Quickly now, then – waking or dreaming? Which is it?
Neither. Or maybe both. More likely some of each. A bleeding one into the other.
Because consciousness is not, in my experience, anywhere near as simple as on/off. It’s non dual to the max, as far as I can ascertain.
I remember when I was about 18 months old – it must have been sometime before I was 2 years old, anyway, given the location – I was walking down a road with my Mum, holding a balloon by its string. Passing under a bridge. Then nothing. Then I was in my grandparents’ flat – jungle of knees and stuffed chair armrests – and then in my Grandpa’s car, riding past a Zulu on the side of the road. Then nothing.
It’s a bit like the computer was flickering on..then going offline again, then spluttering to life, then dying once more. But it’s not as clear-cut as that, is it?
At night, I’m travelling along a spectrum of consciousness as I compose myself for sleep. The ritual banishments and invocations of deity, then the calling of the egregorious guardians of my home, followed by a period in which I may see faces very clearly, or find myself briefly in sharp, realistic situations completely outside of my bed and little house. Then sleep, dreams…and waking once more in the middle of the night, sometimes with a start. Sometimes – once at least – a state of alertness in which I cannot physically move, while a malevolent entity, felt but never seen, tries to pull the duvet off me. Sleep paralysis is an interesting form of consciousness in itself.
Then, this morning, standing outside the North door as I did yesterday at about the same time. Noting that the moon – now brightly visible – had moved a little to the right. Seeing a wisp of cloud appear like a soul rising from the lunar surface, and then a huge, undulating white mass against the black morning sky: the beetle appearing, the Scarab rolling itself and its eggs in dung across the heavens, just missing the moon, careening off to the South and West as its shape dissipated.
Waking or Dreaming? No, it’s not so simple. It’s an infinitely long continuum. And who is to say that there is not a stage we reach where all of this – dreams, invocations, divinations, imaging, computer programming, mathematical equation wielding – is just as dreamy and fuzzy in comparison to our regular consciousness as the sparking and sputterings of a not-yet-two-year-old mind appears to us now?
And Hecate, standing guardian before the triple dividing of the ways, She knows. It’s all One road, really.