Some people have asked me about Mr. Octopus: who is he? Now, the answer to that is not as cut and dried as it may seem. It’s a Pandora’s box of inquiry, bringing the very nature of existence and reality under scrutiny.
You’ve heard the platitude “we are all more alike than we are different” that people utter for the sake of tolerance and inclusion. Well, I like to ponder the possibility that we are all the same, just one big jellyfish. And as soon as I say that out loud, someone gets mad at me. They want to defend their right to be separate. To not jellyfish.
I mean, I get it. We are different, but that’s only part of the story, no? Where is the line that separates us? I’ve always been a little fuzzy on the line between reality and illusion too. In spite of this, I am a practical person. My interest in the One-ness of the Is-ness is practical. I look at the big flow and that expansiveness tends to fuel and elevate my little flow. I hope I can continue to do so in the moment of my death.
“Oh, would you please lighten up,” says Mr. Octopus.
Speaking of the One-ness of the Is-ness, maybe we are appearing in each other’s dreams and neither of us would be here if that were not the case. I’m here because of you and vice versa. Instead of pointing the finger at someone for something they did to us, we could ask, hmm, now why is so-and-so showing up in my dream? What part of me dialed him in? What was I needing when I made that call?
I’m not saying that each person is responsible for causing everything he/she experiences and I’ve heard the Abraham teachings (channeled by Esther Hicks) ad nauseam. I’m just saying that when I am able to look at people, things and experiences as not-separate, part of one flow, I expand into that flow. That is all a very round-a-bout way of saying that maybe you’ve been looking for Mr. Octopus, and he’s been looking for you too.
“Twinkles,” says Mr. Octopus.
Mr. Octopus first appeared to me as a child. According to my mother, she would find me sucking my thumb, staring intently up at the ceiling. When asked what I was looking at, I would point and say, “Octopus.” This pronouncement seemed all the more significant because, I am told, that I rarely spoke as a child.
My dog does this. Not suck his thumb, but looks at things that I can’t see but that are definitely there to him. Just something to think about.
Anyway, I had no memory of these octopus sitings except for the memory that exists from stories, like in dreams. Do you ever find yourself in a dream, remembering things, places, people, experiences, from within the dream world? It’s as though your dream self has its own memory bank that can only be accessed there. Then one day, as I was minding my own business writing my blog, he appeared. And here’s where things get tricky, for I suppose that I appeared to him the same moment he appeared to me. Or, was he there all along, watching discreetly, waiting for the right moment to pounce? Let’s ask the octopus himself, shall we?
“So, Bubby, have you been here all along, or did you appear in my dream/life at that fateful moment?” I ask.
“Yes and no,” he says, with an ineffable wink.
See what I mean? It’s complicated. You might ask if Mr. Octopus really exists and I would have to quote him by answering yes and no. But, he is certainly somewhere, wouldn’t you agree? He’s in my mind, and now to some extent he’s in yours too. Tag, no backsies!
Let’s take an outward approach to the question of identity, for that is the simplest. He’s an octopus unlike any other. His style is old-fashioned, like the slim monocled New Yorker mascot, but not as snotty. Unless of course he’s being snotty. He certainly does have an edge that is smart, sexy, mysterious and dangerous. He’s not dangerous because of anything he does or says. It’s just that his very presence tends to stir things up, push people past their comfort zones. That sort of thing.
He is laid back and thorough in most things because he has all the time in the world. (He likes that I said that about him. Have I mentioned he’s vain?) He is completely free of the judgement of others and completely himself, that is to say, in his nature. And he is able to change his nature at will but prefers to appear as a dandy, in his bow tie, delicately sipping a cup of tea. And, this just in, he wants me to add that he occasionally enjoys a good pipe of opium.
And he is terribly naughty, but would prefer a good conversation to sex most of the time because you can have sex with anybody (his words, not mine!).
Get this: he wants me to get a tattoo of him on my right inside forearm. Oh, the cheek! It’s not just the pain of getting a tattoo in such a sensitive area, it’s his entitlement that really gets me. But if I so much as complain about this new whimsy of his, he’ll merely give me one of those irresistible winks and in I’ll cave. I’ll just spill all over myself like the big aquarium at the beginning of ‘Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo.’ We love that movie.
Now, I am familiar with the term “imaginary friend.” I have to whisper it because it would offend Mr. O to hear himself reduced in this niggardly way and I don’t blame him. People who use such terms as “imaginary friend” have no imagination in my opinion. They are not comfortable without labeling every nook and cranny of themselves and their mean little inner lives. When one is in the throes of imagination, does it not make the blood rush, the senses heighten? The imagination is real in its own place and has a corresponding ghost-like, shadow-like realness here as well.
I wonder, does a robot feel real to itself?
But I digress. Perhaps I should say that Mr. Octopus exists beyond time/space and just leave it at that. And I describe him as sexy because everything I love, everything, is sexy. It’s the spirit that makes it so. The bark of this tree is so old and weathered and sexy, I want it inside me. I want inside it. Yes! Yes! Yes!
“Don’t mind herrr,” says Mr. Octopus. “She has a thing for treesss.”
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