Saturday, 22 January 2011

We are such stuff...

I 'got' the 'life is a dream' analogy this morning.

Some people remember their dreams, others say they don't dream at all: I dream vividly several times a night, and wake up during the night or in the morning out of whatever dream I'm having.  This morning was no exception.   I used to think that 'life is a dream' meant that it is fleeting, ephemeral and wispy - and to be honest, it doesn't feel that way (it may well be when you get right down to the crux of it), but to me it feels solid, definite and here. But this morning,  I understood that life is like a dream because there's no-one doing a dream just like there's no-one doing waking life  (and the dream is just part of that life).

A dream contains vivid experiences, drama, action, feelings - just like in waking life.  But even though we say 'I dreamt', we don't purposely orchestrate or direct the dream.  There is just a dream.  We say 'it's in my mind or my brain' - but that's just a concept. When there is dreaming, there is just the dream.  It may be  fantastic or vivid or dramatic or peaceful or happy or terrifying. You could say that it's created by the mind or the brain - that it's produced by electrical impulses in the brain, but that brain process is not being done, controlled, created or decided by anyone.

Some people say they can dream lucidly; that they are aware that they're in a dream and  can decide what to do in the dream.  Ludicrous!  Because the character they are in the dream is a DREAM character - it's part of the dream.  They're not ACTUALLY in the dream - there is just the dream and contained within the dream is a dream person thinking and feeling and saying 'I know I'm in a dream and I'm going to decide what's going to happen next'. But that is just the dream!  That's the story, the form that the dream is taking.

And when a person wakes in the morning and says 'I had a lucid dream.  I decided what to do in the dream' - it's just more of the dream.  It's just labelled 'waking life'.  There's no more  a someone or something in control of the waking life,  than there is in the dreaming life.

You can no more decide what you are going to dream during the  night than you can decide what you are going to do when you get up in the morning.  The person that wakes in the morning is just being 'done' - like the dream, it just happens.

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