Do you remember what it was like before you were born? No? That’s the point. We are forever aborning. Each moment a new incarnation, and in each moment the original conviction is arrived at again. Yet for all our convictions we are still constantly aborning.
There is a third state. I will relate my experience of visiting a loved one in a low security psyche ward.
My first impression was of the staff. They all bore every evidence of being “entrenched”, and they had a blank look in their eyes even as they greeted us. I spoke only minimally to the staff as I was both young and disinclined to deal with their state any further than I had to. As I looked over the room, I saw people milling about slowly, aimlessly, as if they weren’t even in the room, but their eyes gave every impression that they were having very vivid experiences. One man looked at me in a bleary eyed manner and then seemed to register that I was there, and told me that Dick Clark told him he had to kill me but that he wasn’t going to. He informed me I was an alright person, and then stared in an empty corner commenting about how no one ever changed the channel on the TV. There was no TV. Another woman was sitting by herself at a table, pasting bits of colored paper on a white background and smiling really wide as if her face hurt. Her eyes looked panicked, and she was singing to herself tunelessly, la la la. You know that sort of thing. She seemed to perceive everyone readily enough, but her emotional state swung in ways that seemed to have nothing to do with anyone she was looking at, as if she couldn’t help but react to people or presences she only remembered.
I chose then to focus completely on the woman I came to visit. She sat stewing at another table, almost as if she were trying to control herself, clear her head. When I spoke to her I did so in my usual way, gently. She looked up at me and failed to recognize me. When I asked if she knew who I was she stonewalled, just grunted as if my identity wouldn’t have mattered even if she should recall. She seemed to have some inkling that I was friendly though, so proceeded to ask me to ask the doctors to give the cigarettes. I made a few passes at reminding her of what awaited her when she was released, then told her I loved her as our visit was called to an end.
I see this same process play out outside of psyche wards also. This same image of the world and how people perceive it is there still.
It sounds like people just retreating from the world as a defensive measure. Actually, every evidence to me seemed to suggest they were dramatizing what lead them to the state they were in, playing out in an uncontrolled way what they felt before they lost composure. Their feelings were all still recognizable. With an easing of attention their pictures could all be seen in better perspective, but their “real life” became surreal. The subtle anxiety they denied came to define their every waking moment.
You think they were deliberately focusing on another perception? No, not deliberately. I think their state arises the same way our own state of awareness does, and the potential for their state of consciousness is inherent in everyone’s consciousness. They stay there not by choice, but by fatigue, next to total exhaustion if not total. But just because healthy people don’t define their perceptions this way, doesn’t mean these perceptions don’t touch on the structure of their own. Whether or not you actually see the gorilla on the sporting arena floor is a matter of degree and ability to attend also.
Gorilla? An old science experiment. A man in a gorilla suit, not a part of the event, but walking in the foreground where he would be readily visible, and even acting strangely so as to get attention. The majority of people didn’t notice it.
The structure of consciousness is there. Just because we don’t perceive all the structures doesn’t mean they aren’t there, or that they aren’t as real as what might make you eat the sandwich you had for lunch.
We don’t define the sum total of conscious activity either. The fact that you heard a chain of birds screeching angrily will impact your consciousness even if you don’t perceive it as making conscious sense to you. The environmental factors that affect consciousness… Well, you are a walking, talking environmental factor. The same order that gives rise to your physical structure gives rise to the artifacts of your perception. Does this sound totally fallacious?
I am affected by smells. You are affected by smells. You even ingest the material that allowed you to perceive a smell. You embody it.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.