The Dreaming Tree — William Gorman
(This essay is in process: last edit: 09.23.11)
Dreaming: The multiMind
Throughout my life I have been fascinated by the phenomenon which humans refer to as ‘dreaming’. Although a variety of theories exist as to what dreaming is or may be, I find the majority of them to be incomplete, or biased toward an attempt to convince us that this function is either largely useless or mechanical. Some researchers have been so bold as to suggest that dreaming is akin to ‘taking out the trash’ in cognitive terms, an idea which I find ridiculous. This is not to say that it has no relevance — there may be some small portion of this activity which is related to processing unnecessary memory remnants, however to suggest that this is the primary function of dreaming is akin to saying that the only purpose of my waking existence is to trim my fingernails.
Early on in my exploration of dreaming, I noticed that when I was awakened before a dream had completely resolved, a strange sensation was present in my belly. It was a vibratory tingling somewhat similar to the sensation of a gentle electrical current, and it was ‘swirling’ around in my belly. Additionally, I felt a sensation of ‘weight’, as if something were resting on my belly. At first I had no idea what this could be. Over time, I formed various theories — most of them admittedly metaphysical. One was that at night, our organs are recharging by establishing a linkage with a dimension where something akin to ‘electrical food’ is available to them. I still believe something like to this, however later experiences dramatically expanded my understanding of ‘what organs are’ and what they ‘do’.
As far as we know, all animals dream. Very little research has been done to determine if animals without brains sleep or dream (or have some analog), however, we may speculate that most of the things animals do arose from similar structures or patterns in cells, since animals are cellular communities — or ‘superCells’. Recent studies have determined that dreaming plays powerful roles in learning, waking awareness, and regulating appetite. Rats who are deprived of dream-state sleep begin eating voraciously, but stop gaining weight and lose the ability to control their body temperature; shortly thereafter they perish. Torturing animals is an extremely ignorant and malevolent way to explore the function of dreaming, however human beings seem to believe that no price is to high when it comes to gathering data for scientific modeling. This sort of behavior further illustrates the deficiency of Cain’s ‘divide and conquer’ paradigm, which both science and common cultural paradigms justify by raising mankind to absurd degrees of importance in comparison to other life forms and the environment itself.
The ‘mind’ we experience when dreaming is entirely unlike the mind we experience when awake. Mystical, highly poetic, and extremely general in its assembly and presentation of meaning, our dreaming mind is a direct experience of Abel’s consciousness and character. In dreams, it is extremely common for us to experience situations or stimuli that would cause us to question them in the waking state; for example, being chased by a tiny tyrannosaurus in an ancient castle. In waking life, the implicit dichotomies between what we expect (based on our experience and knowledge) and what we experience would cause us to pause and check the validity of what was happening. Dinosaurs don’t exist now, and the idea of a tiny tyrannosaur is oxymoronic. Why would we be running from something 4 inches tall? Why would something that small be pursuing us? What are we doing in an ancient castle? These and similar questions rarely arise in dreams — our emotional and experiential immersion in the dream overwhelms our ‘fact-checking’ habits, and we accept our experience as real, regardless of any superficial conflicts with our expectations. Occasionally we may have a moment where this process is interrupted, and a question akin to those listed above may arise. Most of the time this question is ephemeral, and the power and flow of the experience of dreaming quickly dissolve it. When they do not, these experiences of questioning lead to a fork in the road of dreaming — one branch leads to awakening, and the other to what we call ‘lucid dreaming’ — dreams in which we become aware that we are dreaming.
Unlike our waking experience, the ‘language’ of dreams is extremely general. An element within a dream can refer not only to multiple things and meanings, but also to multiple ‘scales’ of meaning (spiritual, universal, local, and personal) simultaneously. In this way, the things, beings and circumstances we experience in dreams allow us to ‘metaphorize’ (to unify the character and meaning of discrete elements) as opposed to ‘distinguish’ (to separate, name, and certify). There is an interesting relationship between the words ‘distinguish’ (to divide from the unity) and ‘extinguish’ (to silence or put an end to). Cain’s paradigm of perception tends to extinguish metaphor by evaluating circumstances and relations in a monodimensional way. Abel’s, entirely unconcerned with the benefits of his brother’s mode, is too busy transforming correspondence into treasure to bother with this rather flat game of discernment.
Although the waking mind (and mine is awake now, as is your own) is relatively unpracticed at speaking cogently about the dreaming mind, there are some interesting and useful things we can learn about the language of dreaming. It is primarily a poetic language, and is concerned with the evocation and experience of symmetries in (and through) patterns and symbols. By ‘symbol’ I mean a kind of metaphoric stand-in; a being, circumstance or thing which stands for qualities which cannot be specifically named, but must instead be experienced directly, through the unification of ordinarily disparate qualities and schemas which underlie identity itself. Rather than specifying identity, they point to its sources. These sources are necessarily indistinct and primal — they exist in ‘the before of distinguishing’ — and when we experience them directly we acquire an aspect of likeness with them, leaving the dimension of certainty and naming for one in which the numinous shapes arising in flow and change become a magical ‘teaching language’.
As an example of what I mean let us examine the symbol ‘book’. In our waking experience we have a clear conception of the class, identity and function of this object. It is a text, written by one or more other people, which is designed to explore or expose to us a story, poetry, art, or information about a topic or set of topics. In dreams however, a book is a very different thing. It doesn’t contain ‘information’ of the sort we are habituated to expect; in fact, a sentence read within a book in a dream can change between the first and second reading. Letters can re-arrange themselves before our eyes, disappear, and accomplish other normally impossible transformations. Text, if it is even possible to read it, rarely contains any form of information that would accord with our waking definitions. In a dream, a book is something we cannot experience in waking life: it is a general thing, rather than a specific thing. It is an instance of book-ness. Thus it may be ‘a toy of revelation or learning’ which teaches us about the process of revelation or learning, instead of delivering specific knowledge on a topic. Similarly, it is a stand-in for an object which doesn’t exist in waking life — ‘a learning toy’ of extremely general character and function. It reflects the changing flow of the observer’s character, consciousness, concerns, and attention — and rather than being a static object, it comprises something more akin to ‘a flowing mirror’ which follows the observer’s ever-modulating cognitive experience, rather than merely reflecting it in a static way. Interestingly, this process is profoundly playful — the only thing I can think of which does something similar in waking life is this: a playmate.
Lucid dreaming (the awareness that one is dreaming without this awareness ending the dream state) comprises ‘another scale’ of dream experience. Whereas in normal dreaming, we have the experience of something or someone other than ourselves organizing the circumstances and adventures, in lucid dreaming the character and flow of activity responds to our intentions and desires to a greater or lesser degree, depending on a variety of factors. For some reason, the awareness that we are dreaming, while we are dreaming, empowers Abel’s intelligence to become a vehicle which we can direct in various ways. This experience is incredibly novel, and extremely exciting (as well as entertaining). It represents a mode of awareness that is almost entirely unavailable in waking life. In this state, the way the mirror reflects the changing flow of the mind is relatively amenable to the modulations desired by the dreamer. But there is more. The ‘Tibetan Book of the Dead’ is essentially a long admonition encouraging us to ‘wake from a strange dream’ and achieve lucidity. It occurs to me that lucid dreaming may in fact be one of the keys to immortality, for the skill of achieving lucidity is a practice like no other — and it is the only practice I am aware of which endows us with abilities suspiciously akin to those which the admonitions of the Bardo Thodol encourage, and posit as necessary. It may well be that the art of lucid dreaming is a preparation for navigating the strange and sometimes terrifying dimensions of the experiences of the soul after physical death. I encourage you to explore this experience for yourself, and also to examine some of the records left by those who practice it. While it can be difficult to achieve initially, it is a very valuable skill that can be acquired with practice and commitment.
I should mention in passing that the character and function of dream elements is not something we can make a reliable lexicon of, in part because the meanings we may decode by examining the elements must be based as much on context as they are upon identity implicit in the elements we relate with. This relationship between elements (within context) often conveys more significance in dreams than the ‘identity’ of any element can deliver. On the other hand, there are general guidelines we may apply in interpreting dreams, such that, for example, if one dreams of a beloved historical home in which one descends a stairway to the basement, this might generally indicate a transition into ‘the past’ — not necessarily in a merely personal sense — but in a mystical (or poetic) sense. From this perspective, the dream becomes a sort of ‘living fairy tale’ which speaks to us in a peculiar language whose features of meaning involve multiple sources and weave these sources together to produce a seamless expression which is also an actual experience the dreamer undergoes. This celestial recipe commonly includes mythical or archetypal elements, poetic figurations, puns (both a form that utilizes identity as a vehicle and the more commonly understood puns which present some form of homonymy (broken or whole) to us). It also draws on various scales of ‘history’ simultaneously, allowing the presentation of a subject or relationship to represent (for example) the local history and experience of the dreamer, their extended history, the history of this person’s human lineages, all of human history, the history of organismal experience, the history of our solar system, that of the universe, and perhaps even vaster scales, could we imagine or speak of them. In the dream, all of these dimensions of history can be represented ‘at once’, in a single vehicle (an object, person, &c) or circumstance, and are usually presented in multiple unique ‘modes’ throughout the landscape of a dream. Understanding these matters even slightly, we can see why the idea of a dream dictionary, while quaint and perhaps useful as a model, is not likely to be able to deal adeptly with the meanings of identity, relation and context within our dreams.
Additionally, there is something amiss in the process of translation from dream to memory, and we can see the evidence of this when we ‘tell our dreams’. The telling is not the dream — it is the plot of the dream. Yet we may observe that the ‘plots’ of dreams are not really plots, per se — they are extended multidimensional metaphoric improvisations upon themes. A ‘plot’ is a sort of skeleton upon which we hang the remembered sequence of events in a dream, but this is not the dream itself, and the plot is at best a pale substitute for the bizarre and enlightening experience of dreaming. If we could actually ‘tell’ a dream, both the teller and the recipient would, I believe, begin dreaming.
An interesting image comes to mind here, and in keeping with the dreamlike quality of ‘images which convey meaning without specifying it’. It was suggested by a friend of mine. The image is a tree with many branches. At the end of each branch is an eye. By day, we are like one eye, at the end of a single branch. By night, we are like ‘the trunk of this tree’. Cain rules the day. Abel, who doesn’t ‘rule’ at all, expresses himself during our dreams — at night — from ‘the underworld’ (the roots and trunk) . The experience of Abel is the magnificent eruption into consciousness of a sacred integration that unifies all ‘distinction’ without requiring conflict. ‘Organism’ rather than ‘mechanism’.
Now, part of what is happening here is that we are deep into sketching these polarities, modeling them to ourselves. But there are a variety of interesting patterns that emerge during this experiment. One of them is analogous to some features of our visual senses. This is not very surprising, we most often compare this sense to understanding, something made clear by the idiomatic expressions which equate seeing to comprehension. But what I want to point out is that our visual system has a variety of discernable elements, and these aspects (abstracted down to two) offer a striking portrait of two different modes of intelligence.
Although this is a simplification, and I will not here explain the structure or neurology of the visual sense, we might apply a model where, essentially, there is a peripheral system and a central or foveal system. The peripheral system excels at certain tasks, such as seeing in dim light, or detecting subtle visual anomalies. It is extremely useful at night and in dealing with predators; the latter because it probably requires significantly less processing — it is directly linked to fast-processing structures in the interhemispheric fissure — between the two hemispheres. It can be practiced, as both martial artists and jugglers are at least peripherally aware. It is here, however, that we begin to encounter something more interesting about these aspects of our visual system: one prefers anonymity. In fact, when I say peripherally aware, what I largely mean is this: subconsciously.
Here’s an experiment you can quickly do to get a sense of this: hold a pen or pencil between your thumb and forefinger such that with your arm outstretched to the side the pen/pencil projects forward. Stretch your arm to the side and wiggle the pen/pencil up and down rapidly. Now focus here on the screen and move your arm back and forward slowly until you can focus here and still detect the motion of the wiggling object in your peripheral vision. Most likely, you can actually detect it without consciously seeing it, as you will in this experiment. But you will get a sense of how surprisingly sensitive your perhipheral vison is. This capacity allows us to avoid many accidents which we would otherwise experience. What often happens is that the peripheral visual system warns us, but doesn’t ‘sign its name’ to the signal, so we do not realize how we were warned. In truth ‘I didn’t see the threat coming’, yet something in me did, and informed me, and I changed my behavior without being aware of this process. Only in careful examination of a variety of events that appeared ‘miraculous’ was I able to see the link between the outcome and my peripheral visual system. By the way, the foveal system is required for you to focus on this text while you test your peripheral system, so what we were playing with here is an experience where both are activated and we are sensing both at once.
My foveal system, which excels at distinguishing detail, color-discrimination, and perhaps assisting my comprehension of what comprises unities, occupies about 1% of the retina, but is said to require about 50% of the brain’s visual cortex. This aspect of my visual system answers to my name. In other words, if I see a dog, I will say ‘I saw that’. Not so, however, with things in my peripheral vision. It is almost as if I am host to an anonymous observer, who is constantly watching ‘all around’ my visual field for anomalies and items of note. When found, the standard procedure is to hand them off to the foveal system without so much as a mention of their source. A silent intelligence who does not wish to be known by my name, and who doesn’t identify as me, has saved my life many times merely by alerting me to something I should focus upon.
One can see why we might have such an anonymous sense: there are situations that need to be processed and handled without the intervention of language or rationality — or identity — if you had to stop to decide what to do, or how to do it, you’d be long dead. Who is doing it is also problematical, there’s no time to properly or systematically ascribe identities. In such circumstances it is essential that there be no pause for vainglorious celebrations of skill or luck — you need a fast-processing pathway that connects the visual system both to the body at large, and to some form of conserved response-intelligence which we might imagine to be relatively ‘instinctive’. Notice that this sense is significantly concerned with various forms of collision avoidance, and is probably linked with other systems such as those providing proprioceptive capacities.
It is this response intelligence I am concerned with. I suspect that the visual system’s bipolarity (as we have somewhat loosely modeled it here) is analogous to something that is going on in our minds, which is to say (in part) in our brains. The organizational paradigms expressed as the visual system, both neurologically and in the organs involved, are expressions of the deeper character of the kind of organism we are and of organisms in general. But what interests me here is that I seem to contain an intelligence, that is to say an entire identity, which does not identify as myself. It doesn’t answer when my name is called, and in fact it largely goes about its own business without my awareness that it even exists. It is often involved in saving my life, or saving me from injury, yet it doesn’t appear at these events — and with few exceptions, it never really shows up in consciousness.
When it does, it is a very strange experience that sometimes involves nonordinary perception (i.e.: slowing of time) or nonordinary understanding (i.e.: predicting coming events intuitively). I have always been bothered by the idea of instinct as it is commonly represented to us; but if this sense is an example of instinct, then I think it is an example of another form of intelligence which our form either coexists with natively or perhaps emerges from
Insanity : Prodigy
Beyond the company of children, artists and renegades, the common models of human identity that immersively inspire our development and activity are extremely narrow. By their activity and function in human persons and cultures, these models function by gravely circumscribing our cognitive and relational potentials, and this process is hidden from us. During our cognitive development, the myriad guises adopted by ersatz authority create a staggering panoply of ever-more demanding masters. This experience shapes us inwardly, and reflections of our experiences with extrinsic authority arise as differentiations within what we commonly refer to as psyche.
To some significant degree, exhibiting the capacity to abide by the dictums of an array of essentially fictional authorities without significant inner quandary is to be ‘well adjusted’. Of those of us who cannot or do not obey, some portion are considered to be ‘disturbed’ or ‘mentally ill’. Few will acquire the skills necessary to excel in ordinary human society — particularly the financial skills. Others are episodically out of their minds. Although it seems (at first glance) perfectly reasonable to agree to the outlines of common ideas related to cognitive fitness, or illness (and in some cases it may well be thus), we must ask very important questions here. ‘Who established the standards of normalcy or health (and for what purposes)? The outlines provided have prohibited the vast majority of relational possibilities inherent in our biocognitive nature. In terms of our relational development and health, some of these proscribed potentials are not merely possibilities, but necessities.
The basic shape of the idea ‘normal’ (or ‘healthy’) will take its character from the goal of the applied evaluative perspective. This goal is generally either obscured or misquoted to the recipients of such standards. In general, the unpublished function of our normative standards is to produce slave-like states of relatively unenlightened servitude which are structurally dependant upon narratives. The normalizing compulsions foisted upon us by our all-too overbearing cultures, subcultures and institutions generally result in a variety of severe cognitive injuries in us, both through what we acquire and what we are deprived of. Bluntly apprehended from outside the culture of our common habits, this would appear to be a form of rape, but from within it appears normal, or even desirable.
Authentically progressive methods of escape from the bubble of culturally propagated metaphors (i.e. models of identity and function) may deliver a radically expanded experience of positive options, but it has been and remains perennially challenging to locate or sustain such egress. In youth, many people turn to drugs or crime in a misguided effort to re-acquire elements of experience and relation which appear otherwise inaccessible such as transcendental experience or tightly-knit group unity (‘missions’).
A significant part of the entry-into-adulthood is the awakening of an undisclosed urge toward entry into nonordinary experience which has historically been directed via various relatively ornate culturally or traditionally conserved initiation rituals. Properly navigated, these serve as ladder of transcendental metaphors whose transit actually results in a direct, non-linguistic experience which is at once universal and incredibly intimate. One undergoes an epic initiation into the nonordinary and ‘fraternal’ experiences which the person previously pursued more recklessly and unknowingly, for they did not then possess the ability to specify these desires to themselves.
It is my experience that some aspect of our mind is expressing the expectation of fulfillment of these urges toward unification of inner intelligence(s) and outer Intelligence, and when denied this, we often respond symptomatically. I believe that it is crucial that we establish such traditions as would grant us direct access to these experiences again, and not merely for those emerging into adulthood. In every age of life we will benefit when we are empowered to consciously and positively maintain a transport of contact with the impossible, the mysterious, the numinous.
The power of our cognitive nature is not merely that of the spectator, for when we encounter someone in the grip of some fugue there is the distinct impression that they are assembling an experience of existing very different from those we are familiar with.
It seems very common for people who are experiencing some form of mental illness to metaphy circumstances and events as related to religious or spiritual metaphors in a way which is alien both to our ideas about reality and our own experience. Various forms of ‘inflation’ or ‘deflation’ are also common, events in which the ego of the subject undergoes radical and sometimes even arbitrary transformations. Often, portions of a psychotic or pre-psychotic episode take on hypberolized spiritual significance (as might occur in a psychedelic experience) and are carried forward into the ordinary waking experience as a sort of overlay through which reality becomes re-interpreted. Such a person may feel that linguistically linked (linked through spelling, letter organization, pun, assonance, etc.) elements comprise an intentionally composed symmetry which is either an act or a signal aimed at the person by an extrinsic force — for example, that the letter sequences in license plates comprised a language which is speaking to the observer in a meaningful sequence as new cars pass by.
Encountering Abel: The Teaching Shape
Abel was a shepherd. Each day he observed his flock, which (although composed of individuals) created a flowing shape of changing symmetries as the animals interacted with each other and their environment. This is very similar to what happens when we breathe out, creating ‘vapor’ in the air — a complex dance of flux and flow arises which goes through a series of sophisticated changes (at multiple scales) before dissipating. In doing so, the previously invisible character of the movements of atmosphere are revealed. The individual particles of water are far less interesting than the changing shapes which emerge from their relation.
Over months or years of observing his flock, Abel began to understand that the changing shapes of his flock were a sort of language — a living music which revealed things (it was a source of a special species of information) about the past, the moment, and the future — which words could not make clear. Somehow the shapes of the changing flock (within the changing environment) became for him a way of knowing. A language older than words — beyond all human languages. Rather than conserving and comparing tokens (history), this language values the relationships between elements in a moving symmetry which is happening now. The element having precedence to his attention is the meaning implicit not in the shapes the flock forms, but in the procession of changes they undergo over time. To him, this becomes an inner language, a language intrinsically linked to a peculiarly poetic aspect of the imagination whose power it is to associate meaning with form and motion.
In time, Abel becomes someone we might speak of as the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ of the unseen, capable of stunning insights gleaned from the vaguest of clues and observations. Fleeting, ephemeral and chimeric, Abel’s transpoetic consciousness of the modulating stream of meaning conveyed though the vehicle of change represents a way of knowing entirely alien to our common experience.
His anciently conserved form of intelligence assembles meaning from relations amongst shapes in progressions of change in many simultaneous perspectives and ‘dimensions’ of perception, and his focus is extremely broad. We might say that the two aspects of our intelligence differ in their preferred motion: Cain’s motion is that of approach — which, like a microscope, generates endless branchings each revealing new (superficial) detail. Abel’s is that of retreat: this option generates understanding of the meaning-relationship between multiple scales and domains of instancing. Abel’s ‘way of moving’ results in a sublime and often sacred awareness of the relatedness of various scales and dimensions of meaning, for as he retreats he becomes aware of the likeness (and the ways this likeness changes) implicit in the objects, beings, circumstances and relations of all that resolves in his mind’s eye during his ongoing transit.
It is extremely difficult for anyone to imagine a direct personal experience of this form of intelligence, because it is essentially translinguistic, and does not accord with any standard or definition we currently possess — it surpasses them all. Although it bears some minor superficial likeness with psychedelic experience, the likeness stops there. It has something too, in common with dreaming.
It is not like experiences with which we are familiar in any easily conceivable way. Neither is it static in form, way of action, or potential. It’s elemental nature is to explosively exceed itself every time is is enacted. It is as new in any moment as it is similar to any previous moment, even when doing what seems precisely the same thing as it did previously, and we do not have memories or concepts like this.
My own experience could be described as one of living light, within the mind, who’s primary activity is teaching — but it is a form of teaching with which we are unfamiliar, and the ‘teacher’ cannot be ‘correctly’ identified, categorized or quantified. To encounter Abel’s mode of intelligence could be said to be analagous to encountering an alien who is not merely ‘one alien’ or ‘one kind of alien’ — but instead a vast collective of alien civilizations strewn throughout the past, present, and future. Though they speak and act as a unity, it is always clear that this unity is comprised of ‘a great many’. Simultaneously, this unity is not ‘other’. It is something within us — an aspect of ourselves which is so overwhelming in its power and activity that we cannot grasp how it could possibly be an aspect of ‘me’.
Abel's experience of identity is nearly the opposite of ours. The pattern of change over time and shifts in perspective create a dancing evolutionary epic which is constantly presenting elements of its near and distant past and future, as well as presenting a conceivably stable element such as ‘a stone’ or ‘a wheel’. This is the experience of a peculiarly significant metaphoric flow rather than a stable identity or label. The universe expressed in punny, verb-like forms with strange (and shifting) domains of connectivity. As connotation rather than denotation. To any rational mind a person presenting Abel cognitively would resemble particular modes of delusional insanity, however the demonstrable ability to apply these modes of seeing in nonordinary ways and produce results will sometimes reveal that this is not merely cognitive dysfunction.
The precedence from this position lies squarely on generality rather than specificity, and on meaning rather than category, label, etc.
As the ‘firstborn’ in the land of the dead (Abel is the first person in the bible to perish), he continues to exist as a ‘spirit’ (an aspecific form) within all of us. From this position, he knows not only what is important ‘over here’ (in life) but also ‘over there’ — beyond the position of mortal existence.
I believe that the learning-prowess of the child is based upon ‘the hidden intelligence’ of Abel, or aspects of cognition normally associated with the right hemisphere (in right handed people). My experience of this intelligence correlates to a peculiarly generalized and seemingly ‘instantaneous’ comprehension of the schemas from which recognition of patterns and shapes is derived, with a special emphasis on associating a unusual mode of meaning (which is a form of knowledge) with these schemas and their progeny (shapes, identities, patterns, etc). By a strange form of meaning I mean something essentially dynamic; we can understand that to associate meaning with transforming shapes one would have to follow the transformation allowing the meaning to evolve in process. Static elements (i.e. nouns) will not work for this purpose. This is the aspect of our intelligence we employed when acquiring human languages, perspectives, and models of reality as children. The innate prodigy of infants and children is commonly overlooked or dismissed because we model their intelligence as primitive or incomplete. Yet it is with this ‘predecessor’ to our representational intelligence that we acquire language and quasi-rational skillsets. In other words, we brought something with us and that something was what we used to acquire what we understand as our thinking minds and their semantic underpinnings.
Encountering Cain: Focus in Stasis
Light: wave vs particle. Cain: 'divide and conquer' Abel: Unify and serve
The older shall serve the younger: Esau and Jacob. The Coat of Many Colors. To protect and serve the new generations.
Narratization requires optimism in order to justify the story. Energizes the person to proceed based on a promised reward.
Stair-stepping of precedence between a human mind and a conflict in the 'slower' medium of human culture.
Abel as the oracular version of sherlock holmes - abel to almost miraculously deduce character of situations (including the future) from accessible patterns in almost indistinguishably vague symmetries.
(The Vehicle (way) and the Recorder (storage) — attempting to drive the closet)
Abel as the understanding of change, from within change…novelty. Abel as a puff of vapor: i.e.: A constantly changing symmetry which acquaints us with deriving meaning from 'vagueness under constant change'
The magnificent eruption into consciousness of something sacred
Cain as the recorder (storage guy), who cannot stop or the library will disappear - he tends each object constantly. Any interruption may cause the loss of tokens. The purpose of his self importance is the sustenance of the library. A farmer must constantly protect the crops or they will be eaten in his absence. He is thus terrified of not being, or any break in his presence. If Abel gains precedence even briefly, the whole library would disappear. Cain is like a check against computer viruses.
Serial Time vs Nonlinear time. The Tree incident as the onset of linearity: i.e.: before and after.
Eden Incident as 'culture', i.e.: That which comes into us from outside.
Umbilical Tree: Eating from it severed another umbilicus, and resulted in the great 'wandering' which is echoed again in Cain's action.
Eukaryotes absorbing mitochondria is akin to eating from the tree.
(Modern Myths: The Matrix and Smith Verses Neo) - smith is a direct translation of Cain’s name. Neo means 'new', and Abel was 'the new child'.
*Sources: 1: The Five Books of Moses, Robert Alter. 2: Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis, Robert Graves and Raphael Patai.
Note Regarding the Names of the Brothers: Each of the names is actually three letters, Cain is qof yud nun-sophit and Abel is hei beit lammed. These have the following values in gemmatria (a kabbalistic art often used to illumine hidden meanings in sacred text by comparing words which share the same values to expand upon their relation):
Standard: 100+10+700 = 810 = 9
Full: 186+20+12 = 218 = 11
Reduction: 1 + 1 + 7 = 9
Standard: 5+2+30 = 37 = 10 = 1
Full: 10+412+12 = 434 = 11
Reduction: 5+2+3 = 10 = 1
I freely admit that this is a stretch, however I will mention in passing that the full value of Cain — 218 contains a numerotropic pun in English; Two, one ate. Two children, one of them eaten by the other in anger. Abel’s name contains another: For, three, for. ‘I am for three, for three I am’. After two, one ate — three remained. The loss of Abel resulted in a new family unit of three. That both full values result in 11 may lends some numeropoetic credence to apocryphal stories suggesting that Cain and Abel were twins. Cain’s reduction value of 9 implies ‘mysterious power ’ (9 is the number of mystery, and ‘erases itself’ in ) and Abel’s of 1 implies the monad or ‘perfect unity’. Note that the nun-sophit character in Cain’s name is rendered to the value of nun in the full gemmatria.
An interesting and useful link: Farmers, Founders, and Fratricide: The Story of Cain and Abel