Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Analysis of Backpacks and Wedding Dresses

A reader sent this analysis of my dream "Backpacks and Wedding Dresses. I think it's pretty good.

From Dan:

Having read your Backpack and Wedding Dresses post, I couldn't help but notice it seemed in connection with your "Arrested" dream, and so I was moved to offer up an interpretation. Overall, this seems a very positive dream. I gather that was your feeling upon awakening? (Of course, having money thrown at you never usually generates a bad feeling!)

As you know, when exploring the implications of non-duality, no stone can be left unturned. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to deal with the stuff that is unconscious, what Jung calls shadow content, since, well, its unconscious and the self-aggrandizing ego would rather not look at it. In this sense, the stones are often not even seen, much less overturned.

The beautiful thing about dreams is that the shadow content is presented, and can be looked, at even if ego wishes to avoid it, or tries to make something else of it entirely. In this respect I find dreams to be of the utmost value and take them "seriously". From your comments, and the dream work you've done, it appears you do, too. So, for what it's worth, I offer up this interpretation in the spirit of one fellow dreamer to another.

Here's the synopsis.

Worried-father-ego doesn't understand, or particularly want for his son the lifestyle he is leading. Presence points out that those foibles are necessary for growth. Unconscious-clearer-seeing ego accepts this and sees no need to change anything, and accepts his son's perceived foibles unconditionally. Presence, always there to assist, guarantees spiritual rewards when this prescription is followed.


Backpacks-- transience, wandering, coming and going, the lived life in the world of appearances.

Wedding dresses-- union, purity, eternal Presence.

Racing bike-- balance, precision, a healthy ego

Children-- newly forming aspects of your son's identity

Adults-- the supporting aspects of Maury

Neighbor-- Presence, close by, at hand, assisting

Money-- what is valued, spiritual riches.

transience, support, safety, acceptance.

--My wife and I have gone to bed. It's fairly late. Then there is a sudden commotion. We hear people running through the house, loud voices and laughter. I get up to investigate.

This is something you are waking up to. Perhaps you have been asleep on it, unaware, but now moving to "investigate". Also notice the dream takes place late at night, the dark, the unconscious coming to the fore. (often the unconscious is symbolized in a dream as something dark or lower, like a basement, or perhaps a hole) So the dream is depicting something that you don't normally give acknowledge.

--He is showing them around the house. I can see that they are friends of his.

It seems to me the children are aspects of your son, not you, as they are his friends. The children are the young, new, not yet formed aspects of your son. You refer to them as vagabonds. They are transient, wanderers who come and go and haven't taken hold yet.

--He hardly notices me. I see that a few woman in their late twenties or early thirties are coming in behind. One man about thirty-five follows. He had a really cool racing bike.

The adults are the ones who care for the children, just as you care for your son. In this sense they are aspects of Maury. Bikes can connote a number of things, the obvious one is balance. They can also be a symbol for the ego since we move from place to place on them just as the ego is a vehicle for Presence in this space-time world. In the case of the former, a racing bike is a very balanced type of bike, a precision instrument, and so your balance regarding the message of the dream is precise. The same can be said of it as a symbol for the ego, it's not some piece of junk you are having a problem with.

--are all abandoned children that are being kept safe by the women and the man. They have no money, so they move to safe places where they can stay for awhile.

If they are aspects of your son's ego, notice they have no money, aren't being given value. They are moved to safe places and your home, where you "live", is just such a place, and is regarded as such by your son since it is he who has brought them here. The "loud voices and laughter" clearly indicate his comfort in this regard.

--I have a big, rambling, country house on the side of a hill.

Houses in dreams can connote mind, with the various rooms suggesting aspects of the mind. A basement, the unconscious; a study, the intellect, a dining room, a place where the mind assimilates (food for thought); a living room, the part of the mind you normally "inhabit" or use, etc. An unfamiliar house can denote a different mind-set that is needed. In this case the house is sprawling and wide so may indicate a more spacious, open mind is helpful. It's placement on a hillside indicates "higher".

--Part of what we do is sell to travelers. We have a room that has racks of backpacks and wedding dresses.

Your having titled the dream with these symbols reinforces the centrality of them in the dream. Backpacks indicate travel, wandering, coming and going. The theme of traveling, wandering, or transience is an important symbol in this dream. As such, perhaps it symbolizes the living of life, the world of appearances. Backpacks are also carried on the back, a symbol of support, and this theme of support is also a prominent motif in the dream at large.

The wedding gowns are a symbol of Presence, of All That Is. Often symbols concerning Presence are like this, denoting union, or purity. Other possible meanings for the symbols of a wedding gown are commitment or new phase, but I don't think those apply as much as does viewing the dresses as a symbol of Presence. Presence, Awareness, is never touched (virgin white) by the coming and going of the appearances. Notice that the children climb a ladder to get them: they  "move toward heaven" to reach Presence.

As a symbol of Presence, the gowns dress the children, aspects of your son's ego, and cover them, just as all things exist IN Presence. Perhaps the dream is suggesting that your son is trying on Presence, just as you have come to in your long journey. Your being "pleased" that the children like the dresses may be a confirmation of this or of your knowing that these aspects of your son are in "safe places", as Presence is all, and no harm, ultimately, comes to anything.

--"Well, we must be meant to let them stay here or they wouldn't have come." We accept the fact that we will have company for awhile.

Your acceptance is unequivocal. Even if the waking ego struggles with what it perceives to be its lot in life at any one moment, ultimately it is forced give up the ghost. The children-- your son and all his perceived foibles-- are here, like it or not, and in no need of the ego attempting to change or deny any of it. In other words, even though Maury(worried father-ego) might be taking these aspects to be deleterious, Presence is pointing out that they are necessary, and will eventually lead to growth, to climbing the ladder, finding the dresses, and union with Presence. In the dream you know this, and accept this to be the case. Only worried father-ego needs to be convinced. This also goes back to the children not having any money, waking-ego doesn't see these aspects as something of value. In the dream, you recognize they are "meant to stay", you give them value, and don't regard them as something necessarily to be gotten rid of.

--I get up early in the morning, and step outside. A neighbor is at my door. He is an older gentleman. He is there with his assistant. He is tossing bills at me, hundreds and twenties.

Now we move from the darkness(night) of the unconscious to the light(day) of the known, or that which is not in shadow. The neighbor is another symbol of Presence. A neighbor is someone you live "close" to, and nothing is closer than Presence. Presence is there to "assist" you as symbolized by the assistant. It is "eager to help", and is showering you with money, a symbol of something of value.

Your acceptance of all the uncomfortable stuff that leads to worry, brings a new day with spiritual riches, since Presence only deals in spiritual gifts, not mundane ones. Not just for you, the money is for the children, the aspects of your son which have been difficult and a source of worry for you. Maury, allowing What Is to just be ("meant to let them stay"), without wanting to change it or head it off at the pass, gives everyone shelter, safety, and wakes to a brighter day.

Additional comments;

Now, maybe I assume too much, but: Notice that your son "hardly notices me" (typical!). Perhaps he's not looking to you to solve all his problems or to overtly guide him, but he obviously finds your "house", your point of view, comfortable, as he shows the new aspects of himself that he is trying out around your house in a kind of gaiety. It seems to me that even though he is not overtly acknowledging you, he finds your influence is clear and, I would say, "roomy" like the house. In other words, he's not as deaf to what you have to offer as might appear and, perhaps in his own way, is exploring your guidance just as the children explore and find the dresses.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Circus Came to Town

We are designed not to know, because who we really are already knows. If we knew, where would all the fun come from? Who would keep on playing the game?

We are designed not to know who we are, for who we really are, already knows. There has to be a problem for there to be a story. A conflict is required, and characters in the dark.

The plot is all same, from here to Timbuktu, just different characters, playing all the same parts. Different cities, different towns, different genders; same old story.

The circus "Lila" came to town, and all the elephants have run amok. The Hoi polloi are chasing elephants. A group of wise men have captured one. Feeling in the dark, one says the elephant has changed into a rope, another into a large snake, and yet another into a sail.

Yet someone, somewhere, sees the light, and can't stop laughing. He sees the wise men fumbling in the dark. He knows the circus never came to town, and never left, and won't come back.

One Question

There is only one question that drives all the other questions, so when that one question is answered all the other questions fade into nothing.

The answer is One, and no thing becomes everything.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


In the nondual literature are many statements noting the requirement of a guru for one who wishes enlightenment. What is the primary factor behind such statements? Is it just tradition? Is it elitist on the part of gurus and followers?

A primary fact that supports the tradition is that so few  ever attain enlightenment. It is a rare event. Being rare, a serious student may easily justify the need to have a personal guru.

For Westerners this is not as tolerable as it may be for those having grown up in the Eastern cultures. Surrender is not a highly regarded trait in the West. Having a guru is one thing, complete surrender to the guru is another.

I believe the critical factor in the tradition of needing a personal guru, is the need for conviction. What the student needs, what he requires, is conviction. As with many endeavors, conviction is a fundamental quickening agent. What the guru can provide is that conviction.

Being in the presence of a guru and seeing the sureness with which questions are answered, supports conviction. Seeing the attitude, the approach, the authority and humility of the guru, also supports conviction.

Seeing that a guru lives what he speaks, and is what he speaks of, supports conviction. Hearing words and concepts spoken with sureness and understanding, promotes conviction.  What is behind the gurus words, and the space from which they come, is also felt.

Conviction on the part of the guru easily lends itself to conviction on the part of the student. The leavening effect of conviction leads to the letting go of erroneous opinions, leading to faster results.

Another factor the presence of a guru provides is "silent transmission." This has been documented and described over the years. Among the faithful this is a given. What is this silent transmission?

Hawkins notes that the aura of the guru is at a different wavelength. Being a wavelength not encountered among the general population, it can have an incredible impact without a word spoken.

Those lucky enough to have been in the presence of a truly enlightened guru are already at an advantage. For the aura does carry the vibration to the student.

The fact that you have been in the presence of an enlightened person may already indicate that you are on the path, knowingly or unknowingly. Otherwise you wouldn't have had the opportunity.

In my case, I have met with and been in the presence of several gurus. I have spoken with others. I did not experience what some call "wu wu." That does not mean that I did not pick up the vibration. At the time, I may not have been ready.

Hawkins says that the vibration of the aura of a guru remains with the seeker forever, even multiple lifetimes. When that person is ready, it will have effect.

As for me, my most revealing and awakening moments have been when alone. Usually while reading the words of a master. Letting the words and the space between the words speak to me, has brought tremendous revelation. It has brought inspiration, ecstasy, and more.

I have always maintained, "Put no head above your own." Trust yourself, whether in what you read, or what guru you follow. This demands that you know what resonates with you. If it resonates, feel free to follow, to allow.

Having a strong intellect and being attached to words and concepts, I have always pursued enlightenment via the mind. Commonly called Jnana yoga. Most say this is the hardest way. I have a hard head.

For me, reading Krishnamurti, Krishna Menon, Franklin Merrell-Wolf, Nisargadatta and others, allowed me to reach depths previously unknown. These experiences brought conviction. Speaking with enlightened souls has also helped.

In any event, it is conviction that makes the way easier -- the grease that makes the impossible, possible. Conviction  is light that helps penetrate the darkness.

Lack of conviction is a stumbling block. Conviction is an aid. I am not condoning stupid fanatical belief. But I am in support of the experience of conviction, which allows one to suspend stumbling blocks of the mind, even for a moment. If a guru helps allay one's skepticism, by all means, seek one out.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Backpacks and Wedding Dresses

Ah, but to dream! Ah, and to have a good dream! It's all a dream anyway. Here's a recent one.

My wife and I have gone to bed. It's fairly late. Then there is a sudden commotion. We hear people running through the house, loud voices and laughter. I get up to investigate.

Coming down a long hallway, I see my twenty year old son, walking briskly with a number of teenagers and middle schoolers. He is showing them around the house. I can see that they are friends of his.

Apparently he has joined up with this vagabond troupe and he has brought them home. I stand and watch as he shows them around the house. He hardly notices me. I see that a few woman in their late twenties or early thirties are coming in behind. One man about thirty-five follows. He had a really cool racing bike.

In awhile I learn that these are all abandoned children that are being kept safe by the women and the man. They have no money, so they move to safe places where they can stay for awhile.

I have a big, rambling, country house on the side of a hill. Part of what we do is sell to travelers. We have a room that has racks of backpacks and wedding dresses. The wedding dresses are small, more for young girls to play with, since like dressing and wedding gowns are fascinating to them.

I see the middle school girls climbing the ladder on the wall and pulling down the dresses, trying them on. I am pleased that they like them. After awhile I look at my wife and say, "Well, we must be meant to let them stay here or they wouldn't have come." We accept the fact that we will have company for awhile.

I get up early in the morning, and step outside. A neighbor is at my door. He is an older gentleman. He is there with his assistant. He is tossing bills at me, hundreds and twenties. He is writing checks, all different amounts. But it's a lot of money.

He tells me that I am going to need the money to take care of all these kids. He is eager to help. I pick up the bills and checks. I am very surprised by all this money being given to me. It is such a shock that I wake up.    

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Stolen "I" Principle

We take the "I" and beat our chests and prance around like peacocks, thinking we are so special. Are we?

We have taken the "I" principle and absconded with it. We are thieves, each and every one of us.

All the adjectives, pronouncements, and declarations are all extensions of the "I" principle. We make ourselves into something with all these adjectives. Our descriptions of ourselves, emboldened by our opinions, create a self - a little self.

We have all become a little self, an ego, a prima donna,
masquerading as something special, self made. It is all a lie. We have placed the trappings of illusion on a pedestal. We worship ourselves.

But the "I" is stolen. It is stolen from the One, the only "I" principle. We have stolen the grand principal "I" and covered it with a peon's robe.

Without considering the Source, we have taken ourselves to be something we are not. Our egos have run off with us, proclaiming immaculate conception, as if we were some self made being.

We are pretenders, naive, duped by our own unexamined assumptions. We never look back to discover our naked presumptuousness, our foolishness.

We have run off into a world of our own illusions, lost in fantasy, lost to who we really are. This is worse than "the Ides of March." For we are fallen. For we have wandered off without foundation, without true knowledge.

For the "I" principle is primary - irreducible, and without attributes. It stands alone. It is the being of the "I" principle. The One, the Only, the True.

Every apparent self has participated in this thieving folly. Every apparent self has made this mistake. But the wise  one looks back. Looks back to the Source.

The "I" principle never left. The "I" principle never changed. It is the very base on which our apparent selves have taken wings. It is for us to turn around, to stop, to look.

And if we stop. And if we look. Perhaps we will see the One, standing there behind us, holding us up, loving us, knowing who we really are. And perhaps we will wake up.

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.

"Full Stop" MP3 Audio Podcast Review

I had the opportunity to listen to a wonderful podcast by Charlie Hayes. I wrote a review, see below.  A link to the podcast is at the bottom of this post. Charlie's website is http://beingisknowing.blogspot.com/
Maury's Review of "Full Stop" - An audio podcast by the spiritual teacher - Charlie Hayes

I just listened to Charlie Hayes' mp3 titled "Full Stop." This is about as good  as it gets. If you are ready to get this, you don't need to hear anything else, or read anything else. Honestly, it's all here. Where is here? Where is now? Nowhere. Bottom line, done, you're - finished!

You don't have to change yourself because what you really are, you already are, and it is here, and now, everywhere and nowhere. Do you get it? If not, try listening to Charlie's new mp3, "Full Stop.” While listening to spiritual work, I wait silently for the feeling of resonance. I have to say, that for Maury, there was resonance. I also have to say, that for resonance to be here, "I Am" has to be present. "I Am" was present.

You don't need to worry about who you are, because you have no control over that. For heaven's sake, if you had any choice, would you be listening to Charlie's latest mp3?

From beginning to end, the concept Maury, being rather arrogant about what he's read, could tick off the major universals brought  into focus.  The best of the best. There was an authority to the words spoken that can only come from the "I Am." Neither arrogant, nor humble, just what is, expressed, As Is. What else is there?

The silence and love with which the mp3 ends, says it all. You don't get to silence without letting go of a lot of obstruction, because what you are is already present, just not accounted for -- covered with bullshit -- mostly thought. You can seek what you already are, but it's like a dog chasing it's tail.

Charlie enlightens some of the stupidity propounded as spirituality; a major one being, trying to get rid of the "me." You can't. There is a body. It is here. It is present, and it does exist. The question is, "Is that who you really are?"

The suffering of trying to get rid of the me can be released, not by getting rid of yourself, but by realizing that that is not who you really are. You are That which is nowhere and everywhere. That which Is, whether you realize it or not, is what you really are. You are that presence, and you have never left.

If you insist on using your mind to find the answer, Charlie's recommendation is to deconstruct. You can blow your mind by earnestly asking the simple question, "Who am I." Not in a cursory manner, but deeply, profoundly. You can do this by doing a Full Stop at "I am." Everything after I Am is bullshit - opinion, projection, conjecture.

To point out the quick departure on which thought will take you for a ride, Charlie points out that, "The second you say 'Being' you are no longer in it. Now you are in concepts." Most of us have little awareness of how much of our world is a construct, and it is the constructs that cause suffering. I need say little more. If you are ready, all you need to know is in this mp3. Honestly, what is, Is, in this recording,
 "Full Stop."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recent Dr. Hawkins Quotes

A student asked about comparing herself with other people, having feelings of jealousy, wanting to be like other people, and Dr. Hawkins replied:  “You can’t be jealous of what the person is – only of what you perceive and think they are.  You cannot see Reality.  You have no idea of what Reality actually looks like. …  What you are dealing with are your own projections.  Everything you see is a projection… {Wanting to become like another person…} … that is an adolescent trait, comparing yourself with others.  (They have more money than I do.  She has a prettier blouse.)  It’s an unwillingness to let go of that.  You are getting juice out of it.  You can’t compare your reality to them because you don’t know what your reality is!  You are not seeing who you are.”

Another student asked about blocks that occur to experiencing a spiritual state.  Dr. Hawkins said, “Why don’t you just experience the experience, instead of intellectualizing it and thinking about it? … You can mentalize endlessly instead of just trusting your intuitive knowingness.  You need to trust your own intuitive knowingness more.  Give up your thinkingness.  The thing is to give up all your thinkingness about it and just be, from moment to moment.  You don’t have to write a dialogue, okay?”