|Subject: Lucid Dreaming
Date: 21 Sept, 2002
I woke up last night in a warehouse in Pioneer Square. I knew something was wrong when the wall suddenly closed in on me. I apparently passed out behind a stage set, and the play was now going into rehersal. I pushed back the wall and stepped out. Beth was sitting in the front row. She was somehow affiliated with the production, but wasn't in it, so we stepped outside. I unlocked my bike from a street vendor's pushcart (third world style) and went back to talking to beth. My U-Lock was in my hand. I suddenly realized that I was unlocking my old bike, which was stolen. I thought about that paradox for a while and looked back. It wasn't my bike at all. I wondered how my key had opened the lock. So I looked in front of me and there was my new bike in all its black matte splendour. So my key worked on someone else's bike. I was concerned about U-Lock's security if the same key worked on different locks, but I let it go.
I was in a room some time later under circumstances I can't quite recall. But I remembered the bike incident. I looked up. I saw a lightswitch and remembered the old saying. I flipped the switch and sure enough the light came on. But it was a spot light and the room it illuminated was different than the room before I turned on the light. Suddenly I was awake in my dream knowing it was a dream, but with the advantage now that I had become convinced that I could control that reality. And I think like every male I followed the most immediate and obvious impulse. I managed to conjure up a series of women, all beautiful, but I couldn't make it from head to toe and back again without her changing. It was very hard to keep any situation solid enough for a concrete impression, sensation.
The Buddha broke down the psyche like this. There are six sense bases. Please pardon and correct my terminology if you can. I'm ad-libbing this. There is the eye the ear the nose the tougue the skin and the brain. These are the organs. In the TCP/IP model this is the physical layer, wires and plugs and such. The buddha then breaks down each of the six senses as follows (and I'll probably get the wrong so, again, correct me) There is the eye, then follows vision. Eye beget vision. Vision begets eye contact, eye contact begets eye consciousness, eye conciousness begets the klesa's, or the afflictive emotions inherent in a being still bound to the delusion of self-identity. If you eliminate the wrong view that the self exists, then you eliminate the need for suffering. If you eliminate self you eliminate the birth and death old age, sickness, etc. And so, the enlightened master renounces the pleasure of the senses and consequently the suffering through the senses. One systematically remains detached from the eye, the eye does not belong to you. Vision is not yours either. Eye contact is not yours either if the object of sight is a festering corpse or a beautiful woman. Neither of these objects of vision are yours. You are not the assimilator of consiousness of the obect, feeling neither revulsion at the corpse or nor lust for the beautiful woman.
So with that in mind, lucid dreaming is a delicious experience. Impermanence is key to understanding dreams. For dreams are the domain of the mind. The mind calls all the shots and you can really understand yourself through the dreams you dream. And if within the dream you can only think of getting laid, well, there you go.
I should explain further. I was hanging out with a Guy named Zach from Iowa whose been in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand for the last five months. He left yesterday evening for Korea to attend his younger brother's marriage to a girl he met there only six months ago. You do the math. Anyway, Zach had brought him to korea under the teaching english scheme. That's where you get some bullshit certification that says I know my ABC's and they turn you loose on asian kindergardeners, or senior executives. This is a very lucrative proposition for anyone who wants to get out and stay out. There's a fair share of us in Thailand, but everyone is only on Kao San road in passing. Most of us barely can stumble to the bottom of the stairs in in the morning for the 40's of Thai Beer or Chang, and then manage to stumble back up the stairs to sleep... Well, Zach at least was in that school. He was a bad influence on the the last two nights, and his ten oclock departure last night was to blame for my crazy dream last night. I passed out around 11 I would assume, dehydrated and stained with a hastily eaten Falafel and hummous from a street vendor. I was wearing white traditional Thai style pants I had picked up earlier in the day, of course.
I had also traded rooms with Zach since he was leaving. In exchange for letting him keep his bag in what would then be my room. This room's greatest amenity is also its greatest curse. It has a balcony on the third floor overlooking Kao San road. This is nice for bird watching, but takes its toll at 4:30 am when one comes out of drunken slumber to the pumping techno of black market CD vendors. Eminem has taken over the world aparently. So I decided I wasn't quite competent to walk down to the seven eleven and buy a bottle of water... (Did I mention there are 7-11's EVERYWHERE... which is another mindfuck in itself... not by their ubiquity but rather that there's not a twinkie to be had in any of them). what was I saying... oh yah, so I go back to sleep and thats when the lucid dreaming begins. And as it ends, no, I never managed to get laid. I did run off with an Indian bride on her western style wedding day but the hotel became a labrynth of service entrances to loading docks to banquet halls. And when I did manage to get her alone, she kept becoming different people, which is disconcerting. I woke up after about two hours of this exhausted. There had been this beeping noise (which was probably the cause of the loading dock scenes) coming from somewhere, eventually it all levelled out and I realized that one of my neighbor's alarm had been going off for some time. It showed no sign of stopping, and by 7am the street vendor's techno overpowers the slightly more sedate 24 hour guesthouse cafe music, and mixes with the unmuffled rickshaw's whine as they race down the soon to be packed streets. I can't say at this point whether the alarm was turned off or not. I went back to sleep.
So today is just another day in Thailand. I went to the National Museum today and saw wonderous things. Went to the National Art Gallery and nearly called out the curator to have him or her shot. Blue flourescent lights in a gallery. fortunately there wasn't much to worth seeing. But in the back wing the last pieces one comes to (well, I do everything backward so I saw these first) were a mix of comically BAD and exceptional. There are three or four notable Thai contemporary artists. This one piece was columns of perforated steel that was pulling part, opening up gaping jaws of rebar teeth and either belching or consuming cogged shafts of steel. There were four of them, obviously studies on a central theme. There was a couple of mandala pieces that showed deep understanding of color theory, and by and large I notice the Thai art scene is not so bashful about combining magentas oranges and yellows...
this has gone on too long. Nothing's happened yet. All I've done so far is walk in circles and get drunk. Oh well, I'm on holiday from my life... or am I off holiday and back at the office. Its hard to tell. In a couple of days I'll try to find my way to Chang Rai. They have animist tribal villiage tours that seem like the thing to do. And elephant rides I guess. But whatever. Start at the top and work my way down seems to be the plan. So more on that later...