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For a long time he had been white smoke. He did not realize that until he left the hospital, because white smoke had no consciousness of itself. It faded into the white world of their bed sheets and walls; it was sucked away by the words of doctors who tried to talk to the invisible scattered smoke... They saw his outline but they did not realize it was hollow inside.
I am entitled to say, if I like, that awareness exists in all the individual creatures on the planet-worms, sea urchins, gnats, whales, subhuman primates, superprimate humans, the lot. I can say this because we do not know what we are talking about: consciousness is so much a total mystery for our own species that we cannot begin to guess about its existence in others.
Sixty percent of the newspaper space may be filled with advertising, but that advertising does not command sixty percent of the average reader's attention. We are inured to most of these advertisements and commercials; they wash over us without even dampening the skin. We often do not stop to even read or watch the ads at all, and when we do, they rarely penetrate or connect with our consciousness, let alone transform our identity. True, we are all persuaded and seduced from time to time by these ads, encouraged to make irrational impulsive consumer choices. But that kind of persuasion and seduction is endemic to social life; we run across it constantly and develop mechanisms to filter it out and fend it off.
... We are going to have to start working more realistically with a resistance consciousness, a resistance, something we can pass on as strength to the coming generations—a resistance where organizational...[and] individual egos don't get in the way, a resistance where the infiltrators and the provacateurs and the liars and the betrayers... do not get in the way. We will not get our liberation if we do not seriously analyze the experiences of our own lifetimes.
Any mundane activity can become meditative. Digging a hole in the garden, planting new roses in the garden — you can do it with such tremendous love and compassion, you can do it with the hands of a buddha. There is no contradiction … I say unto you, your every act should be a ceremony. If you can bring your consciousness, your awareness, your intelligence to the act, if you can be spontaneous, then there is no need for any other religion: life itself will be the religion.
Projections actually involve a change of atomic structure. Consciousness simply changes its form. When projection is first accomplished, there is a strong charge of sexual hormones which are also utilized in projection. After projection is accomplished, however, there is a marked decline in chemical activity and hormone action, a drop in body temperature and a drop in blood pressure. The rapid eye movements noted by dream investigators cease entirely.
If you notice an unconscious fantasy coming up within you, you would be wise not to interpret it at once. Do not say that you know what it is and force it into consciousness. Just let it live with you, leaving it in the half-dark, carry it with you and watch where it is going or what it is driving at.
The downside, of course, is that over time religions become encrusted with precepts and ideas that are the antithesis of soul, as each faith tries to protect its doctrines and institution instead of nurturing the evolution of consciousness. If one is not careful to distinguish the genuine insights of a religion from its irrelevant accretions, one can go through life following an inappropriate moral compass.
The utmost the American novelist can hope for, if he hopes at all to see his work included in the literature of his time, is that it may eventually be found to be along in the direction of the growing tip of collective consciousness. Preeminently the novelist's gift is that of access to the collective mind.