Sunday, November 21, 2021

This Place is a Dream

"This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.
A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived,
and he dreams he's living
in another town.
In the dream, he doesn't remember
the town he's sleeping in his bed in.
He believes the reality of the dream town.
The world is that kind of sleep.
We began as a mineral.
We emerged into plant life
and into animal state,
and then into being human,
and always we have
forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we
slightly recall being green again.
That's how a young person turns
toward a teacher. That's how a baby leans
toward the breast, without knowing the secret
of its desire, yet turning instinctively.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are."

Rumi (1207 - 1273)

Postscript. The triptych consists of three "quick grabs" with my iPhone during the trip my family and I took to the Pacific Northwest this past summer (e.g., see this blog entry). The left- and right-most images show the play of sunlight (reflected off the door of our car) with the pavement as we were going to breakfast one day in Sequim, WA. The middle panel shows a similar play of light (this time reflected off a kettle on our stove) with the stucco walls of the kitchen in the cabin we rented in the northern cascades. Most of my photography is quasi-deliberate, by which I mean that most of my images arise during planned "expeditions" (such as to a local park, or hikes on a family vacation 😊 using my "real" camera. But some of my favorite images - such the ones in this triptych - are captured purely by happenstance, and when my conscious "attention" lies elsewhere (such as on, say, getting breakfast at a restaurant or the first sip of coffee in the morning). Of course, any distinctions I may choose to draw among these various states of being and attention are, of course, at best illusory, and, at worst, utterly meaningless. Even as my "eye" looks toward the path to a restaurant or at the handle of a coffee kettle, my "I" never ceases to revel at the magic of light, color and form that surrounds us in each moment in time and space!

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