Sunday, November 7, 2010

what dreams (and life) are made of

I recall my dreams easily and often; hardly ever do I have dreams that are negative, so when I do it's intriguing. I woke up from a very vivid, unpleasant dream this morning, in which I was being accused of something that I knew I was innocent of. It was a case of mistaken identity but I wasn't able to convince anyone. Everyone thought they knew who I was and what I had done, and I was terrified that because of it, I was going to be captured and killed, so I went on the run. I woke up in the middle of the dream, so I saw no conclusion - but I thought the symbolism striking!

After waking up, I found myself in bed safe and sound - where just moments before I had been terrified and running for my life. In a few passing moments, all of that running and fear, all of those accusers, all of the places I had hid, and the world and circumstances I'd been entrenched in, disappeared. I was still; I was aware; I was fine. I was aware of the dream, but where was it? Nowhere to be held or touched. And while it doesn't completely, or accurately, describe Reality, I think Awakening or Enlightenment is quite similar to the waking up from a dream - which is why it's called an "awakening" in the first place.

We're able to "wake up" to the Truth of things. We wake up from who we think we are and abide as Who We Really Are. In the moment that the "I" wakes up to the Now-moment and truly inhabits it, dream-like images of past and future are no longer followed or worshiped. Stories of what was and of our identities - in terms of past actions, accomplishments, and memories or potential goals and dreams - are seen to be ghost-like "things" that are not now being. Only the I is Being. Only Awareness is awake. Only Presence is here and now. Not our personalities. Not our stories of past and future. When we wake up from the dream of being a separate self, we come to know our true Self - the pure, unspeakable, I AM awareness.

But sometimes, just as we do in the dream world, we get swept away by the seeming contents of life; we get caught up in the seeming "real world." People believe us to be our names and actions - and quite often we do too; we habitually rely on our memories and mental processes to tell us who we are - but when we wake up, we see that it's just been a case of mistaken identity. We see that the story of our so-called lives had mistakenly been bought in to, which resulted in our seeming separate egos.

All the while, Who We Really Are is present NOW. Asleep or awake, thinking thoughts or seeing images, lost in the drama of a dream or a physical life - midst all of it, the I AM is present. Consciousness itself is Who We Are, and who we are is what "all else" is "made of."

There is naught but "Us."
The I AM.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Once again, so uplifting, so beautifully written. I love the metaphor with the real Life, as it were, on waking from the Dream - a complete Truth in its own terms.

    I wonder too if your dream may also carry a practical "this-world" message for the "Vagabond", as you call yourself?!

    The dream seems to be identifying a Jeff who feels he must, in some symbolic sense, be "on the run". In the dream you feel you must do this to protect your identity which is being framed, through a "mistken identity" situation.

    The Jeff that seems threatened is, in my view, an authentic You, a Self as valid in its own terms and for the purposes of the Soul, as is the Soul who sent it forth into Time and Space.

    In the dream, this Self - this Earth Jeff - sees the world in threatening terms, with people determined to use his "identity" - the world's mistaken version - against him. But are these hostile other characters in the dream also really parts of you? Have you fully sorted out some internal issues of self-acceptance...

    On awakening, the solution seemed to lie in rejecting the whole identity issue in favour of what seems like a spiritual solution - but is there a little escapism there? Is there not spirituality, perhaps, in psychological truth?

    In embracing so exclusively the Now and the Soul, it seems to me that you may be prematurely abandoning ship - the Self - the Jeff with the "identity problem" in the dream. Would it be better to embrace, and defend the Jeff identity, as a sacred, "given" You who has a unique role to play in the life of the Soul?

    Perhaps through accepting the threatened identity of your worldly Self and fully expressing it - making a heroic stand even - your Soul will more freely expand.

    Some November thoughts!

    Carol

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  2. Hi Carol, what a great comment!

    I think you are so right on. There is definitely a "this world" message for the "earth Jeff identity." I frequently remember my dreams and am able to decipher what their contents reveal about my waking self. And I think its amazing what all can be woven in to the dreamscape.

    Escapism was not my intention by writing about the spiritual component - because like you suggested, I think the spiritual truths and psychological truths are inextricably linked; they operate together - I just found that idea of waking up to enlightenment compared with waking up from the dream state particularly interesting!

    As far as the "earth Jeff" - yes, there is definitely some psychological discord that I've avoided! But that's the work that I'm up to: the self-acceptance. And I'm making my way. I couldn't agree with you more: that self-acceptance and expression is definitely where the Soul's freedom is to be found.

    What a treasure - thank you so much for your thoughts! Please leave them anytime!

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  3. It is really remarkable how advanced you are in spiritual work (not that I am any "judge" but more a cheering spectator!) I can only think you have taken on a tough "earthly problem" as your Teachers ("your people", as I always call folks' guides!) have suggested you tackle something worthy of your skills...Like moving to the 1500-piece puzzle.

    It is so important to relax and realize there is no timer going to go off. We are always given the measure of Time to do what we come to do. Who knows, it may take the whole of your life to sort out the various Jeff components of identity, and to enjoy the process too...such a deep project will have, I think, a ripple effect of major proportions through all your Earth selves. This may well be one of the rare Turning-Point lifetimes...

    Yes, it is quite clear from your post - the joy from the "waking from the Dream" metaphor - I found it so striking and so very "portable" as an instant way to center and ground the self, so have quietly borrowed that...

    Keep sharing, we need to hear from you!
    Carol

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  4. What a great reminder - that there isn't a timer that will be going off. I think we'd all be wise just to relax and do the best we can. What you said about it taking the whole of my life to sort it all out - I think you're right. It reminds me of a Richard Bach quote I once read: "Here is the test to find whether or not your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't." It's all divinely timed. I love knowing that! Thanks, Carol!

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  5. Dang! Carol Rice is always so insightful. She takes my breath away.

    I really like how you connect waking from a dream and realizing it was just that, a dream, despite any powerful emotions it conjured, to every day life, and how we can do that here too.

    Whatever your dream ultimately meant, whether you discern that consciously or not, it will
    This post so struck me on a personal level that I wanted to let it incubate before I responded. I grew up with three undiagnosed learning disabilities. That really pummeled self-confidence in intelligence in perceptions of what I am capable of. Even though I am aware I am no longer 10 and struggling in those ways and hold different thoughts about my abilities now it isn't always so easy. But, at the end of the day, in some ways, it really can be that simply - just choosing to have a different thought about it all.

    Thank you so much Jeff. I have only been reading you about two months but you always raise questions that end up being springboards for my own growth process. Life is full of delightful surprises around every corner if we but see.

    Whatever your dream ultimately meant, whether you come to understand it consciously or not, it will work on you in powerfully ways, like dreams always do.

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  6. AMR, I am so happy to know that the things I'm drawn to ponder would mean something to you too. I love when this happens! When people's paths coincide and encourage or expand another's. It makes us all partners or teammates in a way, doesn't it?

    And yes, Carol is terrific!

    Here's to each of our delightful surprises!

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