Tauzuru Encapulates spiritual concepts well. So that we can walk each other home. If I could give this book zero stars I would. It did not turn my world inside out.
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Wake up. You know that the best way to deal with people who are clearly out of the box is to nod politely and hope they will go away. But the stranger is persistent. As if there is some hidden meaning? Are you saying that this world is just some kind of unreal delusion? I find that offensive. Tell that to all those people who are suffering! It is a real dreamworld. Its wonders are truly wonderful and its horrors are truly horrible. The real you is the dreamer.
And this whole dreamworld exists in you. Surely you are not a product of my imagination?! But really you are the dreamer who is imagining everything and everyone in this dream. We appear to be separate people having a conversation, but actually we are both the dreamer.
This is a dream of awakening. How do I wake up? You simply have to want to wake up more than you fear it. And there is nothing to fear.
Waking up feels good. Knowing you are dreaming is the secret of enjoying the dream. You want to wake up. And the more you want to wake up the more you become conscious that you are dreaming.
And that feels good. You are no longer frightened of all the terrors that may afflict you in the dream, because you know that the real you is safe.
Even if the person you seem to be were to die it would be OK, because actually you are the dreamer. How marvellous! Overwhelmed with gratitude you begin to thank the stranger, but he has moved on and is now deep in conversation with someone else, who is looking shocked and intrigued.
And help everyone else enjoy it as well, because we are all you. Then you notice nearby a number of anxious looking people hurrying about their business, fully convinced they know exactly who they are and what is going on. But how would you react if this were to actually happen to you right now? Because I am the stranger and I want to make an extraordinary suggestion… Life is not what it seems.
Life is like a dream. And you are the dreamer. Have you ever been conscious that you were dreaming whilst asleep at night? I want to share with you a way of thinking about life that will wake you up, so that you experience lucid living for yourself. Lucid living requires a fundamental shift of perspective, comparable to looking at one of those pictures of coloured dots that suddenly turn into a spectacular 3D image.
The first such picture I looked at promised me dolphins, but I could see only dots. My friends kept assuring me that, if I just stopped concentrating on the dots and focused my eyes on infinity instead, I would definitely see the 3D image. But the more I was reassured, the more irritated I became at my failure. Then suddenly, for a startling moment, the magic happened.
And, just as suddenly, they were gone again. Encouraged by my brief success I kept looking until I gradually got it. Now I can see these 3D images quite easily. Experiencing lucid living can be like this. At first it sounds ludicrous, but keep looking and eventually you will get it.
The trick to viewing a 3D image is to change your visual focus. The trick to experiencing lucid living is to change the way you think. And that is what I am here to help you do. I feel privileged that you have invited me into your mind to share these ideas with you.
But that makes for rich reading, which means this book needs to be savoured not gulped. The more consciously you read, the more likely you are to experience lucid living. Some of these insights are deceptively simple. Some may seem familiar and others may seem weird. But I urge you to approach each insight with an open mind and to give it your undivided attention.
To help you avoid just reading the words and missing the meaning of each insight, I am going to suggest you perform a number of philosophical experiments. In these experiments I will talk you into experiencing lucid living by posing questions and then presenting my answers. Take time to perform each experiment yourself and see if my answers also work for you. Make sure you actually do this. Otherwise lucid living will remain just a bizarre idea. Before we embark on our philosophical adventure, let me make something very clear.
When I compare life to a dream I do not mean to denigrate it as some sort of meaningless fantasy. What could be more magnificent than this glorious universe, in all its multifarious extravagance? Its awesome vastness and delicate detail. Its impersonal precision and intimate intensity. Its harsh necessities and lush sensuality. This dream of life is truly marvellous. This is a little book with grand aspirations. It will take you less than an hour to read, but it could change your life for good.
Lucid living is like falling in love. It happens when it happens. But I can take you on a blind date with some extremely bold and beautiful ideas. So let me introduce our first insight…. Yet we are normally so asleep that we manage to go about our daily business as if being alive is nothing remarkable.
Do you know? Does anyone really know? People travel all over the world in search of mysteries and miracles, but what could be more mysterious and miraculous than life itself? Not just what it is, but that it is at all! When the Hubble telescope was focused on the night sky each tiny black dot revealed dozens of galaxies, with each galaxy containing millions of stars! The universe is too immense to imagine and infinitely mysterious. And if you live to be eighty years old you will have just weeks in which to understand it.
Most of us rush around as if there is no more to life than making a living and not thinking about dying. We never stop to wonder. That is until the bubble bursts and we unexpectedly wake up. It may be an encounter with death that jolts us back to life. Or the bewildering bliss of falling in love.
Or a simple shaft of sunlight through a window. Have you ever had an experience like this? Be conscious of the mystery of existence right now. The fact that we normally take life for granted, when it is actually so utterly mysterious, shows how unconscious we usually are. Becoming conscious of the mystery of existence is like waking up from a dream. I want to suggest that life is like a dream. Most of us are so completely certain of our everyday understanding of life that this seems ridiculous.
But are we right to be so certain? I want to suggest that all we actually know for sure is what we are experiencing right now. And if we really pay attention to our experience of this moment we will discover that life is like a dream. But I am also in favour of adopting the same sceptical attitude towards our familiar ideas.
Are you open to the possibility that your present understanding of life could be mistaken? Is there actually anything about which you can be absolutely certain? Can you be certain of the common sense understanding of reality taken for granted by most people in our culture?
Lucid Living by Timothy Freke