This morning I had a dream that Oprah came to my book group. In the process of buying a six pack of Two-Hearted Ale to start day drinking, wondering if anyone would care, Oprah came in, and I nearly fell over as she presented herself to everybody. She rooted herself and gazed into the distance, centered and resembling a lion.
I know it was just a dream, but some combination of neurons and chemicals and hormones created a dream-Oprah so present that she transformed the room. What was my mind telling me?
I think it was telling me to check my presence and be weary of my escapism.
I recently terminated my employment at a liquor store in downtown Brooklyn, and I learned a lot about alcohol abuse existing as both a social observer and a supplier of booze almost every day for 6 months. There is a wide range of people who drink for a wide range of reasons, but all of them are balancing on it as a form of escape, whether for fun or for comfort.
So after breakfast I dove back into Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. He explains presence using countless metaphors while revealing the insanity of society as it stands. Listen to this one, though, it's like a bomb going off in my head:
"'Water? What do you mean by that? I don't understand it.'
This is what a fish would say if it had a human mind."
There's substance all around us. There is also a massive world outside of our own. We have access to that if we are willing to break the surface and breathe.