Exploring the world like a dream

I like to explore the world similar to how I would explore a dream.

Why?

The simple answer is that they both mirror me at a human level. And, to me, they both happen within and as what I am.

DREAMS AND THE WORLD MIRRORING ME

Any content of my experience is a mirror for me.

My experience of dreams and waking life both show me what’s happening in my mental field. It shows me my assumptions, stories, and beliefs about others, myself, and the world.

I can take my story about anyone or anything, turn it to myself, and find specific and genuine examples of where and how it’s true.

Anything within my experience, whether it’s a dream or waking life, mirrors parts and dynamics in myself at a human level.

DREAMS AND THE WORLD HAPPENING WITHIN AND AS WHAT I AM

Dreams and waking life both happen within my experience.

They happen within my sense fields. They happen within and as this consciousness.

They happen within and as what I am.

In a conventional sense, and to others, I am this human self in the world. And when I look more closely in my own first-person experience, I find my nature is more fundamentally capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am what the world, to me, happens within and as.

I am what any content of experience – night dreams and waking life – happen within and as.

HOW I EXPLORE DREAMS AND WAKING LIFE

I won’t go into this in detail here since there are many other articles on this topic.

Depending on the approach, I explore what comes up in me in relation to something in a dream or waking life, or I use dreams or waking life as a mirror to identify and explore parts of myself.

I typically use some form of inquiry. For instance, The Work on painful stories related to what’s happening. Or sense field explorations (Living/Kiloby Inquiries) on anything coming up or mirrored including identities, anxiety, or compulsions. Dialog with parts of me triggered or mirrored in dreams or the world. Heart-centered practices towards someone in the world, dreams, or parts of me (tonglen, ho’oponopno). I may identify issues and work on them with energy healing (Vortex Healing). And so on.

And I use some forms of structured inquiry – Headless experiments and the Big Mind process – to find myself as what the world to me happens within and as. (Some like to use lucid dreaming to notice that night dreams happen within and as consciousness, and then see if they can notice that in waking life as well. In my case, I prefer a more direct approach.)


OUTLINE

  • exploring the world like a dream
    • dreams and the world mirroring me
    • dreams and the world happening within and as what I am
    • how I explore dreams
    • how I explore waking life

DRAFT

Note: The initial version of this article got more convoluted than it needed to be so I’ll leave that as a draft below and write something simpler.

HOW I EXPLORE DREAMS & WAKING LIFE

What are some similarities in how I explore dreams and waking life?

a. EXPLORING DREAMS

When I explore night dreams, I see them as representing different sides of me. The elements and dynamics of the dream represent elements and dynamics in myself. I can do this intellectually, I can use active imagination (going back into the dream and replaying it while interacting with the elements differently), through dialogue, by identifying stressful beliefs and inquiring into them, and so on.

We can also train ourselves to recognize a dream as a dream when it happens, and also recognize it’s all happening within and as consciousness. (I explored lucid dreaming when I was a kid but it didn’t catch my interest enough to continue.)

b. EXPLORING WAKING LIFE

I do the same when I explore waking life.

I see the world as mirroring me. What story do I have about someone, a situation, the world, God? If I turn that story back to myself, what do I find? Can I find specific and genuine examples of how it’s true?

And I notice that the world, to me, happens within and as what I am. Any content of experience – this human self, the wider world, and any experience – happens within and as my sense fields. It happens within and as what I am. It happens within and as what a thought may label consciousness.

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF DREAMS & WAKING LIFE

This is not just a case of using similar approaches to explore different things.

This works because waking life and dreams are more similar than we may initially notice.

a. DREAMS AND WAKING LIFE HAPPENS WITHIN AND AS CONSCIOUSNESS

Dreams clearly happen within and as consciousness, and I am that consciousness. To me, dreams happen within and as what I am.

In waking life, and in a conventional sense, I am this human self in the world. And when I explore my own first-person experience, I find my nature more fundamentally is capacity for the world as it appears to me. I am what the world, to me, happens within and as.

Dreams and waking life happens within and as consciousness, and that’s what I more fundamentally am. I am what any experience – whether thoughts call it dream or waking life – happens within and as.

a. DREAMS AND WAKING LIFE AS A MIRROR

My mind makes sense of dreams and waking life through an overlay of mental representations. These label, interpret and creates stories about both.

I don’t experience the world as it is. I experience it, largely, as my mind interprets and makes sense of it.

This overlay, in itself, is a kind of projection. The mind makes it appear “out there” in the world. If this is recognized, then we can hold the assumptions in this overlay more lightly. And if we take it as how the world actually is, we are misleading and create stress for ourselves.

Also, my mental field tells me there are characteristics and dynamics out there, which is more or less accurate in a conventional sense. And if I don’t recognize the same in myself, in my human life, then I again mislead and create stress for myself.

SEAMLESS WHOLE

In this way, my experience of waking life and dreams becomes experiences within a seamless whole.

Both happen within and as what I am.

Both are mirrors for myself.

INITIAL OUTLINE

  • exploring the world like a dream
    • exploring dreams
      • all representing sides of myself – parts, dynamics, interactions, processes
      • all happening w/in and as consciousness
    • can explore life the same way
      • all representing/mirroring parts of me
      • all happening w/in and as consciousness
    • …..

We can explore dreams in several different ways. For instance, we can see all the dream elements as representing sides of ourselves, and we can train ourselves to notice it as a dream when it happens.

….

Dreams clearly happen within and as consciousness, and we are that consciousness. To us, dreams happen within and as what we are.

In waking life, and in a conventional sense, we are this human self in the world.

…..

My mind makes sense of dreams and waking life through an overlay of mental representations. These labels, interpret and creates stories about both.

I don’t experience the world as it is. I experience it, largely, as my mind interprets and makes sense of it.

…..

If the mind takes this overlay as how the world really is, or sees it as “out there” and not in here, then there is a kind of projection going on.

….

SEAMLESS WHOLE

In this way, my experience of waking life and dreams becomes experiences within a seamless whole.

Both happen within and as what I am.

Both are mirrors for myself.

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