Wednesday 5 December 2012

Freefall consciousness

Fall isn't exactly the right word, but the feeling fits. Fall implies from up to down, and what I have in mind is from here to anywhere. This bit of blog may look as though it's exceedingly abstract because of the language, but the feelings that I want to evoke should be dramatically vivid. For decades I have been contemplating reality, and that focus has been both baffling and illuminating. First I complained that there wasn't enough of it, then I thought there was too much of it, then I couldn't pin it down well enough to know what I was trying to think about, and after that phase I tried with all my might to analyze and synthesize it. Reality. An abstract noun that's supposed to lead one up to a non-negotiable, and that's where the nose rubs against the wall and you can't go further. Reality limits you. You have to obey reality because you have no other choice. You can change neither your face nor the Milky Way.

I have come to realize that the word is a misnomer. It doesn't fit it's own authority. Sure, there are natural processes that are non-negotiable: I don't argue with sunshine and I prefer to see, hear, taste and touch what's in front of me. When it rains, I get wet. When I was ten I tried out my theory that if you dive through a pool very quickly you won't get wet. My ignorant friends urged me on and watched while I experimented and became raucously merry as my hypothesis failed time and time again. I still say that perhaps I didn't slip though the water quickly enough.

Freefall consciousness is scary. Many gurus refer us to the present moment, teaching us that in the present moment we will experience eternity. I followed this practice for three weeks and came to the disturbing conviction that I do not want to be myself for eternity. I want to fall further than that. But which way to fall?

Clearly, the word and the idea of "fall" have to do with acting mindfully, purposefully, skillfully. I have an outstandingly active imagination which often runs away with me, yet it's a very necessary ingredient to take me where I want to be. From here to anywhere. My advice to myself is to know the way very well to, in and around logical positivism while profoundly accepting the seeming chaos of freedom. Sensory experience is discrete, imaginative experience is continuous. Put the two together and you have pragmatic dreams. Automobiles. Electricity. Moon-landings. Ipods and ipads. Skype. Kindles. Pondles. Dripletts. Very soon, now, we will be able to dive through water without getting wet.

I don't have much hope that humans will make peace with each other, although I wish they would. I would prefer humans to put dogmatic fervency aside and learn to trust that which is trustworthy. My dream is that we should speak to each other with the clarity of those who are searching for the same thing, the same truth. Truth is not certifiable. It can't be framed. Even though I can't dive through water quickly enough not to get wet, I can walk on it, as though there is no "it" and yet "it" is.

When I accept that consciousness is in freefall, I can better learn how to trust, and in the end, so far as humans are concerned, that's probably the most real feeling of all.

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