I have been given the task of tracing a person, and it turns out to involve many people and situations, and a large amount of drama and surprising twists and turns. Finally, as it reaches its climax, I find the person at the bottom level of a very tall building. It turns out that my client and the target, and several others involved, were all the same person. I notice how it seems that everyone and everything were that same person, apart from me searching (and working) for him, and it puzzles me.
As I wake up, I stay with the discrepancy of everyone being the same person, apart from me as the searcher. I also realize that the dream seems to be all form the felt-sense perspective, not the conscious view, and that at this felt-sense level, there is indeed a sense of I and Other, I as searcher (doer, chooser) and Other as anybody and anything else. The dream seems to be a reminder for me to notice that, take it into account… there is still a sense of I and Other at the felt-sense level.
The dream is a variation of Lila… God playing hide and seek with itself, through all of us seeking God, and then realizing that there never was anybody or anything but God in this whole drama.
And it is also another variation of the dream of a composer who is a composite of many composers, and his instrument which can make the sounds of many instruments. The individuality of each is preserved, many combinations are available, yet as one composer and one instrument.
Say there is a fictional character, and you want to make the stories about him or her more engrossing for yourself. What do you do?
Pretending a fictional character is real
One way is to pretend the person really exists, to take the stories seriously and as reality. That way, you can allow yourself to go into it more fully, to put more energy, attention and interest into it than you otherwise would.
And that is exactly what many Sherlock Holmes scholars and fans do. They play what some refer to as The Game: studying Sherlock Holmes as if he was a real flesh-and-blood person, Dr. Watson his biographer, Conan Doyle his literary agent, and the stories themselves histocial documents.
Playing the game to bring out the richness of the stories
It’s a game. And it’s a game we play to enhance our appreciation of the story. When we treat them as real, we can justify spending a great deal more effort in researching the background of the stories and in working up explanations for the stories in a way that brings out their richness.
And so it is with our lives as well, according to many mystics and spiritual traditions.
This human self that there is so close an identification with, that seem as an I, that is taken so seriously, that appear so real, so solid, so true. This human self has no I in it anywhere. There is no I in the seeing of it, in the awake space it arises within and as. There is no I in the seen, in this human self and all its aspects: its sensations, feelings, emotions, thoughts, behaviors.
There is no I anywhere in the seeing or the seen. There is only the Ground of empty awakeness the seeing and the seen arises within and as, with no I anywhere. There is doing, yet no doer anywhere. There is choosing, yet no chooser anywhere. This human self just happens, absent of any I. It lives its own life, as anything else in the world of phenomena lives its own life.
This self, as an I, as a separate entity, as a chooser, as a doer, is fictional.
And what makes it a more interesting and engrossing character? To pretend it is real. To take it as I. To have a close identification with it. To live as if it is separate from anything else. To see myself as it, and subject to birth and death, joy and suffering, health and happiness, gain and loss, and all the other ingredients of the human drama.
There is no drama without identification with this human self. And the drama is what makes it engrossing. It is what makes it interesting, at least for a while.
A new flavor of the game: seeking awakening
And then there is a weariness of this drama. A growing readiness to move on. For Ground to awaken to its own nature as awake space, as seeing and seen, absent of I.
There is a new flavor of the game, not much different from all the other flavors, and this one is called spiritual seeking and practice.
This and the other ones are all games where human self is taken as an I, and the new flavor is to try to have this I awaken. Which of course is impossible. This human self can never awaken, and there is no I anywhere anyway – only a temporary and mistaken identification as an I and this human self, but it makes for another interesting chapter of the drama.
A new game: this human self functioning in the context of realized selflessness
And then there is a significantly new game: Ground awakens to – or rather remembers – its own nature, and now the game becomes to allow this human self to live from this awakening, to mature, evolve, interact, experience, explore within this new context of realized selflessness.
It is a whole new section of the story, yet one that is no less juicy. And one that has no end, at least as long as there is a functional connection to human self.
I have been listening to more audio of Byron Katie facilitating inquiry with a range of people, and am again struck by how clear she is – and the clarity others arrive at through the inquiries.
It is similar to the Big Mind process in that people with little or no background in anything “spiritual” speak like sages – often arriving a deep insights mirroring what is said by gurus, teachers, sages and saints from many traditions and time periods.
I am also struck by something else: finding peace with what is, through seeing through our stories and allowing the belief in them to fall away, is only possible when we discover lila. That it is all the play of God.
Seeing through our stories, and discovering lila, are two sides of the same coin.
And when we see through even one of our stories, allowing the belief in it to fall away, we have a glimpse of lila. Seeing through another story, there is another taste of lila. And seeing through the story of “I” – as a segment of what is, we arrive fully in a realization of lila. There is the realization that what appeared as our business, is God’s business – and always was.
If all is the play of God, then there must be a great deal of interest and richness in an ordinary life. There are, by definition, far more ordinary and average lives than the obviously extraordinary ones, and why would there be unless there was an extraordinary richness even in these ordinary and unassuming lives?
All of this – the words play, interest, richness, ordinary, extraordinary and so on – are just abstractions, an overlay of what is. Still, is may point to something beyond these abstractions – something to explore and see what emerges from it.
In this case, it may help us see our own lives – as they are, often ordinary and unassuming – as being immensely rich. Rich enough for God to want to manifest in this particular way, to explore itself in this life as it is right now.
And it also seems that when we allow our experiences more fully into awareness, when we are with our experiences, we realize this richness directly.
That is certainly the case for me. When I am with my experiences, there is an immense richness there – often tinged with some bliss as well, independent on whatever other content may be there.