Novelty Seeking Recording Machines of the Universe

Of the myriad of topics that pass through my mind quite regularly I keep coming back to this thought about waking and sleeping. Moreover this idea of “wakers” and “sleepers”. There seem to be two modes of being in which all of us exist, constantly vacillating between the two; at times more awake, at other points more asleep. We've all had those spine tingling awe inspiring moments of oneness. This can come in so very many different forms. Think for a moment and I'm sure you'll have some memory of feeling so very awake, aware, at one. On the flip side we've all had moments of slumber, engulfed in our pyramids of comfort, filling ourselves with non-food and numbing our minds in whatever fashion we see fit. I suppose the question is where does our existence fall in the balance of things? Are you more awake or more asleep most of the time?

I think about this and initially I leaned towards the idea of waking through the gathering of information. The more one is exposed to the more they wake up. This might be true, but the finer detail of it would be that there are certain types of information that can help to awaken and other types that can help to put us to sleep. An easy target would be mass media. If you're filling yourself with the fear mongering vitriol of most major news networks you might believe that you're becoming aware of the world and the events therein ... to a small degree this is true. But I feel the overarching effect would be that your mind is being numbed and bottlenecked towards shutting down from experience, fearing the outer realms, rallying for an “us against them” mentality. This is not awakening. The effect of removing this open invitation into your home and your mind is subtle at first but after a year or two suddenly most television, radio, or any other form of forced consumption media starts to take on a very eery feel. Commercials baffle me in their vapid emptiness. Pandering the lifestyle of consume, consume, car, house, beer, electronics, comfort, consume, consume, consume. Many of us are inviting this spell of slumber into our homes and minds day after day, hour after hour. For me, this is all pushing towards a population full of “sleepers”. I don't think there's an overarching conspiracy of a few individuals pulling the strings. Somehow I think we've just ended up here through small steps and time. We're programmed to take comfort and ease over effort and the difficult path. This seems to be the default setting for the human hive mind. On the other hand we have access to so much information, media, experience which would lean far more towards the “waking” side of things. Connecting with most anyone anywhere, hearing opinions, being inspired by thoughts and creations, it's never been easier ... the internet can be a wonderful tool. But there is an element lacking in all of that. Connection, true connection, I think most of us are missing this. Be it with nature, with others, even with ourselves, with our bodies, with our minds, with that other element which is so hard to pinpoint ... once we begin to connect with that then the waking begins, or ramps up, or accelerates.

A “waker” must be tested. A "waker" must be tested regularly. This seems so very true to me personally. Over the past couple of years I've had a few experiences in which I couldn't be more awake, in awe, at one ... this is my own personal subjective experience so there is no questioning of these events. But even so, after a few months these feelings and thoughts begin to fade somewhat. It feels as though we need the contrast. Slipping into slumber and catching ourselves, striving for wakefulness once again. Somehow these tests need to escalate in order to keep us from falling into the “sleeper” mind state. At the core of it the driving factor may be novelty. As we grow up almost every experience is novel and new, we are aware and engaged. There's nothing quite like that childhood feeling, how we viewed the world, how exciting most everything was. As events become routine our sleeper mind can take over. We autopilot through life, not testing ourselves. Comfort and routine take over. So shaking things up seems to be the answer. Novelty can exist in so many forms. Travel, psychedelics, falling in love, falling out of love, moving, meeting new people, finding new ideas, art, music, death, birth, illness ... the list can go on and on. It's those out of the norm experiences that wake us up. Life starts to feel like it's really happening. Think of the past number of years, which experiences stand out the most? I'm going to guess it's the ones which were somewhat novel, not the sitting on the couch doing the same, the same, the same. Once we begin to see this pattern we can begin to seek the novel, leave behind the pre-programmed comfort mechanism and delve into the muck, the tests, the difficult paths which give us so much more once we've experienced their twists and turns.

We're the novelty seeking recording machines of the universe. A means in which the infinite can experience the finite. I love the Hindu thought that we're all just a dream, God's dream, Source's dream. A dream so deep that we forget that we are in fact Source. We are infinite. We are the sum total of all being and all energy expressed in a singular form. Not even that. Correction. We are the sum total of all being and all energy fooled into thinking we are a singular detached form that we express as “I”. It's quite the trip. And the further we get from this trip the more far out and engulfed in the dream we get to be. For those wrapped up in the consume-consume-hoard mentality where all is about the physical, man, you're on a wild ride. So far into the dream of God that you've really detached from the Source and think these words and this writing are so very very full of shit. And hey, that's awesome in it's own way. I feel like all of the shitty acts and “sleeper” mind states will be congratulated at some point. We'll all wake up at the end of this dream and shake our ephemeral heads, thinking and knowing that it was such a wild ride. Thoughts like, “Man, can you believe I worked a job I hated to pay to live in a house that I didn't really want, all the while too tired and stressed out to do anything but stare at a rectangle and be fed more and more slumber propaganda telling me that I'm doing the right thing and I need to do more of it to consume-comsume-hoard until I finally hit a ripe old age where I get to sit back and drink Nabob coffee on the deck as the loons sing and death is all but tapping me on the shoulder??? Shit, that was such a wild dream. What did you do with your trip?” And that's just one example of an infinite number of ways to exist and to dream the dream of life and Source, they're all completely valid in their own fucked up manner.

To go back to the beginning, I do feel like most of us edge back and forth between waking and sleeping. It can be a daily or even momentary flip flop between the two or it can take years to swing from one mode of being back to the other. Having said that I also feel like there are benchmarks of wakefulness that once reached set a new default. Some experiences can't be unexperienced. Let's seek out these level up scenarios and keep trying to swing that pendulum farther towards the waking state of being. To all of you out there actively seeking to wake up, I commend you, I congratulate you, and I love the path you're choosing. It's the more difficult path, the one that takes effort and endurance. But in the end we all know that it's the more enriching path. It's living, engaging, actively guiding your meat body toward novelty and growth, if not that then what else are we here to do?

I see no better way to end this than with a quote from the always eloquent and amazing Tom Robbins. We can easily insert wake and sleep instead of hide and seek.  Thanks for reading, much gratitude for taking the trip and bearing with the tangential nature of my thoughts.

“How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding - escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience - maybe those people, people who won't talk to rednecks, or if they're rednecks won't talk to intellectuals, people who're afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar's Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk's seek, and seeking, when it's mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren't afraid to look and won't turn tail should they find it - and if they never do, they'll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth's sweet gas.”


The Magic of Love

  If you don't believe in magic this may not translate. If you interpret the world as fully explainable we may have a disconnect. If your way is the only way this will make no sense; for this is just one thought, one way which can coincide with an infinite number of other ways of perceiving existence. And in the end, isn't this all we ever really have to go on? The way in which you interpret reality is yours and yours alone, we don't really get to glimpse inside the views and perceptions of others. Of course they can try to tell us how they see the world, how it feels to them, how it smells, tastes, and interacts with them. But we never truly know. Theory and hypothesis are not true understanding or knowledge.

And this is the crux of the matter. We navigate through the world in our own little meat vehicles, seeking out connection and novelty and new experiences (or at least I hope that's what we're all doing out there). That feeling of isolation can be a strange one, surrounded as we are by others but never truly knowing what any of the others see, think, feel, and so on. How does my colour red translate through your eyes? How does love feel in your heart? How does that spine tingling awe of one moment translate to you? Did you miss it? Are we on the same page? These are the questions that we may not actually formulate into words but I think most of us will admit they're there somewhere below the surface from time to time.

So what of love? I think this is where the magic and awe and wonder comes in. This is where the questions can all be silenced. The mind chatter calms and the ease of being overwhelms. For love, when it is, when it truly “is”, is something far more formidable than I've ever fathomed. First off it must be equal, and this is far harder than one might think. A balance of give and take; of radiating love and accepting it at the same time ... it has taken me a very long time to get to the point of emotional maturity in which I can finally accept as much as I give. And suddenly all of the questions are silenced. I can look into the eyes of love and see a perfectly reflected mirror image of all that I'm thinking, feeling, radiating. There is no mind chatter, no distraction, no “what if”. It is pure and simple and the easiest thing I've ever done. Knowing what another is actually thinking, feeling, and experiencing ... this is a huge portion of what we have come to call love. The universe connecting in a small part with itself, recognizing that it is one, that these separate organic bodies are but a slight hindrance, a distraction from the fact that we are all one. The blinders are off and when you are fully engaged in love and existence that rush of connection is by far the best part of being human. Impenetrable, immoveable, and timeless. It is the strongest force, the one that cannot be fully told, not to be broken down to its constituents and explained in dry scientific jargon. This is not how it works. It is magic, it is the un-Englishable. It is the most psychedelic state, fully natural and there for the taking if we only accept and give equally. The secret is hidden in plain site.

We all think this is what we want, through media of all sorts this is what you would believe the aspiration is. But it's also the scariest point one can bring oneself to. The open and raw nature of love takes a strength many will not find. It is a precipice where many are unwilling to tread. For it is the most vulnerable place one can be. To expose one's heart fully and openly takes a bravery and calm resilience that we are not taught about or prepared for. We protect and coddle and close off from the fears and possible hurt that an exposed heart is so very open to. That razors edge of bliss and despair, this is where we must walk the line of love. And when you find it, when you immediately know that you can trust another with your heart, with your life, with all that is you ... this is what it's all about. For you know that you will do the same, and with that perfect reflection and clarity of heart and thought there is such immense safety in that point of complete vulnerability. It's the perfect duality. The balance of all things. It's magic, plain and simple.

I hope we all get to experience this at some point in our lives. For me it's a sense of coming home. I haven't felt “home” since I was a teenager, the calm and ease and knowledge that your family and loved ones are eternal and unquestionable. This is what I've been seeking, this is what I've hoped for. And finally, the chatter has ceased, there are no questions. It's the easiest thing I've ever done. But it took every event, every misstep, and every confusing turn of life to lead to here, to “now”. I am thankful for the entire trip, the path looks very clear and direct when looking back upon it all now. It's not as though I've met someone new and am in a period of bliss in finding that connection and figuring out who they are. It's the overwhelming sense of remembering this person, for I've known her many times before and in this current dance of life I've recognized her once again. The sense of time falters and the linear nature of interpreting events all but falls away. Again, if you don't believe in magic and awe and wonder I've probably lost you somewhere along the way. And if I have, I'm sorry for that. But for me, “lost” is the direct opposite of what I now get the privilege of feeling. For the first time in very long time I know exactly where I am. I am home.

I love you Lauren Fortuna.

Forever grateful for this life.