Dream: I am African

I am with a group of people from around the world. We talk, and I happen to look down at my arms and notice my skin is dark brown. I realize I had forgotten and make a mental note that in the world, I am that way.

In the dream, it felt very natural, I just needed to remember. And if I had noticed I looked Asian or European, that would have been the same. I just needed to look and then remember.

NONE OF IT IS INHERENT TO WHAT I AM

For me, this dream is mainly a reminder that to myself, I am not inherently any of these things. I need to remember and then tell myself what I am. No label is inherent to what I am.

As I often write in other articles, I have a certain identity in the world. I have gender, nationality, education labels, profession labels, relationship status, address, political leanings, food preferences, and so on. None of that is wrong, and I need to know, remember, and play those roles reasonably well in order to function in the world.

And yet, what I am in my own first-person experience? What am I to myself? Here I find I am more fundamentally something else. I am capacity for my whole field of experience – which includes what thoughts can label the human self, others, the wider world, sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, and so on. I am what all of it happens within and as.

Here, I have no inherent identity or label. I am inherently free of it all, and that allows all of it to come and go.

MY INNER AFRICAN

This dream also points to my inner African. Perhaps the dream is inviting me to be more in touch with these qualities and characteristics? Or that I am getting a bit more in touch with it?

What do I associate with being African? The ones I have met have been grounded, sane, enthusiastic, alive, and very much in touch with their body and movement. I also associate shamanic traditions, an emphasis on community life, dance, music, and so on. (I love many types of African music and have recently especially listened to the latest album from Sona Jobarteh.)

FIRST CONSCIOUSNESS, THEN HUMAN, THEN THE REST

Something else also came up for me related to this dream.

To myself, I find myself as capacity and what the (my) world happens within and as. And then there are layers of identities from the more universal to the more unique.

And that’s how I like to see others as well. I assume they are like me. To themselves, they are primarily consciousness. They are open to the world. They are space for the world. And then they are an expression of the universe and life, a part of this living planet, human, and finally and more peripherally a certain gender, ethnicity, and so on.

Note: In the world and in waking life, I am Northern European.


INITIAL NOTES

Nov 25 dream image – I am with a group of people from around the world, I look down at my arms and notice I am black, and remember that yes that’s how it is, I have African ancestry 

Feels very natural, just needed to remember 

Have an inner black man / woman, whatever I associate with that (earthy, spontaneous, dance, movement, community, village, nature, ancestors, shamanic tradition) 

Also, first human then all the rest 

And the rest to me is a label, something I need to remember and rehearse, it’s not inherent to what I am, no label is inherent to what I am 

DRAFT FRAGMENTS

Something else comes up for me from this dream, and it’s something I have been exploring since my teens.

FIRST CONSCIOUSNESS, THEN HUMAN, THEN THE REST

Most fundamentally, I find myself as capacity for the world as it appears to me, and as what the world to me happens within and as.

And when it comes to identities and roles, I like to emphasize the more universal ones and then add on the more specific ones.

For instance, one of my most universal identities is as a local expression of the universe. I am the local eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings of the universe, as Carl Sagan said.

Another is as part of this living planet. And then human. And then all the other more peripheral identities which we tend to focus more on in daily life.

In the dream, what I more fundamentally am was present through the dream, and the more peripheral identity of ethnicity was something I had to remember and rehearse in order to not forget.

And that’s how I see others as well. Primarily, to themselves, they are consciousness. They are open to the world. They are space for the world. And then they are an expression of the universe and life, a part of this living planet, human, and finally and more peripherally a certain gender, ethnicity, and so on.

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