Posted by: David Weimer | May 21, 2010

Correspondence with a friend on the path

Excerpted from correspondence with a friend on the path -DW

11/16/2003

Photo taken by my son Guillaume (9)

Hi A,

How was your isolation?  How was coming back home?  Hopefully okay.

In describing things, you said, “While in the middle of it, I spent hours or days thinking/analyzing what was happening and what I should do and what might happen.”

That’s the value, I think.  Seeing one’s own reactions/processes like looking at someone else.

My take on the word fascination is: what captivates my curiosity and, therefore, my attention.

As far as lucid dreaming.  You said, “both types of consciousness,” when describing your definition of lucid dreaming.

I only am conscious of one type of consciousness!  Where it happens is not important, as far as it is concerned.  Where you turn on a light bulb—in a cave or on a space station or in a bathroom at McDonalds—it’s light.  Air is air no matter where…

But it seems that something does change.  When in isolation, or when asleep, or when lucky, we are more ‘in tune’ with something that is seemingly under the surface or outside of our ordinary awareness.  People start using capitol letters whenever they get around this subject.  And when we get down to really dying, I think all of this is irrelevant.  Including thoughts, images, blah, blah, blah, and including ‘I’ and ‘me’ and meaning.  Meaning is an idea.

All of this is like a dream.  And we’re trying to make sense of it.  I’m talking about any kind of trying to make sense of anything in this place.  From a certain viewpoint, it’s as crazy as trying to make dreams understandable by our non-dream terms.

I mentioned it like a person does an unusual experience.  Maybe somebody else says something like, “oh yeah, I had that,” and then maybe some comparing happens, and a better feeling of comprehension settles in around the thing.

The thing about paying attention to another sense is like the guy, recently blinded, having to depend on another “sense” to know what’s going on around him.  I am talking about what we feel.  Trusting what we feel as being actual sensory input—-yet BEFORE we react to it in a ‘judgmental’ way (this person thinks this, and I’m embarrassed, sad, disappointed, etc., in response).  What about just the input?  That’s what I’ve learned to finally take seriously.  It’s simple.  It’s also easy to mix ourselves in, mistaking ourselves for the view.

I think we’re all talking, all the time, on this unexamined level.  It doesn’t matter except in being more aware of what’s going on.  Being less confused.  More certain.

By my question, “What is thinking?” I mean the active process.  The one we’re identified with at any given time.  Thinking about a problem, or a whatever.  So my question is simple.  I don’t mean all mental activity, whatever that is, but just thinking.

A wrote:

I had a subtle thought to keep searching for an idea even though I did not have any idea where it would come from.

I started to call them feelings — the subtle thoughts — since they were not verbalized.
Perhaps that’s one form of what some people call intuition.

Sounds like it to me.

A wrote:

I think most thinking is a free association or connection of things in our memories, like images, sensation, and ideas.
Sometimes the free association is somewhat anchored around a topic we have an intent to dwell on, because of a particular desire or interest.
Other times, the free association proceeds from one topic to another, following loose associations or linkages.

A lot of thinking is at a relatively slow pace, using words and common grammar; like talking to oneself.
Sometimes the thinking is faster and uses a kind of short-hand language; and sometimes directly without words.

These things are well described.  Describing how it moves or appears is one thing.  What’s your definition of what thinking is?  What is this activity, thinking?  In and of itself?

For that matter, what is memory?  In and of itself?  Or awareness?  Or images?  Sensations?

I asked the thing about harming someone else because I thought it was relevant and connected to the kinds of dreams you were relating.  Plus, there’s nothing as violent as a person who’s never felt justified in letting loose on another person.  Nothing as potential as someone wanting to do something but never feeling right enough to do it.  There could be a very large amount of RAM being taken up all the time, running large programs that never appear on windows.  The box might read, “2.53 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor,” but the computer inside runs like a 40 MHz Apple.  The truth will set you free is actually being able to run at the speed at which you are capable of operating.  Not being tied down.  Free from what we think of ourselves.  Free from a lot of things we don’t even know are part of “us.”

Symbols.  What are they?  In and of themselves.  Not what they seem like or how they are used.

What do we do without any of these things?

That’s my reaction to your reaction to recent emails.  Today you’re coming out of isolation, I think.  We’ve each got our own row to hoe in this thing.  We’re all in this alone!

I think that no one is to say what another person’s path or course of action should be.  In the business of a person on their endgame path……this is especially so.  It is a matter of life and death.  And something even more important.  I wish you well.

It was good seeing you last weekend.  Andrée said she had a good talk with you by the fire.  So long.  Is the world holding together for you?

David

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