Friday, April 17, 2009

Daily Life: I Dream of a Box and I Think About It

I woke this morning from the fragment of a dream. I understood that it was a metaphorical dream even as I woke from it. I dreamt that I was standing in the middle of a cube. They cube symbolized a box but it took the form of a little metal screened cube that I have to hold magazines, except it was much larger. The posts that supported the interior frame of the cube were all glowing in a bluish-green light, like neon. As I woke from the dream I understood that as long as I drew bright lines around the edges of the box (the box being a metaphor for the self) and as long as, within the confines of that box, I did my best to be truthful and honest, then I would be doing the best I could and that was good enough. The dream did not seem to be triggered by anything specific - there were no external or internal reference points. It was as if I was reviewing something I already new, using the box with the bright lines as a metaphor for that.

I often think that, as humans, we can be very tough on ourselves - questioning what we do, questioning if it is good enough or frequent enough or - just enough. I try to remind people, just as I try and remind myself, that each event in our life is bounded by circumstances that are highly specific - internal circumstances and external circumstances - and that our actions and reactions and interactions are a product of those boundaries. We are who we are, where we are, when we are there - and though as a conception that might be easy for us to understand, in actuality, it can be a huge challenge. We review past events from the point of view of current knowledge - we look at what happened there from here. The view is usually different, sometimes it is quite different, and so the conclusions we reach are also often different. It is important to remember that the experience of life is very specific and very local, but the review of the experience of life is very general and very non-local.

When you are in the moment do the best you can in the moment and then - forgive yourself if you fall short of the goals and standards you set for yourself and try and let it go. We cannot change the past - it is done. We can change the way we think of the past. Perspective is a powerful thing and, in my opinion, we would all be better off if we remembered to make it a powerful and forgiving thing.

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