I had a bizarrely vivid dream last night. An old friend from school and I were involved in some sort of rebellion, undermining a police state and doing our best to stay one step ahead of whoever it was that was after us. At one point, after we’d been riding a train to get away from a failed attempt to kill us with a suitcase bomb when the train slowed and we hopped off in a strange place neither of us had ever been to before.
My friend thought he knew the way home, but I was tired of running and had a realization.
“I’m asleep,” I told him. “I have no idea where home is in this dream, but when I wake up, I’ll be in my own bed in my own home. I’m already home. I’m always already home.”
At that point I woke up enough to realize that a) I knew what I was going to write about today and b) my dream-self had inadvertently been quoting the Indian mystic Ramana Maharshi:
“So much misery is the result of imposed limitations we place on ourselves. It’s as if we place a barrier in front of the door to our home, then require ourselves to jump over it every day to get in to a place that’s already ours… There is always nowhere to go. You are already home. You are always already home.”
Here’s how I wrote about the experience of “home” in The Inside-Out Revolution:
‘We all have within us a deeper essence that’s untouched by conditioning and circumstances. We could call this part of us “the light within” or “the inner flame” and it’s the source of our fundamental sense of inspiration, crackle, and aliveness. Some of my clients have called it their “twinkle” – the spark of life inside them that appears as a twinkle in the eye on the outside.
This inner glow is made of pure Consciousness, but when we get caught up in the dream of thought, we get cut off from it. Most of us don’t notice this disconnection at first, except as a vague sense of something not being quite right. Work just isn’t as fulfilling as it once was, our partner isn’t quite as handsome or beautiful or loving as we thought they were, and don’t even get us started on what might be wrong with us…
Because we’ve been conditioned from birth to believe in the myth of an outside-in world, we assume the path back to wellbeing and joy and peace of mind must be through getting a better job or a better partner or working on becoming a better person. The irony is that the harder we work on changing ourselves in order to change the way we feel, the more distant we become from our true self, and the more important it seems to work on all those things, and the more lost we become.
So, regardless of what “problem” we think we have, our only real problem is feeling cut off from our innate wisdom and wellbeing. And the moment we reconnect to that source energy, our problems stop being so problematic and we move into a new reality.’
This space within us is the heart of the inside-out understanding.
Each time we wake up to the fact that we’re asleep in a thought-created dream, the edges of our reality get a bit fuzzy and we get a whole lot quieter and a lot less “edgy” in ourselves.
My most recent experience of this came while walking the dogs earlier in the week. I’ve been pretty unwell since coming back from Prague and giving myself a lot of grief about it. I don’t seem to do “sick” with a whole lot of grace, and inadvertently I’d gotten lost in a bunch of thinking about how tough it was going to be for me when I get older and my body starts breaking down in earnest.
At one point on the walk, I felt the clouds lifting and my body filled up with wellbeing. It was the first time I’d felt like myself since coming back, and it reminded me of what it usually feels like to be me. For some reason, the words of the marriage vows came into my mind:
“…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”
While I’d never thought about them as being relevant outside of my marriage, it suddenly seemed obvious that they really were.
If there’s one relationship I’m definitely going to be in until the day I die, it’s my relationship to my own body.
In that moment of coming home to myself, “sickness” now sounded like one of the myriad things I would get to experience over the course of a hopefully long and varied life. And whatever dread I’d been feeling about my made up future vanished.
There are certainly times where I fantasize about being at home in myself 24/7 and never getting caught up in thought, but they increasingly feel like fantasies. I’m just not sure that’s in the cards for human beings. But the fact of who we are before and beyond thought seems increasingly real to me – and knowing that I’m always already home, whether I’m feeling it in this moment or not, is a fairly constant comfort.
With all my love,