What does Alice in Wonderland have to do with the world you and I live in?
What world AM I in, what world are YOU in?
Are the worlds here on Earth even the same?
Remember the hookah smoking caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?
“Caterpillar: Who are you?
Alice: I—I—hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning—-but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
Only when I DON’T know, can I enter into the mystery of mysteries—
Are you willing to enter? It will be so much fun and so much agony to explore who we are.
Let’s see what happens as I dive into the pool of icons, divas and dervishes, the players and programs of the collective unconscious and see how they spill out into the contemporary world of NOW.
I’m watching the sky turn orange. I’m thinking of Alice— how she is not able to account for herself. She’s so honest, in contrast to myself. I pretend I know. I see in the changing sunset the thousands of skies whose air I have breathed—as a little girl, a woman, being broke, successful, walking in foreign cities, breaking down, rebuilding, transforming to radiance, and then being turned upside down again.
Alice was swept through large rooms in a river of tears, when she ate a certain pill. I sit baffled sometimes, not fitting into my life, like Alice sat with her arms and legs sticking out from the doors and windows of a tiny house she has outgrown.
The caterpillar is asking THE question. Shakespeare’s Hamlet asks an irrelevant one— whether to-be-or-not-to-be.
Shakespeare is calling out the human lament, like a Flamenco singer. But I’ve heard that song before, and it’s not as heartrending as it once was. I’ve expanded beyond it, like Alice outgrowing her house.
The truth is, I can’t “not be”.
“I” cannot be created, “I” cannot be destroyed….I somehow “am”, and in knowing this I reject what I was trained to believe about myself and the world that dominates modern consciousness—I reject the way we now think about biology, psychology, sociology, history—in short, I reject the belief of living solely in linear time.
I’m throwing off the limits of life lived on a line from “beginning” to ‘end”, which is modern, accepted reality. When I find my own way, I enter an expanded awareness. I somehow become a rose of Lady Life.
I am here, as Martin Heidegger says, as an “Act of Presence”. Presence is the fundamental” given”. Heidegger was a great explorer of medieval sensing— he realized the failure of our contemporary rational mind to grasp the essence of itself.
This is the cover of Tom Cheetham’s dazzling book, The World Turned Inside Out, in which he opens up the insights of Heidegger. The image is the angelic, or the expanded realm of inner dimensions..
“You lose yourself, you reappear. You suddenly find you got nothing to fear.”
So finger through this bowl of cherries and savor the taste.