Monday, 18 November 2013 16:07

The Dictionary of the soul

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APRIL 24, 2007. It's like a cobweb supporting drops of fresh dew---and then the web burns away in the morning sun.

How do you describe a dream that is vaguely remembered as you come out of sleep and then fades away as you go about your business for the day? How do you convey the feeling and imprint of it?

Well, there is language underneath ordinary language, and it too fades away quickly.

This underneath language is like a web that connects you with feelings and places and people you don't know in a waking state.

This underneath language expresses your presence in a sea of rising and falling events---a different life than the one you are living.

This underneath language connects you to words that don't exist in any dictionary.


I'm speaking about actual and real experience here. Perhaps it has occurred to you, happened to you.

I believe a large part of the Internet is a force that attempts to bring out this underneath language. People seek it. They view it through various distorted lenses. They attempt to express it. They use symbols and statements intended to convey meanings that are not literal, even as they are communicating literal ideas.

I also believe that, at a deep level, the whole push for community among people is a thrust aimed at bringing to the surface this forgotten underneath language.

In this sense, we are all deep-sea divers, trying to lift up our found objects.

A life more real than the one we are living.

Poetry sometimes points us to, and reminds us of, this subterranean language.

In the dream, there were three of us in a large house. We were walking through the rooms. We picked up and put down small sculptures and other objects. We talked about events that were as familiar to us as those of our other, waking life. We discussed how we could achieve victory, but what was our struggle? We floated from room to room. We were (are) friends. We gave life to, and submitted, our rising energies??

When I come up out of the dream, I know the mystery exists. I was just there, in the middle of it. It's only a mystery from this point of view, the lens I employ when I'm in the world of the waking.

Of course, we are taught to discard our dreams and get on with the day. But sometimes it feels that the day, and all it entails, has been built only to distract us from the dream. The day gives us another platform, from which we are blind to the dream.

And in the day, the more we talk, the further the underneath language recedes.

Suppose there are words like ?mnlayflill? and ?tenbroko-eeen.? Words that, during waking hours, are nonsense, but in dreams are the fabric of adventure.

Suppose there are certain link-words that have meanings in the day and also meanings in the night? More vivid meanings in the night. For example, gold.?

And we strive, during the day, to feel and understand the nighttime meanings of such words.

The abbot and the giraffe lived together under the sea, but the sea was made of air, of atmosphere. And thus begins a tale that describes an adventure we undertake in the nighttime.

Forgotten language.

This language has one or two basic rules. You can't pin down its meanings and outline them as you do with meanings during the waking hours. You can't translate the words into the waking world. You can't achieve the same kind of narrow emotional limits with these underneath words.

In 1996, while painting and living in a small studio in Santa Monica, California, I began using black paint to make shapes on paper and cardboard. I did many of these paintings.

After a month or two, I began to feel I was approaching a different sort of language. A language of motion and esthetic sensation and triumph.

From moment to moment, a sentence would take on new meanings. It would change as dance and adventure and music change, in a fluid and proliferating state.

Eventually, it occurred to me that I might experiment. I might take the letters of the English alphabet and attach one of these shapes to each letter---and then engage in a kind of translation. I would put English words into this other language.

That was the beginning of what other people came to call soul reading?

This process has, since then, moved through several new stages.

Language is a very, very flexible thing. It can be used and expanded to move out further into the world, and it can also be used to go within and down. Into the dream.

Into the dreams that form the substratum of our waking lives---the layers toward which we always reach, regardless of our circumstances or ambitions or hopes.

Look at the pictographs of China and Egypt. Do they not sometimes suggest musical notes, notes of a changing symphony that might transport us into other realms?

And doesn't this remind us of magic?

A kind of magic which---if we are connected to it---would yield up to us what we are seeking? Easily? Steadily?

We are always on the promontory of our dreams. Those fluid events signal to us. They inform us that the treasures we are searching for are available and growing and surfacing.

We begin to suspect that the waking and the dreaming are moving toward each other, to connect, to make the whole.

That whole is magic.

The chief manifestation. The manifestation of manifestations.

When we tell ourselves we are not artists, we are simply using a strategy to distance ourselves from the dream.


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Better to live on beggar's bread with those who love alive. Than taste their blood in rich feasts spread and guiltily survive. (Bhagavadgita)