Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Don't Call it "Real Life"

Language shapes reality. The words we choose to describe the world around us, and the way we use those words, shapes the world. I hope we can stipulate this as a given, since I'm not a semiotics professor. If you don't believe me, just ask Goebbels. Ask the billion-dollar industries that prey on the insecurity of women (and, increasingly, men) regarding their appearance/age. Ask the American Neoconservatives: "fear bomb terror fear terror evildoers fear Vote Bush/Cheney!"

Language shapes reality. The words we choose to describe the world around us, and the way we use those words, shapes the world.

Often, when people discuss their dreams, they do it in a pooh-poohing manner: "well, it was only a dream."

Dreamtime is not the random firing of neurons, and dreams are not the brain merely processing excess stimuli left over from the day.

Dreamtime is the other half of our soul's existence. When the body sleeps, our spirit is free to travel in other worlds, places and times. We meet up with aspects of ourselves, deceased relatives or friends, and other spirits which some call angels, others name faeries, and still others call -- somewhat less poetically -- non-corporeal entities.

Dreamtime helps us remember where we came from -- and where we will return. In the midst of our embodied, all-too-hurried and distracted human experience, we have a daily opportunity to be reminded of our deeper immortal nature. Put out your hands and catch a dream...

All this is preamble to the title above: Don't Call it "Real Life." As in, "oh yeah, I had this crazy dream where I was talking to my great-grandfather and he was telling me he was proud of me. It'd be nice to think he's proud, but it's not like he's telling me that in real life."

Ack! Please, when you consider your dreaming life, don't disrespect the energy, information and wisdom to be found there by calling its counterpart "real life." When you consider your Dreaming Life, call its counterpart Waking Life.

Calling it "real life" cuts the umbilical to your essential immortal universal self.

Calling it Waking Life immediately implies and references your existence Elsewhere -- call it what you will: "heaven," "the Otherworld," "Nirvana," "That Place What Wuz Before Anything Else Wuz." As the poet David Whyte puts it: "To remember that other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance." Remembering that other world honors the part of yourself which is embodied with the rest of you, but can leave the flesh behind to explore, frolic, learn and remember in that crucial Elsewhere.

Calling it "real life" disrespects and devalues anything that cannot be weighed, seen, touched...and chopped into tiny pieces by the so-called rational mind.*

Calling it Waking Life reminds us every time we say it that before long we will be sleeping again, and again ranging out into the beyond in search of information, contact or just plain adventure.

Calling it "real life" sinks us deeper into the illusion that this physical life is all that there is for us. This existentialist nihilism creates the sort of despairing materialism which induces people to try and fill themselves with food, booze, sex, and Buying More Stuff.

Calling it Waking Life merely names it what it is -- no more, no less.

So tonight -- set your intent to remember your dream as you lie in bed ready for sleep. Hold your intent as long as you can as you drift off: tell yourself you will remember your dream. And when you awaken, write it down and find a way to honor it (this can be as simple as just telling a friend the dream, or more elaborate if you feel so moved). And when you do honor it, say out loud to yourself: "I've brought a dream into waking life." Then, feel inside yourself for the pulse of your mojo.

It'll be bumpin'!

* Don't get me wrong: the rational mind has any number of lovely qualities and has brought any number of wondrous things to be -- antibiotics, to name just one. But over the last five hundred years, the Tyranny of the Rational over the intuitive mind has given us a world so far out of whack as to threaten the very existence of our species. Balance, balance, balance!

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