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April 2015

A Perception of Waking Up

 Talking about illusions is all the rage these days. Usually, we hate to find out that we've been falling for one. But not every time. A new generation of scientists has come bursting through the door heralding the breakthrough idea that the self is an illusion and that this news should make us happy. No one is suggesting that we completely stop falling for this illusion but rather that we learn to regularly spend some time switching it off. This is an illusion that we don't want to get rid of. We just want to put the self in its place, which should be… no longer in charge. It is clear, they say, that the self has gone wrong.

That's sounds great but it raises some questions. First, how did that happen, and second, why are the people who are the greatest departures from our prehistoric ancestors the ones telling us about it?

This will be a merging of a trioon piece and a book review because their similarities made blending them the easy way out. Nearly everyone loved Hitch but Sam Harris was always my favorite Beatle. He's the mystical-ish George who wouldn't quite slam the door on what all the spiritualistic fuss is about. In the early days of the SH Forum, the infamous Chapter Seven of The End of Faith spurred voluminous discussions and had everyone taking sides. I refer to him as The Boss because he lets me wear the admin badge and help keep the forum circus in the tent. I have dutifully read his latest effort Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion nearly twice. It is hard to be sure with all the zigzagging to the back of the book. It is going to be impossible to remark upon without getting into Trioonity. Not because I'm relentless, but because of how often of late we have used the same arguments to make very different conclusions. The material is full of hints of the Trioon Schemata.

I am impressed with the book's layout and organization. That is the hardest part of writing about this sort of stuff. There is a well-designed progression of contexts from start to finish. Even better if you've viewed enough Utoob videos to hear his zen-drone reading it. There is one little hiccup in the pacing. It crops up like a dis-punctuating burp on nearly every page and eventually had me giggling and pondering which famous comedian could do the best job of delivering them. I refer to the relentless shuffling around of ways of saying, "the self… which is, by the way, an illusion…just sayin…". I suppose this could be because it is the central thrust of the book and also because trioon has led me to scoff and smirk at all the misbegotten thrusting. Other than that, I am sympathetic and fully supportive of the course as he has laid it out here. I would say, in a humble but firm tone, that it points to an entirely different destination.

The book has a big focus on meditation but first spells out a model of our conscious machinery using the latest science and The Boss's own insights. It is necessary to make such a new ramp or portal into a subject more often framed in some ridiculous context. While The Boss keeps his own material within his spelled-out and science-based framework, there are many quoted sections from others not so confined. His efforts to then draw them into his framework are appealingly simple and useful to any modern urbanite who is interested in meditation but can't get past the foolishness. As a foolishness-free guide to meditation, I would call it a success.

As a spelled-out model of our conscious machinery, it is modern, routine and ho-hum. I think this general model is underpinned and undermined by a deeply rooted perception that won't see where the evidence is pointing. But all it takes is a little push to turn The Boss's model into the Trioon Schemata. It all comes down to his use of a certain g-word. That was the opening where Trioonity comes barging in.

The rooted perception behind it all is vaguely expressed here…

From page 37: "In the beginning of one's meditation practice, the difference between ordinary experience and what one considers 'mindfulness' is not very clear, and it takes some training to distinguish between being lost in thought and seeing thoughts for what they are."

What if we are already seeing thoughts for what they are but we cannot find a satisfying description of what we are seeing? What if the course described only works for people like me or The Boss and not so much for so-called 'normal' people? There is a seemingly obvious perception that all life is experienced as a single perception. Why does 'not being our thoughts' require not having thoughts? The answer is often bumped into or brushed over in the pages about consciousness. It remains concealed as long as one holds the premise that a singular if bulky continuous perception is THE experience of life. In trioon, there is no such thing because the secret is that we have multiple perceptions that aren't all at the same time. Our perception is not singular nor continuous nor bulky. That simply cannot be so if one holds that old singular model as a premise. Even worse, we cast ourselves as automatons and say it is with the backing of science. Not so. Science does not paint that picture, the premise of the singular model does. It is not a question of questioning the evidence. Trioon emerges from the same pile of facts that everyone else uses with no strange additions or convenient omissions.

From page 74: "A person's experience of the world, while apparently unified in a normal brain, can be physically divided. The problem this poses for the study of consciousness may be insurmountable."

All the mental phenomena mentioned throughout is intended to highlight the mysterious and un-unified nature of our inner workings. That's fine and no quarrel there, but things seem to come from a perspective that sees a mysterious and unified inner experience. It is a small step to suggest that the un-unified workings are telling us that the unified perspective is not so. Trioon embraces this suggestion and the mysterious workings pop into a schemata that is not so mysterious and redefines the Illusion of Self out of existence. Any foolishness comes strictly from the clown who is typing this.

Page 76 mentions the phenomena of priming where pictures are quickly flashed in front of a subject and then followed by a discontinuous image or mask. Subjects report no conscious awareness of the input but show signs of having seen it in some subliminal fashion… "revealing that complex mental processes lurk beneath the level of conscious awareness". That's a curious choice of words. It suggests a mental model like a totem pole with conscious awareness at the top and lurking mental processes at the bottom. Isn't this a case of the pot refusing to call the blackness a kettle? Why isn't there a "level of conscious awareness" with complex mental processes lurking above it? That can't work unless the totem pole is turned sideways into a timeline representing a range of points of time where a perception is consumed and acted upon. That would mean the lurking comes before the moment of conscious awareness.

Why can't we be consciously aware that those lurking mental processes are a conscious awareness of a different kind that we are actually having while simultaneously being consciously aware of them as an imperceptible lurking. How hard can it be? Perhaps as easy as using a word like glean. Further down the same page, he mentions that verbal priming "…demonstrates that the meaning of words must be gleaned prior to consciousness. Subliminally promised rewards drive activity in the brain's reward centers." This is a less than generous way of saying that there was a perception and a response to that perception. Elsewhere, consciousness is wrestled down to about that same scale of a definition. I think the two definitions have met and should say hello.

In Trioonity, those lurking processes belong to our Sub-Cinema perception which is consumed or 'gleaned' separately and before there can be any further perceptions. That first act of consumption presents its own level of experiential awareness that is probably still more or less the same as the simple amoeba-like animals. Stepping on a tack is probably the same for us as it has always been for our evolutionary ancestors. This initial gleaning process owns a considerable portion of our observable personality. We can go around apologizing for unintended automata behavior or we can acknowledge that behavior as a life being had (or perceived) and embrace it as our own. That too can contribute to undermining that nasty illusion of self. It is a question of what kind of status one's premise is willing to grant. Or deny.

Then we get to the sort of unspoken middle-ground of consciousness-talk. Not quite conscious awareness itself and definitely not some physical or primal root-awareness. It comes up as a sense of being behind your eyes or being the looker doing the looking. This is another self illusion we must try not to be. Never mind the fact that people spend a fortune on being nothing more than just that with ears. The cinema experience of having one's vision and hearing carried away from a comfy muted physicality is highly desired by anyone who has had a taste of it. We can have cinematic memories of places where we never felt the temperature or smelled the air and of places with no air at all or no reality at all. We can hop from one point of perspective to another at speeds that would incinerate our bodies from air friction.

The application of illusion as a malformed perception begins to soften its grip. The reason one would need to say that any illusion of self is a malformed perception is an insistence on there being just one 'spot' to fill when talking about awareness. And that no single sense of self is qualified to fill the spot by itself. In Trioonity, the real malformed perception is that just one spot is being filled. Physicality is a spot. The looker (and listener) is a spot. By spot, I mean the point at which the relevant perception is consumed. The looker does not feel hunger. It hears tummy grumbles.

Rather than being dissed as not a self, these illusions should be embraced and accepted as semi-autonomous perceptions. It is because sighted animals have two autonomous but interacting perceptions that there is any sense of self to have or lose. They do not create one simultaneous experience. The body's Sub-Cinematic perception always precedes the looker's Cinematic perception. Our physicality consumes and acts on it at this "kit" level. The components of Sub-Cinema then go on to assemble the Cinematic view. Because they are separate, the awareness (or illusion) of self comes from the darkness in each perception. We cannot cinematically experience our bodies but we can see and hear a noisy bulk that must be ours. We can experience our bodies but our bodies cannot experience math and can feel fatigue even in the most interesting movie simply from having to sit still and aim the eyeballs at the motionless screen.

The trioon schemata is a more effective conceptual model that could provide even easier access to meditative states for rational non-fans of foolishness. Meditation has to start with an explanation or instruction or at least some sense of what you are about to be doing when you say "I'm going to meditate now". Even after learning it as a do-thing, there must still be some concept of what is going on. Rather than shaking off illusions and having no head, it is a matter of emphasizing one perception over another or compelling a perception to entirely switch off. This perceptual balancing act is a normal part of perceiving life anyway. Absorbed in looking or thinking, our Sub-Cinema perception is diminished along with the sense of a physicality. When involved in an intense physical situation like sport or fleeing from danger, Cinematic perception is diminished along with the sense of a looker. This is the Bioon scheme and should describe virtually any animal with stereoscopic sight. But do animals meditate? And if they do, does someone have to teach them how?

It is hard to look at the animal world and say that any sense of self they may have impedes their path to happiness. Obviously, it is more complicated to be one of us than one of them. As evidenced by books explaining how to be or not be yourself. So, what went or is going wrong with us? As the name suggests, the Trioon scheme gives us an additional spot and a further opportunity for perception and trouble. Our third perceptual gleaning is strictly an internal perception that sees the outside world only by seeing Cinema perception second hand. Post-Cinema perception is as far down the assembly line from Sub-Cinema perception as Libet's experiments suggest. Where the Cinema view is all about limited and plain perceptions, Post-Cinema is an independent perception of continuity. The interaction of Cinema and Post-Cinema perceptions create the framework of human thinking.

The relationship between our bioon perceptions precedes our appearance as a species. It is an established and stable perceptual system from many eons ago. It works reliably the same way from individual to individual. Spending a day observing a busy traffic intersection will bear that out. Post-Cinema perception in humans is neither established nor stable nor does it operate the same way in every person. Its existence may go back a mere million years or so. As yet, there is no stable commonality in how it manifests in the human population. Training children's Post-Cinema perception creates civilized people. Cultures differ in their training techniques, which leads to distinct types of citizens and societies. People who live together can be completely separated by how they use their Post-Cinema perception. Nations can be separated by how they teach their children to use it. Wars are fought over what it sees. It is the reason anyone would have need of pursuing meditation. Only it could have the perception that life may be improved by finding a new way of being awake.

Every effort and discipline that can be described as meditation is, at least as its first step, an effort to initiate, enhance, adjust or stop our Post-Cinema perception. We're not sure what to do with it. There is no other species to mentor us in its development. There are no previous examples of how it should be used or what we're supposed to do with it. So far, we have used it to subjugate women and start religions and explore distant planets. This is already a new way of being awake.

Some ways of being awake are more admired or envied than others. Paths to spiritual enlightenment promise a new and better way of being awake. As if, for some reason, the one we start with isn't good enough. Something arises within us as A Blank Slate that has to be filled with an unspecified something. We seek something like a service manual of ourselves that shows how we work and how we can work better. This desire happens when we turn our perception of continuity on ourselves. We look to mentors and those who have made admirable spiritual pursuits. Maybe they can give us a leg up on finding a better way of being awake for everybody.


Just like The Boss, I am willing to do a bit of traveling to speak to reclusive people known for having special states of being awake. I went deep into downtown Royal Oak and into the parking structures and underpasses to find Mr. M but found it is easier to sit on a sidewalk bench and wait for a chance to speak with him. Mr. M (not his real initial) has been a wandering homeless guy for about twenty-five years now. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic who was dumped on the streets by state budget cuts. I can remember when we played in a band together. He was best man at my wedding. Twice, he walked away from an ordered life of a steady job, a secure place and engaging possessions. His abandoned apartment got cleared out. Someone got to trash-pick a Gibson double-neck. The second time, it was my guitar.

The surprising thing is how he flourished (relatively) once on the street. He put on weight. Downtown Royal Oak is full of posh restaurants. Upon departing, well-dressed diners have second thoughts about carrying around a warm and odorous styrofoam box and leave the leftovers in the sidewalk bins. I've seen Mr. M pull out whole gourmet dinners still hot and toss them back. Not in the mood for pork. He has done amazing feats that are unimaginable to me. He once walked up Woodward Avenue to Pontiac just to wander around and see if Pontiac was a better place to call homeless. It wasn't so he walked all the way back… in one day. Woodward is a busy eight-lane boulevard and no hike in the woods. Never mind thirty miles of leg-burn… what do you do with your mind on a noisy, traffic-infested journey like that? Could it be a meditative state worth emulating?

I sat down with Mr. M on a few occasions when he talked about walking and thinking. Getting started was a bit of a trick. He avoids eye contact and tunes out voices. If cornered, he will slowly spin. Once he recognized me, he seemed to suddenly wake-up and become the guy I always knew and would come and join me on the bench. He said that walking North or South was better than walking East or West. He had good thoughts when he went North or South and bad thoughts when he went East or West. Evil traveled across the earth's magnetic field. That would affect the thoughts he was having. That's silly, I would say. Why would your thoughts be evil? Could you have an evil thought right now? No, not with me here. He said he would feel hunger and be scanning and foraging along the way. That passed the time while having the thoughts. They were kind of equal… having thoughts and having hunger.

He said he left his old life behind because he was tired of owning things. He has and will have nothing that belongs to him. Everything belongs to everybody. After ten or fifteen minutes, he would say he was tired and had to go. I would watch him walk away. At about twenty paces, his walk would change and he would resume the trance. I didn't get to ask him if hunger was good or evil depending on direction of travel or what happened to my guitar. I spot him sometimes while driving. He spins at corners until the light changes. He still looks like the guy I know but with a serenity that he never possessed before. Is it enviable? How does one emulate it without being a wandering homeless guy and while still owning things?

More to the point, why would a guy get up and walk for miles in cold air after saying he was tired? Tired of what? Me? We were never friendlier. We used to spat about things like 'band direction'. I wanted to chart a deliberate course and he wanted to just see what happened. I was orchestrating and handing out parts when he was saying he didn't want to be expected to do anything twice. We would negotiate and he would be reasonable and agree to fully learn a part first before departing from it with my blessing. He always made fantastic departures. He learned a half hour of prog-rock in three days. Normal guys took three to six months. But it would never last for long before things blew up between him and somebody. He was never happy in the old days. We took acid together a few times and while he got truly whacked, he acted exactly the same as always. More so than anyone else. Where do all these clues lead?

Just like he said, he was tired of owning things and I was making him own his thoughts. Just like I always did. I wanted him to own his guitar parts and carry them around to gigs. Now I want him to talk about his thoughts as if they were something other than polarized background radiation. No wonder he's tired. Ownership tires him to exhaustion and then he has to stop and walk away. This could be the very enviable state of selflessness that fans of meditation are aspiring to. Some people cannot own their thoughts either because the ownership mechanism has failed or because the thoughts are too terrible to own. These are not good reasons to be selfless. But it does identify ownership as one kind of being awake. Did Mr. M assume the appropriate wakefulness for his chosen lifestyle or did his un-chosen wakefulness decide his lifestyle?

What about an exploration of undesirable states of being awake? Where would they take you? Who are its best practitioners? What can be undesirable about a state of being awake? Simply being different is obviously undesirable. Knowing that other people are awake differently than you can make them difficult to trust. A really comprehensive exploration of the varieties of being awake would have to include visits to all kinds of practitioners who aren't typically cast as meditating but may be finding alternate paths to selflessness or mindfulness. I could provide some Utoob links but that probably isn't necessary. Some, like Mr. M, seem to start from mindfulness and would require an entirely different sort of book to guide them to selfness.

Can one not be awake in any manner at all while at the same time, not be asleep in anyway at all? Would that be a friendly description of The Boss's mindfulness? Trioonity says yes to the first question. Such a state is when we are not Trioon at all but rather purely Bioon. That means making two things go away; our Post-Cinema perception of continuity and its working relationship with our Cinema perception. This is not a problem because Post-Cinema perception is not in continuous operation unless extensively trained to be so. With no training at all, some people find it very hard to start or wake it up. One can be simply awake until their Post-Cinema perception starts up. Then, one has assumed a kind of being awake. From this wakeful perspective, other people can, in their wakefulness, appear to be asleep. Or, sleep-waking.

In using the term and title Waking Up, the sleep to be wakened from is not the snoring slumbering kind. In a broader sense, all forms of being awake have some distinguishing quality to which other forms of being awake are asleep. But is there, as the book seems to suggest, an ultimate wakefulness to find? I used to think so. What problem does the enlightenment of the Buddha solve? We can suffer from the way we look at things and stop the suffering by changing the way we look at things. How does the way we look at things go wrong in the first place?

The traditional answer is that we acquire a sense of self. We are traditionally admonished that we must be like children to free ourselves of selfishness or be able to enter a spiritual realm or truly take on a new point of view. This suggests two facts: our perception is different when we are children and, we can have only one perception of a self at a time. We must return to the baseline perception we started with before we can re-embark on a new course. I agree completely with The Boss that these courses or paths do not lead to spiritual realms and are better described as some kind of 'fine tuning' of actual and possibly measurable brain operations. Personal Enlightenment may technically be Personal Alignment. Can Science replace the trip to the Himalayas and the vision quest and even the grassy pad? It can, if it can contain and define them all in single unified explanation. Religious experience will become 'how the human mind works' when the explanation can account for every aspect of it to everyone's satisfaction. Tall order? The tallest of them all.

Like The Boss, I am confident that Science can do this. However, I do not share his confidence that scientists can do it. That is a dramatic generalization but on the whole, our highly educated scientific elite are the most disadvantaged in sorting this out. This is because they, and other highly educated people of all sorts, are the acme of development of the very internal feature they wish to understand and undermine. That may sound bold and crazy but it is the shortest path to consistency with all the observable facts. I have boundless admiration for those who chase down neurons and ganglia or even quarks and strings for the ultimate source of consciousness. Trioonity says there is none to find. Consciousness is the end result and the last thing to happen after absolutely everything else already has. The exact nature of that end result is impacted dramatically by how our perception is trained.

It is our third perceptual ability that springs to life in childhood and the problem of self comes from its slow integration with our other two perceptions. Any state of awake-ness involves some combination of these three perceptions with one of them dominating the other two either slightly or nearly completely. There is no ultimate awareness to have just as there is no ultimate color to see. We see objects with single colors even though it is three perceptions of color (red, blue and green) that render it. Likewise, we experience a single state of being awake even though there are three perceptions rendering it.

Trioonity takes this one short step further. We experience a seemingly single consciousness even though there are three states of being awake that render it. If any one of the three perceptions and its resulting awake-ness was a serious variable, then the result would be varying states of consciousness from person to person and also from moment to moment. In our case, the primary variation is in one's capacity to perceive, speak in and digest continuities or narratives. Bioonity offers no such perception. Cinema perception can see only in short and unchangeable sequences of a small number of perceptions called the Chunk-limit. We overcome this limitation with a follow-up serial perception that is Post-Cinema and capable of creating and perceiving narrative sequences.

This provides plenty of opportunities for meditative adjustment because in our modern times, no one's Post-Cinema perception is untrained. There are fundamentally different ways of going about training it that results in fundamentally different people. A course of recital and repetition will result in a narrative perception that is mostly subliminal and mimics its trainers. Moving on to a course of problem-solving and narrative skills like the Three R's will make it more self-directed and independent. A sense of a narrative self may emerge as more time and activity is spent in a state of self-directed narration. If taken to the maximum with a course in critical thinking and scientific examination, a nearly continuous state of self-directed narration may result just to lead the life necessary to completing the course. Self-directed narration can then easily become mistaken for being fully awake. As if there was One Truest State of Being Awake. In anyone's book, that would likely be their personal favorite state of being awake.

Trioonity says that there is no such thing as an ultimate wakefulness. I put it that way because I was disappointed, too. Wakefulness is like colors… the particular shade of the moment is the result of its source perceptions. A state analogous to whiteness, where every perception is maximal, is probably very undesirable and incapacitating. Likewise, falling on the same shade over and over again when so many others may be possible and even useful, should be seen as a handicap.

If one retraces The Boss's book with this operational model in mind, the things described can lose one more layer of their mysterious veneer. The cessation of narration (the voice in your head) is a common aspect of meditative instruction. This is met with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the wakeful state one is starting with. For most average joes, it is asking that one thing be done- switch off Post-Cinema perception. That's easy when it isn't on all the time anyway. The highly trained and educated will have to do it in two steps. First, a dispossession or stepping away from self-directed narration, and then a switching off of Post-Cinema perception. In trioonity, the resulting switched-off condition is a state of bioonity and the sort of wakefulness we share with our non-human friends. Many people spend most of their time in this state and only spring into narration when it is called for… and with a limited capacity before a kind of fatigue sets in and narration must stop. Likewise, full-time self-narrators can feel ill at ease in a state of bioonity. One feels more contained and in control in a comfy state of self-narration and Post-Cinema perception pops back on.

In a bioon state with Post-Cinema perception not in operation, we are left with the presence of our physicality (or more simply, its own perception) and what is often referenced as the looker or the self behind the eyes (Cinematic perception). There is something to discover here before going further. Most everything we imagine ourselves as being composed of is still here. We can think and talk and be smart and feel emotions and anticipate and regret like always, but with a difference. The reach of our perception is shorter in a not-so-subtle way. At the same time that perception is sharper, faster and more vivid, the number of perceptions that we can intelligently assemble into a new thought or perception is reduced to four and there is nothing we can do about sequences but accept them. We can no longer edit them or perceive anything beyond our natural cinematic Chunk-limit. Our only access to a perception of anything continuous is via rhythm and rhyme. On the plus side, worry about distant issues and complex subjects is gone. It becomes simply beyond our reach.

A few beers can do that. Narrative ability is the first to go in a state of intoxication. If one wishes to experience a scene where no statement, phrase or expression of any kind exceeds four beats, hang out at a sports bar during the Big Game. Intelligence is intact. Language is intact. Neither can be operated past the Chunk-limit that binds our Cinema perception. It seems like a shortened if more vivid attention span but, like our physicality, it is always there beneath the self-narrating surface in totem-pole-speak or, before the operation of Post-Cinema perception in trioon terms. Why not switch both off?

Some meditative instruction directs us to stop being the looker or to 'have no head'. In trioon, that means focusing one's attention ahead of the cinematic assembly process and experiencing Sub-Cinema perception. The Looker goes away (or disassembles) when we look away from the fully assembled 'look' of cinematic perception. Again, it is interesting to see what's left. Language isn't gone. Recognition and association still work only now with even less reach than the Chunk-limit. Meditators report an immediacy to and/or oneness with the world. That makes fine sense in Trioonity since Sub-Cinema is our most immediate perception and, having only one operating perception provides no opportunity for a perception of self.

Oneness is one of those ideas that becomes very flexible in the context of spirituality or meditation. On the one hand, oneness as a concept like 'we are star-stuff' is a nifty and useful intellectual perspective. The other hand gives a more tangible slap in the face with the powerful feelings that seem to indicate an actual condition of experiential unity with something beyond our own obvious bulk. Oneness with the universe or Greater Cosmos, or oneness with God or a spiritual guide, or oneness with fellow men or all life, or oneness with a guitar… is strictly a perception and not a change in one's physical nature. Oneness is a way to describe an absence of selfness.

There are times when our trioon configuration provides no perception (or illusion) of self. Not only is one not narrating, there is also no full completion of construction of a unified cinematic perception. Unified as in a single finished frame with every detail coordinated and fully updated. There are times when that just isn't necessary and it can be a bad idea. Like fleeing from or chasing down prey. Or engaging in sports or assembling a ship in a bottle. But stop and look at something… take it in… and there, that's full Cinema perception. It's a surface awareness. Like a picture of a lake, it shows its surface to any perspective also above the surface. That would be that Looker guy. The Looker waits for the picture to come to the surface but we don't have to wait. We can go a bit Sub-Cinema.

I think there are times when I go a bit Sub-Cinema while playing guitar and I observe other players seemingly doing the same. It is more hip-ly phrased as getting into it. Getting distracted into narration ruins one's timing. It all seems easier to do since picturing it in trioon mechanics. Even things like driving and mowing the lawn involve some amount of bobbing up to the cinematic surface and then going a bit Sub-Cinema. That begins to suggest a 'thing' that is hopping from one inner perceptual perch to another. Rather, it is simply the point where the moment's perceptual process stops. If the Looker isn't looking at the surface of the lake, then there is no surface to the lake. The machinery does not take the process that far as in stopping short of the surface. Where the process stops is where the self would seem to be.

Picturing trioon mechanics came from things like driving and mowing the lawn. I have had vision trouble all my life. Much of my examination of perception was in an effort to describe my symptoms to eye doctors. I lost my ability to drive a car to visual panic attacks. Things would look fine but the depth and motion info that my 'automata' would 'glean' from what I was looking at would go slightly or completely bonkers. Little things like coming to an intersection with another car coming crosswise asks your brain to glean an estimate of who gets to the corner first. You don't do the estimate, it just sort of happens. Like auto-gleaning. My glean would tell me motion info that could only be true if the car was much closer than it could possibly be or twice the size it appears to be. I would start to see the moving car grow out of scale with its changing distance unless I 'fought off the sensation'. At the worst, the gleaning and the info just go silent and I can feel my foot waiting to be told what to do. My view becomes a collage of loose cut-outs on a shaky surface. If I look too closely at anything, it starts doing… funny things. If I had a damn word, I'd use it. I could say it is like an Escher drawing but it is the exact opposite. The drawing is supposed to be wrong and we can see why it is wrong. The view out the windscreen is supposed to be right and I can't see why. Then the panic would let loose.

The solution that I found was partial and limited but got me to work and home again for many years. The solution is also ironic in that it is the opposite of The Boss's selfless quest and why I smirk and scoff. I have to keep the Looker in charge. To drive or, these days, just to walk around my house. Headlessness or being in the moment is the path to helplessness and panic or mostly just a bashed head against the door. Being one with it has turned into asking for it. I supervise and confirm and calculate and overrule and check precedents. New places and new driving routes are a struggle until I get a good map in my head. Then I can dismiss anything inconsistent with established memory. A strange mantra of I am looking at what I have looked at emerged. No need to fear. I no longer have a work commute and I keep my driving to short stints on familiar turf in a car with big windows once considered safe enough for the Queen.

That was half of Trioonity anyway. The rest was an idea that grew out of tech'ing live events or sessions and working with other techs. That is, some kinds of being awake took longer or shorter amounts of processing time than other kinds of being awake. Everyone around was paying attention at differing 'distances' from the Now of the outside world. In particular, the sort of awakeness techs would assume while the show or tape was rolling. It's fast, it's shallow and it gets its cues right and on time. The nifty moment would come when the whatever would end or stop and then, everyone all at once would wake up. We'd stretch and blink and suck in some air and for a moment or so, no one can understand what any one says. All you hear is "What? what?" I was convinced that this new awakeness was much later than the rolling awakeness. I could spot who was rolling and who was not and thus who could be trusted with their cues. When I first read about Libet's experiments, I too was surprised but only by the size of the delay. It was twice the delay I was imagining. Everyone else was surprised that there was any delay at all. It is hard to fit into the singularity model.

What could those time-delay experiments do to the popular model of mind but inspire images of lurking automata sinisterly controlling you like a puppet? There are many quirks and conundrums to the single variable perception model that do not occur in a model based on multiple and basically invariable perceptions. Even the book's most bizarre reference of the split corpus callosum can get a mundane explanation from Trioonity. The resulting split divides Cinema perception into two as in, metaphorically, two different lakes. Perhaps the subjects can be narrative about one lake and not the other. Or both, but not at the same time? Trioon suggests a scheme where experiential state change comes mostly from the moment's perceptual mixture and not as often from some major alteration in brain operation. Post-Cinema perception can switch in and out of operation and maybe that's measurable somehow or maybe not. There is no way to externally measure a computer to see if it is running Windows.

I read about behavioral testing and verbal interviews involved in the broad field of brain research. I would not presume to offer some amateurish technical suggestion but rather make a mere procedural observation. If trioon informed the examination, there would be an added dimension of which perception was being addressed and which was being heard from based on the scale of the expression. Simple association speaks to Sub-Cinema perception. Plain language in short phrases or rhyme speak to Cinematic perception within the Chunk-limit. Neither of these perceptions can re-sequence so neither can, by themselves, lie. Sometimes the inquiries are narrative and sometimes the responses are narrative. Just knowing when a subject was engaging in his own narration or sublimating to the examiner's narration or whether they have much narrative ability at all would create better sorted data. Allowing a subject to narrate means that they can re-sequence and fabricate and manipulate and reveal exactly how they have turned their plain perceptions into stories. We all do. We use a lot of dysfunctional stories. These narrative perceptions can enhance or poison our other perceptions by changing or rewriting associations that can affect what we see even when not in a state of narration.

Self-narration is not Post-Cinema perception's only or original function. It is often triggered to work subliminally as a pre-learned auto-narrator and a guide to complex speech. These learned, internal algorithms typically mimic the teachers who taught them. It is not hard to see how a person handles their narrative ability. Some are constant self-narrators who can seldom and only briefly yield their narrative facility to another person who may be speaking in a narrative of their own. Only short, plain phrases are consumed and then re-narrated on the spot to suit their expectations. They are often demanding that others be clear and concise. Others show a great command of their own perception in knowing when to lead and when to follow and to perceive the subtleties and complexities in other people's expressions. Or even crave them. These are distinctions that come from how we were educated and how our Post-Cinema perception was trained.

Training with excessive or exclusive use of rote memorization, recital and unchanging repetition does not imbue in a person any capacity to perceive a pluralistic society of autonomous individuals. Instead, it makes anything beyond a plain perception into a submission to authority because their Post-Cinema perception is not trained or encouraged to operate independently. They rely on, or submit to, auto-narrators based on their teachers. Self-narration is unguided and often punishable. That contrasts with training that moves on to independent problem solving and disciplines like math and science. Not only does that procedure teach useful things like math and science, it also bestows on us the ability to become self-narrators and citizens by consent. That's a level of complexity that very few and maybe even no one would ever see without rigorous training. We say that we are still evolving, right? Maybe… in another million years or so… we'll see.

For right now, this nascent facility has blurred the definition of ourselves and allowed us to see things beyond our plain perceptions that are still mostly reflections of our desires. It remains within us as the Big Mystery Spot, the illusion of self, the immortal soul, the higher being, our spiritual core, the enlightened state, our countenance and our sense of moral responsibility. It is our third perception and whatever useful tool it may eventually become, it is making a big mess of things right now.

Why do we want a mentor to come down from heaven or a more advanced planet and tell us what to do with ourselves? We want to meet someone who is further along in the process and can show us where it leads. As if we all recognize the potential of what we could do with it. We can be civilized, we can be moral, we can be the best we can be but not with the blurry perceptions we have had so far of what exactly that is. So far these perceptions have come from anointed ones and messiahs and gurus and spiritual visions and holy books. By becoming people with a pesky illusion of self, we can begin to glean how scientific research can inform the pursuit of being our best. I think I've heard The Boss make at least the latter point somewhere or other.

Call the larger pursuit A Guide to Spirituality or Whatever the Heck It Is We Are Supposed To Become. Is Trioonity a part of that? Beats me. It has become something I see in the world around me. Including The Boss's book. I woke up to trioonity or maybe it's just a dream. I'm probably not the best one to ask.