Tag Archives: spiritual

Dreams, Part 2: Darker than Dark

Conversation

He sits upon a swinging bench, a son of dreams too far to reach. He confesses dreams of purest heart and haunting fears that tie him to the deepest dark.

“I am scared.”

Long-time friends of two souls sit together under cover of darkness and beer-bottled coals. Embers spark of light and dark dreams of yesterday and tomorrow. On furlough are the daytime discretions of accepted conversation and sociable aspiration.

“I think I am scared of my own success.”

A dark veil hangs in the air at this dark hour. The air is cool and the grass is wet from a morning shower. No clouds in sky, but puffs of cotton balls hang and drift in the air.

“Who isn’t? Everyone has those fears. If we didn’t, we’d all be celebrated.”

His friend’s words give him guidance. In the air, sparkles of light dance from a neighbor’s yard. For a moment, the talisman wards off the evil spirits that hide and follow in his shadow, and they dissolve into the night and allow for new sight.

“Hmm.”

The cold reprieve of beer and cool night air give fair thought to what is near. Words of wisdom does his friend speak, but are there ears of wisdom present for them to meet? This he asks himself.

Silence comes in on a breeze and the two souls are quiet among the waving dark leaves of day-bright floras around. The silence spreads and the two souls become separated by the sound. To find his way back, he who sits in the swinging bench, a son of dreams to far to reach, crawls back on the ground, seeking more of what his friend has to teach.

The Alchemist is Named

2011-04-20

Third-Party Observer

There is a thermostat-controlled heater in my bedroom that I use to regulate the room’s temperature independently from the apartment furnace, so I can have the room as cool or warm as I like. It typically runs for about five minutes or less when I first turn it on for the night. My first dream falls within this time frame.

A woman is telling another woman all about her socioeconomic success gained by her marriage to her husband. This all takes place in a horse-drawn carriage somewhere, presumably Britain because of the accents, and the era must be mid to late 1800s given the attire and vocabulary.

My view is from the carriage driver seat, however I am not driving, someone else is. In their respective seats, the interviewer has her back to me (facing rearward), while the interviewee has her face visible to me (facing forward).

Time of day is late morning to mid afternoon, sunny with only a few summer clouds.

Everything is normal: animals are going on about their business like they should be; carriage behavior is as expected in real life; everything is as expected as though it were happening in the lower physical world (as described by Robert Bosnak in Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming).

All of this “normalcy” combined with the fact that I am a third-party observer should have tipped me off, but I was oblivious to it all at first, until it was too late.

The interviewer turned in her seat and faced me. Her voice and questions continued as though tape recorded and separate from her actions; the proud woman answering questions never flinched nor took notice to any queer behavior. All other things, as well, go on normally without incident. She makes eye contact. Despite my eye-level being that of a stone on the driver’s bench, she faces me and makes eye contact. Moreover, her face is pale white, her gender becomes nondescript, scar tissue resembling some symbols and a dead language litter the face, her eyes are completely white, and her bonnet serves as hood over her head and frames her face.

I am immediately terrified. I am familiar not with the physical of this entity, but the “psychic signature.” It looks like a demon, it behaves like a demon, and I pretty much accept it as a demon. It is in all of my nightmares, and it always seems genderless, or at least taking whichever/whatever persona it wishes. What I do in my dream equates to a physical leap backward in response to fear and surprise. Even though I am, for all intents and purposes, invisible to the dream occupants/participants, I still occupy a space. And, to avoid physical contact, or to create space in response to a flight or fight reaction, I “jump back.” It is an overwhelming fear that I feel. I literally feel everything good and warm, every bit of courage and strength, drain right out of me in the face of It.

It is happy to see me, the time has been so long since we last met. It is smiling at me, entertained and enjoying our “social gathering.”

I feel, for Dream Log sake, that I should refer to it by something other than “it,” or its description, or its title [of demon]. Perhaps, my Jungian Shadow? I will use the pseudonym, the alchemist. It seems both crude/primitive and intertwined with its natural environment (the dreamscape). I have both respect and fear for this entity, the latter being more prevailing than the former. So, back to the eye contact.

Robert Bosnac writes about thinking and feeling the same thoughts and feelings of an other in the dream by taking, as I call it, residence in the other’s physical shape or body. In my personal notes I commented on this, and I will repeat it here for reader’s sake.

2011-04-16

Tom B. lent me Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreaming by Robert Bosnak.

Robert Bosnak comments that we should try to “transit” (transition into another) to help us understand [other’s perspective in] our dreams. He explains “pathways” and helpful practices. But, I need only to touch or make eye contact to feel an other’s thoughts or emotions. This ability is more pronounced in dream and less pronounced in wake.

At a young age, before puberty, I found I could enter objects, bodies, and even other people’s dreams. When my Korean grandmother learned I had entered my sister’s dream, she cautioned me, as I may find others, less honorable others, who can do the same or be very interested in my talents. A month or two later, I entered a body and found a very sinister cohabitant inside. It scared my deeply. I then recalled, upon awakening, persons who seem to follow me night after night. They were not of the same physical description, but of the same thoughts, emotions, and intentions. I have not entered another body since, and Robert Bosnak recommends it. I wonder if he knows of any experiences similar to mine.

Again, back to the eye contact.

The alchemist and I are in eye contact. As a result, I have a very profound connection with it. It is sinister – pure evil. It is not a mockery of my good intentions, but a pure, unadulterated, uninhibited, concentrated form of all emotions and all distinguishes of evil – a singularity in time, space, and emotion. It desires only my suffering and descent into an eternally self-destructive and excruciatingly painful torture of self-combustion, burning my self for all eternity, and for the alchemist’s pleasure, as well.

The Shoshone Indians believed that self-immolation was spiritually cleansing. Is this applicable for me?

The alchemist is always very surprisingly aware. It seems very much a sentient being unto itself.

Telepathically, as is always our conversations, the alchemist challenges me. “Put this in your dream log, [expletive].” I use the term “expletive” only because I do not recall the exact curse word. In fact, as I type this, I question the precise words expressed to me. It crosses my mind that perhaps the alchemist spoke in another language and that my mind automatically translated it. I say this because the expletive was not in any modern language I recognize, and it has a relative comparison to the English word “motherfucker.” Nonetheless, I do recall the alchemist challenging me to record the encounter in my Dream Log. And, yes, the words “dream log” were expressly used by the alchemist.

I open my eyes. After I had leaped backward, I could not do anything else. Although I can typically control everything in a dream, the alchemist often prevents me. My only recourse, versus staying in the dream, was to break the connection by opening my eyes.

The thermostat-controlled heater in my room which typically operates for five minutes or less is still running. The image of the alchemist’s riddled face and white eyes linger upon my retinas like its words upon my ears, a bell struck once who’s sound lingers in the ears beyond its ring.

I take solace of being back in my bed, back in the lower physical world and no longer in the middle imagery world (again, as described by Robert Bosnac in Tracks in the Wilderness of Dreams), and no longer in a place where the alchemist can reach me. In the immediate seconds when dream world fades to the wake world, the alchemist feels my relief and sees an image of my bedroom through my eyes. I know it because I feel it in the alchemist. And then, the alchemist feels a playful banter with my escape, like a cat playing with a mouse before it kills the morsel. The alchemist knows I escaped back to the wake world by opening my eyes. The alchemist expresses all of this as it watches my dream persona fade from the dream world. Smiling as though it is only a matter of time because I have not fully escaped, and enjoying the interactions we have in the mean time.

The alchemist and I have battled (metaphorically) on many occasions.

I keep my eyes open until the heater shuts off, which is a few minutes later. I take a few more minutes to calm my self a bit more, letting the adrenaline fade from my blood flow and allowing my calmed heart rate to have a few minutes rest.

A learned response not to show fear or panic, my breathing does not always increase despite the adrenaline and increased heart rate in response to a flight or fight stimulus. For this dream, my breathing never changed except when I calmed my self with a few deep, controlled breaths.

I shut my eyes, tired and ready to return to sleeping before I have to wake for work.

Bam! Like a capacitor discharging its last voltages all at once, the alchemist has connected with me as soon as I shut my eyes. Again, pale face, white eyes, the smile. The foreign letters on its face have changed. However, this time, I take more notice of the symbol on its forehead. The alchemist seems naked with these characters showing on its face. It is some kind of symbol, unknown to me, within a circle on the alchemists forehead. I am not confident I would be able to identify this symbol if shown to me.

The alchemist has the same cocky smile, and continues to dare me to enter this dream in my Dream Log. However, these seem to be more like a resonant memory that the alchemist has used, as though to trigger my own memory to complete the imagery and emotion, much like sending an electronic compressed message. The real impression the alchemist wanted to send was the fact that it could reconnect with me at its choice, spanning worlds (dream world and wake world) and time (from the 1800s to present). That it can do so even at the moment I shut my eyes, even before I entered the dream world. The alchemist seems proud, and wishes to show off, more so now than before, since it has an audience, the Dream Log and its readers.

That is it. There is nothing more. It was nothing more than a flash, and then it was gone.

I wonder if it is a mistake keeping a Dream Log. I feared something like this might happen. I had only thought there would be more time before the alchemist learned of my activity.

To Make Me Happy

When ever you are near, I want to tear your skin off. I want to take a small knife, cut tiny slits in your arm or chest, and peel off long strips of your skin by pulling it off with a pair of pliers. I want it to hurt. I want it to be agonizingly painful for you. I want you to be in so much excruciating pain that you pass out from watching me pull your skin off, so I can slap you back to consciousness. I hear the skin peels off like Velcro.

I want to take a long pin, like a sewing needle, and gently push one… two… under your nails. I will be very careful and push them in very slowly because I do not want to hurt you too badly. I will begin with your toenails, first, then do your fingernails. The pins are long enough that after I have inserted them into your fingers that they will bounce and vibrate when I touch them with a tuning fork. You will be my symphony and I will be your conductor. Together, we will play great classical music, the music that makes humans… human.

If you refuse me, struggle against me, annoy me, or answer wrongly a question I ask about you and me, I will snap a finger. And, I will snap a finger each time. If you are so dumb or defiant that you cause me to run out of fingers, I will break your ribs. I will rest a ball-peen hammer on your rib and strike it with a rubber mallet. Pay attention, be nice, and answer my questions rightly.

For your ears, I have a special pair of headphones for you. They seal around your ears and pressurize salt water into your ear canals. When it begins to bother you, I will stop and bleed off the pressure. And then, I will do it, again, making it hurt just a little more each time until your eardrums burst.

I will have you for a while, so I have to figure out something for you to eat. I will give you all of your favorite dishes. And the next day, I will feed you ipecac. All of your consecutive meals for the day will consist of what you regurgitate. On even days, we will dine graciously on your favorite dishes. On odd days, you will suffer on your gluttonous selfishness.

Using whatever tools I can find in the garage, I will remove each of your teeth. I have never done this before, so I will have to experiment with what tools and methods are most effective—for your torture.

I may want to take a day or two off and enjoy some time away; every couple does, Honey. On those days, you can rest, too. It would be pretty selfish of me to expect you to work. So, for entertainment, I have these really tiny bugs that burrow under your skin, reproduce by the hundreds, and, when the eggs hatch, the babies in-turn burrow and breed, too. When they burrow in your skin, their bodies irritate your skin. It causes itching so terrible and so incessant you will tear own skin off to make it stop. The bugs are in the socks I just put on your feet, Sweetie.

Since every couple has sex, I guess we will, too. I can rub your genitals with pulverized glass that I have taken the painstaking time to crush, recrush, and recrush. I love you, Baby.

When I am finished with you, I want to sew all of your orifices shut. I would hate to let your corrupted bodily fluids infect the rest of us or the world. No silly, you will still be alive to know that I have sealed you in your own body. You’re so funny.

Death will come to you, and you will know him. But, death will come to you only after you have lived through your greatest joy, first, because you said you would do anything to make me happy.

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The Speed of Thought

The speed of thought can:

  • travel as fast as 247mph from one brain cell to the next
  • take up to a few seconds to transfer from conscious thought to action
  • take up to seven seconds to transfer from subconscious thought to conscious thought
  • already has been identified and tracked through the brain before the subject even realized he had a thought
  • change the human identity on an individual (micro) and societal (macro) perspective
  • imagine and create technology that will change and effect how, what, why, and the speed of thought
  • (what is next?)

Boxes of sand. Boxes of time.

Standing in the desert, stretches of sand fill the eyes. From horizon to horizon… to horizon, all there is to see is sand. Hills of sand, valleys of sand, plains of sand, and sand of sand.

In the sand, I draw a long line. Then, I draw another line, perpendicular and intersecting to the first line. The centers of both are the intersecting point. I draw a box to encompass the large drawing, and fill in the empty space with equidistant lines. I have drawn a graph in the sand.

I could have drawn this graph anywhere, and I could have drawn the lines at any length and any distance from one another. However, I drew my graph in this way.

There is no grass anywhere in the box. No lizards have picked up and scurried off either. The interior of my graph is empty, blank, and void of any terrain. It is flat.

This is how I envision the scientific community has come to see time: fixed boxes of equidistance that can easily measure time within this box drawn in the sand. Again, I could have drawn the box and graph in any size and shape, but chose to create it this way on a whim. The place is important because it is flat – “void of any terrain.”

Like a metronome, the frequency of light establishes the “speed of time” in our space and dimension. Space: time exists only within space, yet space can exist without time. Dimension: our [alternate] reality and/or plain of existence. All the molecules of matter within our space and dimension, even antimatter and dark matter, vibrate within frequencies allowed by our place and fabric, as light is the speed limiter.

Time is not so easily confined, measured, or understood, however. Upon the landscape of the earth, we find hills, valleys, plateaus, plains, and all kinds of anomalies in the terrain. In fact, we identify these anomalies as normal, and thus do not identify them as anomalous. But, what about time? Is it so flat?

Standing in one place, we watch a car drive down a road that takes it up and over hills. As the car passes down the backside of the hill, we lose sight of it because the front side of the hill blocks our view. Only after the car rises above the angle of our line of sight do we recapture the car in our observation. If there were a terrain to the fabric of time, or if something created ripples in time, how would things appear to us? Would our graph, our measurement of time, do well to explain these anomalies? Or, are we accustomed to these anomalies like the terrain of earth, and we become perplexed when time has a lack of feature?

What if the graph we have placed over our small piece of “time real estate” shifts, grows or shrinks, or changes shape? How will we adapt to these anomalous elements? Should we have so much confidence in time? Or, is it temporary, and an anomaly itself?

Is time merely subjective? Merely relative? Is it a figment of our finite imagination desperately trying to grasp a concept infinite in depth, breadth, tone, color, frequency, viscosity, and duration?

Do billions of years happen in a finger snap? Or, does a finger snap happen over a billion years?

Exactly what is a time?

Where is the world?

Since I was a young boy of about four, five, or six, I have pondered the question, “Where is the world?” Where does it exist, and at what point does its existence occur?

At the time, I had only two theories:

  1. The world exists, as it appears, outside of my body.
  2. The world exists in my mind.

I observed that I am witness to things when awake and when asleep. I learned that it was once believed that our sight left our eyes toward an object and returned, sort of like echolocation. However, vision is a passive sense, receiving information without transmitting a signal to initiate the return. This is known as the extramission theory, and Plato (427 B.C. – 347 B.C.) developed his theory of sight “that sends out signals” based on theories from Democritus (460 B.C. – 370 B.C.) and Epicurus (341 B.C. – 270 B.C.).

Knowing the brain is the processor for all sensory inputs, at eight or nine years of age, I concluded that the world exists in the mind, and the conscious brain is the only brain that can contextualize the world [that the brain has created through its processing of information received] because creatures without self-awareness do not struggle with perspective. Following this conclusion, I struggled with what external influences created the inputs that our nervous system relays. Does the mind effect the external world? In a closed-system, there must be a loop. The Law of Conservation (of energy, mass, and/or energy-mass) states that matter is neither created nor destroyed. It can, however, change states, i.e. kinetic to potential, chemical to thermal, and so forth. If that is so and applicable to all things, is it applicable to the mind-world system? Is energy changing state from consciousness to other forms of energy?

It is not my imagination that burns my finger when I touch the hot exhaust manifold of a lawnmower. Even before I know what it is or understand what it can do, it still burns me. So, what is this? If matter is the condensation of energy, is matter and energy a transformation of psychic energy? Or, vice versa, asking if psychic energy, or consciousness, is the transmutation of energy or matter?

Is the external world the portal to another consciousness? And, are external influences, or sensory inputs, transmissions from the other side of this consciousness-consciousness loop? If so, what is the meaning? What is the message? Why are messages sent? And, who is the other consciousness?

Woods Walking

The rustle of branches and leaves through the levels of canopy here in the woods beside the lake brush clean my mind and heart. I can breath here. I can live here. This place, where the eternal blue sky nurtures a forest of pureness amongst the shimmering waters and the earth’s breath, is a house of worship. I come here to cleanse my self and to find wisdom and guidance. It is only in this natural place, not a man made place, where I can find peace.

Above my head are things greater than me. Below my feet are things greater than me. In between, I am finding my way towards the apogee I am intended for in life. When I do not know or I can not find it, I keep walking through the woods. Sometimes I stop. Sometimes I sit. Sometimes it comes to me, and other times I arrive upon it. Like the ant on the ground following its brothers and sisters in columns to and fro, I do not stop even when I am lost or confused.

The song of some mysterious and melodious bird hides a secret message. As I listen to it a-cappella, its music finds its way through the maze in my mind to the secret passage I kept walking to find. Notes on high and twitters on low twitch and click like a lock pick. Pop! Inside, the mysterious songbird unpacks the wisdom locked deep within.

The wisdom I was seeking was within me. The time to find it was only now, not before.

Next year, when this side of the lake is bulldozed to clear an area for another parking lot and residential lots for a private developer, I will have to find another walking place, another trail to the great sempiternal.

I have prayed and asked for another way, a way that will preserve and keep this walking wood beside the lake.

The time has come. This path is to change. The time has come, again, is the answer my heart witnesses.

What will I do? I ask through my heart and mind.

Again my heart witnesses an answer. This answer, however, is not to be known by thought, but felt by heart. It is comforting as though my grandmother just hugged me, took me by the hand, and is now leading me away to another place as she smiles upon me with loving looks and encouraging compliments. Her hands, old with decades of hard work, are soft and gentle despite their look.

Where the natural trail fades and meets with the sidewalk, I turn and look back. I feel good. But, I am sad, as well, because I know I will never see her, again. “Goodbye, grandma. Goodbye, woods.”

I stay a moment and watch her image fade into the living shadows of the forest, her eyes still sparkling in the sunlight as she leaves. When at the very moment of complete vanishing, I continue waving goodbye. I hope, I pray, I desperately want her to not go away.

At the end of a long goodbye, I walk back to my car, wiping my face.

Being

The religion of ancient Egypt depicts their hieroglyphs with deities often holding three things: a crook, a flail, and a staff. The crook symbolizes human emotion, the flail symbolizes the human mind, and the staff symbolizes the human body. What is most interesting is the staff is never depicted touching the ground, suggesting that we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience. Are we?

Does this explain our dreams? Does this explain where the world exists? Does this explain the innate human desire for faith, and the various religious creations of heaven and hell? When our earthly bodies expire, does this mean our spiritual being returns home?

A Lifetime in a Bedtime

There is no sound to disturb the silence when the boy slips into bed, the sheets slipping over teenage skin and prickles of apprehension. A nine-o’clock curfew has summoned this duty. For hope, outstretched eyes beckon support from his citizens – beautiful, feminine models on posters pinned from corner to corner and from floor to ceiling. In return, the boy is met with the long, cold, blank stare; white eyeballs of inanimate companions.

His last toe tucked in, his blanked tucked under-chin, and his eyes on guard, he pretends to be in bed and sleeping. He pretends to be in bed and sleeping.

He pretends to be strong and not shaking.

The veiled window allows a sister of light to enter, its curtain white and lacey, a sheen of pearl glowing heavenly. A shield of protection sent down by an angel, the boy talks to the window as though it is a longtime co-traveler.

“Will I dream, again, the same dream that has been? Will tonight be new, or the same dream will I view? Oh, please! Please, let it be new.”

The boy is only fifteen this summer. For thirty days and thirty nights, he has been plagued with a single dream. It has not changed, not even a word, not even a bird, not even a scene.

A rhythmic beat snuggles the mind.

With eyes of savagery, nostrils panting hell’s flame, hooves of heavy iron pounding the earth, mane and tail formed of the long-lost legends slain along their virtuous quests, and color so dark that even night’s shadows cast light upon their skin, these wild horses that race through man’s mind, creating the wicked, the damned, and the insane, take pursuit in rapid fashion to the boy’s imagination and fatigue, bringing with them the bedclothes of dreams and demons – the soul and its reflections in the pool of agency.

Quantum Leap

There is twenty-four hours in a day, yet only half of that, or a little less, can be recalled.

“You’re not concentrating. You need to try harder!” it is sometimes said.

“What’s the matter with you? Don’t you care?” it is also sometimes said.

Lapses in time, a lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and an inability to gauge time are often explained by other people with excuses like laziness, apathy, disregard, and an overall general consensus that you are a loser.

Life sucks.

If someone had inexplicable loss of limb control, there would be empathy and a concern for that person.

“I don’t know! I couldn’t control it.” And the epic frenzy of companions scurry about, beginning the pity party.

But, if you were to replace “limb control” with “time,” then I doubt there would be the same concern.

“I don’t know! I couldn’t control it.”

“What’s the matter with you? Don’t you care? You’re not concentrating hard enough. You need to try harder! This kind of disregard for yourself and others will not be tolerated—can’t be tolerated. Do you understand?”

Where is the concern? No epic frenzy here.

I have no pity for those people. Suffer. Nobody came to help me.

Sometimes, the most restful sleep is in an unexpected nap on the couch. The unrelenting tiredness of the past few weeks that keeps building is quelled in a few transient winks horizontally on the couch in the living room. Well, half-sitting and half-laying maybe. Nonetheless, a few hours later, it is most relaxing.

It was so good, the grogginess clears in minutes instead of hours, and the clock is wrong. Second and third examinations still show the clock is wrong. Only five minutes have passed. But, the results are undeniable: the fatigue is completely gone. More restful than an eight-hour nap, what causes that?

This inexplicable loss of “time control” is not anything a person decides to do. It is like a car accident: it just happens, and no one sees it coming. Afterward, their may or may not be a recall of the absence. More often than not, memory smooths over the gaps and melds the two sides so as to skip the disparity. Memory Photoshops the image of time.

Sometimes, there is evidence, such as a receipt, or an email sent, or a picture, or the unexplainable phone number saved in your cell’s contacts, or some other evidence left on the clothing being worn – mud and grease has been found before. Sometimes, this can provide a clue. Other times, it only serves to make things more baffling.

The aberrance in result to a friend’s differing recollection can cause queer effects. Loss of relationships can happen. Loss of jobs, too. Or, a hilarious moment shared between two dimwits who can not remember shit that day. Or, simply an awkward moment. Usually, though, both parties try to forget the forgetfulness. That is ironic.

Hours are not bad, they can be easily explained with a simple excuse without too much detail. Even a day can be explained with a sigh and, “That day, I don’t know. I was just feeling poopy. I was brain dead,” and finish with an exasperated response like, “Who knows what I did?! I think I just sat on the couch all day, watching TV.” Is it worse that excuses like this have to cover up missing time, or is it worse that others can readily relate to the excuses? Who is crazy, now?

A week, a month, a year… those are harder to explain.

Pictures have surfaced of yours truly pictured many times with a visiting family, doing all sorts of things: barbecuing, laughing, making funny faces, horsing around, and generally having a good time with everyone, just like normal. And, it all happened at home. However, memory serves no recollection of the two weeks the pictures have captured of the visit.

A year? What happened from 1991 to 1993? That is three years missing! The numbers 1991, 1992, and 1993 appear in the mind’s eye, memories of 1990 and 1994 appear, but only a blank comes to mind for the three years in question. It is like the files have been deleted, leaving the empty folder. It is like a black hole in the memory. Studying it, however, has proved as elusive as real black holes in outer space, as only the light aberrations can be studied. Equivalently, only the memory aberrations can be studied for gaps in time.

This disability can make life very difficult, especially around other people. Society and cultural expectations do not make it easier in any way.

Even after all this has been said, things will still continue as they were.

Lapses in time, a lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and an inability to gauge time are often explained by other people with excuses like laziness, apathy, disregard, and an overall general consensus that you are a loser.

Interesting Links

Through the Wormhole: Sixth Sense (at YouTube)

Meditation (Bhāvanā)

More commonly in Western culture, meditation is predominantly stereotyped as sitting quietly, motionless, and emptying the mind. The atmosphere of one’s meditative place is clean, uncluttered, quiet, solitary, and well lit with sunshine.

I ask, “Is this accurate?”

Like the Hindu god, Shiva, we Westerners know him as “the destroyer.” This is inaccurate with the true meaning as intended in Hindu, and lost in translation. Because English does not have a word that directly corresponds with Hindu’s distinctness in explanation of Shiva’s purpose, we find the next best thing to describe him. Unfortunately, we either forget or are not informed that the English meaning of Shiva is the next best thing, and mistakenly accept it as the original truth. Shiva, “the destroyer,” is known in Hindu not for destruction but for transmutation. In order to change, though, the old “dies” to “give birth” to the new, changing what we know [to be]. Shiva, “the transmutater.”

Loss in translation is inevitable. Therefore, how has the meaning of meditation, or bhāvanā as it is in Sanskrit, transmutated in its passing from Hindu into English?

We Westerners define meditation differently than our Eastern counterparts.

Krista Tippett interviews Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s principle English interpreter, and in the transcripts Thupten Jinpa summarizes like this, “[bhāvanā] has the connotation of cultivation. It’s like cultivating a field. So there is this connotation of cultivation and the Tibetan term gom has the connotation of familiarity, a process of familiarity. So, uh, and meditation can be, you know, as His Holiness often points out, analytic where it’s not simply sitting down and quieting your mind, but it can actually be a process where you use kind of discernment and move from stages and stages to, in some sense, uncovering layers and layers to get to a point …” (Krista Tippett, Translating the Dalai Lama, being.publicradio.org)1.

Meditation. It is more than just emptying the mind and creating a clear, empty space. It is more than just sitting quietly. It is more than just focusing the mind.

Meditation. It is making one receptive and accepting to the energies of creation. Whether it be motionless or in motion, focusing all sub-parts of the mind, body, and our abstruse self, aka spirit, soul, transcendent. To delve inward for clarity, as well as delving deeper into the external for clarity. It is not listening for the one voice, but for the voices of one creation.

Amendment

Lately, I have been feeling/hearing the call to intently bhāvanā, once again – it has been more than a decade. I feel compelled to walk alone in the snow and ask myself what I find.

The Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy, all of space, and all of consciousness opens. Its pedals unfold and fill with color as a butterfly’s wings. Expansion. The sepal opens, revealing the iridescent nectary and gentle viscera. The beauty is opulent. Cells in my physical realm swell with the spice and perfume of a diametric essence. The pedals curl, and turn back in towards itself as it continues opening. The tips are now turned upward and coming up through the center from the bottom. Magically, pedals continually open and recycle, and the iridescent nectary changes colors and character as each new flower emerges.

Space, time, matter, energy – all that is – exists within boundaries with rules beyond our comprehension. In my mind, existence is not within a sphere, such as the sphere of outer space (regardless of whether it is expanding or contracting), but within a torus. To exist in the torus means there is no center. Also, just as the flow of water scatters when hitting a wall, we can not approach the “edge” of existence because space and time bends at the boundaries. Beyond that edge is a place without space, without time, and without matter – the terra incognita. To exit our boundaries, we must use a mode of travel that frees the shortcomings of our substance, matter itself. But, like a semipermeable membrane, matter can never pass through the edge of the torus for the inheritance of its creation binds it within space. Time ages matter; to exist in a space without time means matter will not age. That single torus is not alone. It is with an unknown or even infinite number of other toruses. When combined, they appear as a sphere from the outside no matter the angle of view. Inside, however, the center is still void. Be it alternate dimensions, or what have you, the sphere is made of the torus. With the semipermeable membrane of the torus, how do we find our way to terra incognita? Through the use of the one part of our self that exists beyond time and space and matter – our consciousness. Like the torus in a bath, the omnipresent almighty permeates every bit, byte, and bel. This energy, existing within and beyond the torus of our limited existence, is what meditation (bhāvanā) aspires to employ.

I can feel a physical change in me. Prayer, meditation, or whatever you want to call it, when I do it I can feel a physical change in my body.

I am a spider, hunting through the towering blades of grass in a field. I stalk, I jump, I stealthily lower myself by my web. It appears that I never blink or look around, yet my eyes are always scanning. Some can move and refocus, but others are fixed and only give me rudimentary vision, such as a change in light or movement. I am hungry. My legs are swift and nimble. Powerful, I jump ten’s of lengths of my body. My prey might glimpse me from afar or when I am atop, but it will not be able to escape me once I adjudicate conviction. I am the master of all domains I prowl. Pound for pound, I am the greatest predator across the world not merely for my predatory prowess, but also for even I intimidate creatures immeasurably larger than me. There is no other predator greater than I.

I am a dragonfly. The design of my body is built around a single purpose – agile flight. My wings are life. I, too, am a hunter. Overtaking my prey with both speed and maneuverability is part of my design and purpose. I cruise the boundaries of water and land, land and air, and air and water. Where two worlds meet, you will find me. I am either colored for camouflage or colored to advertise.

I slowly rise above the floor where I am laying. As I look down, I see how the floor looks from the ceiling. As I look down, I see myself sleeping. Without a push from arm or leg I float forward, then down. I drift around so I can see myself. In the dark, on the floor, I see myself gently breathing, eyes closed, still. Woosh! I stand on it, bending the throttle, and take to the air like a banshee! High enough to clear houses, I fly through the night air faster than birds and more silent than the wind. I fly through trees without a disturbance. City streets channel beneath me like streaking lines of the highway. Street signs vanish, as do cars. Street lights seem like warp-speed runway lights. Soon, the city lights are gone and the starry sparkles above are the only lights visible. High in the sky, it is breathtaking to see the sky with more than one-hundred-eighty degrees of view from horizon to horizon. Closer to the sky, the stars seem brighter, too. Also, the physical sensation of floating in the air is remarkable – my stomach gets queasy sometimes, still. I love flying! I love zooming through things. The deja-vu feeling of visiting a place I have flown over is always beyond belief. Although I tell myself the places I fly to are real, I really just think they are fabrications of my imagination. That is, until I actually visit them. Some people have told me out of body experiences are very dangerous and [Christians say they] are the work of the Devil. Despite having had some fearful incidents, I do not necessarily believe out of body experiences are bad or evil. I think some people may be afraid of developing their spirituality and using some abilities because they are not willing to accept the responsibilities and risks involved.

Text messages between Artificer and a friend:

Artificer: “Im intrstd in ur thots boiln @ the point of transcendence.”

Friend: “i think i have always understood the true concept—just never taken the time 2 apply it!”

Artificer: “When it is time it will happen.”

Friend: “touche. touche.”

Artificer: “It is within you. It is small but not yet tiny. Delicate but not fragile. Silent cuz not yet heard. Seen but not known. Far to reach, near to be. Strange but no stranger.”

Friend: “so true. just have 2 get in there and get it.”

Artificer: “It is not 2b had. It is reconciling friends of the same womb.”

Footnotes
1 http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/translating-dalai-lama/transcript.shtml