Is This a Dream?

When we wake up from a dream, we understand that we were not a self in the dream but rather that the entire dream took place in us. Similarly, when we wake up from the ‘dream’ of everyday life we discover that Consciousness is not in the body but that the entire body, mind and world are in Consciousness.

Video Transcript

Imagine that you're having a dream now and in your dream you are dreaming this current experience. In your dream you, Harry, are sitting on your chair with the mic in your hand just as you are now. And in your dream you feel that I, Harry, am located in and as this body sitting on the chair with the mic in my hand, and that everybody else is at various distances from myself, made out of something other than myself.

Now wake up. Which means you cease being the entity inside Harry's body. You know yourself as awareness. Instead of waking up into the waking state, you wake up into awareness. Now you look back on your dream in which you thought that 'I' was located in Harry's body, sitting in the corner with a mic in his hand. But you realise that actually all the people in the room and the furniture and the vases and the curtains, it all was equally made out of you. It wasn't just that the dream Harry was you, but it was all made out of you. That is Awareness's point of view all the time. Awareness is the dreamer of this waking state dream. 

Which is a metaphor? Not literally true?

No, it is literally true that awareness is the dreamer of this waking state dream . But I am using the metaphor, I'm using dream language to try to relate it to our actual experience to show that it's not such a strange idea. It's actually what happens every night. We have a dream in which the belief that we are located in and as a body is no less real than it is in the waking state. Yet when we wake from the dream we think 'How silly, I wasn't the body sitting in the corner, I was the entirety of my dream'. This happens every time we have a dream. So when we wake up, relatively speaking, we wake into the waking state mind. So now, we're waking up from the waking state mind into awareness, it's another waking up. 

Awareness is in relation to the waking state, in exactly the same way that the waking state is in relation to the dream state. 

And it's clear that awareness isn't located anywhere.

And it's clear that awareness isn't located anywhere. Just as the real Harry was not located in the corner of the room as the dream Harry in your dream. From the point of view of the waking state Harry you weren't really located in that body mind.

So we wake up out of the illusion of the dream state but we fall immediately into the illusion of the waking state and now we're waking from the illusion of the waking state, into the reality of awareness.

Which I hope is the last awakening. That's actually really clear but I know I'll have trouble relating it back to the word 'seeing'.

Well just walk yourself back through your process. Imagine again that you're having your dream and the dream Harry is sitting in the corner seeing all these objects apparently at a distance from him and the waking state Harry realises that nothing was really at a distance from the dream state Harry. From the dream state, Harry's point of view, things and people seemed to be at a distance but now, from the waking state Harry's point of view, I realise nothing was at a distance, everything was made out of myself.

I've spotted where I was going wrong. In my mind I have a mental concept of seeing like it's a beam of light.

Yes, no it's not going from one place to another.

So, even when I was seeing, there was this beam of light, there was still something at the end of the beam.

Yes, don't see seeing as having a direction from one place, here, to another object over there. Think of it as ready-made, spread out, equidistant from yourself. No direction in it. Not going from here to the seer to the seen.

I have to rethink my entire perception of everything. Thanks Rupert!



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About Rupert Spira

From an early age Rupert Spira was deeply interested in the nature of reality. At the age of seventeen he learnt to meditate, and began studying and practicing the teachings of the classical Advaita Vedanta tradition under the guidance of Dr. Francis Roles and Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the north of India, which he continued for the next twenty years. During this time he immersed himself in the teachings of P.D.Ouspensky, Krishnamurti, Rumi, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta, and Robert Adams, until he met his teacher, Francis Lucille, in 1997. Francis introduced Rupert to the Direct Path teachings of Atmanada Krishnamenon; Jean Klein and the tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism; and, more importantly, directly indicated to him the true nature of experience.

In his meetings, Rupert explores the perennial, non-dual understanding that lies at the heart of all the great religious and spiritual traditions, such as Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mystical Christianity, Sufism, Zen etc., and which is also the direct, ever-present reality of our own experience. This is a contemporary, experiential approach involving silent meditation, guided meditation and conversation, and requires no affiliation to any particular religious or spiritual tradition. All that is required is an interest in the essential nature of experience, and in the longing for love, peace and happiness around which most of our lives revolve.

Rupert is the author of nine books, with his most recent book, Being Myself, published this year.