I am at a techno-oriented expo. As I walk around, someone insists that I try a spiffy and fast little electric car. I agree, drive down an isle at the fair, through a door and down a corridor. It turns out that the expo is held in a wing of an large European palace, similar to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. I race around in corridors and rooms and halls with beautiful artwork, and beautiful living quarters still in use by royalty and visitors. Eventually, the guards caught up with me and several people are quite upset. I feel uncomfortable and give a pitiful excuse of not having been shown how to stop or steer the car, although I obviously know having raced around the palace.
When I place this dream in a nutshell, I find three main ingredients: Being cavalier, a little nonchalant and careless. Going outside of norms and expectations. And being mortified, slightly ashamed.
That is how I feel about this blog as well. I sometimes race around different topics in a cavalier and nonchalant manner. I sometimes go outside of the norms and expectations of culture and spiritual traditions. And I sometimes feel a hint of being mortified, ashamed.
It is probably good for me to take a closer look at this, as the dream seems to suggest.
I don’t mind going outside of norms and expectations. After all, life is not bound by our shoulds or habitual ways of looking at it.
I sometimes go about it in a cavalier and nonchalant manner. I take teachings some see as profound, and show how it can be very simple and something most of us already know, even if we may not notice we know, and we may not have applied it in that exact way. That in itself can be useful, especially when done with kindness and for the purpose of reminding us that the world is a mirror. But in my case, there is sometimes a hint of arrogance behind it. I give it a cavalier flavor to put it down slightly. I sometimes get annoyed when I see folks overly admiring spiritual teachers, when what these teachers say is not that profound – or even useful, and what their students see in them is nothing but a mirror for themselves. Of course, that advice for one particular person, and that is me.
When I go outside of my own shoulds, in a sincere and honest way, I sometimes feel a little mortified. It is good to notice and look at.
And when I put others or teachings down, even slightly, I also feel mortified. Here too, it is good to take a look at.
It points to a belief in both cases. First, a belief that I should stay within the norms and expectations of culture or spiritual traditions. In the second, a belief that causes me to put someone or something down. (They are doing it wrong. I know better. They shouldn’t see it as more profound than it is. They should recognize it as a mirror. Etc.)
There is a freedom in this dream. Freedom from norms, and in particular traditional European norms and expectations. I am also free to speedily go from one area to another, and take in a great deal of beauty. Others are upset with me for breaking these norms, and I give a poor excuse. It would have been more mature to take responsibility for my actions. If I did, my actions may have taken another form as well. (Perhaps securing permission before driving around.)
I wonder if I am not doing something similar here in this blog. I nonchalantly race around different topics, not really following norms or teachings from any particular tradition, and enjoy the vista as it passes by. Nothing wrong there, but I can imagine some traditionalists could get irked. Or rather, my own shoulds around following traditions are. I tell myself I should know more about traditional practices and teachings, so I feel a little uncomfortable when I write about these things anyway.