From 1972 through part of 1974 I kept philosophic journals in clothbound octavos, in an attempt to keep up with some fast-rolling disclosures from a talkative universe. Thereafter, I graduated to a system of napkins, matchbooks, index cards, motel notepads, torn envelopes, and loose sticky notes kept in a pants pocket. Some of these got preserved and transcribed later if they passed the test of "does this mean anything?" which was systematically applied before putting the pants into the laundry. Some of the collection washed out. Many of the pages on this website are drawn from these journals and notes.
With the acquisition of a desktop computer in the 80's, up through the acquisition of a series of laptops, notes were easier to keep, but the heterogeneous paper method continues to serve well.
THE JOURNAL PROJECT
Looking back over the journals, I can see that I was working on finding the best model for the structure and play of consciousness that I could express to myself in words. This was intended to address more than mental contents, but rather take into account the whole body, or whole body/mind/world ensemble, whatever that might end up meaning. In the early days, this much was clear: I, the little me self who thumped about on pages of words or cranked out brainfuls of elliptical scoriae, was not “in charge" so much as merely tagging along. In its splashier parts, it took on the form of a search for a higher dimensional topology, a poetic version of a unified field theory, which started with (and ended with) the presumption that consciousness is primary. Not attention, not mind. Consciousness only. This realization evolved out of contemplation and meditation, on music, language patterns, body structures, graphic and mathematical patterns, theoretical physics and science writing, insights and visions, body/mind images, mythology, poetic images, dreams, coincidence and happenstance, etc. A jubilee of navel-gazing.
MY DISCOVERY OF A WARNING
Many of the models of awareness I tried out made use of the "gating" or "filter" notion; for example, the popular notion that our bodies are not only showered with information, but generate vast streams of information themselves. Being information themselves, the I-forms can only use so much of this, the rest is filtered out. One possible implication is that, should the filters be turned off, the I-forms would be awash in information, inundated with perceptions, associations, comparisons, connections, at an unusable rate. The self would be overturned, overwhelmed, and possibly lost. This notion was borne out in experience. Frightful but illuminating.
Moral: Thinkers doing such things must learn to do their work, continuing to heighten their sensitivity to other noetic dimensions, while keeping the filter system in operation. Don't tinker too blindly in the boiler room. And don't learn an implicit path/gesture to the switch for turning off the filters, unless you're well prepared for the outcomes. I learned afterward that historical teachers of sadhana have routinely given this warning to newcomers, using expressions consonant with their own traditions.
LIMITS IN THE PARLANCE BUT NO LIMIT IS IMPLIED
As Merell-Wolff says, all experience and all objects are derivative from Consciousness. And Consciousness is constitutive of all things, i.e., all things are, in their ultimate nature, nothing but this Primordial Consciousness itself. Or until a finer set of phrases comes along, perhaps it would be better to say all things are an expression of Consciousness. For me, this symbolic summary has implications for living. What any of those terms—like “Primordial Consciousness”— mean is an open question and anybody’s guess. I’ve never encountered anything Primordial that I know of, although I have had profound experiences that spew terms like this as they fade. As I grow older, the more outlandish features and events of the noetic landscape settle down into ordinary seeing. A bit more heightened, yes. All of this talk can be expressed in terms that don't use the word "consciousness." You are free to supply those terms here.
Writing all this journal material out in longer form, plucking the themes from out of all the rooms in the mansions of memory, working through the lines of thought, making old and new connections—this is an alchemical activity in the Jungian mold, the change-making process itself. I change as I write, and the writing serves the acceleration of change. I note as I work (some changes take their visibility after weeks go by, like the shape of a fish surfacing into the sunlight) that “things are happening.” Also, a lot of what I learned and “knew” years ago is being unfolded further now, as if I have picked up old traces lain aside. I can make better use of some of the things I read years ago, and some of the spiritual/philosophic insights from years back are reconfirmed, and/or placed into more useful shapes. A fair portion of the material was enthusiastic twaddle, or wholly impenetrable and suited for discard. But I also note some fears and anticipations of confronting some of the old forces and transitional demands that I had put off years ago.
I recall too how I've used bookstores for inspiration, guidance, and aleatoric resources (when bookstores and libraries disappear entirely, maze work and chance finding will lose some of its ineluctable physical call on the senses). Bibliomantic happenstance has always been reliable for finding something useful when you're stuck. In a similar way, I collected the psychospiritual bits through my life, the snippets from reading, the stored mental snapshots of the reports of the thinkers, scientists, artists, mathematicians, saints, sages and gurus across the ages, gleaned from books and from living guides, and now I'm watching as it takes new form on these pages, not dead in any way. Wherever it's going, oddly enough I can't think of any alternatives.
By the way, none of this is as serious as it might sound—nothing of what we do ever is, and none of us is ever in the life situation we think we are. I take the conceptual wandering seriously, but in the end it's just another person, in search of proper bearings, doing stuff that all non-heroic people can do with the sausage-grinder of ideas they inherit and gather through the years.