FINAL thoughts about sleep and death.
When you think about it in this way (see previous post), you realize that you are not the only one inhabiting your body. There's also the dreamer, the personality who occupies your body at night, when you're asleep (or dead, if you wish). The dreamer is another personality, generated by your brain, who spends his entire, brief existence in a sort of hallucinatory state, swimming through your memories, turning them into fantasies. The dreamer is incapable waking up. If he is startled, he dies, and your brain regenerates another waking personality, an instance of 'you'.
This kind of thinking makes me wonder: are your waking self and the dreaming selves all there is? How can we be sure that other selves don't occupy our bodies, generated by our restless brains, but leaving no trace in the memory, and hence, we will be forever ignorant of them?
The more I think about this, the less secure I feel. The more it seems that 'I', my 'self', my waking consciousness that thinks these thoughts and types these words, is not the true 'me'. That the real, enduring Slithy Tove is my physical, corporeal, carnal body, and my brain. That my consciousness is merely the slave and plaything of my body, created to serve it, and extinguished at its pleasure. From an evolutionary perspective, after all, it is the body that is transmitted through time, as a species, not the consciousness. It is a strange feeling that everything I love the most, that seems most important and human to me, thought, sensation, intellectual and sensual pleasure, creativity, wit, humor, may all merely be the creations of the body, for crude Darwinian reasons of survival. That my 'self', my consciousness, what I think of as 'me', is merely an appurtenance of my body, like my fingernails or my digestive system, created because it aids the body in its quest for survival and reproduction.
Strange an' disturbing thoughts.
ryokan == Japanese-style inn
tabi == a journey