Saturday, May 03, 2014

Morning, light and mind at dawn

This is my friend, Anil, on the beach at Asilomar at dawn. She made me get up to see it; I had been contenting myself with the sunset. And I have always been very glad. Dawn light, the best!
Here is a passage from Thoreau's Journal which puzzles me. I would like to agree with it, but it puzzles me and I am not sure I understand it. It has been very hard recently for me to get up in the morning, and as a result, I am falling behind on things I hope to accomplish. I have the greatest respect for "morning people" but have never been one of them, ever, at any time in my life. I find myself wishing (at night) to participate in dawn light, and (in the early morn) failing to do so. And I find HDT's musings on the "infinite mind" not very convincing. What do you think?

from Thoreau's Journal: 17-Mar-1852

I catch myself philosophizing most abstractly when first returning to consciousness in the night or morning. I make the truest observations and distinctions then, when the will is yet wholly asleep and the mind works like a machine without friction. I am conscious of having, in my sleep, transcended the limits of the individual, and made observations and carried on conversations which in my waking hours I can neither recall nor appreciate. As if in sleep our individual fell into the infinite mind, and at the moment of awakening we found ourselves on the confines of the latter. On awakening we resume our enterprise, take up our bodies and become limited mind again. We meet and converse with those bodies which we have previously animated. There is a moment in the dawn, when the darkness of the night is dissipated and before the exhalations of the day commence to rise, when we see things more truly than at any other time. The light is more trustworthy, since our senses are purer and the atmosphere is less gross. By afternoon all objects are seen in mirage.

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