The Woodcutter and the Wolf

Bart & Tom

One thing I’ve noticed is how patterns in nature are repeated on different scales. Spirals, for instance, are seen in tiny sea shells and in great galaxies. I believe this concept carries over into the lives of living creatures. The birth and death life cycle which we are all quite familiar with applies not just to individuals, but to tribes and cities and countries and species.  There is a beginning and an end, growth and decrease. Like our old friends the dinosaurs. Or a country which reaches it’s prime then begins a slow decline. What about our own consciousness? Are there patterns there that are repeated on different scales, on different levels of awareness?  Imagine you are having a dream at night.  You dream you are a woodcutter, strolling through the woods.  You hear a scream, look up ahead and see a child facing a ferocious drooling red-eyed wolf.  Uh oh!  Of course you take out your trusty axe and race towards the wolf screaming like a madman, scaring it away. You rescue the child and return him safely to his or her home and are rewarded handsomely by the grateful and very wealthy parents.  Or any of the other many possible outcomes the dream might have.  Then you wake up.  “Whew. Scary dream. That wolf was vicious.”  If you were to give it a little more thought you would see from your new awakened perspective that you were actually all of the characters in the dream.  You were the woodcutter, you were the wolf, the child, and the grateful parents. Now, let’s get silly and take this idea a few steps further. Let’s say in that dream you were a non-violent sort of woodcutter who had spent many years practicing meditation and had expanded your consciousness to some degree. Rather than kill the wolf you decide to talk to him.  “Listen wolf, here’s the thing, we are all connected, you and I, this child, and the parents of the child.  We are one universal consciousness named Tom, the guy having this dream and as an aside, the guy who wrote that awesome trilogy called Bartholomew the Adventurer.  There’s no need to eat that child. You are the child and the child is you.”  The wolf stares at you with a frown, then shakes his head. “Now I’ve totally lost my appetite with all your new-age jibber jabber. Thanks for nothing, woodcutter.”  With a huff the wolf turns and leaves.  You get the idea.  The patterns of consciousness in our dreams are being repeated on a grander scale in our current existence on earth. We are all part of a great consciousness for which we have many different names, depending on our cultural backgrounds. The wolf was a far different fellow than the child, and yet they were of the same consciousness. There’s no right or wrong about the wolf’s behavior or the woodcutter’s behavior.  They are behaving exactly as they should under their particular set of circumstances.  But.  They are all growing in awareness.  Perhaps the wolf goes back to his den and as he curls up for the night he says, “Stupid woodcutter. I should have eaten him and the kid. I wonder what he meant by that though. One universal consciousness named Tom.  Hmmm…”   And on and on and on it goes.

And one step further.  There are dreams called lucid dreams. With practice anyone can have them.  The idea is that you train yourself to wake up inside the dream.  You bring to bear your full awareness and consciousness.  I have had many lucid dreams and am very familiar with the process.  I’m having a normal dream when suddenly there is an incredible rush of consciousness and awareness and the dream becomes real. Often times more real than this world.  I can see every tiny detail, I can walk around looking for clues as to the nature of the dream world. I am fully aware that I am dreaming, that my physical self is back in bed snoring away.  I am also aware that there are no physical restraints in the dream world so I can fly or walk through walls. Yes, just like in The Matrix. Here are some questions to ask yourself.  When we die, are we waking up to a greater consciousness, just as the woodcutter and the wolf and the child did when they woke from the dream and realized they were all Tom?  Would it be possible, as in a lucid dream, to wake up in this world before we die? And if so, what would that be like?

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