Friday, January 30, 2015

Of Dreams and Deja Vu

It's been a long while since I've kept a dream diary, but I've been recording my dreams on again off again for most of my life, and so will ultimately return to it.

There is a good reason for it, of why dreams are a topic of recurring interest. Dreams are not just silly fantasies that occur during sleep, but they also reveal the state of your psychic health, and can be both sources of healing and disturbance, in that what you think about during sleep, affects your state of mind while awake. Unfortunately, for most of us, or so I assume, haven't actually interviewed "most of us" but let's just call that a theory, that for most of us, most of our dreams, what we think about during sleep, is largely unconscious, is largely forgotten.

There has been a new development in my dream life, or at least it's something I recently became conscious of, is this sense of deja vu in my dreams, this sense of having been there before, like a continuation of a dream I had year's ago, but had totally forgotten until now. It's not that the dream is exactly the same, but it's the same place, just in a different time. I've been getting that a lot lately, it's a strong feeling, and I know the details in the dream, but shortly after I wake up it's totally forgotten. Like I can't even describe the place, or how it was familiar to me, or why it's important to me.

The other thing I recently noticed is that, in my dreams I'm doing a lot of reading, even searching the Internet, and listening to speeches, both recorded and live, and watching videos, and some of it is complete nonsense, as in it's totally meaningless, but some of it is completely logical and meaningful and I'm learning something of value from it, or at least that is the feeling I get, as the memory is not clear. Either way, the point is that many of my dreams involve me receiving something, absorbing an education of some kind, and it is accompanied by a feeling of deja vu.

But there are also many dreams where there is this feeling at the time that it's real, that I'm not aware that it's a dream until I wake up. So, it's like there's this whole other parallel world, you've got the dream world, and the real world, and both have periods of consciousness and unconsciousness.

In the world of wakefulness, what we typically consider the real world, we sometimes are very alert and aware of what's happening on many levels, and other times we're not really paying attention and it's more like we're sleepwalking through it all, going through our day on automatic pilot.

The same in dreams, some dreams we are fully conscious of what's going on, clear in our thinking, and aware that we are dreaming, and in control of our thoughts and actions, other times we are sleeping while we're dreaming, unaware that we are both sleeping and dreaming, and it may seem as real as anything else, but more so like being on drugs, a drug that alters your perceptions and tampers with your logical reasoning, and you're not quite all there. It's a bit of craziness, unconscious dreams, dreams that make no sense, dreams that are mentally disturbing, such as nightmares, that you feel under the control of, rather than in control of, like you're trapped and totally at the mercy of the dream -- that's what contributes to psychic illness.

Frequent nightmares. Dreams that don't make any sense, where everything is just nonsensical gobbledygook. Dreams that are sources of stress and anxiety, of feeling trapped like there is no escape. Imagine having dreams of this nature all the time, that's going to have an influence on your mind, on shaping the state of mind you have while awake. In this sense, these dreams, and perhaps most dreams, reflect your unconscious thoughts and feelings, any issues you have, where things are not right in your life, manifest in your dreams. The dreams reflect a pre-existing problem, but if left unattended, they can also reinforce the problem. If you address the problem in the dream level, it will carry over to the real world, and vice versa.

Perhaps it is more effective to fix an unconscious problem at the unconscious level of dreams. Perhaps you could look upon the dream world as a place to fix problems, to find answers, to find cures. It's like a medical clinic for the subconscious levels of your mind. You go to sleep and you've got this whole dream world at your disposal, it's not just to rejuvenate your body, but also to rejuvenate your mind. To make yourself healthy and whole at all levels of your being.

I really do believe that dreams have the power to heal, and possibly to work out any mental problems a person may encounter, whether that be personal, or some solution you're trying to develop for work. But you have to pay attention to your dreams and train yourself to remember them for them to have any benefit, and keeping a dream diary is a very helpful tool in that regard.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Techie

So, I finally had a preview of Windows 8.1. Had a low opinion of it going in, based on screen shots and such, and not really being a fan of touch screens for anything other than phones, ATM, and the card readers at store check out counters, I wasn't enthusiastic about a operating system designed for that. Touch screens are best for shallow communication, quick, get in and get out, not much else.

Well, I myself am still on Windows 7, but the computer belonging to the people I live with died recently, and they bought a new one, and it had Windows 8.1. I set it up, because I'm the techie of the house. The computer itself is much faster than the old one it's replacing, faster processor, more memory, and I set up Windows 8.1 to resemble Windows 7 as much as possible, such as loading directly to desktop, as opposed to that weird grid mode, I forget what it's called, but if you don't have a touch screen it makes no sense to use.

Anyway, overall, I'm really not that impressed. It's got a lot of features that I don't need. Full integration with Microsoft.com? No. Apps galore? NO. Not a fan of a cluttered desktop. I like to keep things simple. By the way, this is not a tech review. I could do one, but what is the point, there's already thousand of them out there. Anyway, I make the best of it. It's not my computer, though I do use it occasionally, but uh, if I get an inheritance I'm buying a Chromebook. See how that works out. Can't get any simpler than that.

All I need is the Internet, the ability to watch videos, to edit photos, to read, to write, and to blog. Nothing more. I don't play games anymore, not like I used to. Not a gamer. I tried to play some games on the new computer, that couldn't be played on the old computer, and I was completely bored out of my mind. That phase of my life is over. I don't even play poker anymore. What do I do? I read, exercise, meditate, and sometimes write something. I watch DVDs too, but less and less, lately I've been bored with that too.

I just want to simplify my life. It's already pretty simple, but I want to simplify it even more. I don't even own a cell phone, let alone a smart phone. I don't drive a car. I ride a bike. I'm actually pretty low tech. There is a passing interest in the study of technology and electronics, and I am fairly technologically literate, but that's more so out of a desire to better understand the world, as a supplement to spiritual knowledge. And no, I'm not religious.

I see what's going on. The direction our society is heading in. Faster faster faster. We're going so fast, but unfortunately the information is shallow, that we're going nowhere fast. We're getting Facebook at a million miles per hour. We're getting commercials at super high resolution. It's all about selling you something. And I'm not against buying and selling, but really, there are things higher than this, more important than this, and technology, is not taking us there, it's leading us away. Okay. I'm done.

By the way, I'm not anti-technology. But just saying, it should serve a useful purpose, and if it doesn't, despite the flashy high tech packaging, if it actually makes you less productive, makes you dumber, in that you delegate all of your thinking to it, making you completely dependent on it like a drug that you don't actually need, that isn't making your life better, then you should reconsider what you use, and simplify things, like I'm planning to do. Focus more on quality over quantity.

It's not about bigger, brighter, faster, more expensive, but about what actually works, what gets the job done in the most efficient manner. Like a bouquet of flowers, the atmosphere is electrified with positive healing vibes. There are different forms of productivity, efficiency, of usefulness, it's not all all about building things in factories and making money, but also about improving the quality of life in the subjective aesthetic sense of personal meaning and joy, and technology can both help and hinder in that way, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Putrid Smell of Disease

Random insight.

You know how old people have a tendency to smell bad? You know, that whole cliche about smelling like an old geezer, or an old biddy, smelling like urine, BO, bad breath, and dirty crotch. Sorry to be so blunt, but you know what I mean.

The elderly. Usually it is assumed that the smell is the result of poor hygiene. Being unable to wash properly, either due to poverty, of not having people care for you and unable to care for yourself, or of laziness, not having the energy or the strength to care, each breath a hardship, getting up is a struggle, walking around, a struggle in balance, a broken hip waiting to happen. They lose their hair, and their coordination, and their ability to reason, their ability to speak, like their reverting back to infancy, like a drooling baby, with no knowledge about the world, unfamiliar with their body and the laws of gravity, totally at the mercy of the elements and the goodwill of strangers.

But the difference is that the bright light animating the infants zest for life, being open to it all, smiling, because everything is new and wonderful and beautiful and brilliant and creative, and they are eager to learn, to love and to be loved and to become a part of this life, a wonderful adventure awaiting them, is missing from the elderly falling apart, dying not because they choose, but because it is a written death sentence; the ground is breaking away beneath their feet, the organs are collapsing, the skeleton support of life is disintegrating, and it is entirely out of their control, and they are unprepared for it.

Disintegration while still living, little by little things stop working properly, like an impending computer hard drive failure, things slow down, start acting strangely, chaotically, programs don't boot properly, they freeze up, like a glitch in the system is causing complete chaos and malfunction, and eventually the computer is dead, it just won't boot anymore, nothing you can do but replace it.

The insight is, that the horrible smell so often encountered in the elderly, is not simply a matter of poor hygiene, poverty, or laziness, but rather, it's the odor of decay, of disintegration, of sickness and disease, of organ failure, and of death, eating them away as they live, gradually gnawing away at them, until nothing is left. You see, you start dying long before you actually die, sometimes even before you actually start living, in the sense that life is experienced in the full awareness of your heart. It can go on for years, this disintegration, being a very gradual process, but the signs are there for those who know what to look for, what to smell for, and what to listen for.

The smell of urine reveals much. A great depth of insight can be had, for those trained, or intuitively receptive, to know the signs, to recognize the differences between healthy urine and unhealthy urine. The smell of death and disease is always unpleasant and putrid. No perfume or cosmetic can cover it up, it is exuded in the pours of the skin, in all bodily fluids and secretions, it shows in the eyes, in the nails, the complexion, the voice, and the breath. It is fully visible with no place to hide, except in plain sight to those who fail to see it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seeing Orange

Been reading The Adding Machine, a collection of essays by William S. Burroughs.

Some essays are pretty good, most are nothing special, but there was one essay that described a writing exercise, or rather an exercise in paying attention, in observational awareness, that he used during his brief stint as a creative writing teacher at a college in New York City. Which was to pick a color, take a walk, and look for the color. Look for any traces of the color within your field of vision. So if, for instance, you choose orange, you spend the next few minutes or hours, paying attention to things that are colored orange. Seeing orange cars. Seeing orange lights. Seeing orange t-shirts. Bicycles. Flowers. Paper. Billboards. Balloons. etc. etc.

That's what I did today. Well, not the only thing I did. Only did it for like twenty minutes, en route to running my daily errands: post office, bank, store, library, etc. etc.

Thinking maybe I should do an exercise in seeing green, try to materialize some money out of thin air. Yeah, next time, I'll keep you posted.

I go to the post office to buy stamps. I leave, walking through the parking lot, I hear somebody shouting: "Can you push my wheel chair for me?" I keep walking, then realize that there is a woman in a wheel chair on the storefront sidewalk, not wearing orange, nevertheless, she is speaking to me. And I'm not the only person around either, there are other people walking to stores, cutting through the parking lot, but this woman focused on me. Me. She wanted me to push her wheel chair to the post office, the post office I just came from, to buy stamps. How weird is that? I'm hardly saying anything, and she's just talking non-stop, about needing surgery, where she lives, which is just down the street, about her husband being ten years younger than her and having stage three cancer, etc. etc.

I don't know this woman, but I've seen her before, at the library, at the grocery store, I helped her once at the library reach a book at the top shelf, a book about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Intriguing, but honestly the woman is annoying. She talks too loud, in a what I believe to be either a Long Island or New Orleans accent, and she stinks. Sorry, it's true. I tend to avoid her, but I helped her out today. Seeing Orange.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Fountain of Youth

Great quote from a book about alchemy I recently checked out:

Throughout history true alchemists, disdainful of wealth and worldly honours, have actively sought the Universal Medicine, the Panacea whose ultimate sublimation becomes the Fountain of Youth, the Elixir of Life and the Key to Immortality in both a spiritual and a mysterious physical sense. The Elixir would not only cure all ills by uprooting the causes of disease, but also rejuvenate and finally transmute the human body into an incorruptible 'body of light'.  The adept (adeptus, 'he who has attained' the Gift of God) would then be crowned with the triple crown of Enlightenment: Omniscience, Omnipotence and the Joy of Divine Eternal Love. Many are called but few are chosen; it is only fair to say that very few among the few have succeeded in reaching the ultimate goal. These are the Brotherhood of Light, and are Alive.


Image: Ouroboros

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Magical Place

Interesting developments. Learning more about my relative who died, apparently of natural causes around the winter solstice.

Looking at a bunch of pictures of his property in Wales. Two things I didn't know about this person that I just found out recently, was, one, that they were into dowsing, and as such mysticism and the occult, and were personal friends with one of the most world renowned dowsers in the UK, who lived in a castle, and was actually utilized by the police to locate missing persons and hidden objects buried in the ground. The second thing I discovered is that on his property, there are five standing stones, there for maybe thousands of years, that are configured in the pattern of a pentagram!

It is just so overwhelming. I'm like, why didn't I know this person? Well, it didn't help that we lived in different countries, he had never been to my country, and I had never been to his, but also he was an eccentric recluse, who didn't have a very close relationship with any of his biological relatives. His own sister hadn't seen or spoken to him in over 15 years. He never answered his phone. And once his wife died, the only contact was online, and that is the only way I know him.

The property is spectacular, hobbit country for sure. I'm talking museum quality. Statues. Sun dials. Standing Stones. Peacocks. Donkeys. Green. Everything is green. Alive. Vibrant. He had in the early days run it as a bed and breakfast. He was an artist. A teacher. His wife a fashion designer and architect. She died a few years ago. No children.

Anyway, things are happening. Got people going over there soon, to deal with the remains and to execute the will. There is talk about maybe keeping the property in the family, rather than selling it off, but unfortunately there is a 40 percent inheritance tax in the UK, and depending on what the total value of the estate is worth, which we do not currently know, it may have to be sold to pay it, because that adds up to a huge chunk of dough. But we'll see what happens.

I'll probably post some pictures of the standing stones, and statues at a later time. It's just such a magical place. I wish I could go there, but I don't want to be in debt to anyone, but I'm telling you, it would be a great place to do a bicycle tour. His property is near a bike trail called the Celtic Trail, a 300 something mile loop through Wales. And I'm thinking I need to make it my goal to do that at some point. Seriously. Even if I have to slave away at a minimum wage job over the next five years, I'm going to get there some way or another.

Wouldn't that be great? I would totally blog about it here. With that kind of inspiration the blog would most certainly become a lot more interesting. I would be in movement, excited, energized, feeling alive, rather being in stasis, the present state I am. Things would definitely take a turn for the better. Yeah, there's all kinds of possibilities of what could happen. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Of Desert Snow, Freezing Cold, and Crashing Trees

Was a cold night in the desert. It rained and then it snowed. I sat outside around 10:30 ish last night, wearing two pairs of pants, a wool shirt, a sweater, a fleece jacket, and a raincoat, plus hat and gloves, and I was still cold. And I'm from Wisconsin, but uh, I've been here awhile, my blood has thinned out.

At that time it was about 35 degrees F, and it eventually plummeted below freezing. I sat outside, drank a beer, watching the snow, realizing that the cold weather doesn't really agree with me, realizing that my occasional talk about moving back North to a colder climate would be a bad idea, and dreaming about inheriting some money and moving down to South Florida, like today, if I could, because the weather there is ideal right now.

It's funny how only in the dead of summer, when temperatures around here get hotter than 110 degrees, and you feel like you're melting, and suffocating, and you've died and woken up in hell, only then do I think about moving back to Wisconsin, or going even further north up into Canada or Alaska, or Scandinavia, and immigrating to some place like Copenhagen or Stockholm, but then I remember, that once I'm there, once the heat retreats and it's cold, which happens a few weeks out of the year here, I'm once again dreaming about the sunshine and beaches and longing to be someplace warm.

So, I quickly finish my beer and go in, watching not a DVD this time, but a little bit of the Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy, reading, drinking another beer, and then going to bed. But around 12:30 am, I hear a strange crash, not quite sure what it was, I never heard anything like it before, sounded like a huge herd of javelina racing by at supersonic speed. I look out the window and the beautiful tree next door, half of it, has crashed to the ground, is split part way down the trunk. I get dressed, go outside, examined the damage, and took a few pictures. This is what I saw:





This tree was/is a major asset. Is nice to look at, is the home to families of birds, some of which may have died in this accident, is a major source of privacy screening, a wind shield, and a source of shade in the summer. I just hope there is enough of the tree remaining that they won't have to remove the entire tree, but just the damaged part of the split, that the rest can be salvaged and given a chance to recover. I'm hoping, really hoping that this tree will be saved, otherwise it will be devastating, definitely a sign to move once the lease is up, or sooner if inherit some money, which may or may not happen, it's possible, but still somewhat of a long shot.

What a way to start the new year. I was happy to watch the snow, it's exciting when that happens here, because it rarely ever does, but never expected such a bad thing to come from it. It must have been the weight of the snow and ice, and the fact that the landscape company here is a piece of shit, fools that make a bigger mess than what they are sent to clean up, and it wasn't being properly maintained, should have been thinned out a bit. It was neglected. That is my theory. That had the tree been properly pruned by a certified arborist, this could have been prevented.

Well, that's all for now. I may have something more uplifting to say later. And maybe sort out what to do with this blog in 2015. Work out my resolutions. Make a list? We'll see. You know I like my lists: an INTJ personality quirk, perhaps. Talking to myself on a blog read by strangers is another one I guess.