Reality is expensive but dreams are free

 

 

Dreams live in the stratosphere high up in the clouds. They are free and are hanging around like low lying fruit just aching to be taken. They are seldom realistic but in reality real life is littered with unrealistic realities coming to fruition.

I have been listening to some Alan Watts talks, the one that’s been prominent in my mind is in which he proposes the “what if?”. What if one could compose 70 year lifespan into a night of dreaming? Dreaming dreams one could control; every night a different dream.  At first we would do all the things we ever wanted and then after we’d get bored with that–we’d go onto adventures, getting more risky and dangerous knowing it was all a dream after all. We would seek even greater thrills to the point that we’d make ourselves forget were even dreaming. We’d keep changing the odds and randomness until we arrive at the life we are living now.

This concept intrigues me, it seems so simple,  I can almost feel it just beyond the mind’s eye waiting out in plain sight for me to discover it. I have decided to run with this notion and become its fair-weather friend for as long as it serves me.

I have allowed the winds of fate to lead me around these last couple months. It has been an interesting ride, riddled with cute nuances, funny innuendos and interesting deja-vu.

 

After all we could be part of a cast of characters running rampant inside a shared lucid dream.

I have heard much conjecture on the subject in the worlds of science, philosophy and spirituality among others; what is reality anyway?

Some say nothing matters and reality is but a series of electrical impulses conjured by our brains.  Elon Musk and others, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, believe that there is a significant chance that our world is just an elaborate simulation created by an advanced civilization and that all we are our bits of data encoded on some giant quantum computer.

Some say we are pure spirit and we come from a far off place and will return there someday. I have attached myself to the idea that we are all just drops of water in a sea of infinite vibrations swirling over eddys and through currents.

These ideas however intangible are making more and more sense to me in the tangible world that seems so damn unreal. At this point I am ready to believe anything. And so I go on faith and hope and a certain expectation that things will turn out alright in the end. I found it’s better to go with the flow if you can,  but still keep an eye out for rocks.

Getting back to the lucid dreaming and the subjective reality. I have decided in true Aspie fashion to take the whole thing literally and just go with it.

Why not? I have tried the dour realistic reality for far too and in reality its a drag.

 

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

~Albert Einstein

 

I can imagine myself lying there dreaming about myself pounding away on this keyboard. I consider this current “dream”. The back door is open slightly letting the fresh air and light in. I can hear the sounds of birds and I am content, a purring cat to the right side of me and a cup of warm jasmine tea to my left. I have hope in my heart and love in my soul; ready to just pour out.

And I think: Hey this is not so bad…

(....Alan Watts laughs at me from the ugly couch at the far end of the room…)

 

Biding you all a good night or day or whatever it is where you are…

and have sweet dreams…

 ~Nancy

Art by Trash Riot

 

“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” 
~Anaïs Nin

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“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
― Shirley Jackson

Related Articles
What about when we die we wake up–Alan Watts
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Elon Musk Thinks So.
Dreams–Cranberries
Dream a little dream of me-Mama Cass 
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? (Scientificamerican.com) 

 

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It’s Your Trip

 

 

You are Magic

Never put limitations on what you can do, on what you can be. Society likes to put labels and limits on us; unspoken rules that can be and are being broken everyday. There has never been another you. Only you can contribute your own special magic to the world and this is your time.

Fear holds us back from being our true selves.  Fear of change, fear of making a mistake, fear of pain, fear of rejection, fear of nothingness…

There are many fears but they all prey on us in the same way. It is only by acknowledging them and shedding light on them that we can begin to attain mastery over them and thus ourselves.

There is a voice inside you that knows the way. It comes in whispers and innuendos illuminating the path with overlooked randomness and by intuition. Your heart knows the way. What the mind sees as a mountain, the soul knows is irrelevant.

We are all just beams of light. We shoot across the sky and play among the stars. Because it is all play. This. That. Everything. In whatever we do, we have chosen this particular ride, whether we remember it or not.

You are in complete control and you can wake up anytime you want.

You can listen to the voice inside you that whispers, that sings, that hums and sometimes screams. You can listen to this voice or you can go back to sleep and dream.

It’s up to you. It’s your trip.

 

~nlm

 

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” 
― Alan W. Watts

 

 

The Making of MAGIC

 

 

There’s much to be said for the way we look at things. Our vision is tempered by what we expect to see. Look for ugliness and you’ll find it, the same goes for beauty for both can be found in everything. It is the way we look at things which control what we see and how we see it.

We create our own reality. I know how that sounds; like some metaphysical mumbo~jumbo that seems profound and  wise but an idea that some of us may find difficult to grasp, myself included. Real life is the reality we live with every day. It can be cold and hard and can smack one right in the face.

If I had control of all reality…seriously…I would eradicate war, hunger and poverty, mean people and bad hair days too..all that stuff. Most of us would but that does not make it so. We can see the state of the world.  Who wants that? It’s so overwhelming and beyond anyone’s power and control but we can control some things.

And that is where the magic comes in…

 

Zenith_by_MescalineBanana art psych
“Zenith” By MescalineBanana

Yes…back on the magic. I realize you are sophisticated and have a certain sense of the world that is pretty much on target. I like to think of myself as an open-minded sort who is tempered with a fair amount of skepticism. I want to believe in Santa Claus and in unicorns and elves and giant talking trees. Do I really, truly believe? Perhaps not, but am I certain? Can I be 100%certain of anything?

 

unicorn random

 Any 

.

Any minute now my knight in shining armor will pop up riding a unicorn and whisk me away from my life of drudgery.

😀

Not likely…but I do contend there is magic. This I know for sure.

Magic exists! I know for I have seen it. It is all around us.

gratitude-zen-life-coaching hands magic

“It’s all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”
Charles de Lint

 ♥

 LOVE is magic…so is gratitude.

Attitude is everything: We choose how we feel; happiness is a choice and so is dissatisfaction. Pretty much we are as happy as we make up our minds to be.  I have found this to be true after much trial and error.  There was a point in my life a few years back when I very much needed this to be true…

..and so on blind faith born of desperation I believed. I willed myself to believe and I didn’t stop despite all my wishes not coming true.  I learned that my happiness cannot be based on outside forces. I had to stop reacting to life and start acting. My challenges gave me an insight I wouldn’t have had before; an appreciation for perseverance. A willingness to go the extra mile without a promise of reward, the strength to carry on despite it all….and through all this I believed.

 

gold sunset ocean sea light glitter

 

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and MAGIC in it.
W. H. Murray

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I am learning that the most direct way we create our own reality is by our own actions.  Action powers everything we do, everything we create, we are responsible for the kind of world we live in–all of us.

We can have a world where magic exists, we just need to create it.

 

art psych girl bubbles universe

I found happiness in gratitude and in taking pleasure in tiny things. Oh what a joy this has given me! It is a gift granted to me by circumstance.

 

 hands and moon

 

We can embrace these wonderfully human and magical traits like love and compassion, generosity, altruism and understanding. We can reach out to each other in friendship, our minds and hearts open. We need to stop paying attention to what we are told to think and believe and learn to trust in our own hearts and our own souls again.

These are natural inclinations.  Bring these into your life and miracles happen…

Magic happens…and it’s contagious.

Have a magical day!

 ♥

Nancy

 

 

web-of-lifeA-550 fantasy art

“When you’re touched by magic, nothing’s ever quite the same again. What really makes me sad is all those people who never have the chance to know that touch. They’re too busy, or they just don’t hold with make-believe, so they shut the door without really knowing it was there to be opened in the first place.”
Charles de Lint

 

 

Magical Related Articles

You Create Your Own Reality: Here’s How

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz by Judy Garland

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

 

Balloon flights in Turkey optimism sunrise happy sky

Fresh Quotes: Pablo Neruda

He was a poet, diplomat, bohemian and political activist.    He was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but borrowed his pen name from another poet; Jan Neruda.  He was a controversial character. A diplomat and senator from Chile he embraced communism and wrote poetry in tribute to Stalin and Castro. You don’t have to agree with his politics to appreciate the sincerity  in his work. The man was an artist; a heartfelt poet who won the Nobel Prize in literature.

 Words are words no matter who wrote them and some messages are bigger than the messenger.  As a writer there are times I feel I am only a conduit for something else. A something that whispers ever so softly in my ear.  I only write what is given to me; words.  And it’s the words of Neruda that I celebrate today.  The dark dreamy words that evoke images of a hothouse world; a lush tropical jungle where love scintillates along the cool breeze of the night.   He brought to his poetry a sense of quiet longing, of sadness and regret but with a spirit that burned… fiery passion and darkness; wanton and thirsty.

When I read his words I am transported to this world….I become a hothouse flower sipping in the cool night air, gazing up at the midnight stars that dare shine through the gaps between the leaves of the trees.  Themes of  bittersweet longing; of lust and love and all in between. Neruda puts his heart out there with brushstrokes of raw emotion tinged with the fragility of love that weaves itself between the lines of this beautiful poetry.

Fantastic writing.

😀

Have a nice day and enjoy the Neruda. 

.

Nancy

.

 

FRESH QUOTES:  PABLO NERUDA

The words of Pablo Neruda

 

my-little-panther-sleeping cat

 

“I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.”

night-sky-in-cities-if-lights-out- san francisco neruda

“And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.”

milky way space glass stars

“And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.”

love hugs couple sleep

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”

 

two trees intertwined

“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”

 

 

day in the life cherry blossom and blue sky

 

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

 

martin_stranka_04 under water woman

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.”

love-quotes-pablo-neruda-136

 

shadow woman waiting dark

So I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will see me again and live in me.
Till then my windows ache.”


 

 

pablo-neruda-psychedelic

Pablo Neruda July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

***

Inspired tunes

 


Francisco Tarrega – Capricho Arabe by Andrés Segovia

BOLERO-RAVEL

 

References and related articles

 

Pablo Neruda (wikipedia.org )

Pablo Neruda Bio (infoplease.com)

Passiflora vitiflora, the red passion flower
Passiflora vitiflora, the red passion flower, is like a scarlet beacon in the dim rainforest understory. These large flowers are pollinated by hermit hummingbirds. While searching for nectar

Schools of Thought: The benefits of an educated populous

vintage-school-kids-life-magazine education
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
― Plutarch

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What is the value of a  productive member of a society? In what ways does a civilization benefit from the works of an educated and thriving population? Does society in fact benefit so greatly from an educated workforce and a knowledgeable citizenry that to deny this benefit is not only not beneficial at all but wasteful and just plain stupid.

There is no doubt to the value of a college education or work training. Society benefits greatly from a workforce that has been fully prepared for the diverse and challenging workplace of today. The cookie cutter one-size-fits-all, the test-test-test atmosphere of the current educational system in The United States is, in my opinion, sorely lacking.

Society benefits from a educated workforce in many ways: higher levels of education corresponds to lower levels of unemployment and poverty in general and this in turn provides more tax revenue to the state and less burden on social assistance  programs such as food stamps and welfare. An educated populous is healthier with lower smoking and obesity rates and with more positive perceptions of personal health in general.  Higher levels of education are correlated with higher levels of civic participation, including volunteerism and voting.

If there is no doubt to the benefits of an educated populous, why are we so lacking?

There’s no shortage of people who care and it is not from the lack of effort from many dedicated educational professionals, parents, volunteers and students.. on all fronts.  There is certainly much debate on this subject of how to fix our broken educational system, it is obvious that indeed it is broken. We can all agree on that at least. Whatever we are doing is not working, but we cannot seem to reach a consensus on how to fix the problems.  In my opinion  part of the problem is as with many issues, we are going by the blueprint of another era. Our models and way of thinking is outdated. The world is undergoing rapid change on many fronts and we are dealing with issues we never would have dreamed up even a decade ago. We rely too heavily on what has “worked” in the past and I think we tend to cling too tightly to tradition and ceremony. Innovation is viewed with a cautious and weary eye. It seems whenever new ideas that work on a smaller scale are implemented on the much larger scale disaster happens. This could be part of our problem as well. We approach education with a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Diversity and innovation are not only not encouraged but discouraged. Feel-good, do-nothing campaigns with misleading names that embrace cheap easy answers only compound the problem.

Students are more likely to be taught what to think not how to think for themselves.

In the effort to provide certain standards we have over standardized ourselves. We have pigeon-holed our thinking that everyone learns the same way.  We know this is far from the truth as many factors determine the success of a student including socioeconomic status.  The successful student is more likely to be a successful adult, meaning one who contributes positively to the community and society in general.

Many don’t get this chance. Many perfectly capable people are lost in a system that rewards who you know and what you have instead of what one can do and the content of your character.

I can’t help but notice how illogical this system is where we base how someone will contribute to society by the economic status that one is born into. Opportunities are missed and talents squandered.  The best person for a particular job or profession may not necessarily be the person who’s parents could afford to foot the bill for the education required.

I think about all the bright people with talents and ideas that will never be realized because of their geographic and/or economic status. I think of the result of that lost potential; the loss to society and the world at large.

There is no doubt that a mind is a terrible thing to waste yet this is what happens. People come in all sizes and shapes; all kinds of backgrounds, socially and economically. A diverse population brings to the table a wide array of talents and experiences. This is one of the aspects that have made the United States so successful in the past. This and our capability for dedicated, hard work.

Oak-Trees

We have it in us to become great but we need the valuable contributions of us all in order for that to happen. Good ideas are like seeds they not only need to be exposed to the light, they need care and feeding order to grow. Good ideas can sometimes become great ones and like a mighty oak tree provide shade for many on a hot day.  And oh my friends don’t let a blast of wintry weather in the winter fool you…we are going to have quite a few hot days in the future and we need all the oak trees we can get.

 

Student Loan Debt education

We can longer afford to throw away the minds and talents of people who weren’t born at the right place at the right time to the right parents. We can no longer afford to punish those who seek an education “above their” station” by saddling them with the crushing burden of potentially lifelong debt.  There is too much at stake.

quote education noam

We the people need to make this a priority. The middle class should be on the endangered species list and a part of the widening gap between those that have and those that have not is the access to higher education and work training beyond high school. This should not be a luxury for only those who can afford it it should be the right for all citizens and a necessity of any modern civilized society that wants to have a chance in the global marketplace.

One of the best things about human beings is our innate talent for creation and innovation and the ability to work effectively to realize a dream fulfilled or have an idea come to fruition.  We are smart and capable, all of us regardless of race, color, sex , religion….or the economic status we are born into.

The American dream is alive but it’s lying in a hospital bed sicker than a dog…gasping and sputtering and wondering what went wrong. It is up to us to fix this mess.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
―    Nelson Mandela

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.
andy College grads throw hats by Alannah Rose
Related and Slightly Related YouTube

Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd

*

 Conjunction Junction by Schoolhouse Rock

References and related articles

Five stereotypes about poor families and education (washingtonpost.com)

Higher Education cuts fuels student debt crisis (america.aljazeera.com)

Where U.S. stands in education internationally — new report  (washingtonpost.com)

Six Years of High School? An Educational Experiment in Chicago (thetakeaway.org)

Strange Schools (atlasobscura.com)

THE LEAP

Leap-of-Faith blue sky guy

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”  
―     Margaret Shepard

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Come on in….the water’s fine…

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Sometimes one must jump into the cold pool of uncertainty fully and with gusto. Realities of life rarely afford us the chance to dip a toe into the water and slowly emerge ourselves, gradually taking it all in…aware and ready for each step. No. Life is often sudden and in your face. Events can turn on a dime requiring you to act and right now.  Often it takes a leap of faith.  It is then we must put aside all fear and just do it!  Jump in with both feet, eyes wide open ready for anything.  You can never know what is just around the corner.

Life is what we make of it….and our lives consists of a series of choices, each one effecting the next….twisting and turning. The road is unpredictable….but variety is the spice of life. Who wants to be bland and tasteless in a world filled with wondrous and exotic tastes?

It is easy to allow the uneasiness of unknowing to  overwhelm.  Fear is formidable. It is engrained in us. Fear alerts us to danger….real danger.  Fear can drive people to action. That same fear can also prompt inaction. These instincts have served us well in the distant past. But the world has changed. Old fears have been replaced with new ones. Most of us have no need to fear being eaten in the jungle by a tiger or bitten by a venomous snake. Modern fears may not be so immediate, they may be more complex and sometimes not everything is as it seems.  Valid fears of homelessness, joblessness, bankruptcy, war or global warming, etc. These are real fears and the answers are not so obvious. Frequently there are no real answers. Sometimes it is not as easy to see where the danger lies exactly, and we are confused. This encourages inaction. “Look where you leap” is good advice but not if indecisiveness leads to doing nothing at all.  Action is the key.

leap-of-faith fish

TAKE THE PLUNGE

Seize the day! The world awaits. Take control of your destiny. Lest destiny be in control of you.

Change is inevitable. Be that change! Take  ownership of it. Make that change work for you.

Typically when it is all said and done, it is that which you did not do which you will regret.

  We can ride the waves of cliché as far as it takes… mere words only go so far.

Real progress and anything worth anything at all takes work.

and there is no better day to start than today!

Strawberryindigo.

We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”  
―     Marilyn Monroe

..

                     Flags amongst the trees

                     FEARLESS by Pink Floyd (youtube)

Walk Confidently Past Fear (borntobeaheroine.wordpress.com)

Fearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear (janaknmistry.wordpress.com)

A leap of faith (lotushealingsa.wordpress.com)

An open letter to all the sensitive artist types

  

  Hello there. I am one of you and we are legion.  Our lot is a deep one, a gutsy one for sure. We are a strange group with a yearning desire to be our unique selves in this plastic preconceived prefabricated world.  It is we who come up with the ideas that others consume.

I know most of us are compelled to do this, this whatever we do that we deem art. And this compulsion runs deep, at least for me. For so many years I deprived myself of artistic endeavors, never making the time for it… thinking it frivolous, unnecessary…calling it a stupid dream and retreating back into the doldrums.

The voice never dies completely…this need to create, to share oneself. That voice grew from a whisper to a scream. I had to listen. The floodgates opened and they haven’t closed yet.  It’s a compulsion, a need like air to breathe.  Creative people know what I mean by this.  Sometimes I think living the life of someone a bit more “typical” would be simpler and easier. Less painful perhaps? At times the thought is tempting but in the end I wouldn’t want to live without this colorfully crazy creative streak.

Endless forms most beautiful

Art comes in endless forms.  I see it in everyday life from the musician and the writer to the carpenter, computer programmer, physicist, or cook. It is the soul of the person creating it that makes it beautiful. In my mind the only requirement for art to be art is that it contains a tiny drop of essence of the artist. If it’s honest and true that is what’s important. It is the stuff of daydreams and the inner workings of the soul that makes it memorable and remarkable.

Good art entertains, it amuses. It is whimsical and fun.

Great art makes you feel. Sometimes quite deeply and your life is forever changed by it.

The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Mod...
Image via Wikipedia

Starry Starry Night

A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing live and in color several major works by some of my favorite Impressionists, including the great Vincent Van Gogh.  It was the brushstrokes that did it. I could see the mind of the master at work…the one who takes command of the brush and creates a universe with it.  There is a force to the artist.  The gutsy part.  Vincent had it all right, we artists need that;  the show off….the ham. The part that is compelled to share that which we have created.  Even shy ones like me have that side… but there is also the other side; the sensitive one.   Vincent had that in spades. He poured out his heart onto the canvas with wild abandon.  I believe that creativity lies in that deep soulful side. I have that side…the indigo to my strawberry. It was that side that started to cry in the middle of the exhibit. I welled up and couldn’t stop. I couldn’t even see the art at that point but the images from that day will forever be etched in my memory.

What I am trying to say

This piece is entitled: An open letter to all sensitive artist types and it is. However,  I do have one certain artist in mind when I write this and to that person I say…..

It is the artists that stick their neck out. It takes courage to put your work in front of others. Your heart is on a plate for others to dissect and chew up. Humans are natural judges and it’s a hard dose to swallow when you are on the receiving end of a disinterested audience.  What is the purpose of art if it is not shared?  And appreciated.

It takes courage to pursue a dream and awfully thick skin.  Unfortunately most of us artistic types are sensitive and all the courage in the world doesn’t stop hurt feelings.  Some people are jerks and will knock anyone down who dares to dream. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop dreaming. Because once in a while dreams do come true.  Don’t let a few sour grapes spoil a fantastic bottle of wine.

But don’t just listen to me:

A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.  Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the other people want what they want.  Indeed, the moment an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist….”

**Oscar Wilde**

Have a wildly creative day

Strawberryindigo.