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."
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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.
I have been intensely studying A Course In Miracles for about two years (including two visits to see Ken Wapnick in Temecula, CA...which, if you get the chance to do that, you really should). I am lucky enough to have two smart, motivated-to-awaken friends who have been studying it much longer, and we meet periodically. I trust their recommendations so deeply, and they never recommend any work that they don't fully believe in (and we all love Ken Wapnick's work...his books, audio CDs, DVDs). And at one meeting one of these friends brought The Universe Is a Dream and the two of us were like, Huh? A comic book? And she said, "No, it's not a comic book...it's like everything all rolled into one and it's so smart and so funny and so completely dead-on. I can't tell you how much I'm loving it." Usually this friend loans us her books, but she didn't want to part with this one (now I get that!!!), so the two of us ordered our own copies and fell completely in love.
I have already read it three times (and if you knew me, you'd know that that speaks volumes in and of itself...I so rarely reread anything because I'm always in a rush to get to the next thing), and I get something more out of it with each read. I've never encountered anything quite like this, a book that combines science ("lite" science, which is what I can handle) and spirituality and pop culture and philosophy and history and loads and loads of pithy, clever, smart-as-hell humor. Seriously, you owe yourself this book. Whether you're new to the Course or have been studying it for decades, or whether you've never even heard of the Course but have just been having a nagging feeling that something is rotten in Denmark, so to speak, you owe yourself (your higher Self) this book. (I will be rereading it yet again, once I can get it away from my husband.)
I've read lots of Course-related material over the last couple of years (voraciously and hungrily), and, with the exception of ALL of Ken Wapnick's work, and now this amazing gem by Alexander Marchand, I find some of the Course stuff out there inconsistent and not delivering the Course message as it was intended. (For instance, some of the published stuff I encounter speaks as if a miracle in Course terms is changing something in the illusion, and that's not what the Course says at all, which is why the Course is so different from so much New Age "wisdom.") So I am a very picky reader when it comes to material written about the Course...and Marchand's book just never has a false note for me. Not even one. Quite the contrary: it strengthens my connection to the Course's message in a profound way. And there's not one lazy picture/caption/speech bubble/thought bubble in this book. This is a truly a gift to the phenomenal universe, a massive and loving gift to minds that need help remembering who they really are.
I also attend a weekly Course group and recently brought the book in (just to pass it around and gush about it...not to loan it!!). (I also brought a box of Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins, but that's beside the point.) The point is that even in just passing this book around and letting people flip through it, several people were laughing their heads off (and some of these people are hard to make laugh...they're very discriminating when it comes to humor) and some people were repeating lines that they felt were so witty and hilarious and also so right-on regarding the Course and the nature of this universe we think is so very real (don't ever underestimate the ego's sneaky ingenuity).
Thank you, Alex. Not only am I in awe of the book as a whole, but it helped me through the hardest year of my life (some really painful things happened this year). Your work gave me the perspective I needed, the message I needed, and in the form I needed, too. I am so very grateful.
After what had been months of a peaceful and sometimes ecstatic learning process -around nothing less than the REAL keys to life-, I was wishing for something else to accompany this process. Perhaps even something with a 'twist' of fun.
Well, Alexander Marchand's book greatly surpassed such expectation of mine, by providing mind blowing illustrations of how the apparent reality in this Universe seems to work, how we get caught into such workings, and most importantly, how to become free from all the illusions. All in a masterfully graphic way, impregnated with remarkable humor, specially alluding to so much of what I've read in the past.
Even though I already understood conceptually most of the contents of this book, I couldn't be more grateful for its availability, as it GREATLY enhanced such understanding, filled some gaps and provided a great, fun companion to "A Course In Miracles (ACIM)" and its more "formal" teaching materials.
Whether you are new to these teachings, or an advanced student of spirituality or ACIM, rest assured that you will not only enjoy this book, but learn much from it.
Outstanding work Alex!