Friday, March 27, 2009

We Are Dreaming we are Alive

There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time and I think it keys right into why we should be unfailingly positive in the face of these ‘interesting times’. This body that houses us here is a coffin and we are asleep inside of it. We wake up when we die and... I should add that some of us wake up inside this coffin before we die.

Because we have a body, we are dreaming. We are asleep and we are dreaming the dreams of flesh. A part of us knows that we are dreaming and in some cases it struggles to wake us up. Only death- of some kind- can awaken us. Once one is awakened that person begins to walk in an opposite direction to the world and attention is needed not to run into the sleepwalkers you are moving through.

The medium of understanding for the sleepwalkers are the senses. The senses are like five horses hitched to a chariot or carriage. We hold the reins in our hands but because we are dreaming we are not paying attention to where we are going and this is how our vehicle comes to go off the road so often and this is what causes nightmares. In life, which is not life, you probably call these nightmares something else because when you are dreaming, one thing is certain; no one will admit that they are dreaming. They insist they are wide awake.

Someone asked me about ‘the one mind’. This person had the idea that the one mind is insane because of the state of the world we live in. My first thought was that this person doesn’t understand the nature of the one mind. The one mind is like an ocean which is inhabited by billions of fish. We... via our assumption of a separated, personal mind swim around in this ocean with the idea that we are independent of it. However, if you pull any of us out of the water we will die. It is true that whole schools of fish can go insane. It is true that portions of the ocean can become polluted by the bad behavior of some of the fish or because of some accident which is usually the result of some ignorant action on the part of one or more of the fish. But;

Even if the whole ocean became polluted and all of the fish died, the ocean would still be there, hosting whatever life forms remained to live in the murk. We come and go in the one mind but the one mind remains. We come and go for the same reason we go to sleep and wake up again each morning. Because we imagine ourselves to be separated from the one, we also separate the world outside of us in a variety of ways and we measure its progression with something called ‘time’.

Let us think of ourselves as one of many types of light bulbs or light fixtures. There are a great many varieties. Let us think of electricity as the force of the one mind that lights us up and animates us. Electricity is a single force yet it has a wide span of applications. It can cool and heat. It can do all kinds of things. I understand that we have yet to develop the technology to be able to capture the force of a single lightning bolt. Perhaps I am wrong but... imagine how many lightning bolts there are. Consider that this electricity penetrates the furthest regions of this incomprehensibly vast universe, composes it and is also apart from it as well and you get some idea... maybe... of the power and presence of this one mind.

They say matter cannot be created or destroyed. You might consider, in this context, the difference between kinetic and potential energy and if you get the point you will see proof positive that we don’t actually die... we go somewhere else ...we turn into something else but... we don’t die. We just change. If you could change whenever needed in every circumstance required you would find, as the Bible says that, “some will not taste death.”

The problem with dreaming is that you are contained within the dream and so, everything outside of the dream seems to be a dream when, in some cases it is more real than anything the dream contains. It takes constant and persistent effort to wake up. It is the rare individual for whom this is the most compelling of needs. A master once gave an example to a student who asked him how much intensity one should put into striving for realization. The master said that he should submerge himself in water and hold his breath and that when he could not hold it any longer that this was the state he should be in regarding realization.

It has been said by many teachers in many times and places that the purpose of physical incarnation is spiritual progress. Although there are places where one can reincarnate outside of the physical, such as the Amitabha Buddha’s Western Pure Land, our spiritual progress takes place here because this is where the circuits get wired for the electricity to flow in the direction of intention. You don’t go anywhere that you are not already at and Heaven begins where your feet touch the ground. What you achieve here is where you are when you go.

You must accomplish it here. If you understood what was involved in dying and being born over and over, I assure you that you would have no other thoughts on your mind but self-realization. We are all of us, to different degrees, living in a hallucination. The power of Maya and the dream-web is very great; the greater the materialism of the age the greater the power.

Everything is actually backwards and upside down from the way we understand it. When a baby is born it sees things upside down and this is one of the difficulties it has to surmount in learning to walk. All of us learned to walk and it was a great accomplishment. We learned a language and all sorts of things more rapidly than we do now and this is something we should consider because we have lost something. This is another meaning that can be attributed to what Christ said about how we must become as a little child to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

In Heaven we are impersonal. There is no striving against each other there and that is what makes it Heaven... along with a few other benefits. Hell is the isolation of the self in a fire of unfulfilled desire. That lake of fire is a lake of desire and it is also the magnet that draws you once again into physical form.

There is nothing important here. Saving your life is not important. It doesn’t even belong to you and you can’t save it anyway. The person you are isn’t even real because of the identification with personality as the enduring entity. The personality is a stained glass window through which the light shines. It is the house and not the life within. Our concern for survival here is as ludicrous as our vanity in our relentlessly aging appearance. We see signs all the time that there is more to life than the pursuit of the senses and the appetite but we can’t seem to make the connection. It’s all coincidence but... coincidence is merely the moments when we are spotting the consistency in the marvelous tapestry of life.

Find some kind of practice and engage it. Let it be what you do when you are doing everything else. In some traditions they suggest offering everything you do to the divine. Others suggest operating as if you were the divine in everything you do. Some suggest practicing the presence of God and some suggest engaging in unceasing prayer. There’s a ‘real’ system for everyone and you won’t discover anything more important in this dreaming life than what that system will introduce you to. Remember what Paramahansa Yogananda said. “If you don’t look for God in the springtime of your life, he won’t be there in the winter.”

Visible sings: Almost A Capella by Les Visible♫ I Am Alive ♫
'I Am Alive' is track no. 8 of 12 on Visible's 2007 album 'Almost A Capella'
Lyrics (pops up)

Almost A Capella by Les Visible


c.j said...

Thank you again Sir the beauty of the Divine is like a consuming fire it consumes us thus you said in an earlier post somewhere that with surrender comes understanding and with understanding joy I pray ceaselessly that I find it.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I believe in the One, in karma and reincarnation. One source of great distress to me is the suffering of animals who are more helpless by and large than humans. How do you think they fit into the scheme on earth? Transmigration of souls, inter-species reincarnation, seems to be fairer than incarnation exclusively within the human species.

Visible said...

All the traditions which speak of reincarnation speak of inter-species reincarnation.

Animals are residents of the Devic Realm which is also the realm of angels and assorted creatures. One who harms animals doesn't not go unpunished. it is a bad crime as far as the universe is concerned.

I would venture to say that the majority of people born human do not achieve a following human birth, according to those wise souls who speak about how rare and precious such an event is.

This is a plane of trial and exists for the purpose of atonement and redemption as well as various other things including punishment and reward.

It is tough to witness many of the things that take place here but there is a powerful mystery hidden within it all.

nina said...

There isn't a day that passes that I don't find consternation with our language. During a recent power failure for example, staring into the wood burning fireplace, the logs revealed themselves. Separated by strong winds from the Mother trunk, they lay in the field as fallen branches, bleaching in the sun, how long isn't important, they were moving all the time, through the process known as "weathering". The Firekeeper came along with his chainsaw, divided the branches into lengths suitable for handling and trucked them to our doorstep where they were stacked by me in order of easiest lifting. When the snows came, I uncovered them and carried them indoors in stages and they became our sole and stable source of warmth. Afterward, I spread their ashes out over the topsoil.
What we are really doing is inserting ourselves into Nature's cyle, hurrying it along, sending its above-ground fruits below-ground, again, where they metamorposize before maturing into a Mother Oak. What is "dead" other than fertlization? What is fertilization other than reincarnation? There is no difference. These words are one section of a circle.

fer·til·i·za·tion (fûr'tl-ĭ-zā'shən) Pronunciation Key
1. The act or process of initiating biological reproduction by insemination or pollination.
2. The union of male and female gametes to form a zygote.
3. The act or process of applying a fertilizer.

When you look at it this way, its obvious words like "death" are false sociological definitions in that death is a necessary stage within a much greater cycle, as is birth, another misnomer, since birth is commonly understood as a beginning, most often a beginning that takes place above ground. Humans love celebrations, baby showers and birthday parties, but they don't much care for funerals and are loathe to mark the pain of separation with happiness as if death is the final ending. If we could see the invisible processes taking place all around us every single moment we would not speak and think in the ignorant, limiting, filing cabinet manner that we do. We do it without thinking about it. This makes us helpless message force multipliers of lies against the truth. It makes us your sleepwalkers of which there are varying levels of wakefulness. I am reminded of your Mobius Strip revelations. Why is it verboten for our species to commonly know these thing? I find that people often enjoy thinking about it once the subject comes around, but its always me that has to bring it up. You know, I never walk into ongoing conversations where this is being bandied about.

Thanks Viz. Thanks for everything.
Love, nina

Anonymous said...

Student: In your books you say this world is like a dream.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. It is a dream.

Student: How is it a dream?

Srila Prabhupada: For example, last night you had some dream, but now it has no value. It is gone. And again, tonight when you sleep, you’ll forget all these things and dream. You won’t remember, when you are dreaming tonight, “I’ve got my house; I’ve got my wife.” You’ll forget it all. So all of this is a dream.

Student: Is it true, or is it not true?

Srila Prabhupada: How could it be true? At night you forgot it. Do you remember when you sleep that you’ve got your wife and you’re sleeping on a bed? When you have gone some three thousand miles away and seen something totally different in your dream, do you remember that you’ve got a place to reside in?

Student: No.

Srila Prabhupada: So this is a dream. Tonight. What you are seeing now will become only a dream, just as what you know it was only a dream. So both are dreams. You are simply a visitor, that’s all. You are seeing this dream and that dream. You, the spirit soul, are factual. But your material body and the material surroundings you are seeing –this is dream.

Student: But I have the impression that this experience is true and my dream is not true. What is the difference-

Srila Prabhupada: No. This experience is all untrue! How could it be true? If it were true, how could you forget it at night? How could you forget it, if it were true? At night do you remember all this?

Student: No. I don’t remember.

Srila Prabhupada: Then-how could it be true? Just as you don’t remember the dream you saw last night and so you call it a “dream,” similarly this experience-because you forget it at night-this is also a dream….

Student: I have the impress-

Srila Prabhupada: This is a day dream; that is a night dream. That’s all. When you dream at night, then you perceive that as being real. Yes. You think that is real. It is a dream, but you are crying, “There is a tiger! Tiger! Tiger!” Where is the tiger? But you are seeing it as a fact-a tiger. “I’m being killed by a tiger.” But where is the tiger? …Or you dream you are embracing some beautiful girl. Where is that beautiful girl? But actually it is happening.

Student: It is happening?

Srila Prabhupada: In one sense it is happening, because there is discharge of semen. Nocturnal emission. But where is that girl? Is it not a dream? But similarly, this so-call real-life experience is also a dream. You are getting the impression of factuality, but it is a dream. Therefore it is called maya-sukhaya, illusory happiness. Your nighttime happiness and your day time are the same thing. At night you are dreaming you are embracing a nice beautiful girl, and there is no such thing. Similalrly, in the daytime also, whatever “advancement” you are making-this also like that. Maya-sukhaya: You are dreaming, “This process will make happy” or “That process is only a dream. You are taking this daydream as reality because the duration is long. At night when you dream, the duration is just half an hour. But this daydream lasts for twelve-hour dream, and that is half-hour dream-but actually both of them are dreams. Because one is twelve-hour dream, you are accepting it as real. This is call illusion.

Visible said...

I met Master Prabupad once at the Brooklyn temple. And I will never forget the elegance and enjoyment of the feasts that I have been honored to attend at times. I've a number of devotee friends who have vanished into the mist of time but I remember them...Kunjabahari and others.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comment, Les.
I thought (dreamed) you might enjoy this description of Srila Prabhupada's, as a bit of icing on your cake, if I may.
Yours is a very enjoyable piece.

Sharon E said...

omg, your song is beautiful! Not to mention the essay you have written - color me there. All I can say is sounds like you've been there and back and so have I. I read everything you write and love it. Keep on keepin' on!

Glenn said...

Yours is a very enjoyable peace.

psychegram said...

"I would venture to say that the majority of people born human do not achieve a following human birth, according to those wise souls who speak about how rare and precious such an event is."

I'd never thought about it that way but ... yes, it makes perfect sense. For so many are given this beautiful opportunity and squander it, living their lives as hopped-up animals. So, from animals they come, as animals they act, and to the animal they return.

Then there's the 'organic portals' the C's talk about ... the same as people in every way, but lacking the higher centers and thus, FAIP, essentially just talking animals, mimicking humanity ... like bots in an online RPG. Can't help but wonder if there's a connection there.

Another question to ask is, how many are incarnated from extra-terrestrial sources? It's rare, sure, but why not? In fact, it would be downright bizarre if there weren't people whose previous lives were on the planet Vulcan (well, OK, you got me, I'm joking. We all know the Vulcans only incarnate once, before ascending towards their destiny as spiritual light beings....)

Anon-who-keeps-quoting-Indian-teachers, I'm assuming it's the same guy and ... I know in a sense it's almost completely missing the point for me to ask this but, could you throw a name on yourself? Any old thing will do, I just like to have a few syllables to hang the personality on, y'know? I get testy when people hang around and talk from the shadows.

You seem like a fine person, my friend. Show yourself, grab a seat around the fire and let's get to know each other, eh?

Well, like I said, maybe I completely missed the point there. In the spirit of the essay, after all, what we call you matters just as little as what you look like or what you had for breakfast this morning, because in the end, none of it really exists and the only part of you (or me, or anyone) that does exist is invisible so ... well ... I guess I'm just not there yet.

I can see the heavens spread out above me in all their vast grandeur, and my heart aches to go home to them, but that too after all is desire and so my feet stay warm by the lake of fire and for the moment, at least, the view is nice and the temperature not at all unbearable.

Anonymous said...

Electricity is just unharnessed energy--it can't heat or cool by itself--it must have something to do that through--it also needs a purpose, or in our case, the someones to do it for--the stars have always been in the alignment's they are in--man simply figured out how to navigate by studying them and coming up with an instrument to do it along with some mathematical tables--interesting eh!
Water itself can be in liquid, gaseous, or solid form--quite the trinity--hmm
We make the mistake of even using the words "one mind"--how degrading to all that is, to associate it with a human brain--
Is "spiritual Progress" through humans an oxymoron?
What is it about consciousness/all that is, that it needs a platform like us, to reveal, and "grow" itself? Kinda fucked up when you think about it--then again, what do I know--maybe it's just a bet between two gods as to how many different ways we can guess at meaning for our lives--the bible is still way ahead, but the gods have all the time in the world--
Perhaps the reason we learned a language, musical instrument, etc when we were children was because all of our other needs were met--the total extent of your worry at those times was pretty minimal--there was generally a roof over your head, food in the fridge..hey, wait, there is now....another hmmmmmm.
Better take a look ahead and see where those 5 horses (the government, churches, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and _______ (fill in the blank) are taking you--they aren't going to take care of you--never have, never will--take responsibility for your life, spiritual and otherwise--it's your right, and responsibility--
Assuming that we could ask a fish--and the fish could talk, "what is water" he, or she, would probably look at you with a quizzical fish smirk and say "what the fuck is water" (yes, I think fish swear, at times).
Some of those fish, according to legend-or science, did adapt for whatever reason(PBS said it so I know it's true)--and it was probably something big that made them adapt, or die--they crawled up out of the putrid, perhaps steaming mass that was the ocean, maybe a little at a time,and nature figured out a way for them to enter another world--that was attached to the world they lived in, yet were oblivious to, and they survived--not as fish--but s Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks (invented by Al Gore), and are in your grocers freezer case---Bon Apetit'

Jim (Jj)

Guy said...

Wise words as ever!

Dadnerd said...

Birth and death being a cycle, not only at the level we can perceive with our senses, but on other levels as well. So galaxy's are doing the same as well as cells within all living things. And always transforming one way or the other.

We see clearly on this planet how death give rise to new life. The giant tree falls in the forest and before the day is out new growth is sprouting to take advantage of the sunlight. Some seeds will wait decades for that opportunity. As the tree rots it returns nutrients back to the soil. While this is happening animals come and go, stars are formed and others burn out.

It's true, if we focus all our attention on our selves we miss the big picture. Being so concerned about our immediate survival we destroy those around us. That's the nightmare part of the dream I guess.

Oh Les, I can think of one application for using the power of lightning bolt, some crazy scientist tried it. I believe his name was Dr. Frankenstein.

I'd better get outta here.

Anonymous said...

I have seen in movies, so it must be true, that the American Indians (oxymoron) believed that when they killed an animal for food, that their dying and becoming organic matter for the plants to grow that fed the animals that fed them was the "cycle"--that's a nice thought, but in typical human form-- they ate for a lifetime, and then fed maybe one or two of what they killed with their rotted corpse--and now, we get filled with formaldehyde and stuck in a sealed box----kinda like a can of animal food with aspartame--and no animal can openers--
Now thats progress----


Anonymous said...

You are a true blessing my friend. I cherish every moment of what is when in a discussion with my mind. It seems when your willing to really have a discussion the mind is always there, continuously providing knowledge of what is. Reading your words is like a discussion with mind.

It seems when one spends the time in deep reflection they are able to perceive peace in the knowing of what is and was that can be. I have been reading on the dolmen's of the wiser previous where one would go to meditate in solitude, as one passed, with the intention to remain in eternal meditation. The spirit would be fully aware that it would remain in that location for time remain, providing information to those that seek giving, up the ability to come back in what we understand as the here again.

Love brings eternal peace.

Anonymous said...

Always disappointing when the flow stops here at Origami--guess it is what it is--thank you for continuing Les--

Visible said...

It's one of those days Jj. I've a new piece up at Petri Dish and although it's linked at a number of high traffic sites there's very little commentary. There's a pulse in the ocean of cyberspace and sometimes it's slow and sometimes it's hot and heavy.

Just one of those things. said...

The last few posts I have posted on Origami have not gone through.
I thought perhaps you blocked the content.
So I continue to read, but stopped posting.

Visible said...

I'm not blocking anything. You have to really be off the wall for me to do that. If you find you are not getting posted then email me. they are messing with my sites all the time so keep it in mind.

Zoner said...

Thank you, Les for this remarkable piece. The last few topics here have been arrows shot with a brilliant trajectory and perfect precision into the heart of my inquiry. Good fuel for the tasks at hand!

The experience of lucid dreaming, which occurred several times for me as a child between 9-12, is something that sticks with me to this day. The realization of being in a dream, then engaging in direct co-creation of your experience, would be like becoming what we call a "God" here in this reality. To a kid, it was a chance to fly or to leap over or run through buildings. I may have even used my new-found powers to peek in on my buddy's sister when she was naked, being thoroughly run by my newly developing "appetites".

But to have that experience now? Where would I go with it? what would I do?

I think it would easily turn into a gross display of appetite satisfaction. Better to stick to the main dream, and see if, through intention, arduous practice and enough convincing it is only a dream we're in now, manifesting what is truly needed (and nothing more) is achieved.

As much as I have come to loathe my body, it won't quit on me. I continue to wake up in this dream, and find it ever harder to be comfortable in my skin, so a remodel is in order. I don't care to have to perish, only to return in a new body, to get this done. Unchecked appetite/desire has turned my body experience into a nightmare, yet it persists. The mind does what it does, but the body I can directly control and shape here, as long as I'm better aware and a willing participant.

Sleepwalkers are many, but so many are stirring. Hope is a word that has been cheapened lately, but it is apparent. Fear is popular right now, too, with its sidekick anger. The dream is getting more and more memorable as we go, it seems.

"Hell is the isolation of the self in a fire of unfulfilled desire."

Yes indeed, it certainly is.

"There is nothing important here. Saving your life is not important. It doesn’t even belong to you and you can’t save it anyway."

But what are the consequences of refusing to participate in your own life? To roll over and literally quit and wait for death?
It seems a life goes on on its own terms no matter what we do, and if it doesn't belong to me, I can't throw it away or ditch it on the side of the road. That would be irresponsible if this body deal has been given to me due to some sort of arrangement that I have conveniently forgotten.

"this is where the circuits get wired for the electricity to flow in the direction of intention. You don’t go anywhere that you are not already at and Heaven begins where your feet touch the ground. What you achieve here is where you are when you go."

This is the part that left me with big flashing neon impressions seared into my brain. There is much more to this collection of words, no? Would anyone care to elaborate on intention and the connection to our experience here in the waking dream?

Thanks again for your efforts, Mr Visible. The clarity of the message and the satisfaction it brings are remarkable. And as always, the commentary is equally insightful and warming. Cheers all around!


Philip F. Harris said...

When God put Adam to sleep-he never woke him back up!



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