Seeking the Absolute in Dream

Dreams entice because they promise a world separate from, and yet somewhat like our own.  While the ego still functions as an autonomous mental formation, the dream world itself is entirely separated from the immediacy of social and cultural consequences.  Freed in this way, the mind gravitates to its own repressed desires.

But after a while, sex, food, and flying become stale.  You’ve done it all.  You’ve had everything (and everyone).  After a while, a question comes up: what is the point?

Dream practice has the ability to accelerate this natural conclusion about the world, particularly if we can see the clear correlate between the dream world and our waking world.  Fundamentally, we are living in a dream-like existence.

Phenomenologically speaking, this can be demonstrated beyond doubt, but we can also think of our own impending death as a means of analysis.  Exactly which of these dream objects will come with us beyond the point of death?  Exactly which of these dream figures in our life will be anything more than a memory?  And which of these dream pleasures that we seek after so ardently will save us?

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For the most part, we don’t have setting sun eyes.  If we were to feel the imminence of our own death, our priorities about life and the world would change drastically.

Because this waking life dream lasts longer than our night-time dreams, and because it seems to have more continuity (our minds provide that continuity, by the way), we choose to believe a story we have collectively created about our world: that it is here for us, and that getting as much stuff as you can is eminently important.  Beyond that, be as happy as you can, etc.

This is very much like children trying to collect and hoard the most blocks during playtime.  They never consider that playtime is almost over, and that someone is going to take all of the blocks away, regardless.  None of the blocks fundamentally belongs to anyone.  Relatively speaking, a child may possess more blocks, but when playtime is over, no one owns anything, no matter how much they cry.

However, dream does extend the possibility of penetrating to the base of the mind, and discovering the root of our illusory world.  Simply by its other-worldliness it suggests an avenue to discover some Truth about (or beyond) the world.  And once we’ve exhausted all of the relative possibilities, we may start to dig deeper.

Do I need a body in a dream?  How about a personality?  Do I need that?  Do I need appearances in a dream?  What about thoughts?  What about me–do I need a me?  What exactly is seeing this dream, anyway?  If my ocular senses are imploded, how is seeing even happening?  What is aware of this dream?

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Most of the time, our vision is horizontal–work, spouse, kids, sleep, play, work, vacation, work–but let’s look vertically, shall we?  What’s outside the window?

And it may turn out that we find very surprising answers–answers about the nature of consciousness, for sure, but maybe even a total answer–one that brings to rest all problems and concerns, and opens the world back up for play.

 

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