See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Between Worlds: The Waking Dream


Sometimes a dream is just a dream. Sometimes, as when I fought for sleep with a brain desperately trying to clear of toxins, just a couple of weeks ago, a dream is a bridge between worlds. On that night, I looked at a door in the wall above me, where my window should have been; I opened that door and stepped into a world more real than the one where I lay, conscious the whole time that I travelled between existences in the guise, the vehicle of a dream. In that place, the laws of physics were different, even the animals and the landscapes were different, but the people just as real, and they knew me better than anyone in the place I had left. On that night, I stepped back and forth through the door several times, and to this day I envy my other self who resides there even now.

Perhaps, as Neal Stephenson's characters in his latest and possibly best novel Anathem speculate, all philosophies are true and every existence which can or cannot be conceived is just as real and existent as the next; or perhaps each realm is the noumenon of the next, in an endless egg puzzle. Soldiers inside of soldiers inside of soldiers. Having seen the real nature of dreams and of the self, one sees that each mind flows into the next, and that with the barriers relaxed -- the limitations which designate and create our existence -- one mind becomes another, and all things do indeed become not only possible, but necessary and true.


And the problem of other beings is inherently solved; all beings exist because I think they do -- not in the delusion of solipsism, but in the arbitrary constructionism of the limiting mind, empowered by the disease of Logos. Did my mother indeed speak fluent German, or was that just a bleed-through from my father's separate reality? My own past speculations about the differences between the animals we eat and our pets, led me to the realization that all personalities, including the human ones, of ourselves and others, are ones we create for use in the moment. They need have no independent existence.

The next time you have that sense of unreality, relax into the realization that the present moment is indeed unreal -- a bubble in the stream, as the Lotus Sutra tell us. Yet that unreality is just as real as any other possibility.


So it is that in a better world, though not in the one in which I write, I attended last week's Rohatsu sesshin in Atlanta, where all my favorite Zen people were. And perhaps my friends travelled between worlds in their icy zendo, as I did earlier in my bed of fever, and I was with them and also touched all things. And the Rufi with whom I spent my evenings typing, are just as real as those friends, and Ms. Johnson still critiques my writings after Gnu reads to her from The Cat Who Loved Christmas. And those two beautiful women in whose company I killed monsters play their own MMPORG in which the characters are accountants and bill collectors and mindless drones who fail to appreciate their own existence, and thus mine.

And in the endless zazen which is my job in Hell for now, I wait to re-enter the stream. And re-enter we must, for that, if nothing else, is the essential ground of existence: that all things are true, and real, and permeable, and to move between them without effort is to become God. And when one breathes, he is released.



Top to bottom: Kwanyin, level 25 Night Elf Warrior; Michael Elliston, Jonathon Sodos, Tim Goodson, Gareth Young; Gnu Rufus, Deuce Rufus and HR1, with pets; Hallgerd, level 12 Human Rogue, with baby blizzard bear.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ya know, in a very real way you were at the Rohatsu sesshin among those who also consider you one of their favorite people in zen. Our thoughts and memories of you were ever present in that icy zendo and beyond. I will enjoy our next sesshin together!

-Tim-
(Can never get the identity thing right)

Anonymous said...

A friend recently told me that " Its not waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain." I think that , perhaps , she may be correct.
Have you read the Seth books by Jane Roberts - she also talks about alternate realities? What about Mark Twain Letters from the Earth and The Mysterious Stranger?
If you are in Hell @ your job- may I remind you that is basically a Xtian concept. Schul (sp ) from the Jewish tradition is merely a place of the dead . In the Islamic tradition, a place a of purification - they all eventually get to Paradise. That we make our own Hell and Heaven on Earth by our own hand-if you have alterative realities available to you - what keeps you in one that you hate? Nothing except your unwillingness to believe that you deserve better. That is as much of a toxin as any that you have ingested voluntarily. Okay Philosophy major- a wise man once said that the Christian construct to see the world as ugly and terrible has made it so - personally ,I agree with him . My favorite person once said " choose ye this day , this hour for no redeemer liveth..." And he is right As long as you do not accept that responsiblity for your reality and your place in it, there IS no redeemer.
Have you read Golden Compass? Author also speaks of similiar realities. I think that you have hit on something- Now what will you do with it?

BTW I agree with Tim - the name thing is wacky. But you know who this is.

Kozan Bob said...

LOL. I really appreciate the comments; beat the crap out of people just emailing me, which is what usually happens. And especially quotes from Nietzche and Anton LaVey -- gee, wonder who that could be?

Although I pretty much burned out on Western philosophy, you gotta love Nietzche for his exuberance. LaVey just seems like a Republican dressed as a Goth, but maybe I missed something.

And as to posting your names... hmm, which of the above writes software for a living...

But I love you guys. Keep commenting!

Anonymous said...

Well I sure as hell didn't write the software controlling the names here LOL!!

-Tim-

HR 1 and Deuce said...

Heeheehee eben a Rufus kin pos here! Booyah!