Ouspensky’s initial concern eventually gave way to a clear understanding of how most dreams are formed. For readers familiar with his “search for the miraculous,” Ouspensky’s conclusions may be disappointing. Ouspensky rejected the idea that our everyday dreams tell us anything of our true selves, our destiny, or have any message at all. They are, he says, meaningless, “entirely accidental, entirely chaotic, unconnected with anything”, rather, he argues, most dreams are the product of our physical condition or physiological state. Since his childhood he had had a recurring dream of being caught in a bog. Try as he might to avoid it, in the dream he invariably found himself sinking into deep, seemingly bottomless mud. Although for years he felt that something important was being revealed in this dream, in his half-dream state Ouspensky discovered that in fact the bog was the dream representation of his feet getting caught in the blankets. Similarly, a persistent dream of becoming blind turned out to be caused by his efforts to open his eyes while asleep. His hand getting caught beneath his knee produced a dream in which a dog was biting his hand. A recurring dream in which he found himself crippled was the result of the muscles of his legs becoming torpid.
Gary Lachman | In search of P. D. Ouspensky: The Genius in the Shadow of Gurdjieff
In our modern society, it has become apparent that the power-based world — the world of politics, government, and international finance that influences all of us — has been absolutely hypnotized and driven crazy by words and by thoughts. We have become slaves to recurring patterns in an endless stream of words. Our political leaders talk incessantly about our many problems, but it’s as if they’re speaking a foreign language one might call “memorandese.” Almost everyone has had the experience of watching a political debate and wondering afterward what on earth the candidates were talking about. To some degree, all civilized people are out of touch with real- it’s because we fail to distinguish between the way things are and the way they are described. For politicians this dichotomy has reached extreme pro- portions, but it affects everyone. We confuse money, which is an abstraction, with real wealth; we confuse the idea of who we are with the actual experience of our organic existence.
Mark Watts | Still the Mind: an Introduction of Meditation
Should he be considered reckless for driving given the propensity for poor eyesight at his old age, and would a young man whose vision unexpectedly worsened be considered similarly culpable?