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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 06/06/2005
Vol. 2, #166

More on "Consciousness Visiting"

I managed to miss a week or two again just as I was getting into the deeps of my "consciousness visiting" experiences. First, I got a bronchial infection that needed a lot of antibiotics and time. Then the two-book contract from INNER TRADITIONS came in to republish AN UNLIKELY PROPHET and continue with its sequel, A GATHERING OF SELVES. Then the doctors discovered I had a hernia which will be operated on this month and my literary manager wanted me to produce, pronto, a specialized film outline and synopsis for a book in which he sees great cinematic possibilities. So some things, I have to do the hard way, in spite of all my "skills" at "consciousness visiting", which however has at least energized old age sufficiently to keep me working at quite a clip, and even finding in work, a kind of surcease from aging's steady attritions.

So I'm back again to say a few more things about consciousness visiting. There is, in fact, among various primitive groups, especially in South America, quite a bit of information emerging about very similar relations with consciousness, expressed under different names, many of which suggest that consciousness is not an individual thing, or that what we think of as "the individual" is indeed a complex or collective which, rightly understood, can explain the differences among whole cultures deep into the very early layering on which rest all our ideas of a private self, an early layering from which the thickets of being arise in such different forms.

But to make this simple and more appropriate to this space, let's think of Superman and his alter ego, Clark. Are they two aspects of one being? One being with a reflection? Two reflections of something more basic still? The answer is all of these. None exists without the others. Superman without Clark is a paper cutout, a form without a shadow. And the whole superhero tribe (along with the comic book industry it brought into being) is a complex that is cultural, enduring, filtering up through all other cultural forms and effectively like a sunburst, shape-changing, magical and yet, all of a piece. So consciousness is essentially itself, self-visiting, self-shaping, self-discovering, IF, that is, if we can allow it to be that way instead of being locked within our own private selves.

Actually, what I've here chosen to call consciousness visiting is a kind of self exploration. And expansion. It requires a leap from where you are. There's no step, no bridge, no clearly defined line, just that leap toward your own fuller self.

Difficult as it is to explain this movement toward self, as I choose to call it, it can be done. We can help it along here by discussing it. I invite you to dive in with me.

--Alvin

<< 05/16/2005 | 06/06/2005 | 06/27/2005 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.


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