"Pause now to ask yourself the following question: Am I dreaming or awake, right now? Be serious, really try to answer the question to the best of your ability and be ready to justify your answer.” - Naumaan Omair
"Both. I myself am wide-awake, yet the society I must engage in is a dream. Everything I perceive is based upon my perspective. The furniture I sit upon is made of atoms I cannot see, as well as the floor and the walls, as well as the grass, trees, and dirt outside my door. My human mind perceives these things to be as they are due to memory, due to the conditioning of the mind. Therefore, I see this world as far as my human capacity allows, however, my spirit is soaring, like the smooth flight of the starlings that land upon my balcony.
Everything is energy. Everything is alive. My world is yet another world existing side by side with the busy-ness of society, with "out there" and while I am awake, when I leave this pure state of being to venture between worlds, I step into a dream, an unreality. One I must exist in while viewing both worlds simultaneously.
As Whitman stated: "A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is anymore than he."
My focus shifts to the lyrics of The Soft Parade:
"Can you give me sanctuary?
I must find a place to hide.
A place for me to hide.
Can you find me soft asylum?
I can't make it anymore
The man is at the door."
. . . and it hit me, again, like someone clocked me right in the jaw, that all of us, everywhere, no matter your profession, education, financial class, ethnicity, religion, political status, belief system, sexual gender, orientation, and race, that this theme of searching for something more than THIS, something more than existing as a human being, work, home, play, work, is integral to staying somewhat sane and grounded in an ever-changing climate.
I am asked my opinion in diverse subjects. I have no idea why. I am you, as you are me, so in this great glass globe we all live in; such questions cause me to wonder.
Oddly enough, I often have answers, they may be my own answers gutted from life experience, as anything truly needs to be in order to tell some sort of truth, however, it, a definitive answer to anything, eludes me.
I struggle and through my struggling, I have come to know myself. I know when to back off and when to shout, when to be grateful and when to say, I deserve better, when to push forward and when to lie sleeping. I absolutely feel all of my emotions and allow them to come, then pass. I rant and rave, kick and scream and smile and laugh just like everyone else. I have a right to, I am only human.
I learned these things due to other people showing me myself through their eyes and their actions towards me. I create boundaries, keep true to my ethics as humanly possible, say sorry, thank you, you are welcome and do my best to remain humble and grateful, no matter what occurs in my life.
However, I am here to tell you that there is no magic cure, no pixie dust angelic winged creatures to come and save us from ourselves, no one is there to lift us up when our face falls in the dirt.
We are built with intrinsic strength before we even came to this specific plane, regardless of what you may believe, which I respect, I do trust in the notion that there is definitely more than simply existing, working, playing and that if I pass my palm, lucid and glass-like, three feet beside me right now that I am indeed accessing another realm entirely. Can I see it? Thank goodness, no. Can I feel it? Often.
Anyone that asks for my personal opinion about anything and everything knows that I am going to speak directly and as truthfully as I have learned. Right now, I am not telling you these things to bring you down or cause you to lose hope, far from it, I am telling you these things because you are your own safety net.
That's right, I said it. YOU.
Not your spouse, your children, your lover, your friends, your pets, your work, your art, your practice, your play, not your family or parents. You must grab your own self out of the muck and mud of life. It is the only way you learn that you are powerful, that your choices matter, that you are gifted with the innate sense and intuition to know what is good and bad for you at any given moment of every second of every day.
Right now, I am utterly at peace and comfortable writing here to you listening to the starlings that have nested in the crawlspace above my ceiling. What I am writing, I truly have no idea for my fingers are just typing the letters on a keyboard and I am sitting here watching them type without really thinking at all about what I am saying and if it makes any rational sense. I do not care to offend nor care if I do offend and most importantly, I truly am not really typing this from here.
All I need to do is tap into what is already inside of me, that energy, and shove out all of the external sounds and people and BAM! there I am, in a mystical place of being, a place that is pure and I am protected and there is no danger, nothing to fear, just divinity.
Without understanding fully how this occurs, nor do I care to connect the dots, I have immense hope and faith, yes, faith, that this place I am accessing is here and now, with me, this moment, not after death nor before life, not in five years or tomorrow, not yesterday or when I was eight years old but right now, here, with you, alone in this place I come to write.
Is that magic? No. Is it God? I have no idea. Do I think I am a warrior Goddess? Definitely not. Am I crazy? Maybe . . .
I do know that I am a solitary human being that understands that we know nothing and in knowing nothing, we are open to everything and in these often-muddled states of being human, by accessing the purity of energy in various forms through nature, people, places and practices; is where I find peace.
It is in such places my heart is fully open and alive and my eyes light right up. This is where I face my shadow and light, where I become embodied and disembodied, where I stretch my imagination so far that fiction becomes reality and nothing is real, yet absolutely and without doubt, realistic. This is dreaming while awake, thoughts while sleepwalking, living within two worlds that are one, in a spirit shell of a person striving to simply be a good soul.
I am not attempting to be poetic, new agey, religious or even remotely spiritual. I am, simply me, telling these things to myself and thought, hey, it might be a good idea to share these thoughts with you.
When you step out into this beauteous, demented, immensely wondrous, and utterly insane world, remember that you are not broken, there are no failures, only lessons, that doing your best is success and trying is how life teaches you about yourself.
Choose to pay attention. Choose to learn.
Become a student and a teacher of life.
You must trust that you, my dear soul, are more powerful than your own human mind may ever comprehend.
This is heaven, here and now. This is life.
This, my friends, is reality.
Taken by me at the Hard Rock Cafe, Niagara Falls, NY.