Monday, July 31, 2006

Miguel Ruiz, Pattison, and In-Between Attentions

Miguel Ruiz says our initial life of unawareness is the Dream of the First Attention. It’s the story we first get from the world around us, most of which is false. But we believe it wholeheartedly, thinking the dream is real. If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy this dream of the planet. What life form would create such a one?

But, according to Ruiz, we have a chance to become aware of the false dream we live, and begin creating a new dream, one based on truth and love. He calls this the Dream of the Second Attention. It’s our second chance at life, one that is aware of the lies we have dreamt and conscious now of the artistry in dreaming a life.

There’s a passage in Eliot Pattison’s “Water Touching Stone” that speaks to the Tibetan Buddhist belief in reincarnation, and the gradual awareness after death a soul makes. But one can apply it to the cloudy aspect of being between these two Attentions Ruiz speaks of, when these attention-grabbing concepts begin to shift towards a true reality.
What were the stages, he tried to recall, the stages of bardo, when the spirit drifted until it saw the path to rebirth? Ignorance at first, clinging to the illusion that the body still lived, then realization that death has occurred—the Glimpsing Reality stage, the lamas called it, when uncertainty and hallucination of the past lives might pull the dead back, delaying the final realization that there was no path possible but rebirth.

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