Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Monday, 1 April 2013

Mythologies of Freedom and Dreaming: Interpretations and Reminiscences

“Human soul, should it dream of me, Let my memory wakened be.
/ Moon, moon, oh do not wane, do not wane, /
Moon, oh moon, do not wane....” lyrics from Dvorak’s Song to the Moon

“There is no freedom, because we die,” said Winston Churchill in a fated passage through the subtle imagination of nighttime visions – speaking as the personification of death itself. He emerged from the grave of innumerable veteran crosses and stars over unmarked graves lining an immaculately manicured grassy hillside in neat rows. The cemetery is reminiscent of the dead bodies once ordered with haunting linearity in the aftermath of the many battlefields fought over in world war.

The realization of human mortality is the psychological maturation of recognizing freedom as a myth. Even in dream there is limitation; the mortal scars of suffering – destructive emotions and negative repressions – continue into the deepest corners of the subtle mind. As in thinking, the natural mode of an animate and intelligent psyche is to comb through the vast interweaving analytic and creative spawns of experience and memory, as they unfold with newfound insights and revelations. Yet, in that process, the evolutionary cycle naturally spurns most content with the greatest psychological defense mechanism of mortality: forgetting. To release, let go or forget the contents of the mind as they build and diminish is part of the natural breathability of discernment that allows every person to function as a rational agent in both human society and in wild nature. Yet, there is intermittently a thought that recurs, as in dream, that reminds us that thought and the more subtle activities of the mind and of human experience are intricately linked to the repetitive urges of necessity in the libido or the gut, for example. When a thought is forgotten, it was meant to pass, and thus facilitate further emptiness, to clean the slate, or empty the glass, so to speak, so that it may become full with the nourishment of more enduring concerns. Yet, when a thought clings, as with the subconscious content of a recurring dream, it is calling out to be transformed through consciousness. There are many modes of transformation through consciousness, i.e. creativity, reflection, speaking, and action.

Similarly, as the facility of the mind to think filters through generative content towards enduring insights through word, sound, emotion, intuition, and image, the content of dream has like potential as an agent of subconscious “thought”. Yet, where thought is often sound-oriented, as the whisper of words, dream, and specifically dream-writing, entices the mind to reflect on what images endure, and why, through their free-associative interpretation. Those images that endure from dream into the memory of consciousness and daily activity are as thoughts that recur and beg further recognition. Both involuntary, subconscious – dream and thought – are inceptions of creativity that arise from instinctual mechanisms that the body has to self-reconciliation. Recognizing and listening to the inner voice that speaks in the image-language of dream and the sonic subtleties of thought through an internalized intellect form a holistic psychological healing likened to the regenerative quality of the physical body to heal itself.

Former child soldier and international rap sensation Emmanuel Jal uses storytelling and music for social-emotional learning. He says that peace is “equality, justice and freedom for all”. His triad of concepts that can lead to peace – equality, justice and freedom – will be the basis for understanding how dream becomes thought, and thought becomes action.

While there is no earthly, or worldly, freedom after a full recognition and confrontation with the mythology of human dreaming, both consciously and subconsciously, there is equality. In Sufi mysticism, it is said that all of creation essentially began from an image. In Hindu cosmology, the Self, or Atman, sat alone, and pondering a sense of cosmic loneliness, split into two. Thus, seeing a reflection of the Self gave birth to the world. In other traditions the first creation was sound, particularly in dominant Western religious tradition, “In the beginning was the word.” In more acute interpretations based on studying original texts and incipient cultural contexts, sound is understood to mean vibration. From this understanding, great wisdom energy emerges from the fabric of all creation, vibrating with the cosmic equality of being essentially of one substance, from one origin, and to one destination. Also, when people become competitive and separatist in worldly affairs, this sense of cosmic equality is lost. For ultimately, an individual is not born of their accord, nor is their lot in life prescribed by them, but they are subject to the cosmic interdependence of the I-Consciousness of All-Unity. Deep equality is seeing that there is beauty and tragedy, form and emptiness, sophistication and simplicity in every instant and every aspect, in every individual and independent form of being.

On a deep level, freedom and equality are absolutes. There is no true freedom, yet ultimately all are equal. Justice is relative. Time and the fabric of relations temper Justice as it is broken and mended by the conscious action of peoples, animals and all forms and modes of being: ocean and acidification, mountain and mine, consumer and resource, victim and perpetrator, predator and prey. Freedom is a dream that never becomes real. Equality is a reality that does not extinguish by dreaming, and also a dream that does not extinguish in reality. Justice is a dream that may, or may not become a reality, unless dreams are made real through conscious action, and then waking realities can potentially become our greatest dream.  
Barroom fade-out, the groveling aspiration of a few young guts feeding on the fermented sting of a foreigner’s every desire. The walls steam and sweat to the touch of human skin, crowds meander and mingle in a scintillating core of the ruthless dance. The beat of bare feet on the wet soil engraves the trammeled heart of the night onto the soles at every step.

Le bar des Martégales, Marseille by Marcel Leprin
Escaped into the washroom, the narrow claustrophobia is deafening, with a seed of empty remorse, I trudge backwards, to scale the heights of misdirection, and a friendly face peers through the swinging doorway, a member of the female race, she glides back dispassionately. I wade through swinging bodies back to a table, where my friends eye my every movement with a gentle regard for the creative word, emanating like sunlight from my chest like a cross-legged aesthetic seeing visions of outer space. I am warmed, basking in tongues of like entanglement. A live hip-hop act floods the ceiling with the reverberations of bass and rhyme.

Fuge in Rot by Paul Klee
Next morning, the cemetery air is thick with warning. Veteran markers stretch 3,000 deep down a coursing hill, steep with shadow and disbelief. The anger mounts like an unchallenged breeze on the face of the beloved. And I starve for words of remembrance and the final end to the deep finishing hate that swarms and seethes in our bones like the lost blood of too many young men and women. We are guided along by the preeminent Allied emissaries of WWII; Roosevelt, Patton, Eisenhower all emerge from the ground of the lain, and lastly Churchill.

The Cemetery, Etaples, 1919 by Sir John Lavery
Rising from a grave bed, the sparse, delicate grass wakes with air at his emergence. Churchill guides a small tour through the narrow passage between the blinding dizzy-spell of white crosses. After reading the bare bones epitaph of one fallen, slain by the brutal, forsaken. We can almost hear the utter ignorance of speed, metal and waste. Scanning over a generic war axiom, he says with spitting disdain, “There is no freedom on this earth, because we die, because we are mortal, freedom is a dream within a dream.”

The Hat of Freedom by Herman van der Mijn
Freedom is a tear in the cry of eternity.

The mangrove is a peculiar tree, featured most recently in Ang Lee's Life of Pi, the man-eating vegetable is an interesting folkloric attribution to the reciprocity found in nature. "Sour Mangrove" is a piece that uses two types of percussion, doumbek and frame drums together with digitized xaphoon with an atmospheric ethereum of shakuhachi.

This instrumentation breathes with the three minute narrative, an experimental movement that gives voice and embodiment to the numbness of apathy and dogma that drives humanity to unprecedented elevations of ignorance with regard to the environment. With the reduction in the rhythmic pace at the very middle of the track, there is a slight turnaround, where natural objects are at least recognized, yet by the end, there is mere allusion to voice as performance, reduced to mere agency in the creation of an all-consuming, and ultimately cheap contrivance: the public.

The mangrove, a gorgeous and exemplary form of environmental wonder in its sheer aesthetic beauty, and its symbiosis with the ocean (and especial trait that modern humanity lacks) is simplistically reduced to an act of consumption as a disagreeable taste, sour.

This chapbook is comprised of thirteen selections from Cyclical Wordplay under the subtitle, "Sleep Cycle" as they were all written during meta-conscious states of creative emergence. This chapbook release celebrates the music release of the feature piece, "Sour Mangrove" on my bandcamp site, where I upload experimental sound art and different forms of narrative readings. "Jailed Desire" and "Sour Mangrove" were published in "ditch, poetry that matters" on April 24, 2012.

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