Are We Dreaming With Our Eyes Wide Open?

I never quite understood when people said that “life is an illusion”, that we’re all “just dreaming our lives” and “nothing is actually real”.  It never made sense to me because we’re all here on a solid piece of dirt called earth with solid looking people running around getting their feet messy.  How can that be an “illusion”?

Every time I’d hear it, I’d kind of roll my eyes and think the person saying it was trying too hard to be a fancy pants spiritual, confusing us on purpose to appear more evolved.

But then one day, I was reading yet another book that touted the same idea, and I started really contemplating it again.  It was almost as if a giant wave rose up and knocked me off my feet.  There I was sitting on my couch, unsuspecting, eating a low-salt cracker and boom!  Incoming insight!!  Woah!!

I thought about how we dream at night.  How every character, every situation, every piece of scenery, every word spoken, every part of it, comes from within us.  While we’re slumbering, we create these elaborate, convoluted dreams that are happy, sad and sometimes ridiculously scary! We generate grand productions in the recesses of our minds and we don’t even know we’re doing it until we wake up and see that it’s all happened while sleeping quietly in our beds.

And there it was . . . I realized that we do the same thing when we’re awake.  We paint the scenery in our daily lives with the brush of our personal perspective.  We interpret the words of others through the filter of what WE think they mean, not necessarily how they were actually meant.  We make assumptions about everything that happens based on our beliefs and past experiences.  We project our minds onto the world and decide what every event, action, and scenario means according to our thoughts and feelings, and none of it has anything to do with what’s real!  It’s a story.

WHAT???!!

It’s all an illusion!  We’re dreaming the world into existence with our eyes wide open and those dreams are creating “reality”.

I fully and willingly grasp this concept now, and I’m not a fancy pants anything or extra crispy evolved.  I’m just an ordinary dreamer who’s finally woken up to the fact that I can dream a pleasing dream or a distressing nightmare.  My world is just a reflection of how my mind sees it.  If I see it as ugly and unfair, it’s only because I haven’t questioned the thoughts I’m thinking that make it appear that way.  The clearer and kinder my mind becomes, the clearer and kinder my world becomes.

The shamans believe “the dreamtime” is the creative matrix and that their task is to dream courageously with their eyes open.  They envision what’s possible in the world, not probable, and create from the source “where everything exists in a latent or potential state”.

“The power to dream is the power to participate in creation itself.  For the Earthkeepers, dreaming reality is not only an ability but a duty, one we must perform with grace and love so that our grandchildren will inherit a world where they can live in peace and abundance.” – Alberto Villoldo

Every day we can choose between dreaming the life we want or dreaming the reasons we can’t have that life.  We can choose to dream peace or dream every hurtful experience and unhappy relationship we’ve had.  We can choose to dream our past or dream freedom in our present.  If we want to dream a happy dream of “grace and love”, we have to create consciously and courageously.

We are what we think.

Everything we are arises from our thoughts.

With our thinking we create the world.

–Buddha

Practice awareness.  Question what you’re thinking.  See what you’re projecting.  We can dream an inspired, empowered dream for ourselves and our world.

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