Bird brain dreaming

Half past two… in the morning. And I can’t sleep. Typical.

I can’t sleep because I am thinking about directions and their relative points in space. Or rather, that they don’t actually have any unless they are relative, and whether we are really homing pigeons or merely moving from point to point on an energy matrix.

Yes, I know… before you say it… I admit to a degree of weirdness.

I drive thousands of miles. I navigate around the country with little recourse to maps, carrying my own map and compass in memory and imagination. I, like many others, find that ‘normal’ though I know many people who do not. I have wondered about the implications… do we read an invisible map imprinted on memory?… do we instinctively read the position of the sun and stars… though heavy cloud doesn’t stop us? Are we, like homing pigeons, able to glean information from the magnetic currents of the earth? Who knows… maybe it is a combination of all of these. Maybe we just have an innate perception of where we are?

Now that is all well and good.  In physical terms you can imagine… visualise… the points of the compass and state that you are west of point A, south of point B etc…  yet that only works on the two dimensional screen of the mind. We don’t live on a 2D map… we live on a three dimensional planet. It is round… spherical…

So you draw a line around the globe and start travelling eastwards around it. At some point you will find yourself apparently travelling west as you journey across the far side of the globe… even though you are still moving in the same direction. And if you attempt to use the axes of the earth as the axes of the compass points, you see that they are not a 2D cross, but 3D discs and moving in three dimensions means you can only place your point in space relative to another predetermined point. And where you seem to be will always be different depending on what point you are in relationship with.

Now add in a fourth dimension, like the one generally accepted as time… and things get tricky as we deal with time zones. You can arrive ‘before’ you set off. I regularly converse with people living in countries hours ahead or behind GMT… speaking to me, in the moment, from what is technically my past or future… and though I know time zones are man-made constructs, I still find this an odd and intriguing concept.

So I sit here… west from my eldest son, south from one friend, north from the dog, east from my youngest son. On a two dimensional sheet of paper, that makes sense, because I am relative to several known positions. Yet in three dimensions that is difficult to map in the head… I could be anywhere… and everywhere…. Or nowhere.

Whatever mental gymnastics you use to try and get a handle on where you are, they all imply one thing… that we know where we are. If you don’t know where you are, you cannot possibly begin to see how to get where you are going. Which is all very well until you realise that wherever you are, you are always ‘here’ and you are always ‘now’… you cannot be ‘there’ or ‘then’ relative to yourself and your own position in time and space. Yet you are relative to everywhere and everywhen and every observer will place you differently relative to their position in time and space… which sort of makes you an infinite possibility in action.

The tired and twisted mind was quite happy with this for a split second… till it began wondering whether we do not, in fact, move through any of the dimensions but remain still while time and space move around us… a shifting sand-picture around a point of consciousness. Or maybe we are the grains of sand in a bigger picture moving around a universal consciousness… which we could refer to as the point of God.

As the concept of God in any belief system and none is seen as omnipresent we cannot move around It, but only within It and are therefore part of It. As It is infinite, there can be no relativity of position to It… so we must move through all points of time, space and possibility… all points of It simultaneously…

… or maybe I should move relative point A, being my body, to point B, being my bed… regardless of direction and with due regard for time and get some sleep before point C, being my mind, ties itself in any more knots….

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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36 Responses to Bird brain dreaming

  1. I have no sense of direction. Nor does Garry. Together, we can’t find our way anywhere without memorizing each part of the drive. Yet my son doesn’t need a map and never has. He can also see a flat drawing as 3-dimensional whereas I can’t. I think directionality is a talent. Maybe like music, you know? Some hear it, some don’t.

    I can, however, travel long distances if I know which directions are which. I can’t go from specific spot on one map to another specific spot, but I know which way goes where. THAT, I think, we are (mostly) born with. A sort of hookup to our earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me of some of the questions my daughter had to write about whilst doing first year Univ Philosophy but they were less interesting and altogether vaguer. e.g. Is a grain of sand a heap, discuss…. She resorted to dropping Philosophy and doing single honours English. A little philisophical thought is fascinationg but in my opinion and hers grains of sand taken in that context are not! I have no idea where I am at any given point in time and if you give me too much alcohol I will invariably wait at the wrong bus stop for my bus home (speaking from experience.)


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I like following my thoughts…and they lead to stranger places than the worng bus stop. Surely philosophy should teach how to live, not just how to think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes how to live would be more helpful than how to think, Sue. I do find philosophical debate interesting. The wrong bus stop happened for a much deeper reason than the alcohol consumed. I drank because I was out of my comfort zone at that particular social event, so perhaps it wasn’t altogether surprising that I selected the wrong bus stop as a consequence? ….


  3. TamrahJo says:

    The memory of something a friend said once has come back onto my radar of memory, big time, here recently – “The more you learn, the more fluid reality becomes.” – 🙂 For me, for now, I like bouncing in the world of both/and – I’m stuck on time/space continuum while I observe it all play out – AND, I’m simultaneously washing dishes at my kitchen sink, while experiencing the fall of the Rome to the Visigoths – – LOL – I switch to whichever ‘reality’ suits me best, at the time, as it were….LOL Our whole makeup is just rather an entertaining thing, is it not? Reality TV doesn’t even come close to what our mind/soul/dreams can come up with – 🙂


  4. You’ve given me a lot to mull. 🤔


  5. Mary Smith says:

    I’m nearly always get lost going somewhere new. I’m fine with the general direction but I need every turning, roundabout and traffic light written down, especially when I’m in a new town, whether I’m on foot or in a car. I stress less about it nowadays and I always get where I need to be.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Finding a specific place in a town can be more difficult…but I’ve never really worried about it. Even on the odd occasion the streets have not run where I wanted and I have ended up misplaced 😉


  6. Ah, you think too much. That’s what I’m told often (well, I was particularly growing up; I learned to keep the thoughts invisible until I began my blog – ha ha). I really enjoyed reading your directional thoughts. I have always been “directionally challenged,” as my mom is, and my adult daughter is also. We think it’s genetic. We get lost one block from our homes – with map or GPS. But in truth, I feel very directionally comfortable in my head – where my thoughts bounce around like pinballs in a large metal tray. Once in a while, they are ‘caught’ in a small hole of acceptance…and then they hop out and bounce some more.


  7. That’s a lot to ingest before the 2nd cup of coffee, Sue. I love to wander the roads without a map, it does seem like I’m driven by some sense of cosmic memory, random purpose. I love this post. But I wonder what you had to eat before you went to bed ???


  8. Somehow, I always find my way to where ever I’m supposed to be. Though, every now and then, I ask for help. Of course, less these days with GPS. Although–I did once have it tell me to drive past my destination and say that I’d arrived at an intersection where one of the roads ended. Lol.


  9. Noah Weiss says:

    I have a pretty good sense of direction, and I loved this post with some of the mathematical descriptors of dimensions.

    The international date line is fascinating to me as a “Branch Cut” which is a tricky concept from complex analysis.


  10. interesting mental gymnastics there Sue :0)


  11. I certainly have no sense of direction although i am actually getting better! In my job,driving around looking for houses can drive me mad, but I don’t use SatNav as often as I used to! I can actually map read, but not in my head like you do!


  12. willowdot21 says:

    Too deep for me Sue, 😱💜


  13. Pingback: Writing Links 4/3/17 – Where Genres Collide

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