Better Living Through Dreaming (Part 2)

The technique discussed in an earlier post is quite flexible:

Better Living Through Dreaming (Part 1)

The primary goal is to preoccupy that point-like attention, the one which tells you you’re you; by having it play “roll the ball back and forth” between your ears.  Once distracted, attracted to some other activity it’s been told is of great importance and must be focused on.  It becomes possible to shift your awareness to other parts of your body.  In the last episode, we discussed up to a limit, the other “theatres” of mind one can encounter, other than the Cartesian.  The characters of those spaces can be adumbrated at another time, for this entry we will concern on ourselves with one possibility: when that awareness is moved away from the ‘mind’ and toward the ‘body.’

Lying prone, with the natural tension one has when they’ve first fallen into bed, begin the method mentioned in the earlier post.  Execution is rarely perfect and the alternation can be fairly imprecise for this particular effect.  As that awareness comes partially into view, move it toward the center of chest.  Not to bias the reader, but you’ll start to feel a “bubbling” around you, and might feel these bubbles as tori or spheres—sensing that they are of a pale blue-green hue.  There might also be a sensation, with effort and repeated attempts, that one can reach for one of these bubbles.  If held onto and not fought or steered, there can be a sensation of tumbling around and twisting as you ride along.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold…
  ~W.B. Yeats

By then, it’s very easy to let go and fall into natural sleep.  The ride can be quite extraordinary, and you glide to views of your body as it assumed to be lying there.  This scene plays out in a similar way to one of Castaneda’s experiences with Don Juan, while under the influence of a psychedelic.  Those substances might be a way of preoccupying the attention(ignoring the neurochemical discussion) , compelling the broader awareness to altered states, else-wheres, or freeing it up for volition or “intent.”  For paragons of sobriety, dreaming might offer a mode of exploration to terra incognita, paths otherwise sealed—squares are left dead at the door.

Further on, it would be instructive to discuss how the motion of awareness is handled.  The usefulness of a background in mediation, where the focus used to alternate attention is eased, as well as  to gain an intuition for the somewhat idiosyncratic use of “attention” and “awareness.”  A better description of the ‘map’ that’s gained of the body while the attention is preoccupied.  As well as a perhaps a separate post on the often specious and speculative neurological explanations the author has attempted over the years.

Artwork: Philosophie; Gustav Klimt


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