Ming the Mechanic:
Assemblage Points and Instant Change

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Assemblage Points and Instant Change2004-05-30 09:29
picture by Flemming Funch

In Carlos Castaneda's books, his teacher, the mysterious sorcerer Don Juan Matus, taught him about what he called the "assemblage point". It is thought to be the point where one's perception is assembled, which determines the particular world one is seeing and living in. In normal humans it is considered to be an armslength behind one's back, between the shoulder blades. And that is the point that allows us to live in the normal human world, with our normal limited human perceptions, and our normal attachment to human self-importance. And that we're pretty stuck with that point. But if one manages to shift that assemblage point to a different location, one moves into a different world. A slightly different world, or a very different and bizarre world. Either way, it is in no way easy, but can be accomplished with the right kind of practice.

When we dream at night, the assemblage point is naturally more loose and moves about. The hard part is to do it consciously and deliberately. A person who has an unstable assemblage point in waking life is what we'd call a schizophrenic. Typically one has a very hard time remembering anything that happens in other points than one's normal position. So, if somebody manages to switch you between several points, you might not remember what happened in the other position. You might be somebody who works at night on a secret black government project, while being somebody else during the day, and yourself having no clue about it.

It relates to the more palatable concept of world views. If you have a certain world view, based on certain beliefs and assumptions, you tend to mentally wear a certain set of colored glasses, that makes you see only what fits into that world view. What fits within it seems normal and reasonable, and what doesn't seems crazy and non-sensical or non-existent. But the assembly point idea is really much more radical than that. Not just a set of pre-conceived ideas, but more like the ability to switch between different realities. In a multi-dimensional many-worlds universe, the dial gets turned to a different position, and you perceive a totally different band filtered out from the quantum soup. If you can turn it, that is, which most people can't.

Not that I can see such things as assembly points, and I have no clue if the position given is correct, of if it is altogether more useful as a metaphor. But that kind of thing does fit with my own view of how the multiverse works. And it provides some clues for how to solve big problems. In my own experience, transformative changes happen in the form of shifts, rather than as gradual and incremental change. Personal change happens that way. The actual change is instantaneous. Suddenly things are different. All sorts of things might have led up to it, and there might be all sorts of reasonable explanation for how somebody might have come to change, by working through their issues, or whatever, but the actual change is typically instant. And few people actually notice it themselves, exactly because one kind of becomes a different person, and it is very difficult remembering being anyone different. So, instant shifts give rise to a considerable amount of denial.

Likewise with societal change. Sure, all sorts of trends of change are happening. More of this, less of that. Plans, influences, discussions, memes. But the real changes are usually from a moment to the next. We suddenly notice that things seem different in our culture. And then we rationalize it away, analyze it, coming up with good reasons for believing that it was a gradual thing that logically happened. It usually wasn't.

The most important changes are discontinuous and disruptive. Sure, it might be based on an identifiable event. We see man walk on the moon - the world is different. The IBM PC goes on sale - the world changes. 9-11 - bing - the world is never the same again. But not all big changes have obvious trigger events. And I claim that the real change is the instant shift in consciousness, individually or as a group. The whole world changes in a moment, without going through any steps in-between. It goes from a world with certain rules to a different world with different rules. And most people don't notice, again, because they're not capable of being conscious of shifts, and because it is so easy to explain it away. There are still trees and cars and buildings and cottage cheese in the world, so it must be the same world.

Potentially there's an important point here, which might give cause for optimism on many fronts. On our planet we've collectively gotten ourselves into a great deal of messes that we have no obvious or easy way out of. And if we extrapolate various trends into the future, it is not in any way obvious that we'll solve them, or that we'll survive for very long. But that is because what will make things work is almost all shifts and disruptive changes, which we mostly can't predict.

Or, maybe we can to some degree. Or we can learn how instant world shifts work, rather than trying to master incremental change. But it is a different way of thinking. We might consider how to step into the world that works, where humanity will survive in harmony with ourselves and the world, without necessarily passing through the space in-between. Non-local change.

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30 May 2004 @ 12:20 by celestial : Another "SHIFT" to report.
I just had the pleasure ov spending two days, May 27th - 29th, in the Kng County Jail, Seattle, WA. The very first night, one ov the fellow inmates began having a bizarre dream in which he was uttering unusual emanations accompanied with flailing ov the arms. The man on the bottom bunk began trying to drag him out ov the dream by hitting the upper bunk. I immediately jumped on his case and told the fellow on the bottom bunk to let the guy on the top bunk work out the problem in his subconscious...so...everyone (about 20 inmates) just laid there and endured some very uncomfortable sounds for maybe ten minutes. Later, the next day, I explained we all need to be more accepting ov each others needs instead ov trying to manipulate things toward our own comfort. The next night the same fellow went into another episode but this time it was sweet, his words were coherent and the whole episode was a blessing.
Having experienced one ov those events myself but being interrupted, I recognized what was actually happening and consider my stay in the jail to have been a great benefit to all ov us in the long run; he received the pleasure ov working out a problem with his creator.  

30 May 2004 @ 15:10 by ming : Shifts
Most of the major shifts in my life have been associated with unpleasant circumstances at first glance. I was having a hard time, thinking on the surface that I'd rather be somewhere else, and then, at some point I notice that things have changed, and I realize that the circumstances were a blessing in disguise, that helped me change, and I'm better off for it. But I wouldn't have consciously chosen exactly that which was key to my change. Like how a trip to jail might bring unexpected change.  

30 May 2004 @ 16:49 by ov : Something is Happening
Timely article Ming, as usual. In the last few days I have felt more at peace with myself than I can ever remember, and I have no idea why, sure little things here and there but nothing that can account for it. If it was just a perspective shift then I would think I would be able to identify that perspective, which makes me think it is something more than that. I kind of sense this blurring between the dream world and reality, but not in the crazy way and I do know what that is like, this seems more like we are all at the Venn Diagram intersection zone of our solipstic universes, as if every one of us are multi-tasking our own instanciation of the Vanila Sky. Other times I feel like my computer screen, and NCN in particular, is my own copy of Nell's Primer, but then that could be a result of reading Diamond Age, Zodiac, Cryptonomicron all within the last month, and yesterday my favorite second hand bookstore had a copy of Quicksilver which is now mine. Something very incredible is in the works and I am just so looking forward to experiencing it.  

31 May 2004 @ 04:00 by Ashanti @ : Dreaming
OK, this is weird. Haven't been online the last 2 days. Had a dream. Then came on-line and saw this article. This is kindof embarressing. I dreamt last night, very very VERY vividly of Ming. I haven't dreamt of anything NCN-related before this. Anyhow, in the dream, Ming was very present, and we were in Denmark, but a very dream-like Denmark. Ming's presence was really cool, a really nice person. He wanted to take me to some place I'd be interested in, some magic mystery place, and I was like, cool! Weirdly, it was a place that Ming had found through the Harriers. (? Go figure) Anyhow, we were on our way, I was really excited to visit the magic place, and then I was woken by gunshots outside. (Being woken by gunfire outside is a fairly regular thing over here). Damn and blast! I never got to see the magic place. How's that for a dream. And then I log on and read this, and well - it's just weird. :-)
Anyhow, Ming, it was nice to meet you in Dreamtime. :-)  

31 May 2004 @ 05:27 by ming : Dreamtime in Denmark
Heheh, cool, see you again, then. Next time we might actually get to the magical places, if people can refrain from firing guns in the meantime.  

31 May 2004 @ 09:59 by skookum : Odd thing...
speaking of shifts....I was doing my pendulum stuff and now... the 'yes' direction is changed to what used to be the 'no' direction. Now.... it has been consistantly the other way for some time now.

Dreams are a window...to a lot of places Ashanti. Doncha just hate it when the dream ends at a good place!  

1 Jun 2004 @ 12:27 by James @ : Assemblage Point caution....
Ole Carlos's reference to the Assemblage point above is incomplete, and potentially dangerous.

An assemblage point that is off center actually relates to a person being either sick, addicted, or yes, even schizophrenic, but with a schizophrenic you actually find their assemblage point, naturally enough, split in two different locations.

It's now scientifically understandable, and treatable. The leading (AFAIK) doctor in this area is Dr. John Whale http://www.whalemedical.com/ap1.html  

1 Jun 2004 @ 12:48 by ming : Assemblage Points
I had just looked at that site, actually, and several other that offer an assemblage point therapy. I don't know if they're really talking about the same kind of assemblage points, or just using the same word for a more physical kind of balance point. At least they find quite different locations for it. But it sounds interesting.  

6 Jun 2004 @ 17:26 by Quirkeboy @ : Lucid dreaming..
Have any of you read much about this??
I sort of fell into it as a teenager.. not knowing there was a name for this phenomenon.
Some of my most moving spiritual moments have been in a dream state.. lots of symbolism of death and the afterlife etc. Its an amazing experience to control your dreams.. I love to fly but have also brought objects and people into my dreams.. although I fall short of changing the entire scenery.
Incidentally .. I had a lucid dream one time where I was in a ribbed tunnel that brough me into a fantastic dream world.. only later did I read that the "underworld" of shamanism is often entered during there vision quests by a colorful ribbed tunnel!?!
Usually the sequence of events is..you fall asleep as usual .. dream as usual.. then realize your dreaming and take control... making conscious decisions in an unconscious state...BUT.. on only a few occasions I have been able to consciously "accompany" my mind into the dream state.. being aware all the while that Im falling asleep and beginning to have visions. Imagine the possibilities of mastering this technique..if you could instantaneously enter a dream world without effort or losing consiousness.. to relax, attend to health problems, solve life issues.. and regain consciousness as if turning a switch on and off!
Do you think theres any value in mastering the ability to enter dreams at will and return just as easily??  

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