First the dream, then the analysis and some details…
I dreamed I was living in some community a few miles east of a river which my mind associated with the Potomac.
I discovered a new “technology” or technique of flying… somehow, there was a way I could hold onto a small child’s balloon, and use it to rise up into the air, to some degree. Initially, I had several interesting experiences with it, moving west in the direction of the river. Then I encountered a very large building in my way, and learned some tricks about how to actually use tis technology… not just riding over the building, but through, noticing the people living there, and out a big opening to the western side. Then I could see grassy, meadowy patches of land below me, between me and the river, and initially I was planning to go to the river, and come back.
But as I approached the river, I noticed a kind of big bus stop or metro station (or both) which I used to use a lot, when I lived north instead of east. I also remembered a DARPA complex which was basically part of this transportation hub, which I used to have dealings with. I decided it would be good and patriotic to show them this new technology, to prove it was real and maybe get them interested. So I flew ahead down to where they were – mainly in two long brick buildings just a few stories high, with no barriers I could see between them and the bus station area. Not a restricted area, so far as I could see. I was curious how they would respond to see someone (obviously harmless) just floating in the air nearby.
The first episode was positive. One guy (a bright program officer) did notice, and his curiosity was aroused. He said something to himself about how maybe he should check into this, and get something going in his program. But I kept going. Along the long south side of the second brick building (away form the bus stop side), I saw a big full-room window on the second or third floor, where the window, though slightly smoky, was clear enough to show a meeting with several people – several people to witness the new technology, enough that they wouldn’t just assume it was one person’s momentary illusion. So I floated up calmly near the window, and they did turn to look – but they looked very uptight and worried. And then… next step… poof. I was out of the dream.
So what in the world could this mean, and why would I bother to write it down?
Actually, I had been thinking this morning of exploring certain new “next topics” in physics, within the scope of the four-level plan I posted here recently. And maybe I still will. But after my paper on the internet of things, after the really bad map of political consequences I have been aware of since July 14… should I? Would the very REAL technology I could be working on right now be acceptable activities for me at all? Earth versus galaxy. I decided just now that I WILL get on to the new technology, but in illegible handwriting only partially written down… and give this writeup more priority today.
One area which hard core Freudians and hardcore Rosicrucians agree on is that dreams should not be ignored – and that if one can, one should even maintain a dream diary near bed to try to write them up immediately and elicit memory as one writes. Things which may seem meaningless and then forgotten may equally well turn out to have important meaning as one looks closely. Somehow I am also reminded of LaBerge from the Stanford sleep research center, whose transcripts and records are well worth looking at twice.
This one has an obvious surface interpretation. I have in fact written about a number of new possibilities for technology, knowing full well that they are “visible” to some important players. Should I stop that kind of thing, because key people may feel more threatened than interested? To some degree, probably yes. I have often underestimated how much people get upset and even actively in opposition for so many things which seemed ever so gentle and harmless to me.
The message seems to be: if people don’t want to hear anything new, don’t give it to them.
But there is more to be said.
There is a very tricky line between what is a dream and what is an out of body experience. In fact, in my view, it is more like a continuum (with additional dimensions of category relevant) rather than a binary situation where all experiences fit into one category or the other. The question is: what is the DEGREE to which the images you see come form your personal brain subconscious, versus the degree to which they come from outside? Even with the most mundane of dreams, I have heard that people will heard an alarm clock, and incorporate it into their dream as a nasty rock band trying to force its attention on you. It is possible, for example, that the river in the dream was some other river, in the inputs I received form elsewhere, and that my mind reconstructed the idea of the Potomac (a very gentle association in this case) in much the same way as people reconstruct an alarm clock as a rock band, filling in the image, via the well-known mechanisms of associative memory.
But: was there anything from the outside here, or was it just a normal dream dream? Usually I can tell which it is – and lately, especially when it’s near wake-up time, it usually ISN’T just a dream dream for me. But this time… I don’t feel like bothering to analyze the probabilities of which it might be. It is an instructive example in a way, just because it IS so much closer to what normal people experience.
There was a time, from fall of 1972 to about Christmas 1978, when I was EXTREMELY active in personal experimentation, to try to get more data on what could possibly be going on with the strange stuff people call psychic or spiritual experiences. (I have written about that in lots of places; see my earlier posting on wishes for Alex and Kallie for a few citations, and there is a new one in press in Cosmology they told me yesterday.)
At that time, I was very intrigued by the literature on out of body experience (OOBE). That was less well validated than other things in the regular parapsychology literature, which I drilled through very quickly in the fall of 1972 when I had access to the Harvard library of medicine nearby. (It didn’t take all that long. I spent much more time there slogging through things like a many-volume book on comparative functional neuroanatomy… for example.) For example, I read through the stuff by Munro and Fox and others. It seemed to me that if I could manage to do something like THAT, it would provide a whole lot more data on how such things really work.
I didn’t really manage it until I returned to Harvard proper, to the nice co-educational graduate dorm I spent two years in. It was quite an experience. It was discrete enough at times. And I did learn a few things.
But part of what I learned was how much it is a matter of degree … and how easily people can get frozen forever through rigid thought and overreliance on expectations, and insufficient attention to what is coming from inside themselves. But I had less problems with such things than most people do, for a variety of reasons. Also, I think it really helped that Harvard or Boston had a nice new age radio station at that time, which I would turn on every night.
On the whole, I would say that of things I read on OOBE… the one most resonant with my own experience was the science fiction trilogy, the trilogy of Oversoul Seven, by Jane Roberts. It seemed to be true, as she said, that LOTS of people have OOBE experience, without really knowing it, floating through “the astral plane” in a kind of semiconscious daze with being aware of where they were, and without much memory later. As Gurdjieff might have said, the challenge was NOT to achieve things like OOBE, but to develop the level of consciousness and awareness to able to do something with it (and with yourself). I also noted how Fox’s accounts (more credible to me than Munro’s in some ways) do include bits of “the mind filling in,” requiring vigilance in discerning which element of the experience is which.
People who claim to have had a lot of OOBE tend to day that there are “levels and “levels” or even “planes” one can visit. I have had experience tracking ordinary mundane life VERY closely – enough to see that wandering down route one n Maryland in the dark at night doesn’t present a whole lot of excitement and new information after one or two shots at it. And the “inner self” is very much driven by issues of what it finds interesting, such that it takes a lot more than ordinary discipline to do that even a couple of times.
Such people often talk about “near earth astral” levels, which map reasonably well to ordinary geography and even laws of physics, but with major slight changes. Dreams of flight are a very classic example of things which are often near-earth astral experiences. So many people have so many dreams of flight that it is a major subtopic in lots of psychology (though I couldn’t give a scholarly review of them all right now).
In my own previous dreams of flight, it has usually NOT been like the one last night. Usually… the dynamics have been a lot closer to what a lot of Chinese folks might expect. The key was to pull in an influx of some kind of qi or energy, lightening the (astral) body, so that it can float up… and sometime s it is very easy, and sometimes it is a struggle requiring effort. Tales of people flying with qi are rampant in southern China, and reflected in modern movies like flying dragon, crouching tiger (or did I get that backwards?). This one, a kind of children’s image, was the first I have had of THAT kind, hinting at a lesser probability of it being near-earth astral (whatever else it might or might not be, and whatever else the other data suggest).
Actually, I should immediately note that I do not believe there is such a physical thing as an astral plane or an astral body. Exactly as LaBerge says in his books, I agree that that is “just a Construct of Mind” – Mind with a capital M, as in the Upanishads, which I think he cites. (That or something more or less equivalent.) Our brains construct images and memories and prototypes and ideas and possibilities to help it organize itself – and so too does the Noosphere. Issues like the maintenance of sparsity and “garbage collection’ are important n the ordinary computational intelligence of building and understanding things like mouse brains; they very much apply at this level to.
By the way, it is interesting how so many of the most pious and rigid of religious fanatics are among the very closest likely targets of the garbage collection systems, for full spiritual dissolution. That’s what happens to spiritual couch potatoes, who sit on the couch screaming support for Their Team even as their own eyes remain blind and they rot away inside. I take the final “poof” of this dream as one piece of evidence more in favor of “near earth” astral aspects... due to the usual sparsity mechanisms; something like privacy applies even at these levels.
All for now.