Robert Augustus Masters

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

Though we commonly view dreams as being unreal, especially when compared to waking-state phenomena, very rarely do we do so while we are dreaming. We dream that we aren't dreaming, seldom recognizing this at the time. Strange, anomalous, bizarre, and impossible things regularly happen in dreams, but we do not very often take their presence as signs that we are dreaming.


We tend to view dreams from the perspective of the waking state, but how often do we do the opposite? Rarely. Usually we get uneasy when we hear something about how the waking state is actually not fundamentally all that different than the dreaming state, as if on guard against any suggestion or implication that we might be dreaming right now. But, in a very real sense, we are dreaming right now.


We are, for example, not seeing our hands, but rather are experiencing a neurological  unfolding, optical and otherwise, the resulting mental imaging of which represents, with an inevitably questionable accuracy, that for which the word "hands" stands. Of course, this is not really news; we've known for quite some time that what we see is not what we think we are seeing, but our knowing of this is mostly just intellectual.


It's not that our senses deceive us, but rather that they cannot provide a direct apprehending of an object, regardless of our assumption that their readout actually does accurately represent what's "out there." This is further complicated by the fact that objects are not really objects - that is, they don't have a truly objective, independently existing existence.


This is more obvious in dreams - if we sufficiently attune ourselves to their detailing and shape-shifting flux - because the less-than-solid reality of things is more tangible in the dream-state. A single thought can alter an entire dream, and not just cognitively; buildings may disappear, people may change form, landscapes may radically alter, and all in the blink of an "I." If we are awake in our dreaming, we can witness this, and recognize something essential about the the actual process of perception.


Dreaming is the feature presentation of perception with no external sensory input. The waking-state, by contrast, features perception with external sensory input. The body we have in dreams can be, and sometimes is, very different than the body we have in the waking state, but the mind we have in dreams is pretty much the same mind that we have in the waking state. Our self-sense is basically the same in both states; the activities, landscape, and persons may differ greatly, but the eyes - our "I" - through which we see it all remain the same.  Whole lotta dreaming going on...


To say that life is a dream is not to say that it is not real, for is there anything more real than dreams? Some might say the dreamer; but in the same sense that seeing creates the illusion of a seer, and hearing creates the illusion of a hearer, dreaming creates the illusion of a dreamer. Wake up during a dream, look around and within, and realize that everything in the dream, including the role that you're playing (probably the lead role), is part of the dream, and then ask: "If all of this is a dream, then what am I?"


A profound question this is, asking in essence for something more real than an answer. Meanwhile, dreaming goes on, spinning out with marvelous creativity the dramatics of a dreamer and all the various props - human and otherwise - with which the dreamer can interact. This can range from a tempest in a me-knot to a sublimely liberating encounter with apparent others that leaves nothing in its wake but untranslatable beauty. Dreams can yield meaning, and often very helpful meaning, but the deeper we go into them, the more mysterious they become, finally transcending all explanation, inviting us into boundless revelation.


Undreaming eyes don't see what's actually happening, but rather see through it. To see through the dream is to see beyond both subjectivity and objectivity, to dwell where inside and outside are lovers, to recognize that all that can be known is but absolute mystery, to enter the Emptiness that both holds all and is all. To see through the dream is to wake up so fully that the lights cannot be switched off.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

Some say to look before you leap, and others say to look after you leap, but why not look as you leap?

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

The more authority and power we have, the more important it is that we work, and work deeply, with our shadow elements. Paying lip service to such work just does not cut it. Real shadow-work is not some cut-and-dried intellectual process, but rather a viscerally compelling, emotionally raw journey into territories that more often than not elude any neat cartography.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

The good news is that the more deeply we work with our shadow elements, the more liberated energy we'll have, energy that can be put into serving our well-being and that of others. We don't have to announce to others that we've done some really deep and thorough shadow-work; our having done so is enough, making us a conducive presence and safe place for others to deeply encounter and work with their own shadow stuff.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

We'd love to get to the treasure without having to face its dragons, but face them we must. And thank God for them, because they - through what they demand of us - make sure, and really make sure, that we are ready for what they are guarding. Our task is get intimate with our dragons, so intimate that we not only can look through their eyes and feel their pulse as our own, but also pass by them without any fuss. Although this is far from easy, it must eventually be done if we are to truly access the deepest treasure of all.

The dragon is not the problem. Our distorted connection to it is. Must we armor ourselves to face it? Must we literalize our adversarial link to it? Must we treat the dragon as a mere obstruction, a lower-brain roadblock in need of dynamite, cognitive rehabilitation, or spiritual remedies? The dragon is not in the way; our lack of healthy relationship to it is. We make it into such a solidly alien "other" that we feel justified in conceiving of it as something to flee, attack, or treat as imaginary. We turn it into an enemy, and it behaves accordingly. Keep something in the dark long enough and it'll get warped.

If we condemn or flee anything in ourselves, it will multiply and fester and eventually occupy every exit, enlarging itself so as to seize our attention, encoding its outcast will throughout the apparently healthier regions of ourselves.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

When we cut others close to us too much slack in working with their shadow elements (perhaps because we've got a tacit deal with them that we won't rock their boat if they don't rock ours), we're simply creating the conditions that will eventually rock us (and them) so strongly that we'll have to deal with what we'd rather avoid.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

There is perhaps no more worthy gift to have than unshakable faith.


What does such faith mean? First, a strongly felt connection to Being, in conjunction with the recognition that that connection still exists at those times when we don't feel it. Second, a non-despairing abandoning of all hope of fruition, an unforced letting go of being invested and caught up in particular outcomes. Third, a developing of the kind of patience that waits without waiting, that endures without having to have a clear endpoint. Fourth, a dynamic embracing of not-knowing, honoring the knowledge-transcending Mystery of Being. Fifth, accepting what is exactly as it is, including one's feelings and intentions and actions regarding it. And, last but not least, cultivating gratitude for what one currently has, including the ability to develop faith.

Faith makes us feel good even about not feeling good.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

We are, as always, positioned to be Awakened by all things. The degree to which we recognize this is the degree to which we recognize that everything must be thus viewed and used. Everything, everyone, everywhere, everywhen. Otherwise, our relationship to - and appreciation of - Life remains partial, superficial, anemic, insufficiently intimate.


To be Awakened by all things is to be intimate with all things, including our resistance to such radical intimacy.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

Everything is all we've got, so we might as well stop expecting something else to do it for us. We need to stop making ourselves the pawn of salvation games. What's needed is not a new script, a better role, but undreaming eyes.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

A Quote by Robert Augustus Masters

Let the painful assist you. Get intimate with what hurts and bugs you. Date your loneliness, cuddle your grief, dance with your anger, cradle your shame. Stop making such a virtue out of comfort. Stop expecting spiritual practice to make you feel better. Get intimate with discomfort, without becoming an ascetic or devotee of diseased renunciation.

Robert Augustus Masters

Contributed by: adastra

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