Archive for dreams

Now/never

Posted in Happiness, love, society, World of Emotions with tags , , on April 13, 2009 by wizardsmoke

I think… one main reason there is suffering is because people don’t like what they do. When people do something they do not enjoy, they do not do a good job of what they are doing. I have never, and probably will never, take a typical office job in a bureaucratic or government position, because I would most likely do it terribly. It is not a part of my natural drive, just as I am not driven to deeply pursue cooking, mathematics, marine biology, tax law, and so forth. I have friends who are naturally driven to do cuisine or fine art academia, or management or accounting or business positions. I am not. And so I do not do such things, so I do not put mediocre work into the world.

That’s the reason there’s so much crap on the internet; the internet is full of half-baked ideas, emotional rants, and ideas that are not real natural investments. In some ways it’s a little bit too democratic, giving everyone the right to spout off about stuff as if they know what they’re talking about (What? You feel there’s something ironic about me saying this?). These people are spending too much time on the internet when they could be out doing some hobby or other thing. Of course, the internet seems especially useful to people in rural or extremely cloistered areas, who need some other form of social escape.

One could interpret the infamous Crowley saying, “Do as thou wilt” to simply mean, do as you naturally desire. Not just, do whatever you want, but do what comes to your character most painlessly. It’s almost a useless saying, really, since that’s what people will do if their desire is strong enough. Plus there’s too much mumbo-jumbo complication to cut through with Crowley. But even Plato/Socrates coined virtue as that which we love (unless I’m totally making that up), just as Kierkegaard’s thesis in one of his works was about how purity (and even *cough* purpose!) is found through a single-pointed pursuit. This is also Brad Warner’s favorite explanation of “right action” in life — just do what you naturally do best. And I tend to agree — if a person doesn’t pursue what they love in life, they will become jaded and a dysfunctional member of society. Even when you screw up on pursuing those things you love, you still did them and figured out that they’re stupid or crazy ambitions. Businessmen who don’t use or care about their own products; people who go into business for money and not out of a desire to actually improve the marketplace, are disrupting the high quality potential of life that may be possible for all human beings.

As they say, better to live without regrets about things you didn’t do. If you don’t pursue your own natural talents, you’re a dishonest person. You’re living at least one pretty good-sized lie. “The only sin is suffering!”

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*Yes, I know there are bad things people are sometimes naturally good at — let’s just conveniently disregard those for the time being and pretend I’m talking about the good in humanity

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A precarious balance

Posted in Happiness, Reality Bites, society, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , on May 19, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Just whose dream is it to make everything equal? People who suffer!

Seriously, despite everyone wishing for equality (it’s the PC thing to do!) I wager that most smart people would not sacrifice their intellect for this change, nor would rich people sacrifice money, nor would the artistically inclined sacrifice their artistic ability, the beautiful their beauty and on and on. And rightly so perhaps, because then life would just be like the underworld or Niflheim, like the river Styx or the yellow springs. It would be colorless, without variety, just gray and boring. I mean, the world is already a drab place with listless shades. Now just think of what it’d be like if we closed Pandora’s Box! Holy moly! No more drama! And no more me!

So, if you’ve been following this blog, eagerly anticipating every crumb of a post that falls from my jazzy fingertips, you probably caught a connection between the Nietzsche Slave-Master relationship and this inequality everyone secretly desires. Think about it, people want equality but only when things are going badly for them. Nobody wants to give up the good things they have. And I don’t just mean possessions, I mean the seriously good stuff. The precious gems of the human experience. Because what’s the point of that? Equality? And ultimately, won’t we even have to give up the divine or wholesome things to get to some “higher existence” (presuming that is a goal)?

Sure you might find examples of people who gave everything up, or gave up a good life to find the truth but that’s different. I do not doubt that giving up one’s role in society, sex (speaking as a boy), roles of power and authority, or wealth leads to a deeper happiness. I do not doubt that one bit. What I’m just wondering about is equality. I don’t think there’s a way human society can create this equilibrium. But that’s not so pessimistic, if you’ll hear me out.

I think that, realistically, unless people can get outside of their bodies and spacewalk the cosmos or see what it’s all about (and yes, I’m aware that the jhanas are not the end in themselves, I’ve already nailed that one, thank you very much), they’re inclined to just get bored once their lives are running smooth or peaceful. In fact, most cases of people becoming nasty dictators, overbearing parents or murderous madmen, they develop from people with idealism to improve the world. Isn’t that like, every supervillain ever? Don’t they always want to change the world, usher in some new generation or era? Stereotypical bad guys tend to want some kind of megalomaniacal control over stuff.

Of course, someone always stops them. Somebody…dumb. Haha! Well okay, that’s a little harsh, but I don’t know who these people are who sacrifice themselves for the pure good of society. Not that I wouldn’t do it myself, but it’s usually for worldly reasons that they do it, right? Who else would be aggressive or an ass-kickingly violent go-getter? Not monks. My guess is the typical hero either has something invested in society (wife/girlfriend, family, kids, power, money, etc.) or has completely obliterated the self and cares little for the self as an individual but sympathetically realizes that other people have not yet reached this point. Or, they’re just bored, which also means they’re nihilists. After all, what are nihilists if not bored out of their skulls?*

And, if nihilists are always bored and the equality of all people is boring, does equality create nihilistic notions? I’d say the most cynical people in the world are citizens from industrialized upper-crust societies. Existence is pointless when everything is equal, right? Or it just can’t exist in the first place.

So maybe equality on earth is some mythical goal. I’ve heard salvation is the construction of those who suffer, or something. What a painful idea! Seriously, doesn’t that one just get you in the gut? Salvation: just a construction! *chokes back tears*

I’d say, it’s not that it doesn’t exist, but that it doesn’t exist purely as salvation or what-have-you. It’s more like, you mature spiritually and gain a taste for the finer things in the fabric of the infinite. As Edgar Cayce said, “you don’t go to heaven, you grow into it.”

Enough! Or too much…

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*stealing this conclusion ’bout nihilists from Ubiquitous Che

Wizard Smoke is so dreamy!

Posted in Mysticism, Occult, Philosophy, Ultimate Reality with tags , , , , on April 7, 2008 by wizardsmoke

It is interesting that on the edge of sleep, one can perceive a little further than in usual waking life. In fact, I’ve encountered comments by gurus and meditation teachers about how their most awesome formless experiences have been on the edge of sleep. Big deal, I know. But my point is that the edge of sleep is almost like a lucid dream, or some kind of lucid dream-meets-astral projection. In this phase we’re subject to the wandering mind’s imagination, but we’re still aware of our body’s environment and the subtle influences around it. A typical way this kind of perception works is if, say, the phone rings for you while you’re napping and right before waking up you get the subtle awareness of who is calling. Sort of like the caller’s intent comes through to your subconscious.

It’s reasonable to assume that ghosts and spectral beings are more accessible during sleep states. In fact, it’s a large part of religious myth and history in almost all cultures. Jacob wrestling the angel or Moses and the burning bush, the famous Yagyu battle/transmission with the Tengu, the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-type tales which involve someone seeing an old friend, only to hear from other people that the friend died some time previously. There’s a pretty good example of this in the famous Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Chamber. One of the female characters appears and talks to her friend, whom is sleeping lightly, and gives her an important message. The sleeping friend is suddenly awakened by a servant to be told that the character she dreamed of talking to has just died.

Dreams are interesting experiences in themselves. I feel like everyone who thinks they’re special or profound at some point starts to keep a dream diary. This can help one maintain lucid awareness during the sleep cycle, but I’ve never found it to be terribly important as a practice. Obsessive nutjobs like Freud thought there was serious stuff to scare up out of analyzing dreams. If you’ve read his work, you’ll notice that he thought dreams were all sexually driven. That’s funny when you consider that for monks or other people who have taken vows of sexual abstinence, a wet dream or sexual dream indicates a lingering form of lust. Those who give up sexual desire entirely do not entertain it even in dreams. So I guess, according to Freud, any dreams at all indicate lingering sexual desires.

Dreams can be useful since the lazier portions of our mental habits reveal themselves in dream time. Not that we can see where what they are, because we’re usually blind to those habits we’re lazy about controlling. And not that I’m saying these things don’t appear in our daily life; they do but we tend to see less of what happens in waking life as an exclusively personal experience. Overall I’d say the lazier a person’s mind is, the less control they have over dreams and the less thoughts and events in the mind they are prone to remember during the sleep cycle.

I’ve heard of martial artists who supposedly could not be ambushed even in their sleep. This was probably a result of vivid awareness of the body at all times. It’s tied into what I was saying about the phone call: outside influences or intents in the environment start to abruptly appear in one’s dreams or sleep-state right before they occur. So… if one can always be aware of one’s environment during waking life, eventually one becomes mindful even while physically unconscious.

Ah, but at the end of the day, dreams are really just hallucinations, aren’t they? There’s nothing particularly mysterious about dreams. Just our mental phantasms and wandering thoughts in their purer mental forms, without the constant bombardment and distraction of the physical senses. Like, sometimes dreams can seem mysterious because they send clairvoyant messages, omens, visions, and so on. But it’s no more mysterious than waking life, it just happens in the unconscious moments — it’s less distorted by physical experiences.

Guys like John Lennon or whoever else openly calls themselves a dreamer — they’re full of baloney aren’t they? When people have some kind of ambition, or fantasy, or romantic view of themselves or other things — they’re just dreaming. They think these thoughts they follow in their head are real truisms. Of course, if everything is just a dream, where does that leave people who actually do see reality? I mean, is there any view or opinion that isn’t a total illusion or dreamworld?

What a headache.