The ego, which is really nothing more than a pattern, a dramedy of illusions, is an error-finding mechanism. That’s it. That’s the whole ballgame. Seeing right isn’t given to the dummy, so seeing wrong, or not at all, is all that’s available.
Seeing error everywhere is the survival strategy, the one-direction, of the oblivious false self. The sound of silence cannot be heard in a head full of complaint.
This seemingly entrenched tendency could be utilized in the way of lucid dreaming. A recommended trick to become lucid in a dream is notice the errors. A light switch doesn’t work, a hallway that leads to nowhere—something isn’t quite right. What doesn’t look right is the prompt to wake up, and become lucid.
I had a dream the other night that students were dressed in rabbit suits and lobbing snowballs at each other across a walkway on campus. I knew something was funny, and creepy, about the situation, but sadly, did not wake up. I did think, “…this looks like a trap,” and wisely took another route, and so escaped without harm.
So yes, there is something wrong. It’s only natural a contrived character would suspect as much. But it isn’t the rabbit-suited students, or the snowballs in July. It isn’t “others” or the scary circumstances. I wasn’t on any campus.
What is outside cannot be known, only projected and interpreted. “Be still and know that I am,” is a pointer to what is behind consciousness, the experiencing capacity. Experience is the dream; the dream is experiencing. Identity erroneously comes from experiencing perceptually from the POV of a seer, experiencer. Behind experience is the true identity.
There is an underestimated reason why meditation is helpful. It is a break from perception, from engagement with the world as subject/object. Perception, as it stands, cannot be anything but a separative perspective. In one sense, it is the basis of experience. Which is I guess, why we’re here, why we’re dreaming. On the other hand, it divides what is seen from the seer, necessarily. And therein lies the “problem.”
This is all rather dry and in some ways, the scientific rendition in that it is an attempt to explain, which is useless if not lived. You learn about gravity by learning to walk, not be having it explained or understanding the concept.
What is lived, emerges in childhood, is a sense of guilt, a loss of innocence. Because we are pretending to have separated from our source, and somehow become split off, individuated, and autonomous, like Pinocchio going off on his adventures. But there is a conviction, a knowing deep down, that we have fallen from grace. Yet it’s impossible.
Coming out of innocence, as a child begins the conditioning of separation, we start to think we are inherently bad. I am a bad girl, or a bad boy, is what is internalized. Not intentionally or maliciously, but in the inevitable sense of pretending to be something we are not. We didn’t really pull this separation thing off; we are only pretending. But the pretense has become so real that we are frightened, and feel guilty.
This is not what a child does, it is what Mind does. It goes out to explore and become and experience. That’s all there is. All mind; only mind. Yet somehow it gets lost in this adventure and believes it is truly here as this character, surrounded by other nefarious characters.
“There is something wrong; I need to do something,” is the alert that drives everything we do, in the dream. And it is true in that there definitely is something wrong. I am not this, and not here. I’m only sleeping. The only thing that needs to be done is to see this, and stop pretending, become unmesmerized by the dream. So this feeling of wrongness, of sin, and the hope for redemption looks like crazy cartoon characters, continuously and repetitively, trying to get something, to achieve something, to prove something, in the dream. But like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, it is all in vain. And no one ever really gets hurt, or dies.
If you’d quit trying to fix yourself for one minute, you’d see this as false programming for a false sense of identity. The wrongness is not in you. It is in the game of pretending to be something you are not. Pinnochio is not a real boy, independent of his father’s carving a puppet from a lump of pine. The Coyote does not really want or need, or ever capture, the illusive Road Runner. It is all a fiction that can look pretty crazy and make you laugh when truly seen.
You are neither the Boss of Everything, or the Hapless victim. The world is not as it appears. Nor are you. Wake up!
When I wake up early in the morning Lift my head, I’m still yawning When I’m in the middle of a dream Stay in bed, float up stream (float up stream)
Please, don’t wake me, no, don’t shake me Leave me where I am, I’m only sleeping
Everybody seems to think I’m lazy I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy Running everywhere at such a speed ‘Til they find there’s no need (there’s no need)
Please, don’t spoil my day, I’m miles away And after all I’m only sleeping
Keeping an eye on the world going by my window Taking my time
Lying there and staring at the ceiling Waiting for a sleepy feeling
Please, don’t spoil my day, I’m miles away And after all I’m only sleeping
The One Thing, the Life Force, is always acting as if it is one thing or another. You can hear it in the voice of an imperious pretense. Perhaps it seems like your own voice, or another’s. But there is only one voice, one sound. Not this person or that, but this aliveness pretending, in high drama, to be this or that interacting with its apparent counterpart as this or that.
And what is, this infinite One expression expressing, can never do anything but, because it is not real. Like Pinocchio, it is coming to life. Character and drama is Its only possible manifestation.
To act is to draw out or forth, to stir up,” It is all a movement and a rest. The variety show that passes for a life lived. No giving or receiving, only the appearance of hands reaching, but never joining. Only merging, never separate. Appearing on the screen, for an instant. Nothing appearing as something(s).
Thought persists, but does our belief in it, and identification with it, have to continue as a persistent way of living, albeit incoherently? Is there a gap in which to look and see–does thought really tells us the way life is and who we are? Or is it the very thing that creates what life appears to be, and all the changing ideas we have of ourselves?
Inspired by the book, Thought as a System, by David Bohm, I’m proposing opportunities to look as a group at the mechanics of thought, how it both plays tricks and doles out treats—moment by moment.
Thought/mind is a system. It has its fixations, reflexes, coherence and incoherence. It is in cahoots with the body, also part of the reflexive system, that appears to make thoughts evidence of truth, of identity–this opinion is true; it is mine; it is who I am. I know because I feel it.
Thinking in and of itself is not the problem. It’s useful, necessary, and highly creative. But incoherent thinking can be observed, and perhaps in that seeing, become coherent, servant rather than master.
I’m starting a series of group dialogues on the incoherent tendencies of thought and how that incoherence manifests as feelingas if what thought says were true, and seemingly coherent. It can mean the difference between being at war or in peace with ourselves and the world, which are one and the same–in thought.
Attention to thought is not exclusive to nonduality. Where is Buddhism, Christianity, Advaita, Zen, but in the objectifying, the structural nature of thought? Incoherent thinking impacts everything from politics, the environment, world hunger, family, relationship, and my/your life as it is lived day to day.
Perhaps we won’t have so many “problems” to solve, if we are able to watch how the problem is created. This ongoing dialogue could be thought of as a kind of “thinking school,” where the separative, divisive, personalized tendency of thought is seen for what it is, in the crucible of the group, from the premise of inseparability. One mind, not my mind and his/her mind.
There will be three 1 1/2 hr dialogues per week, to accommodate time differences. They will be held on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, and Thursdays at 1:00 pm, and Saturdays at 9:30—all MDT, beginning January 6th, 2015. The idea is to look at this on a weekly basis until Toto pulls the curtain aside and there is less smoke and mirrors and more-kindly-old-man-from-Kansas running the show. The kingdom of Oz is not———what we think it is.
Having decided that looking at incoherent thought is absolutely separate from and more important than the money charged or the money to be made, I am changing the price structure, literally reducing the cost by over 50%. Because I do have to show up, keep track of who is coming, send out invites, answer questions, update the website with developments, and other administrative costs, the price has been reduced to $40 per month, for 1 call a week, which will add up to 4 calls per month, 6 hours of dialogue time. depending upon the month. These dialogues will be ongoing, for as long as interest (and/or the tendency towards incoherent thinking) continues.
I’m dreaming this dream within a dream, where I’m seemingly lucid within the dream, and scurrying around between life-like characters, shouting, “Wait, stop! Look! Wake up!” Many of them are moaning, from emotional and physical pain, as if there were a war at the beginning of the dream, and this is the fallout. Some of them, however, are happily riding bikes, making bank deposits, reciting poetry, and so on. Apparently, they were not in the beginning of the dream, so they’re oblivious to the mayhem.
Good thing. I leave them to their bikes, banks, and poems. This is triage after all. Finally, out of a feeling a bit like sheer exhaustion, I guess (all tired out, in a dream!), I see that even screaming “Wake up!” is a bit silly. The dream goes on, in spite of my exhaustion.
Like zombie lore, perhaps I figured that to see one is to know one, that this is how zombies gather together–safety in numbers, secret handshake, and all that. And we’re all zombies here! But very few are actually paying any attention to me. (I do get the occasional wink and knowing smile, but these characters just appear, more like the face of the Cheshire Cat, and disappear as soon as they are noticed.) The moaning and the poetry readings go on at the same time, in the same place. Oh, my gosh. What a beautiful, full, rich dream this is! Colorful, loud, dramatic–with a kind of neorealism feel to it, like The Bicycle Thief. Not in black and white, though. Not this one.
And for a moment, in this dream, there is the thought, “Just be sarcastic, that’ll do the trick. Sarcasm does wonders when it comes to snapping people out of a somnambulist reverie, right?” And so sarcastic comments flash through the mind, as I walk and look upon the wounded and the oblivious. But I haven’t the heart, or the stomach. Or, the mouth opens, but nothing comes out. It’s like that, sometimes, in dreams. And, these images are starting to fade around the edges anyway, and morph into something unrecognizable. I can’t even see my own body, come to realize, and don’t know who or where I am, just the viewer of this dream, apparently. Is that moaning coming from me? Or, do I love poetry, too? I watch the disappearing and the morphing (or, it is observed), and seem to have lost my objective here, all that shouting and screaming. So what’s the point, I think, sarcastically?!
Oh, to wake up. It’s a dream, silly. That’s all that I can recall, for the moment…
Wait! I find myself looking out a window that opens out into a miniature garden, telling this dream to what appears to be a very attentive, very red cardinal, resting patiently on a budding branch. Like he’s really listening.
Oh, crap! Dreaming again! Like Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner, the game never stops.