The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
Francisco Goya c.1799 Etching, aquatint, drypoint and burin

Card #581 – The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters


“History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awaken.” — James Joyce

We are surrounded by forces seducing us into states of sleepwalking, sleepeating, sleepworking, and sleepshopping. Once you are in an anesthetized trance and comfortably numb, you are putty in the hands of your unconscious complexes and exploitative outside forces. The process of waking up is one of deconditioning, relinquishing addictions, and undoing mechanical patterning.

The most important form of wakefulness is the realization that we’re all on an ever-shifting spectrum between wakefulness and being entranced or asleep. Wakefulness is relative, not absolute, and greater degrees of wakefulness have to be earned moment by moment. As the spotlight of my attention focuses on revising this card, I may lose awareness of my posture or breathing. I only have so much attention to spread around and must mindfully choose what I’m lighting up with my present attention and what I’m letting fall into the shadowy background (everything else in the cosmos).

A sleepwalker is someone who assumes they are awake. Anyone telling you to “wake up” in a political context is almost certainly a dangerous sleepwalker trying to suck you into their nightmare. An awake person is one who realizes they are partially asleep and is actively working to expand their awareness. Someone who tells others to wake up rather than themselves is the definition of a dangerous sleepwalker.

I am not telling you to wake up — that’s your job. Every oracle card is a lesson I’m teaching myself, a wakefulness reminder I need.

The easiest forms of sleep for us to recognize are those that we think pertain to others much more than to us.

When we become arrogantly superior, pointing out how asleep others are, we lose awareness of our own awareness deficits.

The common tendency not to know about current events is a form of being successfully put to sleep. Anyone who says about the news that it’s “all negative” and “all lies” is saying I’d rather be blissfully asleep than a wakeful citizen. The price of freedom, eternal vigilance, is too high for them, and we all pay for their sleep. As the famous Goya etching says, “The sleep of reason produces monsters.”

Sleeping through current events or lacking the critical thinking skills and ability to rank the validity of sources of information is exactly what produces the monsters and nightmares of history.

Not remembering your dreams is a form of sleeping through the other side of your incarnation. Ingesting foods, pills, etc. without knowing what’s in them, and what they are doing to you, is another dangerous somnambulism. Sleeping around unconsciously, not learning from personal and collective history, forever seeking outside objects and hotties are examples of nonwakefulness.

Many people are so put under by spells or enchantments that they will actually incorporate them as personal mottos emblazoned on baseball caps and bumper stickers. Commuting to work in the Eighties, I noticed a common bumper sticker that read, “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.” How many people spend their lives laboring under that spell? Or how about another common one, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”

No, of course I’m not selling anything, these are screenshots of actual products being sold to the spellbound on the day I revised this card.

The most perfect sleepwalker spell I’ve ever seen is the Qannon motto,

“Where we go one, we go all.”

WOW! You’ve really been put to sleep if you can’t instantly see the flaw in that spell! If you wanted to create a herd of stampeding animals with one line of software code, it would be:

where-we-go-one-we-go-all: execute-repeat

“Where We Go One, We Go All” AI image as prompted by Tanner Dery

This is the motto (or software command line) of what Jung called, “Mass Man.” If any one of us comes up with a crazy idea, we’ll all adopt it uncritically till we have a rip-roaringly stupid and dangerous conspiracy murder-suicide cult.

The purpose of many spells is to keep a virtual carrot dangling before your eyes so that you keep running the treadmills of matrix machinery, for example: “Once I reach my ideal weight…”; “Once I find Mr./Ms Right…”; “Once I make my first million…”; “Only three weeks till vacation…” Anything that keeps you moving through an inadequate life to get to some imagined future should be regarded as a spell or malign enchantment. Wake up to what is really happening in your life today.

One quick wakefulness prompt is to stop and ask yourself,

“What am I actually spending my time and energy on today?”

The more awake you are, the more you are doing things you will remember well on your deathbed.

For more about spells and their antidotes see:
Imagine Getting More
Kill the Time Grid and Fire up your Life
Stop the Hottie!
Those are some very relevant samples, but most of the documents on this site have a connection to waking up from spells.

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