Random Thoughts on Living Life as it were a Dream
In the early 1980s while I was working with a holistic education project called Anisa in Vista, California, I thought that I had arrived at the place where I would stay for a long time including going for a doctorate in education. Two years into the project the founder of the model died suddenly while on a trip to New York. The university made moves to undo the core of the program so a number of us began to search for other places to work. It just so happened that a small First Nations band in Alberta had adopted the model and was trying to implement it in the reserve school. Since they need assistance in the implementation process, we were eager to go to see what we could do.
Anisa is a process-oriented approach to education, which means that besides the traditional content that you learn in school, the model focuses on the processes you need to develop in order to become a competent learner. I had a fairly good grasp of many of the cognitive, perceptual, physical, and volitional capacities of the model, but was extremely lacking in the emotional area and in relating to the spiritual world, which Anisa calls the world of the unknowns. Over time I began to study dreams as well as the processes related to emotional competence. What I learned from my experience with indigenous people is to treat the experience of daily life as if it were a dream. It is what most people who spend most of their time in nature do. For instance, if you were to go out hiking and come upon bear, then just as you would wonder why a bear came into a dream, you could wonder why a bear came into your life that day. In my early years I doubted that a bear could have come to give me a message. Indeed most people growing up in a material civilization cannot have communication with nature, but after a few years, the communication that was opened up to me from the natural world greatly aided my everyday life.
It is difficult in the busy city to get into the mindset or even believe that the natural world is connected to the same spiritual world that gives you dreams each night. There is so much coming at you all at once in the city, that the messages you are meant to get are not listened to or attended to. Indeed people largely believe that nature does not communicate with us in a spiritual manner. When I opened myself up to the understanding that the physical world is a metaphorical experience for the spiritual worlds, then my spirit became receptive. Lots of things came to me.
In my current life I tend to take a moderate approach to what I am suggesting. Much of the time my logical, rational mind is engaged to follow a sequence of thought or figure things out, and then some of the time is more open to what comes to me intuitively and metaphorically. What I have found helpful is to believe that the spiritual world is ever present and always in communication if your motives are pure. It allows for a lot of positive things to come to you that you do not have access to in your conscious cognitive thought processes. Much of our language is geared at separating the physical world from the spiritual world, but there are times when the two worlds seem to be as one, and then they show up in language. People will say things like the dream felt so real as if it were happening in waking life or conversely that the experience in the physical world felt like a dream. The physical world is governed by the laws of time and space, but the spiritual worlds have flexibility with how time and space operates. For instance, in the spiritual realm the end is often in the beginning or shifting from one place to another instantly can easily be done.
How is your daily life like a dream?
Stay tuned for thoughts on how to see time and space in a more flexible manner.