Monday, August 2, 2010

The Waking Up

I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river.

How often do I take advantage of the opportunity to sit down next to a rose bush or a tulip bed and share the flower's sunlight? I can stand out on my balcony and breathe the same air that squirrel is breathing as it scurries along on it's day's adventures. Even though I don't know the languages I can hear the birds singing to the world at large from their branches or the dogs talking to each other from there various back yards. And listening carefully I can begin to understand, if not the specifics, the spirit of joy and life that is the subject of their dialogues.

The tulip doesn't care that I'm also in the sunlight and doesn't reject me for being there. Sitting in peace and respect I am one with the tulip, and being a tulip I can begin to understand what it's life is like. Does that sound crazy to you? Well, it isn't. Tree huggers know something that their scornful critics don't.

We are dreamers. Our dreams take many forms. I have had dreams in which I knew I was dreaming. In one case I dreamed that I threw the covers off the bed and just as I dreamed it I actually did it. Another time I dreamed that someone woke me up from a dream. And a third time I was dreaming about something terrifying and someone in my dream said to me you know this is only a dream, so relax.

Many great thinkers, over the years, have told us that life is really a dream. "We are such stuff as dreams are made on": wrote Shakespeare. Can I close my eyes and dream of being a tulip? Why not? Can the squirrel dream of being a human? Can my proximity cause the tulip to dream of being a man?

Zhuangzi (4th Century BCE Chinese philosopher) once wrote that he dreamt of being a butterfly joyfully flitting about. But when he awoke he said "I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man."

I read a lot of philosophy, psychology, science and religion, and on the highest levels of that literature are men and women who have reached the understanding of life's great spiritual journey and that the unattained result of that journey is a discovery, a Great Awakening, a realization of the truth of existence and of the vanity of human systems to explain it.

One day I went to visit a wise man because I was confused about my career and what I should be doing. Should I stick to broadcasting, or pursue theatre, music or some other activity. What he said to me was "The answer is none of the above. What you should be doing is waking up."

Zhuangzi also wrote "Only after the great awakening will we realize that this is the great dream. And yet fools think they are awake, presuming to know that they are rulers or herdsmen. How dense!"

How dense am I? That's the question. To understand my being is a daily activity and will see me sitting quietly, staring at the wall, while the butterfly dances through my mind.

I long for the day, as the tulip, squirrel, bird, dog and all of us do, when I will wake up.

Dana Bate
The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)

Who are the 2 (two) most important people alive today? Why?

Only 6 responses so far.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather be the butterfly dreaming I am a man. ~Mary

Ally Lifewithally said...

I enjoyed reading this entry it made me think ~ and it made me dream a little bit ~ Ally x

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I need to find a quiet place to contemplate this entry. Well done.