[Advaita-l] Dreams and Reality

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Feb 19 19:25:29 CST 2009


I welcome your question : there seems to be no agreement or authority to
turn to to answer what might be the 'usefulness' of the dreaming state.

My personal experience of it during the 'fourth state' was that it
manifested as complete freedom of mind : to be empty, or to play with

What it suggests to me is that dreaming is a serious aspect of 'the  mind's
work' -- confirmed by those experiments when persons deprived of sleep go
into serious mental decline.

That 'work' can be 'getting rid of mental rubbish' as one advaitic authority
has claimed; or in its freedom, confronting fears and other hangovers from
the past, in order to face the future in better shape.

There are recorded occasions of scientific discoveries made during dream :
which suggests that the old association of dreams with 'artistic dreaming'
or 'creative dreaming' may well be correct : the mind free of other states,
awareness of actuality or non-awareness.

What is most extrordinary is the totally different individual dreams that
re-occur !

Personally again, my own dreams reveal concerns with anxiety and with
institutions -- and maybe help to ease or resolve these 'leftovers' that
beset the mind.

But I should be very glad to hear from those versed more deeply in the
Vedanta. Just writing off the dreaming state as maya doesn't take things
much further !


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of Suresh
Sent: 19 February 2009 20:23
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Subject: [Advaita-l] Dreams and Reality

Dear Friends,

In advaita, we're often given the dream analogy so we can make sense of why
we mistake an illusory world as real. But there's one thing I don't get. Why
do we mistake the dream (the dreams we have while asleep) for reality? For
instance, we may dream of someone flying or something even more bizarre like
some long dead historical personality. Yet, while dreaming, we never once
get suspicious, we never once get the feeling that something's odd (except
of course in rare cases of lucid dreaming).

My question is, Why is it this way? In the normal waking state, we all know
that it'd be impossible to see a flying guy, we laugh at the very idea. But
while dreaming, we do the exact opposite, in that we believe every bit of
it. How is this possible, when the 'waker' and the dreamer are one and the
same person, and with the same knowledge and awareness.

I am a guy with the awareness that X is an impossible event, and with that
same awareness I go to sleep. Yet I believe X totally while dreaming. Why?
How can awareness vanish like that, or be replaced by some other type of
awareness? What's it about the dream that makes us fall for it completely,
even when it's totally illogical?

I look forward to reading your views on this.


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