The Dreaming

I do occasional work for a local farm owner and businessman. I allow him to draw on my time when his full-time employees are spread too thin, being overasked and overtasked, which is fairly often. It is pretty demanding work because he’s a pretty demanding fellow, actually.  He operates a farm, a seed plant, a grain elevator, and a rock quarry, all of which are in varying states of dilapidation or functioning only on the edge of chaos.

He is a fascinating character, although erratic and, by his own admission, quite “rash”. He thinks of himself as being an exceptional individual and an individualist, but in fact he is extraordinarily typical. Because he is erratic, rash and impetuous, he is also highly controlled and controlling. That seems like a contradiction, and it is. He’s my bellweather for what ails society, which is why I appreciate him so much. He’s the perfect representative of late modern society’s self-contradictions. He’s also extraordinarily narcissistic.

This man over-identifies with his possessions and assets to a rather extreme degree, so much so in fact that they have become an essential part of his self-image and very identity. Consequently, he hoards everything. He is also a workaholic. He cannot be done with anything or let anything go.

Some people might call that “anal retentive”, resorting to a Freudian idiom. I call it his “dreaming”. Everything has become an extension of himself, a precise and exact externalisation of his inner condition and a projection of it. About this, he is oblivious. But his employees and I are, in effect, involved in his dreaming. His world, as such, is a mirror, and it is pretty much restricted to the environment framed by his assets which are himself. Another term for this “dreaming” might be “narcissistic projection”.

Ironically, as he ages this man has developed a neurological condition diagnosed as “Parkinsonism”. He has lost motor control, which is a tragic thing for a fellow whose ego nature is to be very controlled and controlling. One astute employee even referred to this loss of motor control as a kind of “revenge effect” — the form of his body’s revolt against his domineering egoism and denialism. By this “denialism”, I mean his habitual life-long suppression and repression of the spontaneous and vigorous energies of the body, which are now asserting themselves pathologically as involuntary acts.

He knows no world apart from his business assets and interests, and no life apart from working, which for him is mere busy-ness, even if it is clearly unproductive activity. That often leads to great frustration on the part of his employees who often see no point in what they are required to do. They don’t entirely realise that they are caught up in this man’s dreaming — and are intercessionaries in this man’s narcissistic projection and entangled in it.

As this man’s condition deteriorates, so do his assets and his operations. They are mutually entangled. Consequently, he perceives the need for more hands putting in more hours just to keep things together and detain them from flying apart completely. If you know The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, you may understand here what I am referring to as his “dreaming”, or narcissistic projection. The parallel is rather remarkably close.

And I mean this quite literally — the entirety of this man’s life-horizon, his universe, is an externalisation of his internal state. There is no real separation between the “in here” and the “out there”. This is also “value realisation” as I discussed in the last post. When I move through and act within his environment, I am moving through his dreaming, and I also am an intercessionary in his dreaming.

“You create the reality you know”, both individually and collectively, and it’s often easier to perceive this in the case of others than in our own case. I allow him to impose  his dreaming upon me when I enter into his life-horizon because he’s a fascinating study of the very principle of value realisation as reality creation, even if it is aberrant.

William Blake saw this clearly. Every man and woman — every sentient being, in fact — carries their universe around with them. In effect, “you are the world” as Krishnamurti states, and you are implicitly what you perceive. That’s the deeper sense in which value realisation and reality creation are one and the same process. That’s what is called “magic”.

And I have to thank my lucky stars to have had the chance to see this in action as I have in the case of my friend the businessman.

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4 responses to “The Dreaming”

  1. abdulmonem says :

    I like to dialogue what i read not to let my mind to pursue the same line of the thought of what I read. Just to move from the descriptive mind to the critical, I see in the case of the man a warning bell pointing toward a dilapidated society that needs to be addressed and require our involvement in its correction prior to letting it reach this stage of calamity. I think this old man might have corrected his intention if he found among his contact some one who pointed to him the catastrophic road he is pursuing,taking his ability to control and controlling, instead of hearing one of his employee saying that the sad situation he is in,is a revenge effect.

  2. LittleBigMan says :

    Those in my sphere of acquaintances, if not dedicated to work entirely, tend to occupy themselves with utterly frivolous matters (a.k.a shopping or just waste money) to feel good.

    Generally speaking, by ‘frivolous matters’ I mean activities that add no value to the person exercising it except earning the individual some bragging rights.

    This is why, in my opinion, the man you are speaking of has no need to envy anyone for doing other things than work. I admire the Amish peoples greatly because, besides their daily work, they are involved in a lot of community oriented activities which add value to them as individuals as well as the community in which they live. It’s unfortunate that Amish have some rules that can be needlessly restrictive which have caused some of their young men and women to leave the community.

    Other than that, anywhere else I have lived, when people are not preoccupied with work, they tend to go and get themselves into trouble in one way or another. I don’t know about up there, but down here there is so much frivolousness in the social interactions that work and books have become my sanctuary.

    • Scott Preston says :

      On another note…. this might interest you. I was reading where Ubisoft has won a number of awards for its role-playing game “Child of Light”. It’s about a princess or someone who finds themselves in a fantasy land called…. Lemuria.

      Odd, ain’t it?

      • LittleBigMan says :

        Life has become so nihilistically predictable that it might make playing a constructive role in a fantasy world worthwhile for many.

        It’s ironic that it’s a child that is tasked with saving Lemuria, not an embattled Knight with muscles bulging from underneath a bronze armor. I am assuming that the game was designed for a young audience.

        But have The Chrysalis, and before that, TDAB, not been about bringing the light back to our nihilistic times in the same way that Aurora (a.k.a. Child of Light) is tasked with returning the sun, the stars, and the moon back to Lemuria?

        What’s odd is that people who play the Ubisoft game might not actually see the similarity that exists between the predicament on Lemuria and the one present on our own planet.

        Lemuria is the image of the truth (i.e. Earth in the 21st century).

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