I received a large envelope in the mail. It was from a medical group that we depend on currently for a treatment. I wondered what it could be. Or more to the point, I feared what it might be. Was it a bill? Was it a notice of termination? Was it more rules being laid down to control behaviors? Was it some serious requirement we were going to have to go through? All this ran through my mind in a matter of seconds in reaction to "seeing it." And I hadn't even opened it yet.
I then remembered, that this is a prime example of reacting in fear to some "portion" of the world. Something in the world seems to happen, some "dream" seems to occur, and then I perceive it. And if I perceive it is REAL, forgetting that it is complete fiction and isn't really happening, I MUST experience some portion of the hierarchy of illusions. Some measure of fear, threat and danger must arise, to correspond to the perceived severity of "the problem that came out of nowhere".
So then I remembered, oh yea,.... there is no world. This is me reacting to part of a dream as if it is real. And so I saw, wow, look at how my mind just went right into FEAR, the instant that I saw what this envelope was, and allowed its "reality" to enter my mind. By not remembering this is just another dream episode, my mind was "snagged" or caught up on the dream, as if bound to it and part of it.
The automatic go-to reaction was to be afraid as a result. Yet the instant that I thought to myself, "there is no world, this is just a dream", the fear melted and I felt happy and light and safe. I stepped outside of it. I reframed it. I remembered this little "event" is nowhere and nothing. And I saw how strange it is that I would go into automatic, uncontrolled fear, just as a reaction to having made an envelope real. Having then told myself that all manner of defensiveness is needed, in the form of fear, to prepare myself for what this was going to "do to us".
As I stepped outside of it and laughed, with the fear gone, and trying to stay in the happy awareness that there is no world, I noticed how I probably for all my life have "reacted to dreams" in this way. Each time some thing seems to happen in the world, there has been this "being caught up in it". And each time I am caught up in it there is suffering. And along with that there are upset feelings and fear and stress. And it's all because I thought what was happening was real.
In fact it then seemed really strange that I had chosen to go into fear at all, because there was absolutely no call for fear and no apparent reason to be afraid at all. If the dream was not real and there wasn't even really an envelope, then there was no basis for any reaction whatsoever. And this revealed just how pointless and arbitrary fear is, like some kind of un-checked auto-responder, that just activates unconsciously, with little regard for whether it's even justified. Like a habitual reaction. And I probably had been doing this all my life.
But now here I was, feeling safe and light and happy and bright, because I had remembered for a moment that "this is just a piece of a dream, it's not even really there". I thus opened the envelope and inquired as to its main message. It was, to my pleasant surprise, a refund check for $150 for "overpayment". lol
But it is a lesson. It has shown me another fine example of just how this works. This ONE PROBLEM. Forgetting that you are dreaming. Believing it is REALITY. Thinking that what's happening is ACTUALLY happening. Losing sight of any kind of awareness and just becoming unconscious, ego, reactive and fearful, suspicious, defensive, vulnerable and weak. If the world is real you HAVE to be afraid, and everyone who has been living this way their whole lives doesn't know any other option. I know I didn't.
It's all what happens when you dip down into false perception and bind yourself to the dream, lose yourself in it, go into the darkness of it and take it seriously. Then as you lift up, as you remember THERE IS NO WORLD, your mind just floats right out of it and makes light of it, free from it, saved from it, happy and safe from it. And in that light, there is no concern for what the dream seems to show, or what the event seems to be about. You are not inside the event, because you are not lost in the dream. Being lost is the mainstay in this world, and few have found themselves as yet.
"Awareness of dreaming is the function of God's teachers."
"They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die, yet they are not deceived by what they see."
"Miracles restore the awareness that you are the dreamer of the dream."
Might I add that we are never fearful in the present. We are fearful in the past about the past. First stop on the journey inward; our childhood where this ego was made. If you explore the surprise package showing up you will find a correlation in your childhood that caused a fearful reaction. Everything we seem to be experiencing as an adult is just a replay of our childhoods. We believe that we are adults having an adult life. Not true. When we do the work to “get” this, the grip of reactions is loosened. When we have mastered childhood level of “taking it to the past” for the purpose of getting that it is not real, we can move on to the next level.
This level has to do with what the Course calls the atheist and the martyr and the fractured selves that were birthed from them. Long story.
Finally we arrive at our final destination on our journey inward where the fear originates, the separation story. Everything from “present day” stories, childhood stories , and the atheist and the martyr, and its brood, stories are all just reflections of the original separation story and our making it real. But in my experience we cannot go straight to the original story for the undoing. We have to travel through and master the previous levels.
The adult self we think we are is not real. The child we thought we were is not real. Even the atheist and the martyr are not real. We made them all up to hide where we need to get to to undo this whole illusion, the original separation story, the original making it real.