Sunday, February 13, 2011
On Thursday morning, something very strange happened. I had just woken but hadn't got up yet, when I experienced a state of mental clarity unlike and discontinuous with normal waking consciousness. In that state, I knew exactly what was going on in the world and why. I knew precisely what to do and how. Had I been able to hold on to the state, I could have explained it with no trouble at all. Unfortunately, it lasted for a few seconds only, and then it was gone. I knew that I'd had the experience, but that's all. I couldn't remember what I had known.
It was not the first time this has happened. There's never any warning, but it usually happens when I'm in a contemplative frame of mind or shortly after waking. In retrospect, it feels very much like a period of weeks before I left Vancouver. Almost every day, I woke up with the certainty that only seconds before, I had known the answers to all my most important questions, but I had zero recall of what they had been. It was intensely frustrating.
This most recent experience was the most dramatic. I was fully awake when it occurred and I have absolutely no doubt that it was real. It occupied my mind for most of that day and the next. The most striking thing about it was it's discontinuity with waking consciousness. The best analogy my intuition could provide was, that it was to waking consciousness as waking consciousness is to dreams.
It is not unusual to remember one's dreams when awake, but one never remembers one's waking life while dreaming. The memory traffic goes in only one direction. Still, it sometimes happens that waking consciousness manifests within dream reality. That would be the definition of a lucid dream, and that's very much what this was like, being lucid while awake. Another difference between waking and dreaming is their relative orderliness. From the perspective of waking consciousness, dreams appear very disorderly, chaotic and unstable. And yet, once awake, it is possible to make sense of the dream's meaning and see the source of it's contents in one's waking life. A sense of transcendent orderliness was present when I was in the state I experienced as well.
I'm starting to strongly suspect that there is a third state that is to waking as waking is to dreaming (and maybe others beyond it). What I find funny is, if there is such a state, then we've been living in it all our lives and just don't remember. Also, if the analogy to dreaming is sound, we probably spend far more "time" there than we do here. I haven't got as far as knowing what to make of all this. I would greatly appreciate any ideas and input about it and it's implications. I hope it happens again. It was a beautiful experience, even though it's specific content was lost. If it does, I'll post an update in the comments.