Life is nothing but a waking dream. Just like our mind creates a dream world while sleeping, the one pure consciousness projects this world of multiplicity. Just as in the lucid dream, the dreamer in the dream reality becomes aware of a higher (waking) reality. On awakening, the dreamer in the waking reality realizes its non-existence in the dream of life. There’s neither the “dream-you” nor the “waking-you;” all there is is the eternal consciousness.
Sushi .: Why do you say life is a dream? I have heard all masters say it.
Jagjot .: When you’re no longer invested in your mind’s creation (concepts), you realize that this life is a waking dream. It is only holding onto (grasping) things that give them a reality. I don’t deny life, but I don’t take it seriously either.
When the identified or contracted consciousness disperses into the boundless consciousness, the world is “seen” as a dream. It’s a knowing in the Heart and not the mind. This cannot be proved intellectually. It has to be felt in the Stillness of the Heart. Everything exists in the dream of consciousness.
Sushi .: I can see that and see the absurdity of taking life too seriously. I happened to read a book that says If you wake up from a dream into a higher reality of waking, you wake up from this world into another reality that helps you see the dream u were living. How can everyone see the same dream in this reality?
I could latch on to the fact that as the end of a dream wakes us up without warning, so does death put an end to this world abruptly?
Jagjot .: Again, we explain this with a concept (which might be a bit confusing or even weird). Everyone sees the same dream because it is the one universal mind dreaming as many. Just as when you dream, your mind creates a subject, “me,” and objects (others).
In the dream, the separation between you and the others feels real, but when you wake up, you realize it was your mind creating a dream. That there is/was no dream-you and no dream-others. In the dream, we feel convinced that it is real. We look for dream solutions to dream problems. Sometimes not getting the solution, we often wake up with a slight disappointment, but in the dream, it was a question of life and death.
The fun begins when the dream becomes lucid, where the “dream-me” becomes aware that it is dreaming and that there is no “dream-me.” Even then, the “dream-me” cannot control the dream, but there’s no worry or stress about being in the dream, fully knowing that you can wake up anytime. I have been experiencing lucid dreams since childhood.
When I wanted to end the dream (not out of fear or worry but boredom), I would look for a high building, would go to the top, and jump. But then I would see the same dreams repeatedly where I had to jump from the building to end it. Now I (not the dream-me) just wake up when I know it’s time.
Death certainly brings the waking dream to an end, but something survives out of that “waking-dream-me,” and the subtle energetic strands (samskaras) coagulate to form another “me,” creating a new body-mind organism, and the waking dream starts all over again.
Since the energetic strands contain the same subtle (unresolved) vibrations as the previous “me,” this new “me” attracts the same conditioning, relationships, and hardships as the previous “me.” Once the sense of personal identification is dissolved, universal energetic alignment takes place, and then all the dreams are finished (nirvana). When you wake up in the waking dream, you experience the same (or even more) freedom as that of a lucid dream.
Sushi .: I did feel this when I read something the other day. That all this could be a dream because people vanish all the time without any warning or reason sometimes. We leave a dream and wake up to this reality. So perhaps there are higher realities to wake up to. But I didn’t dwell on this as I didn’t want to. I wasn’t sure I was thinking right.
Who wakes up? Who is the doer then in this concept? And how does destiny or God’s will place itself in this scenario?
Jagjot .: The ONE that never slept wakes up. The ONE that is ever-present here and now, in all the three states of consciousness (waking, dream, and deep sleep), and it is even beyond the fourth. Waking up is simply the ego surrendering to the reality that it is not the doer.
That surrender is an impersonal realization that the person in the dream was an illusion, just like the dream itself. There is no doer, Sushi. You may say, I go to sleep, I dream, or I wake up, but do you really do that?
You sleep and wake up according to your body’s biological clock, which is conditioning. Different people have different sleep cycles, all that is dictated by conditioning or life circumstances that were never in their control.
Your dream content is formed from your waking reality; therefore, even dreams are formed out of conditioning. You may go to bed at a fixed time, but at what precise instance does the consciousness transition from waking to semi-sleep, semi-sleep to REM sleep (dreams), and finally into deep sleep, is not in your control. Similarly, the precise moment of waking up in the morning is also not in your control.
So, awakening in the waking state is God’s grace or the individual’s destiny. Surrender includes letting go of the idea of waking up. Even the dream does not start with lucidity. The lucidness happens at some point, and the character in the dream is not in control of when that happens. Or the dream character cannot “do” anything to make the dream lucid while dreaming.
There is absolutely nothing you can do to awaken because you’re the character in the waking dream. So leave your awakening to God and enjoy your coffee and cupcake.