the dream of life


The Dream of Life
Alan Watts

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Alan Watts explains quantum physics idea of the multiverse, Buddhist idea of reincarnation, with a dream interpretation. Here he talks about the reason for life’s suffering and joys.

If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death (or shall I say death implies life?), you can feel yourself – not as a stranger in the world, not as something here unprobational, not as something that has arrived here by fluke – but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

I am not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it, I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities, I am not trying to prove it. I am just putting it forward as a possibility of life to think about. So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.

And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure during your sleep. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.

And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.

That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have. Of playing that you weren’t god, because the whole nature of the godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he is not. So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not god in a politically kingly sense, but god in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you are all that, only you are pretending you are not.

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light, and its importance


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I was drawn to this beautiful photo by Carrie Hilgert who took it at a recent wedding. As a woman with Asian blood surging through my veins I recognise this photo so very well; the mehndi on the bride’s hands she would have had applied so very diligently the night before her wedding 💒 accompanied by her hopes and dreams lighting up her soul alongside the bright 🔆 and happy future she envisions waiting quietly and patiently for her.
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The Hindi word “Mehndi” is used to describe the henna plant, the act of henna painting. It is also a way of making the sacred visible, and communicating with a higher power. Religious and cultural divisions aside, there are also other myths surrounding that reddish-brown tattoo. One of the most popular beliefs are the deeper the colour, the stronger the bond between bride and groom.

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The candle and its light serves to remind us that darkness is ever present but so is light. And Light, light is ever so important in all our lives. We cannot live without it. Our souls crave it all the time. When I lie on the grass with my face turned towards the Sun ☀ I feel all my cells and atoms in my psyche come alive, become alive once again. And there’s more, I feel a sense of peace, a communion and union with the world around me. That everything’s ok even if it’s not. And for that brief, special moment in time, I feel held and comforted.

Carrie is right when she says that Light is so very important. There is a wonderful quote that says:

There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.

How true. We long for the Light and I’d like to think that the Light longs, equally, for us. It is our Home, the illuminating answer to our questions; more so when the night has been unkind.

So thank you Carrie, for this special reminder and in turn, paving the way for the urge to write, to come forth once again, from its place of sleep.

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a goodnight poem, to you


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DREAMS

Trying to recall the plot
And characters we dreamed,
What life was like
Before the morning came,
We are seldom satisfied,
And even then
There is no way of knowing
If what we know is true.
Something nameless
Hums us into sleep,
Withdraws, and leaves us in
A place that seems
Always vaguely familiar.
Perhaps it is because
We take the props
And fixtures of our days
With us into the dark,
Assuring ourselves
We are still alive. And yet
Nothing here is certain;
Landscapes merge
With one another, houses
Are never where they should be,
Doors and windows
Sometimes open out
To other doors and windows,
Even the person
Who seems most like ourselves
Cannot be counted on,
For there have been
Too many times when he,
Like everything else, has done
The unexpected.
And as the night wears on,
The dim allegory of ourselves
Unfolds, and we
Feel dreamed by someone else,
A sleeping counterpart,
Who gathers in
The darkness of his person
Shades of the real world.
Nothing is clear;
We are not ever sure
If the life we live there
Belongs to us.
Each night it is the same;
Just when we’re on the verge
Of catching on,
A sense of our remoteness
Closes in, and the world
So lately seen
Gradually fades from sight.
We wake to find the sleeper
Is ourselves
And the dreamt-of is someone who did
Something we can’t quite put
Our finger on,
But which involved a life
We are always, we feel,
About to discover.

Goodnight, sweet dreams.

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my 3 year old self, and my precious mum


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This photo has lived and yellowed over the years but it remains so precious to me.

It was my 3rd birthday and I was happy in the park with my Mum. Isn’t she beautiful? She too has a three year old self.

Life was simpler then, I know now. Yet I remain fiercely protective of the three-year old self who lives, still, within my current Self. I want to do her proud but I know not how. But I will try as I always have.

Our many selves, both younger and older, exists now, with us. A long time ago I dreamt of my many younger selves and I had a conversation with each and every one of my many selves, telling them that things move on, and it will be Okay.

Tonight, I long for my older Self to tell me, now, that it will be Okay.