Nature of Consciousness - Advaita

J. Kingston Cowart jkcowart at CARI.NET
Thu Jul 22 16:37:19 CDT 1999

At 01:29 AM 7/22/99 EDT, Elizabeth Lisot wrote:
>Namaste, John,
>The only point that I might contend with is when you stated
>that it is not possible to be awake in the dream.

Namaste, Elizabeth,

Thank you for replying.

I ought to have been clearer, for I did not intend to convey that
idea when I said:

>>Wakefulness beyond the dream is something altogether different,
>>which the dreamer cannot grasp while dreaming.

It seems right to me, as you point out, that one can be awake within
the dream--and this is a very good thing;  yet it is not the same as to
be awake *beyond* the dream.

In the lucid dream of life, so long as the dreamer (jiva [knower])
still knows that "she" is dreaming, there remains an identification
with a sense of oneself as a *self* which dreams and knows.  In that
condition, jiva is still present to itself as a subject-object.

The identifier/dreamer can have no idea (no knowing) of what
"beyond the dream" is like. Beyond the dream there is neither
dream, dreamer, nor dreaming.  The same can be said for the
knower (jiva), for in true wakefulness there is no second of any
kind (not even a self-image) to be either identified with or,
conversely, regarded as other than Self.

You wrote of:
>the awakened or enlightened soul ... fully aware of the non-dual
>state while still functioning in the material plane....  [For whom]
>the dream is over - in that they no longer experience any separa-
>tion from ultimate reality, yet they are at the same time manifest-
>ing a presence in the maya as their projected body.

To my mind that is "beyond the dream" rather than "in" it.  Such
a one is not identified with the dream, the dreamer, or dreaming.
Just as sunlight may seem to dance on water stirred by wind, yet
is always still, so the soul beyond the dream may appear to be pre-
sent within it and to go by its rules.

And why?  Evidently for the same inconceivable reason that Indra
(as portrayed in the Vedas) is a supreme deity who nonetheless
loves to gamble--and plays for keeps!

Just as you said:

>It does get a bit difficult to think of because of its paradoxical
>nature...normal trains of thought don't take us there.

Surely not my little train.



J. Kingston Cowart, M.S.
San Diego, California
<jkcowart at>

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