Monday, December 14, 2009

Recurring Dreams

My awareness of this motif, a slender needle with an object tethered to it, first emerged from my desire to take a photo of an antenna on 9th st while an airplane flew past, then appeared again in the paintings in an office in Park Slope, images that portrayed some kind of installation in a tundra, polar poles with small white objects tethered to them, then culminated in a mention of the soul tethered to the body in the paper Nicola read last Saturday. Another image that keeps turning up lately, a woman with a gun in her hand. I prefer not to think about this recurrence very much, it alarms me, but I'm beginning to read her as the sign of an important and significant ending, an ending that grants freedom from a dance that was lovely and welcoming but involved certain constraints.

From another perspective one might say that the angel of death, gun in hand turning to airplane, is the avenue of the soul's freedom from bodily bindings, but what I'm interested in is the sun-like gravity of the central, and the way the tethered object, while flying in its orbit, might actually have some experience of freedom not at odds with the gravity that constrains its orbit. For me, the body is not a hindrance, a corrupting pestilence as it was for the anti-material early gnostics and many others, but a temple, along the lines of what Milarepa called a tutelary Deity. The pole our dreams are tethered to. What is much more dangerously corruptible is the zombie-like reacting seen when a dreamer is unaware of her dreaming. If I could ask the angel of death to take anything from me, it would be whatever contorted externality or hyperfocus obscures the dreaming in the first place.

Another recurrence, the word sovereign. I admit I haven't thought about its definition much, but I read it defined as "living law" in one place. From a Taoist perspective it could be said that what is truly sovereign is pushed to the margins by the will to power fueled by insecurity. I'm rereading Arnold Mindell's Dreaming While Awake these days, and enjoying his observations about "not doing." I don't think anyone could better explain to me the way of engaging the Tao, the constantly emerging dream, and not only that, he is SO NICE. Canadian?

Also there's the motif of the focus shifted to the peripheral as most beautifully symbolized by an eclipse, a will to turn to what glows in the margins of consciousness, to see what's actually there, that subtle pulse that so easily recedes to the boundary of awareness in these days when reason, rationality and performance are worshiped above all things, obscuring lucidity regarding the sentient ground of being. Living a false life distracted by illusions of power it's possible to feel too much responsibility, and for the wrong things. I too easily forget that I don't create this dream I'm having or the objects within it, it just happens, and if I don't obscure it, I follow it. There's no choice about it, there's no work to do, life can become effortless commentary in The Book of the World, a book that is both subjective and true.

This is probably a mish-mash no one should read, an experiment in dreaming aloud that allowed me some clarification but some would no doubt view as self-indulgent. But it's my observation that those who go around claiming others are self-indulgent might need to indulge themselves far more than they do.

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