I have been adding this hasthtag to many images on my instagram account this year. I put it there as a prayer to myself. It is a whispered reminder to make this particular choice every day. I have since discovered that it is a popular little meme, although perhaps not a unified one. Everyone has their own idea of what living the dream is. In the spirit of Language Matters, I thought I would address what it means to me and why it has become a mantra in my life.
I take the statement ‘Live your dream’ from the work of Don Miguel Ruiz. In particular The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love. He writes of the Toltec tradition. In the philosophy of this tradition, it is understood that we live in a fictional world, or dream, created by our beliefs about the actual events of life. As we learn to navigate our world, we also learn to live in a dream of life that is our culture’s dream. The philosophy proposes that you can escape this dream of a life by following the four agreements.
The four agreements can help us escape this dream of life because they override the program that is playing that dream for us. Practicing the agreements interrupts all the thoughts which shape the event into one of suffering. Shakespeare’s sweet prince Hamlet said: ‘there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ We can master our own thinking. We have the power to write our own code.
I put #liveyourdream in my posts because I want to remember to live by the four agreements and to view this world as love. I want to interrupt the programing that interferes with my ability to be my best most present self in each moment.
If this idea intrigues you, I have two suggestions in addition to Ruiz’s books:
This is an HBO television series which explores the question of soul and consciousness in a mindbending sci-fi western. It is beautifully filmed and packed to the gills with powerhouse actors turning in savory performances. There has only been one season, so there is no telling where the story will go from here. As it has come this far, I think it raises very interesting questions about the nature of consciousness which I am interested in exploring further.
This is a controversial book by psychologist Julian Jaynes and it is mentioned as an inspiration by the artists working on Westworld. In the book, Jaynes proposes the theory of the title; that man began his existence on earth truly of two minds, and that it was the breakdown in the separation of these two cognitive processes which resulted in consciousness. I found this a difficult read but if trying to pin down consciousness intrigues you and you are not buffeted by scholarly and scientific language, you will probably find this fascinating. Commit to being along for the ride.
I hope that we can all learn to live our own dream; not the dream we picked up from the world around us, not the one composed of ideas and beliefs that we never chose and perhaps aren’t even aware that we hold, but the dream that we consciously choose every moment of every day. A dream built in love , consciousness, and self esteem. For now, I am going to take care of myself, share with love and generosity what I discover, and welcome whomever is curious to start their own journey.
‘Thou art god.’ – Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Hienlein
Check out all of these awesome dreams: