There is but one dream, but there are also many dreams.
There is but one source, but so many feeding from this source.
Once a year I lock myself away with my all time favourite book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. For me, this book and the agreements he speaks of are my ‘reset’ if you will. They bring me back to centre and to a place where I feel calm and in control after a period of perhaps allowing the outside world to take over, of which I feel we are all guilty of from time to time, some more so than others.
The Four Agreements as per the book are;
Be Impeccable With Your Word
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best
I could go on to expand on these, but I won’t, and encourage you to get a hold of the book and take a look at it yourself to form your own opinion.
On top of going into detail about each agreement, the author speaks of a couple of themes that bind each together, these being that we are all in our own dream, which forms part of a larger collective dream, and that all too often, there is an exchange of poison going on between the individual and the collective dream in that of meaningless and trivial gossip, delivered by the word.
You could perhaps take a guess at where this ties into the first agreement, if not all of them.
I have a real bee in my bonnet about the state of the world, as most of you would know from reading my words, and a few of you who know me personally. I can sound quite ‘ranty’ sometimes and I am fully aware of that, but my rants, which tend to be unleashed like the fire of a thousand suns, come from much thought in solitude, much mulling over of thought, much observation, and discussion with others, contrary to popular belief more often than not.
This concept of the ‘poison’ that is shared via the word amongst humans is one that intrigues me greatly, and one that is so accurate. Being one who believes that there can be so much more said with so much less, I am flabbergasted by the world of social commentary, the media, and opinion pieces just for the sake of it, and I realize the irony of this given that I could be seen to be one who commentates often on society and also writes opinion pieces, but whatever.
Back to the concept of poison being shared by the written and spoken word.
If I hear something on the grapevine about something or someone and I am not personally there to witness or hear it myself, and I choose to then pass what I hear on the grapevine to another, I have just injected poison into another, and now have no control over it. Had I chose to keep what I had heard to myself, and essentially hear words of another, but keep them with me, then the poison remains with me, but I then choose to dispose of it by essentially ignoring it. This may seem like an obvious concept to some, but it is not to most. I am confident that this is obvious to you, my readers, because I set the intention behind my writing years ago to appeal to only those who are picking up what I am putting down.
If this is the only part of what I have written here today that you have read and you have immediately gone to comment, well, I’ve kind of won the case, and well, you’ve helped me. Not that is about winning, after all, we get awards for just showing up to life these days.
There is but one dream, but there are many dreams within that one dream, all swirling around inside of the one dream like a washing machine on a spin cycle. But unlike a spin cycle, the swirling never seems to end, it just keeps gaining momentum, and people start flying out of the machine left right and centre, and it gets a bit messy.
I was hanging out my washing earlier which is something I really dislike doing, but I suppose it is something that is necessary, and I was mulling over in my mind just how I was going to analogize this dream concept into my own words.
This is what I came up with.
If we were to liken this concept of there being one dream, but many dreams within that dream, all working away individually, but at the same time also, then I liken this to there being a pot of gold in the middle of a circle of fifty or so people.
The starting gun goes off and they all run towards the pot of gold.
What happens next?
Well, it’s a fucking bloodbath.
But, there will more than likely be one in those fifty people who will stand tall on top of those below them feeling victorious in their achievement of getting to the gold first and it now is theirs. They’ve won, they got the prize, they are superior, sharing or working out the fairest approach to the task beforehand never came into the equation.
So now you are picturing someone standing atop the battered and bruised bodies of those who were not so fortunate, this is how I liken the dreams within the dream concept.
As some of you may know, I wrote some books. The first one I wrote was about the pursuit of happiness, and how so many are so desperate to get from where they are, to where they are going in order to reach some sort of utopic state of being, without for a second considering that where they are in between those two locations is the only place they will ever be, the present. I’m not telling anyone anything new here, of this I am aware, but this is something that I have once again been exploring within my own life since reading The Four Agreements again and re-evaluating a lot of my goals that I set a year ago.
After publishing that book, I felt flatter than ever. I felt that there had been so much momentum going into it and leading up to publishing it and obsessing over full stops and commas, that once it was done, I did not know what to do with myself. I was literally the definition reason I wrote the book, I was expecting on some level to reach some utopian state of existence after releasing it, and was so fixated on the end goal, that at no point did I ever take stock of how my life was going in the right here and now, or there and then as it were.
I dreamt my own dream, and was feeling the dream of the masses also, I tapped into that mass dream which informed my own dream, and I created some words around it in the form of my first book, The Happiness Gap. What then happened in the time following that was that I developed a feeling of resentment towards a lot of words that I was hearing around me. I started to harbor a lot of resentment towards people who I felt were stuck on the spin cycle, at risk of flying out of the washing machine at any time, and not seeing it coming, but somehow enjoying every minute of it.
The dreams within the dream in my experience, often come back to a few simple primal needs of we humans, again, nothing new under the sun, nor am I speaking anything that has not been spoken before.
- Connection or a sense of belonging
Without love for ourselves or for others, it can be a lonely existence, as where there is a lack of connection or belonging, and then add a lack of validation to our thinking, our actions, or our intentions, then we have a recipe for unhappiness and a lack of balance.
I question however if these three ideas, concepts or whatever you wish to call them are present within the dreams that exist inside of the dream, and where the exact point in time was where we lost the way in our pursuit of all things external and perhaps starting placing profit as a priority over people, for a gain of what I am not sure.
I’ve written many times before about how we are and have been at a tipping point of some sorts for quite some time now. And that many of us are fully aware that there is much change needing to occur right now in our daily lives in order to ensure longevity as a species, and to achieve this utopian state of being that I am confident a lot of us have in our minds.
When I talk to people much more senior than I and they rattle off a line of “well I’m through the world now, there is not much I can do” I am envious, annoyed and understanding at the same time. I am envious as they are so effortless in their approach to life, and they should be, life is nowhere near as hard as it was many years ago and I am thankful to those that have come before me for all they have done to create the word I was born into. But I also get annoyed at the same time when I overthink (who me? Never!) it and start to go off on tangents about how the industrial revolution has been killing the planet since it began and then money and credit was thrown in on top of it to add to the forever dangling carrot of peace and happiness that so few ever achieve, forgetting that we had it from the beginning, but chose to deviate from the path. I am understanding however because I too feel sometimes that there are very few sacrifices to my life that I am willing to make because it’s pretty comfortable and I have goals I want to achieve.
And here we have the dream within the dream concept. I have a dream of doing all that I want to do between being born and dying, and all too often this can neglect the wider dream of the masses in that of maintaining love, connection, validation and also the longevity of both myself and the planet I am blessed to live on.
So where does it end?
Where does it begin?
It really does not end, because it really never began, it has been a dream the whole time, it has been my dream, it has been your dream, it has been your neighbor’s dream and these dreams have all been occurring within the one big dream of us all.
And I feel like this could tie in nicely to the last of the four agreements that I mentioned at the beginning, always do your best.