Existentialism observes that man is condemned to live, and in order to live one must also expect to die.3 You did not choose to live, but you also cannot choose not to die.4 There is no formula for being alive, there are just facts: if you are, then one day you will not be. The difference between man and thing is that man is able to bestow life (“A planet; we’ll call it Pluto”) and then change his mind with a sterile and bloodless social death, ending the thing’s validity while sweeping it under the rug in one fell swoop (“Nevermind, carry on”). But it is precisely this removal from any risk of variation, which is necessitated by ongoingness and perpetuated by simply being alive, that preserves what was once some thing by protecting it from becoming no thing. You are what you are, until you are no longer. Then you become a fact of history, not science. But as we have seen, the fact of one thing’s ontology is not always so truthful; so a fact is until it is proven as other, which can include not being.
You might think of wake centrism as a pre-Copernican-like worldview that presumes waking to be the centre of the universe of consciousness, while relegating sleeping and dreaming to secondary, subservient positions. It is a matrix, a cultural simulation evolved to support adaptation, yet it inadvertently limits our awareness. Wake centrism is a subtle, consensual, sticky and addictive over-reliance on ordinary ways of perceiving that interfere with our direct personal experience of dreaming. To paraphrase the 16th-century British clergyman Robert Bolton, it is not merely an idea the mind possesses, but an idea that possesses the mind.
To return to the body is also to come back to earth, understood not as a land, but as an event that, in the end, fundamentally defies the boundaries of states.