Why the same dream?

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Wed Nov 19 07:15:18 CST 1997

On Tue, 18 Nov 1997, Miguel Angel Carrasco wrote:

> Billions of jivas make the same superimposition. There must be a common
> cause for that coincidence. Which? Note that I am not asking for the cause
> of the illusion (which Samkara shrewdly dispatches as beginningless), but
> for the cause of the coincidence in the illusion.
> In other words. Some sages describe the appearance of the world as a dream.
> Each of us is dreaming the world, a personal dream. Those dreams exist only
> in the minds, which if purified will be able to realize that it is just a
> dream, not a reality outside. But why are we all having such similar
> dreams? Surely there cannot be a real misleading factor that makes us all
> fall in the same illusion. If there is such a common deceitful factor, it
> cannot be real (because then it would be a fault in Brahman or, worse, an
> Evil Second God). But the cause cannot be illusory either, because the
> cause cannot be part of the effect. Then what is the cause of the
> coincidence in the same individual dreams? Why do we all dream of the same
> common world?

Namaste. My feelings on this are the following:

Are we all dreaming the same world ? No. I think the world we dream is
different. The reactions we have for any "situation" are different. Some
of us get happiness out of an event. The same event causes sadness in
others. Various other reactions are provoked out of the same event in
various other people. These reactions are our dream of the world and are
unreal. Without realizing that they are unreal, we give weight to these
reactions and hence "live" in a world which is nothing but a dream. The
very fact that we, each of us, dream the world differently, is another
conclusive evidence that the world is unreal.

In our dream state, our mind creates various characters, some of them
completely unjustifiable as seen from our wake-up state experience. In
our dream state, our mind might have created three-headed monsters or made
the characters travel to and fro many times around the world, all while
lying in the bed. Yet, the characters in the dream do not question it.
Only, we question it after we wake up from the dream.

In a similar way, as long as we live in the wake-up world, or until we
reach a higher state of realization, we accept what we see in the wake-up
world as real. But the very fact, that we all have different reactions is
itself an evidence that it is not real. Even in the snake superposed on a
rope, different people see different aspects of the snake. That is all

Gummuluru Murthy
... aham-bhAvodayAbhAvo bodhasya paramAvadhih ...
                        Shri Shankara in Viveka ChuDAmaNi (verse 424)

The end of the rise of the sense of "I" of the ego is the culmination
of knowledge.

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