Thursday, July 29, 2010
LAYERS OF MIND
airbellows outdoor art museum
Driving up the mountain this evening a doe standing by the side of the road caused me to slow down. It dark with headlights, there was no guessing which way the deer would run. She turned and ran back away from the road. I spoke to her in my mind, calling her Beauty. Hello, Beauty. She has her herd of a few more does and a buck, some little ones. She has a life. She's not just a deer by the side of the road bewildered by headlights, she's the same as a person to me, somebody with a vision problem blinded by headlights, somebody not accustomed to our human world of unforgiving machines, except to stay away from us.
I felt my heart go through what it goes through when I see a deer or one of the wild critters like a fox or a hawk, I feel sorrow for them having their world taken over by lawns and roads. The same sorrow I feel for the mountain people losing their heritage and their land. I feel the same sorrow for the Indians in concentration camps called reservations. I can follow that on down until I'm so depressed I need a nap, thinking of how little regard our civilization has for life itself. I can follow that on to our taxes supporting the Death Star that will be destroyed. Babylon will fall. Then I have to pull myself back to perspective, reminding myself that this ideal of beauty I hold so high is something to keep to myself, something I've known since childhood. I don't live in a world that shares my appreciation of what I think of as beauty. It has to do with life, life energy that is everywhere at all times. It's the life energy in others. I find where I hold highest appreciation is with the life energy, the soul in people I know, the animals I know. When I see a deer I see a consciousness exactly like mine that sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, learns by experience, and the best part, has a heart at peace.
That's a beautiful being to me. A psychotherapist asked me once why I want to know the varieties of people I know. It's because all people are unique like all basketball games are unique. Some people like watching basketball games, I like knowing people, knowing people well enough to sit and talk at ease, laugh, talk about whatever comes up. Each individual, to me, is the size of the universe. So much is different from individual to individual, it's like different movies. There is such a wide breadth of possibilities, that all are interesting to me. Some are a bit difficult sometimes. But that's just who they are, the sum of their experience. I don't believe we're born bad and made good. I believe we're born good and made bad. There are so many different kinds of people only God can see the complexity of humanity, so desperately in need of ongoing forgiveness, each one of us with our own experiences, and a whole world of each one of us with our own humanity. Every individual on earth the center of the universe. That would include individuals from other star systems as well. I believe it boils down to consciousness itself is the center of the universe.
I often think about the time in Jr's fade when his mind went away, didn't work any more, was all the time blank, his consciousness was there, as was what is called the subconscious. I didn't realize how well I connected with Jr's subconscious and how dominant the subconscious is. The missing mind part was the file cabinet of information, memories, things we think about. All the rest of Jr was there. He was completely there, as far as I could tell. His mind didn't retain more than a second, but he understood things like before. We could talk clearly with understanding. When his mind was gone, I felt he was still there. We communicated as well as before. Explaining anything to him was hopeless, but it wasn't such a great option before. It seemed like it was just details that dropped away. The big picture was still there, just couldn't zoom in on any one place or another. I felt some understanding of his condition. Some, several, would have said he was being crazy. I saw he was doing what he had to do, like the time he spent all night changing clothes and ended up with both legs down one leg of a pair of sweat pants and his head through an arm hole in a tshirt.
I helped him get situated and set him back in the wheelchair to return to changing clothes all he wanted to. He went back to bed and a couple days later was gone. In that time his mind was useless as a ship on the bottom of the ocean. Yet we were able to communicate. It was basic, but he was there. The nurses said Alzheimer's is most often accompanied by a radical personality change. Jr's cheerful nature I saw went all the way to the core of who he was. He was open and caring with everyone, same as he was when he had mind. He was easy to get along with before, and the same degree of easy to get along with after. The experience with Jr gave me insight into the nature of consciousness, the subconscious and the conscious in ways I don't understand from reading. I'm closer to able to identify them in myself. It turns out, this many months later, I remember the weeks when his mind was gone quite a lot. And his life story, joys and sorrows enough for 5 lifetimes. Perhaps it interested me most to see that when mind went away, the same Jr was present as before. It told me he truly was who he was. Nothing was being held down or bottled up waiting for a chance to explode. I felt he went out as innocent as the day he was born.