Tower of Baffle

I am going to share with you a recurring dream sequence I have been having, if only because it demonstrates the peculiar nature of dreaming and consciousness. This particular dream is a little different from other dreams. It has been building upon itself over a very long time. Last night, however, it took a different turn.

I haven’t mentioned it earlier simply because it baffled me. Even my dreaming self, who usually takes all the weirdness and the baffling nature of dreams for granted, finds the dream baffling. Moreover, the dream is still unfolding — still inconclusive.

I have been dreaming of a tower. It is a tower, once destroyed, that is now being reconstructed. Until recently, it was not recognisable as the ruins of a tower. The dream began long ago as a confused and confusing excavation. I was digging and excavating.

What it was I was digging up and excavating I did not know. It was a very frustrating dream — a Sisyphean task and a labour of Hercules. I simply did not know why I was digging or what it was I was digging for. It just seemed interminable. Like the myth of Tantalus, too, I would often no sooner dig away a layer of soil than a fresh landslide would undo my efforts, and I would begin digging again. It seemed so futile. It was as if what I was digging for was resisting my efforts to discover it, or perhaps, conversely, that it was testing my resolve to discover it by continuously increasing the challenge.

In subsequent dreams, something like a pattern began to emerge. But it was confusing and perplexed. It had a fourfold structure —  a quadrant — but the sectors were all jumbled up, overlapping, intersecting, and continuously shifting, like a layered fluid. It had the contours of a mandala, but not the fixity of one. It was very disorienting, and thus quite difficult to describe. In retrospect, I now realise I was looking at the structure from the top down, rather than from the side, and each layer of the structure was fully transparent and each layer was active.

Perhaps the analogy is this: imagine you are looking down on the Earth and suddenly you see every age of the Earth, not in sequence — one age following another like a train — but all-at-once: the pre-historic, the historic, and the modern all present at once. Given our chronologically- and perspectivally-oriented perception, we would find this all-at-onceness extremely perplexing, disorienting, and even maddening. It would seem like total chaos.

And so it felt. I often woke up suddenly from that dream in near panic. I have had dreams in which ages of the Earth followed in a linear, chronological sequence — viewed from the side, as it were — like a train passing, or through which I passed. In this particular recurring dream there was no passage. All ages were present in an “all-at-once-ness” of a top-down overview that seemed like chaos, and perhaps like losing one’s marbles and going mad.

In the last couple of weeks, the dream has shifted to a side view of the same structure. It has the semblance of a tower. My digging has disclosed the ruins of a tower, but the entropy of time is being reversed. The ruin is reassembling itself, as it were, in successive dreams into an intelligible structure, gradually and slowly revealing itself, like a dance of the seven veils.

Last night was the first dream that I recall where I have become actively involved in repairing the tower. At this stage of its reassembly, the tower seems to require my dreaming self’s conscious participation.  In a kind of disembodied state, I ascended and descended the length of the tower, surveying the ruin. The top of the tower was indeterminate and indistinct, not yet realised. As I descended the length of the tower, the uppermost part was only represented as digital data, gradually solidifying into a solid form on the way down, although still a ruin and the skeleton of a structure. My survey ended abruptly at one level where I was stopped. There was something like an x-ray view or ghostly image of a needle, a lance, or a spear stuck in one on the levels, like a fish-bone stuck in the throat. “The wound occurred a thousand years ago” is what came into my mind.

There my scan of the ruin ceased and I found myself on the ground again. There was a large flatbed truck delivering two boats. One boat I already had. It seems a moat had now developed around the tower, and the boats would be necessary to effect further repairs. I was informed that the boats were “forms of knowledge”. But there was only three. Shouldn’t there have been a fourth, one for each side of the tower?

At this point I woke up. This dream has developed over many years, and I do not think I am finished with it yet. Moreover, this dream has become enacted in my everyday reality in a most peculiar and uncanny way, as I’ll describe shortly.

The tower is evidently an image of the proverbial Tower of Babel, which fell into ruin when humanity also fell into disunity. That seems to be suggested by the fact that the summit of the tower in my dream is indistinct and indeterminate — a future not yet realised. It is partially revealed in digital code, but is not solid.

The 1,000 year level with its wound or obstruction in the structure is a baffling mystery. Even chronologically considered, nothing about the year 1,014 A.D. (or thereabouts) seems particularly relevant, although it does bring to mind the wound of the Fisher King in the Grail legend. The “piercing” of the lance, spear or needle in the structure of the tower brings to mind “Percival” or Parsifal — the fool who became a Grail Knight in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s narrative. “The mythic underpinnings of today’s western world can be found in legends and myths of the 12th century” (as someone observed) may well have relevance here. That suggests that the tower and the wounded Fisher King might be the same symbol.  In the legend of the Grail, the wound suffered by the Fisher King (Amfortas) was to be healed only when Parsifal asked the right question, “Who serves the Grail?”. This Parsifal failed to do. The consequence of Parsifal’s error in failing to ask the right question is described by an encyclopedia article on the Grail legend,

The failure of the fisher king or Anfortas as he came to be called by Wolfram or Amfortas as Wagner referred to him who was the first guardian led however, directly to these disasters. The reasons for their failures or inability to serve the Grail may differ depending on the version studied, but the effects are the same. Closely considered, Wagner’s version seemed to be the most logical. Examining Chrétien’s work, though left unfinished led to more questions than answers nor do the “continuations” of the work fully resolve the mystery in a satisfactory way. Chrétien claimed that the fisher king was wounded in the thighs by a javelin and the only cure for him was for a stranger to appear in the castle and ask some questions unprovoked. Parsifal failed to ask the questions, the king was not cured and as a result could not rule his land in the proper manner leading to famine and other natural disasters. The failure of Parsifal therefore, led directly to all these disasters and the king himself is absolved of all blame. Parsifal’s failure is in turn attributed to a sin he had committed against his mother in having left her against her will. This sin prevented him from asking these questions. Parsifal therefore, takes all the blame for the king’s inability to serve the Grail. But then Chrétien did not explain the significance of the Grail nor did he as such attribute abundance in the land to its pure worship. The blessings on the land depended on the king’ ability to rule the land in a justified way. How that burden now came to fall on Parsifal is far from clear nor was there any supplication for help from the king which would probably have led to a prophecy of a helper.

This may well be the significance of the wound of a thousand years in the dream — the failure to ask the right question, and therewith the suggestion that the tower cannot be healed or completed until the right question is put.

Now, the uncanny aspect of this long-developing dream is how it tracks very closely to my recent everyday activities. I am, in fact, working on repairing a tower — a grain elevator. This tower also has a “wound” or obstruction (a jammed gate) that prevents it from operating properly. As a result of the malfunction of the gate, a large amount of wheat overflowed from the top of the tower forming something like a moat all around the base of the tower. (This is also the same location where the episode with the hawk and the pigeon occurred). Yet, I have to point out that this on-going dream narrative began before I had anything to do with taking on the repairs to the grain elevator tower.

The Tower I'm Repairing

The Tower I’m Repairing

The tower of my dreams only remotely resembles this one, but this (as well as other things not drawn out here) suggests an uncanny intersection of dream and reality that reminds me of the Taoist Chuang Tzu’s question: “Am I a man dreaming I’m a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I’m a man?”.

Or, at least so it seems to me that there is a strange, reciprocity or unity between dream and reality, something that suggests the truth of Blake’s primacy of “Imagination” as the “true man” and the well-spring of reality. So, dream big!

I imagine this strange, baffling dream will continue. The boats have arrived for some reason, and the summit of tower has yet to become manifest. That it has something to do with integrality seems self-evident, and the reconstruction of the “Tower of Babel,” but now as healing rather than divisive seems to  be the thrust of it.



57 responses to “Tower of Baffle”

  1. abdulmonem says :

    Dreams are our imagination in action, they are intimately connected to our waking consciousness. Ibn Arabi makes a distinction between attached imagination and detached imagination only to emphasize the importance of the attached imagination in understanding the detached imagination of the cosmos,with all its colorful imaginal presence of the divine and his creatures, his angels and his devils. that is why faith is imagination. Children are the heroes of imagination and the calamity starts when the grown up loses his involvement with imagination despite hie attached imagination of dreams, this lose is a sign of degeneration as it is seen in the degenerating pictures of our world. Once I felt a gap, now I see no gap, the spirit of search is present in both the sleeping hours and the waking hours, a persistent move to leave the degenerative mode of our world and to bear witness in the direction of its regeneration. This unification shows the interface of dream and reality reflecting the unity of time and the unity of consciousness. I do not know what to say except to hurrah you on this fusing of all the facets together. I also do not know the significance of moving from Longsword to Preston in fighting the feeling of the fugitive. it is truly said containment is contentment, despite the disturbances of life.The beauty resides in taking the hands of each other spiritually in order to appreciate the physical solidarity.

  2. alex jay says :

    Ok … let’s have some fun …

    When I read your Tower dream self-analysis, still in its “chrysalis” stage, it immediately brought up an important archetype (like the serpent/dragon/snake dreams I used to have in my “libido” moments – that’s a great story I’m not going to bore you with at this time), it reminded me of a short flirtation I had with a very exceptional lady and her numerous tarot card readings of which the tower came up on a few occasions (ahhhh … memories). So for your enjoyment and possible ridicule here is one interpretation – there are many – that might be applicable, though I suspect that its beneath your higher rung on Jacob’s Ladder:

    “In a Tarot reading, the Tower represents a shedding of the old. In its place comes another level of consciousness. This heightened awareness is a result of a new form of communication with the higher mind or divine spirit. The information we once received as part of our intuitive process has little consequence against the divine messages of the universe. We are at its mercy and must learn to trust its illuminating light and wisdom. The goal is to find faith in our new sense of connection with a higher consciousness and trust its positive intent and constructive messages.

    This you already know … so maybe your dream is a refresher course?

    Meanwhile, here is conventional background to the “tower” archetype – for what it’s worth?

    • Scott Preston says :

      “The Tower is commonly interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, destruction, and liberation”

      In fact, perhaps all four at once. But that would be equally the description of the apocalyptic.

      There is also the sexual aspect, as you suggest. (To a Freudian, however, it would be the only aspect). If the “wound of a thousand years” does, indeed, refer to the Parsifal legend and the wound of the Fisher King, that wound was in the groin — “libido”, as it were, inhibited. But it is confusion on Freud’s part to mistake aspect for essence, or metaphor for literal fact. The land without a king was a bride made a widow — a barren, infertile — a wife without a husband. The wound in his groin is a symbol of impotence — the inhibition of psychic energy needing to be realised.

      This was precisely where Jung and Freud came to blows. For Freud, there were no no-material (or non-naturalistic) causes and explanations, so everything had to be sexual. Jung took the exact opposite position (as did Blake) against the Lockean notion that human beings are born “tabula rasa” waiting to have their minds formed by impressions and implants. For Jung, “innate ideas” was a rejection of the tabula rasa or “blank slate” approach.

      Correspondingly, if there are “innate ideas” or values, then human beings also have inherent purposes and tasks — value realisation. If, however, there are no innate ideas or values (tabula rasa) then there are only social roles and functions to be impressed upon the mind.

      So, here lies the controversy of controversies — in fact, the very meaning of “individual”. If social roles and functions are primary, and do not correspond to innate purposes and tasks, then roles and functions can be assigned without regard for any innate life purposes the individual might otherwise have (or, if they do exist, they can be co-opted into merely roles and functions, setting up a condition of self-alienation and self-estrangement). And a tower is just a sexual symbol and that is all.

      The self-ego distinction is a reflection of the contradiction. Obviously, I take the side of Jung, and reject the assumption that there are no non-material causes (therefore, no innate purposes or tasks which the individual seeks to fulfill). If there are only material causes, then any kind of “values” can be impressed upon the plastic consciousness of the individual.

      However, if there are innate purposes and tasks (or values), then “roles and functions” represent a co-optation and even falsification of the self.

      And, of course, as you know… it is my contention that the propaganda system exists precisely to co-opt those innate purposes and tasks and values and to pervert them.

      • alex jay says :

        “However, if there are innate purposes and tasks (or values), then “roles and functions” represent a co-optation and even falsification of the self.”

        This reminds me of a passage from Huxley’s Brave New World Revisted (also would include the Freud vs Jung distinction):

        “The real hopeless victims of menal illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to one mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”

        • Scott Preston says :

          Good quote from Huxley, (which also reminded me I should get around to reading his Brave New World Revisisted sometime.

          It also did bring to mind the earlier post I did about education and the contrary meanings of “e-duce” and “in-duce” (indoctrination). Educing meaning “to draw forth” or “lead out” — the word “education” itself attests to inherent or innate properties or potentialities. But if you begin with the assumption that human beings begin as “blank slates” education makes no sense except as inducement and indoctrination, and education itself becomes the process of co-optation.

          (Jacques Ellul, by the way, in his book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes calls education (such as we know it) “pre-propaganda” — that is, conditioning the mind to respond to propaganda in a kind of automatic way. Some educators have taken the same view (Paulo Friere in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Ivan Illich in Deschooling Society) — and, of course, Pink Floyd.

          Education as conditioning or “pre-propaganda” does resemble education — such as it is — in Huxley’s dystopia.

          And as Rosenstock put it in his comments on the suburb — a ‘mentality’ or an attitude is what is left over after the spirit has been extinguished.

          • Scott Preston says :

            Might add, too, that the relation of “purposes and tasks” as innate or inherent predilections or proclivities which give direction to the individual (in fact, even are the individuality), contrasted with “roles and functions,” which only typify, corresponds to the difference between “intent” and “will”, as I’ve addressed that before.

            There’s your quote from Fichte again (thank you very much) about co-opting the will of the pupil. Modern pedagogy assumes that the child has no inherent purposes or tasks (no intention), and no direction and object for his or her will or intents. (But why something like “intent” should even exist in the first place as something that “needs” to be co-opted they can’t explain). So, with those assumptions, co-optation of the will (or intentionality of consciousness) makes sense as long as you begin with the assumption that the human being is born “tabula rasa” and that there are no non-material causes.

            Now, here’s the kicker — a real paradox, in some ways. This doctrine of “tabula rasa” or “blank slate” does resemble Buddhism’s “empty mirror” idea of consciousness (as well as Rumi’s “emptiness is what your soul wants”). Again, I invoke “Khayyam’s Caution” here once again (only a hair separates the false from the true).

            The difference between a “tabula rasa” and an “empty mirror” corresponds just as equally to the symbol of “the forked-tongue” (the serpent) or the tongue as “two-edged sword”, and also why there is a difference between “purpose” and “function” or “intent” and “will” or, for that matter, “consciousness” and “mind”.

            I’m just touching here on the fringes of things. In these contrasts you may begin to see how closely the “false world” (Blake’s Ulro) tracks to the reality. Function is the shadow of purpose. Will is the shadow of intent. The tabula rasa is the shadow of the empty mirror, and the forked-tongue is the shadow of the tongue as two-edged sword, and on and on it goes, precisely as Khayyam (and Blake) saw it. What we call “the real world” is an inverted or shadow/mirror image of the true world. The “true world” is latent within the “real world”, but our perception of this has been obscured. For similar reasons, the “integral” and the “universal” have a similar relation.

            Pretty much as Plato described it in his parable of the Cave.

            So, in some ways Nietzsche’s “revaluation of values” is the same as Blake’s cleansing of “the doors of perception”.

          • alex jay says :

            “And as Rosenstock put it in his comments on the suburb — a ‘mentality’ or an attitude is what is left over after the spirit has been extinguished.”

            This situation occurs to me as perhaps unraveling the mystery of the recent self-harm of the youth epidemic you covered in your “Self-Harm” post, specifically the quote from Dr. Kathleen Pajer:

            “A lot of kids don’t really meet the criteria for these [psychiatric] disorders,” she said. “Instead, they seem to be suffering an existential crisis that is sort of, ‘I’m empty, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t have any grounding and I don’t know how to manage my negative feelings.”

            Rosenstock’s “extinguished spirit” probably also accounts for the suicide epidemic currently running amok in the US military with an average of 22 DAILY suicides (I assume the figure includes veterans?).

            It seems to me that the soul is choking in this toxic culture and looking for the exits – or at least dormant awaiting a gust of fresh air. No wonder “zombie” movies are all the current rage.

            • Scott Preston says :

              Yes. And perhaps you saw this article on “cupcake fascism” by Tom Whyman in today’s Guardian?


              Whyman struggles to make a point in it. I think it’s a clumsy article — it’s a strain to associate fascism with muffins, and is likely to undermine its own thesis by that approach (just as the New Right tried to associate radicalism with granola or muesli, while “real men” eat bacon and eggs or steak and potatoes). I’m not sure that food preferences indicate anything about political attitudes. Coke with something called “coolness”.

              I think what he’s trying to describe is this very problem of “mentality” (and having a mere “mentality” is equally related to Gebser’s “mental-rational” consciousness functioning in deficient mode). The article tends to flop because it doesn’t put the right question from the outset. “Cupcake fascism” (like “granola radicalism”) just isn’t very useful, not even as an analogy to Antoinette’s reputed statement “let them eat cake!”. “The people have no cake? Well, let them eat cupcakes!”.

              That doesn’t seem to work so well.

              What the article does bring to mind is Bertram Gross’s Friendly Fascism (the notion of “niceness” being prominent here, and linked to the “cupcake”. Is that the same as a muffin?) I’m supposing Whyman is familiar with Gross’s “friendly fascism” and simply adapted it to try and make his own point about the vapidity of petite bourgeois values (that being much the same as “suburb mentality” I would take it, ie Walter Mitty types). Whyman could have done a better job of it, I think.

            • Scott Preston says :

              It seems to me that the soul is choking in this toxic culture and looking for the exits – or at least dormant awaiting a gust of fresh air. No wonder “zombie” movies are all the current rage.

              Last night I went to bed in a despondent mood. I had been reading some of the day’s news articles. Every one of them struck me as only a node in a massive and all-encompassing net of deceptions, and every “on the record” statement of a politician or CEO as the statement of a sneak and a cheat.

              I wasn’t in a good mood.

              During the night I had a bizarre dream (speaking of “zombie” themes). I was fleeing through a world with a number of other people under attack by a swarm of something akin to mechanical lice of various sizes. My comrades were falling left and right, until only I was left, and I took my last stand (oddly enough) in front of an abandoned school. I had something akin to a laser weapon (round and flat with the trigger on top) that I fired at the mechanical lice, but the power source for it was giving out. There was a sense of futility. The more of these mechaical lice I destroyed the more they multiplied. Eventually I was swarmed and overwhelmed myself, and I woke up at that point.

              So, there’s your “zombie apocalypse” theme all over again — “Omega Man”, “I am Legend”, and so on. This mood of being “overwhelmed” was, of course, the gist of it. And I suppose the mechanical lice were the various “talking points”, “policy statements”, cliches, empty slogans, formulaic responses, spin and propaganda devices I detected in all the news articles I had read that evening — forming a ubiquitous, tangled web of deceptions.

              Significant, I suppose, that my last stand should be in front of an abandoned and ruined school.

      • abdulmonem says :

        Revolt is a sign of refusing the conditioning, indicating the innateness of freedom in the human, at the same time he is a blank slate to enable the tango to take place, If not for the polarities the life becomes stale, as you always say it is not this or that it is both.

  3. Scott Preston says :

    By the way, it occurred to me this morning that this uncanny coincidence of my dreaming with my waking activity is exactly what Jung describes as “synchronicity”, which is (after all) only a deeper and broader interpretation of the “Freudian slip” — the dreaming self wants to be realised, in a fashion.

  4. abdulmonem says :

    We are the shadows of the god, and shadows to materialize need light, but we are unique shadows, that have been provided with sensors to fill the blank slate, benefiting from the light. Light, that is the unseen light, is a puzzling, bewildering,baffling, amazing and confusing light, we see it and see by it, but grasp it not. It is a maze and the beauty of it is to row our boat in this perplexing sea, some make it to the other side,some are drowned and some co-exist with abnormality as normality until the hour strikes. Our concepts and experiences are our tools to understand the purpose and the mean and to understand our role and god role in us. Hope to make sense in this dream, before I meet the one who put the dream in me and to know while in dream,i am dreaming.

  5. abdulmonem says :

    I like to add that giving too much weight to the outside factors on the expense of the inside power of the self is a kind of negating the unique responsibility of the human as is reflected in the charges imposed on the human through the books and the prophets. This remind me of a verse in the Quran which highlights the personal responsibility of the human, in the context of remembering the vow of the divine bond to recognize no other authority but His, refusing to accept any pretexts, such as I am unaware of the vow or I am an offspring of disbelievers and pursued their path, so do not take me for their crookedness. This unique ability, and our remote distance from it. Sometime I feel sad for not being able to revisit the scene of the vow, when I hear some Sufis saying that the voice of the vow is ringing in their ears . What frighten me is this slumbering in the coffin of the static mode of language, forgetting the vitality of its dynamism, the river of its ever-rejuvenating life.

    • Scott Preston says :

      What frighten me is this slumbering in the coffin of the static mode of language, forgetting the vitality of its dynamism, the river of its ever-rejuvenating life.

      That’s a very good way to put it.

  6. abdulmonem says :

    It has to be empty in order to be filled with our own drawings and not even by the drawings of the most enlightened sage and that is exactly the message of all prophets for each person to search for his own unique path and to be under the stand of his potentiality, that is to understand the hidden in him in order to move it to the realm of actuality. It is basically an individual trip that radiates in its environment. We are all still feel the radiations of the greats irrespective of time and space.May we not forget our internal trip during the talk about the external.

  7. alex jay says :

    Re: Comment further up that has no reply space …

    “Last night I went to bed in a despondent mood. I had been reading some of the day’s news articles.”

    You’re a brave man reading news aticles before bedtime. It’s a certain recipe for nighmares. I only dare read them in the morning which gives me the rest of the day to recover … I guess that’s the luxury of retirement. : )

    • alex jay says :


      Since I’m 6/7 hours ahead of you and have finished reading today’s dose of global insanity – it’s bound to get even sillier as the day goes by – you might consider swapping reading the news for a good book and cup of warm milk before bedtime tonight. Otherwise, you might be attacked by the “flying spaghetti monster” in your dreams (I’m not kidding: the Polish court has officially acknowleged said pasta cult as a bona fide religion – “beam me up Scotty!”).

      • alex jay says :

        Oh … what was that earlier Aldous Huxley quote from Brave New World Revisited again …

      • Scott Preston says :

        What passes today as the nuggets of “news” are of less concern to me than the “frame” in which they ostensibly make sense as “the news”. That “frame” is the consciousness structure — the atmosphere or sea in which these creatures called “the news” thrive and multiply — in which they “live, move, and have their being” as it were.

        That “frame of the world” is invisible to most people. It is quite futile (here’s my dream of the mechanical lice, I think) to attack the problem piecemeal — one “lousy” data item, article, or particular at a time. You need to breach the frame. Once the frame is breached, the critters can’t thrive.

        Establishing that frame as “the common sense” is the matter of what Ellul called “pre-propaganda”. Only when the frame is made evident and obvious (“objectified”) do we simultaneously cease to identify with it.

        Then comes the interesting question: once we perceive the frame as a frame, who and where are we then?

        That can be a profoundly disturbing question for some — beyond the frame (that being somewhat Nietzsche’s point in living “beyond good and evil”). The ruins of old empires and civilisations are simply the ruins of what were once such “frames” made physical.

        Most people are, I would say, oblivious about the frame. They simply function within it. That’s the gist of Whyman’s discourse on the slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On” (which he fumbled). You aren’t supposed to be conscious of the frame. The frame is sacrosanct, authoritative, and beyond question.

        If Narcissus had perceived the pool as a pool, he would have known his image as an image only, and would have been free of it. The pool is a frame, and he was oblivious to it.

        The Newtonian “Frame of the World” was the pool of Narcissus, and identical to Blake’s “Single Vision & Newtons sleep”. It was not the frame of the world, but of the consciousness structure that produced it.

        Hence the significance of the quantum shift. The “frame of the world” is now perceived as being just a frame — a description and story — “the matter myth”, etc. That is the most significant thing about the quantum description, is what it tells us about consciousness structures and framing.

        “Post-modern” (and “the end of the grand narrative”) and Bauman’s “liquid modernity”, etc — are simply testaments to the fact that the old frame is dissolving, and we feel and sense this as “nihilism”. It is something apocalyptic, to be sure — a consciousness structure in the throes of disintegration. That situation invites the reactionary response — (Whyman got that right, at least) as a violent attempt to preserve the old “frame” or consciousness structure.

        The future belongs to those who can construct a new frame (and not just “new values” as Nietzsche had it), and that is Gebser’s “integral consciousness” and Rosenstock’s “cross of reality”, as well as the essence of Seth’s warning about the implications for the extinction of the human race if we fail to do so.

        The frame is the thing.

        • Scott Preston says :

          It occurs to me now that the tower of my dream is that “frame”. The summit of the tower is indistinct and incomplete — merely virtual, a coded digital construct in my dreams. This corresponds, I believe, to the fact that only three boats as “forms of knowledge” were delivered for making repairs to the tower. As long as the fourth boat is absent, the tower cannot be completed. The fourth boat and the summit are the same.

          The tower itself is an image of the integral consciousness, and is a mandala form. This is indicated by the fact that the tower is a temporal structure — it is an image of time. The summit is the as yet unrealised future, and as I descend the length of the tower in my dreams, different ages are represented (including the “wound of a thousand years”). The three boats as “forms of knowledge” are (probably) the three consciousness structures or “frames” — magical, mythical, mental-rational. The missing fourth boat would be the integral ie, fulfillment of the times as the completion of the tower.

          Why the fourth boat is missing, and the summit incomplete, probably has to do with the wound and obstruction within the tower. In this sense, the tower is also a representation of a tree — the world tree — a reference to the tree of knowledge, perhaps. It can suffer from a wound. Man’s consciousness is required to complete and heal the tree. That is how I understand it.

          As yet, the tower is only a skeleton, but has organically re-assembled itself to a certain stage, but is still a ruin despite its apparent striving for regeneration.

          The dream has, in effect, shown me the meaning of the past. It has not revealed the outcome, the future — the absent summit. That remains the open question.

          The three boats probably correspond to three of the four directions of the Sacred Hoop or three of the four “Guardians of the Four Directions”. The missing fourth boat is the future as prospect or potentiality.

        • Scott Preston says :

          By the by… I had another dream of the tower last night, a little bit gruesome. In this dream I was grubbing around at the foundation of the tower — digging again. I was trying to discover the root of the tower. It was frustrating because I wasn’t making any progress in my digging. The words popped into my head “the face of the cadaver cannot be discerned”.

          Cadaver? At the root of the tower is a cadaver?

          I have no idea what this means, although a number of associations spring to mind:
          a) the Zen koan “show me your face before you were born”
          b) Nietzsche’s “corpse of God”
          c) Blake’s “sleep of Albion”.
          d) Gebser’s “archaic consciousness” (non-differentiated, non-differentiating).

          It also brings to mind a couple of other images: the image I once saw of a plant growing out of the decaying corpse of a WWI French soldier. Also, the recent use of Catscans to reveal the faces of ancient Egyptian mummies (which weren’t all that discernible either).

          For the moment, though, I’m at a loss. There may be a mystery relationship between the missing summit of the tower and the fact that the cadaver from which the tower springs up also has no discernible face.

          • LittleBigMan says :

            Just thinking about the meaning of your dream here…….

            To me, the “…..digging again…..” part signifies unfinished work.

            “……I was trying to discover the root of the tower……”

            Yes. Your essays have always dug at the root of issues and things. This has always been your approach.

            “…….It was frustrating because I wasn’t making any progress in my digging.”

            This may be suggesting unexplored areas of knowledge. It might mean the need for some innovative path or way of going about seeking the knowledge you want.

            “The words popped into my head “the face of the cadaver cannot be discerned”.”

            This is actually consistent with the continuous digging aspect of the dream, because it suggests an, as of yet, unidentified hindrance on your path of seeking the knowledge or illumination that you are after. The face is there, but it needs to come to light.

            As a rule, though, faces of the people I encounter in my dreams are often very hard for me to remember.

            Although I don’t quite understand it, but there seems to be a connection between the inoperable grain elevator of the real life tower you are working on and the incomplete tower you are working to construct in the recurring dream.

            • Scott Preston says :

              My feeling about the statement “the face of the cadaver cannot be discerned” is that it was definitive. It was not identifiable in any way.

              The “digging” is, I take it, what Foucault referred to as “the archaeology of knowledge”.

              I’ve been sleeping an inordinate number of hours, in the last few days, as if compelled to do so. I slept almost all day yesterday, quite contrary to my habits. I recall only fragments of strange dreams, some again about the tower; some again about fishing; fragments of the fourfold; moodiness. No question that they instigate and are connected with shaping the themes I post about, even if I don’t recall them consciously. Digging and fishing, however, have much the same meaning.

              It seems connected with my earlier mention of the feeling of oppressiveness that something nasty is in the offing — a kind of tension that is approaching a climax and a denouement.

              But is that anything different from what others sense? Contemporary film and literature and popular culture for the last few decades have been full of this oppressive sense of anticipation that “something nasty this way comes”.

              On another (maybe connected note), Whyman’s article on “cupcake fascism” has been almost immediately followed by David Mitchell’s on “cookie-monster fascism”,


              Cupcakes and cookie-monster fascism, too, seems to have the aura of a very bizarre dream, more ominously like your “nasty the clown” or Stephen King’s clown Pennywise in “It”.

              There’s something about the meaning of Pennywise in these other apparently silly references to “cupcake fascism” or “cookie-monster fascism”.

        • alex jay says :

          “Then comes the interesting question: once we perceive the frame as a frame, who and where are we then?”

          As bemused/confused trying to make sense of the news as trying to make sense out of a Jackson Pollack. : )

          Order out of chaos …

  8. LittleBigMan says :

    Thank you for sharing that dream. I definitely think there’s a meaning to it. To dig and dig in order to then build a tower seems to be quite in line with Rumi’s “Darkness is your candle.”

    It seems that in order to build the observant and the all seeing tower, one must first unearth what needs to be unearthed and turn every stone.

    The scene “Andy Escapes” from the movie Shawshank Redemption is revelatory of one’s path to salvation in a materialistic world:

    I’m sure you remember the thing you used to say back in the TDAB days so often: “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.”

    The saying (by Jesus?) that “one must die to oneself everyday,” is the only way to face infinity without the heart getting crushed under the unbearable weight of truth.

    “Whyman struggles to make a point in it. I think it’s a clumsy article .”

    Ditto. I tried and tried but couldn’t finish it. God almighty, I suffered through the few paragraphs that I did read!

    “During the night I had a bizarre dream (speaking of “zombie” themes). I was fleeing through a world with a number of other people under attack by a swarm of something akin to mechanical lice of various sizes. My comrades were falling left and right, until only I was left, and I took my last stand……”

    This dream is so similar to a recurring dream I used to have when I was not even attending elementary school. The recurring dream was that I was pegged in the middle of a vast white field. Then, billions of tiny mechanical lice creatures would begin to approach me in slow motion. Once the swarm of the se creatures would reach within inches of me, suddenly they would attack me with the lightening speed and end me. The dream effected me so much that years later, when I was a teenager, I told my older brother about the strange dream. He looked at me shell shocked. Then he said: “I used to have those dreams, too.”

    Anyway, I still (I would say once every year or every two years) have this dream of encountering vicious merciless anti-human race mechanical creatures. But the mechanical creatures in my dreams are no longer tiny or lice size. They are the size of Godzilla.

  9. abdulmonem says :

    The frame of the space-time vision is inversely related, expands when moving toward the source and contracts when moving toward external dependence. It is fortunate that you were not only made aware of the upper reaches of the tower,but also of its foundation design, It is this frequency of the dream vibration that has not only allowed to enter a higher understanding but also to leap over the boundaries of the logical mind, thus feeling the truth that stand behind the symbols and tap into this energy force that reaches out for you. it is a harbinger from the source delivered in the form of symbols to usher you in a field of better understanding of the human crisis that bypass all types of limitation. May god, the energy source behind all things, helps you to serve him through serving yourself and the humankind.It is necessary to feel Him. Christ tells him, I do not know, what is in yourself, but you do know what is in mine.

  10. LittleBigMan says :

    “It seems connected with my earlier mention of the feeling of oppressiveness that something nasty is in the offing — a kind of tension that is approaching a climax and a denouement.

    “But is that anything different from what others sense?”

    What I sense is not different than that at all. In fact, at least since last August, I have had this same feeling of “something nasty is in the offing,” too. Very much the feeling of “something nasty this way comes.”

    It seems to me, for the most part, this feeling has manifested itself in my work environment. Things and people are very edgy around here.

    On another (maybe connected note), Whyman’s article on “cupcake fascism” has been almost immediately followed by David Mitchell’s on “cookie-monster.”

    LOL….LOL….Before opening a browser tab to visit The Chrysalis, I opened Mitchell’s article on the Guardian in another tab. I have yet to read the article, but your essays on fascism very strongly influenced my decision to read his article. And the cartoon in his article is hilarious (it just reads “Mein” LOL) In a few seconds, I’ll be reading that article 🙂

    “I’ve been sleeping an inordinate number of hours”

    This happens to me only when I get very depressed. But it’s actually a very good defensive mechanism, because it allows both the physical and emotional or psychological energies to recuperate.

    • Scott Preston says :

      There are some very troublesome, disturbing signs that we may be moving in this direction — towards a bout of fascism in the Western nations. I don’t know if people outside Canada have heard of the present Canadian government’s “Fair Elections Act” (FEA), but it also is symptomatic of a more general tendency towards authoritarianism,

      The divorce of “state” and “nation” is very disturbing (they were once “married”, as it were, in the form of “the nation state”). In the U.S., too, a couple of warning signs — Bush’s reputed dismissal of the US Constitution as a “god-damned piece of paper” when he and Cheney were seeking more executive powers. And if it turns out true that the NSA knew about the Heartbleed bug and exploited it rather than report it, that’s a serious failure and inversion of the first priority of a modern, democratic state — national security. In fact, the whole meaning of “security” has become quite perverted.

      Right now, in Canada, about the only thing that stands between Mr. Harper and his plans for Canada is the Supreme Court, which has slapped down a number of pieces of government legislation as unconstitutional and subversive of the idea of a constitutional state, so in effect, Mr. Harper shares with George Bush a deep contempt for democracy and constitutionalism itself. And I think there is a case to be made that the late modern state structure has gone “rogue”.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        “There are some very troublesome, disturbing signs that we may be moving in this direction — towards a bout of fascism in the Western nations.”

        Oh, yes. Here are some examples of fascism in America;

        1. “At will” employment.
        2. Inextricable linkage between pension funds and equity markets.
        3. Obamacare (which is basically forced purchase of insurance for your body).

        All these three diminish the power of the individual significantly. They rob Americans from a present and a future that is in their best interest. If the present and the future are stolen, then the past is automatically a fabrication, too. Welcome to “Machine City!”

        I wasn’t aware of the controversy surrounding the Fair Elections Act in Canada. It was good to read and learn about it. In my organization, people vote by vouchers all the time (because they can’t be present at the vote for some reason). But of course, the most troubling aspect of the controversy in Canada is that Senators seem to be fabricating evidence in favor of the act.

    • Scott Preston says :

      I also have suffered a painful injury to my knee, so keeping off my leg and immobilising the knee is a relief. Bed’s a good place to remain immobilised.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope it’s nothing serious.

        Speaking from personal experience, if the pain is manageable, walking around should actually help the injury heal faster than lying down. If the pain is too much, though, some moderate rest should help things.

        By all means, avoid carrying or lifting anything heavy and start doing some light walking about your residence as soon as you feel the pain is controllable. Let your knees do what they were designed for but without the pressure of any additional weights (e.g. such as holding something in your hands or carrying a backpack full of things).

        Another thing you can do is to sit at the edge of the bed, slightly raise the sole of your injured foot off the ground, and move your knee and shin easily and slowly back and forth as if kicking a ball. Do as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with. You can do this even as you rest while lying on your back.The movement should increase circulation around your knee which should help the healing process.

        • Scott Preston says :

          Thanks for the advise, which sounds pretty thorough. I’ll take some of it to knee, but the knee mostly snaps, crackles, and pops when I try to work it. Feels quite bizarre. I have to haul it around like Igor, dragging the thing slightly behind me.

          But I do have a great view of the lunar eclipse from this prone position.

          • LittleBigMan says :

            You are most welcome. I wish I could be of more assistance. If you exercise the knee with your weight off of it, it should be pretty helpful.

            Minutes ago, about 10:30pm Pacific time, I left my office to head home. Minutes before I left the office, a security guard walked into the building to check on the offices. He and I often chat about many things from politics to the best place to grab a pizza. It turns out he is also a big fan of astronomy and has his own large telescope equipped with the necessary filters to watch even solar eclipses. So, he told me about the lunar eclipse tonight and that it is going to happen about 12:45 AM Pacific time. I intend to go out there and have a look at it. I haven’t seen one since childhood.

            • LittleBigMan says :

              Yep! I saw the lunar eclipse. But I couldn’t see it from my window. So, I had to walk about 100 yards to a location where I could 🙂

            • Scott Preston says :

              The lunar eclipse was spectacular. Looking at it through the window wasn’t so great, though, as the glass seemed to act as a kind of filter — like watching it on a television screen. So I hobbled outside and stood in the frigid air (yes, still wintry here) and watched it. At first I thought to myself “what’s the big deal?” until it reached total eclipse, then the “blood moon” revealed itself. Wow. I’ld never seen THAT before. It was like a billiard ball sitting up there in the sky.

          • LittleBigMan says :

            By the way, the “snaps, crackles, and pops” tell me that overall your knee is fine, but it has been traumatized.

            Also, if available in your area, obtain some fresh organic turmeric root from the grocery store (they are available in my area at “Whole Foods” grocery stores), and chop pieces of it the size of a quarter or a fifth of a walnut and shred in your teapot in thin layers. Then boil the turmeric root pieces with the type of tea you like and add a bit of honey for taste and sip a cup once or twice a day as needed for pain.

            Ingest all the shredded turmeric pieces that you mix with the tea in your boiling teapot. There are no side effects to this, so you may continue with this even after the pain has entirely gone away.

  11. abdulmonem says :

    The recurrent attempts to discern the undiscernable is a process of discerning. There is the divine schooling with the teachers of the unseen and there is secular schooling with the seen teachers, Dreams belong to the divine school to remind those who are fixated in the secular school to remember the original concept of schooling. It is unfortunate that the individuated consciousness forgets that it is a fragment of the all encompassing consciousness of the the divine, the first source , the ever present origin. It is another misfortune that we are not only in denial and deviance of the divine code but also of the divine blue-print that we are all taping everything from. All the messages we are talking about are warnings to remember the source before it is too late, to move quickly from our reactive mode to the reflective mode and stop reacting to what other say but to reflect on the purpose of our existence as was conveyed to us through the messengers of the divine. In actuality we are all messengers, some are conscious of that and some are oblivious of it. We are all present in the presence, some feel it, other do not try to feel it ,but arrogantly deny it. This is the way of the humanity ever since the beginning, some have faith, other not. I thank god that i am aware that I and what I possess is the possession of the the divine,from whom I have emanated and to whom i shall return. Pharaoh asked Moses, What about the other nations that have past, Moses answered in a divine book that forgets nothing or astray away from anything. God told Mohammad not to hurry, we are counting each of their steps until the prescribed date. We have a date for every person and for every nation, but most people are ignorant of the way of god.

  12. abdulmonem says :

    After reading the article about Harper attempt to kill the fair sharing spirit of election, a question came to my mind, What does Iraq or rather all the elected governments under the auspices of the west have in common. Dysfunctional, dishonest and authoritarian governments. Away from spiritualism, let us talk about the globalization of dishonesty and fraud, because this seems is the vogue of our era. What the sensitive people of Canada are complaining about now is exactly what the western governments have done in all the countries that they have colonized through out history and continue to do so in our time in what we have seen in the stories of the countries of the. middle earth and beyond and how low they have dragged its populace and scattered them, here and there. Nothing is beyond the bounds of the imagination of the criminals and vandals. The people who have remained silent all the years about the crimes of their governments committed in other countries are tasting the bitter wines their governments make others drank or are still drinking. Talking about the atrocities of the others does not help in the process of recuperation, nor in the process of mending, that witch our era is demanding.
    Forget is a good antidote for the human but not for the unforgettable god. This give a kind of repose for the faithful that nothing escape the divine accountability. I think it is absurd to think that people like Bush and Cheney and the rest will be left without question. In the court of god we all shall meet. Let Harper and the likes tailored the laws garments according to their whims, only to find that they have tailored their death. God plans are long-terms plans that never miss, only that our ignorance defy and deny.God tells the prophets to wait as they are in a state of wait, meeting with us is a must and to Him returns everything.

    • Scott Preston says :

      What you are describing is called “blowback” these days, but was not unknown to the ancients and isn’t something apart from “spiritualism” per se: “as ye do unto others, so shall be done unto you” or “those who live by the sword, perish by the sword”, and so on.

      Some people take this far too literally, in some cases. But it is a statement of the karmic law of action and reaction. In one way or another, the law is fulfilled.

  13. abdulmonem says :

    I forget to mention an advice given by Harper, quoted by one of the comments on the above article that goes like this,
    On April 18, 2005 Harper said to the Canadian press, When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it is losing its moral authority to govern.
    How do you like that?

    • Scott Preston says :

      Mr. Harper has always paid lip-service to democratic principle and scruple, and always acted contrary to his own rhetoric. He’s a classic example of the Jekyll and Hyde character: the pretenses of a libertarian that disguises authoritarian proclivities and inclinations. It’s called “the mask of sanity”.

      Eventually, such a personality self-destructs in one way or another.

      • Scott Preston says :

        Until such time as politicians come to esteem truth higher than power, politicians will continue to require adult supervision. What the “Fair Elections Act” does is try to get rid of adult supervision by diminishing the role of the Elections commission and the Elections Commissioner.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        ” the pretenses of a libertarian that disguises authoritarian proclivities and inclinations.”

        “Until such time as politicians come to esteem truth higher than power, politicians will continue to require adult supervision.”

        LOL. I love it! 🙂

        One of the main reasons why we have injustice in this world is because a great vast many of those who call for justice are unjust themselves.

        Case in point are my colleagues who, in our regular dinners, bitch constantly about the decisions made by those currently in power. But, I often laugh and am totally amused when I hear their complaints, because I have known each of them for years and I KNOW that if they had the power to make decisions (with the exception of perhaps one of them) they would do everything possible to centralize the decision making process within themselves and thereby control everything through and through – exactly what those who are currently in power have done. 🙂 I mean seriously, isn’t that funny?

        For example, a colleague was at one time bitching to me about how another colleague was going through an organizational back door to try to manipulate the decision making process. Then, a year or two later, when this same colleague found the opportunity to manipulate the outcome of the same decision in his own favor by using the same tricks, he did not hesitate to give it a try 🙂

  14. alex jay says :

    While you’re resting your knee and drinking cups of Little Big Man’ fine turmeric tea, you might want to view this powerful little speech by Chris Hedges (I think it’s fantastic – a man after my own heart)

    • Scott Preston says :

      Hedges is even more pessimistic about our prospects than I am.

      It’s an engaging speech, and there’s lots to comment on. Right off the start, his reference to Melville’s Moby Dick caught my attention because Rosenstock-Huessy also saw in Melville’s masterpiece a prophetic work and the essential myth of America — its ruling myth. I’ve always wanted to read it with that insight in mind. But Ahab and the Pequod, in broader terms, correspond to what I have stated many times before:

      the rational pursuit of self-interest has become indistinguishable from the irrational pursuit of self-destruction

      Hedges’ speech is all about this simple theme. There is no out from this condition until such time as we come to a better insight into “rational” and “self” and its ostensible “interests”. We merely assume these problematic things as the “common sense” assumptions of our daily existence and social order. But (as I’ve referred to in the past) this assumed “self” and its “interests” are the Shadow — the shadow of the Enlightenment that was Descartes’ “evil demon” itself.

      In that sense, Zigmunt Bauman’s theme of Liquid Modernity corresponds to Wylie Sypher’s The Loss of Self in Modern Literature and Art.

      This “rational self-interest” is Seth’s “ego consciousness”, of course, but one which has become estranged from its roots (the Prodigal Son theme). Now, while some have insisted this “self-interest” or ego consciousness must be extinguished and annihilated, Seth (and Nietzsche, Gebser, etc) have taken another path. Ego consciousness must “expand”, must become “enlightened ego consciousness”, by including more intuitive or “unconscious” knowledge. This is also Gebser’s approach as well. The “integral consciousness” is that “expansion” (or what he prefers to call “intensification” instead), or what he also calls “aperspectival” mode of perception.

      Rosenstock-Huessy’s dynamic “cross of reality” is the model and image of the expansion of the ego-consciousness as well, a revaluation of sorts of what “self-interest” actually involves in the broader sense (hence his rejection of Cartesianism). That’s why I keep returning to Rosenstock’s quadrilateral logic as expressed in his cross of reality. It’s a map of the ego consciousness as integral consciousness.

      I could probably spend days posting about the undercurrents in Hedges’ speech (and I haven’t even finished listening to all of it). It might even be a good exercise.

      Hold this thought in mind: the Church was an image of the soul; the State was an image of reason; and so the corporation is an image of the ego — the institutionalisation of “self-interest” even in law –as an “immortal person”. State, Church, and Corporation are abstract personae — images of the human form or “human mold”, each of them assuming themselves to be the entirety of that human form, whereas they only embody and represent “aspects” of that form. The disintegration of the nation-state model corresponds to the breakdown of the mental-rational consciousness structure (“perspectivism”). The corporate form is the “rational self-interest” or ego consciousness made physical and “real” as a social construction. It is an egregore.

      As egregores, Church, State, and Corporation correspond to Blake’s Zoas, specialisations of some aspect of the human form.

      • Scott Preston says :

        I should perhaps add to the above that as “specialisations”, State, Church (or Sangha, Ummah, etc) and Corporation are all narcissistic constructs in as much as they claim to represent the totality of the human form in themselves — the final “truth” about the human and the totality of its self-understanding. Hence, they all become engaged in attempting to dominate the others, or to repress and suppress them.

      • Scott Preston says :

        Also by the way, State, Church, and Corporation are good examples of what is meant by “intent”. They don’t exist in Nature. They are intentional entitites, by which I mean, they are invested with power, authority, majesty, charisma. In fact, “investiture” could be a synonym for what we mean by “intent”. Intent is inherently creative in that sense (it is not “will”, but is akin to will).

        A good example is “God”. Nietzsche understood that what we often call “God” is the creation of intent — and of collective intent. He wrote about our “flowing out into a God”. When intent is withdrawn, that which is constituted by intent becomes literally no-thing — “empty” as Buddhism and Ecclesiastes observe. But Nietzsche overlooked the fact that this very “intent” is what is called “God” — the “creator”. This “intentionality” of awareness is the key to understanding Blake’s “Imagination” as the “true man” — and Castaneda’s don Juan calls “a universe of intent”. What I call my “will” is a distorted understanding of this “intent” — will is it’s shadow, as it were — will is intentionality as it slows down and manifests in terms of time and space — physicality. That process is what we call “investiture”.

  15. LittleBigMan says :

    “While you’re resting your knee and drinking cups of Little Big Man’ fine turmeric tea….”

    I also like chopping and mixing the turmeric root with hot oatmeal and adding some honey before eating the mix 🙂

    “Ego consciousness must “expand”, must become “enlightened ego consciousness”, by including more intuitive or “unconscious” knowledge”

    In practical terms, I’ve experienced this expansion of my ego by watching it turn into a vessel (or a tower if you will) for observation. Sort of a “spook,” even. I believe it was either Seth or don Juan who also used that exact term “spook” to define the overarching meaning of our physical existence. In other words, the more ego consciousness expands, the less it thinks in terms of self-interest, and the more it sees the “intent” and “energy” at work.

    This “unconscious” knowledge was key (before my introduction to TDAB, Seth, don Juan, and now The Chrysalis) in throwing me off balance and telling me that there was something wrong with my mental model of the world. The unconscious knowledge that the physical reality is illusive and filled with deception was mostly thrust on me; it was not something voluntary. Dreams had a major role in that, as well as very bizarre occurrences when I was fully awake. All of these had prepared me for what came with TDAB, Seth, don Juan, and now The Chrysalis – and in that precise order.

    Defining “God” as the “creation of intent – and of collective intent” is an excellent reference to that all encompassing infinity. “Intent” is how I understand that entity that I don’t really understand.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Might be difficult for me to find turmeric root around these parts, although there is a good Indian grocer in the city who’s bound to have it. But that’s 140 kms there and back. I use turmeric quite a bit, but only the powder.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        I’ve used turmeric powder in my cooking for a very long time, too. But I don’t think it has the same effect on pain as the actual root. I could be wrong in this, though.

        I began having the root for a dull persistent shoulder pain that suddenly started bothering me last summer. The pain got worse over a few weeks and pretty soon it wouldn’t let me sleep on one side of my body.

        My general physician is an idiot, and I didn’t want to go to him for advice or X-rays. So, I began using turmeric root in my tea and food and within only one week the pain went down by about 80%, and now I basically have no pain and can sleep quite comfortably on either side of my body. My favorite meal to take the root it with is oatmeal, but I have also had it with different kinds of soups, green tea, omelet, etc. Please check your email.

  16. LittleBigMan says :

    “Machine City,” it seems to me, might be a misnomer, because all cities appear to be like machines – that is, they are artificial. Thus, more appropriately, we might be able to say: City = Machine.

  17. alex jay says :

    Hedges’ allegorical contemporary connection to Melville also struck me (in my defense and for my sins, I haven’t read Moby Dick since high school – shame on me!). Also what struck me was his use of “sublime madness” (I think it was “madness” or its equivalence) in reference to my earlier Huxley’s “abnormal normality” quotation.

    I’m short on time at the moment to comment in the length it deserves. Suffice to say that the “lunatics have taken over the asylum”, and it’s time for the “sublime madmen” to fly over the cuckoo’s nest. : )

    According to Hedges, it only needs 1% to 5 % to make it happen. I’m not sure about that (sounds too much like a Leninist “vanguard” formula? – though it worked for Christianity thanks to Constantine). All in all his heart is in the right place …

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