three Pure Ones of Taoism
the Triple Goddess of Wicca

Suffice to say, three lucid dreams on three consecutive nights, yielding three foreign words I didn't understand (one of which is rare and obscure even in the native language), seems significant somehow. I just need to determine how. At best, so far, all of this seems to suggest at least some rudimentary contact with something that wants to communicate -- and says they care. Which is nice, but I have a feeling I need to keep looking up for more. 


keep looking up

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

An Opening

AN OPENING

In my dream I was in an outdoor space with others. We were gathered around but working independently, all of us quite serious about the fun we were engrossed in. The fun consisted of encountering normal objects in our environment. It could be anything - a rock, a cup and saucer, a potted plant, a jewelry box. The object of our pursuit was to find out how to open each object -- for in each object, we had been instructed, was a game. We were assured every object could be opened, whether a rock, an ordinary brick, or an elaborate piece of macrame. And every object contained its own game with no two games alike. 

And no two objects contained the same game. Even similar objects, such a identical cups and saucers, had hidden inside them unique games. Our first challenge, somewhat like completing first level of an overarching game of exploration, was to discover how to open an object. Only by opening an object could the game inside be released. It didn't matter which object we found or set our intention upon. No one object contained any better game than any other object. All objects, all games were equally wondrous.

Over time, in many ways, each of us discovered the right combination of experience and intuition to interpret what it took to open objects. Some objects were more difficult to open than others. A few remained elusive and were passed around to see if anyone might have some luck with them. When an object finally opened, it was greater than a surprise, more than a sense of accomplishment. An experiential depth unfolded that went far beyond a reward. It felt as a fulfillment had been reached, a re-connection established. Of course, this was but the first level of what was expected of us. 

To open an object was to reveal the hidden game inside. But now it was incumbent upon us to figure out what the game was and how to play it. Naturally, the level beyond that was attempting to win the game. Once we reached a victory in the game we had uncovered, only then could we move on to another object to open. The wonder and joy of discovering each game was intense motivation to win each game. There was so much delightful variety and creativity in each hidden game that it was obvious that the real game was seeing how many objects could one open - how much original wonder could be experienced.

At one point, I encountered a group of six or seven cylindrical objects, only about three inches long and as narrow around as a pencil with rounded ends. There seemed no way to tell just what the objects were or what they possibly could be used for. Even the material they were made out of seemed mysterious. They weren't wood or ceramic or metal but were non-pliable even though their surfaces were smooth, even soft. At first I wondered if I needed to concern myself with what the objects were or what they did. All I had to do was open them to reveal the game inside. None of the other objects I had managed to open required special knowledge of the object itself to find the opening method. 

One small wooden tray had opened merely by holding it a certain way and tilting it forward while applying light pressure laterally. Nothing about the tray's function informed that method. And when the tray opened, individual sections of wood grain had flared out to become separate, rising sections in a tall, multi-level stack of interconnected carvings. Certainly, the six or seven cylindrical objects only needed to be handled properly, tilted just so, given the proper pressure, and they would open up. I didn't need to know what they were to access the game inside them.

I set about handling the six or seven objects, feeling their weight, their texture. I began experimenting with ways to hold them. Then a most curious impulse overtook me. I picked all of them up and, gathering them together, began inserting the small bunch in my mouth in preparation to swallow. Someone not far from me saw what I was attempting and raced to my side. He was incredulous at what I was about to do, in fact, he expressed concern that I might injure myself -- especially if I didn't know what the objects were or what they did. But I continued as before, intuitively certain -- of what I began to wonder. 

And the more I wondered, the dawning realization hit me. I was certain this was the correct method for getting the objects to open and reveal their game. Something about internalizing the bunch of them would prove to be the winning method. But the winning method for what? What would happen if these things opened up inside of me? However would I access the game if it was inside of me? And how could I be so certain that I wouldn't be affected or injured? I had already seen many objects open around me. Some upon opening had grown quite large or extended. If such a thing were to occur in my gut, things could get serious. But like an intuitive slide of gravity pulling fate downhill, I continued pushing them into my mouth and ignored the warnings coming at me.

I knew - and I knew I knew with certainty that this was the only workable method to open the objects. And once they opened, they were intended to open something else. That something else was me. I was the object that ultimately would reveal the game. And once revealed, I would be in the game that needed to be played. But to win the game of me would be the next level - a level beyond the playing field. As I committed to the next level and felt myself swallow -- I woke up, and realized, being awake in my life was the hidden game finally revealed. Now only two things remain -- how to win the game, and what would be the levels beyond. 

An object to an opening


To dream a dream that's not a dream 
when dreams are all there is.
To be the one that's more than one
if one more than all becomes the quiz.
To play the game that's this and that
when games dissolve into hers and his.

The dream of all is the game one plays
when the one that's all is all that's left,
endlessly imagined in amazement's fire 
and explored in potential's bubbly fizz.
It's never the time or place to be bereft.

There's nowhere else to find the one
if the game's a dream of all
and all-in-one is nothing but a disguise.
There's nothing left to ask oneself
when the dream that's not a dream
exceeds one's prowess to surmise.

Be the dream or be the game
or be the one who's all.
For it doesn't end but in the end
it may not be about any one thing at all,
not if games and dreams are only here to awaken us,
and the Dreams and the One and the All
in the end are simply superfluous.
We're left forever finding it's nothing else 
than something more in ourselves that ultimately enthralls.

Ecstasy needs no reason when its name is love.
Love needs no name when its feeling is joy.
All are the same in nature's eyes.
The endpoint is wonder that's beyond apprehension
and the dream that's not a dream will always be the next beginning,
our wakeful dream, our endless surprise. 

cup and saucer