Dream Gates

Dream Gates

The Lightning Paths

Before lightning strikes
feeders unseen to the ordinary I
travel possible paths through the air
to find the right way to bolt to earth.
Before the secret green cells in the leaf
drink from its suncatchers, light walks
all paths through the protein scaffold.

Scientists say that any road taken
collapses all possible paths.
In the leaf, in the air, in a human span
no road, perhaps, is entirely untaken.

If our lives are gardens of forking paths
what happens when we take one branch
with the definite body? Do possible selves
travel on along all the possible paths?
Can we meet each other?
Can the branching paths rejoin?

In default mode I departed a mental map
and followed a road I thought I had left
towards an old place. When I saw my error
I thought at least I was on familiar ground
on my ghost trail. I bulled across many lanes
to make an utterly wrong turn and did not see
I was speeding the wrong way on the Royal Road
until I met a familiar, a bull on a steakhouse sign.
It’s not so easy to get back on a road you left.

To get my head around this
I’ll go on a quantum walk tonight.
Like light in the leaf, like lightning’s feeders,
we try all paths in our dreams.
When we are witness to ourselves
we can change the default mode
and weave the many roads into the right one.


Note: Suncatchers and Quantum Beating

Research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that the marvelous speed and efficiency with which green plants transfer solar energy from surface receptors to molecular centers that convert it into chemical energy is the result of a process of “quantum beating”. In the presence of light, oscillations are triggered in the plant that explore all possible paths between receptor and converter simultaneously and reversibly (meaning they can retreat without penalty from a wrong path). These many wavelike probes collapse into a single movement, observible only through electronic spectroscopy that can measure events in femtoseconds (millionths of a billionth of a second). A report on the Berkeley Lab findings was published by Graham Fleming et al in the April 12, 2007 issue of Nature.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nina

    Your beautiful poem makes one naturally ask questions about decisions that have or haven´t been made in the lifetime.
    From perspective of my ordinary self I couldn´t come up with any satisfying replies so I let it go to leave some space for the answer from deeper sources.
    One image has surfaced. It came with the famous phrase, traditionally quoted in Latin: “Quo Vadis Domine?”. For the first time I observed this sentence in relation to Annibale Carracci´s impressive painting of the same title. It shows the episode from Peter´s life in which he is fleeing from Rome because he is afraid of persecution and possible crucifiction. On his escape Peter has a vision of Christ with the cross on his shoulder, walking to Rome. As Peter sees his Lord going exactly in the opposite direction, it dawns on him that he is not on the right path. He changes his mind and follows Christ, it means that he follows his Higher Self and so his real vocation.
    For my understanding it´s only the Higher Self that shows the right path. Choices taken by our little selves are usually just compromises or something worse.
    Thanks a lot for this precious poem.

    • Robert Moss

      Nina – Grand how you always seek to anchor discussion with your vast appreciation of sacred stories, art and literature. While you may be correct that only the Higher Self is likely to know which of all the branching roads is right, I don’t know that the Higher Self is involved in many of these choices, or needs to be, when the outcomes are rather finely balanced.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Savannah Caitlin

    The question about branching paths rejoining reminds me of a story that came to me recently, from a casual friend whose family immigrated from India just before he was born. He is the owner of a store selling Indian imports and frequently travels to India for business. During one of those business trips several years ago he decides to make a stopover to Rio de Janeiro, mostly because he has been offered a cheap ticket and has a few days to spare. He goes on to tell me that ever since that visit – his only visit to date – he has had a vivid, recurring dream in which he has a life in Rio de Janeiro. He knows all of the streets, all of the landmarks. He shows around family and friends as if he has always lived there. He doesn’t understand why, doesn’t have any particular connection to the country, nor a particular interest in the culture yet the dreams are completely “real.” We explore the nature of parallel realities and forking paths for a while before he adds that when he shared the dreams with his mother, he learns this: before he was born, when his family was planning to emigrate, they had decided they wanted to leave India but it mattered less where to so they applied to several countries. They were accepted for two, and chose Canada. Their other choice had been, Brazil.

    • Robert Moss

      Savannah – Excellent story, of the fellow from India. I was wondering whether he had picked up a hitchhiker spirit in Rio whose memories he started sharing (such things happen quite a lot). Then you brought us nicely to the kicker – that on a different coin flip, the family went to Brazil. You have a whole short story here in miniature, you know.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Irene

    This discussion of choosing the right path, and perhaps even turning around and walking in the opposite direction as Nina illustrates, makes me thing of Salmon, my animal guide in relationship to the direction of earth. The salmon knows where it has to swim, upstream against the current, and his medecine is one of using opposite forces, not in conflict, but to undulate his way to his destiny by contourning opposite forces. I’m just now thinking of tai-chi as an accessible martial art for Salmon people…. This discussion has inspired me to think about the animal forces especially those related to my own personal pathways to the 7 directions: North, South, East, West, Above, Below and Within. Thank you for reminding me that though I am unquestionably guided by reliable sources, it’s a good idea to also stay alert for those most spontaneous and often spectacular often discrete calls, thunder, lightning, and a guy carrying a cross walking in the opposite direction; for the unexpected and spontaneous, as well as the reliable roads, offer new possibilities.

    And Robert, my Bear LOVES eating salmon ;-)

    • Robert Moss

      Irene – Oh, yes, the Bear I know loves salmon too. As for those “reliable roads”, I think of Mr Jung, who knew a thing or two about this: “The man who takes the sure road is as good as dead.”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nina

    Thank you a lot for your worthwhile and balanced view.
    On the one hand I agree that to consult the Higher Self in all situations might seem to be redundant or futile, on the other hand I am convinced there is no situation in which the Higher Self shouldn´t be taken into account.
    Many activities in day-to-day life are considered to be very trivial, perhaps most of them; even so they provide us invaluable opportunities to put into practice some of our ideals. My merely personal feeling is that the Higher Self often counts with different hierarchy as us and it would be unreasonable to dismiss it.
    There is a striking parable in the Mathew Gospel which suits me now well. It´s about a man who before going on travels distributed his wealth to servants. One man got five talents, one two and another one. After some time the master returned and wanted to know how his servants handled talents he entrusted them with. Two of his subjects multiplied them and as a reward they received much more from their master. To be precise, the lord says : “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (King James Version)
    I guess this parable is officially used for sheding light on the issue of making the most of our gifts. However, at least implicitly this great story tells that it´s vital for present and future success to make an effort to do our best in all our business, big or small. And if for nothing else, learning to deal with routine and everyday activities with regard to our Higher Self, will give us later the strenght to cope with real challenges of life in the right way.
    To a great relief of a reader and myself this is the end of my clumsy Defence of the Application of the Higher Self in Daily Life.
    Lots and lots of thanks for your wisdom and patience.

  • Azima

    Wonderful, evocative poem and wonderful comments and stories from all. Thank you!

    • Robert Moss

      Thanks so much, Azima!

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