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.
By Priscilla Jane Thompson, from Gleanings of Quiet Hours, self published in 1907.
‘Tis a time for much rejoicing; Let each heart be lured away; Let each tongue, its thanks be voicing For Emancipation Day. Day of victory, day of glory, For thee, many a field was gory!
Many a time in days now ended, Hath our fathers’ courage failed, Patiently their tears they blended; Ne’er they to their, Maker, railed, Well we know their groans, He numbered, When dominions fell, asundered.
As of old the Red Sea parted, And oppressed passed safely through, Back from the North, the bold South, started, And a fissure wide she drew; Drew a cleft of Liberty, Through it, marched our people free.
And, in memory, ever grateful, Of the day they reached the shore, Meet we now, with hearts e’er faithful, Joyous that the storm is o’er. Storm of Torture! May grim Past, Hurl thee down his torrents fast.
Bring your harpers, bring your sages, Bid each one the story tell; Waft it on to future ages, Bid descendants learn it well. Kept it bright in minds now tender, Teach the young their thanks to render.
Come with hearts all firm united, In the union of a race; With your loyalty well plighted, Look your brother in the face, Stand by him, forsake him never, God is with us now, forever.
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
Having witnessed and experienced the brain fog that generally settles back in, both after nondual realization, and seemingly mind-blowing psychedelic trips, yours and mine, the question arises:
What is the nature of the elasticity of mind, the snap-back from the clarity and expansiveness of inseparability, to the inevitable sense of danger and imprisonment of the separate self?
It seems it’s not enough to see, for a shining, clear moment, to know the truth of the inseparability of existence, and the obvious lie of separation and the separate self story. Clarity becomes clouded and troubled, as if the fog of the everyday is real, and the clarity is the illusion. Why and/or how is that?
Mesmerization. The definition of mesmerize is to hypnotize. Hypno=sleep; tize=state. Or to enthrall–to hold in mental bondage. So, mental bondage, or asleep instead of awake. In the case of psychedelics, when the Default Mode Network (DMN) is inhibited, the result is often metanoia, or the “spiritual experience,” the dissolution of limits and boundaries. Having experienced this expansion, why contract back to the default mode of little me, little mind?
The easiest answer is to say, “It is what it is, man,” rather than to make personal, or conceptual, the quirk of mental tyranny. This was the thought that was behind the giving-up-on pointing to the silence behind the mind, rather than fighting the trend. This snap-back tendency seemed just the way of the mind and identity. Wouldn’t the human form that is clucking and pecking like a chicken have some awareness of the confusion of identity? Maybe the hypnotized subject doesn’t have the capacity to snap out of the trance?
The hypnotist creates the illusion of chickenhood in the same way that the mind, the voice to which we listen and unquestionably attend for further instructions, creates the illusion of a separate self trapped in a body, apart from other bodies and minds. Can the false voice be detected before the confusion of identity takes hold again?
The hypnotist/mental narrative simply begins to speak, and we drift off to sleep in a false identity/story. There is an ongoing, repetitive, sonorous, mesmerizing voice in our heads muttering all the time, telling us we are something we are not. If it were truly “my” or “your” voice and thoughts, wouldn’t we choose more liberating and sane thoughts, and less self-deprecating, limiting thoughts?
Why go on listening, believing, conforming to this false narrative, when a cursory investigation, even opening one eye to peek at the sourceof that voice reveals an unreliable narrator that has taken up residence in our heads, and wants to f**k with us where and as we live.
“We’ve traced the call…it’s coming from inside the house!” is the chilling line from the horror movie, When a Stranger Calls. This is the movie being lived…except that it is a masterwork of fiction. Be entertained, rather than enthralled. You can put down the phone and check to see what’s going on. The impugning voice can no longer hold you hostage–with a little bit of looking around, in the light of day.
After a lifetime of searching, and innocently bestowing this unmitigated outpouring of awkward love onto endless shiny reflections and faint echos–all chimerical illusions, it can finally be seen that there is no separate object of affection. Thus there is a returning. It is not a narcissistic return, not back to myself, but a death to that self, and in that demise, comes a recollection of one’s true nature. Home; the ground of being where we truly belong, where we reside and abide, where we rest.
Love is not something to find, but to remember. And it is Love Itself that recalls, that rouses Itself awake and shakes off the timeless dream of loss and longing. Behold the sun on the horizon, and be reminded that the night is not long, and there was only ever dreamtime.