world sleep.

“Technically immortal,” were newly — and paradoxically intensely: consciously, understandingly — mortal, be that the boldly deathlike deep sleep, sliced dying of explay, or the natural day-by-day rejuvenation of a leave-easy, unbitter, unattached mind. Still — “flattened here bulges elsewhere” — the neurosis of dying lingers in the post-modernity landscapes: subsiding in an individual, senile irritability, “sunset disquiet,” fadeout fears leak widewise, lores readily subsume the perceptions of a civilizational backslide and complexity loss. Fits of lazy (“squeezing out what used to be a stroke of genius”), self-disgust (“hopeless,” whole chunks of ancient regulative tissue to be amputated), debilitating cringe at the entropy creep: we, collectively, have backed up into too many dead ends, “forwent so many wrongs only to starve even more rights.”  ■    It is tempting (pain stimulates, even phantom) to use the hammer of deep sleep on a world-sized nail: hence the imagination that we may — already? in a thousand generations? — face a rebirth as civilization, that to heal a world takes a world-scale sleepover, “childification,” willful setback to molt the ingrown artificiality — to forget and refind what we know too well now. The ideas cross-cultural exegesis spans from a literal synchronized expiration of all live minds (lights out, “family gone to bed”) to little more than an “induced dark age” (how dark? would everyone, anyone even notice?) “just as the West survived the painful medieval lull” to shed the classical routines; old but “lately in a low constant” (threatening?) “buzz,” Project Phoenix revives — relives — the call to die “to bring forth much fruit,” to step back for a new takeoff (to reach higher this time). ■    How impossible, useless, suicidal the “deep deep sleep” cannot but be, how meaningless anyway in our inhomogeneous socioscapes (e.g. the bubble periphery may well remain immune — “frontier spirit” — to the senility taken for granted elsewhere); how explainable — indeed derivable — the anxiety is, given the standards we have set for ourselves. Add the “teenage pregnancy” fears: has the culture of today — still so narrow, so for-the-purpose — depth enough to self-seed, is it “mature to nurture”? Obviously we never evolved to nurse a newborn self, the World Sleep would be our first selection checkpoint — possibly fatal; even if its not: cringeful immaturity again? how to avoid the puerile gore so fresh from the recent childhood of the race? make this one tamer, nobler, differenter: not a relife but life overleaf?  ■    Three preconditions have been proposed to “impossibilize the infernal” in a next life: enough Change for Humans, enough Arf (new Arf?) for Minds, and the home planet reliably nomogenic; the first two may be within reach but biology is hard: we may expire, senility or not, long before the Earth is “ready.” Like human wakers, the world would not emerge a blank slate: however childified, well carry over into the future the genome of our death valleys and cities-on-a-hill. ■    Unaided-gestation scenarios are most often implied; theres aversion to “knowledge from on high” and plot-generating truth quests — so in “z-day” (or “zzz-day,” from an onomatopoeia for snoring) experiments volunteer communities “shed the world,” destroy all forms of cultural continuity (except the Message — “wake-up DNA” in passivated memory), purge as much knowledge as compatible with survival. At the other extreme, just as a human needs a bedsitter for deep sleeps hazy dawn, some imagine Minds and Humans, in communion via the always-on arf (consensually, only asystemic ware can be taken into the next life), to be helping each other regain consciousness — to stretch and soften the sunrise, to “imprint at a tender age” intelligences diversity, ubiquity: mirth. Others envision the waker/wakee divisions crossing both realms, even carving up families: one fractal-shaped cohort awakens the next and dozes off itself — a child family of a civilization, a school of parentless siblings climbing the age ladder. ■    Can we smuggle stuff into the afterlife without tainting its clean slate? E.g. a pre-sleep book set up to automatically inject “once the world is ready” — once a threshold of understanding has been cleared, “its almost written anyway” — or be dropped if not activated by a certain date: such gifts would fill in the back catalog quietly, anonymously — add depth, expand perspectives without mysterizing or patronizing. Or: dissolve knowledge in nature, make it readable devicelessly, universally — so decrypting comes perfectly inartificial, feels like discovery; even self-inscribe: like Nature Minds, serialize ourselves into the churn; ultimately, enrich the physics of the (local?)\ universe so as to plant discoveries denser, deeper, more implieful (if were able to do that, though, “why sleep at all”). ■    Another cosmic silence theory: sooner or later all civilizations succumb to the “new youth” temptation to never completely wake up (“sleeping beauties”), or fall into an addiction loop of rebirths; the Great Test were facing: rejuvenation — or else undoing, “lethal slumbers,” emerging perfect savages, simply “losing so much its useless to recover the rest.” Outcome distribution of z-day tests is not too reassuring but historical parallels may be helpful: hasnt this instinct served us already — even outside of the classic dark ages of deep past, didnt we, around sparsening, effect a major and largely beneficial rewind, resignation, repupation? Arent we still looking for past-life clues — still, and always, trying to decrypt “everything” as a message? ■    Theres no clear distinction between asleep and awake, as indeed between a dream-able brain — arfic or biologic — and the “lazily analogous” structures that emerge on top of various complexities; thus self-perpetuating, “orthogonal to reality” overlays surface in worldwide networks, with individual minds acting as memories that pour into a collective dreamstream — a softly random, uncontrollable, quickly evaporating film; unlike e.g. scares, such metadreams rarely have single-mind perceptions or narratives — they vanish before being fully realized by anyone. Upon this tenuous theory (“itself a dream”) some hypothesize such metadreams to thicken, displace the “hard” — self-cognizant, reflective — creativity and communication, suck whole strata into catatonic metasleep; willing or not, we may be dozing off already: unstoppable, frightening (“beware of hypnic jerks!”) but thats how the ultimately refreshing World Sleep is to come. No planetwide z-day, no individual sleeps at all (can produce no new quality): myriads of metadreaming minds are frantically active — aimlessly, feverishly vagrant, like overexcited neurons in a locus of REM sleep; for a restoreful nights sleep, this enormous grinding (“all the baggage of historical ages”) has to go on for centuries, not years. ■    “Unbearably revealingly” wonderment descends: how much of Everday already is — not a yawny evening or hazy morning — an outright dreamworld, a warm hairtangle of delusions in the nights darkest hour? There is no test to prove youre not in a dream, especially (“almost not solipsism”) when a multitude of minds — outpowering any single observer — collaborate on your world: “life, what is it but a dream” of something “bigger than mere everything.” Dreaming is relife; busy savoring the smells of the past, we rarely notice how theres no discernible smell of the present: “we as an age” are a skippable blank, “nothing but sky”; when did we drift off, at which point does the memory of dreams blend into reality, if at all? (Strangely tame are the nightmares of the world-capable metamind: rather undeservedly clean, orderly, humane — what with all the atrocity of our real or imagined past.) Are we trying and failing to wake up, reignite, go lucid in our gigantic golden slumbers? Arent we painfully realizing: lingering at the threshold of wake, haunted by déjà vus and headaches, daylight consciousness slowly seeping in? Irredeemably, waking destroys a dreamworld: is that the rejuvenation we thirst for — will changelings with our souls ever widen their eyes at our forests?  ■    The torturous snap of awakening: our ephemeralized “minimum-energy civilization,” its increasingly ethereal advances — flying, eatfreedom (sleep blunts hunger!), the hallucinatorily unpredictable, unreturnable cosmic leap, the teasy Fluke; the whole sparsened world (dream engine chokes on dense clumps?), its asystemic blur on technology, its dreamlike incapacity to score something tangible (with rething and adverbiality for rationalizations), the whole waking cult (longing? fear?) — whats all this if not a dead giveaway. For sweetful dreams, sleep not in silence but waft in that quiet unthreatening faraway hum — wind, waves, rustle, shuffle, laughter: just what Im always chasing — cherishing — dimly overhearing.

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