The saga continues. I said before that "Maybe it is time to read something about meditation before my next attempt." So I did. I looked up "meditation" on Wikipedia. In the section "Meditation, religion, and drugs" I saw a reference to The Master Game, by Robert S de Ropp : "the 'door to full consciousness' can be glimpsed with the aid of substances, but to 'pass beyond the door' requires yoga and meditation." I then tried to find The Master Game online, which I did here: http://selfdefinition.org/psychology/Robert-S-De-Ropp-The-Master-Game.pdf. I read maybe a third of it, skimming a bit.. I stopped at the section talking about "The Silent World", where it seems to talk about some early stage goals of meditation, where one main goal is stopping thoughts.
Now, I had said before that my impression of meditation was to "clear the mind", and I had been heading in that direction, but upon reflection, I think my issue was that I didn't understand why I would want to clear my mind. It seemed like the greatest hope of this would be to essentially relax, and I guess I'm just not that interested in relaxing in a really hard and boring way.
But, the author of The Master Game seems to suggest that a higher state of consciousness lies beyond the normal thoughts that occupy our minds on a day to day basis. That is to say, the point of meditation is not to clear the mind, but rather, clearing the mind is a tool for arriving at a higher state of consciousness, and that does seem more interesting.
So this time I meditated for 10 minutes. I upped the time because I felt I could go longer, now that I had a good reason to quite my mind. I remember at first being concerned about the loudness of a fan that was on, and I almost decided to turn it off, but then thought "I feel like I should be able to stop attending to the fan as I stop attending to other thoughts." And I did, I had forgotten about the fan by the end.
I feel like the experience is going to have fewer and fewer things to say as I continue. First, because thinking of things to say goes contrary to "quieting the mind". And second, because I've been led to believe that a higher state of consciousness is indescribable. Though, I'm never convinced of statements like that. I think the true nature of an experience is indescribable, but I think it's always possible to say something about it. After all, The Master Game itself is a description of such things. So, we'll see.
..after writing all that, I meditated again for 10 minutes. I read it is good to do this often. It is difficult to really truly let go of my thoughts. I feel like I need to really not be attached to the cares of the world, and I feel like one challenge I need to overcome is getting sidetracked by ideas and insights that come to mind while meditating. I feel like they are really just a tool my brain uses to trick me into caring about stuff again. I guess I have a deep-seeded hope that eventually, following this path will shed some insight that I can explain and that will be valuable to "conventional reality", but I'm not sure.
I'm not sure that the higher state of consciousness accessible through meditation has very much to do with humanness. I feel like consciousness itself transcends humans. I feel like humans are a fluke, if you will. Humans are the size and shape of organisms that happened to evolve here on Earth, at this time, which is a very small place and time in this universe. Humans happen to be conscious, but I feel like consciousness itself is more fundamental and interesting in its own right, separate from humanness.