Sunday, 22 March 2015 20:00

5. Dreams and Detachment

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I often have lucid dreams. Dreams are called lucid when the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming. He is separate from the dream events, sometimes even from the person he is in the dream. Usually we do not realize we are dreaming, and identify ourselves with our dream-self: we ARE the one to whom various kinds of things happen, who perceives, acts and so on.

I sometimes have a corresponding feeling of aloofness in my waking life. I am not anything that takes place here, not even this body or these thoughts and emotions. I am separate from everything that happens. Waking life is more coherent, continuous etc. than typical lucid dreams, but there can be a similar sense of detachment in both.

What is it then that I am while detached? I would say that ultimately I am not an event, process, structure or any other thing at all but silence and emptiness. All thoughts, images and sounds are born in this emptiness and then pass away by themselves.


A certain feeling of unconcern follows from this. No matter which way things go, nothing bad can ever happen to me. I can open myself to precarious experiences without any risks. A higher meaning of life may lie in this dimension of invulnerable emptiness instead of anything that can occur in life, within life as it were.



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Arto Tukiainen

I am a philosophical practitioner living in Finland, where I received my doctoral degree from the Department of Practical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki in 1999. My interest in the contemporary field of philosophical practice developed out of a need for philosophical orientation in my own life. You can read my essays at Many of them have also been published in journals such as Philosophical Practice, Practical Philosophy and International Journal on Philosophical Practice.