I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Peering into dreams

Fields and clouds

 This picture of the beautiful daffodils and a sky filled with clouds and occasional sunlight was taken last year when I visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Other nearby fields are filled with these beautiful yellow daffodils, which are often finished by the time I get a chance to visit the tulips. I also was sort of reminded of the Ukrainian flag in this shot, yellow on the bottom and blue skies above. And of course Ukraine has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks.

I'll be visiting the tulip gardens once again with my friend Lily next week. She works most weekends but has the next one off for Easter, so we'll be making our annual visit on Saturday. The long-term weather forecast looks pretty good, but it's almost a week away and anything can happen. Although yesterday was supposed to have the rain all gone early, my friend Melanie and I walked in hail, rain, and the occasional wind gust. It's amazing that after a gorgeous day in the mid-sixties (19°C) last Thursday, today we will be lucky to have a chance to take off our warm gloves and hats. We'll be ready for anything next week. Typical springtime weather, eh?

And I am still continuing my endeavor to learn more about time, space, and consciousness, and the main thing I've discovered is how much I don't know. Just by accident I ran across a new source of information, a guy named Piero Scaruffi, whose website is simply overflowing with information I find fascinating. He's written several books about the nature of consciousness, quantum mechanics, and the meaning of life. How could I not be drawn in? You can check out his main page here

I've read several excerpts from his section on "The New Physics" out loud to SG, who has been interested in quantum physics for a long time. Me, I never considered that aspect of study particularly interesting; however, I have always been fascinated by science fiction that makes good use of some of the theories and ideas I've run across. And I now know where superstring theory came from, not that I'm all that interested in learning more about it, but the possibility that every single version of every event could be existing alongside us in a parallel universe gives credence to several time-travel novels I've enjoyed in the past.

Time and space always change, but there is something which is eternal and changeless. For example, the world and time, past or future, nothing exists for us in sleep. But we exist. Let us try to find out that which is changeless and which always exists. —Ramana Maharshi

I found this quote while looking for something about time and space that would be relevant to what I've learned, and the idea that while we are asleep, nothing of our normal life exists for us I find quite interesting. I know I visit many realms while dreaming, and that they seem perfectly logical and reasonable until I wake up and consider them when my brain is conscious. 

Years ago I watched a Star Trek episode (The Inner Light) that really resonated with me. In it, Jean-Luc Picard is caught in an energy beam and becomes unconscious. While only a few minutes pass in regular time, he lives forty years as another person on another planet. He is  reluctantly reconciled to his new life and marries, has children, and grows old before he awakens back on the Enterprise and realizes he is still Picard. I was fascinated by the concept of time expansion then, and I still am, wondering if it's possible. After all, the new quantum physics speculates that anything that could exist is possible in an alternate universe that might be in existence alongside our own. It does make me wonder just how much of the nature of consciousness we still don't know. 

Do you dream? I know that some people don't remember anything of their dreams, and some people dream in drab black and white, while my own dreams are filled with vivid color, and are populated with people I've known both living and dead. While I'm dreaming, it feels just as real and solid as the world I'm sitting in right now, as I tap away on my keyboard in the dark room, with hubby sleeping next to me and I take a sip of my tea from a solid cup.

Then again, what exactly is "solid"? The cup is composed of atoms and molecules, with vast areas of empty space making up an atom. We are mostly made up of empty space, it seems. Although things feel solid, it's because we are experiencing them in a macro version, not an microscopic one. I find it very interesting to wonder about what life, time, and matter really are. Who knows for certain? Not me!

Well, that's enough of wandering around in the dark realms of uncertainty. I think I'll return to what I know and what's solid around me. Looking away from the screen, I see a window that shows it's still dark outside, and I believe that the sun will come up today, even if I cannot see it through the rain clouds. And that I might actually get a few rays of sunshine to fall on my face later in the day, and that the sun will then set. That's my belief, anyway, and so far I've been right. 

But maybe when I go to sleep tonight, I'll live another century before I awake. Maybe I'll visit my mother who has been gone for decades, and we'll laugh together at the silly dream that seems like my real life as I sit here, pondering the nature of time and space. One thing I know (as much as I know anything) is that when I finish this post and hit "publish," I'll begin the rest of my day and will join my friend John for a nice springtime breakfast. And that when I come home, my dear partner will be up and out of bed and we'll hug as I return, as though we've been separated for ages. Maybe we were. Time is elastic, after all.

Okay, I hope you enjoyed this excursion as much as I did. Don't forget to find joy in your day, that goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Until we meet again next week, believing there will be a next week, I hope that you find happiness and joy in everything you do. Be well until then, dear friends.


Barbara Rogers said...

Wishing you a wonderful - wonder=ful week ahead also. And thanks for the mind expanding thoughts about time, dreams, reality!

ApacheDug said...

DJan, I think it's wonderful that you're using this time in your life to explore other realms and such. Just because I'm not a religious man doesn't mean that I don't ponder other planes of existence, perhaps only attainable after this present form of life we have. I wonder a lot about dreams too, last night I had one about an older blonde haired woman who was supposed to be my friend but she's no one I recognize in my life. Last week I had a dream that made me so curious I got up and wrote it down on a scrap of paper. Anyway, while I did have to put on my thinking cap before tackling your Sunday blog I did enjoy the read. And I hope your other readers take the time to click on that photo at the top. It's pretty up there, but seeing it full size is breathtaking.

Linda Reeder said...

Outside my office window, as I sit and type, the Full Moon Maple leaves have unfurled a bit more and the maple flowers are showing red. The native dogwood bracts are spreading and whitening. The sky is neither blue nor gray but some mix of both. I have found joy already in this new day.
I have PT to do and a birthday pie to bake for Jake. We will spend time with him at the Whidbey cabin tomorrow to celebrate his 47th birthday before returning home in the evening. This week will be busy with appointments and soccer to watch and a track meet to go to and preparations for a family Easter celebration. Life is good.
While I don't share your enthusiasm for science fiction or out there theories, I appreciate that you stimulate our thinking. Have a good week, dear friend. We'll be visiting the tulips not long after you.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh I am excited for you to see the Tulips! Your photos will be a highlight for me! I dream in color and about everyone I know...alive or dead. I find the dreams of my husbands Grandmother very comforting she was a special person to me. I hope you have a wonderful week, we will be having a snow filled week. :( :(

Elephant's Child said...

Time is a totally elastic trickster. And certainly not confined by clocks.
I mostly dream in conversations rather than images.
I hope you and Lily have a wonderful day viewing Tulips - and a week to match.

Linda Myers said...

I especially like this post, D'Jan. Curiosity and learning have no age limits, and in that exploration we are forever ageless.

Rian said...

DJan, I bookmarked your Piero website to check out later. And as for alternate universes, time travel, etc. - love reading about those. And dreams... that quote "nothing exists for us in sleep" made me ponder. It's true some of our dreams don't make sense - or not with what we know when we're awake. I've wondered about that. And I may post a strange dream that I had a while back- one that I HAD TO WRITE DOWN as soon as I awoke. Not sure why, but it seemed important at the time. And I too dream of family and friends (both alive and deceased) all the time... love it (feels like a gift visit).

Marie Smith said...

I don’t remember dreams. Then again, maybe I’m too tired after living another life like Jean Luc. I do wake tired some mornings. I’d give up the rested feeling for such an adventure during sleep. Our imaginations are the only limit in science fiction. Who know what the reality is?

Red said...

Excursion is the right word. You are thinking about some very common things and how they fit into life. Dreams? You ask some great questions about dreams. You are also giving some budding story teller a good idea!

Mary said...

I dream most nights, but they are just a jumble of stuff. Some people I know and others that are strangers. And I somehow "know" it’s a dream. They never feel like it was real and I was right there living it..they almost always make no sense and yes they are always in color.

Rita said...

I go through spells where I don't remember my dreams. When I am remembering mine are vivid and varied. I can change time periods during a dream! Say I am in a car and then I will be suddenly riding in a horse drawn cart...and I can seemingly be talking to the same person even though they look completely different. I saw myself briefly in a mirror once as a young girl with thick red curly hair in a school uniform! Dreams can be just amazing. :)

Anvilcloud said...

The Time Traveler’s Wife was a very good read.

John's Island said...

Hi DJan,
I’m writing this comment during the one hour per day I’ve allocated to following some of my favorite blogs. Otherwise, I’m off the internet and social media for the next few weeks. I really enjoyed your post starting with that wonderful picture that does remind me of the Ukraine flag. I can’t say enough that it fascinates me how much you are into things that are currently fascinating me as well … consciousness, time, the universe, what is reality in this life, dreams, and so much more. Thank you for your kind comment left on my most recent post on John’s Island. Hope you have a wonderful week.

William Kendall said...

I rarely remember dreams, but I remember a recent dream about testing positive for Covid.

Glenda Beall said...

I dream but seldom remember my dreams -just bits and pieces. I, too, am reading more and just completed two memoirs I enjoyed. I am listening to The Boys, a memoir by Ron Howard and his brother Clint Howard. Very interesting story about what happened to these child stars and their insights as kids growing up in the movies and TV.
Hope you spring will be delightful. I am in the process of creating my deck garden here at my sister's house. Thanks for your blog post that I enjoy each week.

Dee said...

Dear DJan; I don't read the science fiction genre simply because I so enjoy mysteries and can read only so much a day. However, my interest in what you are writing about started with the reading of a two-book series by the British writer Kate Atkinson. In fact, after reading the second/final book in the Todd series, I found myself thinking about it each day for over two months. Its was only when bad health intervened that the second book left my "daily" mind although it still drifts into my musings as I sit on the porch.

The two novels, which might--or might not--interest you are about alternate or possibly side-by-side lives. #1 is "Life After Life." #2 is "A God in Ruins." Both of them stretched my mind into new realms of possibilities. Peace.

Anonymous said...

If you want a dream visit from a loved one. Ask them to visit in your dreams, meditate on them every night before sleep. It usually works for me. MY husband passed away last year and when I am really missing him I will ask him to visit me in a dream. Sherry

John's Island said...

Hi DJan,

As you will know, I’m currently intentionally ignoring all forms of media to experience the effect of not being hammered daily with all the world’s humans can throw out. I do have a couple of exceptions in my experiment, one being a 1-hour per day opportunity to check out some of my favorite blogs. Beyond that, I’m still making use of the internet to read and study things of interest that are not necessarily related to news of the day. Briefly, I will say that my experiment is going quite well. With just 5 days into this experiment I’m already feeling an improved sense of well being.

The last couple of days I’ve been studying the website you told us about in this post. Piero Scaruffi’s https://scaruffi.com/ Fascinating stuff!

Just let me give one example, quoting from his site: “Every year 98% of the atoms of my body are replaced: how can I claim to be still the same person that I was last year, or, worse, ten years ago? What is (where lies) my identity? What is "my" relationship to the metabolism of my body?”

I wish I could sit down at the coffee shop with you and discuss that for while. It’s a perfect example of what I’ve been working on since 2019 … unraveling the mystery of consciousness. So, thank you! Looking forward to next Sunday.