Waking Up the SkinBag
In a prior post, I talked about how being in Jamaica can bring one face-to-face with one's mortality, and humanity.
It's a little like waking up from a nightmare.
Sometimes when you are in the middle of a very bad dream, you can wake up to the fact that it is just a dream. The dream can continue along, and the crazy things that happen are understood as a kind of mental joke that can either be stopped or continued at will.
Most of the time, however, I forget completely that I am dreaming. The nightmare continues unabated and I have forgotten that I am in a dream.
Then, when I awaken, I realize with a sudden sense of relief that this was indeed just a dream. It was stopped forever when I woke up, and I cannot return to it. When I am awake, I am back in full possession of my awareness, and am no longer constrained by my imagination.
In my prior post on this topic, I wrote about the skinbag as a "playing piece" in a game that involves our awareness, and its movement between our small mind and our big mind.
Most of the time, however, I am really not aware of the skinbag, my awareness, my small mind and my big mind. Instead, I am usually just having a bunch of thoughts that I believe are true.
Moving to Jamaica has lead to a preponderance of thoughts like:
"something bad is coming"
"this place is dangerous"
"I need to protext myself"
Together, these thoughts (when believed) create a particular experience that feels very, very real.
And then, now and again, I realize that I am having a nightmare.
In this particular "living nightmare," I have forgotten that I have a skinbag, awareness, small mind, and big mind.
I don't realize that I have thoughts that I need not believe, and instead I believe them all, which usually results in feelings of stress.
In other words, it is very close to being in a bad dream -- in which I have forgotten that the skinbag is sleeping, and just having a "sleeping nightmare."
The big difference is one of duration. Usually, a "sleeping nightmare" lasts a matter of minutes. Then, it is over and I am restored to being fully awake.
However, a "living nightmare" lasts a lifetime.
A friend of mine had a near-death experience, and it sounded a lot like during the moments when he was suspended over his body, watching the doctors working on his skinbag, he remembered that his like was a "living nightmare" and he woke up out of it. When life was returned to his skinbag, and his awareness came down off the ceiling, he went on living, but was never the same.
It might not be very different from what happens when we realise that we are having a "sleeping nightmare," in some ways. He was still alive, but he had learned in a flash who he really was, and that he had been having a "living nightmare."