Friday, December 29, 2006

Closing My Eyes

Just recently I have found that whenever I close my eyes the real world around me grows distant and a fictitious world takes over. It is not a concrete world - just a swirling mass of assumptions and a vague knowledge of incidents that have not really happened. When I open my eyes these thoughts remain with me but I know now that they are false. This is happening with greater and greater frequency. Does this happen to anyone else, I wonder. Or am I just going mad?

16 Comments:

Anonymous marly said...

That sounds a lovely sort of madness. After a day spent driving to the airport with my mother and too many children, I feel that there is not a scrap of poetry or fiction in me, eyes wide open (or wide shut!) It was longlonglong, and I ran over a gigantic metal object that rattled our teeth and made smallish people shriek.

Tomorrow I may remember the world you mention. I hope so.

Sat Dec 30, 12:47:00 am  
Blogger Susan said...

You're definitely not crazy because you're asking the question! I suspect you've got a bit of a bug and that may be distorting reality a little.

I've suffered vertigo a fair amount in recent years and that miserable condition makes you feel like you're flying. I've discovered that I can even safely take a shower while the room spins if I concentrate on ignoring the irrational input I'm receiving and focus instead on the feel of my feet under me.

If you're receiving unreliable input, Clare, at least you recognize it for what it is. I 'hear' things at times myself and choose to entertain the improbable and imagine that it's extrasensory perception. I'm sure that's safe enough and even creative and entertaining.

Sat Dec 30, 04:51:00 am  
Anonymous clare said...

I am sure that's not true, Marly. I think everything I read of yours is full of marvel. I know exactly what you mean, though. Once I am away from writing, even just for a couple of days, I feel 'it' (the world that I am writing about - not this crazy vague one that I currently find myself slipping into) has gone away from me for ever...but it never has.

And thank you so much Susan. That is incredibly reassuring. You always strike me in your posts as very well-balanced in your views and attitude and to know that you are 'afflicted' (or some might say 'blessed') by unreliable input too I find comforting.

Sat Dec 30, 01:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Maxine said...

This kind of thing happens to me also. Sometimes I put it down to lack of sleep, and some kind of mental confusion failing to distinguish between dreams (sleep) and waking ("reality").
Maybe, Clare, it is your muse. Maybe it is the plot of another novel taking you over. The creative urge coming up from your subconscious?
We have an internal conversation with ourselves over our whole lives, and there must be times when that conversation is more dominant (compared with "reality") than others.
Hope some of the above is meaningful, Clare, just a few thoughts. I am sure you are not mad, in fact I know for sure that you are a lot less mad than me, whatever that is worth.

Sun Dec 31, 07:16:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Thank you, Maxine - yes, that all makes sense...very much in fact - especially that part about conversation. I think that coming into contact with insanity, at least being aware of it every day causes me to be aware of how close we are to that line - how easy it is for us to tip over and lose ourselves.

Sun Dec 31, 11:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

You're obviously completely bonkers.

Tue Jan 02, 07:41:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Why thank you, 'Andrew' (whoever you are) - you obviously know me.

Tue Jan 02, 07:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Just to be on the safe side, only joking, Clare! How interested you are in someone else delving into the goings on of your mind, I have no idea but it's certainly interesting. Could it be your creative mind let loose...something I've wondered before about fiction writers- how,ike for instance an actor, one's art could begin to imfringe at an unwanted level on one's life. Could you becoming open to psychic phenomena? Interesting thoughts in Crime & Punishment by Smerdyakov relating to how one becomes more open to such things when sick. It isn't that the psychic world is a delusion brought on by sickness, but that one becomes opened to such phenomena when sick, eg shortage of glucose opens up another part of the mind, blah blah. Anyway as a bit of a stranger this all seems possibly a but much for my second post here, but now that i've come across this, hopefully tis ok if I pop in now and again.

Tue Jan 02, 08:27:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Andrew: now this sounds interesting - I always am interested in things like psychic experiences being explained rationally. I shall have to look this up. In my case, I think it as Maxine says - tiredness. Which is strange in itself, really. Why does going without sleep have such strange effects on our minds?

I suppose that yes, it is a little strange to post things like this on a blog - but I am interested in how many of our experiences we share - when the only examples I know sufficiently intimately are my own.

And yes, please do drop by again. I've enjoyed our little discussion very much already.

Tue Jan 02, 08:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Though it is Svidrigailov, the rakish gent of dodgy morals in Crime & Punishment, not Smerdyakov who dwells in Brothers Karamazov. Though it's not explaining psychic phenomena away, it's just that the illness brings on a weakening of the normal hold of the ego and its regular concerns, thus opening one up to the other worlds which actually are real. And I think Svidrigailov goes on to say that death is illness pushed to its nth and then one enters fully into this other world. Which I suppose all connects into Dostoevsky's own experiences as quite an extreme epileptic, at some stages of his life anyway. And epilepsy in turn connected with mysticism about which Myshkin in The Idiot ponders, deciding that even if it is his illness that brings on his momentary experiences of the Absolute, perfection etc, this doesn't negate the experiences.

As for lack of sleep, my college exam times were very strange escapades in the world of consciousness! I suppose again it's to do with the weakening of the ego self through whatever means. That's a very important thing we have to realise, I think, that because something happens as a result of chemical change, this doesn't actually exlain away or negate the experience. It's kind of like explaining away someone being in Amsterdam on the basis that they came by airplane. Whether you came by boat, ballon, train, whatever, either way you're still in Amsterdam.

Tue Jan 02, 10:47:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Andrew: Just been reading your comment again now - it was too late to respond last night. What you say here illustrates what to me is one of the most interesting things about the study of the mind - that is how it incorporates so many disciplines - psychology and philosophy (which I think you have here) as well as the physical science. These fields are seldom related, I find and people seem to have a tendency to take one approach or the other. It is as if we cannot take in all of it at once.

Wed Jan 03, 10:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Aldous Huxley, whom I have enjoyed an awful lot, described us as multiple amphibians, dwelling in many worlds at once. Maybe our willingness, Clare, to be content with childish simplifications of existence, eg the imagining science explains away life, is connected to a strange marriage of a desire for omniscience and a desire for ignorance. Because ignorance is an active choice much of the time.

Thu Jan 04, 08:29:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Yes, I suppose much of what we imagine now in science will turn out to be childish simplification - much like looking at the ideas from the past and wondering how we could have been so blinkered to think the world is flat. Sometimes I wonder if we are reaching our limit and that is why ignorance is a favoured option. But we have the same brains as we had then - and now most of us can take in and accept that the world is round so maybe there is hope.

Thu Jan 04, 09:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I think ultimately the intellect is probably doomed to a choice of ignorant viewpoints unless we accept it as an aspect of our being rather than our master. And that real wisdom comes from humility, and a surrender to life. As my friend Huxley said, "Intelligence and knowledge without igoodwill and charity are apt to be inhuman."
And yes, there's always hope!

Thu Jan 04, 10:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew said...

What am I doing up this late.....just to add, to give the real world its due, on the other side of the coin I've known people of more spiritual/artistic bent who were all too ready to see life as unreal as presumably it didn't conform to a simplifying idea of the spiritual universe. Anyway, real or unreal, I need sleep.

Fri Jan 05, 02:59:00 am  
Anonymous clare said...

Yes, charity and goodwill are more important than intelligence, I am sure. I've loved Huxley too.

I've enjoyed our extended chat very much, Andrew. I'm taking a break from my computer for a short while now, though. Even though it's just finished being Christmas I find I need a rest.

Fri Jan 05, 03:18:00 am  

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