26 January 2007

Doing rubbish research

(copy of a letter)

I have to be awfully careful, when I am talking to you, not to appear to support your (i.e. everybody’s) underlying misinterpretations of my position.

Well now, when I said that the recognition of my priority in the field of lucid dream research had never done me any good, you suggested that I might have been invited to work with one of these nitwits with academic status and salary, and I pointed out that it would have been a complete waste of time and what was needed was research on a large scale carried out under my direction. That, perhaps, sounded dangerously close to the idea that I preferred to do something outside of a university career that was interesting and of real progressive value.

Now actually there has never been any question of my being able to do anything for such purist reasons. Everything I did since being thrown out fifty years ago has been motivated only by my need for career progression, as rapid as possible, towards Professorial status and salary and towards the living conditions of a residential college (hotel environment). I was certainly prepared to do any rubbish research that was possible in my atrocious conditions if it was going to secure career progression towards restarting a liveable life.

If I had been offered a position doing rubbish research in a university within the constraints of some academic’s ideas I would have asked myself whether it would lead to career progression towards my goals. I would also have had to ask myself whether it would be possible for me to do what was proposed. Doing single-channel experimental work myself, without a research assistant, would be only marginally possible if I was doing it in the best residential college circumstances, although it could be imagined that I would accept an appointment to do such a thing if and only if it was a way of obtaining those circumstances. I had always accepted that some of my time in an academic career might have to go to waste on teaching etc. in order to secure the circumstances and status of an acceptable life.

In my present constricted circumstances, which are still far from providing me with an adequate institutional environment within which to do even the smallest amount of work in a satisfactory way, small scale experimental work has been, and still is, out of the question. That is why I have not done further work on lucid dreams, or on any of the other fields in which I attempted to establish that a field of possible research existed for which I might (should) be provided with the circumstances to enable me to develop it. (Whether as a Professor in a university, or working in my own academic institute to produce work which would eventually establish my claim to a Professorship.)

There is no possibility whatever of any work that I can do in my present constrained circumstances being of any interest to me, or of my being able to derive any sense of wellbeing from so constricted a life.