…All life is a dream, and dreams are dreams.
(Pedro Calderón de la Barca)
Sometimes, amid all assertions and contradictions, I feel that I am (and so are we all) a dream character of a dream, and that “all life is a dream”. Of course, I do not know this for certain, yet somehow, I suspect it. In instants of lucidity, I intuit that the multitude of others, known and unknown, that populate the stage of life, the surrounding settings, and that which extends magically beyond the immediate theater in time and distance, as well as my own internal currents of thought, role playing, desires and fantasies, are all part of this dream, being dreamt. Somehow, I have a hunch that everything is intimately, inextricably, and inexplicably interconnected, and that there is only one existence that dreams this infinite multiplicity.
The diversity of scenes and realms is mindboggling; surrounding nature, the fabric of everything, and the conscious, imaginative, and rambunctious human beings with all our relationships, discoveries, myths, perceived truths, concocted falsehoods, delusions, illusions, moments of peace, and frenzies of destruction. All the universes´ creativity, destruction and preservation cycles, our own historical dark ages and renaissances, the collective and individual periods of wastefulness and spirituality, the serene lakes and exploding novae: All, I suspect are keeping up with a rhythm unknown, an underlying continuity, a potential actualizing, a manifestation of existence, a dream unfolding.
Now, of course the question remains. Why does existence dream life? Is it to wake up? To manifest imagination in all its magnitude? To lose and find itself, in an imaginary game, and experience love, as oneness, after being lost in an imagined and evolving fragmentation?
I do not know the answer, but then if I am a character in a dream, called life, how can I understand the reality of that which dreams me? Because the characters that I dream, in my dreams at night, do not question and certainly cannot understand who dreams them, or why. They do not exist, outside of my dreams and they disappear when I wake up in the morning. When I wake up, they dissolve in me. So likewise, if I am a character being dreamt by existence, I am just like the characters of my own night dreams.
What I do appreciate, is that the dream of life and universe, constitutes an incredible unfolding story, with events, time, distance, particles, forms, and tragic and comical, infinitely magic plots. It has multiple objective dimensions, that we subjectively observe, invent, interpret, sing, narrate and categorize from as many points of view, as we traverse and interact in unique and different ways, with the other characters and with the diverse scenarios.
We are all conscious, that both in a personal and collective sense, the dream can be a sweet dream or a hellish nightmare. Usually, the nightmarishness is associated with suffering, and it seems that the worst kind of suffering is not some disaster or physical pain, but rather the absence of love, solidarity, and compassion in us, which leads to feelings of total helplessness, desperation, and inhumanity.
We observe, that even in situations of great personal distress, or collective chaos like epidemics, war, and natural cataclysms, human beings are capable of exhibiting compassion, love for one another, and heroism, born out of an inner sense that we are connected in our beingness. I would venture, that the absence of love, the prevalence of selfishness and insensibility to the other, of separateness and ego, is the real origin of most nightmares in this monumental dream of life.
The plot of the collective “dream”, as seen by this character that I play, at the second decade of the XXI century, seems to be centered on the beginning of a new chapter in the history of humanity, as one people. From the perspective of human civilization, we had so far recorded the history of tribes, cultures, classes, and nations states. The history of humanity as one people is beginning to unfold. It started, with the physical unification of the planet in the last centuries and the wide acknowledgment, at least at intellectual and scientific levels, of the close interdependence of all life.
Today, we can no longer escape the fact that we are bound in one wholeness. That we all are in the same boat-planet. That we are a global human family. However, not all accept this at an intellectual level, and fewer still at an emotional consciousness level. We have not yet awakened, to the state predicted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he said: “One day we will wake up and realize that we are all one family.”
And this is the basis of the turmoil of our times. On the one hand, quantum physics, ecology, informatics, have contributed to a deeper spiritual understanding of the connectivity of our life fabric, and created a broader perception in new generations, that are becoming more aware of our oneness, on the other hand, this is colliding with an increasing tribal, nationalistic, sectarian, racist, and anti-scientific resistance. Leaders like Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand represent the first view and Donald Trump in the US the latter.
Overall, a global vision of the next stage in the advancement of human civilization has yet to fully dawn. There is a need for an innovative reexamination of the assumptions and principles that currently underlie our approaches to social and economic development and organizational schemes. Radically new approaches to development policy, resource utilization, planning, implementation methodologies, and national and international representativeness, must be developed, The existing societal organizational approaches are lagging behind the possibilities stemming from the present advances in science and technology, to enable sustainable production, communications, and environmental management. Although some initiatives have been set in motion in a limited form, they are not yet mainstream and are suffering setbacks, from the enormous opposition presented by those who want to keep humanity organized within a fragmented nation-state/tribal framework, and dismiss the reality, that we are all in the same boat.
The assumptions guiding most current social and development planning are still essentially materialistic and fragmentary. The prevailing beliefs about the nature and purpose of the social contract processes must change; as well as the roles assigned to the various protagonists, to address the ever-widening inequality abyss, that separates the living standards of a small and relatively diminishing minority of the world's inhabitants, from the poverty experienced by most of the globe's population, and the degradation of life´s support systems.
Although today there is potential universal access to information (and misinformation), the participation of most of the world's population in decision-making, responsibility and accountability is limited to a range of choices, formulated most of the time by non-representative powers and agencies and based on declaratory goals that are often irreconcilable with reality.
A resounding question towards a vision of a global humanity is how can true representation of people be expressed once the commons of humanity are fully recognized?
A transformation must occur, so that great numbers of ordinary people can “see” themselves as “we the peoples” -- a dramatic change in the perspective of the history of civilization. A change that will raise fundamental questions about the role assigned to the present representative bodies of humanity in the planning of our planet's future. The concept of “we the peoples” challenges the design of institutions of contemporary society, whether at local, national, regional, and international levels, carry out their functions.
The challenge is to establish enduring foundational principles on which a planetary civilization can gradually take shape and be implemented. This would require new thinking, a new assembly of we the peoples, the recognition of basic foundational principles, and the spearheading by fully committed countries or regions, businesses and social groups, to support the new direction - through the creation of new international collaborating entities.
Reshaping existing structures is not an option. There is a need for new organizational principles, using youth, interconnecting technology, and most of all drawing from a surge that comes from feeling, from an awakening of the spirit of humanity as one family.
Today we see hatred fanned by populist politicians, that take advantage of widespread instinctual fears, we see a flourishing of selfishness and disinformation based demonizing conspiracies. Precisely now when the world is physically and informationally more connected than ever before.
Populism based on nationalism and isolationism is erupting, at a time when countries and peoples are more intertwined than ever, when legions of Marco Polos are crisscrossing the planet, exploring One Earth, meeting each other, intermarrying, having multicultural babies, singing the same tunes and having the opportunity, to know with their own senses and minds, that we really are all in the same planet-boat.
The answer to this “each man on his own” mentality, to the fear of otherness instincts, derived from our tribal ancestry, must be countered with the awareness of the oneness feeling, of compassion, of the noblest intuitions and feelings that are also present in human beings. This is the task of our times.
The challenge now is to promote an entirely new and vital movement, that takes the whole of life into its consideration. One that embraces life as a unified system rather than continues to focus on age old divisions like left and right, conservatism and liberalism, this vs that country, and social action vs discovering our inner being. We need to harmonize our scientific concepts with our hearts to create a new humanity, one that lies beyond the political, social, and organizational nomenclatures, evolved in the past centuries.
Humanity must go deeper into its humanity, abandon superficial prejudices and preferences, and expand understanding to a global scale, combining the totality of living, and becoming fully aware of the wholeness of life of which we are a conscious manifestation.
New widespread leadership needs to emerge, from the resonance of those who are becoming awake to the reality of our interdependence with all life, a resonance that builds up from a spontaneous and fully felt awareness, expressed in action by everyone and not just collected in high sounding declarations, which are left to crumbling national and international organizations to implement half-heartedly, in compromise with conflicting interests.
Everyone must assume accountability and responsibility, to create the new world. The external connectivity tools are already in existence now, what needs to be promoted is the awareness of humankind's oneness, the unified field. The new leadership of humanity will have to be born out of those who embrace the wholeness of life as a fact and start living it.
As Vimala Thakar said: “Compassion cannot be cultivated; it derives neither from intellectual conviction nor from emotional reaction. It is simply there when the wholeness of life becomes a fact that is truly lived.”
The present 2020 pandemic, exploded at the same time that many countries were being led, by people with their vision focused on rear-view mirrors, by leaders who were manipulating and taking advantage of those who fear humanity´s fusion, who are afraid of sharing and having responsibility for the commons. Their motto being let us go back to the “greatness” of the past, again. A resistance to planetary civilization from the trenches of tribalism and nationalism. Also taking advantage of the masses of people left behind by the global inequality emerging from the globalization of production and consumption and the use of power and wealth concentration rather than distributive development sustainable models.
The international structures, that emerged during the last century are now old and passé. They did serve their purpose when the world was discovering that global peace required global dialogue, and to establish formal connections. They advanced international cooperation between the tribes; however, they kept the competition principles alive and formed interest blocks to address trade and peace and global commons.
However, these commons never included the commons of the heart of humanity, our human nature, and though rights were proclaimed and to a certain extent protected, the structures that promoted inequality, prospered in a Darwinian fashion, and those who were earlier the powerful few of the tribes, became the powerful few of the planet, and although there was some progress relative to statistics, larger numbers were still left out, while fewer numbers prospered beyond any logical limits.
Perhaps the awareness of the unified field that connects all is the quintessence of happiness and peace, is to be half awake from the dream, certainly the end of the nightmare. If one looks back at one´s own life or the history of our species, we see that moments of growing sensibility, the manifestation of love awareness, of compassion, of oneness, are the crescent moments of our humanity.
In our lives, we see instants of love, like candles in the dark, and the absence of love like the darkest moments.
Every so often, we become momentarily aware, that “others” are like us, that they are us, and we recognize the continuum of being. And in those brief moments, in those instants, we call love, a state perceived beyond thought, language, and emotion - an embrace of souls - is when we wake up and know that “we are all one human family.”
Meher Baba once said: “Humanity will attain to a new mode of being through the free interplay of love”. Let's hope that we can dream of ourselves there.