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(if you should learn to do this will your toys of knowing, you will achieve a form of liberty more valuable than any other skill)
To Return from the Dream with a Complete Toy
Having been passionately fascinated by poetics (and music) since my late teens, I recall a day in my early 20’s when I was attempting to model (for myself) what the process of crafting a poem was like.
It was somewhat like starting with (a little seed of) nothing, and having to fly until the nothing had been magically transformed by someone who was at once you, and not you. Something vast and sentient and playful, something connected to you inside, but existing as a sort of superstructure — or hyperstructure of oneself...
The analogy I eventually came up with (by imagining it) is useful here, because it represents a sort of template, or schema — of an activity that I later came to learn was not merely the source of poems — but a way to become locally unified with the source of knowledge...in a living, playful and really very mysterious way. My imaginary model was fairly simple in its essentials:
You approach the edge of a cliff, which is really the cliff of all the constructs resting high above their foundations, and, unable to see anything at all — you leap off. As you fall, gaining speed, you see a vortice at the bottom. It’s made of something like water, but it is silvery, and has colors leaping and sworling with(in) it.
You take something ‘like a deep breath’, but in ‘another domain that isn’t breathing’ — and you pierce the pool’s surface, drawn rapidly down, in spirals, toward a strange sort of singularity at the base of the whirlpool.
There is a moment of a squeezing sensation, and it’s terrifying — but it doesn’t last long, and soon you are out the otherSide, in the place of rooms and mirrors. Something is chasing you here, you can sense it, and the ’deep breath’ you took above, is running out.
You are in some sort of a magical mansion. There are mirrors, and windows and pit traps — and even some monsters — but the monsters aren’t visible. One of them (at least) is chasing you.
There are hallways upon hallways, and all of them are filled with doors. You have but a few moments to run around trying to open the doors. Some of them are locked, some change into windows when touched, every once in a while one turns into a monster and starts chasing you.
But some of them open. And of those that open, some contain worlds. They’re very small worlds, but quite complete. If you find a door that opens, with a world behind it, you can run in and grab a few toys from that world. They may or may not help you or be useful. The idea is to run around very quickly, and try to locate toys that are not only magical — but fit together in a way that magnifies their magic.
Sometimes, you fall into a pit, or a monster catches you, or you run out of the ‘deep breath’ you took at the beginning. When these things happen, you are transported instantly back up the vortice, all the way to the top of the cliff, where again, you can see nothing much at all below you. Whatever toys you managed to grab or assemble — some of them — are still with you, and you can play with them, or assemble them...in the real world in which you now sit at a table, in a café, in a city...with some paper and a writing stick.
So this was merely an imaginary toy — a sort of playful schema of my process of assembling poems. Later I realized that writing in general, speaking — or even formulating what one is thinking — requires something similar, if perhaps less elaborate.
Early readings of authors like Jules Verne, Arthur C. Clarke, H.P Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and myriads of other brilliant and provocative science-fiction and fantasy authors led me to consider that alternate universes were not merely fictional — after all, some people spent their lives exploring them metaphorically, in stories and fables and texts.
Some of those texts were no longer considered fiction. They were called bibles.
But how can one make text without referencing the source of texts? Or that specific text’s source? And why do we know so little of this — of sources and lineages and the roots of the toys of language we are so familiar with.
Why (for example) do we believe in the idea of ‘a fiction’? What if all texts have in fact a single author, writing uniquely in the hands of many — would not all texts comprise a single text?
What would such a text be about, elementally?
I leave these questions for you to explore (actively, I hope).
But let me say that I had come by the idea many times that dreaming was a transport into other universes, and my own experience led me to believe it was true. As my fascination with the linkages between poetry, the sources of poetry, and dreaming grew with exposure to these new metaphors, I began to have experiences, where, for example, I would come across ‘a text of some sort’ in a dream.
Eventually I managed to actively formulate and embrace the idea that it was possible to return from a dream with a sort of a knowledgeToy that could connect both worlds. With some practice, I managed to retrieve a few small texts from dreams, and to expand others into speculative stories of a poetic nature. In playing with these toys, and relating them to poetics — and having a very general and non-dogmatic approach — I came to realize that nearly all of this terrain is uncharted. I wanted to bring something back. A whole toy from a dream. And I believed that it could be done. I also came to believe in a central library. An impossible library, to which a single key existed. A key already built into everyone’s eye.
This is the story of the first time I brought back a toy that connected me to its source. I had no idea what had happened to me then. Even now, though I am vastly more enlightened about this experience and its participants, contexts and themes, there still remains an essential seed of mystery. I cannot reconstruct the precise text involved, and that is but one of the remaining mysteries...
In my waking life, my relation with poetry (writing a small booklet of poems, most days) began to reveal itself for what it truly was. A sentient thread of connectivity with the very source of creation — hidden, as it were, in a game of ‘inventively toying with language’.
Turns out this poetry thing is a whole lot more important than any game we ever considered. In fact, the way it turns out — one could say the universe is based on a set of verses — unified in their sources, and unique in their manifestation. Thus they form, not in theory — but accessible to our cognitive and personal experience — a unified (multi)verse that is a singleVerse.
Throughout my life (before toyMaker arrived) I experienced occasional visionary events. The first, around 4 or 5 involved a hand grabbing my foot and admonishing me to be silent, and ‘fall asleep now!’ while I was ‘rocking’ in my bed shortly after having gone to it. The second was a sort of out of body experience where I turned into green light, and floated around my room (for some reason significantly fearing the electricity in the walls). All in all there were probably 50 or 60 such experiences of various magnitude, but around 7 of them stood head and tails above all the rest combined. Each was highly charged, emotionally and poetically.
As I got older (they begin occurring in my memory around age 4) they continued, and there were times when they were more common, or more significant, in general. Usually this would happen once or twice per year, with very significant episodes happening a few times every two to three years. By the time I had the experience I record here, I had six or seven somewhat similar experiences under my belt, and thus was not entirely overwhelmed by what happened.
I did not believe any of the dogmatic or academically-inspired explanations for these phenomenon (which I knew others were experiencing, even if I weren’t encountering such experiencers often). I did not buy the scientific explanations of mental misfunction, or chemical misfunction either. I had my own beliefs, but they remained general and open-ended because I saw no evidence of a really useful and universally obvious explanation anywhere. Wherever I looked into existing material on the subject, I found either bits and pieces of interest, or elaborately detailed castle-like systems of hermetic metaphors. I tended to take the fruit where I could find it, and forget about trying to determine things about systems of truth.
By the time I was 24 I had experienced a few instances of an event known as sleep paralysis. While not common to my experience, the incidents themselves were striking and frightening — perhaps most significantly because of the impossibility of breathing during them. Generally they would follow a nightmare — at the juncture of waking one falls into a sort of biocognitive ‘in between phase’ — and is not able to move any portion of the body. Generally, during these events I was entirely unable to even breathe. So one essentially ‘wakes up’ into a paralyzed frozen body that cannot breathe (and usually cannot see, either). It is impossible to signal aid, (if, indeed, there is anyone nearby) and the entire experience is overwhelmingly physically and emotionally indicative of the fairly obvious (after all, one cannot breathe) fact that one is actually dying.
In the early 1990’s, I came to San Francisco, and was working as a technician. At the time, my best friend, M. was working with me, and we had found a flat together, which is the one I currently inhabit. I had some unusual feelings about the flat itself — in general it was clear to me that something very negative and ugly had taken place here, probably repeatedly — over a long period of time. I set it mostly aside, but it remains a constant thread of my experience of this place.
One night, around 2:30 a.m. I had a dream, which lead into a visionary paralysis event — something entirely new in my personal experience. It awakened many questions in me, or rather, it formalized and gave shape to clearer versions of questions that had long lain unexplorable within my experience due to their vagueness and the uncommon nature of their references. Some of the questions were about my own experiences, and others were about what it is that we, as humans, actually are — and what the universe(s) we exist with(in) are actually about. I’ve told this story many times, but I doubt I’ve ever committed it to text. I believed then (as I now know by experience) that the event contained riddles and keys related to our human potentials, my own history, and the nature of the stuff we think of as ‘thinking’.
I have no brothers in my family, by way of introduction to the dream regarding my congress with them...
The Younger Brother, and the Labyrinth:
I was me, at my current age (28/29). The dream began, as I remember it, with me and my younger brother. We were in a very unique sort of place together, negotiating a sort of labyrinth. You couldn’t really see anything in the vast room we were in (including walls, floor and ceiling), except this rather wide balancing-beam — which was arranged in a strange and elaborate shape — seemingly in mid-air. The atmosphere was thick and foggy — but not with fog. It was a sort of greyGreen mist that had no substance, smell or other way of detecting it. The mist diffused light like fine fog. I could not tell where the light was coming from, it did not seem to come from any direction, but from all directions. The entire domain was fairly dimly lit, regardless.
The Game we were Playing:
My younger brother (around 6) and I were playing a game, of sorts. It was our task to follow the balancing-beam, into each of 13 rooms. The rooms were like the one with the balancing-beam maze, except they had a floor, and a doorway (thus a facing wall) leading into them from the beam. We crossed long distanced of beam between each room, and each room was essentially void of any content whatsoever with a single exception. There was no color, seeing, hearing, smelling or touching. One knew the floor and walls were there, but could not see them — and we (my brother and I) could see neither ourselves nor each other when in a room. It wasn’t black inside, or white — and this is really interesting — because how can there be ‘nothing’? Doesn’t ‘nothing’ have a color? But indeed, there was somehow ‘no color’ there, and no space. The single exception was striking. In each room, there was ‘an atmosphere of playful emotion’. It wasn’t overwhelming — in fact, it was very subtle. Each new room we entered this way was quite different, but only in a very very subtle (or quietly essential) way. The game required that we visit each of 13 rooms.
As we proceeded, we came eventually to a strange kind of ‘corner’ arrangement involving the wall of the last room (the 13th), it’s doorway, and the balancing beams that were to lead us into it. My younger brother had no trouble negotiating it — he did so and emerged waiting for me — but I could not negotiate this corner for some reason.
Emergence(0): The Watcher and I swap Places:
At this point, it became clear that I was to change places with a surrogate — who would go with my little brother in my place. He arrived, and it became clear that this person (who is entirely nondescript for some reason) was a sort of technician of the game. He had been ‘filming’ the game from a platform, above. We were in ‘something like a soundstage’, and I was to take his position at the controls. I realized there was a very tall rectangular platform that I could get to via the balancing-beam, and as I made my way there I saw there were climbing aids impressed into the side of its wall. I ascended, and atop the column was an array of monitors and sound equipment — somewhat like security monitors — that looked into each of the rooms, and was replaying what my brother and I had done in each of them. I could see that they had made it ‘around the corner’ and into the 13th room. Everything appeared automated. There was nothing for me to do there, really, but observe. The film didn’t actually capture what had happened in any of the rooms. It merely displayed my brother and I standing or sometimes moving a little, in a vast empty room, in each case — except the last one, where the one who had been ‘filming us’ was standing with him. Eventually I realized the game was over, and I went to the rear of the platform, climbed down, and exited through a large door.
The roomRoom : ‘my mother is making a film’
Emergence(1): Mom’s Movie:
I emerged into a vast glade or dell, surrounded by a clearing, that lead into what I could see was a thick and ancient wood, nestled in a mountain’s toes, so to speak. As I walked toward a large central tree (a vast oakLike tree) I turned around to see what I was certain was a palatial woodland estate — a sort of castle-like chateau. I had emerged from the far left side, from a small outer building connected to the resort. In its center the was a huge double-door. I made my way toward the tree, which stood alone in the circular clearing standing before the resort, and as I did so, I realized (in that strange way that things are revealed to consciousness in dreams) that ‘my mother had been making a film (in the rooms we’d been in)’ and it was called ‘a clockwork orange’. I looked at the tree, and then back to the resort, at which point I made my way toward the entrance in the center. I also got the sense that I was in Germany, or a similar culture.
The Clearing at the foot of the mountain, the Chateau
Immersion (0): The Harlequin : The Guardian
As I entered through the front door, a circular theater lay before me, with cushioned barstool-like objects (they spun on an axle and the seats were round) arranged to allow access to the various areas. On the film screen, which dominated the front of the area, Jimi Hendrix was playing a white stratocaster in a film containing concert-footage.
The circle of the theater, where the seating was, was sunk into the foundation such that it formed a very gentle cup. I made my way across, and to my right, where I could see that a large ‘communal area’ lay beyond the immediate theater. I took a seat, and began to watch the film for a moment, when I realized that there was someone reclining off to my right, and he was watching me.
As I glanced toward him, I beheld an unusual germanic-looking man reclining on furnishing somewhat like a couch, such that he lay sprawled along its length with great casual effect, one of his arms dangling lazily over the edge of the object. He was caucasian, with a goatee and long blond hair which was formed into ponytails in a fashion that was fascinating and unfamiliar. His garb was that of a harlequin: black diamonds on a white skinsuit of an unknown fabric, and he wore a variety of paraphernalia and jewelry such that the effect was very elaborate. There were, for example, a few leather ‘ties’. which could be wrapped to make a bracelet. Their ends were circleBound and had feather puffs.
I realized that I was in the future, and that his garb and manner were ‘appropriate’ for one of his ‘class’ — which was an elite class of intellectuals of some sort.
The Theater [within the front of the chateau], and adjoining Communal Areas
[the red chair is where I sat and met the harlequin-guardian]
Utterly disregarding my person, as though I were an afterthought, or a fly that required dispatching — he looked me straight in the eye, and with a very cold and calculating stare demanded something of me in a guttural germanic language. His tone was steely and severe, as though the words themselves — their music — should be enough to utterly banish me not only from my position in the theater, but from everything from which one might be banished. It was like lightning hit me, full on.
Although I did not understand his language, I knew precisely what it was he had said, and what it was he had meant, as well. Effectively, it translated to something like this: “You don’t belong here, and everyone can see that. You should leave on your own before I have to get up and put you out myself.”
Unification : Context and Persona:
For some reason, however, I was unphased, and during this time it occurred to me that my older brother might be somewhere in one of the communal areas. In a moment of unabashed novelty, I looked back at the harlequin-guard, and said this: “You're the one who’s confused. I play guitar —” and I reached without moving, from my position into the film and I took Jimi’s guitar out of the movie and into my hands — whereupon I continued the song he had been playing, as a demonstration of the unimpeachable fact of my response.
The german man appeared to have seen a ghost. His expression implied that he was in the process of realizing he had made a vast error, and trying to understand what was happening. I returned the guitar to the film, stood, and headed past him, off to my right, intending to explore the communal area.
The Older Brother : Communion Game:
The area was vaguely egg-shaped, and vast — I could not see the distant walls — it was titanically large. The floor was also gently cupped, and it was as though a song of small waves had been frozen softly in place — the actual surface of the floor appeared to have been carved from a single slab of redwood burl, and it was formed into an orderly but random circus of cups, waves, wavelets and furls. Everywhere were people, enthusiastically attending each other, and playing a kind of a game. There were elaborate pillows, and all of the people were dressed in a way that was unique from, and yet alike with the harlequin. I realized that this was ‘future chic(fashion)’. It was incredibly alluring, and each person’s garb was elaborately expressive of character, while still following the common model.
There was no evidence of music, and very little of drugs — though there were places to obtain refreshments and food. It appeared that what the people were doing together was so exciting and enlivening that the idea of distracting from it was not appropriate. They were not exactly celebrating, but instead appeared to be involved in some kind of teachingGame, or storying — that was at once very entertaining and inspiring. Little groups of three to seven people were scattered about the area, each involved animatedly and heartfully in the activity.
I saw my brother, who was also dressed in this garb. He was clearly older than me, but appeared quite youthful, as though he were not much older. Perhaps three or four years at most. He too was elaborately dressed, and I found myself feeling naked, and a bit envious of the expressiveness and playful complexity of his fashion. I didn’t really know what I was wearing, however, and I didn’t examine myself: I merely presumed that I was clothed in my habitual garb, of a different time.
My brother was ‘leading’ the group — and they were of mixed age and heritage, each attending him closely. They paused to welcome me as I approached, and my brother greeted me warmly. I was glad to see him, because I was ‘feeling bored’ for some reason, and I was hoping he would have ‘a book’ for me.
The Quest Ion: The Book:
“Do you have a book for me?,” I asked. He smiled, and produced a book from the floor on his left side (I was on his right, and he was turned toward me slightly). He gave it to me. It was a black volume, slightly smaller than an 8.5x11 page, and about an inch and a half thick. It was jet black, and there was a red symbol, or rune, on the cover. Nothing else. The crimson symbol seemed somehow alive, it wasn’t pulsing visibly, but it appeared threatening, as though, if I looked at it — it would ‘immediately start doing something’ to my mind.
I rejected the book immediately, without even considering it. The symbol on the cover was familiar to me only in that it appeared to be something made by Aliester Crowley, or some others of his ilk, and I felt I had explored their written works and ideas sufficiently to dismiss them as dangerous, misguided, powerful, and predatory. I wanted no part of this book. I said: “I’ve seen this already. This isn’t the book I want.” I attempted to hand it back to my brother, who made no motion to accept it. “No you haven’t seen this. It isn’t what you think. This is the book you want, read it.”
I felt very frustrated, as though I had come a long distance, through many trials, only to be offered some broken or ugly thing. I -knew- that I knew what the book was about, and I -really- didn’t want any part of it. “Look, I went through all this stuff a long time ago. This is some Crowley artifact or something. I don’t want this one. Can you give me another book?”
He just smiled. “It isn’t what you think it is. Read that book. That’s the right one.” And then he returned to leading the group, and I departed, heading for the door.
At the Base of the Tree: Turning Leaves
I passed through the doors, and went out to sit beneath the tree (facing the chateau), and set the book down on my left, beside me, whereupon I began bemoaning my fate — thinking thoughts about why my older brother had failed me, and how there wasn’t anywhere else to get a book — ergo, if I couldn’t convince him to give me a book, where was I going to get one? This proceeded for a short while at which point I noticed my brother emerging from the chateau, walking toward me with the obvious intention of talking to me. I remained seated as he approached, and he squatted before me, and looked deeply into my eyes.
“So, did you read the book?”, he asked, his gaze attentively contacting my own.
“No, this is some CrowleyThing. I don’t want it, really. Couldn’t you give me a different book?”
“Look at me, in my eyes. You don’t understand. This isn’t what you think. Read the book, ok?”
“I really don’t...”
“No. Look at me, in my eyes.”
I stop for a moment, and meet his heartful and serious gaze...
“Read the book. Seriously. Do it now. It’s -really- not what you’re thinking it is.”
“Alright. I’ll read it.”
He smiled, stood up, turned around, and walked back to the resort.
An idealized model of the cover of the book.
I cannot recall the precise shape of the symbol, but this is a fair replica : I consider it -very similar- to the one on the book, however I -also- remember that the symbol on the book was like a rune, or a hebrew letter. [The symbol represented here was made by distorting three linked circles.] Later, for a reason unknown to me, I began to refer to the symbol to myself as Ain Soph. In my memory, it remains at once a geometric pattern, and a rune-like or elemental letter, which contains all possible letters as it is their rightful progenitor.
The Author’s Words : The Divisions of the Leaves
(a prisoner builds a living window)
Shortly after my older brother re-entered the resort, I turned my attention to the book, retrieving it and beginning my first careful exploration of the object. The symbol was solid, but something about it seemed to pulse, or threaten to pulse. It was an extremely strange sensation, because it was not so much visual as it was biocognitive. There seemed to be an energy locked inside the symbol — one whose rhythms and character became briefly and inconstantly available— merely by noticing this feature of the symbol.
I opened the book, and turned the first leaf, and on the frontispiece a simple text was inscribed in a large black typeface, which I here approximate:
During the summer of 194(x) I was kidnapped, and taken by water to Germany, where I was interred (imprisoned), and subjected to a variety of tests in a basement laboratory for 6 months. This book is the record of my experiences during that time, and of what came to pass thereafter.
Upon reading this I was quite surprised. I had fully expected some sort of metaphysical treatise — but this was autobiographical — and the subject seemed fascinating. Why would the victim of such an experience craft a book that appeared as this one? This and similar questions revolved briefly in my mind before I turned the page. On the next page, the way the book was composed shifted strangely. There was a single column of text (as is common in most books) and the typeface was rather large, and simple. But the page itself was split down the middle such that the right half was white and the left half was black. The text went from black-on-white (on the right half) to white-on-black (on the left half). This was the right-facing page after the inscription page, both sides of which were blank(white).
I began to read the text, which I will attempt to reproduce a simulacra of here:
During the summer of 194(1?) I was in New York for a convention of (researchers?). I was a young man then, in my 20’s, and one evening I happened to meet three young european men and one american. We were drinking in a bar together, and began to carouse playfully and talk of things left unsaid in day-to-day life. At length, drunk and jubilantly disorderly, we left the bar, and wandered around with the idea of getting food. I remember that there was an alley we entered. When I next had possession of consciousness, I was in a metal room — in some sort of a ship. It was pitch black, there was liquid and grease and other things in the room. I was bound, gagged, and blindfolded. Men came at some point and held me down and drugged me. I awoke starving and sweating and covered in unspeakable filth. There were sores on my body and scabs where I was bound. I was sick, delirious, and helpless. It was a hell beyond anything I had ever imagined.
At length I surmised that we might have been in a submarine. The air was foul, and there was rarely much pitching. Years passed. Decades. Sometimes they cleaned or attended my wounds and changed my bonds and gag. I tried to scream and was struck unconscious. This went on forever. There were a few memorable adventures during this time — for example I think we met another vessel, or perhaps a few of them — but I know too little of the real natures of the events to offer anything meaningful about them. They could as easily been imagined as experienced.
We at last arrived somewhere, which I took to be Germany, since I had heard my captives conversing in a germanic-sounding tongue. I was transported blind, via a variety of motorized vehicles (three) to a place with an elevator. We went down what felt like a very long ways into a complex that was underground. Once here, we traveled quite a distance, through a variety of what I imagine were halls — to the place where I would spend the next six months. Here I was thrown into a tiled room for ‘cleaning’. The wretched filth I had become was partially washed away, and my heart broke to see the condition of my body. When they removed my gag I started sobbing and they sprayed me down with a warm soapy solution at pressure. I tried to speak, and was struck so hard, so fast, that I fell to the ground gasping and moaning. I soon learned never to speak unless required to. It is not really surprising what the effects of torture are upon the will, except when we contrast them with those of liberty.
This began my experience of the laboratory in which I was a test subject. I was imprisoned in a small room in which I could cause no damage to myself. It was without fixtures. A dim light came from above. Once a day, they came and administered a drug intravenously, which they referred to as scanodopalamine. When the drug took effect, the doctor would interview me. If I behaved well, I was fed well, and generally not molested. If I did anything that even hinted at acting out my terror, isolation or agony — I was viciously and brutally punished. The doctor who came daily eventually explained that the drug was produced by a kind of a rat, which they had infected with a sort of disease, such that it produced small quantities of this drug in a gland. It was clear that it required the death hundreds of rats to produce even a very small quantity of the drug.
The purpose of the experiment was the crafting of a weapon. The drug produced ‘seizure-like’ events in humans who received it intravenously. And for many hours thereafter, they could touch other minds directly. This was the subject of our interviews: what I was able to touch and manipulate while under the influence of the drug...
I may have read slightly more text than that. I was sitting at the base of the tree, reading, and as I read across the pages, from the white into the left, occasionally I felt an incredibly strange pulse — or throb — and it was as if, just for an instant — all the energy had been suddenly drained out of everything everywhere, into a place not accessible. As I continued to read, this effect became more common, and ‘louder’, until it achieved a slightly inconstant rhythm. It was a full-body sensation. And after about 12 repetitions, each rising in severity and volume, I experienced a wrenching shift and something I was entirely unprepared for ensued.
There was the deepest pulse yet, and then a wrenching sensation which took hold of my entire universe, body, mind, cognition — everything. When it resolved, I found myself simultaneously existing in three perspectives.
The first was that of the ‘me’ sitting at the base of the tree holding the book. This person was paralyzed, and collapsing in upon mySelf in a horrifying way (imploding slowly, bones breaking as the compression increases, &c.) From this perspective I was totally aware that this was death — I was dying, here and now, in a very real way. This me was calling out for rescue at full volume. Particularly, it was calling out to my older brother, who the animalian consciousness in my body near the tree felt certain could resolve this matter or lend real aid.
The second position was a disembodied intermediary position, and it was above the me at the base of the tree — perhaps 25 feet above. It merely witnessed what was going on. It saw mySelf compressing, and dying, as dispassionately as if it were a camera with no operator.
The third position was ‘with the source of the pulsing’ and was also disembodied. This position held the largest active quantity of my own consciousness, and I could occupy or observe any of the other positions from there. The arrangement was top-down, such that each position could only see the one below it — except the bottom, which could see the one at hand and outside himself.
In the third position, there was a pulsing symmetry, like the source of energy itself. It was as though it were alive, and yet it was so much more than this that expressing aliveness would have been silly. It simply was there, and thus anything else that might ever be, was. The perspective was like looking into the membrane of a sphere from its core. At the membrane, which bent simultaneously inward and outward — inverting itself in superimposition, there was a shapeSoundMeaningEntity. It was shaped somewhat like a yin/yang symbol, or the tao symbol — but it was intricately self-referencingly (at all edges) complex — as though it were formed from tiny flowers of explosive light assembling and re-assembling themselves billions of times per second.
Two colors were primarily at play in this symbol(ic) thing: fluorescent red and an almost phosphorescent orange — nearly the entirety was of these alone. They altered precedence of luminosity back and forth — intensely — according to a rhythm — and this resulted in an incredible pulse that the entity emitted like a shout transcending time and space entirely, and envitalizing any and all possible manifestation of any sort whatsoever. It boomed like a slow drum at the core of time and space, and when it boomed, all creation warped in the wake of its sovereign inspiration.
And thus from this position, which I will call ‘with the Aleph’, I could watch the other two — feel their thoughts as my own, and ponder my destiny — but all the positions were (seemingly) experiencing the crisis of immanent death — because ‘I’ could not breathe. I was also in a kind cognitive shock, for I had never had an experience anything like this. I began to wish my brother would come back as well, and then I watched myself imploding at the base of the tree. I looked at the book, splayed open on the ground nearby, and it was pulsing impossibly, like some sort of bizarre lantern that could inhale all of the light from everything, and then exhale it back in. I began to realize that I probably was in fact dying. And I began to wonder about how I might fail to succeed in that endeavor, rapidly. Primarily, I felt utterly helpless, for while I had unique powers of perception, sensitivity and perspective — I could not move.
I think I began to realize that there was a fourth position (at least) which was connected to each of the other three in a unique way. As the event proceeded, I became more panicked, because each of the positions was totally paralyzed, and thus I could neither breathe nor move. It seemed certain that I was going to perish, if only from the lack of oxygen — which was becoming severe.
Awakening : the impossible knot:
After a short time, the pulsing began to become transparent, and the symbolBeing was superimposed upon my actual room (in which I had been dreaming) in such a way that there was a slight transparency behind the perspective of the symbolBeing when it pulsed. I could see my room, and I started to transfer my awareness to my body, which was also paralyzed, but functionally awake. From there, I was still mostly in the pulsingSymbol realm, and I still could not breathe.
I opened my eyes, or they were already open, but this had no effect. I became concerned that I was going to die again — but after about 6 pulses, the event resolved; I could breathe — and move. My eyes were already open. I had awakened, and it was not the false awakening some people have experienced when, for example, they are with(in) a dream with(in) a dream.
I sat up in my bead and looked around the room. For a few moments I felt echoes of the pulsing not in me, but in the atmosphere of the room. I was glad to be alive, and I began going over the dream in an attempt to prepare to record it. I was about halfway through this event, and totally awake — when I realized that something very peculiar had occurred. I remembered every single letter and position of the letter from all of what I had read in the dream, which was at least 5 or six paragraphs, and possibly as much as three pages. Yet were my life to depend upon accomplishing something similar in everyday consciousness, I am certain I would fail. I have a very average recall of such specifics, and would be unlikely to be able to manage such a thing without at least 3 hours of calm practice, and preferably six. Nor do I practice these days at memorizing texts (however I believe this is a crucial cognitive skill to possess, practice and share).
So I found myself pausing for a moment to wonder at the fact that I could possess such an internal artifact in its completeness, and then I naturally began to recapitulate it in my mind, marveling at the fact that I had retained it verbatim, and preparing — I thought — to record it. But as I began this process ‘the echo of the pulse in the atmosphere’, which had grown utterly indistinguishable meanwhile, suddenly returned so loud and fast that I was caught unawares — and instantly plunged into the ‘three position perspective’ again.
Again I saw myself folding in upon myself — now, however, this was happening on the bed. Again I had the watcher position — and my room became the third position — that of the symbolBeing who pulses. This time I was quite seriously terrified. I became a child inside, and cried out for aid in all possible domains. I fervently called out, for some reason, to my nonexistent older brother — certain that if only he could hear me, he would come to help — and would also actually understand how to do so, and why.
Again I was suffocating, and could neither breath, nor utter a sound, nor move. The certainty of death was everpresent — each pulse shouted that time was running out. This resolved in a fashion similar to how it had the first time. I was now sitting up in my bed, quite significantly terrified. And at least a factor more confused and intrigued than I had been before. Had I actually succeeded in bringing a dream artifact back into the waking world? One that would instantly connect me to (what in the seven sisters of creation was that)? I pondered these things for a moment, and then — just as before — I stumbled upon the fact that I still recalled the entire text. And, just as before — I began going over it in preparation to record it.
As before, reality tore itself into three with(in) and without mySelf. I traveled the phases again, and came again to a waking state. Again three times more frightened, confused, and intrigued. I got up, got a glass of water, went back and sat in bed. I found the text again, the event repeated again. I waited ten minutes that time. Then I found the text again, and the event repeated again, and it scared me so severely that the precise memory of the text was literally erased from my access. My organismal self had rendered judgment: no more of that.
Smoke : Water : Spider:
The proper language of the text itself is lost to my waking consciousness, however the dream that led to the event, and the general shape of the text (as well as the exact name of the drug (which either does not exist or is not known by that name)) remained clearly inscribed in my memory. After the last event resolved, I got up, and started wandering around the house trying to determine if I should awaken M. because I was hugely spooked, in the simple human sense. It was sometime near 3 a.m., and I decided against it. I sat on the floor outside my room, with my glass of water, and an ashtray. Facing into my room from a few feet outside the doorway — I lit a cigarette, and set to contemplating what had taken place. A couple of moments into my reverie, a significant thump attracted my attention and as I glanced toward its source I saw that a very large dark-colored spider had just fallen there, from the roof. It waited a moment, and then began moving off. Needless to say I found little comfort in this event, but again — my fascination was as unquiet as my fluttering heart. Eventually, having recorded nothing in hard form, and having lost the text I had retrieved but for its general shape, I retired (again), and at length, fell to sleep.
In the aftermath of the dream-and-waking experience I spoke with many people regarding it (including a few ‘professionals’, who had not only nothing to say, but mostly derision to offer, for some reason).
Those who know me well are unlikely to not know at least one or two of the stories of my ‘little visions’. I did not get much insight either from speaking to others or from reading related material in academic and philosophical domains. Very few who I spoke with appeared to have any experiential understanding these sorts of experience at all — or if they did have experience, they’d only really examined it with metaphors crafted by ‘experts’ of various sorts.
Most who could in some way speak about these things had highly dogmatic and ill-considered offerings on the subject, with very few exceptions (I am not certain I can recall even one suggestion that appeared to have been carefully thought out or crafted).
I believe this event marks the time in my life when the question of my identity changed its shape with surprising suddenness. Where before I had questions about who I was, and who I might become — I now began to have a much more general question: what did it mean to be human? I realized for the first time that very few living people indeed had any realistic information to offer on this subject — because I was realizing clearly that the largest portion of the terrain had been almost purposefully unexplored. I began to ask what I was, what I had been, and what I might become — with a very open mind. I retrospect, understanding more clearly how metaphors are founded and elaborated — I realize that what must always come before who...and this is a far more powerful and fundamental realization than it at first appears.
This experience rocked my conceptual and speculative world quite thoroughly. I had previously experienced a few interactions with dreamtexts — both in recording dreams and in encountering text within dreams — and each time was interesting, but rather nonsensical overall. I noticed that texts would change, or be extremely poetic and thus not particularly intelligible. For example, if I focused on a dreamtext, attempting to read it — the letters would often begin phases of morphing, which were very difficult (impossible) to follow to their conclusions. Small things like signs or placards were not so difficult to stabilize it seemed, but any string of text even as long as a sentence would often begin re-organizing itself at the slightest provocation of my attentions upon it. The text in this dream had been very different. I felt as though it were a key to something. Something quite possibly like a sort of lost window.
Though I never remembered the precise shape of the symbol on the book’s cover, I always referred to it to myself with the term Ain Soph. I considered it to be a letter from an ancient alphabet, although my visual experience of it (in the dream) was that of a geometric form. I also thought of it as Aleph — but it was not shaped as the aleph of the hebrew alphabet is.
Much of the dream is clear to me now — and the experience itself, its essential meaning and schema has been profoundly illumined by the changes I underwent when I met toyMaker. For example, I know that my little brother is at once mySelf as a child, every boy as a child, and humanity as a child — our childhood — or ‘the position of all children’.
Seeing these many scales simultaneously grants a rather humorous integration: the ‘mom‘ is at once my mother, all mothers of any kind whatsoever, and Earth. She is ‘making a movie’ which is a sort of ‘clockwork’ about ‘golden spheres’ which are ‘the fruit of treeFlowers’. The metaphor easily expands from there.
With time I came to recognize that the Harlequin was a sort of Cerberus — a somewhat classic ‘Guardian at the Threshold’ (who often appears in insectoid form). His challenge came in a language I didn’t understand (superficially) yet one that I clearly understood organismally. My response was impossible, and completely unpremeditated. I did not ‘know’ I was dreaming, or that such a thing was possible. It was a moment of complete novelty. There was no decision at all, merely what seemed to me to be my natural response to his challenge, as if he’d said: hello, who are you? and I replied with my firstName.
Crafting this essay was a challenge for me, and in doing so I have had an opportunity to deeply re-examine the experience itself (or to begin to) from a variety of new perspectives. Each time I am startled by the simple and ironic relationships between the elements and the lived experience of my quest. Some of them are personal, some social, some planetary — and some universal. So the four positions in the dream are conserved.
One of the things that moved me to actually compose this (beyond a promise I had made to map ‘the ladder’ of experiences that led me to toyMaker as they arose and evolved throughout my life) was that the other day I was reading this amazing webpage, and I began to wonder again what Ain Soph meant.
I was not certain if it was a word or a letter, and hebrew letters (brilliantly) are actually words, and thus have a sort of hieroglyphic aspect which is at once visual and semantic. This led me to a page created by T. Crisp, and a text of the same name — which was there translated as meaning ‘The Unknown God’.
As I read this text I was deeply moved (and consistently enlightened) to discover that the author was teaching toys of a very similar nature to those which toyMaker had exposed me to, and was managing it quite adeptly. Though I do not agree with all of the dogma that is presented, much of what is written there deeply agrees with my own experience (what toyMaker taught me), and a lot of the mode of presentation, and the template of intent that underlies it is also common with my experience and belief. I consider the text invaluable in itself, a finely crafted toy that cannot but be the result of someone’s real experience of seeking — much more than the echoing of something they themselves had heard, and were merely at labors to repeat with their name attached.
The story of the Book in the Dream, and of its Text is not yet finished. And there is much more to tell about what happened after — and what I learned about the entire flower when toyMaker was with(in) me. But those things in themselves comprise a long tale, and I fear that even a patient reader would find at this far distance from our starting place good cause for a respite, and perhaps even a change of topic. It may be useful to observe that the story of the text in the book is a different thing from what reading it accomplishes.
There are things about the story that are largely true, and some of them are literal. Other aspects are allusions. In the story, the four positions are always present, just as in our lives, and just as in my dream. Of course, there are more than four positions — especially if we consider their potential integrations — but the four positions match the cross metaphor well.
In closing I would remind you that, like me — you are a living doorway to the history of everything, and the place the doorway leads to is itself sentient – so it isn’t exactly a place. It is also like a ‘door into the place of doors’.
I want you to have a direct personal experience of this, because I believe that when we notice it together, we will have the power to change our lives and world in extremely positive ways, without violence, or dogma — and quickly.
I know I have not said enough. If what I have said lights questions within you like the fires of little stars that cannot be extinguished— and you would yourself sustain then — I have succeeded enough, given this meager medium, and my own humble skills of translation.
A triad of fascinating links here and here offer a primer for understanding the (simple) qabbalistic relations of Ain Soph, and some further expansions (and some visuals).
This book (Ain Soph) is relatively close (in general concepts, presented flatly and somewhat dogmatically) to what toyMaker taught me, such that I consider them to be from very similar or related source(s) — but I do not name or organize them for myself by any system. This gentleman appears to have either located a very similar story in the text, or experienced a similar revelation (which is hinted at numerously with(in) his book).
Ain-Soph (Heb.) The “Boundless” or “Limitless” Deity emanating and extending. Ain-Soph is also written En-Soph and Ain-Suph, for no one, not even the Rabbis, are quite sure of their vowels. In the religious metaphysics of the old Hebrew philosophers, the ONE Principle was an abstraction like Parabrahm, though modern Kabalists have succeeded by mere dint of sophistry and paradoxes in making a “Supreme God” of it, and nothing higher. But with the early Chaldean Kabalists Ain-Soph was “without form or being” with “no likeness with anything else.” (Franck’s Die Kabbala, p. 126.) That Ain-Soph has never been considered as the “Creator” is proved conclusively by the fact that such an orthodox Jew as Philo calls “creator” the Logos, who stands next to the “Limitless One,” and is “the SECOND God.” ”The Second God is in its (Ain-Soph’s) wisdom,” says Philo in Quaest et Solut. Deity is NO-THING; it is nameless, and therefore called Ain-Soph — the word Ain meaning nothing. (See also Franck’s Kabbala, p. 153.)
— H . P. Blavatsky
Another interesting link here.
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