How to engage with the current collective nightmare?

…is something that is very much on my mind lately. I mean, waking from the dream of reality is great and all, but incredibly fucked up and scary shit is going down in America right now and there’s every possibility of things getting a LOT worse. I’m wondering how people here feel about this (very much including @Andrew).

Do people want Night Club to be purely a refuge from the unpleasant nightmare “outside” our virtual temple? Or do we talk about the collective shadow currently on the rampage, and what to do about it? Part of me wants this to be a refuge from the storm. But currently a bigger part is feeling like maybe we should really talk about this, at least address it in some way. There’s waking up from the dream, and there’s making the dream better. Both are important, but right now the latter seems to be more important. It’s like we’re having a nice little dharma & dreams discussion, and meanwhile a band of demons dressed as riot cops are on the rampage just outside, teargassing protestors and killing black people.

I have two carefully curated Twitter feeds. One is currently mostly concerned with politics, climate change, the pandemic, etc. The other (@LucidVirtuality) is concerned with lucid dreaming, virtual reality, and related matters. Recently my Lucid Virtuality feed has become largely dominated with political matters because SHIT IS HITTING THE FAN. Some people/organizations I follow are meaningfully addressing what’s happening. Others are completely ignoring it, and that’s starting to feel off to me.

For example, here are some recent tweets by @AndrewHolecek from the last 3 days:





And here is one from today, which I retweeted with my own comment:

Look, I love all of these quotes and I enjoy Andrew’s twitter feed. But it seems a little tone-deaf in light of the current context.

Some other recent stuff in my @LucidVirtuality feed – from people who normally are just posting about virtual reality and dreaming:





Anyway, if you’ve read this far I’d love to hear what you think and feel about all this.



Spot on @ArthurG, if you can make to tomorrow’s Social Intimacy, let’s make this our topic, and we can dialogue about this. Most important. @AndyK will bring you in and we can discuss. If you can’t make it, I’ll just riff on what you share.


Thanks, @Andrew. Yes, I expect to be able to make that call!

Meanwhile – before and/or after that call – I would be quite interested in hearing thoughts and feelings on this from fellow Night Club members.



I’ve had to take a NightClub break for Bardo Immersion.

@ArthurG, your bravery in calling this to challenge is honorable.

As is @Andrew’s agreement of not being on top of “social media” and the pre-programmed bot not being responsive to current issues hitting the shit fan (mind the splatter!).

(personally I was shocked that Holecek had a twitter feed - how the hell does this guy find the time to do all this stuff much less “tweet”?! was the thought. Which proliferated into “I suck because I can’t keep up here much less social media and don’t know a thing about twitter” etc. Oh hai prapanca!)

I like how he summed it up -
“What are we really doing here on Night Club and with Lucid Dreaming?”

I don’t know what I’m doing here, honestly. I can’t get organized enough to get organized. I’m here to ask questions and learn other ways to work with my mind ultimately. And through the Q&A’s, I’m learning about experiences in the dream state YOU ALL are doing, holy cow batman!

So, true-to-form, I have a seemingly off-topic contribution. :grin:


If you think it isn’t real - then how can the moon literally move oceans and dictate life reproduction? How do the planets hang with the sun? There is some force going on, and to think we are exempt is silly.

(as for personal astrology - that depends on birth time. The thought and some studies I can dig up is that at the time of birth, one is separated from the mother - both literal and spiritual. And that these planetary forces or whatever are ‘frozen’ in our being somehow. Like the ions? that prove the magnetic poles have switched in the past based on the direction the ions? are facing in the rocks they dig up. The poles just may be hovering on another switch now, btw)

Back to my (recursive, endless) tangent LOL!

This popped up on my phone right after the Hangout and was too relevant to this topic to not share. Screenshots, that is. Eclipses! Lunar eclipses are coined “the shadow of a hawk” by April Elliot Kent behind Big Sky Astrology. It is imprinted on baby chicks to run from that shadow, or they will be eaten. Such is the analogy of what lunar eclipses do to us humans.

And with all due respect to Bob Thurman, he almost got it right when he talked about astrology. He said Vedic is most accurate and I disagree. Vedic follows the Hindu social “Structure” we are learning about. It is based on cast (caste?), and Traleg Kyabgon states in “Karma: What It Is, What It Isn’t, Why It Matters” that Hindu *ology has rebirth but differs from the Buddhist notion in that the same person is reborn, in the same class. It was on audiobook and I was trying to remember 2 other points - my brain got full.

I DO know they use Vedic astrology as part of finding a good match for arranged marriages. These are arranged to “up” or at least “maintain” a family’s status in society. Daughers are “trading cards.” But they do want them to be happy, so if able, consult astrologers.

The joke when I worked at Oracle (I signed on with JD Edwards for the record, a good company, bought by PeopleSoft, then evil Oracle, which “eats their old and sick”) ANYWAY, when single Indian men went home for a month, their peers would poke fun “so, you’re coming back with a wife then!” It was with warm, nutritous humor.

Western astrology diverged just as Western thought and *ologies diverged. I’m in a Western culture which filters my perception and understanding. I found that some of the Vedic (that I could understand) fit, but not all. I’m no expert - I’d need a brain for that. In trying to learn Western Astrology, I’ve found it’s pretty accurate for me. Not predictive, but various energies and themes that come into play in one’s life when “aspects” are activated. And they often conflict, so it’s just a way to look what areas in life one might be potentially triggered. Used with awareness, can be helpful in noticing one’s reactive patterns should their mind be coarse, like mine. And it has both enlightened and neurotic qualities, doesn’t assume either. That is up to the person.

Preamble done.

Here a GENERAL interpretation of the lunar eclipse happening Friday June 5 in the States. (this says June 4, not sure if it’s a time zone thing or computer thing or what) It’s said the eclipse energies are felt 1-2 weeks before and after. And the sensation is said to feel similar to the eery feeling before an earthquake. A pending upheaval. (and what an earthquake… :cry: )

Square Mars is the key here. Tensions build, “in relationships”, and unaware, the tendency is to explode and vomit all over somebody. Usually on an innocent bystander. “The problem is not the problem” I’ve come to understand with regard to relationship problems. Almost always secondary to something unspoken/unaware.

And relationship is all there is, if I’m following Andrew correctly.

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@Andrew As I understand @ArthurG ´s point, it touches from a dharma point of view on the seemingly dilemma of absolute versus relative truth. The aspect of recognizing the empty nature of phenomena (absolute reality) while recognizing — and not spiritually by-passing — the relative reality of suffering (relative reality).
The dilemma seems to be: how can both be true?
If we only follow one view, either absolute or relative, we follow an extreme - nihilism or eternalism. Could you perhaps riff on this from a practical dharma point of view? Thank you.


@ArthurG … and I just found this one

which I think deals with absolute and relative reality and lucidity (!)

My take is, we are not lucid and therefore do believe in the extreme of relative view that all suffering and causes for suffering are solid and real „out there“ as well as the „cure“. Searching outside of us for happiness and the cure for unhappiness, whilst doing harm to other beings and the whole planet.
So, should we ignore physical reality, i.e. not do anything about the harm being done, since we might believe in the absolute view of reality, that all suffering is inside us? IMO, it is necessary to act in order to ease the suffering of other beings, who might be totally emerged in the relative view since their suffering is very real to them. And also the destruction e.g. of the planet - is physically manifest/real, so we need to do what we can to heal. But when we act, out of which state of mind are we acting? If it is a state of pain, then the results of action are likely to manifest in some negative form. So, I think, there is a great benefit in trying to adapt both views at the same time — absolute and relative — since we could possibly act then from a lucid state of mind embedded in seeing the absolute truth that suffering is relative, but meanwhile acting to ease the suffering in the world around us. Thus not acting from a painful state of mind, but from a lucid one, acting with compassion for the world, others and oneself.


The 2 are inseparable as I understand it.

Without the absolute, there would be no relative. The relative is a ‘manifestation’ of ‘absolute energy’ is all I can think to phrase my understanding.

If it was 100% absolute - where would be no experience. Duality does have it’s saving graces in that the absolute = “ALL” or “that which cannot be named” or “the Ocean” is pure unity and pure emptiness. It could get kinda boring hanging out on some refuge tree in some buddhaland, because there is nothing to be experienced necessarily.

Add duality and now the amazing smell of flowers can be experienced, the heart-wrenching experience of staring out into a vast ocean, or viewing a sunrise/sunset, the feel of a massage on achy muscles… Those are the gifts of duality. As is pain, suffering, old age, anger, world destruction, Egoic activities (not to be confused with the psychological ‘ego’ structure that without - one could not function).

On the violence and hate blared across TVs and Zoom sessions everywhere, Holecek says “don’t give it a place to land.” I’m not there yet. I hold the aspiration. One intense story and I’m ‘rattled’ for a couple weeks.

I have in my mind to make a diagram/picture. But since I took some time off to digest, here’s one from the web. Sorry for the iconography - that’s my particular flavor of kool-aid. You can substitute whatever makes sense for you.

It’s both bigger - as in a person’s “aura” for those who are able to see that.
But it’s also smaller and deeper - it’s experienced inside the body - I’m told.

This picture has 4 kayas interestingly (‘bodies’ in this particular cosmological model). And erroneously shows ‘space outside of’ the largest, most subtle body, the dharmakaya. (the everything/nothing from which all bubbles forth) There’s no boundary on the most subtle ‘body’ I’ve been told, and read.

(again, as I understand it - jump in and correct me anyone!)

On a relative level, the grass grows when I turn my back.
On an absolute level, there is no grass (imputed label and all connotations - there is only a co-arising experience of energy).

(to steal Andrew’s analogy)

We practice to bring forth the absolute into our relative lives. (or to remember/recognize that it’s been there all along) AND we still experience violence and hate, as well as love and other feel-goods. This body < pats thighs > is real enough, it is sick and will die. “Relative.” So we take action with the best wisdom we have with the relative body and brain.

Some have access to Mind Nature.

Bob Thurman put the police violence and George Floyd march into perspective for me. (which was met with violence…I’m ashamed to admit I’m from the US sometimes/lately)

My flavor of Wisdom Kool-aid says there is wisdom in every moment. My burning question was - where the hell is the wisdom in THIS?!

Thurman said things have to get loud enough before people finally 1) see and 2) acknowledge something has been going on - and this only seems to happen when situations have finally reached a boiling point.

Basically, sh!t has to hit the fan before the herds of zombies/sleepwalkers like myself pay heed. And as with national disasters, the heart of humanity THEN comes forth. It just seems to always take tragedy to get there.

AND - there’s so much more at play. I’m aware of perspectives of some black people, from their shoes. I put on my best “imagination/empathy hat” and try to get a feel for their lived experience.

  1. A good friend says “I’m not from Africa, I’m American dammit!!” RE: how it’s “pc” to use the phrase “african american” vs “black”.

  2. My hair gal was prodding me a bit so I gave her an example of a conversation where I brought her up - it had to do with a neighbor saying he had hair longer than mine. :slight_smile: That conversation was here at my place. I responded without mentioning my hair gal’s skin color. She said "THAT’S how to do it. :+1: (she’s also OK w/ me saying ‘my hair gal’ as I don’t know how to refer to hair cutters, so I asked!)

  3. Not sure if you are familiar with a topic that was ‘HOT!’ when I was doing undergrad - late 90’s. “Ebonics.” It was a teacher war. If the kids from rough neighborhoods weren’t learning, how about we teach them in their lingo? The other side - how about they step up and learn proper english? This was a debate of scholars “about a population”.

  4. Police who work the front line have a TON of pent up genuine fear they had to stuff down in the line of fire. Have they ever coped with that? (Neurosculpting Institute’s Lisa Wimberger works with these (usually) men and how to discharge that energy). What does that repressed energy do when things get hot? The cop goes non-lucid and REacts.

I’ve seen the flip-side: a younger black male who was recently evicted from my place of residence. He ran around with a chip on his shoulder created from very real injustices. But he made it his identity, it seemed. I noticed that he acted in such a way that could confirm a lot of potential biases, but he didn’t realize he was bringing it on himself. (another definition of karma I made up: ‘more of the same, until you sit in the stew’) I’m sure he thought he was just expressing his <fear/anger/astonishment>, yet it came across somewhat “stereotypical.” I saw how people could latch on to the way he was expressing himself as a confirmation bias, if they leaned towards racism. Rather than be curious as to why he was roused in the first place.

The young man was in the right - I looked over and some hippy older white guy puffed up and ‘staring him down’ -0 probably a racist. Very sad.

(p.s. the reason the young man was evicted: a physical fight with another man of same skin color - in my hallway. I stayed put behind my door, the older black ladies came out and yelled. It truly was NOT my place to do anything, not coming from their background! Not to mention both were stronger than me.)

So that’s what I mean - a couple examples of a MANY of things coming together at any one moment. Our beliefs, biases, prejudices are filters until we see them. Heck even language is oriented around nouns and adjectives to further “reify” the nouns.

So add language as another factor.

I heard the Tibetan language was created solely for the purposes of transmitting dharma/spiritual teachings. Ken McLeod is a translator and my only reference to Tibetan language was from one statement he made on an audio. He offers his program talks, now 10+ years old and still relevant, on his website, He said the Tibetan word for “weather” was "something like ‘hot - not hot’ ". Crude example, but it illuminated for me how “nouns” seem to be “ranges of experience” rather than “things” in that language. Fascinating if it was true! I’m no translator and can’t verify if this is the case across the board.

I just found it curious how even language shapes perception. And perhaps why we grapple with “absolute” and “relative” using English language, when those concepts permeate the Tibetan culture.

Hope some of that makes sense…

Because nothing else in the world does, that’s for sure!!!

– Courtney


Dear friends, as a non-American, I am so, so glad that the Orange Man is no longer on my TV screen. I hated the sight of him and had to stop watching The News (in New Zealand, where I’m privileged to live) recently. There is no ultimate “answer” as to why we are all even here, is there! We just have to go through it, and it ain’t easy at all! Born to be broken, over and over again and yet I know that we are all loved, even the Orange Man (only a parent could love him…) We have to do and say what we think is right, now and always, in this world where we have responsibilities. And when our lives here are over, well, that’s then, isn’t it. We’re obliged to work with both compassion and detachment.