Consider this: what if dreams were meant to ruin us?
I’m not talking about snooze-dreams, but rather our deepest yearnings. “I have a dream!” kind of dream. What if these dreams that lurk inside us were luring us to the perfect defeat? The kind of defeat that gives us what we’re really after.
Where do dreams lead? Where are they meant to lead?
My dreams, for instance, have taken me to Africa and India, to ashram and witch doctor and to careers in hydrology, filmmaking and writing. But that’s only the glossy part of the story. My adventures all end in disillusionment. When they don’t, I probably haven’t ventured far enough.
Every trip includes a coming home – the longer gone the more unsettling the return. My returns usually end in culture shock. (This culture is pretty damn shocking!) What good’s a trip if it doesn’t wake us out of habit and conventional thinking? What good’s a career if it doesn’t teach us the ultimate futility of being a know-it-all?
What good, ultimately, is succeeding, if it only leaves us content with where we are?
We nurture our dreams, believing that our destiny lies on their far side. Which is true. But we get attached to the dream and remain unconscious of its empty aftermath. In my experience, aspirations end in emptiness. (You can kiss my aspirations!)
If we keep our eyes open long enough, all our efforts ends in emptiness. I call that the perfect defeat.
It would appear that not everyone recognizes this paradoxical end-all of ambition. We don’t like defeat, nor do we really understand paradox. It leaves us in uncomfortable limbo. So let’s take it a step further:
The perfect defeat puts us “beyond defeat”. It takes the duality out of things.
You likely don’t know this but the “PJ” in PJ Reece derives from “Parajayo”, which is the Sanskrit name given to me a long time ago by an Indian teacher.
It means “beyond defeat”.
I remember when he gave me my name, he said, “Now, who is there to be defeated?”
If it’s true what that old man said, and if it’s true what I’mtrying to say here, then all our efforts have a more profound goal than we ever imagined.
And it gives delicious new meaning to the old adage:
“Beware of what you wish for.”