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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Maurer

To Wander in Wakeful Aberrance

I have an ongoing journal in which I write regularly on various topics. I use it as a way to explore ideas, thoughts, feelings, and the like, and as a way to play with different styles of writing and prose. What follows in this post is an entry from a few months back, which figures as something like a lyrical take on the notion of awakening. I plan on sharing more journal entries here in the future, so I hope you enjoy.


The world is replete with sleepwalkers; it is as though their ubiquity were law. Yet this law has not proven inviolable: every era has its share of awakened ones, of rule-breakers and rebels of the night. History, if we are being honest, is nothing if not a record of rebellion, of its successes and its failures and its consequences. It is a story of where the rebels dared to wander in their wakeful aberrance, and so a story of where the sleepwalkers refused to go.

The sun rises and a new dawn is born. A great many of us remain asleep despite the prodding of the life-world and the warmth of the sun, living out our lives in dreams and reveries. Yet the flowers still bloom; the birds still sing and the trees still whisper in languages we do not understand. Our hearts still break and refuse to heal, and in this way we know that we have once loved and can love again. But we are being honest, recall: and the truth is that to love in a dream is not to love at all. Love demands that we are awake, yet our eyes remain tightly closed.

Know this: the dream-world through which the sleepwalker wanders is a forgery, a lie. It is a deranged and disjointed world; a world divided up into so many heaps of things; a world of opposition and strangers and hateful glares. Here, in the dream-world, is the source of that most deeply entrenched divorce: that between the 'Self' and the 'Other', between You and I. Hierarchy, superiority, the Master and the Slave—at first ideas, they soon find their footing in the dream-world and set their roots in deep. Mankind designates itself ruler: we alone, in our self-imposed dominion, speak the divine tongue and share of the divine flesh. We fail to hear the cries of the lands and the skies and the seas, fail to understand their words and their pleas, because we assume that they cannot speak at all. The birds' songs and the trees' whispers are so many meaningless sounds. Flowers bloom and we learn nothing. The dark night sky begets the light of day and our souls remain empty. Despair creeps into our hearts and our dream becomes our Hell. Love cannot ripen in such a place.

We must wake up; we must rebel. We must dare to wander in our wakeful aberrance and see the world anew. To remain asleep is to remain fooled, and we have been fooled for long enough. Enough: our world is the life-world, and it comprises not so many heaps of disconnected things but a singular web of being. Difference and division are etched by tired hands and clouded minds onto a world that bears no such things. You contain the stars in the sky as much as you do the blood in your veins, and your existence here depends on them both all the same.

The sleepwalker cannot love because he is confronted by a world of strangers and strange things. The one who has woken up cannot help but love, for she is confronted everywhere by her own ingredients. She is free at last to wander—she cannot get lost here. She raises her ear to the birds and hears her own beating heart; she looks to the land and the seas and the skies and finds her own infinite soul.

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