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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Forget about your dreams. Wake up instead!

It seems this blog has become something of a monthly occurrence now. There was a time when I wrote almost every other day. I have been busy trying to finish up other things however, and I suppose that now I actually know people read this, I've lost my spontaneity a bit. Blog fright! But here are some words I scribbled down the other day, based on one of those 'flash insights'. I thought I might as well share.


There’s a lot of talk in our culture about the importance of our ‘dreams’...we've got to follow our dreams, make our dreams come true, live the dream, never give up on our dream. You know you the drill!


But here’s what I suddenly realised. All this talk of dreams is really the last thing we need. We don’t need dreams. Life is already a dream! What good is it dreaming within a dream? Certainly, the dreams can be sweet, but they rarely stay that way for long, because that’s simply not the way dreams work. Sooner or later elements of discord and discomfort creep in and before we know it our dreams become nightmares. So, why not forget our dreams? What we need more than anything else is to wake up.


We don’t need to manipulate the circumstances of our lives in order to be fulfilled and at peace. Because, like I said, dreams have a habit of perpetually changing and shifting. You can be lying on the beach on a tropical island one moment and then the next moment you’re being held at gunpoint by Ronald McDonald. (Dreams are bizarre, as well!)


Perhaps it’s better that we simply wake up and see life for what it is, and indeed, more fundamentally, see ourselves for what we are. I recall the inspired words of Carl Jung when he said that “who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.”


The notion that we have to chase and fulfil our dreams seems to have taken root at the heart of western spirituality and these dreams usually come down to at least some element of avarice. Perhaps in order to thrive in our western world, spirituality involuntarily assimilated some of the principles of capitalism? Such ‘dreams’ tend to be unconsciously founded on the notion that what’s out there is really ‘real’ and that in order to be happy we have to mould and manipulate it into a favourable configuration. I’m not saying that we can’t do things and have goals, but simply that they be seen for what they are, which is ultimately quite insignificant, no matter how grand and lofty our ambitions. Do stuff (by the very nature of the world we live in, we have to do stuff), but remember that it’s all just maya you’re playing with, dream-stuff, a play within a play, mere movements in consciousness.


The ultimate goal is not to fulfil our dreams, but to wake up from every last one of them. To see reality for what it is, to know ourselves as what we are, to dis-identify from the dream forms we’ve projected ourselves into and know ourselves as the dreamer, the dreamed and the dream. The deeper we go into the dream, the more we tend to lose ourselves in it, but if we take a step back, withdraw at least some of our attention from the objects of the dream and use it to go within and inquire (who...what...am I REALLY?), then the awakening process begins. We become openings for turiya, a new form of consciousness still rare in this world, the stateless state of lucid wakefulness.


This wakefulness is worth more than all the gold in all the dreams in all the dreamt-of worlds. The person living in a slum in India who has awoken from the spell of our great collective dreaming, is infinitely richer than all the Wall Street brokers put together and multiplied by a thousand. The riches of the dream-world never last, but the emergence of lucid wakefulness is a jewel that will surely last beyond eternity.

8 comments:

The Crow said...

Your "lucid wakefulness" may be of immeasurable value to you, but to one who can not conceive of it, it is of no value at all.
Interesting post.
Is it necessary, do you think, to compare what has value to some, to what has value to others?
Not many people have the ability to see more than one side of a situation. Let alone a concept.

Dreamers dream: it is what they do.
There are no words that will change this.
Hoping for such a change is only another dream.

Rory said...

Interesting comments and good points. More ideas for future topics perhaps.

Of course, such talk of wakefulness will mean nothing to the majority of people and that's fine. I think it's only when the dream has become repeatedly sour that we have the necessity and need to wake up. Perhaps the suffering ripens us to awaken? And Buddha termed awakening so simply and perfectly as being 'the end of suffering'. That is understandable, relatively free of concepts and if not entirely conceivable, then surely at least valuable to most.

Dreamers dream. Until they stop dreaming. If indeed they do stop dreaming. And that, I guess is the way of it. My interest is in what compels us to wake up and whether or not this is an eventual inevitability? When we wake up, are we simply having another dream within the dream (thinking of the film Inception, which I really enjoyed)

Sometimes I hesitate to post what I write, because no matter what I write, I can never encapsulate the complete truth, and 10 minutes after I've written it I often see a counter-argument that's just as valid. I could almost have debates with myself. At times I wonder if there's any point in formulating any of these words at all and if I wouldn't be better off keeping quiet. And yet the words come. So what the heck.

The Crow said...

Hehe there you go again :)
We have things in common.
What you say is often what I think, say, write, ponder...

The ego is a multi-layered thing, expert in being unable to see itself.
Nothing I realize is of any use to anyone else, no matter how huge a revelation it is to me.
I am my own work of art, or my own rubbish-pile.
We would like everyone to know what we know, wouldn't we?
But that's the biggest dream of all, and the most unlikely.

Was there a "big moment" for you?
When you saw clearly, for the first time?
Has enough time passed that you can describe it well?
I still realize things about mine, that took years to crystallize.
No doubt, the process is forever ongoing.

You write well, and too much, yet somehow never enough to satisfy my appetite :)
And that's the irony:
No words can do justice to the subject, but maybe, maybe, maybe the next post will say it, just right.

The Crow said...

Writing is good for you :)
You write exceptionally well.
Any value it may have, for others, is a side benefit of the value it has, for you.

Ready for winter?

Aries said...

I always think of dream as a transient product of our consciousness. It is always a commentary of our understanding of the world around us (and perhaps ourselves).

Rory said...

Thanks Mr Crow :) I totally get what you're saying and agree. And yeah, I do sometimes write way too much, I realise that as I'm editing my second novel - I rarely seem to use one word when I can use twenty ;) I am writing this for me, it's no longer really necessary that it help other people, because that's their universe and really up to them. Sometimes our bubble-universes collide and we share understandings and insights and sometimes the bubbles never come close (and sometimes they just pop! Ouch!)

I'm not sure if I had a 'big moment'. I filled myself up with spiritual knowledge and information and practises for years and it wasn't until I started to let go of everything I thought I knew and had learned (a painful process actually, because I never knew how tightly I'd been holding onto concepts) that things just became clearer, simpler and more at peace and the need to seek ended. It comes and goes, the force of conditioning, habit and ego-gravity still exerts a pull, much like the tide is pulled up and down. But that's fine too. Writing helps bring clarity, so it's all good, even when I find I've been writing crap, which is fine too :)

Definitely not a winter person, dark nights and cold do not go down so well with this sun-lover! :P

Aries, nice to see you still popping by! I agree definitely, the dream is like a movement in consciousness. It seems that the content of the dream comes and goes, ephemeral-like in nature, but the one constant is the consciousness in which it arises, whether it's a lucid consciousness or one that is totally immersed in the dream. That's how I kind of see it anyway.

GaySocrates said...

Hey Rory
I really enjoyed your post. As one who can very partially conceive of the process you are describing, it is of immeasurable value to find myself resonating with your thoughts and ideas.
There is something of the bodhisattva nature about your writing.
Yes- to those who cannot conceive of it at all-it is of no value at all!
But you have a great gift for lucidly expositing!
It is very kind of you to make the effort to put into words what most either shy away from or believe to be pointless.
:-)
Thank you.
Please don't stop.
Love
GS

Rory said...

Thanks GS, appreciate your comments! If I feel like saying something I'll say it, whether it ends up making sense or not. That's part of the fun :) Thanks for reading!