Seeing the world through our dreams. Dreams are about us, what is going on within us in our minds and in our bodies. Dreams are a projection from the unconscious psyche and a statement about what is going on in there, especially with regard to what is happening around us. Given that most of what we perceive is going on around us is a projection i.e. a personal construct of what is going on inside us, it might behoove us to look at who is really responsible for what we experience.
The world seems full of shadow people, monsters, demons, and bullies. But if we look closely at some of their behaviors we would see that to a varying degree these behaviors reflect some of our own. We cheat (though not as much as some others), we betray, sometimes lie, are occasionally selfish, cruel (though we may not intend to be), rationalize our misdeeds, make ourselves look more important, more talented, smarter, more attractive than we are, sometimes we’re insensitive to others, we develop addictions, participate in hurtful gossip, dehumanize those who are different from us, and/or treat others badly. Yes, mixed in with all our good qualities there are negative qualities. In short, we are human. And it is these human frailties that we reject and keep hidden inside us that color the world we see around us. The truth is that those behaviors that we condemn in others are to some degree our own shadows– what doesn’t work in us we project onto the world around us.
But as humans we don’t really want to be responsible for what isn’t working in the world around us, who would want to? It’s too much of a burden and besides what can one person do? But what if I were to tell you that we are responsible for it all? I didn’t say that we are to blame, or that you and I have to take on the whole world, what I said is that we are responsible. Not as a burden but as a simple fact. Simply put, it’s our world, our nation, our community, and our family. What kind of revolution would it be if we were to acknowledge that it’s our world and that we are responsible for it all?
Yet we act as though something outside of us is responsible i.e. God, the President, Bankers, corporate CEOs, politicians, Mom, Dad and the ubiquitous “They.” But nothing outside of ourself can really save our butts, just as nothing outside the dream is the cause of the dream, or its focus. Both inside and out of the sleeping dream we use our images, our constructs, of people, events, and things to establish meaning, our meaning.
There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world most people only think of changing humanity, getting rid of the “they” and getting a new “them” to change it all and very few think of changing themself. Often this comes from thinking that we are too small to make these changes in ourselves, that something is broken and making it too hard to make the changes needed. Besides what can one person do?
In the book The Archipelago of Dreams, Airmeith the Dream Healer realizes that it only takes the awakened awareness of one ‘Being’ to transform the human universe–that to bring light to one Dark Lord can have a balancing force on everyone else. You see she knew that at a fundamental level we are all connected and part of the One, in the book it is called “The Is” (for ‘what is’), and what is done to one is done to all of us. What she needed to do was to heal the rift between a man’s mind and his soul so that the illusory separation caused by the ego, the individual personality, would disappear and leave behind the true nature of mankind.
As Robert wanders deeper into the region of the Otherworld, that often-dark world within the mysterious realm of our dreams, he discovers a healing, a truth and honesty the likes of which most of us have never seen. In our waking lives there seems to always be a battle brewing between what we are and what the smallness of the world wants us to believe we are.
Deeper still Robert becomes aware that the Dark Lords aren’t the enemy outside ourselves but the enemy within us. It is our own Dark Lord that we need to come to grips with and to transform our experience of.
“There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.
How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”
–Leo Tolstoy–”Three Methods Of Reform” in Pamphlets
In the Archipelago there is also a battle that reflects this struggle to become whole. It’s a battle that if not won, human kind will face eternal loss and damn them selves to a hell of their own construct. Ahh, but aren’t we already doing that? We’ve created the hell we experience in the world and with a shift in the way we hold responsibility I wonder if we could also create the heaven?
In the Archipelago of Dreams, Robert needs to find it in his self the power to become big enough to turn his life around. Though he is accompanied by a small band of ancient magi it is really up to him, for there’s not really any one to turn to for the kind of help he needs. In short, there is no “they” out there.
You want the world to change? Be what you want the world to be and it will change.
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
― August Wilson