Why the same dream?
Miguel Angel Carrasco
nisargadata at MX3.REDESTB.ES
Thu Nov 20 08:23:53 CST 1997
I appreciate several members´ answers to my question Why the same dream?
The answers differ a lot.
Thesis A : Many dreams but no-coincidence in them :
For Gummuluru Murthy there are many dreams but "the world we dream is
different^Ô because ^Óthe reactions we have for any ^Ñsituation^Ò are
different, and that is ^Óanother conclusive evidence that the world is
Thesis B : Many dreams with coincidence due to a common origin :
For Prashant Sharma ^Óthere is only one mind -call it the ^Ñhuman^Ò mind-
which is the sum total of human experiences. This is the cause of the
Thesis C : There are no real dreams and no real dreamers.
For Vidyasankar Sundaresan, it is wrong to say that ^Óthere are many
billions of separate jivas^Ô therefore it is also false that ^Óthere are many
jivas whose dreams coincide^Ô. The correct position is ^Óto stop imagining
that this paramAtman is really dreaming^Ô.
Thesis D : There is only my dream (or ? : the coincidence is only in my
For Pat Williams (supported by Greg Goode), ^Óit is in your dream that all
the rest of us are having the same dream^Ô.
Let^Òs start by defining the word ^Ñdream^Ò . Shall we agree that dream (in a
general sense) is an appearance in consciousness, an object that only
exists as imagined? This does not imply that the dream is real, just that
it appears in consciousness. OK? In Advaita we believe that all objects are
dreams, ie, not real, not separate, not independent, but imagined.
Brahman-Atman is not a dream, not an object, not an appearance. Everything
else is. OK?
Let us analyse the 4 theses, starting perhaps from the bottom.
Thesis D) It is not clear if Pat^Òs thesis means that only in my dream are
there _other_ dreamers, or that only in my dream do those other dreamers
have the _same_ dream. If the former, then we have only one dream and one
dreamer; if the latter, many individual dreams but the coincidence is
imaginary (thesis A). Let^Òs take it is the former: I am dreaming that
there are other dreamers, but that is not so, I am alone. That is solipsism
= only my (this particular) consciousness exists. That is an irrefutable
position to hold, but I do not like it at all. In my consciousness there
appear other sentient beings, and they seem to have the same ontological
level as mine. In my case, indeed most of it is imagined, superimposition
(body, mind, etc) and there remains a rest (the noumenon, the source of
this consciousness) which I believe to be uncreated, my true Self. But the
same applies to the other dreamers that appear in my dream. I can deny in
them the same as I deny in myself : their bodies, minds, etc are imagined,
OK, but there remains in them also a true Self, the same as mine. And that
One Self is dreaming different but very similar dreams. In other words, I,
the Self appear to be dreaming a world, but I am not dreaming it from the
outside, I am dreaming it from different points of view (Miguel Angel^Òs,
Pat^Òs, etc.) within. If this were not so, any attempt to communicate would
be stupid. Why would the Self in Samkara, Ramana, or any other take the
trouble to try to help anyone else, if there were only one dreamer dreaming
only one and the same dream?
Obviously the dreamer is only one, but not the dreams. As Nisargadatta
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. (117)
I am one, but appear as many. (529)
All the three states [waking, sleeping, dreaming] are sleep to me. My
waking state is beyond them. As I look at you, you all seem asleep,
dreaming up worlds of your own. (453)
[If I heard that you had died,] I would be very happy to have you back
home. Really glad to see you out of this foolishness, of thinking that you
were born and will die, that you are a body displaying a mind and all such
nonsense. In my world, nobody is born and nobody dies. Some people go on a
journey and come back, some never leave. What difference does it make since
they travel in dreamlands, each wrapped up in his own dream. Only the
waking is important. It is enough to know the "I am" as reality and also
My intention to wake you up is the link [between our respective dreams]. My
heart wants you awake. I see you suffer in your dream and I know that you
must wake up to end your woes. (258)
I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very
thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become
the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other
focal points of consciousness, love. (269)
Thesis C) "There are no real dreamers and no real dreams." I agree.
But that is not the question. The billions of jivas are imaginary, OK. But
the dreams are there nonetheless. Dreams are just appearances in
consciousness, OK. But they are there, in dual consciousness, while they
last. Otherwise, we would have only Nirguna Brahman without any contents of
consciousness. A most blissful state. But now we also have this apparent
manisfestation. This Saguna, this Vyakta. And in it there do appear dreams.
And they affect us, or at least they seem to affect the Self, in different
but very similar ways. As Nisargadatta said:
While it lasts, the dream has temporary being. It is your desire to hold on
to it, that creates the problem. (257)
I will skip Thesis B for the moment.
Thesis A) ^ÓThere are many dreams but they are not the same.^Ô Yes, not
exactly the same, of course. But so similar!! I would never finish
enumerating the things in common between my dream and yours, dear
Gummuluru. If this were not so, we would not be communicating at all. With
slightly diverging points of view, we have a very common world. Why such
similitude, if both yours and mine are just dreams? Why are we dreaming of
the same imaginary Milky Way with the same solar system and the same Earth
with the same countries etc etc? Have you never wondered?
The variety of personal worlds is not so great. All the dreams are
superimposed over a common world. To some extent, they shape and influence
each other. The basic unity operates in spite of all. (92)
Thesis B) ^ÓThe many dreams are so similar due to a common origin.^Ô This
is better, but I do not like the ^Óonly one mind which is the sum total of
human experiences^Ô. Expressed like that, the sum total seems the result
from the previous experiences. A sort of collective memory. The problem is
that also my dog seems to share much of my dream. He also seems to like
looking at the full moon, avoiding the blazing Spanish sun, etc.
Sorry to trouble you with this that may seem to you a silly subject.
Miguel Angel's nightmare
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