Dreamwork 2: Life is a Metaphor
O MY SERVANT! Thou art even as a finely tempered sword concealed in the darkness of its sheath and its value hidden from the artificer’s knowledge. Wherefore come forth from the sheath of self and desire that thy worth may be made resplendent and manifest unto all the world. Baha’u’llah
The thing that differentiates the dream world from the material world is its metaphoric nature. So I often find it useful to dream about my life on the planet in metaphoric terms. The other day I had a dream that instructed me extremely well about what my life’s main metaphor should be right now, a sport camp. It really works for me, but it isn’t for everyone. I know it is the right metaphor for me because when I think about life as that metaphor and feel its energy, I am really motivated in all kinds of ways. The main virtue is playfulness, which means that I am light and experimental and active, not taking life too seriously.
When I started doing my dream work on becoming more sports camp-like, I found some interesting other metaphors blocking my way that were mostly related to being a workaholic lawyer-type or doctor-type. It isn’t that a lawyer is a bad metaphor, but it just doesn’t work for me right now. It comes into my process from time to time because I think my culture in my head believes that that is what it means to be successful so I should be doing that one. However, when I do life as a sports camp in my mind, then I am much greater service to others. Life is a fun game to be played.
The other day I got a traffic ticket for answering my cell phone in car. ( A big no-no. Sorry Oprah.) Well when I was thinking of paying it, my mind made it into a big operation like it would be major surgery. That is a bad metaphor. So today I change the metaphor to a sports-camp. Paying a traffic fine in Kuala Lumpur can be complicated business. So in my mind I just thought that paying this find is like playing a game. The game I played was “Go Ask a Policeman”. So I walked to my local station and they could only tell me generally where the place to pay was, not specifically. But it was like getting a hit and being on first base. They said just drive to such an such a place and then ask someone else. So when I got close to the area I saw another policeman and asked him. He gave me some more directions which got me to second base. When I got to that place, they said it was the right name, but wrong location, so they told somewhere else to go. When I got there, it felt like I was on third. Then I made it to the counter, paid the fine, home run.
Had I played the game of lawyer-judge, which I often do, then I would have judged the police at every place as being incompetent, but when I played the game “Go Ask a Policeman”, they were all really friendly and helpful and I eventually made it.
So how do you find your metaphor? It is often easier to begin with the metaphor you are living that is ego-based and is not working like life is hell or life is a pain, or life is an attempt to be a cover girl. First you take the big tests or difficulties in your life that are causing you misery, then turn it into a metaphor. So if you have a lot of frustration for instance, then it could be that your life is a battering ram and your head is the target. The current big metaphor you want is something completely the opposite which in this case might be, life is a beach. When life is a beach, then the energy that you need is more like the virtue of warmth rather than trying to push your agenda through as a battering ram.
When you live metaphorically, you are already doing dream work. Try it.