Quote: When Life seems dumb and stupid, I’m dreaming about a dumb and stupid life. Furthermore, or even more deeply, when Life seems dumb and stupid, it only seems that way because I’m lost in a dream that sees myself as dumb and stupid (in some way).
Have you ever had the thought and feeling that Life (as a whole) was dumb, stupid, or a waste of space? Perhaps you’ve been convinced at times that Life would be so much better if Life was different somehow, or if Life operated in a way that was more accommodating to your wants, needs, preferences, and desires.
For me, there have been many such moments. Everything from minor irritations that assumed Life was somehow confused, to being so painfully dissatisfied (with Life) that I’ve tried to end my human experience.
Today, I’m writing to share an insight that I’ve found to be both profoundly mind-blowing and heart-opening. However, depending on the reader’s level of receptiveness, my words may either inspire more peace and joy – or irritate them into a deeper state of dissatisfaction.
The primary insight I want to point toward, is discovered through the examination of “this self I am,” that finds itself so dissatisfied with Life.
This, of course, is Self-Inquiry; the practice of understanding the nature of one’s “Self,” and discerning the difference between a self that is real, and a self… that is not real.
Indeed, the age-old question, “Who am I?” is one we consistently ask, both consciously and unconsciously. At our core, we’re on a constant quest to answer this question. We’re always seeking to understand, defend, or improve the self that we perceive ourselves to be.
The conclusion of this insight I want to point toward, and we will work our way backward to understand it, is:
- Holy shit… this self that is so dissatisfied with life, this self that I think I am, is not a real self. In fact, this self that thinks life is dumb is not really me. My mind is in a state of hypnosis that believes I am this dissatisfied self, when really, what I am (but maybe can’t see right now), is quite peaceful and full of joy.
To illustrate further, it’s like having a dream at night, and in this dream, you’re convinced that it’s not a dream. In the dream, maybe you are experiencing some form of limitation, some form of argument or dissatisfaction, all the while what you really are is resting safely and peacefully in a comfortable bed.
Upon waking up from the dream, you might say…
- “Oh my God, it was just a dream; I’m totally fine, and what I thought was happening to me, wasn’t happening at all. I imagined the whole thing and thought it was real.”
Are you open to this possibility? Could it be that amidst your painful dissatisfaction, you’re actually dreaming and not realizing you’re dreaming?
Now, in the dream, you could see someone come along and say… “Hey, you’re dreaming; wake up, silly.” Yet, in the dream, in your conviction that it’s not a dream, this person sounds quite crazy, irrational, and maybe even unhelpful. However, if you woke up from the dream, you’d probably laugh a bit about how lost you were in the dream.
Waking Up from the Dream
When Life seems dumb and stupid, I’m dreaming about a dumb and stupid life. Furthermore, or even more deeply, when Life seems dumb and stupid, it only seems that way because I’m lost in a dream that sees myself as dumb and stupid (in some way).
The deeper question here, that helps us wake up from the dream, is:
- “What do I think is happening, that isn’t really happening?”
Naturally, to answer this question, or to get in touch with a genuine answer, you must be willing to enter a state of inner stillness and deeply feel into the inquiry.
For the one who is super lost in the dream, “being still” isn’t really an option, because in the dream there are so many things happening. Maybe we can call all these ‘happenings:’ demands, expectations, threats from all directions, and a future you must race toward to avoid some impending doom.
You see, the invitation to be “still,” is the complete opposite of what your dream character thinks would be helpful. The dream character has too many things to do in the dream, and being still is the biggest threat of all.
In fact, it’s wise to note here, that the dream character (in most cases) doesn’t actually want to wake up from the dream. Can you see why that is?
If the character in the dream believes it’s real, then upon waking up from the dream… goodbye, dream character. This character seeks to stay active within the dream because every action it takes makes it feel more real. Truly waking up from the dream, is like destroying everything the dream character desires.
So, in the spirit of that insight, there is an aspect of what you are (what you believe you are), that genuinely doesn’t want you to wake up.
Meditation & Spiritual Practices
Spirituality, beyond everything that’s woo-woo, is really an invitation to be still and discern the difference between imagination and reality. Meditation and spiritual practices are simply a doorway into that stillness, creating a space within what we are to see things more clearly.
Of course, like everything else, we can imagine spirituality to be something that it’s not. We can imagine that meditation and spiritual practices are something other than the most simple invitation into stillness and more clarity.
We could proclaim that meditation is about having the perfect posture, or that it’s about helping you manifest what you want in the world. We could say that spiritual practices are about becoming superhuman and acquiring special powers, where one day you’ll be able to levitate objects with your mind.
The point being that the real prize here is to wake up from the dream that assumes something is happening that’s not really happening at all. In fact, to say it so boldly, and I understand how it might not seem this way, but if there is suffering or emotional disturbance (the lack of peace and joy), then we are caught up in a dream.
A common assumption, which is just another aspect of the dream, is the assumption that if you are dreaming, then it is, or you are, somehow wrong. This is to judge the dream, which is simply to have a dream about dreaming. How silly it would be to fall asleep at night, have a dream, and then think you should not have been dreaming.
Is Life Dumb & Stupid?
Well, that is certainly one way to see it, isn’t it? Just because we can “see it” that way, does that mean it’s what it really is? You see, the “way we see things”, is to also say, the way we dream things to be.
Often, we assume that the way we see things is the way things are. However, the way we see things is to paint a picture of things, and this picture is the dream.
Can you see how easy it might be, to assume that our picture is reality? Yes, that assumption (belief in the picture) is to be lost in our dream about Life. In the same way, you can paint a picture of yourself in the mind (good or bad), and believe that it is you, however, that picture is just your imagination.
Is that wrong, to create pictures of yourself, to use the imagination? No, not at all. Is it wrong to paint a picture of the sunset? No, not at all. This isn’t an issue of right or wrong, what’s good or bad. This is an issue of what’s real and what is imaginary.
If I paint a picture of the sunset while thinking it’s really the sunset, it presents some interestingly insane challenges, confusion, and… a sense of seriousness that isn’t really necessary. If I paint a temporary picture of life being stupid and dumb, while believing it’s true, it all becomes way more intense and serious.
Knowing that I’m dreaming, knowing that I’m painting with my imagination, greatly reduces the energy of seriousness, and makes the whole thing a bit more playful. Just as if I knew I was dreaming in my dream at night, the dream becomes way less serious and more of a curious adventure.
The conclusion I’ve come to, for my human journey, is that:
- If I’m experiencing a painful sense of seriousness (emotional disturbance and suffering), then I’m lost in a dream, and it’s time to wake up and come home to reality.
The Human Journey
The human journey, or the play of being human, is a “non-serious but deeply sincere” adventure in waking up to see reality more clearly. The illusion of being human, or the dream of being human, assumes that being human is about something besides this.
What might not be so obvious, or for you, it could be incredibly obvious, is that…
- The more clearly you see the Truth of what is (and the truth of you), beyond the mind’s dream, then the more present, joyful, and loving your lived experience will be.
In this presence and joy, we have the opportunity to engage our human adventure in a way that honors and celebrates the beautiful truth of reality. This is what I mean to express in my classic quote:
“Being human is an opportunity to discover something beautiful within what you are, and then find a way to share that beauty with the world.”
Yes, at times it “seems” hard and sometimes it “seems” easy, and this is simply part of the discovery process. Just as there are different seasons that cycle between warm and cold, and landscapes of mountains and valleys, and ocean tides that come in and go out, it all serves the purpose of Life being Life. This oscillation is part of the process.
Please remember, though, the more you want winter to be summer, the more painful the winter becomes. The more you want to be on the mountain top when resting in the valley, the further away the mountain top appears. The more you want what is not, the more it will “seem” like something is painfully missing.
Do you desire some direct support in waking up?
Hmm 🤔, I might be able to assist you with that…
I’m offering one-time quick consultations to figure out your next step and also to optionally explore in what ways (if any) I might be able to support you more directly.
Answer these three questions:
- Where are you?
- Where would you like to be?
- And, what seems to be in the way right now?
Then, schedule a time to connect with me, and we will figure out what should be the priority and focus for you to truly move forward.