Wednesday, December 10, 2008

4 Way Dreams: Van, Thoreau, Ruiz, & Ramana

1. Disconnecting

There comes a point inside the dream when you start to see that the true vantage point is actually outside the dream.

But first you need to question the dream itself.

It might start slowly with some seeing of some disconnect. A long strange trip indeed.

For me, it started in the late Sixties with the Viet Nam war, and an understanding that things weren’t what they had been sold to be. So of course it took on a political counter-cultural tone. Lennon. Dylan.

Working Class Hero Tangled Up in Blue...

Moreover there was poetry and song. Walt Whitman and Van Morrison were my lyrical gurus: Song of Myself Into the Mystic. And there was lots of American literature as well, including a degree.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. So life happened for me, and conformities beckoned.

Until I fundamentally broke down.

2. Thoreauvian Interlude

Nature was prescribed and Thoreau became my doctor.

One summer I reread Walden, and I can’t tell you how many times I heard it said that Thoreau was fine for idealists, but not practical enough for the real world.

But he made more sense to me than anything I had ever come across in that world.

His genius resided not only in his common sense, but in his connection to a spiritual sense rooted in the earth itself. It wasn’t idealistic at all. It was truly grounded, and not lost in some rarified dream of lace and gold.

And then I decided to see how this country got to be what it was, and went back to school for a Masters in American History. I was sure something went wrong somewhere, until I realized it was wrong from the very start: I sided with the Anti-federalists.

The disconnect was increasing.

It wasn’t conformity this time that beckoned, but merely so-called responsibilities. While Acadia kept my sanity.

Until I was laid off, went Native, traveled to Arizona and experienced the eternal now in the Canyon del Muerte.

3. Awakening

Arriving back home I read Miguel Ruiz, and for the first time I knew a metaphysical explanation for that disconnect involving not only social conditioning, but more importantly the virtual reality of belief and the ego.

I felt as if I had discovered the meaning of life.

The disconnect was now not just some philosophical disagreement; it was as clear as the divide between sleep and waking. It was obvious that life was but a dream. And I was waking up inside of it.

Soon after I read Eckhart Tolle, and then quickly found myself in a world of Sacred Wisdom and Advaita, all the way from the Desert Fathers to Ramana Maharshi's most valuable all-important Who Am I, with folks like Adams, Adya, Jed, Sailor Bob, and many others, mixed inbetween.

And something recently has clicked. There’s more of a real understanding, as I remarked in a recent posting, of that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin quote: we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

In other words, we are not living in a dream. That still gives the dream the vantage point. Despite all the mystical experiences and feelings of unity with the divine, you are still in the dreaming.

Rather we are dreaming within eternity. I see the vantage point is not inside the dream. It’s outside the dream. It’s in eternity. There is no vantage point. There is no me. There’s only here and now and Being-Consciousness-Bliss.

The disconnect is disappearing.

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