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Four Perceptual Screens
Dreamed 2018/1/24 by Wayan
I'm reading a strange book by Caroline Myss, Invisible Acts of Power. She's a mystic who has six senses. I believe her--it's not all that rare, really--the skeptics are just wrong about that. I have six or seven myself. But Myss assumes perceptual gifts imply her chosen calling, too--what personally fulfills her--giving, helping, service, love, selflessness. As if peering an inch beyond the material world means you must minister to a flock. Of sheep. Hope you like sheep.
She gets me mad. If you like doing charity, well, great. But urging everyone to drop their own goals and just serve? I got tired of therapists telling me "Art's an escape from intimacy, we're all human, people need people." Riiight. All. No introverts who get tired of people and need to recharge alone; no sociopaths who just want money, status, or power; no lovers who long to be alone with their beloved; no artists, scientists or inventors who need free time for visionary projects; no. Love and giving's all 'we' really want. At least it's what the cafeteria's serving--plop on your plate.
I didn't realize even a mystic could fall in the projection trap, assume we all want exactly what she wants.
Wow, Myss sure got under my skin! If I get this mad over it, I must've strayed from my own path. I think I've let Artist Me go too far--I act uncouth and brush people off to get free time to do art. Art Nut starves poor Social Me--well, I had fun at our house party last week, but most days no. I've gotten workaholic; out of balance. Almost as one-sided as acting like Myss, getting high on selflessly serving others, not doing my art at all... bleah!
So I ask my dreams "I feel strange--out of balance. What to do?" And am answered.
I'm songwriter Leonard Cohen--well, no;
Fedora--but silly--a ladies' man who
woos fading women of a certain so-
phistication, writing them ballads. A true
if aging troubador.
I climb in their window, the Romantic way.
I practically live with my current lady, yet I
oooff over sill, each eve! (Tolja, silly.) I pry
off the screen. A door's right over there...
No! Too direct, too mundane. No flair.
Her daughter admires how our autumn affair
has freshened up Mom, so she helps me pry
a frozen screen loose. Screwdriver. She
succeeds, but beneath is... a screen! Not a fly
caught, no need. And beneath it, a third.
And a fourth under that! Unneeded. Absurd.
Mortals peering out of such
The window's not Milady's now, but mine. I
moiré portals can't see much.
recount. Four screens fog my sight. Yet one
blocks the bloodsuckers, lets in the Light. If I
stripped my Windows of Vision quite bare,
descreened entire? Mosquitos and flies!
One is by far the best compromise.
But which? Look close; I've got to be sure
which to clean and replace, what to filter for--
and which three to junk. I now only know
I'm way overfiltered. Three have to go.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- I'm Leonard Cohen: one of my favorite songwriters. For years he lived on the edge of a Zen monastery, neither quite in or out.
- ACTION 1: Take my music and poetry as seriously as Cohen took his. I may be absurd; but the work can be good.
- ACTION 2: I'm too much of a lone artist to be a Carolyn Myss--or a Zen monk. Sure, visit sainthood, but don't try to live with her.
- Windows: Aldous Huxley's "Doors of Perception." The senses.
- Screens: perceptual filters! Limiting what I can perceive. Like the cultural brainwashing that says I can have only five senses, can't get flashes of the future, or what others are feeling. Myss wrote [paraphrase] "Advanced mystics who've set aside their egos to serve others may have wild experiences like sensing what animals and people feel, directly." I gotta laugh. That's my daily life!
- Moiré: the interference patterns created by layered screens or grids.
- Too much screening:
- Literal. Too much time spent working at a computer screen!
- My layers of protection against... bloodsuckers. Timesuckers. Art takes time, privacy, concentration. A Room of one's Own. Hemingway: "The telephone is the work destroyer." But I screen out too much: love/sex, play/fun, and giving too.
- My dream answered Caroline Myss's "Drop all screens, just serve others" with a clear no. "Trim some screens but keep one for bloodsuckers. You're not Myss."
- ACTION 3: Be more social; but don't be Myss. Block parasites. If I'm feeling used, walk away!
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