This morning I woke up in a dream thinking I was actually awake.
I was in my own bed and it was 10 AM. “A miserable time of the morning to wake up,” I thought in my dream. I love my mornings so sleeping in that late made me feel like I wasn’t going to have an opportunity to generate momentum. I have started to really look forward to my group journaling time, so I also felt some pretty intense melancholy about missing that.
When I really woke up, I was overjoyed about getting to do it all over, but I still wasn’t thrilled with my dream-state reaction to not having control over my day. I would have rather taken that lucid state and done something productive with it. Which led me to ask the internet what a dream like that could mean. It’s referred to as a false awakening.
That got me to thinking about how I’ve thought several times I had cracked the code of religion. The first recollection I have of a relationship with God was when I told my church camp counselor that I had “Let the Lord into my life.” I meant that and after I said it my heart felt like butterflies were fluttering around it. I remember being on the top bunk in that cabin called “Dogwood” and when the lights went out I wasn’t afraid.
I remember the first time I really committed to questioning that relationship with God. I was on a plane and had spent six months in Kuwait with my family in eighth grade. I’d gotten an opportunity to visit Turkey on a school field trip during that time, as well. I remember trying to just translate Christianity into what I thought was Islam (even though all I could really gather was that they were very devout and had interesting rituals). This was also the first time in my life I remember really struggling with reality. I thought everyone in that country was an actor until I had to leave and go home.
Recently, I watched a clip of a talk given by Teal Swan. In it, she described consciousness in a beautiful poetic way that I can hardly put into words myself. The general idea is that our quest to find God is God on a quest. Life is the relationships we involve ourselves in to see God. Whether or not I have fully articulated the point, I felt it. I knew that she meant that there is no single entity that has all the answers. The Observer Mind is just as curious about what it is as we humans wonder what we are. I feel a deep desire to show it everything it can see, like an innocent child.
I guess the moral of this story is that false awakenings don’t have to be a moment where the rug gets pulled out from beneath us. That feeling comes from attachment to an outcome. On the flip side, an awakening does not have to feel like a revelatory moment. That’s just life.
Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa