Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dream Date February 3, 2008

I was glancing towards the sun. It was bright, and it hurt my eyes. But I looked directly at it regardless of the pain.
----

I think this is a very spiritual dream. Looking into the light is not easy, and making the changes necessary to live a spiritual life can be painful. We have to acknowledge that we're not perfect. Can we kill our egomania? Can we quit becoming angry when we perceive that someone has wronged us? Can we quit reacting irrationally? Can we start thinking before reacting? Can we take responsibility for our reactions and our emotions? Can we welcome the pain instead of fighting it?

The flesh of my ego singes when I burn it with the candle of Light.
Ego, tame thyself! Settle down! Turn to ashes and be gone!
Let this ego disappear so that I am left only with my Beloved.
Let my desires melt away, so that all that remains is Love.

24 comments:

Vincent said...

Is this a recipe for joy? It sounds more like trying to burn off the bit that hurts, or cut off the branch that offends, despite the fact that we are sitting on that branch.

Nature has not designed pain as something to be welcomed, but a warning.

"Ego, tame thyself!" Who's saying this? If you are going to argue with yourself, do a role-play and speak both parts:

Sophia: "Ego, tame thyself!"

Sophia's ego: "Who are you to tell me what to do?"

Sophia: "You know who I am."

Sophia's ego: "Yes, I do. We are one and the same."

Siegfried said...

It hurts to judge oneself according to some standard you can never live up to.
If I kept judging myself, justifying or condemning everything I say or do, what will become of me?
Is it possible to be self-conscious without judging yourself? And by what standard or standards should you judge yourself?
If I judge myself according to the Christian standard, will that make me a Christian? Will it make me pure? Or hypocritical?
Just thinking.

Mark said...

Love is! The ego will recede as you grow in love, in spirit.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

In this post I was referring to the ego that causes egomania and conceit. It's the ego that causes me to feel that I am justified in being angry with someone, that it's OK to react with anger because my pride has been wounded, or someone has indirectly insulted my intelligence. It's this ego that makes me react before thinking. How natural it comes to me to react immediately to something, as if it is instinct and not thought that drives it.

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

I only want to take responsibility for my actions.

You just haven't seen my anger, so you don't think I have anything I need to control. :)

Sophia said...

Mark,

"Ego is believing that there’s a vast multiplicity arranged in a hierarchy and that you’re the pinnacle; humility is knowing that you’re nothing, no-thing; love is knowing that You, with a capital ‘Y,’ Are everything. (That said, understand that ego, humility, and love are merely concepts, thorns that can be used to remove thorns.)"

A quote I found today from Floyd Henderson. http://advaitaquotes.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

There is inadvertent hurt which deserves unconditional, voluntary, forgivness.

Retaliation is purposeful thus deserving amends be required before forgivness by/to all parties.

Throwing an "evil" qualification into this particular discussion makes things very interesting.

Also forgivness of and making amends to self are very important parts, IMO, of personal and spiritual growth.

Happily_anonymous

Sophia said...

Sometimes it's so much easier to forgive others, all while being too hard on ourselves. A lot of people are like this I think because they put others first. It's very selfless. We give our love to others, but do we save any for ourselves? If we don't love ourselves we aren't reminded to forgive ourselves. We just forget to.

I imagine there's a lot of happiness and relief to be found in loving and forgiving oneself. Why can't we release the grasp we have on our guilt?

Mossy said...

The dream was about seeing, not changing.

Consiousness is about being aware, not about controlling.

Vincent said...

So when you respond to a threat with great energy, which comes out in the form of anger, you think your instincts are wrong? there is nothing wrong with instincts!

The only thing wrong is that your behaviour makes you feel bad. There is nothing wrong with putting one's own self first and protecting oneself against insult and being conceited. It is common to all and doesn't exclude those you consider to be the most spiritual.

What you need is to defend yourself effectively, and this won't be achieved by humiliating yourself in front of those who don't have your best interests at heart - which is just about everyone, for you are the one to care about yourself---don't depend on others for that.

This business of blaming "one's ego" is quite illogical, for the egomania and conceit is not diminished one bit---but harmful too.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Your statement, "I was glancing towards the sun. It was bright, and it hurt my eyes. But I looked directly at it regardless of the pain."

made me look up this:

"I swear by the Sun of Truth Which hath risen and shineth above the horizon of this Prison! The betterment of the world hath been the sole aim of this Wronged One. Unto this beareth witness every man of judgment, of discernment, of insight and understanding. Whilst afflicted with trials, He held fast unto the cord of patience and fortitude, and was satisfied with the things which have befallen Him at the hands of His enemies, and was crying out: 'I have renounced My desire for Thy desire, O my God, and My will for the revelation of Thy Will. By Thy glory! I desire neither Myself nor My life except for the purpose of serving Thy Cause, and I love not My being save that I may sacrifice it in Thy path.'"

Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 36

Siegfried said...

Don't be angry at people who are just too stupid to understand. It's not their fault.
People can only hurt you if you let them.

Siegfried said...

I'm in love with several girls now. I guess they're all in love with me.
Ego, go, go, go!

What to do when you can't make a decision.

Sophia said...

Mossy,

Do you think the dream meant I was looking at something that hurt, but that I had courage to look at it anyway?

Sophia said...

Hi Vincent,

What if my behavior makes others feel bad? When I lash out in anger at someone, they feel bad too, right? I've broken the rule that says, "Do no harm."

When I was a girl in elementary and high school, I was picked on constantly. I think it was because my family couldn't afford nice clothes, although my psychiatrist said that once they knew they could hurt my feelings and that I was sensitive, they knew they had me and so did it until I graduated from high school. Back then, I didn't stand up for myself. Now days, people don't necessarily say mean things to me, they just inadvertantly touch my trigger, for example by causing me to perceive they're either going to reject or abandon me. For some reason, that sets me off. Another triggere is if I've perceived someone has insulted my intelligence, of which I'm quite defensive. I even let my old grandmother have it once when she said I didn't have any brains for leaving my keys in an unlocked car.

I think the key is learning how to defend myself effectively. I wonder how I could do that, when it seems sometimes the only thing that is effective is just plain harshness.

If I was more humble, I'd let them get away with it while walking away from it without saying a word. Turning the other cheek, so to speak. That to me seems the right thing to do, even though it doesn't necessarily protect me.

Sophia said...

Alex,

Thanks for the verse. Now that's devotion!

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

How right you are. People can only hurt me if I let them. If we don't like being hurt, then why on earth do we let ourselves be hurt? I mean, people will insult us or harm us until the day we die, there's no escaping that, but why do we let ourselves feel hurt because of it? Why can't we just ignore it instead of getting so defensive about it? I think it's those instincts again, trying to protect ourselves when we perceive threats. These days, though, in our part of the world, threats don't come in the form of someone trying to steal our food or shelter. Instead, it's our ego that thinks it needs safeguarding.

Oh Siegfried, what am I to do with you. You fall in love too easily.

mossy said...

Sophia,

I do not know if dreams are meant to mean anything but they can be useful for helping us to see more points of view.

I do know it takes a lot of courage to let go of things. Perhaps faith is a better word. Sometimes one has a feeling of stepping out into the darkness and not knowing if there will be anything to step on. Sometimes there is nothing. Then we get to fly! Weeeee!

Sophia said...

Mossy,

Whose points of view do you think dreams are?

Maybe for a change of pace it would be nice to step into nothing but air instead of always having something firm beneath my feet. Then things won't be so predictable. Yes, we can fly. :)

Mossy said...

Sophia,

I think that dreams can be the mind, or perhaps even the heart, trying to work out unfinished business from the day. It may be that we can process information, thoughts or experiences in a different, perhaps more intuitive, way in dreams. In this case trying to put a dream experience into thoughts might diminish it.

Perhaps it would useful to try to experience (without words) how you felt in the dream and how you feel about it now. Alternately a poem might be a way to use words without all of the limitations of mind.

I remember a passage from the beginning of Richard Bach's book "Illusions" in which he describes a community of tiny creatures living on the bottom of a stream clinging to the rocks so that they would not be swept away battered and destroyed. One of the creatures decided to let go, despite the risk. He was dashed against the rocks a bit but eventually the current lifted him up. From the point of view of the others it was magic.

This is a good description of the process of letting go. For a little suffering(of letting go) you can buy a little magic.

Sophia said...

Mossy,

That is such a beautiful analogy. How long is this book? If it's not too long I might have to read it. I sometimes get discouraged from reading books because my OCD slows down my reading tremendously. (I used to fly through books until I developed this in my early 20s.)

Perhaps an impromptu haiku would do. (Hey, that all rhymes!)

Great sun in the sky
It pains one to glance at you
To be safe, we don't

Mossy said...

It is about 140 pages and it is easy reading. But if you want a shorter introduction to Richard Bach you might try the great classic "Jonathon Livingston Seagul", which can be had in hardcover for $1.

Nice improptu Haiku.

Sophia said...

Mossy,

Thanks to you and Happily_anonymous, I am inspired to read this book. I already found it cheap and used at Amazon.com. I hope I get around to it soon. Due to OCD, I procrastinate reading a lot, even though I so badly want to read things.

Vincent said...

Illusions is my favourite of Richard Bach, and I concur with Mossy in its easy-to-read brevity. It's a feel-good book because though it contains "lessons" it inspires and not cajoles. It's a magical wish-fulfilment book for adults, and a new interpretation of Jesus - from Jesus' point of view! (Or so I read it.)