WAKING UP IN THE NIGHTMARE - Robert Augustus Masters

This very short essay by RAM, included in his latest newsletter, seems likely to be of interest here:


Consider the mini jolt of viscerally recognizing that we’re dreaming while fast asleep…

We perhaps most commonly experience this when our dream takes a turn toward the nightmarish, with adrenaline rushing through us, fearfulness gushing forth. Yanking ourselves out of our dream predicament — back to the reassuring familiarity of our everyday waking self — we are relieved, probably summing up what was happening in our dream reality a few moments ago as just a dream.

Just a dream.

But what scared us in that dream still dwells in us, its subterranean presence just an interior wall or two away. Our escape from it — our return flight to so-called waking reality — has not liberated us from it and its roots, but rather only shelved it, its echoes still ricocheting against the distractions that occupy our days, perhaps too faint to readily detect but still there, still here, very much alive in us.

What if were to choose to stay in the nightmare — however briefly — recognizing not only that it is a dream but also turning toward whatever in it is scaring us?

Facing our fear, even if but for a moment — whatever form or outfitting it might assume in our dream — with open eyes is the intention, inviting forth our courage, our natural heroism, our deepest sense of adventure. This is the leading edge of facing our conditioning, all that we have been imprinted with and driven by.

Embarking on the quest of bringing our shadow out of the dark — developing enough intimacy with our shadow elements so that they can no longer run us — is a journey we all need to take, for the sake of all of us. This is both a personal and collective undertaking, of enormous import, however much we might flee its significance.

Our species is in an increasingly perilous waking nightmare, propelled toward a cliff’s edge from which there is no return. Does it matter if the lemmings are thinking that they’re all one as their momentum takes them, favored or not, over the precipice?

We do not so often tellingly recognize ourselves in the automated frenzy of these small mammals, perhaps judging them for their blind rush even as all too many of us behave much like them. The voices telling us to stop and turn around to face what we are fleeing or numbing ourselves to don’t so easily penetrate nor interrupt our headlong march.

Are we, however unintentionally, making way for another species? Over 99 percent of all Terran species that have ever lived are extinct — how can we say with certainty that we’re not on the same path? That we’re a transitional species, dressed-up brainy Neanderthals glued to our smartphones, ego-centered ambitions, and avalanching consumption of dwindling resources?

This is the nightmare that screams to be faced, decisively, now. This turnaround-in-the-making is the great chance, the sliver of opportunity to right the ship, to set a different course, against incredible — but not impossible — odds.

This is not a matter of proclaiming doom, of predicting apocalypse, but of waking up right in our entire being, right down to our toes, seeing into and through our conditioning both alone and together, putting our collective shoulder to the wheel until it leaves its muddy rut and carves out a new path, a saner destiny for humankind. However unlikely this is, it is better than succumbing to our scramble to the edge from which there is no return.

Waking up from the nightmare may keep it intact, still festering in our unlit places. Waking up in it, taking a stand while in it, makes a deeper awakening possible, an awakening that operates as one with fitting action, as practical as it’s illuminating.

The nightmare awaits our intervention in its dynamics, our refusal to succumb to its fearful dramatics. This begins with one step — however tiny or slight — toward it.

The courage this takes is there, pulsing in our heartland. It may be a while before we take a second step, but we have begun.

Copyright © 2021 by Robert Augustus Masters

Robert’s website: https://www.robertmasters.com/

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