I love lists.
a) the world of common experience wherein reign the clock, the schedules based on the existence of an ideal clock, which lends money its value, pays the police, the world of “strangers,” “the public”: that world in which I am an object
b) the world of the past, composed of my own recollections and what I choose to accept as "history"
c) the world of phantasy, active daydream in which I write or not
d) quasi-trance succeeding upon meditation, experienced while walking about in World a) above
e) the world of nature as I see it when I’m alone in the woods or on the beach
1) this is the world that more or less matches with descriptions in textbooks on geology, botany, biology &c.
2) it is this world which, according to one scientific theory, has produced my physical person: I am a collection of cells which are governed by inherited genes and the metabolism of goody inside these minute, &, hopefully, continuously cooperating independent organisms.
f) trance and supersensory condition, ecstacy, rapture, etc.
1) conscious dreaming, during light sleep
2) vivid dreaming in which the dream is all of reality I’m at that moment aware of
h) total unconsciousness produced by deep sleep, anaesthesia or accidental “knockout” (hit by automobile, for example)
j) illness (fever dream/hallucination, &c.)
k) drug worlds
1) hospital medication
2) peyotl world, “total vision,” paradigm of samadhi
3) cannabis, producing audio/visual transformations without loss of immediate contact with World a)
3.1) hashish, also overindulgence in cannabis produces total awareness of World a) while at the same time producing a paralysis of the private will
4) heroin, “soul security,” the World a) seems to become civilized and charming
l) world of conscious composition–interior direct report of internally herad speech (thought) . . . as now–as if another person were listening to me, as the Freudian analyst is popularly imagined as doing: listening impartially, imperturbably, alert, paying close attention, not replying, but it is understood that he’s interested in having me continue . . . these words being the mirror in which I am at the moment admiring myself–feelings of excitement, pleasure, release, self-importance, the idea that this activity is meaningful and valuable. Something like this also happens when I’m concentrating on reading music while playing the piano. (add: feeling of conscious thought or calculation)
m) World of sexual congress, wherein is simply pleasure and communication, wherein it opens into quasi-trance or small samadhi, or (the worst) wherein a total break of communication occurs, total separation suddenly happens, each party suddenly experiencing total isolation
n) World of traveling: something of what Burroughs has described as “Interzone”: insubstantiality of sense, meetings with uprooted “outrageous” persons (angry ghosts &c.), profound insecurity takes, paranois scenes (distinguished from travel in company with one or more persons, also modes of travel)
o) World of complete emotional entanglement, upset, involvement causing complete abstraction from it (combines with World b) above) yet causing “withdrawal” from World a), distorting and loading all perceptions, tending to falsify all other worlds, including b), e.g. I become cut off from my past knowledge of how to cope with immediate problems
p) World of conscious silent contemplation of objects, of art, of literature, of nature as in e) above
q) World of other persons (as distinguished from “strangers” or “the public” in World a))
1) family–which partly overlaps with World b) and with several other worlds–family as Culture, as Authority, and as separate interesting human persons whom I love and hate
2) friends and acquiantances
3) teachers, employees, fellow workers
4) audience: those who read me but don’t ever meet me, and those who hear me read to them, and those who read or see me and who also have met me, talked with me once, for a few minutes
r) World of business, jobs &c–although this happens withing World a) and deals more or less exclusively with it, it is an abstract world of its own, yet it tries to deal with persons. It sees persons as “roles” in which they are useful and manageable. There are hopefully “controlled” emotional involvements, but they must be governed by the general rule, that "Business is Business"
s) World of the Academy
t) The Army
u) World of Letters (editing & publishing, criticism, journalism, all the public and annoying side of writing)
v) Art World, i.e. the mechanical, public side of it: the gallery, theater, the concert hall, &c.
w) World as a particular age-group or “generation”
Distinguish between worlds where I am object–for example, in a) and j) (wherein I am patient of doctor, dentist &c) or r) wherein I am an employee, s) where I am a student or teacher, t) where I was an enlisted man, u), v) and w) wherein I am an audience, the subject of a painting, where I am onstage, i) where I am drunk, &c. &c. &c.
Distinguish at last between illusion and reality. Oh boy. And act as occasion requires, immediately, direct from center of absolute enlightenment (nobody like “I” or “me”) . . . I get this idea from a number of sources, most particularly from books, introspection, and the example of a few extraordinary men I’ve known. I must take care to react only to the substantial, the actual even situation that is NOW, and to recognize them for the illusory things that they are, all that scares, worries, warped recollections, prejudices, misinterpretations, hopes and wishes ABOUT the world I’m dealing with. The most important and substantial world to be in is that of other persons. Most of them seem to see themselves as locked into a single world or at least a very restricted number of worlds–action outside of these worlds doesn’t seem possible to these people, other worlds make no sense to them. The reality of their impressions, the reality of their suffering is absolutely real to me, but ordinary pity, insofar as it leads to a smug patronizing attitude on my part, is useless and ugly. I must see them with a combination of love, understanding & detachment–in a word, with compassion. Action from that center alone can be of any use to others. If I act distractedly, ignorantly, I create a tangle of “bad” consequences–if not “bad” ones, they are certainly unnecessary ones which confuse and vitiate my own mind and feelings. There’s a complete paradox if it is all stated grammatically: “complete responsibility is complete freedom.” These are false terms, too, for for what have notions of “completeness” and “totality” to do with a temporary and constantly changing world/person I call “me”? And its imaginations about “virtue” or “correctness” &c. I stop again. Cold hands. Noise in the street. Red carpet blue and yellow design. A shelf made of boards, books, a chair, a map a wall two doors. Light is on, as it is night. Purposely I break here, I make myself stop.
~ Philip Whalen, A List