Sheldrake and Ten


Rupert Sheldrake asks this beautiful question: if everything you see is an image inside your head — the whole world reduced to a tiny theater or screen somewhere in your brain — then is your skull beyond the sky?

Or do you see the things themselves, your mind reaching out to touch them where they are? In which case your mind is not contained within your skull, but is more like a field, extending beyond it.

I heard music from the pagoda and people in the soi, so I picked up my camera as I left the house. A big ceremony was beginning, with hundreds of people gathering. The soi was busy and full of noise. Ten was staring in through the window, interested in everything, the musicians, the silks, the glistening robes. I watched him watching them….

He didn’t hear me, that’s clear. He felt my gaze, through the eye of the camera, on the back of his head.


The sweet sound of shattering paradigms fills the air like temple gongs.



In case you’re curious like Ten, here’s what he was seeing:


5 thoughts on “Sheldrake and Ten

  1. I remember a young woman I saw down by the riverside , a fast flowing river in spring . When I went down she just looked at me and said she could not move . The river was carrying her away . I felt it too . I dragged her up the 30 meter embankment . We spent the entire dy together , hardly talking . We were telepathic . As the sun went down we were holding hands in a field , and all of a sudden we were above the trees , holding hands , looking over a great vista , the orange sun large and beautiful . She “said ” I am afraid I want to go back down , and I said Alright , and we were again stanfing where we were , still holding hands . I cannot prove nor care to that I experienced any of this extraordinary day or other such things but my experiences are not unique .

  2. I am a fan of Laurie Anderson. Back in the mid-80’s I was dabbling with spirituality, reading new age-y books, meditating….one author recommended meditating while standing eyes open in front of a mirror in low light conditions. I went into the tiny bathroom of my low-rent abode, turned off the light and stared at my dark silhouette reflected in the mirror.

    It wasn’t long before I could see, peripherally down, a small red dot of light just below the faucet. Thinking it was a reflection of some kind I looked straight at it. Nothing. I looked back at the mirror and slowly it appeared again. No big deal, just a tiny red dot of light. I marveled at this bit of oddness a while longer until I got bored & left the bathroom. I forgot about this and never did the “mirror meditation” again.

    Some time after, Laurie Anderson came to town and I went alone to see her at a venue of about 6,000. Not quite sold out. My seat was way up in “nosebleed”, extreme stage right. Crap seats, but I was cool with it. Her show was mostly solo with computers & a few guest musicians coming and going. She had just finished up her “trigger suit” bit and left the stage silent, empty & dark. The audience was well-behaved and quiet.

    A small red ball of light about the size of a basketball then emerged from the wings floating weightlessly onto the stage. Two black arms/hands were holding it. She was wearing black and the ball lit her only very dimly. You could not tell it was her really, I just assumed it was. She stood for a moment center stage, then carried the ball 20 ft or so stage right. She put the ball down. I’m thinking:

    “Hmm……. little red ball of light… the dark…….I’ve seen this……” She then sat down cross-legged, curiously facing my direction & brought the red ball up between her knees. I could now see her dimpled face in the soft red light. She looked around at the crowd, up & down, carefully scanning the darkness without a word. She then stopped scanning & focused her gaze directly up at me and said:

    “I’ve SEEN yooooou…” in a gentle, melodious, playfully teasing way. I looked around me, thinking there had to be something or someone near me or perhaps behind me that she was actually looking at. But I saw nothing but empty seats and a few people below & right of me who were smart enough to sit closer when the gig started.

    “Yes. YOU. I’ve seen you……. when you get yourself into that…………meditative state.”

    My head vaporised, exploding into a shower of tiny stars. A warm, confusing thrill of outrageous beauty filled my body and mind bringing buckets of water up into & out of my eyes. Everyone close enough to see me in the dark was looking at me, like– “Dude, what the hell? Are you a part of this?” I could only shrug in utter amazement, tears soaking my face faster than I could wipe them off.

    Fast forward, say, 20 – 25 years. I was seeing her again, this time at a much smaller venue. Her performance was entirely spoken word, lots of it cautionary riffing on creeping fascism in America post-911 while she sat on an elegantly adorned throne-type chair in near-darkness. I don’t remember any details except for this, spoken in her sweet, gentle, motherly-slow articulate way:

    “We’ve all had dreams……dreams where we were experiencing strange, mystifying things we took for normal, everyday occurences in broad daylight….. have we not?” A few folks in the audience politely said “Yes” & “mmhmm.”

    “The sunlight in those dreams……where does it come from?”

  3. I always liked her though found her frustrating too. Had one album, O Superman. Real artist, holding herself always just out of range, like that spooky paradoxical question… you got any answers?

  4. Nope. Guess I’m just really fkn glad there’s any light at all. (again, thx for sharing yours)

    The chorus from one of my all-time favorite songs just popped into my head–

    Could I be happy with something else?
    I need something to fill my time
    Could I be happy with someone else?
    I need someone to fill my time

    What we want’s not what we get.

    –Gang of Four “What We All Want”

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