Category Archives: Jerry Katz, writings

The Fox and the Headlights

Once I was driving at night on a country road. My headlights shone upon a fox. It was frozen by my headlights. I, in turn, became frozen by the fox’s large and gemlike green eyes reflecting my headlights. For less than a second we were locked in entrancement. I slowed down and the fox ran off.

That’s what happens with spiritual teachers. You become locked in the headlights of their words, their reputation, their appearance, their charisma, their celebrity, and you stand there like the fox.

The guru, in turn, is fascinated by the look of his light in your wide and beautiful eyes.

What comes out of that is a mutual fascination and the need to keep the light interesting so that you’ll stay fixed and so that the guru will remain fixed to his light as reflected in you.

There are countless projections finding their ways to your eyes, going back outward, and returning again.

“You” are the fox and the headlight in an interplay that happens on countless levels, reverberates, and never ends.

There is nothing you can do. Nothing is happening.

Lucid Dreaming: Facing the Dark Areas

I’ve already written on entering the darkness when you are experiencing a lucid dream.

I want to repeat that the dark areas in dreams mark where the play of inner light ends. The play of inner light is known as dreams. If you lucidly enter the dark area within a dream, you will leave the dream and experience awareness itself.

You may note that there are protectors of the dark areas who direct you away from them. They can be ordinary people, wild animals, even gurus. Usually your own fear of the dark areas is sufficient to keep you away from them.

The dark area is prior to all light. The instruction to “follow the light at the end of the tunnel,” at your time of death, makes sense if you want to be re-born. Otherwise move into the blackest black (not simply a dark blue, for example) and you’ll be gone. You’ll know that at the time of death and, as in a dream, you’ll be directed away from the dark area and toward the light. You have to be strong at that point. Most are led directly to the black area or to the light or to some intermediate level without lucidity about what’s happening.

All dreams, all existence arises in the dark area. It’s a very small event, that arising. Brains have been evolved to make that incredibly small event incredibly huge. By being a lucid in a dream, or within any experience, you can see that. You can see what you are.

Walt Whitman: Perfume and the Atmosphere – Form and Formlessness

Continued from Walt Whitman: Living the Paradox of Nonduality

Song of Myself continues. In the line preceding the lines that follow, Whitman was loafing, leaning, inviting his soul, observing a spear of summer grass. The sense was of solitude and focus. Now the next passage:

Houses and rooms are full of perfumes …. the shelves are crowded with perfumes,
I breathe the fragrance myself, and know it, and like it,
The distillation would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it.

The atmosphere is not a perfume …. it has no taste of the distillation …. it is odorless,
It is for my mouth forever…. I am in love with it,
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

From solitude to crowds, to the smells of life, humanity, and the world, Whitman likes it. He knows that if he lets his attention drop, he could be swallowed up by the concerns of man, worry, consumerism, desperation, and fear. He will not let that happen.

While he says he likes the perfume, he sings that it is the atmosphere that he loves. Forever he speaks from atmosphere itself, not from the crowd of perfumes. He speaks authentically, undisguised, naked. He is mad to know the atmosphere, to touch it and feel it touch him. Notice is now sent that this writing is not going to cater to the multitudes. This is not going to be a hack writing job that will find a place on a shelf with a thousand other perfumes. However, Song of Myself, too, is a perfume.

In the first lines of Song of Myself, Whitman revealed the paradox of nonduality, that we are the same — “Every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” — and that everyone and every thing, every atom, is distinct and individual: “I lean and loafe at my ease….observing a spear of summer grass.”

We know and see how we are different. Each one of us, each and every thing is a perfume on the shelf. That’s the world. How easy is it to see we are all the same at the very same time that we are different?

Now Whitman is going deeper into the claim that we are the same. Our sameness is the atmosphere. To know the atmosphere is to know the nondual nature of reality. We hear talk of gurus stripping us of our egos, of standing naked before the truth, of shedding the veil that hides the truth. Whitman knows that to contact the atmosphere is to be natural, in nature — “by the bank of the wood,” where water meets soil, where man meets atmosphere — and “undisguised and naked.”

In the lines that follow, in case the reader hasn’t already realized it, Whitman declares the reader “shall possess the origin of all poems,” which is the atmosphere. The poems themselves are perfumes, each one different, each one arising from the same atmosphere, which now the reader, naked and undisguised in the mind, may come to know.

Perfume and atmosphere stand for form and formlessness, respectively. Song of Myself is the revelation that the perfume is the atmosphere, the atmosphere is the perfume, and that they are exactly each other. Joy and celebration are the natural emanations of this realization. Read the first few lines of Song of Myself and identify celebration, sameness, and distinct individuality:

I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease….observing a spear of summer grass.

Yet Whitman says “The atmosphere is not a perfume.” He must make it clear that the perfume and the atmosphere are a duality in order for the atmosphere to be seen. Whitman must separate the water and the land. He must get the reader to see the two before seeing the one. He addresses contradiction later in Song of Myself in a famous passage beginning, “Do I contradict myself?”

Walt Whitman: Living the Paradox of Nonduality

whitman_walt_1
In Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, he begins Song of Myself:

I celebrate myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease … observing a spear of summer grass.

These lines describe the paradox of nonduality and how to live.

The paradox is that while we are the same — “…what I assume you shall assume.” “…every atom belonging to to me as good belongs to you.” — everything is distinct: “observing a spear of summer grass.”

And how to live through the paradox? “…celebrate…” “…lean and loafe…” leaves-of-grass_mm

“I … invite my soul,” Whitman says. The soul is the paradox. It is who he is. Paradox is “myself.” “I celebrate myself.”

Read the second part of this treatment of Song of Myself.

Don’t take things seriously; give seriously

Someone mentioned to me that it’s useless to talk about nonduality to people in the general public, that when they’re ready to hear the teaching of nonduality, they’ll stumble across it.

To that person I said, I think you are working with concern for the fruits of your labors. Working without concern for the fruits of your labors is working seriously while not taking it seriously. Every criticism of my suggestion to mention nonduality in conversations, takes what I’m saying seriously. I don’t take it seriously. I’m only saying to do it seriously.

Put another way, don’t take seriously, rather give seriously. I don’t mean that in a New Age way that we must give to charities or help people. You don’t have to give a damn thing to charity. Giving means giving your expectations away, giving away the imagining that you’ve done something and have something.

To do something seriously without taking it seriously, is to give seriously. Don’t worry about giving to a charity or helping someone learn to read, since those actions are probably done with the expectation of something. When you act seriously without taking what you’re doing seriously, you come from joy and can effect human benefits way beyond giving a few dollars or a few hours of your time to those in need.

Slipping Nonduality Into the Drink of Civilization

Greg Goode, author, philosophical counselor, teacher, speaker, was one of the featured guests at this past weekend’s Boulder Dialogues on Nondual Awareness, in Colorado. I was not a featured speaker but did have the opportunity to address the gathering for a few minutes. Greg writes elsewhere in this blog…

October 15, 2008
Dear Jerry,

It was great to see you at the Boulder Dialogues on Nondual Awareness this last weekend. I still remember with fondness the conference we organized back in the mid-90’s. It might have been the first non-teacher-centric nonduality conference ever.

Anyway, this last Saturday, you gave an impassioned talk on spreading the word on nonduality by creating tiny 30-second elevator spiels on nonduality. I’ve already begun to do that. And it’s working.

Warmly,

–Greg

I want to tell you a little about the Boulder Dialogues and what I said to the gathering.

The Boulder Dialogues

Greg was one of six featured speakers. There were also a few dozen guests, of which I was one. I don’t want to say much about the meeting until it begins to appear in public. For now, I’ll say it was a beautifully conceived and conducted project put on by a man with a track record of very successful creative endeavors.

Greg was a masterful featured presenter. At one point, he was emotional, laughing, crying, demonstrating his broad love of life. An instant later he used precise language to stop one of the other guests in the tracks of deconstruction. I hope they catch it in the editing, because that’s what practical nonduality is all about, allowing life to flow by applying diamond hard attention to what arises or presents itself.

The Elevator Spiel

The elevator spiel, or 30 second speech, that Greg talks about in his letter above, was described in a recent blog entry. I’ll repeat part of it:

How to Bring Nonduality to the Streets
October 2, 2008

Nonduality may be brought to the streets by use of the word. When you use the word nonduality, someone may ask what you mean. Create a 30 second explanatory speech.

Here is a version of a 30 second speech explaining nonduality: “You know when people talk about being one with something? Being one with your work, being one with nature, or being so close to someone that you feel at one with that person? Nonduality means to be at one. Nonduality goes deeply into the idea of being at one with someone or something.”

Create your own 30 second speech. It has to come from you. Tailor it to the person you are addressing.

Perhaps the briefest elevator speech was told to me by a 21 year old female student at Naropa University, who I met at the gathering. She explains nonduality to her non-spiritually inclined parents as “beyond good and bad.” She says they get it.

The power of the word “nonduality”

At the Dialogues, I basically repeated the blog entry above. I also added that the word nonduality (or nondualism, nondual, nondualistic) has power.

First, the word is new, fresh, and untainted by loose-end connotations, such as the words Zen, consciousness, or spirituality are. Its meaning strikes at the bottom line of life and is healing to all things and the world.

Second, the word is a key that unlocks research tools, Google, for example.

Third, the word nonduality is a portal, opening to every field of knowledge. For example, see the list of nondual perspectives.

Fourth, it is a magnet. Once a person hears the word nonduality, it becomes a magnet drawing attention to other appearances of the word. As well, the user of the word becomes a magnet for others who are sensitive to the appearance of the word “nonduality.”

Fifth, the word “nonduality” is a “red pill.” Recall that in the movie The Matrix, Neo was offered either a blue pill or a red pill. The blue pill would have returned Neo back to his dream world whose unreality he sensed but did not understand. The red pill would have awakened him to who he really was, which would have begun his journey through life and to the source.

The word “nonduality” could work as a red pill if you value its meaning enough to follow it as deeply as you can. When Neo was being given his choice of pills, his teacher and mentor, Morpheus explained to him:

This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes…. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more….

Write a 30 second spiel on what nonduality is, and slip it into the drink of civilization, today.

Thanks to Greg and others at the meeting who expressed support for this form of action in the world.

In other words, be open about your interest in nonduality. That’s all it comes down to. I used to keep nonduality as my Internet secret and never talked about it in public. I’ve come out. It is time to do that, I would like to suggest.

Is Writing about Nonduality Prattle or Is It Singing from the Heart?

An Avadhuta is a liberated soul, one who lives in the realization of the Self. The Avadhuta Gita is a text of extreme advaita or nonduality: “There is no you, no me, nor is there the universe. All is verily the Self alone.” Authorship is ascribed to Dattatreya, a legendary figure who is seen as an incarnation of God.

Out of the eight chapters, 4, 5, 6, and 7 end with the same verse (there are slight differences). Here are two translations from the final verse of Chapter 4:

“In Self, there is no spell, no talisman, nothing to learn, no prosody to study. Swimming in the sea of oneness, Avadhoota Dattatreya sings in his delight of a pure heart, the grandeur of truth.” (Avadhoota Gita, with English translation by Shree Purohit Swami. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi, 1988.)

“There is verily no versification where one knows nothing. The supreme and free One, absorbed in the consciousness of the homogenous Being and pure of thought, prattles about the Truth.” (Avadhuta Gita, Song of the Free, translated and annotated by Swami Ashokananda. Sri Ramakrisha Math, Mylapore, Madras, 1988.)

Negation: Nothing to know, no knower

Each verse begins with a statement of negation: “In Self, there is no spell, no talisman, nothing to learn, no prosody to study,” says one translation. “There is verily no versification where one knows nothing,” says the other.

Fusing these two verses and the earlier verse — “There is no you, no me, nor is there the universe. All is verily the Self alone” — this portion of the verse could be paraphrased to say that there is nothing to learn and nothing to be known, as there is no knower.

Confessions of Nonduality

The second portion of each verse is a confession of nonduality: “Swimming in the sea of oneness…,” declares one translation. The other says, “The supreme and free One, absorbed in the consciousness of the homogenous Being and pure of thought….”

Initially, knowledge and the knower were negated. Now the condition of nonduality is confessed. The first translation prefers the term “oneness.”

Using the terms “absorbed,” “homogeneous,” “pure,” the second translation seeks a description that, in comparison, is more exact and intimate, closer to a description of non-separation or “not-two-ness.”

Singing in delight, or just prattling?

The third portion of each verse describes the nature of talking about nonduality: The one translation reads, “Avadhoota Dattatreya sings in his delight of a pure heart, the grandeur of truth.” The other is, “[Dattatreya] prattles about the Truth.”

One translator speaks of singing in delight of a pure heart and the other speaks of prattling. The translator who uses “prattles,” says in a note, “The transcendental Reality cannot be adequately spoken of. Whatever Dattatreya has been saying about It can only be prattle.”

What does it mean, to prattle?

The Oxford English Dictionary says

[< PRATE v. + -LE suffix 3. Compare Middle Dutch, early modern Dutch protelen to mutter, to grumble, Middle Low German pr telen, pr telen to chatter, to babble, to cackle.]

2. intr.
a. To talk in a foolish, childish, or inconsequential way; to chatter at length, esp. about unimportant matters. Now freq. with on.

1532 T. MORE Confut. Tyndale in Wks. 533/2 So he dooeth but prattle & prate of feling fayth, without the feling of any fayth at all. 1557 Bible (Geneva) 3 John 10 If I come, I wyl declare his dedes whych he doeth, pratteling against vs with malicious wordes. 1594 T. BOWES tr. P. de la Primaudaye French Acad. II. 118 Those that cease not to prattle and babble about vaine and vnprofitable matters. 1644 MILTON Areopagitica 16 They must not be suffer’d to prattle as they doe, but must be licens’d what they may say. 1692 J. LOCKE Some Thoughts conc. Educ. §35 He had the Mastery of his Parents ever since he could Prattle. 1722 D. DEFOE Moll Flanders 237, I talk’d to [the pretty little child], and it prattl’d to me again. 1778 JOHNSON Let. 15 Oct. (1992) III. 128, I never said with Dr. Dodd that I love to prattle upon paper, but I have prattled now till the paper will not hold much more, than my good wishes. 1833 C. LAMB Pop. Fallacies xii, in Last Ess. of Elia 256 The children of the very poor do not prattle..there is no childishness in [their]..dwellings. 1866 W. D. HOWELLS Venetian Life xvii. 252 The barber here prattles on with a freedom..respected by the interlocutory conte under his razor. 1920 D. H. LAWRENCE Women in Love xxi. 316 They talked and prattled at random. 1990 Esquire May 162/3 He’ll merely prattle on about how unimportant money is.

The nature of prattle: the heart and authenticity

There’s no argument that whatever is said about Self, or It, is prattle. However, can prattle be sung in the delight of a pure heart? Yes, as poets have for thousands of years, or as a child does: “I talk’d to [the pretty little child], and it prattl’d to me again.”

Can prattle bear authenticity? Again, the Oxford English Dictionary provides an answer: “He had the Mastery of his Parents ever since he could Prattle.”

Here, then, is a suggested fusing of the third sections of the two verses: “Avadhoota Dattatreya prattles in his delight of a pure heart, about the Truth.”

A paraphrase of the entire verse

“In Self, there is nothing to learn, nothing to express or confess, nothing to know, and no knower. The free One, swimming in the sea of Self, absorbed in the consciousness of the homogenous Being, and pure of thought, prattles in his delight of a pure heart.”

What’s your paraphrasing? Leave a comment.

How to Bring Nonduality to the Streets

People learn about nonduality “on the streets” (i.e., in places other than the Internet) through word of mouth, magazines, live appearances by public speakers, books by Eckhart Tolle and other popular teachers, and radio and TV shows featuring teachers of nonduality.

Nonduality may be brought to the streets by use of the word. When you use the word nonduality, someone may ask what you mean. Create a 30 second explanatory speech.

Here is a version of a 30 second speech explaining nonduality: “You know when people talk about being one with something? Being one with your work, being one with nature, or being so close to someone that you feel at one with that person? Nonduality means to be at one. Nonduality goes deeply into the idea of being at one with someone or something.”

Create your own 30 second speech. It has to come from you. Tailor it to the person you are addressing.

If you have an idea for a 30 second speech on what nonduality is, leave it as a comment.

The Stale Buzzwords of Nonduality, Like “Understanding.”

Whatever happened to “understanding”? Remember when that was a buzzword a few years ago? People were divided between those who had understanding and those who didn’t. I don’t think I had it because I talked about donuts a lot.

When I used to hang around the Muktananda ashram in Santa Monica in 1980, there were people who were “receiving the light” and those who weren’t. I know I wasn’t receiving the light because … because I wasn’t receiving a damn light, that’s why.

Another buzzword: “Are you free?” Someone asked me the other day whether I was free. I said, you mean do I have the time to go get a beer or something? He said, “No, are you FREE.”

“Oh, I got you,” I said. “I don’t know if I’m free or not. I don’t know if I have understanding. I don’t know if I’m receiving the light. I don’t know if I have clarity. But if you want to hang out for a few minutes, fine, If not, fine.”

Another popular thing is the ability to see what’s obvious and to recognize it as “this.” There’s some kind of connection between “obvious” and “this.” Like you’re walking with a fellow nondualist and one of you goes, “Yeah, like it’s all just ‘this’.” Yeah, I get that. I don’t get the other buzzwords, but I get that one.

In a few years we’ll be all nostalgic about the days when “this” was such a cool buzzword. And it’s the only one I get.

I don’t think I had understanding, I was never in the Be Here Now, I definitely didn’t receive the light, and I’m not Free especially if it means I have go around asking people if they’re Free. I’d rather have a cell in San Quentin, thank you.

What I do have is my finger on the pulse of all the buzzwords. I can tell you that they go stale as quickly as a half eaten donut underneath the seat of your car. But when they’re hot and fresh we sink our teeth into them, one after another. Mmmm, the good greasy sugar of carnival food.

Authentic = Well Contrived

Some definitions….

Contrived: Ingeniously or artfully devised or planned.

Contrive: To devise, invent, design (a material structure, literary composition, institution, etc.).

The following is from the Oxford English Dictionary, showing examples of ill-contrived and well-contrived (bold highlight has been added):

1632 LITHGOW Trav. IV. (1682) 135 A loathsom contrived place. 1664 BUTLER Hud. II. III. 400 In Mansion prudently contriv’d. 1713 OCKLEY Acct. Barbary 2 The Houses are large, but very ill contriv’d. 1760-72 tr. Juan & Ulloa’s Voy. (ed. 3) II. VII. xii. 130 Most of the houses are of stone, well contrived.

My contention is that what is well contrived is known as authentic. The well contrived stone house noted in the quotation above might be known as an authentic creation and the architect as an authentic artist.

A statement by Nisargadatta is well contrived. It’s a house of stone. It’s perceived as authentic.

However, contrived is contrived. Why else would sages tell you to not waste your time reading, to not look for Truth in words? Books and strings of words are contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said Truth is found in art, in doing art, in reading a book, or in contriving anything. No Sage or Master ever said Truth was contained in their own teachings, words, or practices. Why? Because they are contrived. Beautifully contrived in some cases, but contrived.

No Sage or Master ever said to “be authentic,” or to “be your true self.” Why? Because there is no you.

So that’s why I say that even things perceived as authentic are nothing more than well contrived.

An entry from my journal: Volume 1:195

Volume 1. Writing #195

This all came to you when you were very young. You know all this already. And more. Read these if you like but drop them when you must. I too have dropped many writings. I’ve already dropped 194, 193, 192, 191, and I’ve dropped my dropping. I do not re-read what I write. I write, I say it, and I drop it. Only what I write now is important. But now keeps dying. These words keep on dying and new words are constantly being born, but they die as soon as they are born. Endless words are within you. Go to them. They are infinitely more essential than these words. Yet they are the same. But you must speak them for yourself.

November 12, 1980

Initiation vs the Aha Moment

What is an aha moment? How does it compare to initiation?

An aha moment is a sudden stumbling into a deeper truth. Suddenly you see a connection previously unseen. Suddenly what made no sense, makes sense. An aha moment is a turnaround. Disliking someone for a certain quality and suddenly realizing you dislike yourself for that quality, is an aha moment. Not wanting to go somewhere or do something, but saying yes, going and enjoying yourself, qualifies as an aha moment. Solving a difficult problem upon waking up in the middle of the night with an answer, is an aha moment. Being shown a bigger picture that you missed seeing; realizing you were doing something incorrectly all the while, are aha moments.

Oprah makes a big deal about aha moments. On Oprah’s website Julia Louis-Dreyfus describes an aha moment she had upon listening to Bobby Kennedy, Jr. speak about the environment and how our caring for the environment bears on caring for our children. Her aha moment was the seeing of that connection and the realization that she had to do a lot more to support the environment.

Juliette Binoche also describes her aha moment on Oprah’s website. I didn’t bother reading it. I just like saying her name. She’s the new face of Lancome, in case you didn’t know.

For purposes of the nonduality work, an aha moment is the realizing of a connection with your sense of being, with your sense of existence. Suddenly you realize the importance of the apparent fact that you exist. That’s a real aha moment. I read in the New York Times that a woman had an aha moment upon realizing she didn’t need to live in a building with a doorman. O-kay. Unless the doorman was Eckhart Tolle in a diaper, we really don’t need to dwell on those kinds of aha moments.

An aha moment happens without apparent assistance. An aha moment is like spotting a rare bird in a tree.

Initiation is like someone pointing out to you where the rare bird is located. But you still can’t see it. So the initiator takes your head in hands and directs it toward the rare bird and also points in the exact direction and say, “See?!” And you see.

The initiation is more personal and powerful than the aha moment because the force of the hands on your head and the precisely pointing finger never leave. Therefore you have been shown and are forever guided. Initiations are always long-lasting. Aha moments may be long-lasting, but usually they are more superficial. Initiations strike you at the cellular level. They change you from deep within. Aha moments strike at the level of personality, feelings, emotions, mind, and aren’t as penetrating.

A depiction of the aha moment experience:

Aha moments are new directions. Initiations are redirections. Aha moments add to your inventory of spiritual experiences. Initiations discard a mess of spiritual experiences. Aha moments take you in many directions. Initiation takes you in a single direction. Aha moments form a rainbow. Initiation is a beam of white light. You can sell aha moments. No one really wants an initiation. Aha moments are fascinating. Initiation can be frightening, painful, and sickening, since there is often resistance to the process of initiation. Aha moments are usually pretty cool. Initiation isn’t cool. You can share an aha moment. It’s hard to talk about an initiation.

A depiction of the initiation experience (see the difference?):

That’s all I really wanted to show, the difference between an aha moment and an initiation. I tried to include at least one aha moment. And it’s all initiation, right? Every letter.

Advaita by Webster

It’s so rare to find definitions of nonduality in regular dictionaries. To find a definition of advaita, which is Sanskrit for nonduality, in Webster’s dictionary seems even more uncommon. But here it is. There must be a lexicographer who is into nonduality. I’m glad we got people in the dictionary biz. And believe me, we do have people.

Main Entry: advai•ta

Function: noun
Usage: usually capitalized
Etymology: Sanskrit, from a- + dvaita duality, from dvi two — more at TWO
: Vedantic nondualism that denies the separateness of any aspect of reality from the impersonal oneness of Brahma

Citation format for this entry:

“advaita.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (10 Jul. 2008).

Lucid Dreaming: Entering Darkness

I’ve Noticed Shadows

I’m not familiar with the literature of lucid dreams, so I don’t know where this confession fits into it. I’m good at dreaming lucidly. But, like being awake, it is what it is and there is nothing I’m so interested in manifesting or changing.

However, I’ve noticed in dreams places of long and deep shadows. I’ve been meaning to walk into those dark places during a lucid dream. The other night I finally explored one of those deep, dark shadow places.

The Dream

I was in a garage — going somewhere, doing something — and I had just turned a corner. I looked behind me and saw not far away a long, deep, and very dark shadow area. Since I was lucid in the dream I thought what the heck and walked back into the shadow.

It was nothing more than a dark space in which I could not see! I walked back into the light in order to continue the dream.

The Nature of the Dark Place

However, the dark place was very peaceful too. It was the experience of awareness alone. Some people experience all their dreams from that place. It may be black as night, or have a cast of dark blue. It is the experience of awareness itself.

It seems that all dreams are edged by darkness. If you’ve never seen that darkness, I’m sure you sense it. That darkness marks the limit of the dream, the place where the play of inner light ends. So by all means, if you wish go beyond the world of the dream, look for the deep shadow area and enter it. This is not the Jungian shadow world. It has nothing to do with repression. It’s different, as explained below.

The End of the Dream Is Everywhere

What is the parallel in the waking world? What is the dark, deep, shadowy area of the world in which you are right now? How do you move beyond the everyday and into awareness itself?

That’s done by being aware that you are aware. That can also be done during a lucid dream, of course, at any point in any dream. That deep, dark shadow is everywhere. The end of the dream is everywhere, though it may be perceived as distant in some way.

The distance may be perceived as psychological, as something yet to be achieved. It may be felt as geographical, as being represented by a teacher who lives away from you. It may be physical in dream space, as the place of darkness I walked toward.

Clearly, distance isn’t real. If there is only awareness, there is no separation from it. There appears to be movement toward or away from awareness, but there isn’t any movement, just as in a dream nothing moves or fundamentally changes.

Do You Value the Dream or the Source of the Dream?

What’s important is what you value. If you value the dream and all the events occurring in them, then have fun. At least I am sure you will pay some attention to your pure existence or awareness. If you value awareness, then you will also be active in the dream world, but you will always know the dark, potent, wordless ground of reality.

This Darkness is Dark Because It Has Burned the Eyes That Would See The Light

Perhaps you are asking why darkness is used for the depiction of awareness and not light. This darkness is prior to the light. It is not the shadow side of Jungian psychology. It is not a shadow that hides repressed things.

The light of the dream comes out of this kind of darkness that I’m talking about. That’s how bright this darkness is. It is beyond seeing or knowing. There are no more eyes to be burned by this brightness. So it appears to be dark.

How To Discover That The Light Comes Out of The Darkness

If you doubt it, just enter that dark space in the lucid dream and then manifest a dream situation. You will see light form in the darkness and take whatever shape you want. Then you will get all caught up in the manufactured shapes. But if you remain lucid, you will see those shapes for what they are: absolutely nothing. But don’t let that keep you from enjoying that hot fudge sundae!