Saturday, September 26, 2009

dipping into the collective unconscious... (Boston, MA)

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

-from The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams

Don't believe what you
saw, believe what you see.

My time in Massachusetts was...unexpectedly intense.
I spent a week staying with an old friend and his loverly roommates (you guys rock!! also, James, whatever chemicals were in that leather-softening spray are amazing - my belt feels like butter), exploring the area, talking with interesting people, and making some wonderful new friends. Of course, Mark (who is not just an old friend, but also an old flame) and I spent far too much time arguing about the fact that we believe the same stuff, but arrive at our understanding of Reality from Entirely. Different. Directions.
In all fairness, we hadn't actually had any of these conversations in a decade, and that's a long time to arrive at our own, seemingly unique perspectives. We're also pretty stubborn, touchy people. Which might explain why it took the same amount of time for God to create the world as it did for me to say, "I'ma shut up and let you talk. Tell me what you think I need to know."
From now on, whenever I (re)meet folks, that's gonna be my new line:
"Hi, it's nice to meet you. Tell me what you think I need to know."

In addition to all of that fun stuff, though, I spent most of my time in Boston thinking about the nature of duality, and whether or not the concept is more illusion than fact, which is something I'd never pondered before, and which has opened up far more questions than I know how to ask, let alone answer.
The idea of polarity and opposites is so ingrained; I always took it for granted as one of those universal truths: male/female, macro/micro, good/evil, etc etc.... All of these existed -in my understanding- at different ends of various spectrums, with most things falling somewhere in between.

Now I'm starting to wonder if that isn't entirely too simplistic.

Here's a quick sketch of an dream idea I had. I know I don't have all the words to describe it with or the knowledge to comprehend it, but maybe somebody will read this and clue me in:

Two entities, appearing as glowing balls of light and energy, interacting alone in a vast expanse of darkness: a -the- cosmic Syzygy. Together, they encompassed totality. They pulsated and shifted, and though their aureoles -auras?- merged, they themselves could never connect - this was an important part of their nature. Now here's where it gets strange: when one of them experienced itself as a Self -single, whole, autonomous - the other became Everything Else. And when I say everything, I mean everything - space, time, creatures, concepts, the dimensions that occur behind and outside of time - everything. And for the one who was a Self, the overwhelming sensation I got was of loneliness, and a sort of resigned, unending boredom - because when you exist forever, and are the only one of your kind, it doesn't matter whether you're embodying War, or Karma, or the Light That Shines Through A Birch Leaf At Six Thirty-Four On Planet X... you'll always be alone. And you can hop through as many other entities and experiences as you want, but you'll never experience unity - and that, that was a sad thing to see.
(Here's a sketch of the Single Consciousness wearing one of it's infinite masks):

When I first started thinking about it, the word that came to mind was Syzygy. I didn't know that syzygy had so many different meanings - in math, philosophy, poetry, zoology...
At the time, I only knew the Jungian definition, but when I started to research the word, I stumbled across the Gnostic one, and that seems a lot more accurate.

Anyway, here's what I've got: duality - the concept of opposites - is just that: a concept. Because in reality, if this model holds true, there's never any actual balance of power. It's all just a dance between two entities that together encompass more than any spectrum could ever contain.
My brain is not entirely sure what to make of this particular idea. Thoughts...?

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