Recently pseudonymous stopped by to read. It’s interesting to read what other people have to say on their own sites. After reading I can only guess how they got here and what made them comment or like a post. His? tagline is Consciousness creates reality. Outside the wood shop I have a life I’ve been living a long time. One of the things often said in my line of work is, Life is Consciousness. After more than forty years of working with people I changed that to, Life is Unconsciousness because there are more unconscious people than conscious.
This isn’t the time or place to explain this so I won’t. It’s enough to say that unconsciousness, or waking sleep, is our natural state. We imagine that we’re awake, fully conscious all the time. Sleeping in a place where powerful tools cut through a piece of hard wood with ease and speed is a low percentage thing to do. So is trying to tell someone who imagines himself to be fully conscious all the time that he’s not. So I don’t.
A couple years before I started working with wood I had an acquaintance who had the ends of all the fingers on one hand shortened. He was a very skilled woodworker who drank while working in his garage shop. While in this state of altered unconsciousness he ran his fingers through a moving band saw blade along with the wood he was cutting. I didn’t have a band saw or any interest in working with wood at the time, but it’s one of those moments when you suddenly wake up. Not a big wake up, like when you’re in a scary auto smash up, or pull through a life threatening illness. It’s a subtle moment, a flash of consciousness. Everything becomes suddenly clear. We’ve all had them and we usually only remember them when we’re having one. Then they are like a string of pearls being drawn up from beneath the surface of water. They link together as one.
When I referred to the author who was biased toward power tools I was aware that he was asleep when he wrote that. Everything we do that’s stupid, argumentative, negative, dangerous, unkind, and the list goes on, is due to imagining we’re awake when we’re in waking sleep. All my fingers are where they belong because I take moments to shock myself out of waking sleep. It’s the most powerful tool in the wood shop and the most expensive in terms of how much it costs one to acquire the skill. Like meditation, it takes years to get the most important result. Years of directed application based on accurate verified knowledge of the right kind. It’s a lot like learning to use hand tools when there are so many easier, faster ways to do the same thing just as well or better.