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    Archive for October, 2006

    I had a dream… I think

    Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

    (This morning, I felt the urge to tell this story rather than examine something about psychospiritual thinking… but perhaps it’s the same)

    Three years ago, on my honeymoon, I had a dream… maybe.

    I’m a middle-aged man living in a village. Date? I don’t know. But it’s a small-ish village. Dirt streets, simple wooden buildings, animals. Kinda the way we imagine the old West.

    I don’t see all this; I know it, because this is where I live. All of this is clear to me in a single moment. What’s happening at this time is that I am sitting on a chair, with friends, family and respected members of the community surrounding me. They’re very concerned for me, especially my wife (I also know that we have children) who, I can tell, thinks I’ve gone crazy.

    The elders tell me, as if reasoning with a child, “This is your wife; you have children; you have a job; this is where you live.”

    “I understand what you’re saying, but it’s not true. I am none of these things. I am something else. This is all a facade. None of this is real.”

    My wife wails in anguish. It’s painful to me that they all believe this is “real”. And it’s more painful that I can’t seem to break out of whatever this is. I’m desperate to find out what’s true, what’s behind the curtain. My life seems so familiar, but I can tell that the familiarity is just a feeling… there’s something else and I MUST find out what it is.

    The pleading and begging from my community continues, but it just makes the urgency I feel about breaking through to, well, something, more intense. I don’t know what I’ll find, but I must find it, no matter what.

    Suddenly, the entire scene — buildings, people, thoughts, feelings — “flattens out.” That’s the best way I can describe it. As if it went from 3-D to 2-D, stopped in time. And then, literally like a puzzle, it falls apart into pieces.

    I find myself lying in my pillowtop bed, next to my new wife, remembering my “previous life” as vividly as anything else I’ve ever remembered… and I now have memories from “this” life, too.

    It seems as if everything I’m currently experiencing began at the moment the other experience cracked. It’s as if, just now, I was given an entire set of thoughts, memories, feelings, stories that are appropriate for “this life.”

    And, it occurs to me, what I’m now experiencing is 100% identical to what was happening moments ago. All that has changed is the content — now I have a different name, a different wife, a different job, different thoughts — but those are just stories. In fact, the only thing that feels genuinely different is there’s a greater sense of familiarity with my current surroundings and less urgency to break through to what’s behind the veil.

    I don’t feel that I must break through this reality, but, seeing how similar my current experience is to my previous one, it seems likely that there is something on “the other side.”

    Instead of urgency, I feel a strong curiosity.

    So, I begin to look — “What’s the reality here? Is this ‘me’ just another idea that was born a few moments ago, with a new wife lying next to it, and a set of thoughts given to it, like a conscious robot that was just switched on?”

    I seem to be penetrating something, diving into something, and then…

    I “wake up.”

    I find myself in the comfy, pillow-top bed with my wife lying next to me… I think. This time it’s really me… I guess. I’m no longer “dreaming”… it seems.

    I say “it seems” because “waking up” this time is just like the last time — it’s as if, a moment ago, I was “turned on” and given a set of thoughts, memories, feelings, knowledge, et cetera. My memory from “this life” includes the 2 “previous ones.”

    The only thing that’s different is that this time, the familiarity-quotient is even higher, and the urgency-quotient is even lower. I have no real proof that this life is any more/less “real” than the others.

    For about the next hour, each time some new thought arises in my mind, it’s like being “rebooted” … I have no evidence that this thought isn’t my first, that all my “memories” weren’t just given to me in that moment, that anything existed in the “past.”

    It occurs to me that my experience is like the movie Blade Runner, where the Replicants (think, robots) believe they’re human because in the moment they’re turned on, they have memories… and proof that the memories are true in the form of pictures and other Replicants who agree that “those are memories.”

    Now, three years later, all of this has “passed,” washed smooth by the waters of familiarity and comfort. When I bring this memory to mind, though, I can still remember it all, remember the urgency, remember the curiosity, remember the flavor of “this is my first thought and all memories were just given to me.” When I dive into that, it’s as if there’s a crack in space/time, and I have the thought I could walk into or fall through that crack.

    I wonder what’s on the other side.

    (And then I think, “Just because I think there’s a crack with something on the other side doesn’t mean there is,” and I smile and go back to my day)

    [tags]dreams, dreaming[/tags]

    You can be the next Tiger Woods, guaranteed!

    Monday, October 2nd, 2006

    WARNING: This will be an unusually short post for me 😉

    I already talked about this particular issue, so I don’t need to rehash it. But I ran across the PERFECT example of it, so I had to bring it up again.

    So… There’s a new movie called Milarepa: Magician, Murderer, Saint directed by a big-deal Tibetan Buddhist (who was actually born in Bhutan), named Netan Chockling Rinpoche.

    (By the way, I’m not trying to be facetious when I say “big-deal”… he is an well known and respected teacher/practioner.)

    In an interview that appeared in my local newspaper, Rinpoche described the story:

    Milarepa’s mother was so tempted by revenge that she sent her son to sorcery school so he could punish his greedy aunt and uncle by conjuring up an epic storm that flattened their village.

    Later, though:

    Milarepa lears that revenge isn’t the answer and becomes one of the great sages of Tibetan Buddhism.

    Now, here’s the fun part. Get ready:

    “Milarepa is really a normal guy — nothing special,” Rinpoche says. “If he can do it [become a Saint], anybody can do it.”

    Okay, hit the pause button.

    He’s a normal guy?


    When’s the last time you developed the skill to create a storm out of thin air, point it an a village, and turn it into something that looks like the floor of Spring Break bar at 5:00 am?

    In fact, in the Tibetan tradition Milarepa is not just a conjurer, but one of the GREATEST conjurers. He isn’t just a murderer, but a… well, if one wants to murder and is successful at that mission, does that make them a GREAT murderer?

    Does that sound like a “normal guy” to you?

    When someone gives us one of these Horatio-Alger-pull-yourself-up-from-the-gutter-anyone-can-be-president-(or-enlightened) stories. We just nod our heads like bobble-head dolls. We love these stories. They confirm our greatest hopes. They play right into our desire to ensure our happiness by controlling the the universe in some way.

    But come on. Seriously. If someone said, “Tiger Woods was just a kid with parents; if he could become one of the greatest golfers of all time, so can you!” or “Really, Bill Gates dropped out of college; if he can become the richest man in the world, so can you!” or “George Bush… he was a C student, alcoholic, coke snorting…” okay well maybe that’s not a good example. But you get my point.

    You wouldn’t use thes rare examples as proof that YOU can be that… they’re RARE… that’s WHY we find them fascinating! They’re proof that humans can do amazing things sometimes, but not that YOU can do it simply because it’s possible.

    Tiger Woods can’t run a 4-minute mile. Bill Gates can’t stack cups in a 3-6-3 6-6 1-10-1 speed stack set in 7.5 seconds ( if you don’t know what I’m talking about… I LOVE this “sport”). George Bush can’t… again, I’m not going there.

    I don’t know about you, but when I hear the Milarepa story and tilt my head with a curious, Hmmmm… I no longer think I can imitate Milarepa. I see that he’s a, well, let’s just say he’s unique.

    But so am I and so is everyone else. I don’t have a clue where my “path” will lead and, frankly, I don’t much care since I don’t really believe in paths.

    But I have a hunch it’ll be a better ride if I’m not thinking Milarepa is an example of how mine will/could/should be and comparing what I imagine my life to be to what I imagine his life to have been.

    Off to make sure it doesn’t rain on me while I’m in the hot tub…

    [tags]spirituality, spiritual growth, gurus[/tags]





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