Finding Zen: To Awaken from the Dream

When you were small, you probably learned out how to swim. But before you could swim on your own, you needed someone or something to help you learn how to float. That support was necessary in order to create more comfort in the water, and to help you build your confidence in yourself enough to eventually take a bit of chance when the time came for you to take that plunge. We have supports in our life which serve their temporal purposes. But they are only in place in order to learn how to let go of them when the time is right. They serve as a steppingstone, a means by which, a way point. They should never become the goal.

But most people don’t want to let go of the supports. They like the childlike experience that reminds of them of their youth or a time when the world seemed to be a one giant unicorn floaty upon which they could simply rest and gaze up into the sky. The effort of swimming involves so much coordination and effort in the body. Why not just let someone else do it all? Such is the nature of a society that loves comfort more than freedom. There is deep stagnation in that type of consciousness, and an unwillingness to learn and step into new adventures. And I am not talking about mountain climbing adventures or a couple weeks in the Bahamas. I am talking about the adventures that comprise a life and serve to create a permanent and irreversible state of consciousness, as reflected in the expression of time and space. We move on in life because it is in our nature to do so.

So many have become unnatural to themselves and wonder why they suffer so many mental and physical diseases. We live in a society that seems to believe it is advanced and full of comforts, and yet people are more uncomfortable with themselves than ever before. The world has made it easier, but making our environment better and more safe doesn’t help us function in a way that aligns with our true nature.

The true nature of Yoga, Zen, and Platonic Being-ness, the Tao, is wrapped up in a lot of swimming pool type floaties. The occult, while often being symbolically powerful and useful for learning along the way towards freedom, always seems to stop short of letting itself go. People become trapped in the world of spiritual co-dependence and occult, because they believe they have reached a plane that is above the “3D” or physical dimension; and they find comfort in that sense of superior accomplishment. The talk of the “higher self” or “higher beings” is a form of child-like dependency on beings (parents) who are more powerful than they are. This kind of consciousness, if carried into adulthood, often can become a lifestyle and a career choice even. But it often releases us into disease, discomfort, and the inability to do the work required to truly expand into being-ness, which is the only true spiritual experience. The faith in higher beings is always in contrast to our sense of incompetence, self-distrust, and a constant need to refer power into something or someone else.

To swim in the open expanse of ocean, with no end in sight, void, Nirvana, Bliss: that is in fact our true nature. But to a child, who still cannot swim, it is incredibly frightening to imagine, to be that open, to be that everlasting, to be in such glorious solitude. In that sense, when he or she looks into that abyss, the child only sees something dreadfully awful and so instead participates in contributing to the collective unconsciousness of fear and imagination and the occult. At that point, the reality of the fears become proven to the child simply because groups of other people also agree with those fears. Huddled masses bound together creating holograms of pure imaginary escapes and distractions away from the horror of their own being: that is the reality of many societies, particular societies that are glued together out of fear of some kind of “outer world” whether that is the physical world or an aspect of the physical world (political).

It is said in the Talmud that to view God as it is in itself, is, for most people, a certain death. And that is correct, as the child in the floaty must grow up, and must pass out of existence in order to be able to withstand the divine energy of its own being, as it truly is. When the butterfly emerges, the caterpillar has already fell into oblivion. It is understandable that most people avoid this state of change and transformation, as their greatest fear is in fact death. But it is not death at all that they fear. What they fear is actually the removal of a dependence that they think provides them with life as it is. Most will sacrifice everything they truly love and cherish in order to feel safe.

This situation divides people into a certain form of bipolarity, where on one hand, they love their safety; but, on the other hand, they crave the freedom that their soul craves. The compromise they have created is to distort their soul’s desires into a form that works for them. For example, if they were a dolphin in their true nature, but thought that they were a fox, they would hold a hidden desire to swim, but would be at the same time fearful, because that goes against the nature of a fox. Maybe then they would invent a swimming fox, or a fox on a boat, or some other creative mechanism to compromise both urgings. And this might work for a while, but it wouldn’t work for long, because they are in fact a dolphin, and a dolphin never wants to stay on land at all.

That is the predicament of most people, even though they do not know it and only feel it and project it in the most miraculous and interesting ways, via their creative talents. Our unconscious creativity serves us well during those times of unawakened confusion and they are times that have their place. This is why it is important to allow the journey of others to run their own course. Everyone is learning, and the moment of awakening from this distorted awkwardness is something that happens only when they are ready for it to happen, like when a chicken breaks out from the egg, and a star is born. No human can determine it. No human can judge it.

And when awakening happens, it is as if you have awakened from a very deep sleep. In that sense, you awaken a little, but your eyes are heavy and your body doesn’t want to move. You drift in and out of consciousness. This can happen for a few more years, until something awakens you even further and you are just a little more awake. You are then able to control your body a little more, and you can move the fingers and the toes. You find that objects look a little clearer than they did before. You are more interested in truth than what you imagination has dictated for so long. You feel the urge to see beyond the dream of spiritual childhood.

This process can take as long as it takes. You cannot force it and no one can use magic to rush it through. But as you awaken more and more, you shed all forms that you once relied on, mostly the ones that you used to puff yourself up on, feeling that they are your identity. Whether you depended on a person for your identity, or an angel, guide, or so-called ascended master, you will realize that all of it was a function of your imagination and the collective imagination that you participated in.

When we are in a dream (unawakened) state, we can’t make the choice to rise out of the dream until we learn how to do that. There is no free choice to dream or not to dream at that point. That is why the idea of free-choice is not something everything can activate within their experience. That is something that is earned, because freedom is something we all cherish and want to express.

Who we are is free, but the illusions and dreams are heavy and make us feel victimized by life, beginning with our birth, where our parents seemed to have given us no choice but to emerge; and ending in our death, where we are suddenly overtaken by disease and decay or accident, sometimes unexpected, sometimes expected. Life, as a whole, when we dream appears to be dreaming us, and we feel as if we have to choose this or that thing, that way or the other way, her or him or me. But all of that, all the choices are presented are part of the dream as well. It takes time and effort to want to wake up, to snap out of it, to continually keep your eyes wide open with toothpicks, all for the sake of freedom from the dream, in order to be able to create the dream that you choose to create with the love that you are.

O how all speech is feeble and falls short Of my conceit, and this to what I saw
Is such, ’tis not enough to call it little!

O Light Eterne, sole in thyself that dwellest, Sole knowest thyself, and, known unto thyself And knowing, lovest and smilest on thyself!

That circulation, which being thus conceived Appeared in thee as a reflected light,
When somewhat contemplated by mine eyes,

Within itself, of its own very colour Seemed to me painted with our effigy,
Wherefore my sight was all absorbed therein.

As the geometrician, who endeavours
To square the circle, and discovers not, By taking thought, the principle he wants,

Even such was I at that new apparition; I wished to see how the image to the circle Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;

But my own wings were not enough for this, Had it not been that then my mind there smote A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish.

Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy: But now was turning my desire and will, Even as a wheel that equally is moved,

The Love which moves the sun and the other stars.

Dante Alighieri, Paradiso, CANTO XXXIII

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