Surf Dreams, Deep Dreams
Two mystics, "AE" in 1918, Wayan in 1996, stumble on the same image of how we underestimate dreams
There really is nothing new under the moon!
Compare these two quotes on how Westerners misperceive dreaming, due to our busy, outward-looking, sleep-deprived lives. Here's me, Wayan, in 1996, from the afterword to the epic dream Fishergirls:
Dreamworlds are real. I've always dreamed other lives--solid, coherent, clear. The vague choppy experiences you call dreams sound like bad TV reception, or the surf-zone between land and sea. If you just keep going out through the foam and chaos--the roar of static--you reach a vast stable realm dotted with other lands as solid as your own. But most of you turn back, due to your alarm clocks (thank capitalism) or your fear that dreams are spooky and crazy (thank the witch hunts).
My spontaneous soul-travel and clear recall may be partly a genetic quirk, like perfect pitch, but partly privilege--my life's safe and quiet, and I have the free time to cultivate dreams. But learning to read takes time too--does that make literacy an elitist indulgence? Dreaming's an art worth making time for.
When I do get tired and stressed from busyness, I lose touch and get surf-zone dreams just like Americans.
Lousy reception! That's all your dreamnesia is.
Compare this to Yeats's friend and fellow mystic George Russell (better known as "AE"), from his handbook on vision- and dream-work The Candle of Vision (1918), which I just finished yesterday:
...that chaos of fancies we ordinarily remember and call our dreams… are not true dreams at all but rather a transitional state on the borderland, like to the froth on the ocean fringes, where there are buffetings of air, churnings of sand, water and weed, while beyond is the pure deep...
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