Belief, Fantasy or Reality
How Would We Know If What We Think We Know Is Real?"A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition." Jose Bergamin
I have been dealing with people and the problems they face my entire life. Haven't you? Haven't we all wondered why things are the way they are. Why do people act the way they do? Isn't that what causes us to make some attempt to "find the meaning of life"? I have, like I said, been at this a while and I want to give everyone some idea of what I see as the cause of the people disturbance.
There are many references in ancient cultures to the dream state and the trance state. It seems that this is where they went to find things out. I was wondering about early tribes and why they didn't eat the wrong plants or animals and die. Well for sure some did. But I ran across a story of a shaman in South America who was telling the man doing the interview that they knew what to eat and how to live because the serpent told them. They got in touch with the serpent through psychoactive plant tinctures. Another thing that they were told is that this was the dream world. The world where they couldn't remember what they were, had to use words to communicate and so on. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand as someone who went through a horrendous drug addiction I know what it's like to get high and think things. On the other hand the not remembering and feeling as if I live in a dream world rang some inner chimes.
According to the Indians you know if you're dreaming if you're here in human form. That's not really helpful to any of us on our way to the office. Even if it's true what good is it. In my study of myself, and my fellows, and my search to get to the structure of things I have found a common thread in all addictions, anxiety and mental dis-orders. Don't confuse dis-order with disorder. Dis-order has no clinical definition, its not that complicated. The common theme is all of the individuals in these troubled states were involved in some form of fantasy life. Not an intentional fantasy. Not the stare out the window and dream about a lover fantasy but rather fantasies about Life. What life, is what our part in it is, and what makes the worlds go round. What are these things really? What are the real facts.
One thing for sure, if you're not dealing with facts then you're dealing with fantasy. If our facts about the world in which we live are not really facts, then we're living within the resulting fantasy. We're dreaming.
Over and over I go through this with people. It's always the same. They have a problem and they want it gone. When we finally arrive at the cause, there always exists some aspect of their lives that is supported by some fantasy structure. With a life built on this nonexistent foundation the building is proportionally fragile. It shakes and wobbles and needs to be constantly patched and propped up with relationships, drugs, achievements, acceptance and so on. It's never restful and it never ends.
So how do we find out if we're dreaming? We have to find out what stories we have built our lives within. Not around: within. You can't be in and out of a story. When you accept a life story, whatever it is, you become a character in that story. So our first question is always, is this story real?
Embracing Our Infinite PotentialA human being is a part of the whole called by us universe. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein, 1954
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. Isaac Asimov
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. Hal Clement
A superstition which pretends to be scientific creates a much greater confusion of thought than one which contents itself with simple popular practices. Johan Huizinga
If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem. Richard Bach
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. Buddha
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. Buddha
The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses. Francis Bacon