I guess I think we're both right here. I was speaking of linear time as we experience it, and I think you are speaking from a place of timelessness. I find you just the right amount of stubborn
Certainly it's not a matter of being right? I'd say that it is about experiences and also - what words we use to designate those. It can be confusing.
Maybe I was mixing them up somewhat in what I was writing, but that's because there does occur some "spilling over" as I experience it: I mean that while, in normal waking state, I'm minding my everyday business, there is always some awareness of the Imaginal realm. And vice versa, too.
But apart from that, I have also always experienced time in the regular waking state as not completely "gone". Maybe this is very difficult to describe.
When my father died - which was much too early, alas - I realised this consciously for the first time: there was a sense of his life existing somewhere, unchanged. It was merely not possible to interact with it from the position where I was - meaning as the point in time where I was then. Yet, this awareness offered more solace than any other consideration. I described it back then with the analogy of a piece of music: even if it has stopped playing (whether it's a record or a live performance) the music itself does not simply cease to be. It continues to exist as a whole, even if it can't be listened to at a given moment.
I find this supposedly less of a difference than most others I've talked to about it: it is as if the awareness of the music itself existing (somewhere) is not all that different from when I'm actually listening to it.
Of course this analogy breaks down at a certain point, but it is the best that I can think of right now.
I was even thinking that this difference in how I experience the past may underlie a very fundamental difference in how I value anything that's "new". It has even struck me as a seven-year old how oddly people seem to favour anything that's new - such as music. For some this takes the shape of simply liking anything only because it's new, and dumping it as soon as it's not new anymore. Think about pop culture especially: it may be trivial, but I have often been amazed with the automatic categorising anything that's older then - a year, five years? - as inherently uninteresting and irrelevant.
This has always puzzled me, for to me this attitude means an immense impoverishment. To take the example of music again: I consider history (including the now) as one great repository in which I can find things, interesting and beautiful things. But the further into the past I reach, the lesser the chance that I can share whatever I find with others.
I can only explain this attitude towards "new vs. old" as a result of a being focused on the "now" as the only thing that really exists. This focus drives whole industries: everything that's subject to fashion. Maybe that's why I find fashion so utterly incomprehensible.
There's a wonderful dialog that Tolkien wrote that touches on this subject. It's called Athrabeth Andreth ah Finrod
(dialogue between Andreth, a mortal woman, and Finrod of the Noldor (elves)) It's about a lot more actually, such as the nature of death and mortality, but these lines from the first part are most applicable:
(Finrod)'For strange as we deem it, we see clearly that the fëar (souls) of Men (humans) are not, as are ours, confined to Arda (the world), nor is Arda their home.
'Can you deny it? Now we Eldar (elves) do not deny that ye love Arda and all that is therein (in so far as ye are free from the Shadow) maybe even as greatly as do we. Yet otherwise. Each of our kindreds perceives Arda differently, and appraises its beauties in different mode and degree.
How shall I say it? To me the difference seems like that between one who visits a strange country, and abides there a while (but need not), and one who has lived in that land always (and must).
To the former all things that he sees are new and strange, and in that degree lovable. To the other all things are familiar, the only things that are, his own, and in that degree precious.'
'If you mean that Men are the guests,' said Andreth.
'You have said the word,' said Finrod: 'that name we have given to you.'
'Lordly as ever,' said Andreth. 'But even if we be but guests in a land where all is your own, my lords, as you say, tell me what other land or things do we know?'
'Nay, tell me!' said Finrod. 'For if you do not know, how can we? But do you know that the Eldar say of Men that they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else; that if they love it, it is only (so it seems) because it reminds them of some other dearer thing? Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?
'We are both, Elves and Men, in Arda and of Arda; and such knowledge as Men have is derived from Arda (or so it would appear). Whence then comes this memory that ye have with you, even before ye begin to learn?
'It is not of other regions in Arda from which ye have journeyed. We also have journeyed from afar. But were you and I to go together to your ancient homes east away I should recognize the things there as part of my home, but I should see in your eyes the same wonder and comparison as I see in the eyes of Men in Beleriand who were born here.'
'You speak strange words, Finrod,' said Andreth, 'which I have not heard before. Yet my heart is stirred as if by some truth that it recognizes even if it does not understand it. But fleeting is that memory, and goes ere it can be grasped; and then we grow blind. And those among us who have known the Eldar, and maybe have loved them, say on our side: "There is no weariness in the eyes of the Elves". And we find that they do not understand the saying that goes among Men: too often seen is seen no longer. And they wonder much that in the tongues of Men the same word may mean both "long-known" and "stale".
'We have thought that this was so only because the Elves have lasting life and undiminished vigour. "Grown-up children" we, the guests, sometimes call you, my lord. And yet - and yet, if nothing in Arda for us holds its savour long, and all fair things grow dim, what then? Does it not come from [the] Shadow upon our hearts? Or do you say that it is not so, but this was ever our nature, even before the wound?'
When I first read this dialogue it struck me immediately how this timed perspective
, this attachment to the now - or new
is described as characteristic for Men (humans). And more interestingly, what is mentioned by Finrod as the reason for that: the Eldar say of Men that they look at no thing for itself; that if they study it, it is to discover something else; that if they love it, it is only (so it seems) because it reminds them of some other dearer thing?
I think that this is a particularly haunting observation. Indeed: Yet with what is this comparison? Where are these other things?
And indeed, as Andreth acknowledges: how come that anything that's "long-known" practically becomes automatically stamped as "stale" - except, maybe, some artifacts that are so universally deemed valuable (like great works of art) that they enjoy a status apart
- but they remain exceptions to the rule?
Or in my own words: what then is that particular attraction of something that's new? And doesn't it bother people that this quality is by its nature transient and temporary?
I must admit that I'm just as flabbergasted as Finrod is here.
"Grown-up children" we, the guests, sometimes call you (..)
- even that makes a lot of sense in this context.
Sorry for the digression! Maybe I should split this thing off ...
ginnie wrote:Ahh OK, no we are not speaking of the same thing. The imaginal is a state of consciousness, the waking state is another state of consciousness. Two very different states with the same goal in mind. West and East meet at some point.
The regular state of consciousness is not what I call the 'waking state'. They are wholly different to me. The waking state can be likened to the awakening of the 'third eye'. I agree, many methods and habits in the regular state are useless in the waking state as well. Sometimes it's so absurd all you can do is laugh. This is the 'laughing buddha' I'm certain.
Regular state is a form of automatism.
I suppose that what you call "waking state" is comparable to the state in which one enters the Imaginal. The absurdity of the everyday business of the mind-emotion tandem is certainly apparent, though it also has a strong element of compassion and pity (in the positive sense).