Your strangeness radar should be going wild whenever I’m around, I guess. Time to dredge up another strangeness.

One of the many things that are slightly uncommon about me is that I am not a member of a labor union (worker’s union, trade union). Well, that may not sound strange in some countries, but in Scandinavia these are part of the skeleton of society, not to say spine of society. For most of the past century, the Labor Party (also known as Social Democrats) was the largest party here in Norway and also in other Nordic countries. And the Labor Party was pretty much the political wing of the largest labor unions.

While the Labor Party is not clearly distinct from the labor unions – often a career in one qualifies for a job in the other – the other political parties also have to be on their best behavior around the unions. Traditionally almost every worker was unionized, so that if you upset the unions, you also upset your voters. The unions were “the people” and you don’t mess with the people.

Unlike some countries, there was never in my lifetime much of a conflict between the unions and any other group in society, except formally the employers’ unions. In reality, the government often mediated between the two and Norwegian society was shaped only partly by elections, but partly also by the informal talks among labor unions, employers’ unions and members of the government (who were usually associated with the labor unions but in lifestyle closer to the employers). So that’s what I mean by spine of society.

The more stalwart union members tended to consider non-unionized workers as parasites, but that is kind of hard to maintain as the years go by and the difference in income between them and me increases steadily. Even though our salaries are adjusted from year to year, unionized members take part in a second, local negotiation where they occasionally get a pay raise in addition to the general adjustment. Those who are active in the union generally get more of these than the common members, but there are also some who get extra raises because they could otherwise easily defect to a competitor. There is a bit of backbiting going on about this which I am happy to not be part of.

But in short, I am paid as if I had recently been employed, even though I’ve been there for 30 years (in a manner of speaking – I can’t go into more detail due to non disclosure agreements). Anyone around my age and experience – or half that – earns noticeably more. Actually they may well deserve it too, in the sense that they may actually be doing a better job than I. It is hard to be objective about such things. But in any case, they are not paid more because they do a better job, they are paid more because they are unionized. So the hints about riding for free have kind of fallen silent over time.

Now that there is strike, I am glad to not be unionized. It is bluntly against my religion to pressure money from anyone by threats or treachery. To threaten to quit the job without actually having the intention to do so falls in both of these categories, as I see it. So I choose to preen and puff up myself by means of moral superiority instead of by money, as is more common. Go me.

More practically, since I am single, I am under no pressure to choose between my principles and the wellbeing of my family. So that’s yet another score for celibacy, for those who can live with that. I suppose marrying a fabulously wealthy person can do the trick too, but that’s even harder, I would think.

In any case, I don’t think it makes sense to strike now. It is the height of a boom that is pretty much unique to Norway now. It can only be a matter of time, and not very long time either, before things go downhill here too. We do live on the same planet, after all. But for now, we are getting more than we deserve, compared to people around the world. I would feel pretty bad about striking right now. And since I am not unionized, I don’t need to.

A different discontent

I suck at being ordinary. Without the council of my heart, I am just a middle-aged guy playing The Sims. That is just not much to write home about.

I have installed Spore again, the world’s most epic strategy game ever, where you start as a small simple single-celled organism and evolve to dominate the galaxy, perhaps. I remember thinking, back in 2008, that I would like to play it for many years, filling thousands of planets with life. But this no longer appears to me a great way to spend my old age, if any. At least the Sims are a kind of model of the real world, more or less. Well, mostly less, but still. Perhaps at some point I shall learn to relate to aliens with three arms on their back and a head at each end, but it seems less than urgent at this time.

I made my way through one science fiction novel by the esteemed Vernor Vinge, may he live forever or as long as he wishes. But I got bogged down in the second, well written though it may be. SF kind of feels like a past thing for me now, no offense to the writer.

The different discontent inside me is this, that I am not discontent with my conditions, by and large. I have more than enough food, clothes, space, computers and so on. I thoroughly enjoy being single. I have the 24 hours a day that each mortal is allotted, hard to complain about that.  It is myself I am underwhelmed by.

I really don’t think I can give off much brightness by myself. What I have to share of value seems to come not really from me as such, but from the deeper part in me, from whatever structure has been built there in my subconscious, or from whatever being(s?) have set up camp there. How long has it been that way? Pretty long, I think. But how can I be sure I have got this right? Anyone who has revelations think they are awesome, I am sure. Yet some lead people astray, and some are just dumb, or miss the points that are worthwhile. The true nature of the tree is best deemed by its fruit, and the true nature of revelation is deemed by the virtue it imparts. This is what limits me, but not as much as it should, I fear.

As Elias Aslaksen says somewhere: “The speed of a human is like the lightning when it comes to puff himself up, but slower than the snail when it comes to humbling himself.” And that, when applied to myself, is grounds for discontent. Although a different one from what I had when I grew up, thank the Light.

New computer: Asus N56V

Asus N56V – the superlaptop. Here running The Sims 3.

The day before yesterday, my main computer – the black tower desktop from Multicom – started rebooting randomly. Well, not entirely randomly: When playing games – including browser games – it turns itself off and back on every few minutes. When using just Opera or yWriter, it lasts hours.

The reason this started was probably the tropical heat, but cooling the machine down doesn’t seem to help it now.

A better man than I might have taken it as a hint from Above to stop playing games and get on the Jacob’s ladder of love, wisdom, self-reflection and progress,or something like that. But I am not a better man than myself, so the thought did not even strike me until after I had already bought a new laptop that is more powerful than the big black beast from 2009.


 I have searched Google for reviews of the Asus N56V, but there are pages and pages of copy + paste of the same review, written about a pre-production model. Guys, don’t do this, copying and pasting other people’s reviews. Just link to it, for goodness sake. Like this: Asus N56V review at Techradar. Don’t fill up my first six Google pages with copy and paste.

That said, the machine is so new, there probably aren’t a lot of reviews up yet. And this one says it pretty well without going on and on. This is not a compromise between weight and performance: It is performance without compromise. Well, it is still a laptop, so you can’t put in extra video cards or extra hard disks or things like that. But everything you can do with your desktop that’s too heavy for a toddler to topple, you can do with this laptop.

OK, I may exaggerate slightly. But the machine is more powerful than my desktop from 2009, at least. It has a quad-core processor too, but more modern and faster; each core runs two threads. It has 6 GB of RAM – the tower machine has 4 GB but can only use 3.25 GB. Since some of the memory is used by Windows itself, any extra memory is available to programs. In the case of Sims 3, the difference is quite noticeable. It is pretty much the ultimate Sims 3 machine. And of course it can handle any sane business use, including speech recognition. So, the future has arrived, and it is portable.

(I still intend to fix the desktop. Someday.)

Still here

I have not disappeared yet. I am writing pretty much every day but mostly I don’t upload it. I am also reading Vernor Vinge on my spare time. Unlike my usual reading, this is science fiction. Vinge was the man who coined the term “singularity” for the logical endpoint of the accelerating acceleration of the the pace of change. If we keep halving the time it takes to double our knowledge, sooner or later we will reach a point when change happens so fast, a human will no longer be able to follow, and it will not be possible to see from this side of it what the world will look like afterwards.

He is also a pretty good writer, for a maths professor.

Knowledge inflates – me?

An academic life without love is like a pot with no soup in it. It doesn’t exactly help when the empty pot grows bigger and bigger. 

I will talk about what we may call “deeper thought” (although it is often observation as much as logic). Let us leave alone for now the disturbing topic from yesterday, of how I seem to make discoveries only to find someone plagiarized me before I was even born. That is good or creepy, I guess, depending on who they were. Sometimes I don’t really know whether they are on the side of the angels or the other side, which makes me take a step back and wonder what I am doing.

What I am doing, as I recently wrote about, is studying esoteric Knowledge at a slow but noticeable rate. Apart from reading the One Cosmos blog fairly religiously, I have picked up a number of traditionalist books and other works of timeless wisdom, some of which still surpass me so much that I have had to put them aside while trying to gain experience on easier works. But on the whole, I keep nibbling at these kind of things. I have become wary enough to try to intersperse some hagiology – the lives of the Saints – in between the metaphysics. I want to nourish the heart and not just the mind. But even the mind… well, let me sum up something I have said before. It is relevant here.

There is knowledge, and there is Knowledge. Or more exactly, there are facts and there are Truths. Facts are exterior, fragmented, inert; they can be contained in us. Truths are higher than us, more whole than us, they are alive, they can transform us. Or that is my approximation to this, from my limited vantage point these days, and trying to put it briefly.

These tomes of timeless wisdom, this esoteric Knowledge, it has the potential to not just fill our container, but to expand it and change its shape. The container in this case is the human mind. And this is where I suddenly realized a new meaning of the Biblical proverb: “Knowledge inflates” (… “but Love builds up”, 1. Corinthians 8.)

So this revelation was that Knowledge – higher knowledge, the wisdom of high spirits – expands our mind; but if that is all that happens, we are in fact inflated. When there is more room but no more ballast, no more “mass” or weight, we have become more hollow, and we may not even know it.


I have until today only thought of this verse in the connection of external knowledge, theoretical knowledge. It may even be the original meaning. Certainly this happens a lot. There are tenured barbarians who are so filled with theoretical knowledge that they feel qualified to go far beyond their narrow specialty and speak grandly about timeless Truth (or the absolute lack thereof), as if they actually knew. And yet a common farmer may be wiser than them in the things that really count to the human heart.

But what I talk about today is the Higher Knowledge, the words of true geniuses, of High Spirits who see the world as if from a much higher place. It is the deeper teachings that are hidden in plain sight. This Knowledge is not just words in a book.

Now you may point out that I am in fact talking about words in books, “tomes of timeless wisdom” and all that. But it differs greatly from external knowledge like learning Japanese vocabulary or the names of the various bones and sinews of the body. Words of wisdom must be absorbed through the resonance they call out in the heart, a resonance that is remarkably similar to memory. It is like remembering something that you have always known, even though you were never told. Life experience seems to be important in this context, but it may be that some people don’t need this. I know I do, and others who also took up this wander-staff in their middle years. I was exposed to amazing insights when I was young, but many of them I could not comprehend then, despite my best intentions.

This Knowledge with a capital K, the one that is like the heart remembering what it never knew that it knew – I believe this changes our very shape, expanding us. But therein lies the risk of inflation: Of becoming larger but comparatively more hollow, when content does not keep up. In this case, “inflation” is very nearly literal, except transposed into a realm that is not physical.


 I do worry that this may be happening to me. I feel changed, but I am not sure it is all for the good. There is a widening, but I seem to also sense a loss of intensity. And given my previous entry, I wonder whether even my revelations (those that are not by way of books, at least directly, that are observations more than remembrances) are safe. This also is Knowledge, and it inflates, it puffs me up like one of those small animals that puff themselves up to look bigger, but have I really grown to that size?

St Paul had to go through considerable trouble so as to not boast of his revelations (which admittedly were orders of magnitude beyond anything I can believe to have experienced, if I have indeed experienced anything through the occasional and undeserved grace-granted glimpse).

“But love builds up” (edifies, to use a fine word.) Ryuho Okawa, of all people, wrote a wonderful little piece about running into devils when he was still in the early expanding phase of his own revelations, when High Spirits from Heaven (or that was his experience of them) came to him frequently and revealed amazing Truths. Be that as it may, due to this superior knowledge that far exceeded that of much older people all around him, he realized that he was beginning to puff up. Devils had begun to gain control of him through his growing psychic powers. What to do?

What he decided was to go back and start over from the ordinary. He asked himself: Without these powers and these revelations, what am I? If I was barred from ever accessing them again – from ever telling anyone about them, from ever experiencing them again, from even dwelling on them in my own heart – would I still be a person who people would look forward to meeting? Would I still, as a perfectly ordinary person, be able to radiate happiness to others, to inspire other ordinary people like myself? When he decided to take this approach, the devils fled from him.

(Let us set aside for now what may have happened to his humility later – it is beyond the scope of this entry, and opinions are divided.)

But this approach, as Okawa describes it from his own youth, resonates with my heart. It sounds definitely like the same thing that the Bible says. Knowledge – or possibly even (small-k) knowledge, if we are easy to deceive – puffs us up. But can we make others happy without brandishing the peacock-tail of amazing insights? To make them happy by our presence would be love (when we talk about their lasting happiness, not their worldly attachments and dubious desires, Light forbid.)

St Teresa mentions that if we want to know whether a revelation is from God or from Hell, we should see whether it makes us more inclined to virtue. No matter what a Divine revelation is about, it has the side effect of making us humble and inclined to virtue. I think she is perfectly in agreement with St Paul on that, at least. Good for him! ^_^ (I hear he is not that popular with women these days.)

But for me, right now, I have to take care. I wonder if my container is not already expanding much faster than the content, the Knowledge faster than the Love, if any.

Mouravieff, me & 3 time dimensions

What’s happening to my life?” When people ask this, they usually wonder why they got a horrible illness or their dog died the day their girlfriend / boyfriend broke up with them, stuff like that. Not that some weird guy beloved by a UFO cult plagiarized their revelations years before they were even born. Is this the power of God or a devil?

Back to the friendly but suspicious person called Boris Mouravieff. While reading his book, I come to a point where I seriously wonder if he may have gone off the deep end, when he starts calculating the lifespans of the astral and mental bodies. And then right after that, I see this:

For the moment, it will be sufficient to say that Time possesses not one but three dimensions, and that these dimensions are strictly analogous to those of Space.

This statement may, to the casual reader, seem even crazier than the 2.4 million year lifespan of the astral body. However, what gave me the creeps was that I wrote roughly the same thing on June 6, 2010: 3 time dimensions of the mind. I went out of my way to explain that these were indeed mental rather than physical, although I seem to remember some further discussion with Llama on that topic. I don’t blame him for being skeptical. What bothers me is not that people don’t know this. What bothers me is that I do.

Mouravieff has been mentioned a few times on the One Cosmos blog, cautiously, but only a couple of his most famous statements. This is not one of them. The only online source that quotes him with any regularity, as far as I can see, is some kind of UFO cult. It is impossible that I could have come upon him long enough ago to have completely forgotten it, I think. I have a healthy respect for cryptomnesia, but in this case I vaguely remember how I made that post, and it was inspired by certain experiences (mine and others’) in meditation and such, rather than anything I had read from the outside. I probably thought in all honesty that I was the first person to come up with that particular way of expressing it.

It does not stop there. Further down the same page, Mouravieff explicitly refers to the name of the fifth dimension as “Eternity”. I know I have written a couple entries – although I am fairly sure I refrained from uploading them (this happens more often than I tell you) – entries in which I explicitly refer to the fifth dimension as “eternity” or “timelessness”. One reason not to upload it was the confusion of using these words which are saturated with a different meaning (especially the first) for common people.

You see, when we use a word like “eternity” in public (and Christianity has gone from being a mystery religion to being very public indeed), then 4-dimensional people, whose understanding of life is completely contained within the four dimensions of time and space, still think they are supposed to understand the word. Usually this happens during childhood, at which point only a very few specially chosen souls could possibly have any idea of the world beyond the fourth dimension. So they don’t think to themselves “this is a strange word and I should not have an opinion on it until I have at least some months of spiritual practice, preferably years”. They think to themselves “I know this from context”. Or, more commonly, they are children and don’t understand this from context, but instead they ask someone who is as ignorant as themselves but much older, and get told that “eternity means a time that never ends” or words to that effect.

I suppose “time that never ends” is one meaning of it, in a certain context. But it is actually more like the sky that is always above us. The four-dimensional world in which we live our mortal lives is like the horizontal world, the ground on which we travel. But at right angles to it is another dimension, and if we for the first time in our life lift our head and look upward, we see the sky. And there is something strange about the sky: It is always above us. Whether we travel to the east or the west, the sky is still there. Whether we walk across plains, climb across mountains or sail across seas, the sky is still there. It is above us the day we start our voyage, and it is still there, the same sky, when we end it, even if we are now on the opposite side of the world. Fog and clouds may obscure it, extensions of the horizontal world, but we know that the sky is still there above the clouds.

Well, that is how I see it, but who knows. What I mean is that there is something beyond time, and this eternity can touch time and infuse it so that it becomes sacred time. This is something I actually picked up from One Cosmos, which again quotes a seeming very sane Rabbi. The part about sacred time, I mean. The purpose of the Sabbath and all that. But this is not really something I should preach, I don’t keep the Sabbath. I have meditated some, though, and that is where I have what I think is direct experience of the pinhole in the roof of time, that lets us peek out in a completely new dimension in the mind.

I am not really sure I should write about such things. It bothers me to see Mouravieff write about something I thought was just my own approximation to something that cannot really be explained unless you have been there. Who am I to talk about such things? Am I immune – or at least resistant – enough to deceit, that I can talk about things that may influence people’s choices of Eternity?

When the Web was new, I wrote one of the early plain and simple introductions to meditation. And one thing I stressed toward the end was that if your meditation practice leads you to realize that you are a Very Important Person in the cosmic hierarchy, you better take a break. I fear that discovering the esoteric science of Mouravieff independently from him may be very close to such an experience. Knowledge inflates, as the Bible says, but that deserves its own entry. Which, incidentally, runs the risk of inflating me even more. As if the pasta is not giving me enough gas.

The secret of skill mastery

In The Sims 3, you may live long enough to master numerous skills. In real life, most of us would be happy with one. But how do we do it?

I mentioned a while ago that you can become a grandmaster of chess – or the equivalent in any other venue – by dedicating approximately 10 000 hours to pushing yourself. (More when you are older, probably, but somewhere around this.) This may be all you need to know, but the actual working of the mind in these cases is also known. I have written about it some years ago, but let me write it again in new words, without looking back. If you are like me, it should interest you.

Usually when we do mental work, we use a combination of short term and long term memory. Short term memory is very limited, but essential in all works of the mind. How limited? Most humans can only remember 7 things at a time. 7 random digits, random letters, random words or random icons. Note that the information content is not an issue. The number of elements remains the same. But if the element itself is complex and unfamiliar, so you must remember it as a sequence of parts, these parts will go from the quota of 7.

You can exceed the limit for a very short time, usually enough to dial a phone number, but even this has its limit, and not much higher. By brain training games you can over time raise your limit to 8, and some people have a slightly higher limit naturally. It does not sound like much, but it is actually a pretty dramatic benefit. Even when operating automatically, the mind depends on short term memory to connect and compare different elements.

But this is not how mastery works. Masters do not need to have a 8 or 9 element short term memory, although it obviously would not hurt. But they use a completely different approach: In the words of Scientific American, the masters seem to use long term memory like short term memory. How do they do that?

Let me take an example: the numbers 3 2 7 1 2 1 9 5 8 2 6. Millions of people would not be able to recall this even when they had finished reading it. Of those who could, most would have forgotten it before they had finished singing one verse of their national anthem (which I assume is nearly automatic in most people). I, on the other hand, remember this easily after 7 hours of various reading, writing, playing and exercising. And rightly so: For I am born on the 27th of December (month 12) 1958. This leaves me with a whopping 3 elements to remember: The number 3, and my birth date, and the number 26. (Yes, I think of numbers in this range as a unit, rather than as two digits. After all, I’ve been 26 once!)

Now you may say this is cheating, and you are absolutely right. But the thing is, a grandmaster of chess knows every realistic combinations of pieces on a chess board like his birth date, more or less. That is where those 10 000 hours went, after all. They did not disappear in the fog. He has memories of them, conscious or otherwise. That particular pattern of pieces on the board gave him a victory once, a loss another time. They are all familiar to him, real and obvious. So for him, a particular combination of pieces on the board – or even a sequence of these – is remembered as one unit. Thus, his long term memory seems to be projected into the short term memory, because he can hold several extremely complex data structures in his mind at the same time, which is just plain impossible to you or me.

This seems a bit similar to how we automate “muscle memory” to perform body skills without needing to think about the details, like biking or driving a car. Generally, humans are really good at automating. This is not necessarily a good thing: Once we are past our youth, we tend to automate so much of our life that the days just pass in a blur, without us needing to be actually present in them. But what the skillful masters do is automate steadily more of the lower-order functions of the mind, whereas they continue to expand their skill at a higher level. If you reach a stage where you have automated everything you do, and you don’t push forward, your progress stops.

So, pretty obvious once you see it, I guess. But doing it is another matter. Even if we know how, few of us are going to master even a single skill in our lifetime, much less surpass numerous destinies while we are alive.

Mouravieff is interesting

"Space is amazing, isn't it?"

Remember the time when books were amazing?

Generally I don’t read much at home. After all, I have my computer at home, and it tends to take priority. My sims need to live too! Besides, there is the writing, and Google+. OK, I have Google+ on the smartphone too, but responding is easier with a physical keyboard. (Sorry, SwiftKey.)

So for me to actually read a book at home, the book had better be good. These days, most of what I read is non-fiction, or at least it is supposed to be. This is also the case with Boris Mouravieff’s Gnosis, part 1: The Exoteric Cycle. I have written about it once before, when I started reading it. I am still reading it, off and on.

Mouravieff keeps kind of close to the edge of craziness, in a manner of speaking. If you get him wrong, you are likely to go very wrong indeed. To me he makes sense, as long as I read him with good will. But I can see how someone unfamiliar with esoteric teachings, someone with a tendency to take things literally and assign the same meaning to words regardless of context, might tumble into the abyss; for the book is like a house built on the edge of a precipice, itself not falling in but posing a danger to the unwary. Or that is how I see it at this time.

Perhaps providentially, I read his explanation about the “ray of creation” not many days after I read Schuon discuss the Christian concept of the Trinity. Mouravieff adheres to Orthodox Christianity, but he interprets it esoterically, or more exactly as a vehicle of esoteric knowledge that has been hidden for most even among the religious, but hidden in plain sight. It is this esoteric science he tries to restore to view. I wonder how well he succeeds, given that his greatest fans seems to be a UFO cult, at least if one judges from publicity on Google.

To Mouravieff, God is the center of creation, as well as being beyond it. God beyond being comes up with the idea, then God as the Trinity manifests and begins to radiate the universe, more or less, according to Mouravieff. He also seems to think that eternity is limited and perpendicular to time.

But one of the most interesting concepts is that there is a law of nature – “the law of seven” – that is placed in creation to make sure time becomes circular, or as close to this as possible. (The cycles of time will eventually run out, says Mouravieff.) As this law operates on all levels below the Divine, it will cause any straight line of action to deviate eventually, and at some point go in the opposite direction of what it did originally. For instance, Christianity persecuting and killing pagans, when some time had passed after it used to be the other way around. After a while, the deviation will eventually bring you back on the original track for a while, but then you deviate again, running in circles. This is a result of the cyclical nature of time itself.

If you want to make progress, you have to add an impulse at the right time and angle to counteract the deviation and get back on the original track. This is not easy to arrange. Remember, you cannot see yourself deviate. To your own eyes, your road seems to go straight ahead. It is the circular nature of the universe itself that fools you.

So how do you get around this trap? How do you actually accomplish anything? I don’t know yet, because in the meantime Mouravieff has gone on to talk about the Cosmic Octave and the galaxies and star systems as the cosmic body of Christ, or was it the body of the cosmic Christ? And the sun as a representation of the Divine. I am sure at some point the answer is revealed, either in this book or the next. I think it may be time to order that one soon. After all, the first seems to be one of the books I may actually finish … some day.

The day everyone walks

Yes, we love this country! Or at least some of us really like the countryside. ^_^

May 17 is Norway’s national day – unlike most nations, it celebrates our constitution rather than our independence. Arguably, our independence comes from this celebration of the constitution. It was a highly politically charged tradition during our union with Sweden, up until 1905 when the union was dissolved. By then, the tradition of celebrating May 17 was established as a joyous occasion for the whole family, although the original reason for having the May 17 marches headed by singing children was probably to discourage loyalist police from shooting at the marchers, as happened occasionally during the early years.

Be that as it may, Norway and Sweden are now best friends, but the celebration continues, headed by singing children waving small flag joyously. It is the one day of the year when nearly all Norwegians actually walk, an activity that we should do a lot more in order to keep our health care expenses (and bodies) from ballooning. (Children holding balloons have become a part of the May 17 tradition, but ideally the children should not look too much like the balloons!)

In the mid to late 1800s, Norwegians stood together in the face of a challenge to their cultural identity. As a result, we not only got this particular tradition: We got a national cultural renaissance of epic proportions for such a small nations. Writers (including Ibsen), composers (including Grieg), artists (including Munch) and even some capable politicians. Those were the days. Today, we are a success story of a nation, widely recognized as the world’s best country to live in. And we are not only unremarkable: We cannot even be bothered to walk half an hour a day to save our own lives, much less to save billions on health expenses. Even a quarter of an hour would be a great help, say scientists. But we can’t be bothered to do even that for the country we love – or for our friends and family, or even for ourselves.

A Norwegian proverb says: “It takes a strong back to bear good days.” I suspect this applies to everyone, but it certainly does here.

Into the unimaginable

If you’ve arrived here at the Chaos Node, you’ve already come to some unthinkable place. The question is, how much more unthinkable can it get?

Over the course of several walks lately, I have been trying to imagine a potential future in which I spend several hours a day studying the lives and teachings of saints, and traditionalist metaphysics. Think of this as a kind of daydream if you will, but with direction and attempted realism. Well, realism within the unrealistic scenario.

I can imagine this a few months ahead, but no more than that. This is not because the future is unpredictable, I get around this by imagining that I travel in time back to January 2010. That doesn’t help much: It is I who become unimaginable after perhaps half a year.

You see, the particular topics are not chosen randomly. I can quite well imagine what would happen if I studied Japanese for half a year, or two years, or five. Or any such mundane study, I think. But studying timeless wisdom is not like studying a skill, it is more like falling in love, I guess. Or having brain surgery with consequent personality change, although these are rarely to the better. It is like moving to a foreign country you don’t really know anything about except rumors. It is, in other words, a life-changing experience, only more gradual than most of them.

I know that much because I have already begun to change. I don’t spend hours a day on timeless wisdom, so far.  Part of the bus ride, mostly, although sometimes I find something so interesting that I will read it at home. Usually not, though. It is just that at this stage of my life, these teachings are so potent, even if they make up a small part of my time, they still matter. Because unlike job skills or gaming skills, these change who I am. And that is what I cannot imagine. Who I could become, if my being – my essence – was to increase. Who is the person that is more me than I am? How can I imagine that, anymore than a child can know who they will be as an adult? There are only daydreams, and even those fail me.

One thing I am pretty sure of is that I would become more stable, in the sense of less sensitive to outside factors. For instance, there are people whose mood depends quite a bit on the weather. When the sun shines, so do they; in the dark season up north here, they become dark as well. That does not necessarily mean they are less mature or less spiritual than others who don’t experience this – some people are just naturally immune, it seems. Likewise there are some who are barely human before their morning coffee. Grumpy may be an understatement in some cases. I am not a morning bird myself, but I could not have a good conscience if I were barking at people at a semi-regular basis. And there are other influences that make the compass needle of our heart go far off the north star of Heaven, influences like our own sex drive (for those who have that) or preferences for particular foods.

But when we grow more essential, more substantial, when our soul grows more real if you will, these things make less impression on us. Where we could easily be blown off our feet, we become able to handle these circumstances more, perhaps becoming one day unshakable. I cannot truly say I am like that, but that is how these influences work, in that direction. I guess we all have our weak points, and there are temptations I sincerely hope I won’t have to face. But one of the certified Good Things of timeless wisdom is to make us more rooted, in a good sense.

But there are other aspects to the change which I cannot really imagine at all. We are not simply dying to one distraction after another. We also come alive to something else. What that would be beyond a certain point, I cannot imagine. And yet, it is a steady pull on me. Of course, I have pulls the other way too, so there is a balance of sorts, or at least the movement is slow and erratic. What would happen if it were not, is something even daydreams don’t tell.

But then again, perhaps I am utterly mistaken. Perhaps there is an upper limit to how fast a person’s thinking can change – in fact, this seems very plausible, barring physical changes in the brain. Or perhaps there is even an upper limit to how much one can change past a certain age or maturity level, and all I’d ever do was amass theoretical information. Or perhaps each of us is born with a personal limit, a size of the spirit, that the soul can grow into but not exceed. Who knows.

But perhaps the limit is exactly that which holds me back now: That I don’t take time even when I have time; that I don’t love timeless Truth all that much compared to all the other things I love. After all, Truth cannot help but judge us even if given in love, much like light cannot avoid scattering the darkness and wakefulness cannot avoid dispersing dreams.