One day is not enough
to see all there is to see
in one day’s worth of me.

How could I ever be so bold
to think that one day should be told
when it is only one day old?

A diary is a private place
where one can a single day face,
one’s every moment to trace.

A woman’s ear might suit me well
the secrets of twenty-four hours to tell
wants and misgivings aplenty to quell.

But twelve hours of mirth
or of struggle in dearth
cannot public words be worth.

Like any substance that directly alters your brain chemistry, caffeine is a drug, and as such, it has the same essential drawback; namely, it favors some brains states over others, and is addictive. Thus, the chronic caffeine user has a limited set of mental states available to him, a set defined by the drug. In this way, the drug limits our will.

In some instances, this limitation of will is useful. The chronically depressed person, for example, is caught in a self-sustaining, undesirable state – feeling depressed is demotivating, thus the person does not do the things which might take them out of the depressed state. The necessary solution would be to make recognizing the depressed state and becoming motivated to change it easier, thus requiring less raw motivation. By artificially placing the person in a more energetic, positive state through the use of a drug, we create the opportunity for the person to create anchors to those experiences. So, when they reenter the depressed stat, as when they are removed from or become accustomed to the drug, they can access those states more easily. (See Anchors.)

It is an evil of our current methodology that depression is viewed as “physical,” which is taken to be different than (and mutually exclusive with) “psychological,” or “willful.” In fact, this failure of understanding is pervasive in the public mind, and, seemingly, in the scientific community as well. That which is psychological is physical, period. To access a motivated state through anchoring accomplishes (if successful) the same physical result as is intended with administering a drug. The difference is that anchoring empowers the subject – he may choose to enter that state, or not. The drug takes away the choice. With a chronic depressive, temporarily removing that choice is good – the subject either does not know how to choose otherwise, or lacks the motivation to make the choice. Give him no choice, and you provide him with the opportunity to learn about other states. Permanently removing the option, however, seems an inferior solution.

It is possible for a dream to drive you insane. To see that this is true, you must understand three things.

  1. Your emotions are not under your direct control. You may be able to redirect your emotions, make it so that you will not feel in a few moments what you feel now, but your present emotions are absolute and immutable; further, emotions form a continuum – they cannot go directly to zero from a quantity that is not zero. They must travel.

  2. What is “real” and what is “not real” – these terms refer to emotions, not thoughts. Despite all our philosophical pretensions, believing that something is real means nothing unless you also feel that it is real. If you have a paralyzing fear that the bogey man will grab you if you get out of your bed, then you cannot get out of your bed, no matter how well your mind is convinced that there is no such thing as the bogey man. This every parent knows. Their child is not stupid, their child is merely afraid. Though the child can acknowledge verbally that the bogey man doesn’t exist – and mean it – they cannot get out of bed, and they become even more upset because they cannot explain to their parents why they cannot get out of bed. Because no one ever explained to them that people do not control their emotions.

    Emotions define reality for everyone, not just children. How many adults protect themselves against dangers they themselves agree have a microscopic probability of ever occurring? How many adults cannot fly? How many make sure to lock their doors while driving, to protect against the astronomically improbable car-jacking, while talking on their cellphone? More profoundly, how many cannot voice objections to Church doctrine out of fear that the Devil will take them because of it, even when those objections would negate that very belief? Though we can influence our future feelings through our present thoughts, it is nonetheless true that what feel, and not what we think, defines our reality.

  3. We do not choose or control the emotions we feel in a dream. Some people claim they can control their dreams, and I have no doubt that this is to some extent true, but do they not still experience the unbidden dream, the phantom with its own will?

So, it is indeed possible that not only our sleep but our very reality could be corrupted by a dream. What if, suddenly and through no choice of your own, you felt, embedded in your psyche, an irreproachable fear of logic – a terror at the first hint of reasoning. How would you contrive to undo this? Or, what if something were so frightening, that even the thought of confronting that fear was itself prohibitively fearful? You would stop thinking about it. Talk about “overcoming” fear all you like; we do this only by finding a new way to perceive the thing that scares us.

The scariest dream I ever had – the scariest thing that has ever happened to me – happened when I was 16. I was obviously no longer a child, and well understood the difference between dreams and reality. And it had been a very long time since I’d had a nightmare. Nevertheless, the next night I would have done almost anything not to sleep – to never sleep again, in fact. I spent much of the day trying to think of a way not to sleep until I could forget the dream I’d had. And this was after several waking hours. The moment I awoke, I wanted only to escape, wanted it like I have wanted nothing in my entire life, but knew that I could not go anywhere that I would be safe. The dream would be wherever I was, without exception. I wanted to dash from my bed, and I wanted to stay in my bed, both with untold urgency.

In the dream was a being, and that being was the thing that I feared. It was enormous – in my one cloudy memory of its image, it spanned countless city blocks. It was all black, metallic but also alive. (It’s strange, I’m afraid even now. I am on the verge of tears.) It had a bulbous body protruding several stories from the ground, and one grotesque, smooth tapering appendage; it was the appendage that reached across the city, though I did not see it move. I do not remember what the thing was supposed to be, nor in what way it was a threat, but I remember it could communicate to me in my thoughts. I heard its voice, a composed, direct voice, and that voice was a force of pure, unlimited terror. What was it? What could it represent? These questions cannot be answered, because dreams do not fit into the clockwork logic we use to organize reality. And that is precisely where the power dreams come from. It is why, in the final count, your dreams are more powerful than you. If there is a devil, then it would only make sense that he take a different form for each person. And I know exactly what mine looks like.

Today, a quote from the Found Book of Truths:

Pride is the poison of our present society. Think you of the power one can gain by a show of submission. Allow the enemy to indulge his pride, and you shift his focus onto his own reflection, and away from the reality of his circumstances. What then might you accomplish?

Concerning this passage, the Considerative Commentaries has this to say:

Our movements for what is called “equality” – what have they gained? Where was their focus? Pride, of course. Through the ages, women have maintained control over the course of human societies through their authority over the creation and upbringing of children. How have they done this? By a simple superficial acquiescence; yet, look how quickly that power has been surrendered. Not men, but politics and institutions control our lives – the individual has lost all control. How has this occurred? By the deemphasis of individual empowerment.

I think we could also gain something by considering the following, from elsewhere in the Commentaries:

Consider that reason is the single greatest servant of individual empowerment. An individual who obtains both reason and a belief that he can learn needs for no knowledge; all necessary information will be his, as easily as a whale consumes plankton. In all attempts to educate, train, or instruct, make this the center of your efforts, and remember: reason is not achieved through knowledge, but always the other way around.

I want to write; I have ever since I was young. But, though ideas may have filled my mind until it would burst, action cannot be taken without motivation, and I could never find mine. I have spent countless breathes stating that I should write, but words are all speed and no momentum. Time goes by just as quickly when you don’t use it. Thirty is looming, and I have do something now or I’m going to be old – you might say thirty is pushing me. So, how to motivate myself? Like Richard Feynman, I believe the best way to solve a problem is to try something, and if that doesn’t work, try something else; but I haven’t been living up to it, even though I know, as an empirical fact, that if I continue to try, I will succeed, whatever it is I am trying. I wish I could try by force, or trying just for the sake of trying, but it’s just not me. Experimentation and discovery, though, are right down my alley, especially when I imagine my life as a wild experiment, and view myself as the subject. All of the sudden, everything I try has a purpose, and what’s more, I get to spite the conventional wisdom that says the subjective is separate from the scientific. So, I present to you:

Experiment 0: The Metaexperiment
Treat writing as an experimental science.

That is what this website has now become – my life as an experiment, a complete work of art as an act of subjective scientific investigation. And the first experiment in writing has already begun. With the help of my friend and dead-buddy Pat:

Experiment 1: Call and Response
One of us creates something, then the other creates something. Back and forth, each item in some way a response to what preceded it, creating one whole collective work. No communication is allowed outside the work – every response, including observations or mundane minutiae, must be included in the work itself. In keeping with the theme of this site, even play must be part of the work.

I have created a category for all things related to this experiment, and there is a link to it in the header of this page. We are using comments, it seems, as supplementary material to the blog entries, so please include them in your internal representation of “Experiment #1.” Thank you for reading. Pat?

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