A *really* common polyphasic question: waking up early

I get this question SO OFTEN:  

(Paraphrasing) "I set my alarm and fell asleep I think, but then I woke up and just a few minutes had gone by.  Do I get up, or lay there?"

Here's my latest, and I think, most concise answer:

"If you’re adapting, then stay in bed until your alarm goes off.  Just lay there and relax.  Meditate if you want, or focus on lucid dreaming prep in case you drift back to sleep – lots of lucid dreams seem to happen in that situation.  But you are above all training your mind and body that this is sleep-time, so act like it’s sleep time whether you’re asleep or not, for the whole time.  When you’re fully adapted, if you consistently wake up after ~10m and want to shorten that nap to that time, go for it — but not until then."

This wisdom brought to you by the ubersleep.slack.com chat room.  :D  More on that in the next post!

Posted in polyphasic sleep | Leave a comment

Here comes the tidal wave: part 1

Guys. This week, THINGS CHANGE. More on how later.

But for now, one thing has happened that you'll want to be aware of (I'll send an email about this too, eventually): I started a Slack channel.  For us, and for anybody who wants to talk and collaborate with us.  I've been missing the contact with polyphasic-as-a-community that I used to have, and now that the throat-grip of inconvenient circumstances is off me somewhat, I've decided to do something about it.  

–> ubersleep.slack.com is where it lives.  You'll need to contact me and request an invite if you want in — make sure you give me the email address you want to use to receive it.  EDIT:  After an upgrade, you no longer need to do this (nor do I, yay!).  You can now just go to https://ubersleepchat.herokuapp.com/ and request an invite.

If you don't know what Slack is, it's one of the best new chat clients.  Go look it up, or just dive in.  If you're a tech pro, knowing it is valuable experience anyway; yawelcome.  :P

If you don't know what use a chat channel for polyphasic people or the polyphasic-interested might be, then I fear you are not very creative in the brain. :D

Come join the community and chat about cool things, ask questions, give advice, plan activities, devise projects, make lifelong buddies out of weird people and you know, the usual. I'll be ghosting / moderating quite heavily over the next week or so, and then probably tapering off a bit, but yeah, come do the thing!

Posted in better thinking | 1 Comment

Dickinsian and how

Here's a lovely poem that I had never heard before today:

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

…It's by Emily Dickinson.  I want to share it, though I'm not in a good place for sharing at the moment, because of the last two stanzas:  They are, if you've ever been curious to know, a nearly perfect description of what the cycle of depression and anxiety is like.  In the beginning of the poem, we see the deathly slow experience of depression that most people think of — "the sads", I've called them — but then, in that penultimate one, you see the author looking up and realizing that they're suddenly in outer space, completely alone and disconnected from everything.  This confused nothingness then lurches, and you fall back into the world, but you keep ripping through scenes like tissue-paper, and every time you see the ground of the next one rushing up, you flinch and gasp like you've just fallen asleep and started dreaming about falling off a cliff.  That's the anxiety.  And for me, as for many people, Depression the disease, the experience of it, is much more accurately seen as a rolling cycle of depression-and-anxiety, of despair cut with veins of sharp fear.  Eventually you will hit a world that you actually land in, and look around, dazed, and perhaps get to enjoy the sensation of being in the world in a normal way for a little while…and then the booted mourners march back in.

And I'm pretty positive I just said more than I like to, as a rule; but eh, I'll take it down later if I need to.  This surprisingly gentle, quiet poem that still pulls no punches and gets it just right seemed mandatory to share.  :)

Posted in aesthetica, better thinking, psychology, writing | 1 Comment

Ideas: not letting the Devil know

I love the few great ideas I've heard expressed equally well in a Western and an Eastern context; it gives me hope that any method of understanding has the potential to reveal truth, if applied correctly.  

Here's one:  In Western Christian spiritual efforts, you "don't let the Devil know" what you're doing — mythically, because "he" will, if his attention is brought to rest upon your efforts to advance as a good person, immediately seek to interfere, and to knock you off-path.  The better a person you are, the more dangerous you are to the Devil; your soul is more unfuckable, and you serve as a strength and a good example to others.  (This is also why, in the grittier tales of the Devil — which I love to read, maybe a bit too much — things like demonic infestation and possession are often specifically targeted at either pious people, or innocently good ones.)  The gentler, non-Devil-centric formulation of this is the entreaty (attributed to Jesus) that people "not let their left hand know what the right hand is doing".  Humbly and quietly going about good work, without advertising it or celebrating it even with yourself, is the example we're given repeatedly, from the lives of various saints and such.

The concept is concerned with how we make plans to improve ourselves:  Growth and self-correction is wonderful, it teaches, but there's a sense in which we definitely invite disaster by making big, loud plans and Swearing On The Mountains, Online and On TV that we Will Succeed at a thing.  It's almost like, if your goals are easy targets, bad luck will descend upon them.  (This can seem like a pretty hostile formulation of the Universe, especially if you ascribe to the Western Devil version.  More on that in a minute.)

And that bad luck won't just come from outside:  In the East, the Devil you don't want to alert to your plans is Karma, the accumulated unbalance / debt / spinning-tension of the Wheel (the Wheel is a huge metaphor in the East, and where we literally get ideas like "what goes around comes around" from).  Your Karmic debt lives with you and is tied to you always, as a result of everything you've ever done (in this life and other ones, to them).  Anything you do, especially if you really big, flagrant, DO it, gets caught up in the Karmic math, gets affected by the weight of the universal flywheel — and the wheel is engaged all the more when you make big declarations that you're Doing A Thing.  You don't want the Wheel engaged, because like the Devil, while it's actually not technically evil, it is by its nature usually adversarial to us.  ("Good Karma" is not actually a thing — the correct idea would be "less Karma", i.e., if you do more good things, you will offset more of your Karma, your "owings" for past deeds, and engage more freely with the Universe instead of dragging your past baggage/debts/issues into everything.  And what about people who do LOTS of good?  They eventually burn off / pay back all of their Karma — and then, with nothing left chaining them to the cycle of reincarnation, they ascend into superhumanhood, which is of course a tricky idea too.  But the idea is that to have an actual *positive* direction / weight on the Karmic Wheel is to have evolved past human in a very significant way, and people who achieve it usually choose to not return for more lives on Earth, since, you know, they've unlocked a Heaven-option now. …Yes, in Taoism, humans are all basically stuck here in a sort of soul-jail, living lives and suffering, until we learn the right lessons and are able to move on.  I find this story utterly fascinating regardless of its literal truth, obviously.)

The proper way, the Taoist way, of engaging in self-correction is to keep as much silence about it as possible, even to yourself:  To spot a thing that needs doing, and quietly plan to do it, and quietly execute your plans, without making a big deal of it either externally OR internally.  To use quiet focus — meditation — to maintain your resolution, and support yourself through the transition.  Then to not celebrate goals at all, or even be particularly attached to your own success — since if you wanted it very very much, then Karma would have a thing to say about your getting it.  In this way, you just kind of slip that self-improvement into your life, like sliding a boat gently into the water so it doesn't make big waves; and Karma moves placidly along, the weight of it being gradually eroded by your good actions, the effects of it staying minor and in the background.  In much the same way, the Westerners advise living a humble life, not seeking great victories, celebrating successes or showing any arrogance or aggrandizement at all.  I think it's fascinating that whatever's different about major spiritual ideas, they often seem to all urge the benefits of a humble, non-arrogant life at ground-level.  I wonder if they're onto something.  (Note: Some of you Buddhism fans are thinking of fat-Buddha; but I would contest that the very lesson of fat-Buddha was that sHe could accept what came in life, even if it was drinking and partying — staying detached from Karma, which, for example, Siddartha-Buddha couldn't have done (failed to do, actually, early in his life) when what the Universe was asking from him was to be wealthy and relax and party.  When they say "in all things," fB was saying, they mean *all* things).

Anyway.  You don't want to push the Karma wheel or dare the Devil, because they are the bad wolfs that will be alerted to and drawn by your struggling.  When you make plans to improve yourself, consider whether you can do so gently and quietly.

Posted in better thinking, philosophy, worship | Leave a comment

::grabby hands:: / I wish I had 3D friends

I was reminded recently of this post from years ago.  It's the biggest, baddest attempt I've made at defining what I got to calling "3D thinking", and did a bunch of blathering about (clearly) while I tried to iron out what I'd discovered.

I didn't need the post to remind me that I still think 3D thinking is the most important discovery of my life, hands down, end of story — I've never forgotten that.  I'm pretty sure not an entire day has gone by since that I haven't thought about it with some depth, and while days do go by that I don't experience it, I'm forever devoted to chipping away at them.

Let me say that again, though I'm sure this crowd is small enough that the people in the back heard it the first time:  This is the most important thing I know about, full stop.  I spent over a decade deliberately searching for it, and when I found it I knew it in exactly the place that you know you'd need to recognize something that was actually the Biggest Truth.  To say that it blew my mind when I first did it, and has blown it almost every single time since, is the understatement of the century — and if I live a century, I'll be lucky to, in that time, be able to really grasp and understand it; and if I'm incredibly lucky, maybe I'll be able to talk about it.  That is perhaps my One Dream, over all other accomplishments.  It feels like the best gift I could give, with my skills at talents and experiences, before leaving.

I'm near 100% convinced that 3D thinking is what the Zen masters and Buddhas are/were doing, what Jesus was doing, and generally what Enlightenment refers to.  Knowing from limited experience now what it feels like, I declare it peace and joy and the end of all suffering: a state of mind you'd simply be an idiot to know about and not want.  

I don't spend enough time with this idea.  This is THE IDEA.  This is what I found at the end of the whole journey that started with reading philosophy as a young kid absolutely determined to know *why* — to the greatest degree that it is possible to have an answer, THIS THING is the answer to that huge, childhood-rooted scream of WHY.  This is why.

And this is the first I've written about it in many weeks, even counting the various related journals I keep for myself.

And this is the first I've talked with anyone about it in many, many months.

I feel like I'm not the best at starting and running communities, but I would give a whole lot, I would give time and effort for sure, to have a study group for this.

Happy Friday, ya'll.

Posted in 3D, better thinking | 3 Comments

Group chat > emails?

Bunch of stuff going on right now, and I’ve got to play my public cards close for a little bit; but I couldn’t resist taking at least a preliminary step on this: I’ve been getting more polyphasic-questions emails than I can answer for a little while, and wouldn’t you know it I’m pretty good at running video-meetings. If I did a group meeting where you could ask questions about polyphasic schedules, adaptation and trickery, would you be interested?

Let me know here (at the world’s shortest survey): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vPdKx7LkmWT7q1ZSktV22-rlvizAS7cbSfjw2ycUANU/edit?usp=drive_web

We’ll talk more soon! Things are…vigorous, lately. When I can catch my breath I’ll do a proper update. :D

Posted in better thinking, polyphasic sleep | Leave a comment

So much for clever hacks…

Aaaaahhhhcrap, it’s only the third day I’ve tried to use my Unideal Industrial Landing for napping, and I straight-up got caught. Maintenance guys with toolboxes just stormed right up there, and I heard them in enough time to stand up and be holding my mat — they gave me the eye and said “catching a little workout, eh?” and I said “Why yes, yes I am, done now kthxbai” and fled — they obviously weren’t happy, and would have, I sense, be even less happy to know that I was sleeping (or well, had planned to).

It’s warm today, and I’m TIRED — I did good this weekend getting my sleep properly, which means I need my naps or I’m going to crash hard…sigh here we are again…but f it, I’m going to leave and try sleeping in the car, since I need to move my napping gear out of that landing now anyway, I think.

UGH I HATE YOU, OFFICE WORLD. This job is so legit hard in so many ways, and I can’t even with this doing it exhausted all the time, and feeling too hammered whenever I’m not working to do much else…worst three weeks ever, since I started this gig. But I’ve probably complained about all of this enough, so I’ll stop how. …I won’t lie though, I could kinda cry. After getting my naps this weekend, I was finally starting to feel human again, and then here I am right back at square Ugh.

The sleep gods have got to have a bone to throw me here soon, darn it.

[Pictured: The landing that seemed like my best sleep option…but clearly wasn’t. Back to the yawning board.]


[UPDATE: Ok so, thanks to it being an extremely warm day (almost 60F!), and me being extremely tired and fed-up with the world, I was able to catch some Z’s in the car — not a great or full nap, but I feel better, and thankfully I get another one at 4 — shortening up my afternoon breaks-between-sleep was wise, I think. I also walked past a taxi stand and saw a driver totally napping in HIS car, and that made me feel a little less alone in all this. :) Anyway, sorry for all the kvetching lately; and yay, I’m not off-new-schedule!]

Posted in polyphasic sleep | 1 Comment