Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Prison of Attachment

I have a son who is a living a lifestyle that is hard for me to understand. It is not the typical lifestyle of someone raised in a typical Midwestern city in the United States.

I am not his judge. But I am his father. I have an attachment to him. When he doesn't do what I would do, I worry. Perhaps I don't worry like I would have at one time, but there is still attachment.

I am reminded of Nisargadatta saying something along the lines of, "get to the place where you have no need of friends." Of course, Nisargadatta is not just talking about a big narcissistic ego; he's talking about realizing that there is no separation. Furthermore, he talking about knowing the Presence. And knowing is being at One with that.

Dreams can sometimes be quite revealing about what is going on in the mind. The symbolism of a dream carries far more than words. I dreamed that I was arrested with my son. The reason for the arrest was not significant, or known, in the dream.

We were both handcuffed and put into a police car. I recall having a very strange sense about the arrest. I could not defend myself as the paradigm I was in, would not be understood by the police. I was upset about the situation, but not angry with my son, though there was some sense that my son was the cause.

At this point I woke up. Awake, yet having just been arrested. This dream perfectly expresses what my attachment to my son is doing to my sense of self? It puts it in prison. Except for this attachment, I would be free.

All attachments are like this. It is worth meditating on.


Amna K said...

This dream is also because you feel that somehow, you're responsible for whatever he is doing with his life. Maybe you feel that you're answerable to the world or to God for his acts.

Atleast, that's what my interpretation of the dream says.

Dan said...

In dreams, the police, hooligans, mobsters, and characters who are disapproving of your actions most often symbolize ego-mind. Often they are chasing you or in judgement of you in some way.

There may be parts of the dream you left out for public consumption, but based on what is here;

-Notice, first, there is no "reason" for the arrest. That is to say, it is unnecessary.

-You are not in prison, merely "arrested". The situation with your son is merely hindering you, it doesn't have you locked down.

-If the dream is about attachment, notice you are both handcuffed separately, but together in the back of the cruiser.

-"I could not defend myself as the paradigm I was in, would not be understood by the police." Ego-mind does not like this business of understanding your true nature because it is always fearful of annihilation, fearful of not being in charge. Thus, you recognize that it would not understand.

-You are not "angry" with your son, because you know this has nothing to do with your son per se. Anger is usually the result of unfulfilled expectations. Perhaps the dream is suggesting there are no expectations you have of your son (which is wonderful), except:

-"there was some sense that my son was the cause". Perhaps this is the nut of it. If you view the situation such that your son is the cause, that your son is what has you arrested, you will be forever stuck, since you have assigned the reason for your "stuckness" to be outside of you.

"Except for this attachment, I would be free." I have my own son, so I know the charge that can surround the relationship and the difficulties of attachment. But you are already free, your son is already free. Being arrested together is unnecessary. As Jesus said, "I and my Father are One". There is no room for attachment in either direction. The only handcuffs come from not seeing/being this.


Maury Lee said...

WOW! Dan, what amazing and clear insight you have! Impressive! Not only did you interpret but you also showed its relationship to the non dual.

I did a number of years of work in Gestalt groups. I did almost exclusively dream work because I didn't trust my intellect AT ALL.

I recorded my dreams every morning, and then took them to group. What came out of those dreams changed my life.

When I say wow! It comes from some pretty heavy experience. So thank you for your input. Much appreciated.

Dan said...


You're very welcome, and I'm glad you found it helpful. Of course, and as I'm sure you know, its infinitely easier to interpret someone else's dream. You know, that whole honesty thing and all :)

Like you, I've been interested in dreaming for years. In the early going, I gave up on interpretation since it seemed like any dream could be interpreted in so many ways that I found it nearly impossible.

What I have since discovered is that non-duality is like a master key. Once you get the hang of it, when you view dreams through a non-dual light they often nearly interpret themselves. Of course, that honesty thing is still very much operative!