The Thrill of Peace: A Different View on Detachment

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Peace, and the concept of detaching from the manifest world, can sound so empty and staid that it appears like a torture of boredom and meaninglessness. When one is craving some earthly pleasure, the idea of defeating that temptation through detachment sounds like grueling self-control in which one attempts to feel nothing at all. However, I have come to understand peace and detachment in a different way. In Dreamcraft, peace is as exciting as you want it to be, for it is created through your sense of imagination.

Firstly, when one attempt to detach from the manifest world, complementary duality insists that one is therefore attaching to the non-manifest world. The non-manifest world is not that of spirituality but that of emptiness, which I equate to potential. For in the greatest emptiness lies the greatest potential — and potential is precisely that which is not (yet) manifest. So I believe potential is the only thing that is truly non-manifest. Everything else, physical and spiritual, if it exists is part of the manifest world.

So detachment and peace occurs when one switches one’s focus to potential. And as I have previously discussed, here, imagination is a direct sense of potential. When you use your imagination, you are directly tapping into all-that-could-be, and instantly, as if magically, gaining knowledge about the infinite realm of all-that-could-be. Peace, then, is achieved through some skill of the imagination. In which case peace becomes a thrilling discovery of potential, not a depressing void of emptiness.

Imagine your eternal soul, the god or goddess that is your infinite ideal, having experienced every life possible to yourself and existing beyond the limits of time and space.  In other words, imagine a version of yourself that has seen infinite eternity, and has been able to abstract from these experiences the most complete wisdom you are capable of knowing.

When you imagine being your soul-self, you are taking up a potential perspective that will aid you in facing this instance of life, this present moment you are living. Ask yourself, how would your soul-self, your own god-self, deal with whatever circumstance you are in? Think about it as logically as possible, understanding that the soul-self has the enlightenment of timeless eternity and therefore a completely different perspective than your typical, daily experience.

Alternatively, imagine being in a state of complete nirvana. What would it feel like? How would you view the world, in such a state? Imagine this vividly and realize the validity of this perspective.

I find it interesting that children are not usually taught to imagine — but we are all born to do so. Meanwhile, we are taught very quickly that imagination means little; it is “just a fantasy” or a game. I argue the opposite: imagination is the gateway to everything.

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The Art of Compassion: 5

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The compassionate warrior always wins because they’re fighting the right war.

When you strip away the false self you aren’t getting rid of ego — you are getting rid of selfishness insofar as selfishness doesn’t work for you. There is nothing wrong with Self or Ego, when it means being your authentic self and being compassionate. Trying to get rid of Ego and Self completely is like trying to get rid of your body. The Ego exists and it is just as valid as Oneness, just as precious. Self and Other are two sides of a coin and in complementary duality; they co-exist in a deeply intertwined relationship, like quantum entangled particles. You cannot disengage Self from Other.

This complementary duality of Self and Other intrinsically implies the value of compassion. Since Self and Other are entangled principles, it is beneficial the self to practice compassion towards the Other.

When you treat the Other kindly, you are necessarily affecting yourself and ultimately being kind to yourself. This is the effect of complementary duality and entanglement of Self and Other.

Philosophers of morality have noted that one cannot tell if a “selfless” act is really possible, because all “selfless” acts benefit the self on some level, even just to satisfy our desires to be a good person. This is precisely the magic of compassion in action. True compassion is the entanglement of Self and Other and is always the best choice for both.

You necessarily honour yourself best when honouring others. Ego and Self aren’t “dirty words” — it is all in your perspective of them.

Pretending to be selfless is just as bad as being selfish. One cannot truly be selfless because one is a self. And as long as one recognizes the entanglement of Self and Other, living to benefit both, authentically, the right balance of relationship is maintained. One cannot be compassionate without recognizing the authentic self; after all, it takes a “you” and a “me” to make an “us”.

As I have written previously, here, the magic of Dreamcraft lies in being able to affect others — and even change your world — through thoughts, feelings, and actions. The genuine emotions you project are encoded in the electromagnetic field of the heart and physically affect the world around you. Solid scientific research has been progressing on this phenomenon. And that’s just the physical side of things — how much are your emotions also affecting the world around you spiritually?

 

The Self and the One: Beyond Good and Evil

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In complementary duality, all can be separate and all can be one, simultaneously, without any troubling contradiction. From the perspective of the self, we are each participating in co-creating our own experience of reality. But when we speak from the perspective of Oneness, there is only creation, whereby oneness is an ultimate sort of god-being, expressing its whole self without any mistake. Oneness is everything and there is nothing separate from it, therefore it is impossible for Oneness to be judged. No “higher morality” exists other than what the state of Oneness enacts.

Oneness is not truly neutral. When we suggest that the multiverse is on the whole “neutral”, we instinctually think it is therefore less wonderful than we can imagine, since we can imagine a paradise where our own values are beautifully fulfilled. Therefore, we try to judge Oneness ourselves. But Oneness is beyond judgement — who would judge it but itself? And to call Oneness a neutral state is actually a judgement. It is not good, it is not bad, it is not moral or immoral; it is simply everything and therefore it is perfect in its expression of everything.

When you ask from the perspective of self why “bad” things happen in a state of Oneness, you are really asking why everything possible has to happen. Why can’t just the “good” things happen?

First off, there is a logical answer: Oneness includes all potential, in which case everything that is possible must happen. If only good things happened, there would exist a separation between what could happen and what does happen, in which case Oneness would be incomplete and not whole.

A more satisfying answer is this: potential, the ability for anything imaginable to happen, is what creates this rich experience of life that thrills us. For if everything that happened was limited to what we value as “good”, there would be nothing to do, no purpose for us to work towards, and no real freedom of choice — in this way you would be forced to be good, and would face almost no challenges, in which case would your life really matter? Who wants to play a game where you win at the beginning and nothing much happens for the rest of the gameplay? Many people intuit that the concept of heaven sounds boring and visions of utopia are really endgames where nothing much happens. There can be no success without the chance to fail. There can be no achievement without the chance for disaster. The fun in this game of experiencing the universe as an individual is precisely in the potential for things to challenge us, to scare us, to require change and need healing. Otherwise what mission would you have if everything were already perfectly fine?

Furthermore: how can the concept of goodness be understood without the possibility for evil or negativity anyway? You could not truly value compassion without understanding cruelty. Cruelty must be possible or else compassion is actually meaningless. Your values are only powerful insofar as they stand opposed to the possibility for things to be completely against them.

Otherwise, you are an automaton who must behave without free choice from the whole of your potential. And so there is some surprising purpose and benefit to the existence of negativity. It is actually necessary. That does not mean you ought to passively accept negativity and cruelty in the universe! But enjoy that you have these possibilities as an opponent to your own values.

For there are no heroes without adversaries.

 

*

Disaster days keep us alive.

We eat the dead. We burn the dead

and build from the dead, a fate

no cry of compassion can quit.

Disaster is the elixir of life, bringing

us to boil with adrenaline

until we feel on fire, so alive.

Complete peace only stagnates, dulls and deadens

as cunningly as poison,

and small sips make us all think we’re immune

but real salvation lies

in the terror of existence, where we live

just atoms away from death, always.

Here, there’s nothing to do but dance

between every breath

that could be our last.

Anything could happen.

It’s the disaster days that throw

us onward through time; it’s death

that gives us life until we die.

Our Soul Tribes and Us

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Dreamcraft was influenced, in part, by shamanism, which is a belief that people can visit the spirit world to communicate with other souls. I have integrated the most basic ideas from shamanism into Dreamcraft because of my faith in animism and my cosmology and metaphysics of how souls work. I believe that everyone has the capacity to speak to other souls, as an innate power we have since we are souls ourselves. I have described this here.

Not only can we communicate with spirits, but we can, and should, get in touch with our soul tribes. The idea is that the soul has relationships that are just as deep and meaningful as the relationships we have in our Earth-bound lives. The souls that we have relationships with can be called our soul tribes. They are our spirit family members. And, as in our Earthly relationships, we both give and receive love and energy and support from our soul tribes.

Our soul tribes can consist of all manner of spirits — guides, ancestors, and souls who seem new to you, yet who have known you forever. All you have to do is build relationships with them.

Having connections with other souls is part of our human purpose and is part of what gives meaning to our soul-lives.

In shamanism, one seeks other spirits for answers. But I believe spending time with our soul tribes should not be all question-and-answer, selfishly looking for wisdom. There are real relationships to be had, and so our motivation ought to be about genuine love, affection, and a willingness to spend time with our soul tribes without wanting lessons. They are other souls, just like we are souls, and while they do have wisdom to teach, we ought not bow to them and treat them as nothing but gurus or paid teachers. They ought to be family. And we should treat them as family. The members of our soul tribes need relationships and connection just as much as we do — this is the essence of the balanced give-and-take between us.

How do we know these spirits aren’t just “imaginary friends”? The answer is that through our imagination we co-create reality itself, and in an infinite universe/multi-verse, everything we can imagine is real — it logically has to be so. It might seem like an intractable paradox that imagination is not “mere fantasy” but truly real. However, in complementary duality, paradoxes are no trouble. Reality is a retrograde perspective of fantasy — in other words, what we think is imagination is just another way of perceiving reality. (See here for a discussion of retrograde perspectives.) The message of Dreamcraft is that through our perspectives and imagination we create our world.

Lately I’ve been meditating on the phrase “Love does all the work.” This is true for our relationships with our soul tribes, too. We can expect to learn from them, but our motivation must be to develop loving relationships with them. Just enjoy them.

 

 

My Cosmology: Metaphysics and Quantum Physics

The cosmology behind Dreamcraft is unique in how it categorizes the physical and spiritual aspects of existence. Instead of placing them against each other as opposites, like body versus soul, they are on the same side of a larger duality: that of manifestation and potential.

Manifestation is often taken to refer to physical objects and physical phenomena. However, in Dreamcraft, manifestation refers to any phenomena that becomes “reality” in the universe/multi-verse. And since I believe spiritual phenomena must exist, it is part of manifestation.

“Everything you can imagine is real,” Pablo Picasso said. And in an infinite universe or infinite multi-verses, that is a fact. Infinity is a powerful concept — if pink elephants are possible, they must exist in an infinite universe/multi-verse. In fact, there would be infinite pink elephants! So too with spiritual phenomena. If a ghost, the higher self, or ESP are possible, they must actually exist. In this way, spiritual phenomena is simply “science we don’t yet understand.”

How do we know if something is possible? Through our imagination, which is actually a sense, like vision, of potential.

The only thing that is literally non-manifest is potential, for the very word refers to a state of not yet coming into being. This is why one of the greatest dualities is that of manifestation and potential.

The realm of potential bears some resemblance to Plato’s realm of “Ideal forms” — except potential holds absolutely anything that can and has become manifest in the universe/multi-verse. It is, in Dreamcraft, the singularity that created all manifestation in the first place, as in the Big Bang. Potential is pure energy, which I argue is not manifest until it causes something to change or happen, and thus is experienced. This energy, furthermore, continues forever (being beyond space and time) and is available to us when we simply open our imagination to new possibilities.

I said above that potential is energy and that energy is not manifest until something changes in the physical or spiritual manifest worlds. This is why the double-slit experiment, the  early indicator of quantum physics, shows that light is both particle and wave. Until we find that something has changed or happened in the world of phenomena, light is pure probability or potential. This waveform of probability is said to “collapse” into manifestation when we see what effect it has caused.

In this way, energy flows freely from potential to become manifest. Manifestation, then, is simply “experienced potential”. And indeed, all manifest phenomena must be experienced (by someone or something) to exist.

This explanation implies many further things, as well as freeing the idea of spirituality to be just as important as physical experience. By knowing that our sense of potential is imagination, we get back to a place where imagination is known to be constructive, not “mere child’s play”, but an important aspect of how the world actually works.

 

The Art of Compassion: Part Four

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We strive to fit into society and find our place within it, but its infrastructure does not support compassion. We know in our guts that loving compassion is the way, but society has built up great obstacles to real justice.

For instance, how ought we deal with people who are deliberately cruel and commit actual crimes? In my cosmology of Dreamcraft, such people are deeply confused, to the point where one could call them “sick”. Sick in the mind and soul, with little insight, self-awareness or logical understanding. They need to be helped, really — assuming a society where all are equal and everyone’s basic needs are guaranteed. Of course, society isn’t so evolved, and we lock these people up instead, without real rehabilitation.

When society has no infrastructure to actually treat and help criminals, it is difficult for us to extend genuine compassion toward them ourselves. It is part of the mob mentality to shy away from situations and people that we feel are beyond real help — it is like ignoring homeless people. And often many people and/or organizations would need to work together to help someone enough to change them and also change their circumstances. Again, a lack of infrastructure for such an undertaking makes us feel like we cannot fix the problem, even when we understand the problem.

Given the greater context of our manifest society, it is actually dangerous to try to help criminally “sick” people on our own. Without infrastructure and support, all we can do is get these people away from us. And until we can make the necessary changes to evolve social justice, society is perpetuating a vicious cycle where compassion becomes irrelevant.

Can you realize that you do not stand with the current state of society, and at least stop seeking to fit in?

Experiencing Complementary Duality

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If ultimate oneness is a flawed concept, as I argued here, then I would hope that we could directly experience complementary duality in action, giving a clue that it is the true nature of things. Ideally, one of our soul senses ought to reveal it (read this post for a description of what the soul senses are). In other words, the complementary duality of unity and separateness should be something we experience and even feel.

And we do. In a very vivid way, our experience of love teaches us about the two perspectives of unity and separation, and how they function, interact, and co-exist.

Love is a complex experience, and I will argue it is actually one of our soul senses. Love is far from just an emotion. It is a deep experience leading to thousands of conclusions about how we ought to behave and treat others. It is an experience we seek to give and receive. As such, it is quite unlike any simple emotion, such as sadness. Moreover, love is a verb too. You cannot “sad” someone, but you can love them. Love is a particular ball of energy that is bounced around, received and given, and felt and enacted by us.

I believe that how we sense love is an experience of the universe being both separate and united simultaneously. Love is a study of complementary duality in action. For love implies the existence of self and other. It is both self-gratifying and gratifying to others. Love is simultaneously selfish and selfless.

As such, love is one of the most primordial forces of the non-material universe. It is then, in the spiritual realm, like elementary particles are in the physical realm: a building block of the universe.