Sunday, January 29, 2012

Speaking of Liberation

Scott Bradley


In the previous post I spoke of 'our liberation' and while speaking I heard the echo, which though not of my words, was certainly of my thoughts in the words of another. These words are: There is no one to liberate.

We are liberated when we realize that there is no one to liberate. Wait a minute, that's not quite right. We cannot be liberated because there is no one to liberate. That's better. And if we could only realize this, we would be liberated. Oops!

A previous post was entitled "On This Side of the Moon", and this post is about that same theme. I might have called it "On This Side of the River". It is about the unliberated lives that I and you (most likely) live. It is not about a life that I or you 'should' be living.

Do I believe there really is no me? Yes, I do. Meanwhile, I live. And though I consider and attempt to practice ways of living beyond 'me', I do so as me.

If my life is a dream, I can only live it as such. If I awaken to the dreaming, I live as one who knows he is dreaming. What's wrong with dreaming, exactly? Whatever it may be, knowing that I am dreaming would not make it any less so. But we like to know. Or, at least, we like to believe that we know. Still, it does seem there is more freedom to do and be, knowing that I am dreaming. Sometimes the best time of a dream is when you awaken enough to know you are dreaming and can move the story line as you wish. Instead of driving off the cliff, you jump out just in time. That’s a better dream. So, I have my dream dream of liberation.

I do not deny that there is no one to be liberated, only the ‘I’ that I dream is that it dreams and part of that dream is that it needs to be liberated. Living as I do on this side of the river, I attempt to allow that far other shore to inform and transform my life in its dreaming. And though I build dream rafts that I dream may carry me across, my life is now this dreaming.

Is all this just word-play, or have I actually said something? In either case, I have not altogether succeeded in saying what I wish to say. Perhaps I would have done better to simply echo Zhuangzi: Walk Two Roads. Let's not negate the life that we are because we know we are not. Let's nurture the children, though we know they shall die.

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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