The Way & Paths
The way (Daoism) and paths (Buddhism) are interwoven. In life people travel many paths to find their way to the Supreme Light. They do so as they journey on this earthly plane and also spiritually through dreams. Most believers have definite faith traditions whose teachings they follow e.g., Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, or Secular Ethics. But there are those souls that endeavor to undertake new realities by tapping into their own conception to what it means to be spiritual. When this is the case they travel in the physical and spiritual realms.
The interfaith author Karen Armstrong spoke about climbing a “spiral staircase” moving towards this Supreme Light. But in my dreams I was traversing terrain that was like an obstacle course. During my journeys I encountered various people in their daily activities. My trips were taking me through foreign lands strewn with trees and waterways. Once I was on a bicycle when a guy asked me for a lift away from my destination, but I thought it wise to continue on my path to find my home.
It began raining as I was peddling towards home, but was forced to shelter under an eave at a local library from being soaked. The rain soon ceased and I continued my journey. But as I peddled off into the unknown I began looking for the guy whom I refused to give a ride. Then suddenly I found myself without a bike, and walking down a pathway covered with water. At a rustic cottage I encountered three individuals sitting at its entrance. I asked a black woman sitting there for directions to where I was heading, and she told me it was about nine blocks away.
But as I traversed the landscape I encountered a large body of water. Soon I was climbing a wall to make it to a schooner to take me to my destination. It was around this time I awoke from my dream. So my journey has to continue. This was surely one of my spiritual dreams with lots of symbolism.
The Physical Plain
Looking back at my life I remembered when I suffered from manic depression. My senses were heightened and often I felt as though I was in a country in tropical Africa. I actually experienced living there, breathing the air, cognizant of the scents, African culture, and a landscape baked by the sun. On occasion too I also felt transported to parts of China with millions of Chinese, and although I didn’t speak Mandarin there was still a natural connection with their identity.
Dealing with declining health of chronic renal failure, diabetes, and having a pacemaker I am presently experiencing suffering as a journey. These afflictions are teaching me valuable lessons of life. They are all leading to the Supreme Light. Some Americans take many trips abroad to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. They, in their own way, are journeying towards the Light. It might very well be that dreams, suffering, and our journeys are all apart of reincarnation (karma, samsara, moksha).