I guess every one of us has heard the famous children’s song and the line that almost everyone remembers:
“Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.”
It is just an innocent song that parents might sing to their children, but the last verse “Life is but a dream.” points to a deeper truth than people might realize because quite literally, life is somehow a kind of dream. Allow me to explain why and how that may be, but first, let’s dive into the world-view that lies at the heart of our western world and in fact at the heart of most of our problems.
We grow in a society that is largely based on the belief, that the world we live in exists separate from us, that it is just a bunch of dead matter than we can push around and use as we please. (This also includes animals and nature..) A world that is completely objective and with which we share no deeper relationship with what so ever.
We accept this as the truth, but what if this is not as true as we believe, what if we have to make a 180° turn in order to see the world in its true light?
If you’re courageous enough to let go of what you think you know, this will be your invitation to gain insight into how our world works that has the potential to change the way you see the world forever.
So if the world isn’t really out there, where is it?
In your head.
Sounds crazy? I know, but it’s true nonetheless.
Allow me to explain how that works.
The world around us or to be more precise, the experience of an outside world, is the result of the information that our five senses provide us with which are then organized, filtered and decoded by this incredible biological supercomputer called the brain. So we don’t really experience a world out there, but the best and most accurate perspective of an outside world.
This might sound like “woo-woo” to the western mind dominated by scientific thinking, but this knowledge has been around for thousands of years, it’s just now thanks to neuroscience and other scientific fields that this knowledge is gaining credibility in the western world and we start to catch up with this ancient heritage of wisdom.
So in essence, our experience in the waking state, the experience of our everyday lives are very much like a dream that we have at night. Of course, a dream at night has some major differences but is just as elusive in its nature as our experience of the world during the day, although it’s much more stable and concrete that our experience we have at night.
What does that then mean? It means that we aren’t separate from the world we are experiencing, just as there can’t be a dream without us dreaming it. We are much more connected to it than we might think and much more involved in creating our experience of our reality than we might dare ourselves to imagine. What it comes down to in the end is what we create for ourselves, a dream worth living or a living nightmare?
That’s entirely decided by the way we choose to relate to the world. This is where our power lies, in choosing how we want to contribute to the dream of our world and how we go about the way we move through it.
We often times look upon the world and see its ills and think: “I want to change the world!” Although that’s a noble intention it doesn’t go to the root of the problem, as what we see “out there” in the world are only symptoms of an illness that is present in ourselves, not out there in the world. It is mainly caused by this view, that we are separate from our world. This view leaves us feeling alienated and isolated, not only from the world around us but more than often from ourselves.
In seeing how deeply we are connected to our experience of the world, this split of separation that we quietly suffer from can be healed and we truly start contributing to a world worth living in.
As one of my all-time favorite writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once stated:
“The reason the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself”
To truly change the world we have only one thing that needs to be healed and that is our fragmented psyche and distorted views that it gives rise to, so that we may not only come to see the true nature of our world but also of ourselves and in that lies the key for true, lasting and constructive change.