As I watched “Donnie Darko” today, I felt like it was the story of my childhood. Of course it wasn’t point for point — I didn’t see a macabre bunny outfit and a jet engine didn’t kill me. I pondered why I felt that. How could there be any real parallel beyond smatterings of empathy and shared experience, like a tadpole of commonality swallowing a whale of a writer’s imagination.
When I thought the word parallel, another thought hit me. We see patterns as repetitions of coincidence, correlation, or cause & effect. Surface observance. We can philosophize all we want about the nature of free will, chaos, destiny beneath it; but in the end there is only what we can immediately affect and what immediately affects us. We imagine control and being controlled. The keyword is imagine.
Our (personal) world is as we imagine it. So much “if this then that” threads of experience help us to contrive coherency and “story” … and “truth.”
Underneath the surface of contrived linearity are archetypes: platonic-type archetypes of potentiality. Our surface cónstructs can only dimly reflect the archetypes by what we imagine (1 Corinthians 13:12); or by how, with our experience and education, we make limited sense of ourselves and our world. I realized that, while I couldn’t map to what I saw on the surface of the movie, I could map to what was underneath it.
The other day on Facebook, I wrote:
…at what point do you recognize the sanctity of the resulting behavior while at the same time not turning it into part of an ongoing formula?
In the old magical traditions, that’s the difference between a neophyte and a magus; or in karate between a green-belt and a black-belt: discovering the core of what the behavior means and absorbing that, rather than maintaining the behavior as a mindless practice.
“The core of what the behavior means” is the archetype; “behavior,” the surface. You can have parallel experience within the medium we share ‘called existence’, with no surface similarity at all! “Similarity” can rely entirely on different reflections (experiences) of the same archetype. (I suspect that “archetype” is also a bad choice of words. In the book “Thinking, Fast & Slow”, the author might have used “prototype” here.)
On one seemingly random discourse between Donny and his science (?) teacher, the teacher asserted that if you could see the future, you had a choice at the moment of perceiving it to alter it. Donny’s thinking seemed to be: no, there is a stream of existence that contains the past, present, and future — it’s a constant ‘is’. Our perceiving it doesn’t provide us with choice as much as it does realization.
An instance of tapping into an archetype: Once — long time ago — I believed that some of us had the ability to put our little brain-based antennae into this stream, like a stick in water, except that the water’s “current” was more of a state rather than a direction. What the antennae came in contact with could be anywhere in that ‘is’ container. If it was about things that hadn’t yet happened in our experience, it was still only realization. Realization that enhanced the comprehension of the moment when the stream’s ‘is’ and my ‘is’ intersected.
“Realize” means to bring into existence, so “realization” might not be the best choice of words. I can, however, be deep in thought while driving and realize that I have just arrived at an intersection that requires my attention. The feeling of going from one state to the other is drastic — as I wrote to a friend of mine: “going between an inside-your-head state and one on the outer ring of consciousness is so drastic that the movement between the first to the second can be as impactful as emerging out of deep water into the air with a distinct thrust.” That’s how I mean realize.
So the antennae give you information while you’re in your inside state, in a dream state bounded by walls of thought and personal images. Rushing to the surface of higher consciousness qualifies what you intercepted as more of a dream or hallucination. A premonition. But not information whose data you can change to alter what the information is about.
Underneath the surface of whatever we imagine we know or perceive is a reality we cannot begin to penetrate — depths so deep we are lucky to identify the currents nearest us. Currents…streams.
I have a different perspective on consciousness now — a more conscious perspective, a less blind experience and more recognizable situation. Less a collision with a tree and more about the nature of collision. I am now wondering if I’m ready to imagine those antennae in a different way, one that is less dream and more … awareness?
Filed under: Reflection |