December 8, 1996

Dear Terence,

where is the hallucination of ten years ago? It's neither in space nor in time, this we know because space and time are definitions of relativity and nothing dwells in definitions but angles of perception. But say a hallucination (or a vision) recurs. The question might be rephrased "who is having this recurring vision?" Or is it that the vision "has" the perceiver?"

Language would have it that "I had a dream." If I appeared as a character in the dream and saw a blue house, was it the one who was sleeping who saw that house, or the one who appeared to be conscious within the dream, reputed to be me? Or the one who writes these sentences? Assuming the possibility of a reasonable answer, which aspect of self would be better qualified to reply:: the self of the dream, the waking self who recalls the dream, or the self who later ponders the subject of dream and vision in general? And what of the parts of the dream seemingly beyond recall? If not available to consciousness, were they really "dreamed" at all? Well, yes - because sometimes other facets of the dream pop into consciousness suddenly while one is thinking of other things - as though a 4th self yet had access to the n-dimensional repository.

I had a good deep sleep last night and remember nothing, though I'm fairly certain many vistas were opened. Just an apprehension of something occurring which might have so little reference to the waking world that memory cannot repossess it, unless an intersection point presents itself. Be that as it may, I feel refreshed in a way that suggests many things were resolved. As I write these words, I feel a sudden painful cramp in my solar plexus. Nausea. Gas pain, or am I skirting too near the abyss here? Conversely, is the abyss skirting too near me? Abyss: where self loses the comfortable utility based on not asking too many questions.

To the point, why am I writing of this particular blend of ideas this morning? Assuming nothing happens without motivation, is this examination the fruit of whatever happened in dreamland which won't yield itself to me? Seems a fair guess. The topic question popped into my head with commanding intensity, wanting to be written down, but not to "myself." Rather to an Other. As with all questions dealing with phenomenology, the problem of the observer is paramount. When "self itself" is under scrutiny, and starts splitting, like quicksilver touched, the "Other" is conceived and addressed as a matter of reflexive recourse. Looks like I'm adding to our cumulative exposition on the nature of the Other via the backdoor. Didn't realize that was where it would lead when I began.

Back to topic A: where is the hallucination of ten years ago, if it is both then and now? It would be almost too easy to suggest "in eternity," the same place the keener perceptics of babyhood loom without rational reference, causing the endless nostagia at the core of being human. A cat purrs when stroked because recalling the tongue washings of its mother. It needs no drugs or philosophy to achieve this satisfying identification with the Other. I think that in the "purr" separate identity dissolves. As in deep sleep. Is snoring the human equivalent? The flapping glottis of peace. Grey Autumnal morning thoughts. Cramp gone and a swirling breeze detatches yellow leaves from the wisteria.



December 12, 1996

Dear rh--

"Where are the snows of yesteryear?"

This is not a question about meteorology. It is rather a question about memory. It seems to me that one of the fundamental accomplishments of modernity is the establishment of the notion of a fragmented, discontinuous identity as a part of the lived experience of many people. I call it an
accomplishment because I believe it represents an overcoming of the fiction of narrative that was imposed on experience and life by the earlier more print constellated psychology of the Nineteenth Century. Phenomenology and analysis of experience leads to the notion that we each are living in very private Idahos. Not only do we have great difficulty communicating among ourselves but we also have great difficulty communicating with various parts of our own identity. The awakened and the dreamer are as remote from each other as the ten year old and the fifty year old, as different from each other as the terminal depressed person and the psychedelically ecstatic person; yet all of these people can be found united in one person, or at least one body, one continuing organism. I almost wrote one continuous bundle of genes, but then I recalled that one's genetic heritage
is never expressed all at once, some genes are turned on in puberty, some in middle age. So in this sense we are always a part of the larger thing that we are in time that is our whole continuous existence, something that a 4 dimensional being could appreciated from the outside but that no one of us can ever see or know. The organism continues but its understanding of itself and its purposes and its experiences of itself and its purposes is always unintegrated and discontinuous.