A Brief History of the Dream

tiny grass is dreaming

“There is no need of a way out!
Don’t you see that a way out is also a part of the dream?
All you have to do is to see the dream as dream.”

~Nisargadatta Maharaj

Our true and original nature is the Supreme Source of the universe and all of its infinite energetic manifestations. Everything we see and experience, including the body and its conditions, is a projection of that Source energy as radiant holographic light, which assumes the forms of you and me and everything. There is no “external” reality separate from our own activity as Source, nothing appearing outside of us — no “objective world” — that is not a figment of our own dreamy Source energy projections.

As shards of Source energy, we “co-create” the illusion called “the universe”, along with its dazzling variety of props and experiences, tests and challenges, loves and losses, victories and defeats. The Hindus use the term “lila” for this immense display, commonly translated as “creative divine play”. In any case, it is all a truly awesome mirage, birthed in an act of indescribable love. Though far beyond the comprehension of our limited human intellect, it is still a kind of magic trick all the same. When we turn our attention from the magic to the magician, we make a radical discovery. We’ve been pulling a rabbit out of our own hat!

Sorcerer Apprentice

Somewhere down the road we might become weary of the production, or indifferent to its elaborations, and so create the teacher and the teachings that point back to who and what we truly are, which we’ve pretended to have forgotten when we entered into the game of time and space (which is also our own mental creation). We’ve played all the roles, we’ve seen their effects, garnered the laughs and applause, endured the boos and thumbs down, but now we are ready to lift the curtain. Perhaps we are ready to wake up and See.

Our view as a child is not the same as our view now, but what has changed? For the person, nothing is remembered, but for Source, all is known, because Source is beyond the confines of time. Omniscience is our natural condition, which this human amnesia only temporarily obscures (for the purposes of the game, the play, the theater of action). Source imposes such forgetfulness on Itself, mostly for the joy of remembering Itself once again. As expressions of Source energy, we each provide Source with unique vantage points from which to enjoy Its creative play, as well as vehicles by which to recognize Itself when the causes and conditions ripen.


The individual we take ourselves to be, the sense of “me” in the midst of a particular human incarnational story, is but a momentary modification of this luminous Source energy, typically misperceived as being trapped within a dense material vibration. However, because it arises dependently, it is empty of any inherent and substantial “self” that could ever be truly bound or free. This realization becomes apparent in the course of a sincere and focused inquiry into our real identity. In that conscious process, we notice that all of our emotional suffering, our sense of self, our delusion and frustration, exist only in our “inner” thought world, and moreover, we come to recognize that world is not who or what we are. As we awaken, the whole narrative of “me and mine” is undermined, and eventually seen for the fraud it really is.


Thoughts perpetually arise and dissolve, but do not affect our real being. So too do forms come and go, stories come and go, self-images come and go, but what we are is beyond those transient and non-binding modifications of consciousness. We are them, but they are not us. All angles of vision are nothing but Source, looking out of every eye. Although all eyes are equally Source, some views are cloudy and obscured, while some are crystal clear. Most are somewhere in between. Whatever the view, it has no impact on our immediate awake awareness, the primordial presence of reality itself.

Nevertheless, by habitually granting attention and reality to our passing thoughts, we tend to identify with them to the point of distraction from our free native state, and what ensues is an alternating cycle of desire and fear, craving and aversion. It’s not that there is some separate inner world that exists independently, but rather that the fantasy realm of appearances is only reified when our distracted attention creates it and maintains it. In that way, we are the authors of our own sense of suffering. We are our own jailers.


When we sleep at night, we populate our dreams with all sorts of imaginary creatures and characters. In much the same way, so too does Source populate its dream universe with an infinite variety of dreamy entities and action figures, in order to experience all of the infinite aspects of Itself in every kind of situation. Direct recognition of this process, or seeing the dream as a dream, is called by some “Awakening”, although there is no actual person that awakens. When our attention turns around and rests in the silent space between thoughts, Source recognizes Itself through the open lens of its dream character, remembering its original nature and identity, from which it has never actually been divided.

There is the seed of that true recognition (also called Buddha Nature) within all experience. It is not enhanced, corrupted, or manipulated in any way by the play of consciousness. Just as a mirror is not affected by its reflections, so too does our true nature of transparent awake awareness remain unmodified by any projections in the dream. There is nothing appearing in the mirror that can be grasped or clung to, there is no argument to be won or perfect state to be achieved, nothing requiring figuring out or fixing, nothing in need of redemption or salvation. All of that is just flashing reflections and dream projections.


The flowering of this seed of our original innocence yields the realization that there are no others, and that such dualism is an inaccurate way of perceiving phenomena altogether. Indeed, all conceptual designations or mental fabrications, such as self and other, subject and object, good and evil, light and dark, inner and outer, yin and yang, male and female, old and young, even liberation and bondage, or samsara and nirvana, are simply our own compounded projections flashing in the mirror-mind of Source, and are no more or less real than a fleeting day-dream.

As Nisargadatta Maharaj remarked: “If you seek reality, you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such or so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.”

Map to Heartbeat 7  Koehnline

Indeed, any attempt to liberate anything is superfluous, since everything is already self-released into the open spacious freedom of primordial awake awareness. Nothing has ever been lacking. Delusion and enlightenment are not two. All of our problems have arisen solely because we believed that we were an independent doer, when in fact that has never actually been the case.

Even now, we can recognize the changeless ground of the Great Perfection that we always already are. In practice, when we observe a thought appearing in mind, we need not follow it, but instead we can notice the clear aware space in which that thought is appearing. By relaxing and resting in that sky-like spaciousness, instead of running after thought, the thoughts themselves and their implications naturally self-release. By repeating this process again and again, the angle of vision will clarify, and the direct recognition of our original nature as Source Itself will move from the silent background to the forefront.

As the great Adept Saraha noted: “The root of the whole of samsara and nirvana is the nature of mind. To realize it, rest in unstructured ease without meditating on anything. When all that needs to be done is to rest in yourself, it is amazing that you are deluded by seeking elsewhere! Everything is of the primordial nature, without its being this and not that.”

snow boat

At such a juncture, the distance between the arising thought or emotion, and the awareness of it, dissolves, and there is simply awareness experiencing itself as thought or emotion, memory, or perception. The dreamer and the dream are not separate. Our individual consciousness is a mind wave of Universal Consciousness, and indivisible from it. The ocean is the wave and the wave is the ocean. There is only One, mysteriously appearing as everything and anything, and joyously experiencing Itself as all and nothing. When It recognizes its own empty nature as transparent awake awareness, all its expressions are spontaneously self-liberated.

For this recognition, there is no need for complex mental acrobatics, no need to run away and sit in a cave, twisting body and mind into contortions, or chase after every guru on the satsang circuit, hoping that somehow they will provide some special enlightenment ingredient which we believe is lacking in ourselves. We can let go of any sense of limitation right here and now.

All we need do is pay attention, and stop allowing ourselves to be led around by the nose by our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, memories, positions, and conditioned interpretations on perception. Nor do we need to go looking for love – we are love, we are grace, we are beauty and freedom. There is no other place we need to be. Our very appearance in this world, or any world, is the blissful dynamic play of Source, and we are That.

Let’s stop believing otherwise, and let the dream be.

“You are the Supreme Reality beyond the world and its creator, beyond consciousness and its witness, beyond all assertions and denials. Remember it, think of it, act on it. Abandon all sense of separation, see yourself in all and act accordingly.”

~Nisargadatta Maharaj


About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: https://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: http://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Verses and ramblings on life as it is: https://writingonwater934500566.wordpress.com/ Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: https://themindthatneverwas.wordpress.com/ Verses on the Play of Consciousness: https://onlydreaming187718380.wordpress.com/ Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: https://themysteriousexpanse.wordpress.com/ Poems of the Mountain Hermit: https://snowypathtonowhere.wordpress.com/ Love Poems from The Book of Yes: https://lovesight.wordpress.com/ Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: https://travelsindreamland.wordpress.com/ Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: https://freetransliterations.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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41 Responses to A Brief History of the Dream

  1. Reblogged this on Creative by Nature and commented:
    One of the clearest explanations I’ve read of who we are and what we are all doing here. A re-telling of the “Perennial Philosophy” that Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts and all the great mystics down through history have described…

  2. marcelvuijst says:

    Perfect, Brother, thank you!
    “There is humor here, and poetry, should one take a shine”. 🙂

  3. Lee Jones says:

    Realize that the greatest magician is here (and now) inside of us. I feel really blessed in your writings…thank you, Bob

  4. Coilla says:

    Thank you Bob 🙂

  5. Candace says:

    Mahalo Brother!

    Love & Blessings!

  6. Excellent Bodhisattva Bob. The rules of the game play dictate that the players must never awaken to the realization that that they are only playing. If you do you are out of the game!

  7. Bob OHearn says:

    “Trika Shaivism teaches that Shiva has manifested this external world for only one reason-to create the possibility of recognizing his own nature. And furthermore, the Kashmir Shaiva understands that this objective universe, a manifestation of Lord Shiva’s Svatantrya Shakti, is a means, a tool, to be used to realize the universal reality of Shiva.

    As Abhinavagupta tells it, when Lord Shiva is completely alone, bereft of his creation, he exists in the full splendor of his God Consciousness. He does not need to recognize his own nature, because it is already there. Nevertheless, he wants his own nature to be recognized. This recognition gives him great joy. But, because it is already there, there is nothing to recognize. So, in order to recognize his nature, Shiva must become ignorant of his nature. He must seemingly separate himself from his nature. It is only then that he can experience the joy of recognizing it.

    This, Kashmir Shaiva’s say, is the play of the universe. Because of Lord Shiva’s freedom, his Svatantrya, this universe is created solely for the fun and joy of this realization. It is Shiva’s play to seemingly leave his own nature so that he can find it and enjoy it again. This is the dance of Shiva, the joyous game in which he is continuously creating this universe–to lose himself and then find himself.

    In order to seemingly depart from his own nature, to lose himself in his creation, he must withdraw his God Consciousness. And in order to find himself, he must again expand his God Consciousness. This process is known as nimesa (closing) and unmesa (opening). It is the supreme energy of God which gives rise to nimesa and unmesa. Nimesa is the withdrawal of his God Consciousness, and unmesa is the expansion of his God Consciousness. Both of these states are contained within Shiva simultaneously.

    By withdrawing his God Consciousness, Shiva conceals himself in his creation. Only Shiva has this power, the power of his own Svatantrya, to totally disregard and hide his own nature and then to find it again. But what is it that he finds when he rediscovers his own nature? He finds, upon realizing his own nature, that it was already there. For the Kashmir Shaiva, this is the real essence of this teaching. Lord Shiva loses his nature only to find it again–and when he does he realizes that it was already there.

    He wants, in the external universe that he has created, to completely disconnect his God Consciousness and then to realize that it was never disconnected. For although it is disconnected, in the real sense, it is not disconnected at all. In finding it he realizes that it was never lost. He experiences that there was never really any separation from his God Consciousness. Separation only seemed to exist. For Shaivism this is the greatest mystery of existence and Lord Shiva’s supreme act.

    The cycles of bondage and liberation are both one with Lord Shiva. It is only his trick that we think that some souls are bound in ignorance while others are elevated. As only Lord Shiva exists, there is not any second thing that could cover or bind him. It is only his play that we think that this covering of diversity actually exists as a separate reality which covers him. There is not a second being or reality. His trick, therefore, is our trick. Why? Because we are Lord Shiva. We have concealed ourselves in order to find ourselves. This is his play, and therefore it is our play.”

    ~excerpted from “Moksha and the means of its attainment in Kashmir Shaivism”
    By John Hughes

  8. Greg D. says:

    Just discovered your essays. Loving them! Thank you for your time and effort.

  9. Bob OHearn says:

    “God is Love. And Love must love. And to love there must be a Beloved. But since God is Existence infinite and eternal there is no one for Him to love but Himself. And in order to love Himself He must imagine Himself as the Beloved whom He as the Lover imagines He loves.
    Beloved and Lover implies separation. And separation creates longing; and longing causes search. And the wider and the more intense the search the greater the separation and the more terrible the longing.
    When longing is most intense separation is complete, and the purpose of separation, which was that Love might experience itself as Lover and Beloved, is fulfilled; and union follows. And when union is attained, the lover knows that he himself was all along the Beloved whom he loved and desired union with; and that all the impossible situations that he overcame were obstacles which he himself had placed in the path to himself.
    To attain union is so impossibly difficult because it is impossible to become what you already are! Union is nothing other than knowledge of oneself as the Only One”.

    ~Excerpted from The Everything and The Nothing by Meher Baba

  10. Bob OHearn says:

    Q: But ultimately is there a world, or is there none?

    Nisargadatta Maharaj: What you see is nothing but your self. Call it what you like, it does not change the fact. Through the film of destiny your own light depicts pictures on the screen. You are the viewer, the light, the picture and the screen. Even the film of destiny (prarabdha) is self-selected and self-imposed. The spirit is a sport and enjoys to overcome obstacles. The harder the task the deeper and wider his self-realisation.

  11. Bob OHearn says:

    “Just as a person who doesn’t wake from a dream doesn’t realize he’s dreaming, a person who hasn’t opened the Eye finds it difficult to understand that he is blind.

    Chuang-tzu once said that it takes a great awakening to realize that you have been having a big dream.

    This world of delusion is one big dream. And even a Bodhisattva who has achieved Universal Enlightenment should realize that he is still dreaming. Only when all remaining elements of ignorance in the Alayavijnana are swept away does one awaken from this dream.

    Then, and only then, do you see your true Buddha nature.

    You are not an awakened person, you are not a free-flowing person before this Supreme Enlightenment. The freedom that people talk about is freedom in a dream; but only a fully enlightened person is truly free. How can you call freedom in a dream true freedom? There is a great difference between dream and reality. An enlightened being, a Buddha, a free being is one who has fully awakened, one who has experienced No Mind. one who has seen the great brilliance. Only such a being is truly free-flowing.

    And once a person becomes that free-flowing being, he has no need for the Buddha, no need for the predecessors, no need for the Tripitaka. Terms like “Buddha” and “predecessors” are merely medicine to help you wake from your dream.

    Our disease is this dreaming, and once we are cured we have no need for medicine. Medicine is for the ill, not for the cured. “You have your own way to go, so why do you follow others?” This one sentence illustrates the true freedom of Buddhism.”

    Tong Songchol (1912~1993), also SeongCheol, one of the great Zen masters in the last century was also called the Living Buddha of Korea

  12. Bob OHearn says:

    “In the universal womb that is boundless space
    All forms of matter and energy occur
    As flux of the four elements,
    But all are empty forms, absent in reality:
    All phenomena, arising in pure mind, are like that.

    Just as dream is a part of sleep,
    Unreal in its arising,
    So all and everything is pure mind,
    Never separated from it,
    And without substance or attribute.

    Experience is neither mind nor anything but mind;
    It is a vivid display of emptiness, like magical illusion,
    In the very moment inconceivable and unutterable.
    All experience arising in the mind,
    At its inception, know it as emptiness!”


    “If you understand that all the misleading appearances of worldly existence are not intrinsically real, they will not tend to mislead you.

    If you have attachment to friends and enemies as being real, they will mislead you. But if you have equanimity towards both, they will not mislead or deceive you.

    If you see a lot of change or transition, that will tend to mislead you. But if you understand the intrinsic nature beyond change, it will not be misleading.

    If you cling to the reality of birth and death, there is much deception. But if you realize there is no birth and death, there’s no deception.

    If you believe in the existence of suffering, there’s much deception. But if you realize there’s no suffering, there’s no deception.

    If you believe that self and other are separate, there’s much deception. But if you recognize that they are not two separate things, there’s no deception.

    If you understand this true nature of deception, discursive thoughts will be liberated in their own place. ”

    ~Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

  13. Bob OHearn says:

    “The dreams are not equal, but the dreamer is one. I am the insect, I am the poet – in dream. But in reality I am neither. I am beyond all dreams. I am the light in which all dreams appear and disappear. I am both inside and outside the dream. Just as a man having a headache knows the ache and also knows that he is not the ache, so do I know the dream, myself dreaming and myself not dreaming – all at the same time. I am what I am before, during and after the dream. But what I see in dream, I am not.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  14. Bob OHearn says:

    “Imagine a drama company is putting on a play. The person who has to play the servant of the king falls sick at the last moment and cannot come. No other actors are available, so the proprietor of the company steps in to play the role. In the play the king, who is one of the employees of the proprietor, orders the servant around: “Fetch my shoes. I want to go for a walk.” The proprietor meekly obeys and carries out the orders, but does he ever forget that he is the owner of the company? He is happy to act the role of the servant because all the time that this role is being portrayed he knows that he is really the proprietor. If you live like this, knowing that you are the Self, you can act anywhere. If you know this, all your activities will be very beautiful, and you will never suffer. Once you have had a glimpse, a knowledge of this emptiness, you will be happy all the time because you will know that all manifestation, all samsara, is your own projection.”

    ~ Papaji

  15. Bob OHearn says:

    “I see you suffer in your dream and I know that you must wake up to end your woes.When you see your dream as dream, you wake up. But in your dream itself I am not interested. Enough for me to know that you must wake up. You need not bring your dream to a definite conclusion, or make it noble, or happy, or beautiful: all you need is to realize that you are dreaming. Stop imagining, stop believing. See the contradictions, the incongruities, the falsehood and the sorrow of the human state, the need to go beyond. Within the immensity of space floats a tiny atom of consciousness and in it the entire universe is contained.”

    ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

  16. Bob OHearn says:

    In a dream there’s nothing substantial but there is the mere appearance of something substantial. Thus, its true nature transcends both existence and nonexistence. Its true nature is not something we can describe with these kinds of terms, because it is beyond any type of thing we might be able to think up about it. And so, just like a flower that appears in a dream, all phenomena that appear, wherever they appear, are the same. They all appear in terms of being a mere appearance. There is nothing substantial to them, and their true nature transcends both existence and nonexistence and any other idea. All phenomena that appear to us in this life are exactly the same.

    ~Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

  17. Bob OHearn says:

    Real & Imaginary

    “From the body you profess to exist within, to the thoughts that you have, to your invented human persona, all are works of imagination. This does not make it any less real. On the contrary, that which is real is that which you choose to be your experience. Your experience does not require the belief of someone else in order to be real.

    As with all stories, there are elements of truth and there are elements of embellishment. But with all written works you must decide your own connections with the information, and assign your own value based on its implications for you. It is easy to become distracted and distrusting of the form of the messenger, therefore, allow information to be scrutinized by what it delivers, not by whom it is delivered.

    Truth wears the robes of many forms and guises, and requires us to look deeper beyond our predisposition of judgement for greater wisdom. The delivery of truth comes with imperfections of language, translation and transcription, as well as transience of memory. Let nothing then be your definitive truth, but merely a signpost to a greater truth yet to be discovered.”


  18. Bob OHearn says:


    Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman trying to answer the big question: Do we experience the world as it really is … or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.

    In his research to uncover the underlying secrets of human perception, Donald Hoffman has discovered important clues pointing to the subjective nature of reality.

    Rather than as a set of absolute physical principles, reality is best understood as a set of phenomena our brain constructs to guide our behavior. To put it simply: we actively create everything we see, and there is no aspect of reality that does not depend on consciousness.

  19. Bob OHearn says:

    Look outward at the appearing objects,
    And like the water in a mirage,…
    They are more delusive than delusion.
    Unreal like dreams and illusions,
    They resemble reflected moon and rainbows.

    Look inward at your own mind!
    It seems quite exciting, when not examined.
    But when examined, there is nothing to it.
    Appearing without being, it is nothing but empty.
    It cannot be identified saying, “that’s it!”
    But is evanescent and elusive like mist.

    Look at whatever may appear
    In any of the ten directions.
    No matter how it may appear,
    The thing in itself, its very nature,
    Is the sky-like nature of mind,
    Beyond the projection and dissolution of thought and

    ~ Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

  20. Bob OHearn says:

    Dream like bondage ~ Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

    “Self-liberation” is like being bound in iron chains in a dream. If you do not know you are dreaming, your bondage appears to be real, you think it is real, and your experience seems to confirm that it is real. But if you know you are dreaming, you know that the iron chains do not truly exist, and so you are not really bound by them. The bondage does not truly exist. In the dream, nothing needs to come along and set you free – you are free just as you are. The dream experience, even though it appears to be an experience of bondage, is in fact self-liberated.

  21. Bob OHearn says:

    Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.

    – Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

  22. Bob OHearn says:

    In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream. If we examine them well, the big dream of life and the smaller dreams of one night are not very different. If we truly see the essential nature of both, we will see that there really is no difference between them. If we can finally liberate ourselves from the chains of emotions, attachments, and ego by this realization, we have the possibility of ultimately becoming enlightened.

    ~ Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Dream Yoga and the Practice of Natural Light

  23. Bob OHearn says:

    In this sense we are all born into some sort of group dream; we are group dreaming. At the same time, there is also individual dreaming going on. Just because one persons’ dream ends doesn’t mean that other person’s dreams cease. Individual dreaming and group dreaming take place at the same time. Even if I wake up, the other guys are still dreaming…

    There are six major types of group karma or group dreaming: hell being, hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, demigods and gods.

    ~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Fearless Simplicity

  24. Bob OHearn says:

    All experience and phenomena are understood to be a dream, this should not be just an intellectual understanding, but a vivid and lucid experience…Genuine integration of this point produces a profound change in the individual’s response to the world. Grasping and aversion is greatly diminished, and the emotional tangles that once seemed so compelling are experienced as the tug of dream stories, and no more.

    ~ Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

  25. Bob OHearn says:

    Viewing our experience in this world as a dream, Siddhartha found that our habit of fixating on the mere appearance of our dreamlike relative world, thinking that it is truly existing, throws us into an endless cycle of pain and anxiety. We are in a deep sleep, hibernating like a silkworm in a cocoon. We have woven a reality based on our projections, imagination, hopes, fears, and delusions. Our cocoons have become very solid and sophisticated. Our imaginings are so real to us that we are trapped in the cocoon. But we can free ourselves simply by realizing that this is all our imagination.

    ~Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

  26. Bob OHearn says:


    Q: To whom does this intensity to realize the Self arise? It has to arise to the ‘I’ that ultimately has to disappear.

    Annamalai Swami: Who is this ‘I’? It is neither the body nor the mind. If you remain as the Self, there is neither body nor mind. So what is this ‘I’? Enquire into it and find out for yourself.

    When you see the rope, what happens to the snake? Nothing happens to it because there never was a snake!

    Similarly, when you remain as the Self, there is a knowing that this ‘I’ never had any existence.

    All is the Self. You are not separate from the Self. All is you. Your real state is the Self, and in that Self there is no body and no mind. This is the truth, and you know it by being it. This ‘I am the body’- idea is wrong. This false idea must go and the conviction ‘I am the Self’ should come to the extent that it becomes constant.

    At the moment this ‘I am the body’ idea seems very natural for you. You should work towards the point where ‘I am the Self’ becomes natural to you. It happens when the wrong idea of being the body goes, and when you stop believing it to be true, it vanishes as darkness vanishes when the sun appears.

    This life is all a dream, a dream within a dream within a dream. We dream this world, we dream that we die and take birth in another body. And in this birth we dream that we have dreams. All kinds of pleasures and suffering alternate in these dreams, but a moment comes when waking up happens.

    In this moment, which we call realizing the Self, there is the understanding that all the births, all the deaths, all the sufferings and all the pleasures were unreal dreams that have finally come to an end.

  27. Bob OHearn says:

    “The object of knowledge in dream is not seen when one awakes. Similarly the world disappears to him who is awakened from the darkness of ignorance. The creation of illusion is nothing but illusion. When everything is compound there is nothing which can be regarded as a real thing. Such is the nature of all things. As the figments of a dream dissolve upon waking, so the confusion of Samsara fades away in enlightenment.”

    ~ Nagarjuna, Mahāyānaviṁśikā

  28. Bob OHearn says:

    “When the aspirant mistakes Self-Knowledge, or ‘I Am’ (Jnana) for Vijnana, his progress is arrested there. Samartha Ramdas has compared this type of an undeveloped Jnani to a man who is awakened in a dream, and thinks he is awake. Yet, he is still snoring! ‘You think this is wakefulness, but your illusion has not gone,’ is the warning given by Shri Samartha to this type of Jnani. The Great-Causal Body or Turya state in which the Gross and Subtle Bodies are like a dream, is itself like a dream in Vijnana. There is bondage in Ignorance, and liberation in Knowledge, but when both Ignorance and Knowledge are not there, how could the idea of bondage or liberation exist?”

    “The dream within the dream is your thinking about what is Essential and what is non-essential, and when you realize that you are the Self, Atman, then you have this experience. You felt that the world is illusory. You felt that you are awake and that it is your waking state. You felt that you have obtained ‘experience,’ but still, your confusion, your illusion, is persisting as it was. You are yet talking about things in the dream. When there is true awakening, all the sense of ‘being’ disappears. Even the sense that you are the Self, also dissolves.”

    ~ Shri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj

  29. Bob OHearn says:

    Is this waking state no more than a dream?
    Is there a dreamer in the depths of my being
    who looks upon this world as a dream?

    ~William Blake

  30. Bob OHearn says:

    Careless beings, watch this fixation unfold!
    This dream is none other than mind’s illusion,
    appearing in this moment.
    Do not fixate on any of it!
    Awaken to your true nature
    in that space before the story can be told.
    Drop all labels into the empty void,
    remain completely relaxed,
    without words or thoughts remaining.
    See that reality which defies explanation,
    as it truly is, in its naked state,
    without fabricating anything.
    Are you awake?
    Let that go before you answer.
    Are you asleep?
    Let that go as well.
    See clearly
    that this life
    is nothing other
    than a dream,
    see clearly
    are not different
    than daily


  31. Bob OHearn says:

    “Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.”

    –Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

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