The Time Exchange
Chapter 13

Now, I'm not suggesting that the characters in this bike story were dreaming in a way which compares with the girl in the cafe I mentioned earlier. As I mentioned in Chapter 7 I suspect that the girl in the cafe was asleep somewhere on planet Earth when she dreamed that she met me in the cafe. The simultaneous occurrence of the traffic silencing out in the street and the unexpected behaviour of the girl attest to this in my view. In the case of the guys in the bike story I won't offend your logical faculties by denying that they were awake when they met me on the roads around my home town, but the synchronicity of the events of those two days arouses my suspicion.

I'm calling these guys "dreamers" because they were instrumental in part of the fulfilment of my own planetary dreaming, my destiny so to speak, and because their wishes throughout the development of this little bike story were as important as my own. They were dreamers in the sense of being motivated by wish fulfilment, and I'm calling this kind of mental activity dreaming for the sake of preserving a rhetorical consistency in the telling of my story. Both day dreaming and night dreaming are not unlike each other in some important respects as my experience with hallucination clearly shows.

Back on the day I made up my mind to save up for this bike, some eighteen months earlier, these guys had no idea about the way these two days would unfold from my point of view. And neither did I for that matter, at least consciously anyhow. But if the beginning and the end of time exist virtually simultaneously, as the regression of summaries suggests, then some part of me had already made a connection with the two days in question. If the body represents a map of the entire universe then the future exists within the mind, where it begins as a remote possibility and becomes ever more likely as the day of realisation approaches, at which time it will become an absolute certainty. It is the dream body who reaches forth when a plan is made, and grasps the day on which the plan may come to fruition. All that remains is for the conscious part of the body to hold fast to the practical stratagem, and bide its time until fruition is achieved.

Being a solitary type meant that I could withdraw from unnecessary social contacts and remain within the universe I found within me where I could conserve my energies and my modest income. But a practical consequence of biding one's time for an interval of some eighteen months or so is that a spring is wound down into a state of compression just waiting to be released. A body can remain in a state of inertia for just so long before it springs back again into activity, and all that is required is the necessary trigger. In a sense this spring had been compressing since I was a teenager, and that "Climax" dream provided me with an indication of how the dream body could work in a situation such as this.

Now, it follows that the other guys' situations were very similar to my own. Just as the two ends of my savings plan existed simultaneously, namely the conscious part of me and a projection of my dream body, so too were these ends in existence for the other guys in this story when the day arrived on which my dream body was to release the trigger. The other guys had made self interested plans for that day just as I had, and a spring and trigger controlled by their respective dream bodies was in play just as was the case with respect to my own. The day had been set, it had been foreseen by our respective dream bodies, and all that remained was the fulfilment of our wishes.

There can be no doubt that the five of us had very different views of those two days and that I was the only one to observe the synchronicity of the events which are at the heart of the point I'm trying to make here. There can also be no doubt that regardless of whether or not we were conscious of it each of us contributed one small part to the realisation of a larger planetary dreaming. What that was is the subject of my story here, and in this context it shows that my acquisition of this motorbike consisted of a practical demonstration on the part of my dream body that reality can be very slightly twisted by one who has a true heart and a little bit of determination.

You may have gathered that demonstrations like this one are not exactly uncommon in my very unusual life, but what intrigues me about this one is the precision of the synchronicity. Had I not encountered those two speeding bikes on my way home that day and followed them at high speed then I may not have been home in time to meet my neighbour in front of my house who was waiting for someone to come by and pick him up.

The timing of these events is their most crucial feature and gives the significance of the day an unforgettable gravity, but what intrigues me even more than their curious timing is an inversion of the identities involved. The roads are a dangerous place for all road users wherever they may be so I'm inclined to entertain the soberingly edifying substitution of death for my chance encounter with those two high speed bikes that day. I could just as easily have died on the road that day, so I'm inclined to think in terms such as these anyhow, but this substitution happens to address the next point in my time exchange story.

My point in terms of this story is that I believe that my death has been constructed by my dream body. It may sound a little trite to you, but I believe that my death has been set up in a way not unlike the way my purchase of that Harley Davidson was set up. To generalise somewhat I suggest that when you die it's not a haphazard coincidence which takes you by surprise, but a negotiation which you have undertaken throughout your life in partnership with your dream body. When you die your death will have meaning in terms of its context. It will be your special day, your day of glory when you learn the true value of the life you've lived, and join with the infinities which are presently beyond your grasp. And your dreaming will be vivid. It will be so vivid in death at times that you will wonder if there is any difference between these states at all.

When I say that reality can be very slightly twisted I am referring to my own very modest ability to achieve an effect like this, and is not intended to diminish the abilities of more capable dreamers such as Castaneda's informant Don Juan, or even an animal endowed with similar abilities. Indeed, if reality can be bent at all then it could potentially be bent quite drastically, and the range of dreamers in possession of such abilities should not be limited to humans when extinction threatened animals could be similarly empowered, and highly motivated to put such abilities to use. This is not to say that the incidence of reality bending animal dreamers is any higher than it is among human populations which are very few indeed, but it only takes a very small number of survivors to repopulate an ecosystem once the threat of extinction has been removed. In terms of my own ability to bend reality I was tempted to suspect that the early eighties had opened me up to experience an episodic multiverse which resulted in occasional departures from the reality we are usually accustomed to.

You can't assume that reality is immutable just because you are unable to have a transformative effect on it, just as you can't deny the existence of a multi-verse because you're unable to understand how such things could be possible. But perhaps you're a little more open to such things if you've made it this far into my time exchange story because these two implications follow fairly inevitably from an acquaintance with the infinite regression. If the regression of abstractions requires that every integral body consists of a representation of the entire universe then the existence of multiple universes must surely follow.

It also follows that if energy has a very plastic nature, and you can refrain from giving it the shape which you inherited from society, then reality will also have a very plastic nature. In my own case I never had a benefactor to help me develop my dreaming skills so my ability to mould the plastic nature of reality has been somewhat thwarted, but this is not to say that animals couldn't be more suitably endowed since dreaming skills are probably more valued in their cultures.

As for the multi-verse these countless island universes can exist in relative isolation, as in my own case, or they can combine in large numbers to constitute a relatively singular universe such as the existing universe or clusters of galaxies, people or atoms. The varieties appear to be quite endless as you would expect in a universe of spatial and temporal infinities. Your family may be a multi-verse in which case it will consist of your most cherished relationships, but it could also consist of a number of strategic alliances as is the case with the many people and creatures I've met in my thoughts and dreaming. All of those who I consider allies within my multi-verse enjoy an alliance with the Earth and solar ancestor.

Time is a very fluid dimension within a multi-verse particularly if it happens to involve an alliance with our cosmic ancestors. What looks like death from one point of view may have a very different appearance from another, and if the two ends of time exist virtually simultaneously for the dream body then so does every other point in between. The appearance of death may not be a true portrayal of a dreamed reality, but simply signifies a door which can no longer be opened by those who have bid farewell to a loved one.

In a multi-verse someone who looks dead from your point of view will have dreams so vivid that they will believe that they're still alive, which they are of course because the soul is eternal and the dream body is perfectly timeless. An old person will dream of fond memories of the past while a young person will dream of the future, and life will carry on until it is just weary, at which time the soul and dream body will just sleep in utter exhaustion. A deathless life is both a blessing and a curse! And any bitterness you may harbor regarding the loss of a loved one is unwarranted because those who are dead to you will always be perfectly responsive to your thoughts and prayers, if only you could let yourself believe in them.

In a multi-verse involving the death of a loved one there are two parties who witness this event both of whom observe the death of the other party. In the case of a parent and child, for example, the parent observes the child's death while the child observes the parent's death, and the situation is much like the parity seen between a mirrored image and reflection. In a case involving one who is famous, or a highly publicised death, the situation is similar with the two parties adopting the two key positions with regard to the public representation and dreaming of the other. There is thus a split between their respective worlds, and those allied with their respective key positions will be denied access to those allied with the other, until the relationship is so distant that the clash of conflicting universes will no longer be an issue. The variations on this are endless and involve any kind of grieving in which case the dream body will invisibly terminate expressions of confidence in the other party, leaving only a subtle sense within the mind that a confidence has now been broken.

In the case of the death of one's self one can suffer a long and terminal illness, but this doesn't mean that the dream body won't rouse you back to consciousness when at last you are free from the condition detaining you. You'll know you've been dead, of course. You'll dream of a slab in some nameless mausoleum somewhere and you'll consider your position. But keep in mind, the body consists of a universe of infinite worlds. You could wake up in any one of these and retain only the vaguest memories of your previous trials.

Now, you probably won't want to believe in something as speculative as the existence of a multi-verse where separate realities can occupy the same region of space without any knowledge of each other. You're probably determined to believe that reality is inflexible, that the rules governing it have long been demonstrated, and that modern physical science is hard at work finishing your beliefs about reality with some slight adjustments and refinements. Well, to be honest with you I must agree with much of this because I've seen how a complex network of social agreements can give reality a rigorously inflexible structure. Energy has a very plastic nature and will not defy your ability to make it behave any way which suits you. But let me add a slight refinement of my own which assumes that this will no longer be the case for those who have made an effort to divest themselves of the necessary social agreements.

Let me assure you that I mostly abide by the rules which are implicit within the social construction of reality. It's less taxing on my emotions to accept the agreements which hold everything in place, and I won't be resorting to the sort of behaviour which originally elicited my ability to observe any contradictions within this social construct. But I also can't unlearn my experiences, so I'm left to wrestle with some sort of compromise between my many conflicting observations. A belief in the existence of a multi-verse happened to provide me with a paradigm which helped me account for many of these discrepancies.

There are the many and varied hallucinations I've been telling you about, but of particular interest in the context of the multiverse is the falling sensation I would experience whenever I smoked a little cannabis, and it wasn't just when I was affected by this substance. It was as if my body had learned how to perform this hallucination in the absence of narcotic stimulation because I could experience this falling sensation at unexpected times such as when I was exhausted from a lot of walking. I would lie down, let my mind go and before long the inertial cues I depended on would fail on me, and I would enter a state of freefall. It felt like I had fallen into a kind of radiant darkness, and I would then have to wait several hours for it to leave me. During those hours it occurred to me that I had entered a sequel reality, a parallel world which was just one member of a continuous multiverse.

The shift from one state to the other felt so easy to enter that I believed it was happening all the time for all of us, but people simply chose to ignore it. For example, if you witness an accident on the road in front of you you'll say to yourself "Oh, that's just a coincidence," without realising that two worlds have just been in collision. In any case it seems that the dream bodies of animals acquainted with the ghost of death and the infinite scales of matter are able to enter one of these sequel realities, and then help their conscious bodies to navigate around the multiple worlds they collide with. This is an important distinction to make because it puts a few of these animals in a position where they could show others how to survive an extinction event which they would otherwise be unable to.

Just as my dream body helped me to find that Harley so too could it help to achieve a negative effect, such as the avoidance of something. If animals are naturally more able dreamers, as I suspect a large number of them are, then their dream bodies could show them a way to survive what would otherwise be the extinction of most of existence on this planet.

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