The dream body
The spirit body
The mask of fools
The blood of reason
The milk of dreams
The magician’s cloak
The animal skin
The point of projection
The body of death
The body of myth
The breeding ground of lies
The mythological zoo
the rabbit in the hat
the rabbit that is not in the hat
there is no goddamn rabbit
Put on the dream body. Enter here and you agree to enter the path of lies.
Harry tells us that this intellectual exercise is absurd, that it has no value whatsoever. He tells us not to engage in this at all and that it’s a waste of time for you to even read it.
On the other hand, the author of this treatise, Dr. Somnius, tells us that all action, mental processes included, has some value if it is based on the spirit of the search for truth and creative regeneration. He tells us that, of course, one must always keep in mind that even though something may seem to be absurd superficially, it might simply be a means to an end, a way of reaching that which is hidden from us… a way of revealing it to ourselves through coded exercises. And these exercises are almost always absurd.
What both Harry and Dr. Somnius have in common is that they like to play games.
THE FOUR ELEMENTAL RULES OF THE CORPUS SOMNIUM
1. There is no such thing as knowing absolute truth. The only truth that we can know is conditional, one that is somehow related to a story.
Truth, in the sphere of human thought, is one that has been pinned down, it is a mental form that has been molded out of the amorphous cloud of latent existence, the nebulae of consciousness. This shaping of truth stops it dead in its path, it holds it down and kills it because the moment truth has been given a particular shape it is transformed into a condition, a condition that can be grasped only in relation to something else. This “something else” is a system of belief, one that can hide behind many names. But whatever we choose to call it, this system is always a narrative construction of our own making; it is always a fiction.
A note on the definition of “knowing”:
“To know” should be understand here simply as an attribute of cognition: the activity of naming or conceptualizing with our conscious minds, an activity that implies a certain grasping of sorts, a formation of thought into something that we can identify. The experience of absolute truth is not necessarily excluded from our potential as human beings, it is simply excluded here from our capacity “to know” it in these conscious terms. If we will ever be capable of experiencing the absolute it will not be with our conscious minds alone; and for this reason, it will never be something that can be communicated in rational terms.
2. As human beings we are innate myth makers.
We create stories constantly, obsessively, without even wanting to. For us, it is like breathing. Our consciousness is fueled by these self-created fictions. It is the very architecture of our memories and thoughts. Without a narrative we can make no connection between things. And without connections we have no memory, nor any coherent processing of thought.
Therefore we can imagine narratives to be the invisible material that constitutes our very consciousness. The narratives that we create, every instant of our lives, are the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves; they are the stories we tell ourselves about who we believe we are and about what we believe surrounds us. These stories are our bread and butter, they nurture our vision of reality.
3. Stories are the breath of consciousness, the exhalation of reality in symbolic form.
Our consciousness inhales information, it receives stimuli of one form or another either in the form of raw “facts”- bits of information or events garnered from the physical world- or other stories, other narratives that have already been expelled into our surroundings.
Whatever the source, this information is inhaled by consciousness and digested. This process of digestion is where connections are made, narratives are formed. Our consciousness then exhales this digested stimuli in symbolic form, in other words, as a narrative.
A narrative can be a simple description based on time and place: “I went to the bakery yesterday”; a description of condition or mood: “I’m tired” or I’m sad”; a statement about physical reality: “The earth is round” or “It is cold in Antartica”; or it can be a more elaborate story based on a kaleidoscope of memories, facts and subjective qualifications: “When I was nineteen I lived in New York, a romantic city, bustling with action and energy. One day in Central Park I ran into a beautiful girl named Sally…” etc.
As our consciousness exhales these stories they spill out into the world, intertwine with each other and impact reality in both invisible and concrete ways. They can influence the way we think and feel, motivate our actions, and through us (our bodies), these stories can act directly upon physical matter itself.
4. As active narrative builders we are embedded in a tremendously vast web of fictions of our own making: the Corpus Somnium.
This great web of stories is what we choose here to call the Corpus Somnium. It is a multifarious network of narratives, fed upon our instinctual drive to fabricate myths, and one that is in a continual state of expansion. Each and every one of our stories- our hundreds of thousands of millions of stories that we create spontaneously throughout our lives- feeds this invisible web of consciousness.
This web is virtually indistinguishable from our everyday, physical existence. In fact, the physical and the nonphysical are inseparable in this great web. For through these invisible stories we alter our world in very real ways: societies are created, buildings are erected, technology is invented, revolutions are set in motion, wars are fought, people are killed, friendships are made… etc. And as the stories accumulate around us- influencing our actions, motivating us, stifling us, liberating us- the web grows, stories build upon other stories, manifest into action, initiate new stories and more actions, until the great web encompasses both causes and effects, thoughts and actions, invisible fantasies and physical matter.
The search for the absolute, whatever we choose to call it- Truth, God, Emptiness, Nonexistence- is the search to break free of this web of illusions. For enmeshed within this great web of stories we find that we can simply move from one story to the next, searching for a secret within a secret within another secret, and so on and so forth.
A FEW QUESTIONS
How can we reach outside of this web when it is, perhaps, the very foundation of our consciousness? For even if we feel that we have broken free from this great web, don’t we simply find ourselves inside another story?
Is this Corpus Somnium patternless, formless, “consciousnessless”? Is it simply a projection of humanity? A chaotic ghostly mass of desires, impulses, drives, actions, documented observations, studies, theories, conclusions, assumptions, dreams…?
Or is there one single pattern underlying the Corpus Somnium? Is their one Great Story that binds this vast chain of stories together? A Holy of Holies of Stories… ?
Is there a purpose behind these stories? Do all stories strive towards one common destiny?
If there is one single pattern, if there is one Great Story, is it sentient? Does it transcend the sum of its parts? Is the Corpus Somnium one great mass of single, coherent consciousness that is in a state of growth and expansion?
Does the Corpus Somnium have a root, a creative source from which every single story originates? And if so, can this source be known by us?
20 LESSONS THAT SPRING FROM THE FOUR ELEMENTAL RULES
1. A narrative is true only in as much as it can be believed. And how much a story can be believed is based on its narrative coherence. This coherence is based on a number of factors, the most usual being a direct correspondence to “facts”, or the external information that we receive from the world around us. But narratives can also seem true depending on how closely they adhere to emotional experiences, or what we believe to be the internal workings of our own, individual lives. Whatever the case may be, the stories that seem true to us are the ones that appear to have the most coherent connection to our lived experience.
Therefore it is important to never take a story at face value. We must strive to find the meaning buried within the pattern, the rules at the root of the story, no matter how invisible they may seem at first glance.
2. No one story is more true or false than the next. Truth, as we can know it, is always conditional. Therefore one story is simply considered false according to the narrative rules of another.
Stories are based on some kind of information or experience, and from these building blocks stories are fashioned. But we cannot know that only one particular story is possible to create from this one set of given facts. The only thing that we can say is that one story is true according to one set of given rules.
Narratives are called different things by different people, but every narrative, independent of its supposed veracity, forms an integral part of the Great Web of Stories. Narratives are categorized by us according to what we believe to be more true or false. These different narratives are called “truths”, “lies”, “stories”, “myths”, “plots”, “theories”, “news”, “history”, “documentaries”, “fantasies”, etc. but they are all narratives of one kind or another.
3. In any story, rules are necessary in order to establish a playing field, a point of reference, a frame of conduct. Once these rules are established they can be broken under very specific conditions, but without them, there is no possibility to create cohesiveness since all work will be arbitrary and every potentiality will be present at the same time.
4. There is no bit of information that is more or less valid than the next. Herein lies the basis for our need of rules. The rules provide the underlying structure, and once these rules are laid down we have a basis for placing value, and therefore a foundation for our story. The rules are the mold that provides the narrative coherence, we can then find something to be valid or invalid.
An example of this is the Scientific Method. These are the set of rules that provide the basis for narrative action in science, called “experiments”. Science is based on a narrative system whose foundation is the principle of truth (conditional truth of course) that can be obtained through observation. Observations are tested, measurements are performed, values are calculated and at the end a conclusion is made, a theory is constructed, or rather, a story is created, one that is true according to the narrative properties of this system.
Since science- at least as we know it- is based on empiricism and constructs its narratives on the basis of controlled and carefully tested observations, the scientific narrative system has the potential for a very concrete relationship with the facts of the physical world. But the moment a scientist, or anyone for that matter, forgets that a truth can only be conditional, one that can only be tested within the confines of a certain narrative system, then a potential for dogma occurs. In science, this can happen when a scientist believes too whole-heartedly in the conditional truths obtained through empiricism. When observation is believed to be the indisputable path to the knowledge of everything- and therefore, for obtaining absolute truth itself- then another Holy of Holies has been created and another dogma has been formed.
Observation is a valuable tool, but one that can blind as much as it reveals. For when any narrative system takes itself too seriously as the One True Path then it loses sight of its own web of illusions, in other words, it forgets that it is a system of symbolic creation like any other and begins to take itself literally. And finally over time, the system collapses under its own dogmatic weight since the healthy flow of creative blood clots and blocks all possibility of rejuvenation and evolution.
The beauty of science is its constant reminder to us that all scientific truths are simply theories. These theories are always narratives, narratives for science that must be true, but of course, only within the rules of the scientific system. In the case of science, this means a testable system based on the principle of studied, and repeatable, observation. But we must never forget that other narratives are possible, other story systems abound, and the value of these systems must never be undervalued. For no one system is the arbiter of absolute truth.
5. “Seeing is (not) believing”. What have you actually “seen” out of everything you believe? The word “seeing” in this statement could be replaced by “receiving information from a credible source” since this has much more to do with the matter. And what is a “credible source”? A “credible source” is none other than the narrator, or the narrative voice, that we believe to be credible according to our system of belief. This narrator can be a scientist, a priest, a politician, a journalist, a teacher, a writer, you or me, it can be anybody… but it is the voice or figure that provides credibility to our story. We don’t need to see anything to believe it (how many of us have seen an atom, the bottom of the ocean, or our great-great-great grandmother with our own eyes?) The point is not seeing, it is believing the story we are told, a story that seems to make sense to us.
6. Fact should never be confused with truth, the two have nothing to do with each other. Facts are the building blocks of narrative, they are the bits of information, fragments of reality, the grains of sand that we grapple with in trying to make sense of the world around us. But a fact in itself has no inherent value, it is like a letter: it is infused with value when it is placed in relation to something else. Stories change as new facts are found, and this is the way we try to construct stories that seem as true as possible under the given conditions.
Facts are used just as much in science as they are in making films, writing novels or poetry. Facts are the notes in music that can be heard. But never confuse a fact with an absolute. Fact always begins as fiction, it only becomes true through the course of the story when it is finally strung along a chain of other facts that make a coherent narrative. What makes the coherent narrative? Coherence is based on how well these facts connect with each other and and how well they adhere to the underlying rules of that particular narrative system.
For instance, once the rules of a story are created, facts can then be distinguished, they can be picked from the amorphous cloud of nonexistence (or at least of latent existence) or they can be gleaned from observation as real things and applied accordingly to the narrative chain.
Here is an example: we can create a story by saying, “There is a man by the name of Juan. Juan is 24 years old. Juan lives in Santiago, Chile in the year 1920.” These are incontestable facts for our story, and a story will take shape when these facts are placed in relation to rules.
We can now consider the question: “If a tree falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well, it depends on the story. To answer this you need to know the set of rules you are instinctually following, the rules you believe to be “true”. If one of your narrative rules demands that there is an objective reality, independent of human existence, then of course the tree makes a sound. However, if your story is based on a rule that no such objective reality exists, then of course, the tree does not make a sound. The tree in this second story will not even exist.
7. Don’t ever confuse facts with rules. Rules place facts in relation to each other, and from this relationship a narrative is born.
Returning to the previous point regarding our character named Juan, in our story, the rules may be such that “time flows backwards”. Therefore, instead of Juan getting older as the story progresses, Juan will become younger. Or another rule might be that “places are subject to change according to Juan’s dreams”. Therefore, even though he lives in Santiago at the beginning of the story, he could suddenly end up on the moon in another chapter or scene.
The rules determine the course of action of the story. One rule might be that “characters drive the story”, another might be that “the landscape determines character moods”, etc. Therefore, the particular nature of a story grows from the way the facts interact with these set of rules.
8. Never get stuck in one particular story (or one particular set of rules). All stories are illusions. They are always lies. But these lies are the mystery within the mystery, a secret contained within a secret, and therefore lead a path through the forest of reality.
Stories are never ends in themselves. To believe one single story completely is to be enamored by an illusion.
All commandments, manifestos, dogmas, and methods are the rules of narrative systems. Never believe in one in particular. Herein lies the power- and danger- of the First Commandment: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Bible, King James Version, Exodus 20). It is a statement of rule that implies: There is only one true God and I am He; or another way of phrasing it: This is the one true system, all others are false. Now this is a very dangerous statement to make. For to follow this path is to believe in this one illusion entirely and to negate all others, a quick way to lose touch completely with reality. To accept this statement at face value, as a literal exposition of truth, is to blind oneself to the diverse and miraculous nature of the Great Web of Stories.
By interpreting this as a literal statement (i.e. by confusing symbolic action with literal action) the believer does precisely what Moses warned against: the worship of a false idol, the Golden Calf.
Although it is necessary to open yourself completely to one particular story in order to become receptive to its full potential, you should never lose sight of the value of other stories.
Truth is something to be sought through stories, but not in any one story in particular. All stories are dead ends eventually. Truth is the Philosopher’s Stone of the alchemist, the Holy Grail, the Grace of God. But the way to truth is always, and only, through lies.
9. Rules can change from one story to the next. This treatise is a list of rules for this story alone, do not confuse it with the “Word of God” or the “Truth” or any such nonsense. Nobody has a monopoly on the Great Web of Stories, we are all co-creators and can all search for the truth along this path.
10. You must have faith. What is at stake here is your own soul. But do not confuse the word “faith” with its traditional Christian meaning. Faith is a mysterious, far-reaching, and constant ingredient of the human heart. No one system of belief has a claim on its meaning. Therefore, whatever you call yourself doesn’t really matter: Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Freemason, Scholar, Pragmatist, Scientist… these are all categories or characters in a story, the story you tell yourself about yourself, and they depend on your life and your experience. One is no less or more valid than the next.
What is important is that you have faith: this is the intuitive sense that drives your movement forward. You can have faith in God, in the cosmos, in humanity, in love, in nature, in science, in instinct, in life, in peace, etc…. but you must search for, and cultivate, a guiding star.
Herein lies the creative mystery. This guiding star is not one that arbitrarily illuminates your path. It must spring from within your heart, the point of union between your mind and body. And this star must spring from the impulse of creation itself- not from destruction nor from despair- but from the fire of regeneration, the breath of life, the spirit of beauty, in a word: light. This is the way towards illumination. This is the path towards the search for truth in the Great Web.
11. All stories that you believe must be rooted in the faith you have in your guiding star. Never play a game, tell or lie, or believe a story arbitrarily, nothing is ever arbitrary in life. Arbitrariness is the whim of those who feel intelligent and have become confused by their own illusions. They are the faithless, the jaded, the disillusioned. They have played life like a game of roulette but bet on the wrong number, and so life did not live up to their expectations.
But to have faith is to shed all expectations. To have faith is to be receptive to chaos and to continue the search for truth even when confronted by the incomprehensibleness of infinity. The faithless are those who trust too much in their own narrow ideas, and when given the slightest glimpse of the cosmos they become lost in the overwhelming sea of potentialities. Drowning in this vastness they mistake the mere glimpse of immensity with truth, or the supposed impossibility of it.
Faith is about continuing the search even when the path has shown itself to be infinite. This is the path of the sacred fool.
12. Do not shy away from darkness and fear. Fear is the path towards creation, it is often the door leading into the mysteries. But do not confuse darkness with evil or maliciousness. Destruction and death are never to be initiated as physical actions in the world, they have value only in relation to their narrative context within a given story. They are to be performed only within a symbolic frame and as transformative and regenerative tools. When this is confused and destruction and death are sought in the physical sphere of reality they stifle and hinder rather than liberate.
The path is first sought amongst symbolic action. Literal action can be translated into symbolic action if it has a creative drive behind it (not a destructive one), in Christian words: if it is infused with the Holy Spirit.
To create is to reach the root of an illusion. This root is always a point of union never a separation. Therefore to reach the source of one particular illusion is always through an act of creation and never destruction. This is why the way to action is always the way through creation. To create is to distinguish lies from truth, myth from fact, reality from dream. To create is to find the union of opposites, this is where reality hides its face.
13. The light of wisdom, the coming of dawn, the illumination of consciousness, the awakening of spirit, the grace of God, these are all ways of saying that you have reached the center of all lies, the root of illusions, the site of emptiness. The path to this is what Blake called the “crooked road”, the road that breaks through the illusions. The straight road just takes you round and round, over and over again.
14. There’s no such thing as “just a story”. All stories have equal weight. And never underestimate the potential of symbolic action in myths, stories, or even in the simplest narrative for that matter. Symbolic action can influence reality in concrete, physical ways. Stories recreate the world every day.
15. Be wary of any one particular story that purports to wear the mask of absolute truth. Know that systems of power (people in positions of power) use stories to their advantage and can therefore be very effective as forms of maintaining the status quo. Myths have enormous potential to make something seem true. Social elites throughout history have used stories as propaganda tools, wherein they use a mask, hiding their faces from us. In our present time this elite often parades in the guise of the “voice of the people” and depicts stories that purport to represent the marginalized and oppressed, but really these stories propagate the social elite’s own values, and therefore serve to consolidate and strengthen the belief in a system of power that only benefits a privileged few.
Regarding film, be suspicious of any film that calls itself a “documentary” or any self-stated fiction that purports to be based on a “true story” (this is an oxymoron). There is no such thing as “nonfiction” or “true” stories. All stories are fictions, all stories lie. And films are by no means excluded from this. Stories can lead us on the path towards truth, but this path is a path of lies, the path of the fool.
16. Be as specific as possible, but never specialize in anything. Do not confine yourself to one story, or one set of stories (stories written only in a certain style). Specialization is a form of commodification: the commodification of knowledge.
But be careful to not confuse dilettantism with a search for truth. Dilettantism is the opposite end of the spectrum as specialization, it implies a lack of rigor, an attitude of window shopping and superficiality. Rather than sticking with one story, a dilettante jumps carelessly from one story to the next, changing with the wind. Both of these extremes lead to dead ends. The search for truth cannot be attained through obsessive narrowness nor with surface skimming. The search for truth is to be found through the cultivation of paradoxes.
Strive to find connections among seemingly dissimilar areas, this is where a more complete vision of reality can be attained. By sticking with just one realm of thought (i.e. “reason”, “spirituality”, “revolution”, “science”, “art”, “politics” etc.) you risk identifying too heavily with one particular role, you risk becoming the very role you are playing in your story.
Nurture a healthy attitude of curiosity and receptivity of varying aspects of reality. If you are a scientist: get a tattoo, read poetry, listen to rock and roll, practice meditation, learn to play an instrument… and if you are an artist: study geology, listen to Bach, watch Disney movies, read Plato, learn to hunt. Herein lies the potential for discovering the connections between stories, to navigate the realm of associations among superficial distinctions.
17. At some point you must make a choice. You must at some point step forward, move and therefore judge. Do not pretend for a moment that you are neutral. Neutrality in human affairs does not exist. A side is always present and makes itself felt in everything we do as human beings. Therefore, at a certain point, decide, make a pact of blood, promise, commit yourself entirely.
But never die for an idea, only for someone you love.
18. Work is good. Do, act, take a step, move. When in doubt sit down and copy words from a book, dig a hole and bury something, write anything, take a picture, listen to music. Inhale. Exhale. Initiate a cycle of symbolic action. In Buddhist words: you cannot stop the Karmic Chain, it can only be released through the cultivation of proper action.
You have a body, a will, a spirit (these are one and the same, never speak of them as different entities, understand simply that they reflect light in different ways, like the different sides of a triangle). The only way you can know something is through action.
Ideas are cheap, they are everywhere, they are free. (This is why an idea can never be stolen, they are there for the taking. Only imitators steal from each other.) But who can do what they actually think? Who can act with perseverance and continuity upon what they believe? Who can embody the knowledge of their heart? This is the Great Work.
You don’t know anything until you have actually done it. So do things. But a word of caution: Never do anything you don’t believe in because you risk becoming what you do.
But to live what your heart intuits- and not just once or twice in your life, but as a constant practice- this is the path to truth.
19. Symbols are not dead, the vocabulary of their usage has only changed. Symbols are a constant in human interaction. Through symbols our consciousness digests reality and expresses ideas. Through this assemblage of symbols, of mental images, we create narratives, and by means of these narratives our consciousness reflects upon itself. Storytelling is an inescapable process while we are thinking, speaking, communicating beings.
We are at a time in history where the language of older myths has become outdated, distanced from our daily lives, and therefore subject to the grossest misinterpretations. The meanings of these older myths have often been confused beyond recognition due to the changes in our contemporary syntax. The vocabulary and symbology of the everyday of a past epoch have been lost over time. We must create our own myths once again, to re-invent them utilizing our contemporary means, the language we have at our disposal today.
For instance, in the case of Christianity, what is utilized is the daily vocabulary of a patriarchal society that lived in a dry Mediterranean climate around two millennia ago. So there is a lot of talk about fish, nets, shepherds, lamb, blood, wine, bread, father, mother, son, etc.
But Christianity as a narrative (and therefore symbolic) system was, at the time of its inception, communicated using the most up-to-date, technologically advanced, and politically current themes of its day. When these contemporary themes become part of the past- when they can only be associated to antiquity- the meaning of their symbology is lost, confused and distorted as the symbols are stripped of their mundane context.
The grave danger in this is when these symbols are then followed literally, and furthermore, utilized as instruments of political power. The poetic beauty behind their inception is then transformed into an oppressive and monstrous dogma.
20. Let us never forget our poetic relationship to the cosmos. In order to avoid creating new dogmas we must recognize our new myth creation precisely for what it is: the creation of fictions. There is no such thing as the Word of God, and if any myth purports to be this, it can only be understood as a poetic statement, not a literal one.
To literalize the cosmos is the work of the devil, in other words, it is the sower of discontent and schism in our consciousness. It can only confuse our understanding of reality since through literalizing we rob our consciousness of its greatest tool: the capacity to engage with the universe as creative beings, beings that are capable of transforming the world of physical matter around us through the use of our consciousness.
This shaping of the world, when rooted in a search for truth, becomes an expression of ourselves, a reflection of our divinity, the image of God.
CONCLUSION: A REFLECTION ON GOD OR OUR STRUGGLE TO REACH OUTSIDE THE NARRATIVE CHAIN OF CONSCIOUSNESS
Who or what or where is God? Does God even exist?
Before we consider this question we must remember a fundamental point: this is just one story. And we must also remember something else: that the definition of a word, or of a fact, can change from story to story. A definition only has value within the coherence of one particular story.
Therefore what you mean by God could be, and probably is, entirely different from my definition. So how can you ask anyone the question “Do you believe in God?” without first understanding their definition? These definitions are the rules of the story, they are what bind it together and make it coherent. Without understanding this there is no hope of profound communication. So when speaking about God we are forced to deal with this unknown as a character, as a kind of Santa Claus or Wizard of Oz, or rather as a kind of Mother or Father. The problem is when this character is taken literally, as if it really existed in the symbolic form given to it by one particular narrative.
This is the main problem with speaking about God in the first place: we are always limited to placing God within the confines of a story because we cannot speak about anything unless it has some kind of narrative form. Therefore, when trying to describe God, God must always be reduced to something in our story. We can never escape speaking about God in terms of being a character, a place, a thing, a force, an energy, an experience, a state, an emotion, a quality, an idea, what have you. God inevitably becomes a Him or a Her, a Thing or Idea, and just because we write God with a capital “G” changes nothing. God is still placed somehow in relation to our story.
The problem here is that when trying to speak about God- about some kind of fundamental Zero, the omega and the alpha, the unknown value, the foundational paradox of any given theme, the unchanging pattern, the singular and vacant unity at the base of the entire chain, the empty center from which all things issue forth, etc.- we can only consider the possibility of this absolute in relation to some story that, by definition, cannot be absolute for it must always be relative to something else.
So then how can we discuss God? How can we “think” about God? How can we talk about God with others, and even with ourselves, if we are bound to considering God only in narrative form. This narrative form confines God to either existing or not, since God must become for us some sort of foundational Rule and we can therefore only grapple with God in relation to our own story. But how can this possibly be done in one story, or in several… or even, hypothetically speaking, in all of them? Still, when somehow dealing with all stories, we will still be dealing with our human stories, the emanation of our human consciousness. And with this individual consciousness we believe that we can understand the whole, the All that will inevitably remain outside of the arena of our very method of communicating, understanding, and digesting reality.
For this reason there is no discussing God, nor is there such a thing as “knowing” God. The question might be: Is it possible to reach this Unknowable somehow, through some form of union other than “knowing”? If there is then how could it possibly be communicated? For if anyone could say such a thing we would have to remain suspect always of this claim, because the one who states it will always be telling us- by the only means at his or her disposal- a story.
Therefore, when we persist in trying to discuss God, even when faced with the futility of the venture, the question cannot be centered on “Does God exist?” Because God deals precisely with nonexistence. And yet, somehow we strive to. The story of God must be a story of emptiness, of nothingness in its most absolute form. A story somehow of that which lies outside of stories altogether yet somehow pervades them all and sheds light on each and every one.
So how can this One that is in All, that is Unknowable and yet provides the very frame for all stories, be contained in one story? Herein lies the paradox, the mystery. But there is one thing that we can pronounce in the frame of one story, and that is that outside of every story there is another, that each story exists in relation to all other stories around it, that we exist within a chain of stories, stories build upon other stories, and stories that exist within stories. And since we are constantly telling ourselves stories in order to understand our very relation to this chain of stories, we simply create more and more stories.
Entangled within this seemingly infinite web of stories we ask ourselves: Who is the author of this Great Web? Who has created and continues to create this Great Work? From where are these stories born? And we can only conclude upon reflecting that these stories come from ourselves, we are all the creators of this Great Work, this marvelous Body of Stories. The connections between these stories are everywhere, no story exists alone, but this does not mean that there is just one author. It means that we all live in relation to each other and so the stories, of course are related to each other.
The issue does not lie with one author. The issue is based upon striving to know the pattern in this Great Work, if there is one at all. What is the initiating force? What drives us to tell stories in the first place? What is the overarching frame? Is it possible to experience this cosmic mystery in its totality?
These questions always lead us back to ourselves, to our own consciousness. Not to one consciousness in particular, but to the way all of our consciousnesses are working in unison, communing with and reacting to each other. We are all co-creating this Great Work together; the Cosmic Web of Stories, the Primordial Broth from which all myths come into being… the Corpus Somnium.
Dr. Julius L. Somnius