The Universe Is a Dream: The Secrets of Existence Revealed (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/9/30
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Have you ever contemplated the cause of the universe beyond simply attributing it to God or The Big Bang? If so, in that causal contemplation, have you ever entertained the idea that the universe is but a dream? Which is to say, have you ever considered that the cause of the universe is that you dreamt it up? At first glance, the idea that you dreamt up the universe perhaps seems implausible. However, what if you really took that idea seriously and followed it to its logical conclusion? What would you discover? Well, this book answers that question. Using the unique form of a graphic novel, artist and writer Alexander Marchand takes you on an artistic, humorous, irreverent, and extremely informative romp through the advanced, nondualistic metaphysics of the contemporary spiritual document known as A Course in Miracles. In the end, you'll not only have a coherent picture of the true nature of the universe and existence, but you'll also have essential, practical knowledge of what you'll need to do to if you are ready to wake up.
Was I ready for this, or what?......
I wouldn't say that I'm perfect by any means, and this book did a good job of checking my ego at the door. I wouldn't say that I've fully overcome the traps of ego. So take this review with a spoonful of sugar or a grain of salt. Even writing this review for you is itself a kind of product of ego.
I feel that the book is overpriced when you consider that the ending is is a sales pitch to buy more stuff. For all the talk of releasing ego, this is an ego-driven approach IMHO. If Alex truly wants to get rid of ego might I suggest that he lower the price or give away digital copies of his work and only charge money for print editions and merchandising.
Instead of the author trying to sell everyone on ACIM I feel like he should teach the stuff himself, in his own way, through his special brand of humor and comics. Using it as a sales pitch for something that is set up in a different style and structure is kind of the lazy way out. I don't see a good reason to spend my time reading a 1200 page manual and doing a bunch of exercises.
That's not why we dreamed you up, Alex. We dreamed you up because we want you to use your gifts to explain this stuff to us in your own way.
I forgive the author for his ego and recognize that he's taking steps to get rid of it. I hope he continues his journey and is able to fully release and let go of the dogmas he still seems to be struggling with.
It's a little bit flawed, since I'm not a Christian there are things I don't like about it, which I don't think have to do with dualism and ego as the author suggests. I've had enough near-death experiences and such that I feel my ego is pretty well in check. I am as non-dualistic as I can be. I see life as a spectrum of paths and I feel that there are a lot of right answers and not many wrong ones.
Some of the ideas presented reek of the dogma of "original sin". While I think that forgiveness and love and acceptance are essential to "growing up", I feel like having a "special relationship" with Jesus is flawed thinking. Putting Jesus on a pedestal and saying that Buddha was less enlightened is a flawed perspective. Both Jesus and Buddha are Ascended Masters and they both overcame ego and they both are part of the oneness of All That Is.
If I fully embraced everything he put here then I would have no reason to remain in human form. Because I get it. Reality is an illusion, yeah I know. The trick however isn't to escape reality by pretending it doesn't really exist, it's to embrace the fact that we're all one living organism trying to experience and understand itself and are co-creators in this reality.
People may judge me for identifying as a goddess. But it is my genuine belief that we are all gods and goddesses. We are co-creators of the reality that we live in. I am not better than you because I've released ego, I am you and you are me and we're all in this together trying to figure it all out.
Personally I like the idea the book presented that reality is all some big cosmic joke. This to me made the book worth the read. The punchline being that, why are we so silly as to incarnate into separate bodies and pretend to be individuals, when oneness is all that.
However, I feel that the farther we fall down the further we have to climb and the more rewarding it is when we arrive. The organism of All That Is that encompasses everything isn't some father-figure in the sky. We're not being punished by guilt because we separated from it. We are all a part of All That Is and the point of incarnating here is to forget that we are All That Is as a form of entertainment. To pat ourselves on the back when we get that we're god and we're all one entity. Good job for re-membering to overcome karma. Good job for forgiving ourself, and since we are everyone and everything then obviously forgiving others is forgiving ourself really.
Life is supposed to be fun. We chose to lower our density and become physical beings because the experiences we have are entertaining to us. We play out the narratives that we set out to create for ourselves pre-incarnation. This is just us putting on a play, we are pretending to be human. When we start taking life seriously and pretend that it's all real we fall into traps of thinking that cause guilt and suffering and physical pain.
I agree with a lot of the ideas presented in the book and I'm better off for having read it. But since Alex is me I want to help him Grow Up and release the dogmas of this notion of "original sin". We should feel guilty when we harm ourselves or another because we are doing it wrong. We should forgive ourselves and others and release the guilt because we all make mistakes. This is how we learn and grow and re-member that we're all one entity experiencing itself and trying to understand itself.
I could write books about this stuff but I feel like part of the issue is nomenclature and language itself. This is why music is my "religion". The less words the better. Encoding energy into the vibe of the music to reach someone at the soul level.
Lest my review get taken down for being considered self-promotion, I will just paste some alternative lyrics here of a song I remixed rather than linking to it (Water Wraith vs. Nine Inch Nails ~ Zero Sum):
Shame on us
For what we've become
Let's forgive ourselves,
Go back to being one
Shame on us
For what we have done
Let's forgive each other,
'Cuz we are all one
Play with us
We're having fun
Let's play nice together
and have lots of fun
Sing with us
We're having fun
Let's all dance together
and have lots of fun
We are the "holy spirit" that Alex describes. We are the answers to each other's prayers. We are the source of our own intuition. We're not children of god, we are children gods. We are All That Is. Let's grow up and release dogma.
I look forward to taking the journey with Alex and anyone reading this.
With that said, I must say that I did find merit in the ideas presented in this book. For me personally, I can really wrap my mind around the idea of God as Oneness. The author spent A LOT of time driving home this point. The more we embrace Oneness, the more we enter into the mind of God, which is to say, our right mind.
This book is based on A Course in Miracles. If you are a fan of it, you will most likely enjoy this book. However, there are a few differences between this book and ACIM. Below are the differences I noticed.
1. This book is a little different from ACIM in its presentation...much hipper. :)
2. The book has a critical vibe to it at times which is not present in ACIM. It focuses on where literally all other beliefs systems fail at Oneness (except Quantum physics) instead of focusing on where they succeed at it.
3. It makes the claim that the world is just your own personal dream. ACIM may have been hinting at this, but it never came out directly and said it.
4. It is illustrated; ACIM is not. Loved the illustrations!
I love this book for helping us think outside the box when it comes to imagining God and the landscape of our lives. I am glad I read it and would highly recommend it. However, I do find the tone of it a little critical of religions, philosophies,and science. I have had Jehovah Witnesses show up on my door who took the same tone as the author of this book -- only they understood Jesus, all other religions failed, and if you disagreed with them, you simply were not ready for the truth. I don't care how good your message is, that is a sad way to sell it.