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Conversations With My Dog

By Jean-Claude Koven

Based on the teachings in the book, "Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense"

Zeus mysteriously materialized in my life a few years ago. He's a very complex, wise-cracking, irreverent dog with some serious attitude. However, he is arguably the most highly evolved being I have ever encountered. His great delight is in turning my world (and yours) inside out and upside down, with the soul purpose of revealing forgotten knowledge. For example:

    Though he's a highly evolved being, Zeus delights in being a dog—especially when it comes to sticking his head out of the car window when we drive. He claims tuning into the smells of the human world gives him a sensory high.
    "You guys really haven't got a clue," he said enigmatically, returning from the 405 Freeway morning air sampling to report his latest finding. "It's no wonder you can't make your lives work."
    "You just discovered that from this morning's sniff?" I teased. "All you've got to do is turn on the morning news to confirm we went over the edge years ago."
    "Forsooth, sweet prince," Zeus countered, leveraging my sarcasm back in a flash of verbal aikido, "you speak merely of symptoms, ignoring etiology. What humans have become is obvious. What's astonishing is that so few of you bother wondering why. Aren't you even a little curious about why you've ended up in this vacuous mess?"
    He was right, of course. Even the so-called successful people I know feel they're missing some essential nugget. They're all looking for some unholy grail to fill a void.
    Zeus read my thoughts like an open book. "Yep. You got that right. Everyone's so hell-bent on bein' someone else, they ain't got no time for bein' who they really are," he said with a hillbilly drawl.
    "That makes no sense at all!" I protested.
    "Couldn't have said it better myself," Zeus responded. "Never could figure it out, neither. Why would someone throw away a perfectly good incarnation trying to be anything 'cept the magical being they already are?"
    Sensing my confusion, Zeus lent a helping hand. "Your lives won't ever make sense to you until you ask certain questions."
    "Like 'who are we?' and 'why are we here?'" I asked.
    "Not bad," Zeus replied. "Worth answerin', fer sure. But the answers ain't gonna do you no good 'til you find out something even more basic. Like, what's 'here'? And why did someone go to such extraordinary lengths to make 'here' happen in the first place?"
    "What do you mean, 'go to extraordinary lengths'?"
    "Too askew for you?" Zeus rhymed, dropping his Appalachian affectation. "I'll make it more clear for the little dear. Most of you are so confused about how you got here and what you're supposed to be doing, that you never take the time to actually look around and ask what's the purpose of it all.
    "This Grand Illusion—what you call reality—is an immense stage where exalted beings, such as you, get to explore and experience different aspects of the Infinite. Central wardrobe lets you choose from a wide variety of bodies, previous life experiences, even where and when you'll be born and the personality you'll use to interact with the rest of the cast. Then, just before you step in front of the footlights, you pass through the Veil of Forgetting, which blocks you from knowing who you really are and infuses you with the belief that you're separate from the universe and the other characters in the play.
    "As if that weren't enough, once you get here, you throw away your built-in manual. Instead, you take advice from the first humans you encounter—usually your parents—and become card-carrying method actors."
    "You mean we actually come equipped with a manual?" I blurted.     "If you didn't," Zeus replied, "you wouldn't have a chance of advancing to the next level. The trouble is, only a handful of you ever use it."
    "Now I know you're yanking my chain!" I said.
    "Wrong choice of words there, tiger. Fact is, you don't know anything—and right there's the best place to start. Your assumptions about what you think you know keep you from ever really knowing anything—and from letting the manual access you."
    "Hey! Stop messing with my head."
    "Well you didn't expect something so valuable to be printed on parchment or burned on a DVD so you could sell it on e-bay the first time you got into a financial bind, did you? 'Manual' is just my word for the universal resonance that pervades All That Is. Think of it as a homing beacon that can guide every step of your journey. When you follow it, your thoughts, words, and actions fall into their appropriate places, like the tumblers of a lock. When you ignore it, your life loses its orientation and becomes disjointed, fragmented, and ultimately meaningless.
    Zeus paused for a moment. "Do you know how you lost your manual?"
    He correctly interpreted my silence as a definite no. "As you came through the Veil, you became totally identified with your new role. You're so enchanted with this illusion's new toy—the ego—that the real you rarely surfaces. So there's nobody listening to the resonance. Look back on your life: when was the last time you actually exercised Free Will? The jobs you've had, your relationships, beliefs, and loyalties are more the result of serendipity and geography than intent.
    "You humans are a bizarre life form. I'd say you were descended from the gods, but that would be wrong. You are the gods, making believe you're mothers or Christians, physicians or athletes, connoisseurs of football, good music, or fine wine. Why are you here? To rediscover that fact, while you experiment with the possibilities of existence. Yet you're so busy trying to be something you're not that you miss your own grandeur and power.
    "A great deal of effort has gone into creating this illusion. It's brilliant in every respect—the perfect setting for playing out the drama of discovery."
    "Yes, but what's the point?" I asked. "Why bother coming here if the purpose is only to wake up and transcend it?"
    "Where did you get that crazy idea?" Zeus countered. "Think man! It's you and your fellow gods, in a masterful stroke of sheer brilliance, who conjured this grand holographic stage set. Then, deliberately forgetting your part in its creation, you dove in and began to perform. What theater!"
    "I just got the funniest image," I said. "I saw myself as a giant puppeteer manipulating the strings of a smaller me that's on the stage."
    "And who," Zeus quipped, "pulls the strings for the larger you, do you suppose?"

© 2004. Jean-Claude Koven is an entrepreneur, social visionary, and author of "Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense," the first great metaphysical teaching novel of the new millennium.
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