Tag Archives: experience

An Interesting Shade of Reality

I had quite an unusual spatio-temporal experience the other day most likely brought on by overheating during my lunch break (as evidenced by more than one co-worker commenting that I looked ‘flushed’). It was rather unpleasant, warmish, not altogether unlike being drunk, or as if on some weird drug. I wasn’t quite dizzy, but certainly disoriented (a distinction made clear by the WebMD app). I was able to perform my tasks and routines and sentences, but like some sort of automata, a simulacra, or philosophical zombie. Nothing felt quite like real life, and I remember asking those around me if they were uniquely thinking individuals, and pulling on my own beard to prove it wasn’t a dream, or a parody of reality, as if those were verifiable either way. Everything was strange, to say the least, and though obviously familiar, also alien and out of place, like in some extended deja vu.

Moving to the bathroom, I gulped cold water, splashing its coolness on my neck and face, making sure to wash my ears in the process. Things slowly returned to normal, and inasmuch as I can be said to have ever been, so did I.

Regardless, it was an interesting flavor of chemical brain consciousness, and I am happy to have experienced and recorded it, though I wouldn’t avidly repeat it any time soon.


Shift Happens

So the other day I experienced yet another Reality Shift, and realized soon after that this happens with enough frequency to be a noteworthy, bloggable phenomenon warranting further study.

The Reality Shift is unknown to science, although pop quantum mystics (re: bullshit artists) like Deepak Chopra or Rhonda Byrne might tell you that you are using the power of intention to reshape the world as your own, or send yourself into a nearly identical alternate universe except for those things you wanted changing. Any time someone starts speaking this way around you, you must a> correct them politely, b> run away screaming, or c> smack them.

The weirdness to which I refer seemingly happens at random, and more than likely within one’s own head. It may have the looming pressure front of nostalgia, not wholly unlike deja-vu, but particular in several regards. It leaves the victim feeling out of place and time, suddenly and inexplicably the world is unfamiliar and strange, or even exciting and new, though logic dictates that you have seen it all a hundred times before, and nothing has physically changed. Everything is somehow just… different.

Reality Shifts most certainly occur. The way you felt about your elementary school WHILST in elementary school is far different than the way you feel about it now. In fact, you have felt differently about it many times over in the course of your life through random quirks of circumstance and remembrance. Your tv-and-movie expectations of high school at a very young age were soon supplanted by the real thing, though they may have inadvertently tinged that part of your life, either at the time or years after. Your relationship with the people in high school, and your abilities of relating to people, drastically change as you enter adulthood, the work force, collegiate social circles and the like expanding the parameters of your worldview. Everything from your geographical orientation as you learn and memorize new environments to your comfort levels contextually as a member of the human race. Obviously we all change and grow and evolve with age and experience, and on the whole this is a gradual process. But can these Shifts be noticed and even recorded in memory?

Most of the time we do not feel the Reality Shifts within ourselves until much later upon reflection. But to actually be aware of of your perceptions and contexts apparently changing as you look around you in wonder, your head sent into a spin, leaves one dazed at the vast reality none of us truly understand a mote.

So having started a new job one month ago, (and having gone through all this many times already) I was in a good position to recognize what might be happening when this Shift occurred. As I finished assisting a customer, I stared off deeply into a nearby wall, one that I have seen hundreds of times before now, and felt a wave of alien resonance envelop me, an odd sensation like being in the Twilight Zone. Was my brain perhaps in the process of rewiring itself to accept my new placement in the universe? Shuffling the short-term into the long-term memories, (something that dreaming most likely accomplishes), thereby shaping my worldview at my present age to the appropriate circumstances pertaining to my life and survival and social graces? Does this happen any time our lives require it, during relationships as they blossom and evolve, friendships, vacations, or whenever a preponderance of sensory information makes it necessary to grow as an individual, incorporating new information and ideas? I have felt little Reality Shifts in response to what seemed at the time to be crazy new ideas in my life, listening to an Alan Watts podcast in Hawaii, reading a very difficult Social Science book for AP History, learning what anti-zoo meant from an insipid liberal, accepting the death of a relative or the end of a relationship, discovering that my father did NOT have the ability to change traffic lights by pointing his finger like a gun and going *pfvvew*.

Take note of these things when they happen, and ponder every possibility; transcendental, religious, philosophical, neurological (though I myself am predisposed to the latter two). Assuredly this is not singular to my life, but each and every human must be capable of being wowed by it.

Strange Varieties of Experiential Reality

I spend an inordinate amount of time that coulda/shoulda/woulda been spent as a productive member of society, instead supposing a limitless myriad of alternative points of view of the universe. Part of me almost naturally accepts the thinking that we all have been, will be, and are part of the same consciousness, but even that is a monumental leap away from the logic that each person’s thinking is inside their own head alone, that once we die all biochemical thought ceases, and that the only thing that connects us truly in this regard is our common ability to ponder the subject from our varied perspectives. Very few of us, it seems, reach the same conclusions using nearly identical operating systems.

Speaking of perspective, can you imagine being an artist in the Fifteenth Century, having apprenticed most of your young and adult life, finally having gained the intricate mastery perfected after generations, only to have some architect-punk named Bruneschelli point out that parallel lines recede together into the same point on the horizon, thus reinventing the way we approach art, and indeed the whole world?

Inspired individuals often (perhaps necessarily) uncover new truths that entirely alter for the rest of our species the way in which we view the world. Imagine falling asleep like Rip Van Winkle during the Dark Ages, your eyes closing to the night sky, only to emerge from your slumber after the Renaissance, a plethora of books now available on the theories of a sun-centered system of planets, a complex and moving cosmos of unimaginably distant stars, that each star was its own sun with perhaps its own planets and therefore perhaps their own inhabitants.

Germ theories of disease, and indeed the very existence of ‘invisible’ microorganisms, were very controversial even by the time Louis Pasteur landed on the scene. His demonstration of simple, easily replicated lab experiments opened up a disgusting world of factual reality to the rest of us, finally accepted, and led to immunization with antibiotics and hygienic practices not the least of which includes pasteurization.

And what of all those enterprising thinkers who worked on their theories for years, researching, experimenting, formulating, hypothesizing, and all of it ultimately wrong? For some time in historical record our ancestors believed insects to be born of pebbles, based in part on observation. When Johann Joachim Becher postulated in 1667 the theoretical existence of phlogiston, a fire-like element that was contained in combustible bodies and released during combustion, and could also explain the rusting of metals, he was observing a phenomenon for which he had no contextual understanding in his place in spacetime; the chemical process of oxidization. Or when psychoanalyst Wilhelm Riech posited in the 1930’s a theoretical orgone energy, yet another in a long series of fictional ‘life-energies’ to be historically uncovered, his ‘discovery’ nevertheless affecting the study of sex, music, literature and parapsychology forevermore. And how was Mao Zedong to know that, by popularizing the ‘barefoot doctor’ medicine of unlicensed country practitioners, merely out of financial necessity to at least somewhat treat the millions of Chinese not living in modern cities with access to hospitals and expensive pharmaceuticals, that the paramedical advice would be taken out of context and used ad nauseum by white middle-to-upper class Americans years later? Or homeopathy, when it is not a malicious ploy to trick ailing victims of poor health into diverting their dollars to another profession, is often a genuine, sincere (and altogether incorrect) proposition that medicine diluted down to nonexistent doses might somehow be more efficacious than what they see as an archaic medical establishment in dire need of progressive revolution. Or all the sorcerers and alchemists and religions and quackery that insisted that they had the freshest revelations that would shape a new world, and though the facts did not bear them out, somehow left a lasting affect at least upon popular culture.

Shaman, without benefit of scientific equipment, pop psychological terminology, or socioeconomic awareness of larger global themes, have been able to use psychotropic drugs to explore and create entire mythos of humanity, the self, the universe, and gods by simply delving into their sacred states. The discoveries they made, one could argue, have little to no bearing on the truth of reality as it pertains to all of us. But it had plenty of that and more for the shaman.

Our understanding of the universe and ourselves not only changes through time, but with a greater understanding of time. Before a certain point in history, time could only be determined by the sun, the stars, or other natural occurrences and features of the cosmos and our planet, itself a giant clock. The slow evolution of invention in gnomon to mechanized and finally atomic and digital clocks allowed for better time-keeping, at first for the very rich, but soon for anyone who could carry a pocketwatch, wristwatch, or iphone. Both Galileo and Newton and most people up until the 20th century thought that time was the same for everyone everywhere. This is the basis for timelines, where time is a parameter. Our modern conception of time is based on Einstein’s theory of relativity, in which rates of time run differently depending on relative motion, and space and time are merged into spacetime, where we live on a world line rather than a timeline. New perceptions in time affected art, as the impressionists left their stuffy studios to capture the world more quickly or essentially, and photography managed to capture it instantly. Art became more figurative, gestural, or symbolic in response.

Armed with curiosity and new innovations in film, Eadweard Muybridge managed to capture for analysis the biological movement of beings, with ramifications on the worlds of science, medicine, art, and the burgeoning worlds of film and animation as well.

And so the world unfolds itself to us, and doubtful is it that anyone alive at the time of this digital imprint being left in the historical record will coincide with the full revelation of cosmological knowledge and truth, (liberally granting our species even gets that far). Each achievement begets others, can sometimes be lost and have to be rediscovered, eventually building a decently accurate portrayal of how everything works. Neuroscientists, philosophers, string theorists, particle smashers, self-wallowing alcoholics and religious zealots are all working out the same thing. The facts remain the same throughout, it is up to each of us on our own and all of us as a whole to construe them accurately.

You could have been born a synesthete, or been a paranoid schizophrenic before our modern conception of mental disease, or an acid freak, or have had a distinct vision of Mother Mary, or been a released prisoner of Plato’s cave previously shackled knowing only shadows, or born a Chinese villager whose favorite delicacy is eggs boiled in boy piss, or genuinely believe you were abducted by a UFO, or forced to pose as a double agent for so long you don’t remember what’s true, or been the surreal sole survivor of a mine collapse, or fought for the Confederacy, or been born transgendered, or been in a Sam-and-Diane relationship for many years, or been Constantine the Great or Elizabeth Bathory or Bill Hicks or Jim Morrison. You can be a skeptic or a believer, an optimist or a pessimist, lead an active or a sedentary lifestyle, passive or aggressive, dominant or submissive, studious or stunted, martyred or vindicated. And in many ways no other human being has the right to say you were right or you were wrong about a great deal of the choices and decisions and rationalizations in your life.

Ah, but for science.

It’s like…

that feeling you get sleep-deprived and stoned so that you’ll enjoy your shower better and while doing so rub your eyes over-eagerly and having blinked away the shampoo and cascade of water, you see many tiny nearly clear pinwheels spinning transfixed-superimposed like vortices over visual input and then get that existential feeling of your place in the grand mechanism of the cosmos. We’ll call it ‘grothery’.

Dreaming in Metaphors, or: Your Honor, I was Hypnogogged!

“Yet the stupid believe they are awake, busily and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, that one herdsman – how dense! Confucius and you are both dreaming! And when I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too. Words like these will be labeled the Supreme Swindle.”
-Zhuangzi the butterfly
“If that there king was to wake, you’d go out — bang! — just like a candle.”
A lovely little somniloquy:
The Sandman reifies, I rectify.
I’ve let my lucid dreaming abilities atrophy, partially because ’waking life’ diverts most of my focus, and in part due to the trickery apparently at hand by the same subconscious that made me to back off from so forcibly dominating the dreamrealm with my dorsolateral prefontal cortex and awesomo power a little under a year ago.
When I first discovered lucid dreaming way back when, I latched onto it as a kitten’s dew claw latches onto drapes when it knows you are going to make it dance for company. I could fly (or leap and glide, at least) whereas previously I had been a hapless victim careening in the passenger seat of a figurative and literal Cadillac over precipitous cliffs of wispy foggy dreamscapes, like the inertia of paralysing quicksand in an hourglass, like the polyphase-delayed reaction of a smoked mirror. Later, life would imitate this art whilst traversing Mt. Washington in Pharli’s devolving automobiles under the influence of effective lysergic acid diethylamide. But of no consequence, for I would sleep soundly as said kitten later that night, cares of the day behind me, as I fought for peril-fraught cities, surmounted insurmountable odds (and even mounted a few other things), and was generally held in high regard by humans, bigfoots, cartoon characters, gods, dogs and LEGO peoples the Eschercube over.
(It’s sick and twisted to mix and torture dying metaphors so, but that’s dreamlogic for you, and I don’t intend to stop just when I’m starting to enjoy it. I guess I’m a metaphor-sadist, or a reasonable simile.)
Then the collective unconscious (those dicks) put a hamperin’ to my napperin’ and devised a series of ways to decieve me into once again disbelieving that I was in a desireworld. The circuitous logic of that labrythine realm would allow me to do the fantastical things I knew I was quite capable of only there, but in a way ambiguous enough to keep me in such a foolish forgetful frame of mind.
To wit: I find myself soaring serenely over the threshold of my star-studded city (Gotham meets Mos Eisley meets Santorini) at night, wind thrashing WILDly my mane of luxuriant hair as I swiftly descend ever-so gently to the ground for a street rumble. However, this is but a hypothetical musing, a vivid description within the brackets of discourse to a friend on just such an illusory state. By infusing this fantasy element on top of itself within the dream, squaring it, cubing it indeed, multiple layers upon layers unto those of an onion, or perhaps more deliciously a layer cake, I am deceived into believing that I am awake and merely remembering what it is like to be asleep. I should have noticed something amiss, I say– I say, awry, boy, with my friend having an eyeball for a head, and dressed in a tuxedo and tophat.
Elsewhere: A diabolical evil genius (and perhaps an ancient goddess) lurks, wringing wrinkled old hands (that are both segmented pincers and tentacles with suctions), but this is but a daymare, bored and zoning into daydreaming repetition at work and Meanwhile: waiting for my alarm to falsely wake me for the third time, having only imagined that I completed my entire morning routine/ritual twice already, aware that only one of them was first sleep.
(Flawed much? That’s dreamlogic for you, which I may have mentioned already in this strange loop.)
I propose to the same friend within the same dream (or dream within a dream, as Poe very well might write and very will did) that I could ascend into space upon a bolt of lightning, and I do, but since I was hence posing a simple hypothetical, the fact that it is insanely absurdly concurrently occuring makes perfect sense at the time of present tense.
A favorite quote of mine “when you daydream at night, what do they call that?” (Though for the life of me I can’t remember who dreamt that one up.)
I remember things wrong, and there is no help here from my logical higher brain functions, as I misremember things often while awake. I am missing money that, in ’reality’, I have readily available either in my wallet or bank account. More frustrating (though its an arguable point*) is when I have veritable oodles of cash, only to awaken and discover, alas, I am still disappointingly broke and there is nothing to be done about it. The duality of these two, of course, forces me to question which is the ’real’ universe, the sixteen or seventeen hours I spend awake, or the seven or eight hours I spend asleep.
Though I only just recieved a clean bill of health from my lady-dentist (with gentle reassuring hands), I still fret over the sudden and inexplicable loss of back teeth. And sometimes I feel like a total hypnic jerk falling out of a tree. It’s obstructive! It’s fatiguing! It’s apnœaying at the very least!
I ask myself within the dream if perchance I may be dreaming, a resounding logical answers rebounds “if you ask just this question, it must be!” But what sort of logic is this for a dream, and if I postulate now on the question ’awake,’ then does it mean I’m sleeping? Will this blog exist tomorrow, or is it just another incomplete theorem, an uncertain principle, a hole torn in the universe by Lucretius’ spear? I maintain that my city is the same one I visit each night, as if created by Windsor McCay or Neil Gaiman. I worry that it divides, interrupts, biphases even, so how do I build a universe that that doesn’t fall apart two days later?
Whichever of the many contentious theories on the purpose of dreaming the case may be, (tapping into a collective greater than the singular self, the inner symbiology of mystic archetypal information, a simulated reality, an etheric battleground between mindless ones and mummudrai and shadow beings, portentious visions of the future, divining the nature and true numerical name of GOD, the hardwiring of data, the movement of short-term information into long term information or: RAM to ROM during REM) it was clear to me that it ’wants’ to be in control of what happens just as much as ’I’ do. Always the bigger man, upon realizing this I sought to compromise, and allowed for a certain amount of dreamy spontanaeity and at the same time keeping cool resolve to use those capacities that make me so… awesomo.
(And if we all share the same collective mind on some astral plane, living out each and every life there is to live, well… then you’re only Jung once.)
I average about or less than (<) two nightmares a year, since I discovered lucid dreaming way back when, and especially since I had found clear-headed balance on such neutral ground (remember that clear also means empty, and neutral can still be a disputed imaginary Maginot line). I have yet to have one this year (knock on particle board) of any remembrance or import. Certainly never enough to wake me in a cold sweat, which is a function solely reserved for my clock radio (right above to ’snooze’). But that nuetral ground is infact not a ceasefired strip of land, but the partition betwixt deadly highways. Since, it seems, slumberland isn’t willing to compromise, and continues to vex me with its shades of unreason, I shall once again have to assert myself using those techniques I have perfected. As a result, the quality of ’waking life’ increases accordingly.
I’m so tired. I haven’t slept a wink.
*of fact of sale of law of view of honor of departure of no return of service of presence of origin of impact of focus of divergence of contact of grace of light of interest of purchase of inquiry of it all


I have to fill in some details I neglected. I know that nobody reads this shit, but its more of a reference for me after I’m old and senile but certainly also rich and successful (and even more dashing than I am now, if that’s possible, with attractive grey streaks of hair on each side with still-dark eyebrows and a keen glittering wisdom behind acute and decisive eyes, but I digress). How else will I write my memoirs, o, that fine day?

My parents have recently moved to Sacramende, wherever that is, they are presently doing so, after a much-awaited transfer in my mother’s company. She was very nervous about actually getting the official letter, even though it was in the bag, and I told her that if she waited for six years, six days wasn’t going to be too bad. Still, I’ve always respected her officiousness and preparedness. I keep getting postcards and phone calls (which I’ve stopped answering), from ridiculous sounding places like ‘Carhenge,’ and ‘Albequerque,’ and… ‘Los… Angeles…’? Best of all, they are only four blocks from The Greatest Bookstore. Lucky shits.

Acid was… surreal. That’s redundant I realize but, well, it’s the sort of thing you can’t hope to explain to somebody who hasn’t tried it. I mentally prepared myself for encounters with demons, amorphous monsters and the Grim Reaper, all of which I can say I had, and none of it phased me. I talked to God. I had a good long conversation with him in which he told me what it meant to be God, and more importantly, what it means to be human. I saw the most fantastic things. I saw them in the most fantastic ways. Mushrooms have nothing on this, but comparisons are odious. Nothing frightened me, and I wasn’t ‘freaking out’ like some others, (and in fact took it in such stride that people were actually skeptical that I was under the influence at all), but I was concerned that my thoughts would consume me, and that my pen and notebook was the archetypical Knight’s defence against this. I wrote this:

The Demon of Thought I had Fought
But Not with Shield and Rapier.
But wrought with Pen, Peril-Fraught,
Brought Forth his end on Paper.

As well as a notepad full of paralogistical ramblings that only work out sensibly if you are on acid, or are a six-year-old child, or a woman. Then I realised that all of my discoveries and state of mind were simply the effects of a trickle of blood running out of a burned hole in the back of my brain and running down a bit of my spine. So I felt very upset about all the clever things I’d found out that turned out to be hooey.

Also, I am in chemistry class this semester. It’s very… trying. For example:

http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/mcmurry2/chapter5/deluxe.html, which I assume means that either we’re all going to die, that we’re all dead, that I’m dead, or that I am going to die. I preferred my own chemistry experiment.

I also have to do two rather involved video projects. This is going to suck. Real bad. Like the dirty old man in the Grapes of Wrath. But, it will give me to solid things for my portfolio. One, at the very least. Always look on the bright side of life.

I don’t know what I want to do in 2006, let alone the rest of my life. I know it’s going to be awesome, because I am so awesome in every way, but I don’t know what form it will take. I look back and see that I’ve invented a few new sandwiches, several intriguing sex maneuvres, a litany of scripts and short stories that may or may not ever see the light of day, or even the outside of their Windows subfolder, and I also came to terms with how I feel about my father. This year I think I’ll work on being less of a cockbite to those around me, taking them for granted, and also on that whole, talking-down-to-women thing.

Emotional like a woman (and that’s not meant to be mysogynist, just self-deprecating)

Yes. The past forty-eight some odd hours have been very trying. I have been extremely happy at the luck of the draw yesterday, including but not limited to the fact that I didn’t even have to take my American History II final because I already aced the class, and free Chinese food, (thank you Willow), appreciative of good friends, frustrated by people who take advantage of them, angered at the fact that some friends allow themselves to be manipulated by others, no matter what is told to them, and helpless at that as well, ineffective, concern over so many friends, especially one I consider a little brother who wants to drop out of school and not reach his dreams, sadness at the breakup of a beautiful group of friends in a very special house that has meant a lot to them and to me, loss due to that, parting, sweet sorrow, and because I was helping to move, exhaustion, tense, and on my last nerve at moments when Professor Madness wouldn’t stop complaining. So patience, we’ll say. Uselessness that my cousin still hasn’t called, so worry on that level. Rage, an emotion I rarely indulge in (but when I do, oh brother), because I got a tear-filled call from a dear friend I consider a little sister and I suspect some shit happened to her as a result of a dickhead boyfriend, though she was too upset to give details. Which makes me afraid, paranoid, concerned to say the least. So I am still awaiting some type of relief. Later, there was joy. happiness because I know that I have generous, helpful, and valuable friends who would sooner jump in front of a bullet for me or buy me a much-needed lunch, as well as accept from me a word of comfort, love, and a helpful hand whenever I can extend it, which I can only hope will be always. Acceptance and growth because I know that a woman I love can not be mine, never shall be mine, and though this does sadden me, in some sort of sick paradox, it makes me happy because I know she is much happier with who she is with, and her happiness lights my world enough to eradicate any petty jealousy or self-pity I may have had. I always have loved her, I always will love her, and while I can’t hope to get rid of that, nor would I want to, perhaps I can learn to be *in* love with somebody else.

Anxiety and fear because I have a very complicated final project, a website, to complete by six o clock tonight and I am already a week behind because it was deleted from the student server *again*. Finally, apathy and grief because I have been awake too long to give a shit. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally exhausted.

So the only two emotions I think I haven’t gone through are stoned and drunk, which if I pass this class tonight I intend to delve very deeply into, let me tell you.

But also, each emotion is valuable, necessary, and filled with utility. Thank you to all of my dearest friends in my entire life who have added to what I am and to those that will make me what I shall become. I love each and every one of you, and I reflect as much as possible on the greatness of this feeling, this ambiguous emotion I feel right now as I type this, with no distinct name