In the almost-five-year history of this churchless blog, erotic dreams is a subject that hasn't come up for much discussion. Time to make up for the omission.
I don't have erotic dreams very often. But last night featured an interesting and pleasurable brief one -- nicely PG rated for open sharing.
I was walking down the side of a road. Glancing down, I saw an youngish attractive dark-haired woman lying on her back, arms by her sides, eyes open, completely relaxed.
Moment of decision.
In a flash my mind chose between (1) continuing on my way, and (2) stopping to kiss her. A whole lot went on in that millisecond of choosing, but the outcome felt absolutely clear and correct.
At first she was passively receptive. Then, actively inviting. The vibe was "zipless fuck." Except sadly, the dream ended with the kiss.
Now, on to the philosophizing. The most interesting aspect of dreams is that they take place entirely within one's own mind. My brain was producing both characters in the fantasy: me and the woman.
In a way (and I don't want to think about this too much or it will creep me out) I was kissing myself.
In the "real" world outside our heads, people interact with other people -- not just themselves. This makes moral and other sorts of decision-making more involved. We can't always go with our snap intuitions, as I did in my erotic dream. (Or if we do, we have to accept cause and effect consequences that aren't usually present in a dream.)
I've enjoyed pondering the notion of desert island morality. However, we don't live on desert islands where, like the "Lost" TV series, we can forge new identities with little or no connection to the life we've lived before.
Except...in some ways we can. Which is one of the messages of "The Untethered Soul," a book I wrote about in a previous post.
The author, Michael A. Singer, talks about the teachings of Taoism in a final chapter, noting that "it discusses that which is very difficult to discuss" -- namely, the Way that enables us to live life most pleasurably and productively.
There aren't any rigid rules regarding the Way, or Tao.
You can't say, "When heading down a road, never stop to kiss a desirable person." Or, "always stop." It depends on the circumstances. You want to avoid the extremes of being hit with a sexual assault charge or losing out on unexpected joy.
In his chapter, "The Secret of the Middle Way," Singer says:
In the Tao of sailing, the balance point is not static; it's a dynamic equilibrium. You move from balance point to balance point, from center to center. You can't have any concepts or preferences; you have to let the forces move you. In the Way, nothing is personal. You are merely an instrument in the hands of the forces, participating in the harmony of balance.
You must reach the point where your whole interest lies in the balance and not in any personal preference for how things should be. It's that way with all of life. The more you can work with the balance, the more you can just sail through life.
Effortless action [wu wei] is what happens when you come into the Tao. Life happens, you're there, but you don't make it happen. There is no burden; there is no stress. The forces take care of themselves as you sit in the center. That is the Tao. It's the most beautiful place in all of life. You can't touch it, but you can be at one with it.
Eventually you will see that in the way of the Tao you're not going to wake up, see what to do, and then go do it. In the Tao, you are blind, and you have to learn how to be blind. You can never see where the Tao is going; you can only be there with it.
... If you cannot see the way, all you can do is feel for the edges. But if you feel the edges, and don't go there, you will stay in the Way. That's how you live in the Tao.
The edges are extremes.
Extreme emotion and feeling nothing. Activity and passivity. Masculine taking charge and feminine letting go. Talking incessantly and listening all the time. Continually stopping for a kiss and never doing so.
During the churched phase of my life, I enjoyed the feeling of surrender that came with accepting a set of moral and lifestyle rules. What my spiritual guide or guru commanded, I tried my best to do.
Now I realize that this same sensation of surrendering to a higher power can be had without personalizing the entity to which you're deferring. Life itself can be that entity, that power.
Deep inner release is a spiritual path in and of itself. It is the path of nonresistance, the path of acceptance, the path of surrender. It's about not resisting energies as they pass through you. If you have difficulty doing this, don't get down on yourself. Just keep working with it. It's the work of a lifetime to become that open, that complete, and that whole.
The key is to just relax and release, and deal only with what's left in front of you. You do not need to worry about the rest.
...You truly can reach a state in which you never have any more stress, tension, or problems for the rest of your life. You just have to realize that life is giving you a gift, and that gift is the flow of events that takes place between your birth and your death.
To comfortably handle this flow of life, your heart and mind must be open and expansive enough to encompass reality. The only reason they're not is because you resist. Learn to stop resisting reality, and what used to look like stressful problems will begin to look like the stepping-stones of your spiritual journey.