This World of Dreams
Stories and dreams from the heart of the Midwest
“More than a year has passed since I began writing about this world of dreams. Did the blade of the diamond cut through the illusions, through the constructions of reality that appear to us as dreams? Our spiritual enlightenment is the awareness of this dream world. This awareness is itself enlightenment. We are the masters of our dreaming.”
At the end of the Diamond Sutra, in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, is the famous four-line verse:
Thus shall ye think of all this fleeting:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.
Richard Quinney, growing up on the farm, walking the land, working in the fields, tending the farm animals, and listening to the soft words of his family as the darkness folded into the night has spent a lifetime contemplating the nature of reality.
In This World of Dreams a year passes as the author tells the stories that come, as in a dream, of things past, of the ancestors that once lived, and of the wonders of everyday life. The revels will end in this relative world of dreams. Yet, the fruits of the year’s quest prompt thoughts, more dreams, of an absolute realm beyond this dream world. In the meantime, we are the shepherds of our dreams, the tellers of the tales we share with others. We are the keepers of the wonders of our existence here on earth.
Richard Quinney is the author of several books of autobiographical writing, including Journey to a Far Place, For the Time Being, Borderland, Once Again the Wonder, Where Yet the Sweet Birds Sing, Tales from the Middle Border, Field Notes, A Lifetime Burning, Once Upon an Island, A Farm in Wisconsin, Ox Herding in Wisconsin, and A Sense Sublime. His retrospective book of photographs, Things Once Seen, received the August Derleth Award from the Council of Wisconsin Writers. His other books are in the field of sociology. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
“Part autobiography, part family history, and part philosophical reflection on the nature of self in a cosmically interconnected universe . . . these three elements intertwine from chapter to chapter to form an integrated whole. . . . This tangible book is itself a work of art, perhaps yet another momentary stay against an impermanent cosmos.”
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154 pp. 6 x 7 7/8
16 color illustrations