Tag Archives: dream realm

The Butterfly Effect: Bardo 2, Part 1

One of the better known anecdotes is Zhuangzi and the Butterfly. The great Daoist Zhuangzi one day awoke from sleep after dreaming that he was a butterfly. Later on, though, he was deeply absorbed and troubled with the thought, “Hmmm, I wonder…was it really “I who was dreaming” that I was that butterfly; or am I really now that “sleeping butterfly” dreaming that I am now this man?” Interesting koan-like predicament; of course there have been traditions that say one of his disciples came along and threw a bucket of cold water on his head and he suddenly came to the realization that “I have to be Zhunangzi, because if I truly am a butterfly, that cold water would have killed me!” That cold-water in the face satori-like moment is a great image of sudden-awakening from the mad dream of samsara, yet when ol’ Zhuangzi dreams again that the butterfly is now waterproof—out goes the satori with the bathwater! Of course, the true resolve of the matter is the self-realization that there is no Zhunangzi and no butterfly—for both are samsaric illusions of the dreaming-skandhic-mind—where both waking in the morning in the realm of samsara is the same as waking in the realm of the samsaric dream; yet, the door of sleep is itself the bardo-passage, or in-between junction that opens-up into the wider realms of self-discovery wherein the Awareness Principle comes into direct contact with the shady denizens who reside in the darkest corners of the alaya receptacle; denizens who, within the purported “waking state”, are well-hidden and who can wreck more havoc than in the dream realm because the awareness principle in the dream state can come to the sudden realization that it has the power to totally control and re-shape the dreamscape and its constant kaleidoscope activity and alaya-karmadhic characters and situations to its own liking—provided that it reaches the proper level of lucidity. Lucidity is key; it is the magic formula that unlocks the secrets of the dreamscape, and after much trial and effort, the secrets to the entire samsaric-spectrum. Mastering Lucidity is simply being aware that it’s all a dream. But mastering lucidity is not a simple matter. read more

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