To turn that magnificence out there into reasonableness doesn't do anything for you. Here, surrounding us, is eternity itself. To engage in reducing it to a manageable nonsense is petty and outright disastrous.
--Carlos Castaneda, Tales of Power
We live in a long, recurring dream. Each moment and each day is a new snapshot through the same bit of holographic film. We call this the real reality while we call the other realities we experience at night when we're asleep "just dreams". The fact that your recurring reality and mine are radically different 99% of the time never seems to get through to us. While a hundred people live in a hundred separate realities, we gloss over our differences as much as possible and then we have popularity contests to determine who will have the authority to rule over us during those times when we can't agree with each other. Political and religious leaders understand better than we do that we are not able to deal with the fact that reality shortchanges most of us all the time. Consensus reality never quite matches what's really going on over here in my neck of the woods. Its purpose is to enforce consensus; not to enforce reality but to compromise it for the sake of the group. Reality is that we don't actually agree about much of anything.
Not everyone is as sensitive to interpersonal differences as I am. Many people gravitate toward commonalities with the norm, things to like about the world as we all supposedly agree it really is, things for us all to enjoy together, etc. I find groupthink, or what I call the Collective Average, as boring as boring could be. If I wanted agreement on a mass scale, I... well, uh, er... well I don't. I don't want that at all. Why would I? My purpose in being here is to learn how to escape from here. That's just the way I'm put together.
When the TV is on, it will be watched. Nearly everyone in the room finds it hard not to look at it and listen to the sound it makes. Our consensus world is just a big, three-dimensional TV. I am trying to get it across to you that this is not an analogy. It is a literal fact. You and I are literally addicted to this life we keep waking up in. Life? I meant to say dream. Life is a long dream, a recurring dream. Yours and mine share the human form in common, and some other things, details major and minor, but in general we are free to never agree with each other, to never share the same reality, and as long as we don't interact, we will never notice that we live in separate worlds.
Each individual expresses his own basic troovammickle, which is just a highly complex configuration of twoness that dictates at a core level what you are and what you are not. There is no way to know who you are at such a core level except by extrapolation: by looking at what you have done, where you have been, etc. A pattern can be detected, a pattern made of many interweaving patterns. You can change some of your sub-patterns some of the time, but you cannot change your troovammickle at its basic level without changing who you are. And if you change who you are, those who know you will experience losing you. In their world you have died or moved away or stopped speaking to them or become someone else. You and I are not individuals, we are awareness playing roles. The roles have no awareness. Awareness is really just animating lifeless, meaningless roles. Awareness can merge with anyone's troovammickle equally. The infinite worlds are just a vast unlimited playground for awareness to do anything it wants. The details mean nothing in the face of infinity. That doesn't mean awareness can't enjoy itself in a transitory way. That's why "we" individuals seem to exist. Because pure, infinite awareness would be neither aware nor infinite if it didn't include means for experiencing itself.
None of this makes sense from the common perspective, which is that we all live in the same world. From a more realistic, but highly unpopular perspective, we none of us live in the same world. The consensus part of reality is created by limited agreement, the intersections among our separate worlds. Your body, mind and world are simultaneously created by your troovammickle. The troovammickle is like a bit of holographic film, and awareness is a light shining through the film. You as an individual are what is projected, but you as awareness are pure awareness. Each of us is created by the same awareness. We don't have separate souls; what is separate about us is our individuality, our twoness, our troovammickles. We all share the same soul. No other soul has ever existed or ever will, because soul (awareness) is not subject to separation, agreement, or time. If we would stop clinging so viciously to the notion that we each have our own soul, all our problems would be solved instantly. But we cling to the problems that separate us because that's the way we are, as individuals. The ego, the notion that "I am I and not someone else" begs to be fed, nourished, pampered, assuaged, built up and enthroned. Our purpose in coming back to this recurring dream every day is to make sure our individuality is not lost to eternity.
But life is a TV show. It is broadcast from a remoteness which is only an abstraction to us. It exists for reasons we do not care much about, most of us, as we grope blindly through a world made of our own cares, our personality of unconscious motivations. In fact it seems quite apparent to someone like me--who hasn't watched TV regularly for almost half a century--that television is literally the source of much of what we hold dear, take for granted, live for, die for, cherish, hate, and on and on. Consensus reality does not create TV and TV does not create consensus reality. They create each other simultaneously. The mass media in its many forms feeds us what we already believe; the nightly news and our beliefs about the world create each other.
Moment after moment marches on, day after day, year after year, and we never catch on to the obvious: if not for our agreements about this world we visit so compulsively, life would be indistinguishable from one person's bizarre dream populated by two-dimensional cardboard characters who rarely do anything sensible. This life is addictive because we do not understand it. If we understood our motivations, we would be shocked and overwhelmed and disillusioned. Enlightenment, I'm guessing, is not all cookies and ice cream. It is depressing, at first, to realize that none of this matters. It's hard to come to terms with it. And if you just want to be a common unworlder who joins a facebook group about out-of-body experiences to complain about your dry spells, why even try to come to terms with it?
But in my opinion, if you want to spend more time experiencing the unknown and the infinite than you spend here trapped within the human form, there will come a time when you have to make a choice. The TV (the consensus world) is on because everyone is watching it. If you leave it on, you can still learn unworlding to some degree. But if you want to walk through walls without going to sleep first, you will have to learn how to walk into a room where the TV is on--by which I mean, wake up in this world--and somehow make it through your days with barely a glance at the TV, even though it's always on.
Frank Kepple talks about a slat effect. This is especially comforting to me when I am forced to be in a crowded place like a mall. When the sheer infinitude of unknowable and mostly uninteresting information assaulting my senses overwhelms me, I find it entertaining to turn the world into an animated painting on slats, and then rotate the slats out of the way so I can see the Nothing behind the slats. Since the slats are two-dimensional, they have no thickness, so they cannot be seen edge-on. To make it even more fun, I imagine as I rotate the slats back to face me again, that they have painted on them something I would never have guessed. Since this is such an ephemeral experience for me, I do it over and over.
What's strange is that this works. You don't see it with your eyes, but you can see it with your mind if you silence the internal dialog. It is striking, even to a beginner like me. Not everyone would understand wanting so badly to not join into this earthbound circus. I don't mind being a visitor. But it is so much more interesting to see through this mess of misunderstandings, what little bit I can. I am grateful for that little bit.