One way to tell that the symbol and referent are two different
objects, is if the symbol has qualities that the referent doesn't have.

     For example you are in a car on a road at an intersection, looking
at a map of the area.  You see the intersection on the map labeled with
the names of the roads, and you know where you are.

     In this case the map is the symbol and the actual roadways are the

     The symbolic map is made of paper with color and ink denoting the
roadways, the referent roads themselves are made of tar and asphalt.
Clearly in this case no one could ever mistake the map for the
territory, or the symbol for the referent.

     However let's take a subtler example.

     Find yourself a small coffee table and a red plastic ball like the
ones kids like to play with in pools.

     First check the ball out all over, push it, poke it, bite into it,
blecch, yep made of plastic all right, then put the ball on the table
and sit down facing it.

     Now the first thing one might think is that one is looking at a red
plastic ball.  But that's a confusion between symbol and referent.  The
two have been smushed together into one object.

     So let's notice something.

     If you close your eyes, the red ball disappears from your field
of view, but the plastic ball is still out there on the table right?

     "If A and B are objects, and A changes and B doesn't, then A is
not B, i.e.  A and B are two *DIFFERENT* objects."

     So immediately we can conclude that the 'red ball' and the
'plastic ball' are two different objects.

     The 'red ball' that we see is a conscious color form projected in our 
consciousness.  It is much like the picture of the Empire State Building 
projected on the plasma display of the cockpit.  The "plastic ball" that 
remains even after the 'red ball' is gone, is a whole nother object out 
there on the table which exists whether we see it or not.

     So its pretty clear here that the 'red ball' which we see in our 
consciousness when our eyes are open is its own object that is different 
from the 'plastic ball' out on the table, which exists whether we see it 
or not.

     TWO different objects, both actual.

     The red ball is in fact being used as a symbol for the plastic ball 
on the table.  We can change the symbol, make it come and go, by opening 
and closing our eyes, or looking away, but the plastic ball remains 
unchanged.  Thus the symbol and the referent are not the same object.  We 
have two different objects, one used to represent the other.

     Notice also that the red ball is RED.  Now we tend to associate 
redness in consciousness with a certain frequency of light, but clearly 
there is nothing about light that is 'red'.

     Redness in consciousness is a symbol for the external referent of 
light of a particular frequency.

     Light has qualities such as energy, speed, direction, amplitude and 
frequency, which do not apply to conscious color forms.

     Conscious color forms have qualities like redness and an implied 
viewpoint which do not apply to light.  An implied viewpoint means the 
symbol includes in it where it is being viewed from.

     So we have two different objects, red color form, and light, which 
have very different qualities from each other, almost none of which 
overlap except that they both exist, yet one can be used very effectively 
as a symbol for the other with little confusion.

     So from this we can conclude that symbols don't have to be all that 
similar in nature to what they symbolize in order to be useful as symbols.  
Words are a perfect example, the word 'ball' is VERY different than a 
ball, yet we do just fine using one to symbolize the other.

     Another thing we need to notice is that the symbols we use to refer 
to referents can pretty well be chosen arbitrarily.  For example the word 
'blog' could just as easily be used to refer to ball, as long as we all 
agree to the relationship.  Since its an arbitrary assignment between 
symbol and referent, its just a matter of agreement between people to use 
symbols and referents the way they do.

     As another example of this, there is clearly nothing RED about light 
of any frequency.  Thus we could just as easily see green or blue where we 
now see red, and we would never know the difference.

     In fact what I see when looking at the ball may be what you would 
call green and what you see may be what I would call blue, but we both 
call it red by agreement.

     As long as we see the same color in ourselves when we see the same 
frequency, and as long as we both call it the same word when we talk to 
each other about it, it doesn't matter if you or I see the same color when 
looking at the same frequency!

     There is no way to know if someone else sees the same color that we 
do, because no one can see into anyone else's consciousness than their 

     OK, so now let's do this same experiment in a sleep dream.

     We are sound asleep and lo and behold we find a red plastic ball on 
the floor next to a small coffee table.

     Again we pick it up, push it, poke it, bite it, blecch sure tastes 
like plastic to me, and put it on the table.

     Then we sit down and we look at it.

     Now having done this experiment while wake, we study the red ball on 
the table for any differences between what we see now and what we saw when 
we were awake.

     And there are none.  Looks just like the other red ball down to the 
last detail.

     But what of the plastic ball?

     In the waking state we say there is a red ball acting as a symbol for 
a plastic ball acting as the referent.

     But in the dream, is there a plastic ball?

     No of course not, if there were, when we woke up, the plastic ball 
would go poof and that would violate the laws of conservation of energy 
and momentum.

     You see red conscious color forms can come and go at the will of the 
conscious unit, but plastic can't.

     Besides there is no plastic in sleep dreams, because there is no 
ANYTHING in sleep dreams except the symbols in conscious color form 
pretending that there is.

     The symbols are actual in the dream, but the implied referents 
aren't.  They just aren't there in the dream.  In the dream the plasma 
display shows the city in complete detail, but there is no city down 

     So the non lucid dreamer doesn't realize he is dreaming and he 
worries about the plastic ball implied by the red ball in his conscious 

     The lucid dreamer, realizes that the red ball in his conscious 
picture is all there is, and there is no plastic ball at all in the dream.

     The lucid dreamer realizes that the symbols in his conscious pictures 
are more important than the implied referents because the implied 
referents don't exist at all!  They never did.

     Notice this has nothing to do with other dreamers being in the dream 
with him.  Any number of conscious dream units can get together and share 
a co dream, a shared virtualization, a panoply of symbols with non 
existent referents.

     For these co dreamers the symbol IS the referent, the symbol is used 
to symbolize itself!  The symbol is what is important.

     The map hasn't become confused with the territory, the map IS the 
territory for real as there IS no other territory!

     Now some non lucid dreamer still fixated on non existent referents 
like the plastic ball, could come along in the dream and say "Well what 
difference does it make whether this is a dream or not, I still have to go 
to school, eat, sleep, fight war, die etc."


     Well he thinks he has to do all these things because he still 
believes in the referents that don't exist.  The kind of referents he is 
worried about are external physical universe objects that he didn't ask 
for, didn't make, can't get rid of, and certainly can't control.

     They in fact control him, in fact he is MADE OF THEM, if he thinks he 
is a body!

     Talk about inverted.  The conscious unit that perceives the conscious 
symbol thinks it is made of the referent!  That's like the pilot looking 
at the plasma display and thinking HE IS THE CITY!

     So you try to wake him up a bit, you don't want him to leave the 
dream, but you do want him to know it IS a dream, namely a world of 
symbols with non existing referents.

     Then he can stop worrying about all those dangerous referents and 
perhaps try his hand at casting some symbols around by force of will 
alone, rearrange the dream to suit his needs, instead of it rearranging 

     Pretty soon illegally pretty girls are popping out of the walls and 
falling all over him, each vying for his attention, "touch me!  touch me!"

     You see, the world is a better place for being lucid.

     So this material is important, as the 'waking' state is a dream 
state also.


Homer Wilson Smith     The Paths of Lovers    Art Matrix - Lightlink
(607) 277-0959 KC2ITF        Cross            Internet Access, Ithaca NY    In the Line of Duty