I wake at 3 am everyday. That still sounds extreme and unbelievable to me. But, almost religiously, I have done so daily for nearly 14 years. It is one of the only ways that I survive in this place.
Though my oppositional stance towards sleep began very early on in my time here, the practice began in earnest as part of my study of yoga around the turn of the century. I was in my 30s, in another bad relationship and going through another major transformation. I would wake and make my way to what the only ashtanga shala in Michigan. At the time it was one of only a handful in the States.
I’d read Vedic text and the interpretations of my teacher’s teacher and would innocently and selfishly grab onto certain thoughts and ideas that served my needs. The tradition prescribed, and my experince confirmed that dedicated practice was connecting/aligning my bodies internal biological systems to external energetic systems that surround us all. I had integrated the concept of ‘the noosphere’ into my perception earlier and this also resonated.
When I close my eyes all the lights in the world go out.
If I meditated on it and went through some journals I may be able to remember where I first came into an understanding of the noosphere. It was probably related to drug use and one’s sometimes detrimental self awareness of the distance in mental acuity between yourself and the person in line behind you at the 7-11 when you’re still tripping balls 7 am, Monday morning. Yeah, I probably picked this notion up from Tim Leary.
The concept of the noosphere is rooted in the scientific definitions of the geological/biological spheres; the atmosphere, biosphere, etc. For some source material I’d go with the questionable Russian scientist above the questionable yet influential omega point priest. Vladimir Vernadsky described the noosphere as the planetary “sphere of reason” and rooted it in the conception of the biosphere by Edward Suess in 1875. When we talk about biospheres now we are often thinking about closed, self-regulating systems that support ecosystems.
The noosphere, in my understanding carries similar parameters into the realm of consciousness. I’m going to use the term ‘thought’ here to refer to the active aspect of consciousness. This will help move this forward the next time the noosphere ’round here calms down. I’ll wake and attempt to get a another clear thought around this in at 3am.