Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mirrors and Dreams

The strangest thing happened. I felt the need to have an Ode hunt to see what would happen and felt that I would know when it did. At the hunt I met Tammi McMillan and we talked briefly, but enough for us both to anticipate talking more very soon.

Later I learned that Tammi is a very accomplished lucid dreamer. Should I have prefaced that with "in RL"? I don't think so. That is the point of the rest of this post. Initially, upon hearing Tammi's story that was shared with me in such an intuitive way at a time when I wasn't willing to listen, the persistent non-dreamer in me kept asking "so what does all that talent get you?"

Really, what advantage does the dreamer have who can see extreme detail and perform feats in dreams that very few others in known humankind can?

Answering that, or rather letting the question answer itself, became "Mirrors and Dreams".

(Mirrors & Dreams Ring)

First, and I don't think it is at all unrelated, Tammi is also empathic. I know this not because she said so. I know because throughout our collaboration she would tell me what I told her in her dreams the night before. In *every* instance the words I said and thoughts I gave her in her dream were the very words and thoughts I intentionally did NOT tell her in our "real" conversations.

So what is real?

In Tammi's profile she has what she calls "Seuss' Law". It is a quotation that goes something like "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss". I had seen that before but as simple as it is I honestly don't think I really understood all its nuances.

So all along Tammi is giving me lessons about the "say what you feel" part, which is something I don't do enough in my SL or in my RL. She's doing this with those dreams telling her what I feel. She also did this more directly when I asked her to step onto a rather strange dance ("apple" by sinewave) and it transformed that instant of time into one of the most intensly fulfilling and memorable moments in all my or her SL. In that instant we validated everything - the direction, the purpose, the process. All on an odd little dance that at first blush is just an over-kicked tango.

(Mirrors & Dreams Earrings)

Everything. Very few words were said. At that point we communicated almost entirely with only our avatars and our thoughts. I really don't know if this lasted hours or minutes.

Also in that instant I somehow wasn't communicating with Tammi, and I wasn't communicating with an avatar, and I wasn't communicating as a man to a woman or she as a woman to a man. Somehow, in that instant the person behind the screen on my end was connected via modulated bits and bytes passed electronically over a network to the person behind the screen on her end as we went beyond pondering the over-tangoed interaction of cartoon avatars.

Imagine that.

You've done that. Admit you have. Your scene may have been intimate or just joking around with a dance partner while you fed off each other's comments. Even when you fell silent you were in "sync" with one another. Such is the human connection. Are you in a virtual world dreaming? I mean is that really happening or are you imagining it is happening? Both. I choose to concentrate on the imagination part.

Now what is real and what is dream?

Can a person's avatar possibly be a better reflection of who they are than their physical-life body?


That is my well considered, qualified and undebatable (because I'm not going to debate it) conclusion.

(Mirrors & Dreams Bracelet)

When concluding this I am not looking at the physical world; the hazy and distant stars at twilight, the clearest moon, the misty moving clouds, the jagged rooftop skyline, the living trees, the tightening swirls of my fingertips, the porous tip of my nose or even the acid-trip-like lavalamp surface of the back of my eyes when I push on them with curious hands.

Go deeper.

I am looking at who I am inside. I am looking at who you are inside. I am looking at HOW "who I am" knows "who you are". I am looking at how your mind touches mine in a way you only partly determine, and at how mine touches yours if it can. That's the perspective of my conclusion.

Lately, in my second life, as well as my first, I have come to question my dreams. I think it is natural then when anyone starts doing this to themselves they initially think that's not a good thing, as it seems to be an indication that "all is not well".

I want to clarify that I did not say anything about comparing one's dreams to one's reality. Should one's reality even mimic one's dreams? Let your reality reach for your aspiration, by all means. But let your dreams remain free and unencumbered, unexpected - just happening as they will. "Dreams" and "aspirations" are vastly different.

Imagine - dream, if you will - how utterly liberating a dream must be if it has none of the trappings of aspirations.

Immediately, having taken away these value measurements, I find myself still asking "of what value is a pure dream?"

Then I met Tammi. Then I went from "talent dreaming has no value" to "talent dreaming has the extraordinary value of connecting our conscious minds to the possibilities of being alive". Isn't that really what Second Life does for us?

My Second Life avatar is a 7 foot tall, well proportioned almost bald man with a very well groomed mohawk (thanks again Tigerlily Koi!) who dresses impeccably at all times because that is what I have made myself to be. I am *NOT* a 70 year old man in assisted care sitting behind a computer with a shaky hand on the mouse and a greater knowledge of prosthetics, the evil side of mankind, and the cruelty of circumstance than I would ever care to admit. I'm not, so please don't ask or comment about it. No, what you see and come to know in SL is a much, much better reflection of who I am.

(Mirrors & Dreams Necklace)

I am not my aspirations. If I were that would be like saying that my profession defines me. I have very few aspirations. But oh I do have my dreams. Leave me my dreams and don't attempt to take them away from me. My dreams connect me with all lives and are very much who I am.