Chapter 105 — Waking and Sleeping Dreams Are Alike

Vasishta continued:—

The Intellect conceives the form of the world of its own intrinsic nature, then fancies itself in that very form as if it were in a dream. It pretends to be asleep while it is awake and views the world either as solid stone or as void as the empty air. The world is compared to a dream of a country adorned with a great many cities. There is no reality in the objects of dream, so there is no reality in anything appearing in this world. All the three worlds are as unreal as the various sights in a dream. They are only daydreams to us although we may be awake.

Whether waking or sleeping, there is nothing that we name the world. It is only an empty void and, at best, only an air-drawn picture in the hollow of the Intellect. It is a wonderful display of Consciousness in its own hollowness, like an array of hills and mountains on the horizon of the sky. In the minds of the wise, the sense of the world is like a waking dream. This world is nothing material, nor is it anything of the form of Consciousness. It is only a reflection of Consciousness. The emptiness of the intellectual world is only an empty nothing. The triple world is only a reflection and like the sight of something in dream, it is only an airy nothing. The empty air becomes diversified and remains entirely bodiless, though seeming to be embodied in our waking state.

The inventive imagination of men is ever busy even in the hours of sleep and dreaming. It presents us with many creations that were never created and many unrealities appearing as real. 10 The universe appears to be an extensive substantiality implanted in the space of endless emptiness. But this huge body, with all its mountains and cities, in reality is nothing other than the original emptiness. 11 The howling of the sea and the clattering of clouds on mountains, though so very tremendous to a man awake, are not heard by the person sleeping soundly by his side.

12 As a widow dreams bringing forth a son in her sleep, and as a man thinks he is ever living by forgetting his past death and rebirth, so are men unmindful of their real state. 13 The real is taken for the unreal and unreal for the real, just as a sleeping man forgets his bedroom and thinks he is somewhere else. So everything turns to be otherwise, just as the day turns to night and the night changes to day. 14 The unreal soon succeeds the real, like night, and the impossible becomes possible, as when a living person sees his own death in his sleep. 15 The impossible becomes possible, just as the supposition of the world in the empty void. Darkness appears as light, as the nighttime seems to be daylight to the sleeping and dreaming man at night. 16 Daylight becomes the darkness of night to one who sleeps and dreams in the daytime. The solid ground seems to be hollow to one who dreams of being cast into a pit. 17 As the world appears to be a unreal when we sleep at night, so it undoubtedly appears real when we are awake.

18 The two suns of yesterday and today are the one and the same, and two men are of the same kind, so doubtless the waking and sleeping states are alike.

19 Rama asked, “That which is subject to objection and exception, of course, cannot be admissible and reliable as true. The sight of a dream is only momentary and falsified upon our waking. Therefore it cannot be the same as the waking state.”

20 Vasishta replied:—

The disappearance of dreamed objects upon waking does not prove their falsity or make any difference between the two states of dreaming and waking because dream objects are like what a traveler sees in a foreign country. They are lost upon his return to his own country, and the foreign sights are soon lost upon his death. Hence both are true for the time being and both are proved equally false and fleeting at last.

21 A dead man is separated from his friends, like from those he saw in his dreams. Then the living are said to be awakened when a sleeper awakes from his slumber. 22 After seeing the delusions of happiness and misery, witnessing the rotations of days and nights, and feeling many changes, the living soul at last departs from this world of dreams. 23 After the long sleep of life, there comes an end when the human soul becomes assured of the untruth of this world and that the past was a mere dream. 24 As the dreamer perceives his death in the land of his dream, so the waking man sees his waking dream of this world when he meets with his death, in order to be reborn in it and to dream again. 25 The waking beholder of the world finds himself dying in the same manner in his living world, where he is doomed to be reborn in order to see the same scenes and to die again.

26 He who in his waking state dies in the living world comes to revisit this earth in order to see the same dreams which he believed to be true in his former births. 27 Only the ignorant believe their waking sights to be true. The firm conviction of the intelligent is that all these appearances are only daydreams at best. 28 Taking the dreaming state for waking and the waking one for dreaming are only verbal distinctions implying the same thing. Life and death are meaningless words for the two states of the soul, which is never born or dies.

29 He who sees his life and death in the light of a dream is said to be truly awake. The living soul who considers itself to be awake or dying is quite the opposite. 30 Whoever dwells upon one dream after another, or wakes to see a waking dream, is like one who wakes after his death and finds his waking also to be a dream. 31 Our waking and sleeping are both like events of history to us. They are comparable to the past and present histories of nations. 32 The dream-sleep seems like waking, and the waking-dream is no other than sleeping. In fact, both are only unrealities, the mere rehash and reflections of the intellectual sky.

33 We find moving and inert beings on earth and innumerable creatures all around us. But in the end, what do they all prove to be other than the representations of the eternal ideas in Divine Consciousness? 34 As we can have no idea of a pot without that of the clay of which it is made, so we can have no conception of blocks of stone unless they were represented to our minds from their prints in Divine Consciousness. 35 All these various things which appear to us in waking and dream states are nothing other than the ideas of blocks which are represented in our dreams from their original models in Consciousness.

36 Now tell me, O intelligent Rama, what else must this Consciousness be other than the infinite and empty essence which acts in us, both in our dreaming and waking states? 37 Know that this Consciousness is the great Brahman who is everything in the world. It is as if the world were the divided forms of his essence, yet Brahman is the figure of the whole world, as if he were the undivided whole himself. 38 As a clay pot is not conceivable without its substance of clay, so the intellectual Brahman is inconceivable without his essence of Consciousness. 39 Again, as a stone jar is beyond our conception except with the idea of its stony substance, so the spiritual God is beyond our comprehension without our idea of spirit.

40 As water is a liquid substance that cannot be conceived without its fluidity, so Brahman is conceived as composed of only his Consciousness or Intellect, without which we can have no conception of him. 41 So also we have the conception of fire by means of its heat, without which we have no concept of it. Such also is our idea of God; that he is Consciousness and beside this we can form no idea of him. 42 We know wind only by its movement and by no other means whatsoever. So God is thought as Consciousness or Intelligence itself, beside which we can have no idea of him. 43 There is nothing that can be conceived without its property, just as we can never conceive vacuum to be without its emptiness, or have any conception of earth without its solidity.

44 All things are composed of empty Consciousness, just as a pot or painting appearing in the mind is composed of the essence of consciousness only. So the hills and other objects appearing in a dream are only representations of Consciousness. 45 We are conscious of the aerial sights of hills and towns presented to our minds in dream. In the same way we know all things in our consciousness in our waking. Both in our sleep and waking, there is a quiet calm emptiness in which only our intellect is ever busy showing itself in endless shapes before us.