Sometimes, when youâ€™re talking with a friend or even stranger, it feels like â€œthere is silver in the air.â€ A conversation where time seems to fly; you look on your watch and cannot believe what it shows. You may not even remember, later, what the conversation was about, although you do know it was significant. What makes it stand out is this particular feeling of really being with someone else, of contributing, receiving with open heart-mind what the other said. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve experienced this.
So imagine this is happening and youâ€™re aware of this. But rather than become self-conscious about it you simply take joyful note, and think or say, â€œSilver is in the air.â€ And it keeps on flowing because you both, or maybe youâ€™re even more than two, like to play and are capable to tread lightly and authentically. Itâ€™s clear and lucid â€“ letâ€™s call this participatory lucidity, a lucidity in which everyone present participates more or less deeply.[i]
Akin to having a lucid dream, where you know you are dreaming without that knowing stopping the dream from unfolding, participatory lucidity doesnâ€™t interfere or interrupt the game of life â€“ nay, now it can be played with an utterly new and beautiful expansion. The lucidity is adding a whole new level to the game, a level where you say, â€œSilver is in the air!â€
And again, very like lucid dreaming, this probably happens spontaneously at first. And youâ€™ll probably get so excited that you wake up. Or are scared. Or have any number of strong feelings. To stay in lucid dreaming states you need to learn to neither weigh into the waking-up side of lucidity too much nor let yourself slip back into non-lucidity. If youâ€™re not too impatient, and can humorously accept failure, this is easier to do; embracing your and everyoneâ€™s imperfection helps. Taking your time and being patient, you can learn to set yourself up to be â€œlucid-dream-prone,â€ a person that can lucidly participate in her dreams.
There is something very similar about participatory lucidity. Youâ€™ll have to, at first, experience it spontaneously: you never saw it coming but now itâ€™s here, wow! Maybe this happens guided by a facilitator that went through the chaos and confusion with you, the 2-dimensionality[ii] Â of our usual interpersonal experience. Someone you trusted to know how participatory lucidity looks like; someone you trusted to tell you the truth when she said, â€œNo. We ainâ€™t there yet.â€ Because going through the chaos and confusion takes time. It takes coming to your witâ€™s end. Agency wonâ€™t help you. Letting go wonâ€™t do it. It takes an authentic ending of yourself. Â And then it emerges, as if of its own volition â€“ youâ€™re lucid!
Participatory lucidity lets you enjoy life in a much deeper sense. Youâ€™ll be experiencing your interbeing in 3-D and duality wonâ€™t play much of a role for you, if any. Not that youâ€™re now beyond duality or have non-dual consciousness[iii] or some such, rather what formerly had just two sides, Â basic aspects, ying and yang, yes and no, subject and object, now has a whole new dimension to it. There now is a depth that formerly wasnâ€™t there. Or it may have been, but you didnâ€™t know. And itâ€™s not a new state of consciousness either, although it may appear as such; itâ€™s the participatory nature of reality shining through: youâ€™re lucid.
But what can you do?
Gratefulness makes you lucidity-prone. It will remind you of all the contributions you received, all the good, beautiful and true youâ€™ve participated in. Even though at former times you may have felt it to be bad, ugly and confusing.
Grateful for your body, the â€œchief gate of the senses in this era,â€ as William Blake put it.
Grateful for your psyche and energy-body or the Mundus Imaginalis and its many ways and â€œterrainsâ€, both in consciousness and unconsciousness, both individual and collective, both personality-typical and archetypal.
Grateful for your culture, high and low, as it has become part of your individual character and person, and as it surrounds you in the endless forms culture dresses up as, explicitly and implicitly. The external culture of where you live, how you are housed or tented, dressed and undressed, how you move and in what vehicles, the languages you speak and read and write, and so endlessly on: more and more complex through the ages, and therefore also more and more unique.
And grateful for the concepts you and I can play with, the abstractions and essences you derive or arrive at, the constellations of concepts and how you play with them, and how serious they are and the measure of their gravity, the rhythm of the conceptual interplay and how you play and reflect them, and how they participate in your life.
Exercising your gratefulness, knowing, feeling, expressing your thanks to all who play a role in bringing the reality about that you participate in, will train you in simply being with what may otherwise hit you as a ton of bricks when â€œthe walls come tumbling downâ€ and you find yourself woven into the very fabric of life, naked.
What else can you do to prepare for the experience of participatory lucidity in a diverse collective?[iv] You can dance with someone with an open experimental soul. At first slow and one following the other, taking turns, until youâ€™ve gained enough trust to follow and lead spontaneouslyâ€¦ and failed often enough so youâ€™re well versed in the humor of not knowing whoâ€™s in charge .
And you can play with regarding yourself to be a dancer with all people, things and circumstances in your life. You can be someone whoâ€™s participation with life turns it all into a dance, including your gratitude for the dance and all those who join it.
[i] The capacity to enter such a sacred space, for sacred it is in the best possible and heathen meaning of the word, may depend on a personâ€™s developmental level to some extent; therefore more or less deeply.
[ii] I call it 2-D because it is dualistic or dialectic.
[iii] Non-Duality is the goal of the neo-hindu spirituality called Advaita; most of the modern â€ženlightened onesâ€œ would probably situate themselves in that stream of spirituality.