On October 31 Robert wrote to me about a dream he had and the after-conversation with his higher being, the All-Self. Though not part of the esoteric or philosophical community’s everyday nomenclature this All-Self fit comfortably into the essence of who Robert is and allowed him to communicate on the most subtle level with this Knowingness. Like ‘Letters from 500,’ it was a call, a call from beyond the organic through a myriad of vibrational walls, coming to rest within his harmonic being.
Though I have concentrated much of my energy, as many have, on the darkness that has become our country’s recent mythology, I have had moments of clarity within the space of that Knowingness that have given me strength. Like “The Four Agreements,” once you allow your ego to take a rest and you comprehend through a deep intuitive rather than the ego mind, you will open the door to a new self. Read it with your eyes and feel it in your soul. Your All-Self will dance in the Knowingness of your awakened Realization.
RP: Well, good afternoon, AS. As I’m sure you know, I had a powerful dream this morning.
AS: Yes. Please describe it for me, for the record.
RP: I wrote copious dream notes on it this morning. I don’t have them with me right now. Do you want me to repeat myself?
AS: As though you are a ‘repeat self’ of me? Of course, repetition is rampant in the Grand Illusion. It is required that you repeat your ‘self’. Go ahead. I have a feeling it won’t be just duplication in any case.
RP: All right then. The dream was coming out of another dream, one in which I was on a prison ship or barge in the harbor of a great city. I was with my family—mother, father, brothers and sisters; we were all prisoners. We were trying to figure out what city this was and where we were. I don’t remember why we were prisoners, but it felt like it had to do with a powerful repressive government that had rushed over our democracy and was ‘locking up’ anyone who dissented or might conceivably dissent. And we had been more than dissenters; we were resisters.
RP: But abruptly in the dream everything shifted. I was with the same people (and maybe even in the same place). However, we were no longer prisoners. We were scientists working on new, seminal technologies for the whole planet. We were a family of scientists dedicated to an important, far-reaching cause—of improving the lot of our species.
RP: In the middle of our work I suddenly was possessed by a new insight. I shouted and gathered my family members around. We went into our laboratory (from outside on the deck of the former ‘prison’ barge. My father sat on a table at the front of the space. We all gathered in front of him. Then I jumped up and sat between his legs, facing away from him. But I was still speaking to him and to the others. He was significantly larger than me (half again as tall), as though I were a child. It seemed natural somehow to sit in his lap, or between his legs.
RP: Reflecting now on the symbolism of this, I think he represented the patriarchy. But he was no ogre; he was just the dominant, masculine force we had all grown up with. He was just one important figure of authority that I needed to speak my ‘truth’ to. Being my loving father, he listened intently, not trying to dominate me in any way. The fact that I was facing away from him seems now to be symbolic as well, as though his time for dominance was over. He was now behind me—us, the family—in the past. I felt no challenge from him; it was not a confrontation—hence facing away. He was simply embracing me, supporting me.
AS: And what did you tell him and the others?
RP: I was burning with this new idea. It seemed so important I could hardly wait to tell everyone; maybe to tell everyone in the world! It was so simple. The essence of it all was simplicity. I realized—what we all are aware of these days, no surprise—that complexity is currently overwhelming our civilization. The problem boils down to information overload. But it’s more than that. It’s like we are all overloaded with everything around us—all the events, politics, news, technologies, communication, diversions, distractions, the constant changes, unending upheaval.
AS: OK. We all know this. What was new about it?
RP: I saw through it. I remembered you telling me two days ago that we needed to “slow ourselves down”. With that idea in mind, I could see through all the overwhelming stress, tension and intensity. We have created this tension and turmoil—in our minds. It is all ‘mental’. And, not surprising, we are all feeling a little mentally ill these days. The mind has generated and perpetuates the ‘ego’. It wants to keep greedily grabbing everything it can. It actually wants everything. That ambition is obviously impossible to fulfill. Therefore, we—the mental race—are on overload. It’s basically greed overload.
RP: My revelation, put most simply is that ‘we are living too fast’. Our rates of thinking, reacting, comprehending, experiencing, growing, consuming, etc. are accelerating way beyond our ability to control. We are out of control. This is the driver of our universal discontent: We are all overwhelmed. Our civilization is being pushed to the brink, to the edge of a very high cliff.
RP: Now, I have to report here that as soon as I finished writing my dream memories, I picked up my phone and saw a headline about a couple who had fallen off the edge of an 800-foot cliff while shooting a selfie. It is very tragic. And at the same time is so synchronistic relative to what I had been realizing in my dream. That sad event characterizes what our civilization is doing: We are wobbling on the edge of an abyss; we’re taking ‘selfie’, looking at ourselves on that ledge. We need to pay attention.
RP: With each new day—and several times each day—we receive loads of new information. We try to retain it, to hold it and process it, to share it with others, along with all the old information we have gathered in preceding days and months and years. But there isn’t enough time or room in our minds to do this. (Comedians, like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, help a lot with releasing some of this. I think we would all be absolutely bonkers without their help in letting go.)
AS: Hear, hear. Humor is a great balm and healing potion, a portal.
RP: So, anyway, I’m sitting on my father’s lap explaining our dilemma. He and the others are following along. I detail all the complexities confronting us: environmental problems, lack of good governance, economic disruption, legal disorder, institutional attacks and collapse, resource depletion and aggression, immigration issues, divisiveness, overt lying, fear, threats of nuclear annihilation, wars, policing, weapons, pollution of the oceans, air, rivers, population explosion, etc. I went on for a long time describing all the challenges facing humanity.
RP: We never run out of new threats; they’re like shadows lurking in a dark future. I went on in the dream announcing more. For instance, I just heard of a new potential lethal threat—the most threatening of all, perhaps; most people don’t even know about it: According to a number of leading physicists, there is a real possibility that the ongoing experiments at the CERN particle collider could, as a bi-product, create a black hole. It would start tiny, at an undetectable, molecular size. But it would soon start adding to its ‘body’ by sucking in anything around it. Such a black hole would be an existential threat to the entire Earth in short order. (This is real, not just an idea in my dream!)
RP: After laying out all the complexities that are overwhelming humanity’s mind and wellbeing in this age, I went on to my ‘revelation’—which was, in part, your revelation to me. It is the way out of being overwhelmed and overloaded: It is to “slow ourselves down”, to stop our desire to acquire ever more ‘stuff’ and ever more endless information. Paradoxically, our desire to awaken and to grow more conscious is part of what is driving us to acquire more information. But we have that part wrong. Consciousness is not about adding more information and knowledge; it’s just the opposite. Consciousness is about having just the right information at the right time. To slow down, to be more ‘conscious’, we need to have less form, to be less ‘in form’, to crave less ‘information’. We need to orient more toward ‘formlessness’.
AS: Let me interrupt for a moment. I’m with you in your dream revelation and its interpretation. But there is a caveat: In seeking more formlessness, we don’t want to totally abandon form. Just as with moving away from patriarchal dominance, we seek balance, not abandonment of one side or the other. We can’t abide happily with only yin or only yang. We are still immersed in a world of form and we need to be mindful of that, be conscious of it. Of course, consciousness is the essence of formlessness. (Incidentally, that is why science can’t measure it.) But here, inside the Illusion, we need both form and formlessness—in balance. That is to say, form defines this world, but it is the formless realm that gives it meaning and conscious presence.
RP: Exactly. And so, in my dream, I persuaded my scientist family that science and rationality demanded that we ‘dial down’ our dependence on constant acquisition of form and information, if we were going to alleviate the overload, and, in your terms, bring these matters back into balance. The question is, ‘how do we do it?’ How do we “slow ourselves down”? And what parts of information are good and what are not?
AS: Enter the All Self. Let me add that it is not just balance that you need. It is also the appreciation of ‘everything in its place’. Sometimes imbalance is required for a time. Nothing is ever in entire equilibrium; all is in dynamic flow. The imbalance can be, and indeed is, a trigger to greater awareness, in its place. That is the crux of ‘what information is good and what is not’. The awakened mind maintains its hands on the ‘dial’; sometimes it needs to be turned up; sometimes down. Conscious awareness—wisdom—tells you which is needed, and when.
RP: OK. So, this is where my dream ended. I was so eager to wake up and write it down that I didn’t stay in the dream long enough to find out how we slow ourselves down. That’s why I wanted to talk to you today and ask that question.
AS: I know. And I am ready with a response. Consciousness itself has a slowing effect on the recipient. Regard yourselves as ‘recipients’ of consciousness. You hold the ‘awareness’, but you do not control consciousness. It is your benefactor; it is the Source of all matters of intelligence and alertness. Beseech it to guide you—to enter into your awareness. It will come and bestow the ‘slow’ upon you. What you require is to slow down your rate of experience. Don’t rush onto the ‘next moment’ while you are alive in this moment. There is only one Now! Do not waste it!
AS: As we are saying, awareness of the Now, the moment, the presence, is the key to slowing your rate of intake into the mind. That is what is going on here: Intake into the mind is the ‘overloading’, overarching problem. Your desire for ‘intake’ is driven by egoistic acquisitiveness, even if you do not feel egotistical about it. The ego is what wants more than it can contain, more than it can manage. Greed is on overload. It’s what ego does when it is overwhelmed; it doubles down and tries to grasp ever more; vainly it tries to grasp ‘control’. It fails. Be aware of this. Do not, however, try to combat the ego. That is simply another ego exercise—domination over the ego is exercise for the ego. Don’t do that.
AS: The way here is to seek the truth, pursue wisdom, invite consciousness in. With that pursuit comes slowing, natural calming, integral balancing. All the wise teachers are reminding you to “Be here now” and “the Power of Now” and to “Live in presence”. How do you do that? I will say, it is not by trying! You do it by doing it, by being it, embodying it and by realizing that it is your being. I might mention that your ‘being’ resides always within your ‘doing’; it is the Source of all action and awareness of that action; there is no separation. The simplest way to invoke ‘presence’ is to be present for each moment of your awareness.
AS: Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. Always view as the ‘witness’. See your awareness and your attention from a step back. As you perform any activity, especially mundane, routine activities, dial up you attention. It is from the simplest, ordinary activities that all else is erected. All the complexities of the world can only exist, piled together upon all the tiny simplicities.
AS: When you try to evade or leap over the simple tasks and simple awareness, you depart from the moment. You leap off of the Now—into the abyss of unconscious action. That is where complexity and overload start. The more you miss attending to the moment itself, the more you compound your stress. To state it again and most simply: Tend to what is Now, what is here, what you are doing in the smallest detail. Consciousness will not abandon you and leave you unprotected from the Unknown to come.
AS: Do not feel that you need to defend yourself from the future. The presence will guide you expertly and wisely the more you attend to it fully. The more you slow down and pay attention to the Now, the more synchronicity and serendipity and more of the beneficent universe will be drawn into you. This is consciousness itself, my friend. Feast on it and be delivered. That is enough. And also that is enough of this dialogue for today. All is well.
RP: Thank you.
© 2018 Robert Potter