To do that, we’ve got to circle around and sneak up on it. Shh . . .
I am here.
You are here.
Every single instant, we are neatly self-contained. The illusion is of a wondrous separateness—individuality, independence, autonomy, free will and choice. Life feels filled to the brim with potential. Well, it should. This is a carnival, you know.
We realize its boundaries: birth and death. We observe them when others pass across them. This knowledge serves to snip us off from one another even more sharply. Everyone occupies his or her (gender is yet a further distinction) quarter-acre patch of reality. We’re fenced off from everyone else, including God.
But dammit, we are God. We’re wrapped up in that containing consciousness. We are one another. We are one. ONE. US. I. Ism.
I wake up from a dream in which I was a butterfly. Or am I really a butterfly dreaming of being a man? I wonder, is the dream state more ‘real’ than wakeful consciousness?
After all, we only dip into wakeful waters for a matter of hours before needing to recharge our batteries. By contrast, you never become exhausted in the sleep state and just have to wake up. It's not as if you run out of oxygen.
Nevertheless, we don’t question that the waking state is higher than mere sleep. Of course it must be. Isn’t our level of consciousness greater when we’re up and about? It seems so, but maybe that’s another ‘obvious’ assertion to test.
Leave consciousness out of it for the moment. Instead, let’s do an assessment of quality of being. Specifically, let’s consider our depth of connectedness to each other, the planet, the universe and our roots. We’ll compare how we do when we’re asleep, as opposed to when we’re awake. In which of the two states are we more ‘at one’?
When you open your eyes, you take on an aura of individuality and otherness. The illusion is of being a separate entity. You’re here behind the rays that shine into your eyes. Things exist ‘out there’. Time feels real, space feels real, and the cinematography of our lives feels as if it's occurring. The reels roll, we’re mesmerized, and we enjoy the drama from the comfort of our seat.
But we slough all of that off when we sleep. At that time we’re centred. We return to our origins where it is natural to be, and we draw nourishment from being there. Don’t we feel freshest in the early part of the day just after we’ve arisen? And conversely, don’t we feel dullest at day’s end?
Since this is so, then I conclude that wakefulness is not our default state. We’re not naturally wakeful beings who sometimes need to sleep. We are the one source that dips regularly into wakefulness to enjoy the experience of those dreams, which makes us not so much a butterfly as a cocoon.
Another thing is that we assume that the adult form is more advanced than the immature version. The pupa grows not only in size but in wisdom, supposedly, as our memories accumulate. But I wonder about that. Just as I’m coming around to think that the wakeful state is inferior to the sleep state, I’m starting to hypothesize that the child is the father to the man.
In one of my dreams I go into a mall with people walking about everywhere. There’re all types, all races, and I’m struck with their variety and beauty. I look into everyone’s eyes (especially if the people are women and if their eyes are brown) and then I suddenly stagger and have to reach out for support.
I’ve just had an epiphany. Now I know what it means to be God! In every pair of eyes I see consciousness swim. This pulsing matrix of humanity is omnipresence all ready to blow. It’s like a fire that just needs a match. Am I the only one who understands? We’re only a spark away from the realization that all is one. We’re just a membrane away from grokking ourselves for what we are, will be and always were: the timeless entirety. Imagine the simultaneous smile when that light dawns!