Darkness and fucked-up Gaiman Dreams

Just read the comments for my post on connectedness/self-walls, and they have been very relevent for me right now [1]. I think I might be taking a bit of a turn in my progress, having reached the greatest point of overwhelming optimism on humanity I now need to start to find the balance of “where to draw the line”. I’ve seen how to give but need to not give too much.

As with most lessons, I will be learning this one through experience; this one will be difficult but yet important. Recently I’ve been reaching out more than I ‘should’ to strangers who are perhaps (but not necessarily) just sex-crazed druggies and paranoid-vampires; this may indeed be stupid (or not) but it seems I have to evolve my moral system not just decide it from a distance. I keep touching fire until it burns me, I learn more deeply from the pain not the reasoning.

I’ve just pulled myself out of, not so much a nightmare, as a Seriously-fucked-up dream. For those who have read Gaiman literature – it was EXACTLY like this (with overtones of ‘JAAAAM’). In fact I was living out a new book he’s written…mostly about the ‘fucked-up-ness’ of people and the general darkness and wrong of humanity.

Even in the dream was a comment of Gaiman on the other ‘helpful’ books I’ve been reading. “these books are great, but they miss out on the darkness of humanity”

I can face this now because I have encountered the light which is underneath all the shit. I need to /engage/ in this now because I want to stop being afraid. If I do it right then I won’t actually get hurt; this itself is part of the learning.

Everything in the I-ching tells me to ‘be small and flexible’ and ‘don’t impose your direction on things’. I need to bite my tongue and wait a bit.. there are many small apparently disconnected pieces which may come together right if I leave them alone.

In other strange twists, I have to say I’m beginning to agree with stormrider, or perhaps acknowledge he is 70% right. The other 30% is too important to miss though. To a large extent we -are- robots-of-our-genes, and yet at any time we can chose to stop and start rebuilding and finding more. There is certainly more to be found but the thing is each person has to look for it in their own way; I can not /explain/ to you what your spirtuality should be and how it goes together. The hardest point is that to take control is to take responsibility for our lives – and not everyone wants to do that.

I am developing an urge to draw lots of faeries. Perhaps some kind of contrast?

As with always, this journal marks my steps in development…fully expect more twists and contradictions 🙂 As a general comment, I am perhaps learning how to live the paradoxes..to be both fundamentally optimistic and cynical about people at the same time.

The important point is that I’m listening to, or at least learning to trust in the ‘inner voice’/intuition/advice-of-self. This generally works out for the best in the end, though it’s taken me through lessons as well as straight to joy.
[1]Sorry I’ve not commented back, I need to get up and get a train very soon…this post was just to mark a point and extract from head.

TIME Magazine article and burblings

Only have this computer for a few minutes, but I’ve had an amazing trip round the uk, for which a proper update will follow shortly.

I popped on here to mention that this weeks TIME magazine features a front-cover article on meditation – and why it works. A quick read through, and it seems quite a down to earth, reasonable summary and certainly worth checking out. At least, if you’ve not already found the benefits yourself.

Just thought the sceptical likes of Starglider might want to take this onboard? *grin* Maybe it’s not just the ‘waste of time’ you’ve been telling me? 🙂

(also, they specifically mentioned randomly picking some psiorisis (sp?) people and getting them to practice meditation, it sped up the rate of skin-healing 4 times or something like that.)

I feel encouraged to see how meditation is going from a few eclectic buddhists and crystal-people to something discussed -positively- in such a mainstream journal. This is a good sign, although if too many people discover the joy of being calm and relinquishing the grip of consumerism, eventually the economy is really going to suffer. ah well ;p

Me, I’m off to start a new practice of Chi Kung/ quikong/whatever. Apparently just doing one exercise 10 times a day for 3 months will have noticeable benefits. I’m going to add to this the ones which improve your figure, ‘give you a beautiful bust’ (worth a shot) and clear up your skin. You never know! 🙂

Generally speaking, I’ve learnt and seen a lot over the last couple of weeks. I realised something sunday night that had me in tears, and I felt a connection and amazement to and about people that’s not happened to that level before. And that’s still just a glimpse of what’s there. As a starting point for futher consideration –

There is no gap between people, just walls and barriers which we have erected ourselves. I suspect this is like the “A-T fields” in Evangelion, which I should watch again sometime. This half of the thought makes me intensely happy and also scared. The other half is that, so many people are lonely, so much of the time, and yet this is a condition we have within us, through the walls we so rarely let down. In a semi-tragic way we invest so much time in trying to make connections with other people, fumbling about in relationships, but until we start to loosen the inner bindings and barriers we will never get there. This makes me cry with loss. And so, in one moment, in one thought, so many mixtures of feeling that you end up with just emotion. I am glad that people can cry as well as laugh.

I know the above doesn;t make sense. It’s not an arguement or even a description. It’s there for mee to jog memories of that time of strange lucidity, before it vanishes totally back to mist.

I think I need some coffee now 😉

Random messages for people re:roadtrip

I’m now at Utlah’s house which is wonderful and has the most amazing ‘attic’ style room. I want my own little house now 🙂 Anyway, just to leave a few messages here, I will aim to actually call people tomorrow when I know a bit more about timings. The below gives you a short idea of our plans for the next few days

Lizzie: Tried calling you back but phone engaged, and I’m not even sure if you still have the same mobile.(!) There is a meet-up at sandroo’s place saturday/saturday night to which you and Joel have been invited, it would be great to see you there. Doesn’t look like we’ll have time to stop by birmingham itself, though I have discovered how easy it is to get to on the train so hopefully I can come up and see you on a random weekend.

Stormrider: We’ve already sent you an apologetic email, somehow we have failed to contact you, it must be your mental-disruption rays or something. But despite this we haven’t forgotten about you, and would really like to invade visit on sunday if that’s ok??

Kasyx: I failed to make a note of your email, but I do have your phone number. We have a slight alteration to the plan, in that we’re going to stop over in Edinburgh overnight rather than do sheffield–>aberdeen in one trip (or nottingham–>aberdeen if we can’t get in a visit to Stormrider’s). This will probably be monday night. If you happen to have floor space available that would be great, but don’t worry if you don’t because it will be fine for us to just get some B&B so don’t worry. Either way it would be nice to meet for evening-food monday, and maybe visit some places in the city tuesday??

Draconis: Will send you an email in a minute, but hopefully we’ll be in your area Tuesday..again, do you have available floor space?

beyond that I don’t know, but we’ll be up to visit Ryath following that! Where, being the furthest possible distance from IBM, it is important that I remember to send them a happy-smiling postcard! 🙂

Josie: I talked to an old couple on the train who had done a lot of travelling, including Japan, and I made all kinds of notes on some of their good ideas. I will see how much I pick up over the next couple of weeks,


The best thing is that right now I just feel so relaxed. mmmm..

Creativity, Play, and Life

Tomorrow, I begin my journey away from this screen, into the real world of people and places and sights and sounds. I will have more to consider than my own mind, which gets quite boring after two months of introspection. Fresh input!

So, your friend’s pages will be free of my incessent bibbling for a few weeks – I can hear the sighs of relief from here. Seriously, thank you all for your comments and input over the last months, it has truly stopped complete insanity developing, or at least has diverted off into more sensible realms.

But first, one last big meaty post. It has mostly been inspired by considering the comments on my ‘nature/nurture’ post, particularly the personal experiences of Kev and Kay. Stormrider, your comments as always set of a mixture of fresh ideas and the urge to contradict half the things you say 😉 . But I will wait till I can meet you face to face and hopefully am feeling a bit more awake.

This post contains some thoughts on something I feel to be very important – creativity and play. This is probably also the truest and more sensible representation of “Cat’s aspiring philosophy-of-life”. Aspiring as in, it’s what I preach but should really start practicing a bit more. 😉

are we having fun yet?

Strangest tears

Odd. I’ve been happy at a couple of ladies in the department about going away travelling for a few weeks (they asked about it, I’m not -totally- obnoxious), and the strangest thing. They both looked like they were trying not to cry.

I’m sure it’s not because I’m so great that they will miss me. Maybe it just makes them feel totally shite and jealous about having to stay in this department? or long for the heady days of youth??

Whatever it is, I find it mildly disturbing.

Dream Tourism / Unsubtle subconscious

I have been going to wonderful places in my dreams lately. And this makes me value my dream experience immensely, since it contrasts nicely with sitting in one place the rest of the day.

Last night, it was particularly vivid. I was on some sort of island, it reminded me a bit of tenerife. Not deserted by any means, there were quite a lot of buildings there.

I can remember going out onto wooden gazebo style platform that stretched out into some still, turquoise,lagoon-style water. I watched brilliant stripy fish (orange, black and white) playing, but when I took out my camera for a photo they all disspeared back under the gazebo where I couldn’t see them. There was also, for some a disturbing reason, a small girl climbing inside the cartoonish huge gaping mouth of a type of octopus. It didn’t seem to mind, or try and consume her, in fact she giggled and curled up at the back of it’s ‘throat’ in a sort of foetal position. (!)

From this gazebo-platform, you could look back over to the city on the island. The buildings were made from a lightish rock, nestling up the side of the mountain. I’ve seen them before somewhere. But the really impressive thing was this:

carved into the whole side of the mountain was an amazing ancient sculpture, lit from the side by golden-afternoon light. It consisted of a huge zeus-style old-man/god face, eyes closed, sort of wise looking, above a really big carved inscription you could read from an amazing distance.

Now, it has struck me lately that my subconscious has been trying to get me messages in my dreams. It would appear that it’s given up with any small scale, freudian hints, and gone for literally carving the message, in english, plain sentences, into the very landscape of my dreams. I’m surprised this wasn’t surrounded with flashing neon lights and a big arrow saying “this is important”

I did take quite a few photos and sat there musing over the inscription. I wake up and,again, I can’t remember for the life of me what the damn thing said! I’ve got to start writing things down as soon as I wake up. Although sometimes I wonder if these things just don’t translate to every day thinking.

I know a lot of people who say they can’t remember their dreams. I -can-, and now I just wish I could remember what I learn in them! 🙂

Those fish were brilliant though.

Slightly worrying thought/ Nature vs. Nurture

Sipping my annoying luke-warm latte, and munching on a chocolate roll I nabbed from a birthday offering in a next door department[1], the thought strikes me.

Actually, change that. I was going to go off on one about the general boring drone-ness of the input-clerks here, but then *I* probably look like that to everyone else (albeit less blond and with no make up) – who knows what these people get up to outside of the office! Its too easy to be judgemental with no evidence sometimes.

Still, what was worrying me was this. What if I’d not had the good education and upbringing provided for my a combination of my parents’ money and the love and good sense of Pam (my surrogate mother).[2]

How much of who I am is simply luck and good fortune. I would say I’m intelligent, in a slightly off-shoot, round-the-houses, vague kind of way. But would I have developed this if I’d been at a different school, or just not encouraged academically? Not had it all laid out in an easy path?

What would have happened if it had been a struggle, something where I had to motivate myself against all the odds? Perhaps I would have done it, or maybe I would have just given up, scraped a few passes at GCSE, got a job in a shop.

What is actually getting to me here? I think it’s this notion – is my intelligence something that I’ve done, an attribute of ME, or simply a result of the influences in my life. Something about that makes it feel so arbitary.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. What is ‘intelligence’ anyway? Knowledge, mental tools, processes? I’m not sure.

There is always a difficulty with developing artificial intelligence, at least in making something that seems human. And I wonder if this problem rests on the fact that we have a desire to learn, some sort of motivation, a questioning mind, and a sense of satisfaction as learning happens and discoveries are made… this is perhaps the part which is inherent in me regardless of education.

I can remember being fascinated by the world at an early age, and even as I got older learning about people and the world has always seem valuable and exciting in itself, beyond just an academic creditential or useful factual knowledge. Perhaps that would have been enough of a drive? Certainly I’ve been happy to go off on my own little quests at a-level and university, deviating away from the laid out path and into my own exploration.

And then the desire to draw, to create. Yes, this was encouraged in me at an early age (Pam and her family again, I dread to think what would have happened if they’d not been about). And imagination.

Still, I wonder where else I could have ended up. I’m glad I am here, and I want to make something of my life that uses attributes of ME, not just the intelligence/attributes I’ve had trained and induced. hmmm…I wonder…

Without a doubt I want to draw more. That makes me feel alive, and brings me so much satisfaction.
[1] you could live of scavenging in this place, everyone is always bringing in sweets, cakes, crisps and other unhealthy snacks for pretty much any occasion; birthday, leaving, arriving, returning from a holiday, the fact it’s a tuesday…the most ironic thing being 80% of IBM’s population is ‘dieting’ and therefore shouldn’t be eating it anyway. Not only could you live of it, you could quite easily get fat of it too.
[2] Don’t get me wrong, my parents didn’t ignore me or anything but I do feel if my upbringing had been left soley to them I would be introverted, shy, health-obsessive, screwed up in the head and probably on drugs by now.