On what is the dream based?

Omkaradatta's picture

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In advaita-talk, the world is often referred to as a dream, or it's said that folks are dreaming in some way. On what is this dream (fantasy, imagination) based?

Many say it's primarily perceptual, that the world is unreal. This isn't the case, although there is some mental overlay onto what we perceive, distorting the picture considerably. Some also say it's conceptual, based on concepts. This may be so, but why do we attach to words and concepts in the first place? On what is all this based?

Well, the answer is really... the dream is primarily emotional, and social. We attach to words and concepts because other people speak using these concepts, and we are attached to 'others'. We overlay these concepts onto the Reality due to our attachment, without knowing it.

And we overlay "objectivity" onto the world, when it really isn't there at all. The dream is really that there is something objective, that others (who are 'out there' in the world) as well as the world itself are objective or 'real', and that we are subjective and ultimately unreal, subject to birth, death and the ravages of time.

In truth there is only subjectivity, and objectivity doesn't exist -- neither for us, nor for anyone else.

Everybody views things subjectively only. Thus, there are really no objects, nothing "out there" -- and therefore, really no subject(s).

This we refuse to accept. We "reach out" to others in loneliness and isolation, unaware that our 'reaching out' is the primary cause of the isolation in the first place -- a vicious circle of relationship, where really no relationship is either possible or necessary. We are all One, that is a fact. Yet, we separate first and then seek to come together, in order to assuage our loneliness. Often we repeatedly separate and then 'come together' again in relationships, repeating the cycle when we get 'too close' to one another.

All the human emotions (particularly the negative ones) come from this cycle of 'reaching out' to others, because we believe there are objective 'others' external to us as subjects. This "otherness" creates self(ness), and corresponding issues related to that self.

The solution for many may be to go into isolation for awhile, learn true aloneness. Only when aloneness becomes absolute, when 'others' aren't there for us anymore, does 'self' go away as well. Until then, we are dependent. The "me" is a slave to "you", because it does not want to be alone.

To end this dream, be alone. Either physically, or psychologically, or both. Stop reaching out to people. We see already by our reaction how radical this may sound to us. Yet, for many it may be the only way to escape this vicious cycle of dependency on "others" to create and sustain our selves.

When the dream ends, our pain is over for good. Everyone is already 'here' inside us, where they've always been, and we can still relate to people if we want to. Only, we don't have to anymore. We are free.