Love Letters to the Universe #8: Life is but a Dream.

9 Feb

Dear Universe,

Why is it that when I’m on a canoe far out on the reservoir, so that in the distance people and trees become an indistinct smudge of color, when the water is sparkling in the sunlight like some hypnotic and ever changing vision, when the world peels away from me, do I feel closer to you?

I’m sure that Wordsworth was right when he wrote:

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

This is true because all of the hubbub, the rigmarole and the shenanigans of life are just that. My life is the boat on the river, which is time. In those moments, when I am most aroused by the illusory spectacle of life, do I recognize that this is as true as it gets. For, life is but a dream, and it shall be “rounded by a sleep”, but “there are miles to go before I sleep”, so let’s get down to the brass tacks of the situation.

It is all an illusion. Now, don’t be broken hearted. I’ve still loved you, my dear. For you see, I’ve known since I was a boy in school. I sat in Mathematics class and learned how to plot a point on the XY axis. I thought about the fact that I was a three dimensional being that was moving through a fourth dimension, which was in turn a culmination of a series of third dimensions all lined up in a row that should (but didn’t always) make sense. These third dimensions were made from two dimensions stacked on top of each other. The second dimension was, you guessed it, made from a series of one dimensions. But what of the first dimension? The point? What was it? Suddenly that seemed incredibly important to my pre-adolescent brain.

I was told that you could plot the point by making a dot on the page with my pencil. But was not this a location, and was I not in fact covering over many points to make my mark to designate “the point”? I tried to make a smaller point, and even smaller than that still. Quickly I realized that this was very much like throwing something half way to a chosen destination, picking it up and continuing to throw it half way there. It would never get there. Why?

Because the point was imaginary. I had to assume that it was there and that it was important, because, hey, everything else is built from these points stacked on top of one another, right? I had forgotten the lesson I had learned from watching Benny Hill (of all places). Never Assume, or you make and ass out of u and me. If the point is imaginary, so is the line, the cube, heck, time itself.

It is all an illusion, a pretty one and incredibly alluring, but an illusion still. But, what is real, then? How can I judge it’s illusory quality without somehow instinctively understanding reality?

I think I am real (or am I real because I think?). I make decisions, this super-important exercise of my free will, and give birth to whole new universes, right? That has to be real, doesn’t it?

No, where I have gone wrong is in my assumption that I was becoming more conscious in order to best exercise my free will. Perhaps, I have free will in order to build a consciousness.

As a Danish friend of mine once said: “There is no good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” Is this not correct? Is not the consciousness the very machine that makes the choice? If this is what is real, and it’s fuel is the dream that is us, and mailboxes and camping trips, light bulbs, poodles and everything, then all there is is consciousness.

Here I come closest, sweet universe to the beating heart of you. For from this flicker, this spark of consciousness that is me, I see so many others. This lights coming up against the dark of nothingness and roaring: I am!

The gnostics understood this. These thinkers and sages from countless spiritual paths saw the light which was buried deep inside of ourselves, and understood that like is attracted to like. That should they live to find that gnosis, that spiritual knowledge, they might better be drawn toward that light which is you, great universe.

I wish I could tell the rest of my hairless and tailess monkey brothers and sisters to wake up. They have become drunk on the illusion. They moan and ache over things that are not real. They have what they need inside of each other, all the light that could ever be, from beyond the edge of time: Light to guide their way, light to help each other, light to ignite each other in a bonfire of truth and love, if only they should be so brave.

Surely, they would see that if mailboxes and donuts and macaroni and cheese are illusion, then surely nations and money and power are such. Could we not decide that suffering, the illusion that we tolerate, has seen its last day?

So, would I lose you, universe, if I said that it was all an illusion? No, I say. I hear you in the happy laughter of a child, I see you in the teary-eyed happiness of an old man touched by grace. As every dance I have danced, every tale I have told, is but a shining of that light which is me, my consciousness, is also an expression of you. I am filled with awe at your shining waters, your fading to smudge of color shores, but you are not there.

You are the awe, sparking to life when I remember.

Let me never forget, then. Let me remember that as I sit in my illusory chair, eating my illusory food, and quibbling over illusory talk about illusory things, let me remember to look for the light in those sitting across from me. Let me be a moth to the flame, which will carry my spirit higher than I would dare, into your shining, burning embrace, where I remember myself as light and shed myself, as I might shed an old costume.

Then we will dance, you and I, will we not?

Love,

Trav

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