Breaking Free and Breaking a Leg: Nirvana is a Life Force Theatre
This essay is the second in the series, First Creation Dreaming.
After asking for help from Charles Henry via the dream phone line, Brad’s nightly experiences were altered. He continued having more dreams that were syncretic combinations of different people, places, cultures, and wisdom traditions. Two weeks after dreaming of the old medicine man, he was sent to another spiritual classroom:
I was in a large room that looked like every important venue I had ever experienced, including my father’s church, my grandfather’s church, various lecture halls, theatres, concert arenas, and ceremonial gathering places. It was one large venue that was somehow all these rooms at once.
I immediately knew in the dream that the purpose of life is to escape all rooms. This task seemed impossible because undercover trickster agents and guards were constantly on the lookout for anyone trying to exit. They made sure everyone remained inside the walls. Their methods involved surveillance, obstruction, trickery, illusion, fear, seduction, attraction, distraction, confusion, obfuscation, clever persuasion, and every imaginable mind game.
In the dream, I was unambiguously confident that I was now ready and able to leave all the rooms. I knew this must be done swiftly and without hesitating to contemplate the consequences that might result. I summoned my relationship with higher power and began the great escape. It involved incredible movements of the ecstatic kind, swiftly maneuvering through narrow passageways while carefully avoiding preset historical traps as well as recently constructed pitfalls. My mind automatically sprung to a heightened degree of acuity and was prepared to handle any trickster obstacle. I also made sure no unnecessary attention was drawn to my activity, though in actuality my ecstatic commotion was lighting up the room with spiritual current that sizzled and cast light everywhere.
Soon I escaped the room and found myself outside all the rooms I had ever known. I was in the open air and the sun was shining. However, I noticed that the trickster guards seemed to have broken a rule and had come out of the building to continue their search for me. I hid underneath an outside staircase, the same one that was located on the side of my childhood church. Across the church lawn I saw my sister (who passed away a few years ago) watching all the activity. The guards went up to her and I knew my destiny was in her hands. I wondered if she would turn me in or send them in the opposite direction. She was capable of doing either when she was alive—she could stir trouble, offer help, or switch in an instant. All ancestral spirits mimic who they were when living; we can never predict whether they will offer help or act against us.
The trickster guards approached my sister and she told them that she had not seen me anywhere. In that moment I felt free of her and all ancestors whose trickster nature can sink or float the ship. I was then flooded with the idea that reincarnation basically concerns the many times we are given opportunities to go outside the boundaries of all rooms to enter infinite eternity. To assure that we aren’t readily thrown back into a small room again, we must go further and further, even moving past where the ancestors hide and reside. To break free requires surrendering to a vastness that escapes all past-ness, leaving everything we thought we knew or understood behind. We must be liberated from any and all trickster forms, including ghosts, ancestral hosts, and roadside signposts that send us adrift.
After the guards went away, I felt free and truly emancipated for the first time in my life. I was not bound by any walls, hung up on any forms, or concerned about any trickster names. It mattered not what my time was in history, nor my designated place in social space, my skin color, lineage, religious affiliation, or cultural identity. Here I was deeply inside the vastest white-light whole. This experience was nothing like a Stanley Kubrick 2001 Space Odyssey cinematic moment. There was nothing weird, science fiction-like, or hocus pocus about this change in my existential locus. It was a sensory and emotional flood that made me feel hollow yet completely filled with holiness, like the way a horn must feel when played by an angel.
Where did I land? Believe it or not, I landed in the middle of the rooms I had previously escaped. But this time I was even more on fire and thrilled to cook like never before, and the many rooms and shifting realities and expressions were now exhilarating rather than maddening. I found myself on the most incredible theatrical stage where I sang and shouted excerpts of songs, moving from one partial verse and melodic snippet to another. My performance was a weave of music, poetry, and theatre. The room was more than anywhere and everywhere – it was always new and constantly changing though it also seemed like the only true eternal home, both the beginning and end of every journey. Its beautiful and uplifting stage hosted the most ecstatic show on earth, something beyond any imagined heaven.
I also noticed that everything I spoke or sang was also spoken and sung on another stage, space, or reality simultaneously—in synch, in tune, and in marvelous ever-shifting juxtapositions. The melodic lines, lyrical lines, and crazy wisdom rhymes were parts of a polyphonic, polyrhythmic, and poly-movement songfest. My mind was no longer hindered by the limitations of mentation and could discern and experience many levels at once, keeping track of each as well as experiencing it all blended together. Nothing could be finer than to be amidst this musical, mystical, nonstop performance of changing forms. I was experiencing The Life Force Theatre of my highest dreams, the luminous, numinous multisensory bath envisioned by Charles Henry where sacred ecstatic excitation brings the thunder and lightning that takes the stage by storm.
Nirvana is a Life Force Theatre
When I reported the dream to Hillary the next morning, she marveled (and chuckled) at the fact that it turns out “nirvana is a Life Force Theatre.” She then reminded me of something we had written almost one year ago after the Charles Henry dreams began:
“Join us as Charles Henry returns and finds what was missing in his laboratory at the Sorbonne in Paris. He needed to turn up the spiritual temperature to bring down the musical string with all its songs and fanfare. To activate the climb to maximal excitation and mystical bliss, we need all the n/om songs from George Gershwin and Cole Porter to gospel hymns, Middle Eastern chants, and Cuban drumming. Bring on the Tesla coils, the multiwave oscillators, the exotic scents, the theatre lights, the big and the little drums, all the dancing fingers, and all the singing toes. Let’s embrace everything that can charge the body resonator and carry the n/om. Welcome once again your entry to The Life Force Theatre, the performance ground of Sacred Ecstatics. Move from seiki bench to praise house to shaking dance ground and make room for the shamanic cabaret of mystical-musical lights, the big top holy ghost circus and fireworks show, and the experimental laboratory where God throws you onto the high wire fire as you are simultaneously dipped into the deep water of First Creation. Take a plunge into the hoodoo mind spa, the Charles Henry hot bath that heats up your biopsychic resonator, and the sacred pump beneath the earth whose force shoots you to the moon where there is room for all that is below and above. As the names change, one indescribable truth prevails — we belong to the forever changing First Church of First Creation.”
During the next several nights these First Creation poly-dreams continued for both Hillary and I. We experienced multiple performances taking place in different venues simultaneously. I thought I would explode with joy or madness, or both. We don’t know or care what any of this means other than it’s a reminder that
- reality is a house of mirrors and maze of rooms from which we can only escape through ecstatic means
- the song and dance of ecstasy is what sets us free to return to all the rooms which now host the exhilarating theatre of being alive
- eternity, heaven, or nirvana is not a boundary-less place but an embrace of all shifting rooms and changing realities that can never be captured by mind but can joyfully be expressed through song, dance, and sacred vibration
- the difference between hell and heaven is whether you are sorting it out or singing on stage
Hop in the “great vehicle,” head down Broadway, and find yourself on stage at the Life Force Theatre. Lights, music, the curtain is on its way up! Go break a leg and lift your arms toward unbounded mystery as you forever sound the bliss that will never miss blowing you in the wind, singing your body electric, dancing you through the night, but never fencing you in. Go further than the ancestors and zoom past the gods; every form must crumble so the n/om can rumble. Get ready and unfasten your seat belt because the world is (has never stopped) changing.
-The Keeneys, June 7, 2018