A Dream Points the Way
Enlightenment Part 12
In my dream I was in a prison cell with two other men. We ate, slept and defecated in the cell. I was standing at the bars of the cell, and had the impression of having been in the prison for years. I was shouting and cursing the people who had put me in the prison, full of hate and self-pity. I had done this day after day while in the prison. Suddenly I realised that my years of shouting had availed nothing. The only person who was upset by it was myself. I was the victim of my own anger and turmoil. So I dropped the attitudes behind the anger and shouting and was free of them. Years went by, and one by one I dropped other habits of emotion and thought with which I had trapped and tortured myself. I realised I could be totally free within myself. One morning I woke and sat up on the mattress on the floor that was my bed. The last ghost of inner entrapment fell away. A fountain of joy opened in my body, pouring upwards through me. So intense was it I cried out. The cellmates called a warden. They stood looking at me as I experienced a radiance so strong I felt as if I must be shining. I was aware my joy poured into them, although they thought I was mad. Nothing would ever be the same again.
We are all prisoners of our emotions, of our thoughts, and of our sense impressions. Mostly we live in these as if they are reality. This is a form of confusion, but also of imprisonment. The bars of this prison are often invisible to the person they enslave. Or else the person calls them ‘Me’. We say, ‘That is how I feel. I don’t like this. I am afraid. I am in love.’ Or else we depend entirely upon events and others to stimulate pleasure or pain in us.
The identification between the thoughts, the emotions, and the sense of self is so immense, that no life outside this imprisoning identification is even suspected. Yet here is the source of most human misery.
Drop the identification, as the dream suggests, and immediately a degree of liberation arises. Drop the multitude of other identifications and gradually the bliss of liberation opens.