4:40, early morning.
I don’t know when it started. From that point on, I had the same dream all through the night, till now.
The White House exploded and burned down.
All the people who worked there came to work in my living room.
There was place for all of them but it was crowded. They rearranged the pillows on my bed and this made it possible for them to sleep there. Trump said to a reporter that they did not need that many people, that all those who left, only made the White House work better. “We don’t need that many people, he said, it is a simple thing to run a country.”
I think this dream touches on my getting rid of a big part of what I kept before, and how having stuff that conflicts with your freedom to be who you are, is slowing you down or even preventing you from being you.
And this connects to having mental habits that don’t support your free flight.
In the last period of my sleep, most of the pains in my feet subsided and if I was careful enough I could keep it that way and get some sleep. Only one pain seemed to stubbornly menace me. It woke me up and I sat up in my bed. The people from the White House were not in my bed any more, but I still was under the spell of the dream. I felt that unpleasantness of having uncomfortable things that fill up all the space.
I tried the stronger ointment on the top of the right foot. This will take care of it, I thought. I cannot use this all the time but now it is okay.
The pain did not stop. I put the ointment again.
The pain started to subside but the parallel place in the other foot started to hurt. I treated the new pain with the stronger ointment too. Now both feet hurt. It was a hard-to-live-with pain.
Nevertheless, sitting in bed, I fell asleep and started to fall. I woke up abruptly and avoided the fall.
This pain too, in the context of this writing, has to do with thought patterns that block flying. Have you ever considered that pain is a thought? We will have to talk about it some other time.
I went to the kitchen to make some coffee.
Long ago in this continuing fight with the pain, I made up my mind that I won’t succumb to suffering. If the pain keeps me awake, I’ll do something pleasant.
On my way to the kitchen, a bit more awake, my mind started to think with some coherence.
The thoughts that came to me were about the trauma. There was that time long ago, when I felt that I was succeeding in becoming like my father. For some reason, habitual most probably, I still consider that little sweet boy to be me, even though the only thing that we truly have in common is this infinite consciousness, who has always witnessed us from inside.
I was three and a half. I climbed all the way to the top of the structure in my new kindergarten. I stood there, at the top, and knew that I had made it. Now I am like him. This kindergarten was my new place. All the kids were older than those in the kindergarten that I left. It is happening, I thought. I am becoming my father.
He was in the war in the Galilee and in that same day he was killed.
My mom was shocked and did things in strange ways. Without talking or hinting at any reason, she brought me back to the baby’s kindergarten that I just left a few days earlier. I talked with her about it many years later and I know that she wanted me to be closer to her workplace so she could come during the work-hours and see me, in case I needed her. But in those days, in a child’s way, I understood it differently: By wanting to take my father’s place and by succeeding in being like him, I killed him. He had to go. There was only a place for one. My mother knew, I thought, even though I did not tell her (I believed that people could see each other’s thoughts), and did not want me to take my father’s place. She wanted him. What a disappointment. She knew I was dangerous and putting myself at danger too. People will know what I did and will come to kill me. I had to be protected against them and prevented from any further success. This was my understanding in those distant days. And indeed I understood it also to be a punishment for following my dream, not to mention the punishment of not having a father any more.
I did not talk. I did not feel anything except for some resistance to this predicament. I accepted my punishment as just. My subconscious was quick to learn that he had to prevent me from succeeding. I also learned to be careful not to anger Mom, as who knows what else she could suddenly do? Every time I had the feeling that I succeeded in something, my subconscious interfered and some form of blocking appeared. I did not feel these blockages, Just as I did not feel anything in the beginning. The whole air around me was making it impossible for me to be able to evolve as I wanted. The air did not let me succeed. I only felt my resistance to the air in my back and the back of the neck, as if I was pushed backward to a wall and wanted to fight my way out of this.
This is how, in my child’s mind, I paved for myself a life of struggles and some significant failures. Today I look at all this as an admirable invention of a very talented mind. But I don’t want to jump far ahead so quickly.
Everything that started to feel like success, the sky stopped. I would discover that something shocking had happened again, only too late, when the failure had already happened, and I would turn to be emotionless. Sometimes when I thought that I succeeded in something, I started to see in my imagination an angry crowd coming after me to shame and punish me violently.
Every time my mother was a little upset, and later, when my wife was in such a mood, I feared that I was about to be punished and blocked.
So when I thought about the dream that continued all through the night, I felt that it was as stubborn as this disaster-bringing-fear that blocked me so many times, and also like the pain that presented similar characteristics.
On the other hand, the insistent dream forced me to experience the discomfort that is felt when you have a blocking thought pattern that takes over the space of your mind.
So what do you do?
The first thing to know is that you cannot change the situation, as long as you remain on the same level of consciousness.
This means that you can’t win against what you understand to be a war against you or against a fear that you have. You have to let go of the whole struggle, even if it feels like losing. Lose. Let the issue rest, no matter which way it falls. It will make you freer.
We need to go to a deeper state and witness the experience from there.
This is usually enough, when you deal with all minor problems. I wrote about it in the past. But this one here is a major one. At least from the perspective of a normal human being, like you and me (as long as we see ourselves as such).
I wrote in the past about this deeper state as a child-like consciousness. Being flowingly curious without a practical reason, loving everything, playing with the reality about us as a natural expression of who we really are, and more things like these, including of course being in a creative flow. Creative flow includes all of these characteristics together (which is the real value of art making for everyone).
This child-like state feels so much better than the state in which we suffer, that naturally, looking from this state, we choose not to suffer. Yes, suffering turns out to be a choice, when you look at it through a child-like eyes and heart. It just feels bad, and you choose not to go that way. Instead, you choose to do something that feels better. The old habit comes back later several times, but after a while it just dies from disinterest in it.
But this case is more difficult because at the time that the trauma occurred I was in a child-like state. If I get into a similar state now, I won’t be able to see the difference between my good state now and the child that I was when the trauma happened.
So we need to go even deeper than the child’s state. Only from that deeper state it will become clear that this suffering was a choice too, and the deeper state that we are in feels so much better, that we naturally make the choice not to suffer. Then again, it comes back and because we are not interested in it any more it becomes weaker and weaker, and dissolves completely eventually.
What is the state that is deeper than the child-like state?
Being absorbed in who we really are. This state is the basis, out of which the child-like state arises.
We cannot even be aware of our choices if we are in the same state in which the choices were made.
What can I say about this absorption?
When in it, you know beyond doubt that you are deeply and permanently loved. Nothing can ever change this. All your choices are supported and appreciated. All possibilities are open before you and you can choose differently than that choice that you suffer from now.
In a way it looks as if a mixture of different “I”s are involved in what I wrote.
We have the child, The “I” that I am now, and the deeper “I”, the infinite witness from within. It is perplexing, but all these become one, when you choose to live in the physical world with a deeper perspective.
I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator. I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.