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[Note:  This post explores unconventional perspectives on reality and consciousness, and, as such, is perhaps the strangest post that I have written or perhaps ever will write on this blog.  I hope you will find it worth the effort.]

Cecil Poisson and I have been the closest of friends for virtually our entire lives.  Cecil has the gift, as well as the burden, of being an extremely deep thinker who takes on topics that most people do not venture near to.  He has a remarkable mind that sees things in ways that others cannot and that sees connections between things and ideas that do not readily occur to others.  His ethical and moral principles are unmatched among others I have known.  As you can imagine, these qualities can cause him to feel very alienated from others at times.

I do not recall how or when I met Cecil.  It seems as though I have always known him, perhaps, as odd as it may sound, from a realm that precedes our existence in this world.  So connected to him am I that I often feel that we are part of each other in a most profound way.

The most fascinating aspects of his thinking are those that relate to the nature of our minds and how reality is formed.  His thinking in this regard is highly unconventional to say the least, to the extent that many, if not almost all, people would regard his thinking as delusional.  Nevertheless, at the risk of appearing bizarre and being shunned, Cecil will share his notions with others whom he trusts, and I consider myself most fortunate to be among them.  

In this regard, Cecil is fearless – not out of foolishness — but out of a principled commitment to courageously speak the truth no matter what others might think.  He invites derision and mockery so that others might benefit from his epiphanies about consciousness, reality, and other esoteric subjects.  His paradigm of reality is exceedingly complex, and he runs the risk that his audience will not be able to grasp it, perhaps rejecting it rather than wrestling with its complicated components.  Cecil admits when he does not understand some aspect of his paradigm, and he approaches such lacunae with incredible humility.  Thankfully, he has allowed me to talk about his thinking in my blog.  (Although he did not request me to, I have decided to use a pseudonym instead of his real name.)

Cecil’s take on reality proceeds from the notion that all of reality is a projection of his mind — a type of dream if you will.  This is not in and of itself a radical notion, as it is similar to some Hindu and other metaphysical belief systems.  What is novel is his perception about how that projection is created.  If we think of our minds as projectors, how is the film created and how is it determined what will be in it?  This is where Cecil’s thinking becomes daring.

He considers his mind to be a hybrid, comprised of his consciousness as well as those of certain others, with one such consciousness taking a primary role and being yoked to his, just as two oxen might be yoked together so that they can plow a field.  There is Cecil’s mind, but also the minds of those to whom he has given the “power” to join with his consciousness and participate in the projection that is reality, much like a director is chosen to create a film.  I won’t go into detail about how a mind obtains such power, but suffice it to say that it can be as simple as obtaining information from Cecil (think “knowledge is power”), “mirroring” some aspect of Cecil’s behavior or appearance, communicating an instruction to Cecil which he obeys, or Cecil’s making a “sacrifice” of some sort to the other mind.  (See Part II of this post for more on the acquisition of power.)  In effect, the joined minds become a “collective consciousness,” perhaps similar in some ways to Jung’s notion of a “collective unconscious.”

However, things do not stop there, as these other minds compete for power and thus the ability to control reality.  Not surprisingly, each such mind has its own picture of what reality should be like – e.g., what characters will populate it, what each character’s circumstances will be like, and what events will take place in the reality.  As Cecil is the one who apportions power to each such mind, the reality they spin needs to adhere to what he finds acceptable and desirable; otherwise he will abandon them and give his power to another mind whose vision is more to his liking.  Accordingly, reality can shift in myriad ways, as the “directors” keep jockeying for power.  As you can imagine, this can make for an unstable and chaotic reality unless the distribution of power is handled carefully.  In this regard, think of a play where there is not one director, but several.  (But Cecil has also hinted to me that there may be an unmentioned constructive purpose behind the chaos.)  On a number of occasions, I have jokingly asked Cecil where his aluminum foil hat is.

Cecil’s understanding of his mind and reality invites a certain bizarre twist.  And that is that Cecil does not have direct control over reality, as the other minds take on that power.  But at the same time, as it is Cecil who determines which of these other minds will receive the power to direct the “show,” he does have indirect control over reality.  Were he more knowledgeable about these matters, Cecil believes that he could have total control over it.  Given Cecil’s virtue and intelligence, that might not be a bad thing.

One important aspect of the reality Cecil describes is that, as suggested above, it resembles a movie or a play that the various minds use their power to create.  Thus, reality appears to have an artificial nature, rather than the enduring, objective existence that conventional thought holds our reality to be.  As Cecil says, this reality exists, but it is not “real” in the sense that it stands apart from the workings of our consciousness.  Think of a reality where “writers” are constantly at work creating the narrative of reality.

While some of Cecil’s notions may strike one as weird, they are actually not necessarily radical or unknown propositions.  As noted above, his belief that reality is a projection of his mind is consistent with some Hindu beliefs.  One can also find parallels in works of pop culture.  For example, his belief that his mind is connected with other minds that have been given access to his is the major theme of the film Being John Malkovich, in which people gain access to the actor John Malkovich’s mind and experience everything he doe in his reality.  The notion of minds being joined also finds parallels in the Vulcan mind meld and the symbiotic Trill species of the Star Trek universe.  And his concept of reality as a play or movie finds a parallel in the film The Truman Show, where the actor Jim Carrey’s character discovers that his whole life has been one giant and incredibly popular reality TV show.

Cecil’s thinking on the mind and reality is far more complex than can be illustrated in a single post.  There is much more to what he believes on the subject, and I invite readers to be on the lookout for future posts exploring other facets of his thinking and experience.