Dream and Awake – are both the same?

Many Masters equate life as a dream, an illusion, as maya. Is it just an analogy to convey their understanding of life or is it truly their first hand experience in seeing life as unreal? If it is truly an experience, how does it feels? What is it like to be brought face to face with the stark reality of the unrealness of life – a vast contradiction to what one unquestionably took for granted as real and tangible?

Many years ago I remembered waking up from bed one early morning, with my dream still going on in my head. In normal situation, as in anybody else, the dream will end when one wakes up from it but it did not happened in this case. Both the dream and the so-called reality of that moment occurred hand-in-hand simultaneously, in real time, so to speak. It is as if I was neither in the dream or in the reality but standing between both the experiences, allowing me observe and realized that the dream is like the reality and the reality is like the dream. I can’t differentiate which is real or unreal, but yet I knew for certain at that time what I call real is not truly real. It is like a mirage.

It is not possible for you to imagine what is it like if you have not experience it before. In normal case, the dream will be totally replaced by the reality of our wakefulness, defined by our awareness of the bedroom and the objects around it, including the walls and the floor, and we have an inkling that a dream has just occurred. But consider that just a few moments ago, prior to your waking up, the surrounding reality of that moment is real – everything – without you having or needing to question its validity. Do you call that moment a dream or only when you got out of it? What is dream then? Is it real – as real as you reading the blog now?

We call an experience a dream when 1) it disappeared from the seemingly reality of the present, and 2) the contrast of the present makes what just occurred unreal. When an event have both these criteria, the mind automatically interpretes the experience as a dream. You may have in your lives experience a certain passing event like a dream, as unreal, though you really knew it did occur. Why? Because the mind recognizes the two criteria and thus the meaning of dream came popping up in your head.

Why don’t the mind labels any immediate passed experience, a dream? It is because it does not give an impression of disappearance. On the contrary, it seems to continue into the present, making no contrast to what has just happened. Since both criteria is not met, the only meaning the mind could register is – real, as opposite to unreal, or dream. There are no grey shades except white or black in the eyes of the mind. The mind sees either good or bad, right or wrong, but never in between. It sees only one at a time, not simultaneously. When it sees right, at that moment it can’t sees wrong. Do you observe that?

In other words the mind cannot experience contrast at one given moment – opposites cannot come together at one time. The mind cannot be experiencing anger and non-anger at the same time. Neither can it experience joy and non- joy at the same moment.

Yet, wisdom has the capacity of doing so. When wisdom arise, it allows introspection on the immediate experience, together with its contrast or opposite, simultaneously, delivering a complete picture to what is occurring in the present moment, thus enabling deeper understanding to arise. This occurrence always arise in the now. It is introspective and never retrospective or prospective.

The ability to experience simultaneous dreaming and so-called awake state is the working of wisdom, allowing me to see the contrast of both which naturally encourages deep understanding to arise – to see them as real and also unreal, depending on which perspective understanding is coming from.

When you are with sound, are you with silence?


What is mind except conditionings? And when we said conditioning it also means that everything has its own peculiar way of arriving at. Let’s look at two variation of conditioning.

1. Conditioning of intention.
Intention instantaneously creates result. When our intention is desiring, the conditioning that follows is not getting. It may sound contradictory but as I look deeper into my heart I start to see the truth of it. For instance, “I desire love because I don’t have love”. So if I have set the intention of “I don’t have love” I can’t replace my thought as having any, no matter how I look for it as that is the exact meaning I tell myself. Even though love may come straight at my doorstep I can’t see it as love as my intention is set as “I don’t have love”. Many a time relationship fails because we have set the meaning wrongly within our hearts and start looking for it outside. How can it be possible? It is like loosing your keys at home and going out under the streetlight looking for it. Surely you will never find one, no matter how hard you try. Impossible. Why? Because we ignorantly believe the views or ideas that pop up in the mind and follow to its doom blindly. In other words, an unquestion beginning is the journey of suffering.

When I look for love outside I can be sure I have not understood myself deeply. What happened if I thought I can truly find my love outside? I am simply lying to myself, a self-betrayal, cheating myself by not listening what is within me that is right. In truth there is no such a thing as self-betrayal but because I ignore the truth, the ignorance itself is a betrayal towards my own divinity. I suffer unnecessary though in truth that suffering is only real due to our illusional betrayal as like we have gotten into the dream. When we wake up from the dream, no matter how painful, we realized it was unreal. But how many of us managed to get out from the dreams soon enough to recognize it as unreal? Many took lifetimes, maybe a thousand, a hundred thousand, many took years, many took months, many took days, few took moments – to come to that point of awakening. The longer it takes, the longer we are in the suffering dream, cheating ourselves again and again. Whatever it is, the conditioning of the mind will take place exactly as it should be, no more no less, whether we believe it or not.
In due time because of our deep ignorant belief of “I don’t have love” mentality, I would see the relationship as “not for me”, “should not be like this”, “he or she is cheating me” etc. How could it be possible that love can be found outside you? In the same way how is it be possible that freedom can be found outside you? Can suffering be found outside you – not possible unless you experience suffering in the meaning of others.  If there is such truth to what is outside then we are no longer a being of great potential, of power, of creator, of intention, of manifestation, for our beingness is dependent on something that is outside. It is like saying, I can’t eat until someone feed me. I can’t grow spiritually until someone grows me spiritually.  What a helpless remark that is in the space of a portrayed victim and self-abuser beyond our true essence. We are not master of our own. We become slave to our own mind. That makes a different between a dullard and a wise. And simply recognizing this truth and not allowing the ego or defilements to buy into us reinstate us back to a position of a master of our own destiny.

2. Conditioning of nature.
We can’t say I want the eyes to smell. Neither can I say I want the nose to see. They are specific conditioning of nature where there is no possibilities of overturning it. In the same way the mind too has it’s own sets of conditioning. When you want something, you are surely to “dont want” something of the same object. It comes hand in hand without any dispute. We can thus say that when we dont need anything, we surely need something of the same origin. For example – I don’t need you is to imply there is already a need going on in you over the person you don’t need. You wont even give a meaning to need if it does not arise in the first place. Do you say “I dont need you, stone?” “I don’t need you, sky?” Irrelevant. Because there is no specific need to it with you, you just allow it to be.  You only need it when you give a “special” relationship with it and YOU. So it is a natural law that when we give a meaning to our needs, we are bound to face the opposite in due time, within our reality which we perceived.

So what happens when I said I need you? I am implying that “I dont want you not to need me” The person has always been there, irrelevant whether we need or we dont need him or her. But when we truly beleive in our needs, in our thoughts, we see others as undermining our needs. It is like creating a shadow butterfly with our hands and took the butterfly for real. We say “You don’t love me”, “You resist me”, “You are running away from me” The proportion of our experience is equivalent to the proportion we held on to our need. The more we need someone to response, the more we felt betrayed when the person “dont response” But all this is happening in our mind. As J puts it – we play with our toys and make it real that it frightens us. So the delusional intensity of our experience outside equates to the intensity of the actual situation within. No one does anything to us except the continuous meaning and intensity we give to ourselves.

Now there are two games for us to play. There is no right and no wrong except consequences. If we keep looking outward which is actually a false reflection of what is really going on in us, we suffer as we are like chasing after the mirage which does not exist at all. That is the natural law of this particular conditioning. You can’t say I want to look outside and experience freedom. How can freedom be the foundation of falseness. Impossible. On the other hand when we look within instead, as my teacher puts it, by turning the radar inwards, we start to see the working of delusion and seeing it alone in this way is already the beginning of freedom – and this freedom multiples in many forms – freedom from pain, freedom from delusion, freedom from ignorance, freedom from ideas. And more importantly freedom to see that we are the creator of our own suffering, no more no less.

Do you observe that just one moment of choice creates multiple results? If we choose to look outside, we are gifted with multiple injuries – hurt, betrayal, rejection, unloved, trauma and more. In the same way when we choose to looking within we also create multiple results as mentioned above that comes with peace and freedom. From this perspective, the ball has, is and will always be in our court at every point of a moment, straight on, no more no less – we have a choice to turn it into freedom or turn it into bondage. This is the true meaning of karma – we begets what we creates. Karma is not about something outside there for us to heal or complete but what we have churned out in our mind and the need to complete it. It does not matter when but we have to finished the work WITHIN which we have left unfinished, whether eons of time or now. It is not about coming back to meet your enemy, or your love ones but it is about coming back to settle your INNER debt, the delusional self-betrayal you have gifted yourself. Someone outside there is just a symbol of what is in you. If you don’t see this truly you keep increasing the interest of your karmic debt.

Oh wise beings, you have all learnt and understood deeply this truth. Not to know and play this game is not as painful as to know and yet play the opposing game, against the stream of your understanding. When we don’t know how the mind works, we keep suffering and yet do not know why. But when we know the game and yet oppose it, we are in double conflict within – a two arrow instead of one – and for that we suffer more than those who are ignorant. Either way we suffer. It is only when you start taking responsibility of your mind that the undoing of the ego will accelerates or else to come back again and again to meet up the same pattern of suffering that you have not understood – a nightmare in its making.

I trust there are more conditioning pertaining to this world of existence, of delusion or maya. To stay afloat we need to persistently be wakeful and determine as to move upstream against the force of delusional self-betrayal. Let not your choice brings more suffering but instead freedom from bondage.