Montreal, February 28 - March 1, 1999
Chris: Emile, ... you know that Leonard Cohen song, 'Everybody Knows', right?
Emile: Yeah, it's a great song. It cracks me up every time I hear it, because he brings such a great sense of humour to the caricaturing of our culture, bringing out its autistic-like aspect.
Chris: You know Emile, even though you're fifty-eight today, and I'm just twenty-one, I can sometimes glimpse the twenty-one year old inside of you. I think you're absolutely right about thinking in terms of 'spheres within spheres' rather than linear progressions. Like your mother, who's over ninety and so full of life, .... ... so 'full of her own twenty-one year old', so to speak. It so depresses me though that our culture is always pressuring us to conform to its linear ways, ... to be someone who we are not, .. someone much lower-dimensional, excluding us from our own youthful spheres. This linear thinking really puts up the walls between young and old as well. Just like you were citing Michael Meade the other day, .. him saying that a sure sign that a civilization was falling apart was when it began to 'unravel at both ends', .. as in our culture where both youth and age are being alienated, where there's no circular flow of wisdom from age to youth, as in the aboriginal traditions, which are themselves almost extinct today. I can really relate to that 'unravelling' idea, ... but you know how alienated I feel.
And why is it that there are so many taboo things we can't talk about directly, between age and youth, even though we continue to do them? In that book 'Knots' you gave me, by R. D. Laing, it says the same thing as in Cohen's song, .. 'They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game of not seeing I see the game.' Why does this strange behavior pervade and persist in our culture?
Emile: We persist in the game, it seems to me, because we're harbouring a lie and the cover up for that lie has become so big that we're frightened to admit to it, so every time we get close to revealing it we back away, ... that's why certain subjects become taboo topics between age and youth, as Laing and Jules Henry also spoke about. While youth comes in innocently asking, ... age has in their acculturation, intuited that there as some subjects which 'cannot be aired', ... at least outside of the artistic fringes.
Chris: Are you speaking about the citing of Laing and Henry in that 'Homecoming' essay you and Tanya, your systems sciences friend wrote, which says; 'If all through school the young were provoked to question the Ten Commandments, the sanctity of revealed religion, the foundations of patriotism, the profit motive, the two party system, monogamy, the laws of incest, and so on ....'?
Emile: Yes, that's right, but the list of taboo topics goes on and on, as you know. People have come to feel more secure when life is controlled by the structures and rules we impose on ourselves, and since 'security rules', ... that simply means that 'fear rules', since fear is the other face of the security coinage.
Chris: Is that the secret lie we are harboring then? .... that we are living a life governed by fear where we have to erect protective structures to keep uncertainties from hurting us, ... to kind of hunker down where we are and erect defenses against our own continuing 'growth' and evolution?
Emile: That's the beginning of it, but it branches out like all cover-ups do into a maze of deceptions.
Chris: I sense that even you are hesitating on this one, ... even though you have earned the right with a lot of people to speak crazy-sounding stuff because people can see your harmonious intentions, and that what you say is often what they knew already to be true, but had trouble openly admitting. I can see the tremendous pressure on you to 'act your age' even though it seems to me that you enjoy thinking kind of 'pre-culturally', like a child. ..But listen, Emile, can't at least you and I try to break down that wall, ... can't you speak to me in my language? Foul and sacrilegious as it may be to the adults in our culture, it is neither foul nor sacrilegious to me, ... nor to you, I think.
Emile: Your insight is on target as it often is, Chris, and I am not really hesitating, ... I am just trying to stay in the 'harmony' of the flow, if you like. There's not much harmony in 'dumping' ideas out on someone, 'before their time', ... you've heard the old adage that a wine should not be drunk before its time, and you've heard me go on about 'to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.' Individuals must build up a sense of self which is capable of absorbing new ideas without being traumatized by them, ... and as the 'self' develops in an individual, it will usually intuit the appropriate matchup between the size of the question it asks relative to the current 'binding harmony' of the 'self', ... the sustainability of one's harmony of whole-and-part, if you like. Though I must say that the rising tide of 'political correctness' stifles this 'self'-development in youth to the point that they can be shocked and angered if you unload some taboo language or imagery in front of them, ... just by the utterance of the wrong word at the wrong time, even.
Our acculturation is teaching us to think in terms of things and words having 'innate' meaning, rather than seeing them as logical constructs which contribute to flow or thoughtflow that can be harmonious or dissonant. By this philosophy, a 'thing' such as a 'blackman' or a word such as 'nigger' can be tainted and taboo'd to the point where we can't even go back and inquire into what's going on. Witch-burning still goes on in our culture, it just goes on in more subtle ways, .... it seems as if the lightbulb came on and our culture figured out that wood was expensive, and starvation not only costs nothing, it saves us money and ultimately eliminates both the complaint and the complainant.
Chris: Emile, ... what you describe is definitely not the case in my circle of friends, ... there's very little tainting and everyone can say what they want without being shunned for it, ... the young people that I associate with don't judge you by your appearance and they don't judge your intent strictly by the words you use. That's one of our big complaints about going into the establishment, .... there's such tremendous pressure to conform to that judgemental way of thinking in the establishment. That's why I quit my job, even after they'd put me on the fast-track management training program, ... but you're damn about the 'starvation' solution. Emile, I want to make music and share music, ... both literally with my guitar, and in my pattern of living with others, ... and that's why I am back doing a simple job, where there's more scope for honesty, openness and harmony. And hey, ... I can see the Laing knot thing too, in that I am creating dissonance in my search for harmony, ... I can only hope that people will see that my ultimate aim is harmony, and that I believe that some of the rigid, established structure has to give way, in order to recover some of the harmony we're losing.
Emile: I understand what you're saying, ... and this refusal by a goodly segment of youth, to accept what's going on in our society gives me a lot of optimism, in that as long as this openness amongst youth remains a liberating one and not just an angry REACTION to an oppressive political correctness, .... not just a breeding ground for 'social reform BIGOTS', ... but an environment which continues to allow for natural evolution in our culture, ... then I see it as being full of promise for the harmonic recovery of our society.
Chris: When you say 'social reform bigots', I somehow get the sense you are anti-religious, just like many young people.
Emile: No, ... that's not the case. My thinking is inclusionary rather than exclusionary, so that one can never be anti-any THING, ... and the word 'thing' is key here. I can be opposed to certain behaviors, but when you think about it, ... every 'thing' is a mix of behaviors which evolve in the next moment, so if you key to behaviors rather than to things, ... it doesn't make any sense to be anti-things. So I am not anti-religious. I see religions as having the same problem as the culture as a whole, ... trying to deny evolution. You can read it in the Pope's current encyclical, 'Fides et Ratio', if you want. That's why Giordano Bruno, a former priest, was burned at the stake back in 1600, ... hmmm, I hadn't thought about that particular 'fin de siecle' synchronicity before, ... they seem to keep cropping up.
Chris: In what way was he a threat to 'keeping the secret' or as Laing puts it, 'not playing their game of not seeing one sees the game'?
Emile: Well, first let's try to understand the 'game'. One of the better descriptions I've seen of it was put out on the Internet by a priest, Larry Hein of Metairie, Louisiana and his 'angel-dog' 'Missy', ... you remember our conversation on that a while back? Larry's ... er, ... 'Larry and Missy's' model, ... and 'Missy' to him is just like 'Zeus' was to me in my 'Inside Story', have jointly evolved a very good 'view' of the game. The 'game' is described by Larry, in terms of which of three possible options one selects for the game's 'universal ordering principle', or 'God-model' if you prefer. We have the 'Chieftain model', ... the 'Progigal Son's Parent' model, or the 'Autistic Self-Education Model'. Like Larry, the latter model rings most bells with me.
In other words, we can see the 'divine' or the 'universal ordering principle' in the following ways; (a) in terms of an all-powerful 'Chieftain' who imposes and enforces rule structures, based on 'good' and 'evil' and who thus works on the basis of 'judgement', ... (b), as a non-judgemental loving and forgiving parent who would allow himself to be trampled over, consumed or even killed by his errant children, ... or (c), as an autistic teacher (like a close friend of Larry's), who was always being bitten and scratched by her autistic pupils, and rather than being judgemental with them, she was divinely serene yet firm; i.e. she still loved them through all of this, but neither did she just 'let them do it'. Instead, she thought of their unruly behavior as stemming from their incomplete view of things, a view which led to them to believing that certain things were 'true' which were not however consistent with what the other saw as 'truth'.
Of course, this principle can be generalized, and that was what Larry and Missy had jointly done, ... they had removed absolute 'good' and 'evil' and 'judgement' from being the 'ordering principle of the universe', aka 'God', and replaced the view in the Chieftain and Prodigal-Son-Parent model of God, which saw God and creation as being 'complete' i.e. fixed and absolute, ... with a new model of God wherein both God and 'creation' were in a continuing state of evolution. So now you had a God that never stopped learning, and thus as he kept learning, he kept the creativity of the world alive. So he was, in this sense, like the Heraclitus' Zeus, ... the innate wisdom or 'logos' at the core of evolution, ... the connective cosmic understanding in the spaces between all things which ensured overall harmony and unity in spite of outbreaks of dissonance.
So father Larry and his dog Missy, kind of came round, by another route, to the same way of thinking as me and Zeus, ... but rather than seeing Zeus as an angel, I see him simply as my cultivated faculty of intuitive reasoning. Not that that makes any difference, to me, but it makes a lot of difference to the people I speak with, and so it does for father Larry, ... it 'works better' for him to say 'angel' and it 'works better' for me to say 'intuitive reasoning', ... and besides, that's the cultural metaphor that I think of when I say Zeus, because of my 'reasoning', rather than 'religious' experiential background. If Larry started using my lingo, he would find himself in deep trouble with his bigger 'brothers', who currently endorse his model, as falling within a liberal interpretation of the bounds of doctrine, and because he is not often quoted on the front pages of the Times Picayune. You may want to visit his website soon, just in case there's a change in his local management.
But returning to the story of Bruno, he had been a priest too and like his later counterparts, including Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who Larry much admires, Thomas Merton and father Larry himself, he embraced an 'whole-and-part' evolutionary model of the universe, ... what's more, he had the ear of the western world, and the gift of the gab and all that, ... a veritable Celt in Christian clothing, if you like. So for Bruno, there were no real 'thing'-like separations, only logical distinctions, within the harmony and unity of dynamic nature. Bruno was quoted as saying; "The universe comprises all being in a totality; for nothing that exists is outside or beyond infinite being, as the latter has no outside or beyond." , and this view, of course, summarily dismissed such notions as 'God in heaven' and required that 'God' or the 'divine' or the 'ordering principle of the world' to be immanent in nature, as in the belief systems of Buddhists and aboriginals.
Because he refused to recant on this, Bruno was subjected to eight years of 'friendly persuasion' in the Vatican, and was finally burned at the stake in 1600, in the Campo dei Fiori near the Vatican. There was a long list of heresies which were cited, including; ... his belief in Copernican astronomy; ... his belief in the immanence of God in nature, ... his rejection of all fixed value systems and his advocation of the relativity of ethics, ... his belief that no object, relation, or event could be absolutely good or absolutely evil, and similarly that no thought or action could be absolutely right or absolutely wrong, ... his belief that there are no real separations (only logical distinctions) within the harmony and unity of dynamic nature, ... his claim that the universe was continuous and had no beginning and will have no end in either space or time, and also that that there is life (including intelligent beings) on countless other worlds.' So not only did Bruno embrace a model which was geometrically congruent with the autistic, evolutionary model of father Larry and his angel-dog Missy, but Bruno seemed to have originated the adage, '.. might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb'.
Chris: phwweewww ... that's quite a story, ... I've never heard of Giordano Bruno before, but what a guy! I suppose that once he got into those beliefs, they themselves liberated him from his 'fear mode' and gave him the strength to burn rather than recant, ... maybe that's how the Buddhist monks could come to immolate themselves in the Vietnam protests. ... So that brings me back to the question of today's taboos, and Laing's suggestion that the taboos are the cover-up, .... that people my age should be questioning them, .. no, should be encouraged to question them, and thus uncover any skeletons in the closet, ... and help each other get back on a more honest and open trajectory which leads out of this hunkered-down defensive structuring which seems to be getting worse and worse, if that's possible, as the end of the millenium approaches.
Emile: It makes sense to me, ... and it's not a question of 'reaction', ... of going against the ten commandments or committing incest, or absolutely eliminating the profit motive, ...it's about questioning these things, ... going back and re-understanding the principles behind them and not allowing our questioning to be stone-walled by the literality of the rule. This is the point that the aboriginals make about words and rules, .... the world is evolving and these structures must be continually interpreted in the light of the tacit understanding which gave them birth. Thought is much higher dimensional than rules or words, and any message we interpret from rules or words is innately ambiguous, ... subject to our own personal and unique experience which 'fills in the blanks', .. a reality which means that words and rules can never be unambiguous. So the acquired wisdom of our ancestors is tacit and not explicit, and to keep it alive and accessible involves some subtle tactics which go well beyond the writing of books and our subsequently backfilling of the fixed word structures with our more limited experience.
The schema of the aboriginals is the myth-centered 'oral tradition' wherein the tacit wisdom is encoded within the geometric structure of the story, rather than in the explicit content. This is one way of sustaining and delivering tacit understanding, ... as is also found in the writings of Heraclitus and Zen koans, the pronouncements of the Delphi Oracles etc. The meaning is kind of holographically imaged, like a story you enter into, ... and this happens, just as in holography, by understanding the 'phase relationships' between a multitude of experiential goings on, and then asking oneself, ... what is the coherent principle here, ... is there some coherent illuminator which will bring all of these 'relational interference patterns' into unified imagery?, ... and whammo, an image or insight emerges which it feels like you can walk right into, ... a new set of 'fish eyes' you can look out from as if you were just swallowed by a whale.
Chris: Do you think we could gain this kind of 'walk-in' insight by exploring any of our modern taboos, then? Even if we had the courage to 'explore' within a mixed crowd of establishment adults, would they not turn their backs on us?
Emile: Chris, you've heard what Goethe said; 'tell a wise man or stay silent, for fools will surely mock you', .... and our culture breeds much foolishness in this business of 'political correctness'. So that's one cautionary note, and also, ... when I say 'explore', I am thinking of this holographic imaging approach, and not necessarily 'exploring by doing'; ... that is, to look into all the geometric relationships involved and to see if they give you an insight you can walk right into, ... some new 'fish eyes'. Bruno and Kepler were doing this, as was Heraclitus, .. seeing 'the ordering principle of the world' in geometrical terms, and here I don't mean like high school or plane geometry, but rather patterns of symmetry, of differences between things which are similar and similarities between things that are different, and the dynamic between these, as in the interplay between shot-making and configuration-massaging in the game of pool, ... seeing the shots as emerging from the interference patterns, rather than vice versa.
Chris: Can we explore one of those taboos right now?
Emile: If you like, ... like I say, .. it is you who must know when to ask what size of question, ... to know how big a bite your 'self' is ready to digest, and like I say, you will already know the answer, it is just a case of digging it out. Exploring taboos is just like digging into archeological ruins, except, in this case we're talking about the archeology of the collective unconscious.
Chris: Well, one thing that's not even in Leonard Cohen's song, because it would probably be banned if it were, is this peculiar urge we have, .... which is smell and taste and touch and sight and, ... perhaps even sound related. You know like when you put your finger where you're not supposed to and it smells fishy but sooo good? I once saw a french film with Gerard Depardieu, about these errant youths who were running around the country, stealing and breaking all the rules, ... and they broke into this summer house by the beach, and when they were going through the drawers, .. so to speak, ... they found these panties and they smelled them, and from their facial expressions, it was clear that the perfume they were 'getting off on', did not come out of a glass bottle. And later they chanced to meet up with the teenage girl who was the owner of the panties, and she turned out to be as fed up with society as they were and wanted to run off with them. After they went off together, she wanted to give them the gift of her virginity.
This really interested me because it came across as if they were reaching out for new depths of honesty. So there was this one scene,... and these french films seem to get away with stuff which Hollywood's boxoffice brown-nosing would never allow, ... where the three of them were about to do this ritual taking of the maidenhead or whatever, ... and they were out on a grassy hill somewhere with the girl lying down in the nude, and the two of them were by her side, repetitively chanting and raising their hands up to the heavens and then bowing down until their noses almost touched her aroused pubes, inhaling deeply as they did, and this inhalation seeming to infuse them with a primitive and potent spirituality and respect for the act.
Emile: Yes, ... I've seen the film two or three times, and though the imagery is very pagan and would be shunned by many, ... there is, as you say, a strong feeling of love and respect in it, ... as if there's a rebirth going on, into a new story liberated from the bondage of beliefs in the absolutes of 'good' and 'evil', where 'judgement' is superceded by the higher dimensional notion of 'harmony' of whole and part, .. harmony between and amongst these youths who reject the values of the society which immerses them, .... harmony which is itself the beacon or 'attractor' which is pulling them through rebirth into a new, more harmonic and wholesome life-story.
Chris: So this powerful male desire to smell and taste and touch and look and even to dive up into the vagina, ... this so-common desire, ... why is it that we can't bring it out into the open and talk about it? Why couldn't Leonard Cohen write it into his lyrics like the french film producer did?
Emile: If you think about it, the vagina or the womb, is the ultimate symbol for creativity, so we're playing around with stuff here which is very close to the bone with respect to belief systems. But before we get into that, ... since you've shared with me, I'll share with you too, that when I was seventeen, I felt this powerful urge take over control of me too, ... and in this intoxication, I wasn't satisfied with the symbology of a snake making entry, ... I wanted to be as a salmon swimming upstream, breathing and swallowing nature's passion juice until the fluid that filled the spaces between my pores was one and the same fluid as I was immersed in.
Chris: I know exactly what you're saying, but what the hell does that mean? ... Where does it come from?
Emile: The night before last, I had a dream which initially seemed so weird that I puzzled over it for the whole day, until this morning I awoke with the answer. And it happens to be the answer, for me, to this question you're asking.
Chris: So is this synchronicity, or did you put the suggestion into my mind which led to my asking this question?
Chris: I get your point. You're saying since we're naturally 'connected' to our immersing environment in a kind of 'co-resonant' way, getting in touch with that 'connectivity' starts to look like 'synchronicity'.
Emile: Yes, .. you're starting to visualize things in this same self-referential geometry as in the models of Giordano Bruno and in the 'autistic self-educating collective' model of Larry and Missy.
Anyhow, to me, not only was this 'weird' dream I had important, but so was the inquisitiveness I was wrapping around it, ... almost as if the dream was the ovum, and my questions were sperm trying to get inside of the dream-ovum so that it would blossom up and out and overtop of itself, ... the same geometry I was looking for myself, that the dream thought might blossom up and out so as to engulf me within it, becoming inclusionary with my sphere of being so that I might look out with new eyes.
Ok, in case that sounds weird in itself, all I am doing here is applying new, spatial geometry (sphere-within-sphere) oriented words to the familiar process of creativity. Bob Galvin of Motorola speaks of searching for a new piece of data which changes your whole database, and T.S. Eliot speaks in terms of "arriving where we started and knowing the place for the first time", .. both of which are struggles to articulate in 'flatspace words' the self-referential geometry of curved space evolution, the reality model advocated by Giordana Bruno and quantum physicists such as David Bohm, Erich Jantsch, Fritjof Capra and others.
Chris: I see what you're saying, ... that I shouldn't be mesmerized by the words of your story, and interpret them in inappropriate acculturated terms as in mysticism or religion or whatever. I recall your citing Wittgenstein on this; .... "A picture held us captive and we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably."
Emile: You got it. If you are taught, through the language, to associate devils with certain behavioral patterns, and then you see aboriginals following such patterns, your own language-based projection has you see them as devil-savages, and your fear takes over. On the other hand, if you come from a yin/yang oriented culture, which perceives and inquires on the basis of the self-referential model, you would not confuse the 'nasty stuff' with the 'thing', if you get what I mean. You would see 'evil' in terms of a dissonant pattern which the 'thing' could perhaps be caught up in, but also get out of at any point, and that would probably lead you to an attempt to understand the overall flow-pattern, rather than throwing alot of babies out with the bath water. So it makes a big difference whether or not your basic perception and inquiry is in terms of 'things' and 'thing-behaviors' or in terms of 'relational flow' or interference patterns; i.e. the old 'wave' or 'particle' quantum viewing options, with the former being a more complete, 'walk-in' view which contains the latter 'voyeur view', and this completeness comes by virtue of its added 'phase properties'.
Ok, now with that in mind, I'm going to share with you my note to a psychologist friend, Francis, describing my dream and my inquiry into it. He knows me well enough to understand that I'm trying to share the experience with him via 'rich metaphor' because of its complex thought carrying ability, and that he should just look at the latent story which wants to be imaged by all of this, rather than getting lost in attributing particular metaphor with some kind of mystical or religious meaning. My whole purpose is to relate intuitive reasoning to rational reasoning, and both mysticism and religion, from where I sit, are exposed to floating you off into where you don't want to be.
After you read this note describing my dream, I'll tell you the solution I woke up with which ties back into your question, and also to a lot of other stuff.
Chris: Sounds pretty interesting, .. let's take a look-see. 
* * *
... That's was a weird story, full of mystery and kind of spooky, but it gives a very wholesome feeling too. What do you make of it?
Emile: Well, that's what I was going to tell you. I puzzled over this for the whole day, and then this morning I awoke with the answer, and strangely enough, the answer 'connects' with the fishy attractor we were just talking about, which silently pulls on all your senses, smell, taste, touch, and feel, brewing up a humongous passion which has you hoping you will be devoured and swallowed up within it. And as you move towards the attractor, the music cresendoes and has you dancing to it, and the more you dance to it, the more the music builds and, ...pretty soon you realize that while it's more than your face which is wet, you did not quite achieve the total immersion you were after.
So then this spheres within spheres thinking has me go back to Kepler's talking about the Sun and the planets and he spoke about the system in this same self-referential way, and as I said before, he alluded to the 'Sun' as being female, which departed from the traditional norm, at least of the Greeks. So the thought in my mind is, what is this special, purely intuitive view, as he called it, which the Sun sees by virtue of being at the center? And my friend Zeus says, ... perhaps if you are at the center of creativity, you are surrounded by your own womb. And suddenly my 'fish eyes' open up and I see myself coming up nose-to-nose with my lover and in my ecstatic state releasing my milt into the surrounding nature-fluid which contains the both of us, as she releases her roe, and we both bask in the love which joins us and the world which contains us.
So then my thought asks, ... how does this conflict with my rational thought? How do intuition and rationality come together harmoniously here? and i start thinking in more detail of what happens when two human lovers come together, ... rationality has us think in terms of fully independent, closed form things, with some appealing indentations in them to be sure, ... so when I am inside my love and give her my seed, it is just going into that indentation in her closed form, right? Keep your eye on her bounding surface now. But somehow, some of my seed seeps through the boundary of her closed form, as if two balloons, one filled with blue fluid and one with pink fluid have come and touched and some of the blue has seeped into the pink and some of the pink into the blue, and we have some sort of co-evolution going on here, ... and another little baby bubble may form which has a mix of both the pink and blue fluids.
Well, we know that we breathe through our pores and our body materials are being exchanged with the outside world all the time, so how do we actually describe the separation between a person and its environmental container? Clearly the rational idea of a totally independent 'thing' is not on, and the rational seems to be only an approximation. We seem to have a permeable 'thing-skin' which vents to 'space' and space is the common connector between us, right? But our rationality is exclusionary, and it cannot deal with things which are connected by space which flows through everything, a 'space which participates in physical phenomena' as Einstein said. What Einstein said, and what we see through our 'fish eyes' is not rational, in the sense of being understandable in terms of discrete and independent 'things'. Space seems to be more fundamental than 'things', and Parmenides, ... .. maybe the name on that fresh grave, ... no, ... Parmenides had insisted on the opposite, that 'things' was all she wrote. The primacy of space over matter fits with the aboriginal myth and explains their reverence for their natural 'container' which they are a part of, like strands in the overall web, ... like the dance to the dancers, and to the notion of 'mother earth' as well. The idea of the world we live within in being the womb which gives us life.
Chris: That is a huge idea, and one which boggles the mind, but I can see what you mean about it tying back to the fishy smell experience. It's just as if nature is 'imagination' and we are its children. Well, in one sense, that sounds straight forward enough and that's how we think of 'evolution', ... that we are the children of evolution, ... and it also agrees with the Taoist idea of space pulling things into existence. But 'rational' reasoning would have us think in terms of 'things' and 'void' and a 'linear time' which is independent of 'things', .... a totally 'disconnect!
Emile: Yes, once you start thinking in those 'euclidian' terms, you're bound to lose the reverence for the environment, and not only that, you lose sight of the sphere-within sphere inclusionary nature of evolution, which sees your ancestors as being inside of you, and your own youth as being inside of you, as a sphere which is contained within your sphere, because 'you' are in some way equivalent to the 'last word' in the memory of overall space-time, .... as Vygotsky said in the very final paragraph of his 'Thought and Language', "Consciousness is reflected in a word as the Sun in a drop of water. ... A word is a microcosm of human consciousness."
Chris: And Zeus or Missy might add, "Nature is reflected in man as the Sun in a drop of water. ... A man is a microcosm of evolutionary history, nature's consciousness."
Emile: Yes, ... a thought which should give us pause, before labelling either man or word as 'dirty' or 'unworthy'.
Chris: So dreams really are the 'stuff which things are made of'.....as the proverbs say, .... whewwwwww!!
Emile: It's not really that radical a thought if we handle it with our intuition, ... it's just that it is deflating for rationality, which the western european culture decided to put into the primacy, and usurp the female principle in her rightful role as the mother of creativity. Unfortunately, we are finding out that we can't 'engineer' creativity, and our engineered structures end up by holding back our natural evolution.
Chris: ... So this is the 'cover up' then, ... the usurping of the intuitive by the rational in our culture? This kind of makes hollow 'Chieftains' of us, ... sees us as creative machinery which is manufactured, manufactures other stuff for awhile, then dies a lonely and detached death. No wonder we are all so depressed.
Emile: There's a myth of the Plateau Indians in the Pacific Northwest, which captures this fight for primacy between the male or yang principle and the female or yin principle. David Wagoner puts it into poetic form in one of the poems in his book 'Who Shall be the Sun' . It says what we all know, that our today's dreams can bring on tomorrow's reality. In the myth, when all the animals in nature met to decide who should be the sun, ... they all tried to outdo each other in their explicit rationalist approaches, like warring Chieftains, making a right mess of everything, to the point that the people of nature were beginning to despair that they would have any sun, and finally, in the last two stanzas, it was snake, who figures out what was going wrong, and comes up with an answer; ....
. . .
...... The People said, 'We shall have no sun at all!'
But snake whispered; 'I have dreamed I was the sun.'
Raven, Hawk and Coyote mocked him by torchlight:
'You cannot scream or howl, you cannot run or fly!'
You cannot burn, dazzle or blacken the earth!
How can you be the sun?' 'By dreaming,' Snake whispered.
He then rose out of the rich night.
He coiled in a ball low in the sky.
Slowly he shed the Red Skin of Dawn,
The Skin of the Blue Noontime, the Skin of Gold,
And last the Skin of Darkness, and the People
Slept in their lodges, safe, till he coiled again.
* * *
some of the imagery i've been having in the past couple of days has been very powerful (in both sleeping and awake [day-dreaming] hours), so i am writing this note to get it down in words, and i thought that i'd copy you at the same time, as, who knows, ... it might make some sense to you re the other stuff i'm working on (in my essays etc.), ... or it might add to the 'database' in some way and contribute to future discussions we may have (i.e. which may transpire, or not).
so, ... no need to respond to this, or to retain the note (you're welcome to if it has any 'value' in your work).
i.e. my situation leading up to dream and recall of the dream, which lagged dream by 12 hours or so.
i was pregnant with a bigger than usual essay (this is my normal lingo, i haven't got into the 'dream' bit yet) and i finally got that one out several days ago, ... it was the 'dear science, prodigal son that you are ...' essay. and i later thought, ... so many things have come together for me in that essay (not that this can be 'felt' by anyone who might read it), ... and so maybe its time to write an 'interim summary report' since its coming up to my birthday (feb 28) and i've reached this kind of threshold of some type (i know that there's a threshold, but i have to go back and rework it to get the actual feel of it, .. so i don't normally bother, but just accept 'knowing' that a threshold has been hit).
so, i decide i will do a summary, ... and i start working on it and it just 'doesn't come', ... i keep getting stuck (it has to 'feel right' to me or i just don't do it), ...but the pressure of the pregnancy doesn't let up, so i have to keep on trying, ... and finally it starts to come in its own way (after i've tried several cul de sacs and deleted them) and i must have struggled with this for about three days in all, and it was very intense. i don't know what day it is hardly and i work long long hours (going to bed at 4:00 a.m and getting up at noon. the finally stretch is really tough because the ideas are really tough, and i'm drinking all the time too (wine and portugese brandy, but not excessive, but enough to have to 'drive through the fog' a bit, which i usually like to do, because it dissolves the 'sharp edges of the explicit' which distract, and let's me tune to underlying space-time geometry, .. and this makes my driving (i.e. writing) different and more in tune with my intuition). so anyhow i finish the 'inside story' essay about 1:30 a.m. today, february 28, my birthday (actually, it's february 27 today, and i've somehow screwed up the days, which is not unusual for me), and there's a certain sense of peace then, in having 'delivered' the essay, .. but still, there are some powerful images still flowing through me, ... like the notion in my essay of getting up to dance and the music coming from the dancing and wrapping around to make the dance richer and deeper, shades of 'Arcadia', the chaos theory play hatched by Tom Stoppard, ... and this may not sound like much, this co-evolution of music and dance thing, but i was feeling it very profoundly, and it would come back and it was very very pleasing and soothing, but very powerful.
well, no problem, with respect to what the nervous souls always think about, ... ted is going nuts, .. no, it's not like that, just like a peak experience or whatever you call it, but nowhere near as strong or as 'on the edge of chaos' as the one at the time of my wild motorcycle ride in dallas in august two years ago, and this one does not touch my basic appreciation of life, .. it only makes it stronger through my imagination/emotions.
so, my 'inside story' note says i've reached a kind of milestone, and that's what it feels like (... sometimes i have to sit back and say, ... now what did i write, and do i feel like that?) because when i'm writing, i'm 'into it' if you know what i mean and i won't write anything that doesn't feel 'right' at the time that i'm writing it, so anyways, it almost seems sometimes as if the person that's writing is a different person than is reviewing the writing, ... this is no big deal, cause i have no doubt about the overall harmony of the two, if you like, ... it's more like how you feel if you get drunk and make advances on a really good friend, but forget, and someone tells you about it later, and you say, ... 'god, .. did i really say that, or do that to her?'
anyhow, i did feel like i'd reached a milestone and went out for a long walk today (it was a beautiful sunny day, but right on freezing, or a bit below). so i walked for about four hours, up and around mount royal from the back (i'd never been up the north side before), ... so anyhow, it's all snow and beautiful, and i go up the less travelled path, ... there's nobody there, and on the trail (just beaten down snow), is a spot of blood every four feet or so, ... and it's a fairly generous spot, and i'm thinking, ... whoever or whatever dripped this blood here, must have lost a fair bit, ... but i watch the spots and they're so regularly spaced that it has to be from the bleeding paw of a dog.
ok well when i get to the top of the trail, it dead-ends on me, and i don't see the blood trail anymore, but it had gone on for a long, long way, perhaps a mile, or a pint's worth.
now i live just at the base of the south flank of mont royal, right under the big cross, and i'm climbing up the much more desolate or quiet and unimproved, north flank, and there's no way i'm going to descend back down now that i'm at this elevation, and still have to walk all around the 'mountain' (big hill) to get home. i notice that the trail stops because it hits a cemetery and there's a big galvanized steel fence there, but i'm not going back so i pick my way up and around through the trees and around the cemetery, but pretty soon i find myself IN the cemetery and its sundown and there's not a soul there (the roadway gates, as i found out later, are locked), so i continue on in kind of a daze, ... i have been walking for so long and didn't eat anything all day (6:00 p.m or so by now), ...so just prior to finding myself in the cemetery, i'm walking along this small snow-covered trail, through the bush (snow covered terrain), feeling like i'm on gunther grasse's magic mountain, and suddenly there's a big bunch of fresh dirt covering the trail in front of me, and i look up to its source and its from a newly dug grave up over a kind of bank which is the edge of the cemetary, ... and there's all these powerful thoughts in me anyhow, and i ask myself, ... 'why is this put in front of my path?', ... perhaps i should go take a look and see who's on the gravestone, ... perhaps its me (you know,... not serious but kind of like active imagination and the way we like to spook ourselves), ... but i deny this thought but by the time i am some yards down the trail, ... i think, yes, all the symbolism and everything suggests there may be meaning in that grave, and i should go back, ... and i go back, but then i see that it's rather difficult to get up the bank, and then think, .. well, i wouldn't have seen it as being difficult if it was in my karma to go up there, ... so i continue on up the trail again, .. but the damn trail leads right up into the cemetary a hundred yards farther, and so, it think, well now i'm here, it seems right to walk back and look at the new grave, ... and i do, but it's all in greek (greek letters) because i'm in the greek section of the cemetary, .. and i read the greek phonetically and it says something like, .. i've forgotten now, but a woman's name beginning with 'm', an unusual sounding name like 'miladora' and i can't remember the last name, ... but she was born in 1921 and died in 1999.
anyhow, this damn cemetary is humongous, and there is not one soul in it, and it's starting to get dark and i can see that 'mont royal's north peak, that i'm now on, is distinct from the south peak and that I have to go down into the valley between the two, ... through this humongous cemetery, and then climb up the south peak to get to the territory 'i know'. so i do this, and it's freezing and the road is all ice from the sunmelted snow which has refrozen, and it is kind of weird, because i never visit cemetaries usually (maybe in new orleans) and at first its uncomfortable, but i'm thinking all these powerful thoughts anyhow, and everything seems so symbolically rich in meaning, .. and i kind of honk out something because of all my energy and it comes out 'hudwah' (tomorrow in arabic) and i think, i wonder what that means, .. and so on. eventually though, i am feeling pretty good about looking at all these gravestones, ... after having been through all the ethnic groups, the big military cemetery with 'private' so and so etc., .. and i am beginning to feel the cheeriness of the people before they died; i.e. to think of them, as i read the headstones, (which i can hardly help doing though i am walking on the narrow road/trails, the headstones are facing me.) as being interesting characters, seductresses, jokesters, nice guys and overall it's a pretty good feeling, and i don't feel like its such a bad place, this cemetary, .. the memorial aspects are good instead of depressing.
anyhow, i eventually get back on familiar territory on the south peak and i have an fruitopia passion juice (from a vending macine) in the chateau where there's a spectacular view overlooking montreal, and my powerful thoughts are quieting down (like i mused for a bit about a tsunamie submerging montreal and only leaving the peak of the mountain (which i was on of course) safe and dry.
... ok, .. i'm just getting to my dream,
and as i walk down the hill (the moon is close to full, and it is very beautiful, the snow-covered ground and with some brown patches here and there of exposed earth as you look up the steep slopes of the mount (as i was going down). and suddenly i remember my dream and it has this very amorous feeling in it, and i feel love flow through me which is a full dimensional love (including sexual desire but fully balanced) and the dream is that i met the most wonderful person at this dance in this hall and everyone seemed to know i was meant for her and she for me, and the old fat woman who had brought her there had probably brought her to deliver the girl to me so that she didn't have to take care of her anymore, ... not that she was a bad lady, but there was no reserve there about her leaving the girl with me, ... when i looked down at the girl, ... a golden-straw blonde in her early twenties, ... i was immediately taken with her and felt in love with her, .. and she was talking to me already as if i was 'her man', not overtly, but i could tell, if you know what i mean, ... and it was nice, ... she was very bright, cheery and confident, and i liked her a lot.
now there was one thing about her, which didn't effect my feelings or engagement with her as just described, ... she was only a head sitting on the oak floor of the gymnasium dance floor, .. a very real head and a living head just like on any normal person, to be sure but stopping at the neck but standing stable and upright anyhow, and she showing no inconvenience or discomfort with it, nor did i even think about it, except to note it. nearby there was a small cardboard box that the woman had brought her in.
i was in love, and felt really lucky to meet up with her, and that she was 'available' and seemed to like me as well as i liked her. she said something and i bent over and saw that her nose was runny and she asked me if i could bring her a kleenex tissue. i said of course and set out to get one, (when i had noticed her runny nose, her nose still looked attractive, and it made me feel good that it was runny, as if it were a lucky opportunity for me to take care of her, and so it was in a happy mood i went off in search of a kleenex, ... but there were a lot of people in the hall, dancing and talking and carrying on, and as i made my way through, i began to get worried that someone might accidentally kick her over or into the crowd etc. as the woman who brought her did not seem very attentive, and her cardboard box, that she had been brought in had been shuffled off some distance, jostled by the crowd.
i headed back without having found a kleenex to take care of her, but could not recall any more of the dream than that.
anyhow, as i am walking down the moonlit, snow-covered mountain thinking about this dream, i realize that i have a very physical love for her as well, and it occurs to me that she has no body, ... so how does this work, how could i feel this physical as well as spiritual love for her, ... and the stupid thought comes up, ... well she has a mouth, and i know she would want to please me in whatever way she could and i her, ... but that doesn't ring right because i never thought about the body or sex act thing until my post-recall rationality noticed that this sexual desire for her didn't seem to make sense, without her having a body ... and then i also thought (because i had been thinking in terms of people in wheelchairs who look like just a torso, but you don't 'see that', you just 'see' the human being), ... she clearly had no torso or organs, therefore it's not possible for her to exist.
what i am saying is that in my dream, i never questioned that she could exist just as a head, and even in my recall, it just didn't come to mind that this is an impossible situation because the 'wholeness' of her love kind of overpowered any normal 'voyeur critique', ... the point being that her persona was so strong and believable and lovable, that my mind had never 'moved on' to questions of existence. kind of like if you saw a hologram of a person in a crystal ball, and it spoke to you and had an attractive personality, you would speak back to it right, ... thinking, that it was some high-tech electronics, and that it was a real person you were talking to, probably sitting back in the hologram recording studio, perhaps viewing you and your response through a video monitor.
tonight, still, when i recall this woman-head in the dream, i am filled with love for her, and if heads could live on their own, i feel like i could live and love with this woman, and never even stop to consider the practicalities, ... that's how strongly i engage with the impression of the woman.
i think part of that strong connection comes from her spirited and cheery way which does not acknowledge at all her predicament, and even though she couldn't wipe her nose, ... a very embarassing thing for a young woman normally, ... she was totally unperturbed and asked me very nicely, but not at all ashamedly, for help, and i would have been happy to have kissed her nose dry as one animal grooming another, ... if it had have been in private (where she would not be embarassed).
.... meanwhile, beyond dream recall, i am meeting with some interesting people here, ... what i was feeling today was a kind of rise in 'romanticism' or 'tuning in' to mystery, ... like the earth being prone to massive floods or earthquakes or meteor collisions, ... not premonition-like thoughts, which come out of linearity, ... but more like a rising awareness of what the earth has been through and will continue to go through over its geologic life, ... like tapping into space-time as a continuum.
but the young female imagery remains strong, ... i feel a lot of love everytime the image re-emerges, ... the fact that she's only got a head, doesn't seem to matter at all. its really kind of nice.
... so that's my dream, ... and it leaves me with a very nice feeling and a very amorous feeling as if i want to embrace and kiss her, ... and as if she's so close that i can do this, .. that its possible, as if i just have to lean over and we can kiss wonderfully.
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 David Wagoner, 'Who Shall be the Sun?', Indiana University Press, 1978.
Wagoner notes in his brief 'Author's Note':
Despite some of their less admirable characteristics historically --- the glorification of warfare, the taking of slaves, the rigidity of some of their social structures, which are all too familiar as 'human' failings among white men --- the American Indians maintained at least one spiritual trait (essentially animistic) that I find particularly admirable and worthy of imitation, one that makes the frequently mocked eighteenth century phrase 'Noble Savage' worth thoughtful reexamination; they did not place themselves above their organic and inorganic companions on earth but recognized with awe that they shared the planet as equals with animals, fish, birds, trees, rivers, bushes, stones, and such phenomena as weather and natural disasters. This attitude made them more alert, humbler, and I suspect, wiser than those whom the more northerly coastal tribes called 'The Iron People' and the more southerly people called 'The Moving People,' two names that still fit white men uncomfortably well.