LIFE IS A DREAM
This whole play is but a one-night dream
and I have woken you up.
This body is false, as is the illusion of existence,
as is the mind charmed by this falsehood.
Soami Ji, Sar Bachan Poetry
Life is a dream and the Saints tell us this again and again.
They tell us that this world is not real, that sooner or later it will change for us and that never again will it be as we know it now.
We all know that we are passing through the world; we were born and one day we will die.
There are many metaphors to illustrate this; for example, that this world is a bridge over which we must cross but on which we cannot make a home.
That it is an inn in which travellers meet and pass the night together but which everybody leaves in the morning, each one travelling to his own destination.
This is a world in which nothing that we see lasts for long. Such a world, in which death and constant change are the rule, cannot be real.
How many of us can say that none of our beliefs have changed over the years ? Do we still believe all the things that we used to believe ?
If we take a look around us, what is there that we can say does not change ?
Whose circumstances have never changed ? Here everything is always changing. That is the law.
The seventeenth century Spanish playright, Calderon de la Barca, described this in his famous poem, Life is a Dream, as follows:
What is life ? A frenzy ?
What is life ? An illusion,
A shadow, a fiction, ...
that everything in life is a dream,
and dreams are just dreams.
An illusion, a shadow, a dream; a fiction where everything changes, where nothing lasts, Illusion and fiction are qualities which belong to the world of the imagination, to the world of dreams rather than the world of reality.
We believe that we are living a reality, but we are living a dream which happens to be very real to us.
But how are we to wake up if we don't even know that we are asleep? How are we going to escape from a dream when we are not even aware that it is a dream ?
We are dreaming that we are awake . How then can we even want to change ? Could there be a more perfect trick ?
If only we could manage to leave our fantasy world, we would see that the reality is very different .
We would see our present "reality" for what it is: a perfectly invented world, a world in which we could not help dreaming that we were awake, a world in which we were utterly deceived.
The rich man dreams in his riches ...
The poor man dreams that he is enduring
Misery and poverty ; ...
And in the World, to conclude,
everyone is dreaming what they are,
and none of them understands.
Calderon de la Barca, Life is a dream
We are condemned to carry on dreaming . And we don't even know we are dreaming, because we have nothing to compare it with.
Dream is real when one is dreaming. Only when he awakens or comes into the other (conscious) state and compares the two states, he calls the conscious the real, and the dream the unreal or an illusion. When the attention leaves the physical plane, enters the astral, and compares the two, only then the physical world becomes unreal, and the astral the real.
Science of the Soul is a school in which human beings are taught to live in accordance with their nature, and their nature is not material but spiritual.
We are taught to wake up to reality. We are taught to be conscious of the true nature of the world in which we find ourselves and of our own true nature, so that we can relate to the world in the right way.
If the Saints tell us that life as we know it is only a dream, then what is reality ? In the Bible we can read:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3
And Saint Maharaj Sawan Singh tells us in "Spiritual Gems"
"Sound is the only reality. Sound is knowledge, Sound is Truth"
It is the Word of the Bible, the Sound, the Logos, The Tao, The Kalma.
It is God who projects himself in the form of Sound and Light, and who, in this form, creates and sustains the creation. It has been here since the beginning of time.
It created us, it sustains us and will one day take us back. It is a permanent and unchanging. It is Truth. It is reality.
The Word will never leave us. Our feelings and beliefs may change, but reality never changes. In fact, there is a very good definition of reality as 'that which is still there even when we don't believe in it ".
"Reality is Truth" , as Saint Maharaj Sawan Singh put it.
But he was talking about TRUTH in capital letters. The real Truth stands above this world of duality where changing appearances are the norm and where everything is open to different interpretations.
The real Truth is not open to interpretation, it just IS. Truth is beyond reality.
Truth is to be found in a place where all differences come to an end, where we are all equal and where we look at everyone not with the physical eyes but with the human heart.
This Truth can never be discussed or interpreted because it can only be experienced. If what we consider to be truth is subject to debate or interpretation, then it is not really truth, because truth is one and never changes.
If Truth cannot be discussed or interpreted, then it follows that it cannot be found in books or Scriptures. These can talk about Truth and they can praise truth, but they can never show us truth because truth can only be experienced.
If someone has never been in love how can we really explain it to them ? Can we tell them how it feels ?
At best we can extol the virtues, but we can never make someone feel it and live it. and if someone does not live it, what are they going to know ? What are they going to feel ?
The Saints come and tell us how to make contact with the Truth, because only that will make us independent and gives us the strength to go through our lives whatever happens, with serenity and without losing our equilibrium.
Only the Truth will set us free and only the truth will make us strong. There is a story which illustrates this state of mind as well:
A disciple met with his Master to discuss the nature of liberation and to ask about the position adopted by those who attain it. The disciple asked "Master, how is it possible that a liberated human being can remain at peace when faced with the tragedies suffered by humanity / The Master took the hands of the disciple in his and said" Imagine that you are sleeping and that you dream that you are in a boat with a lot of other passengers. Suddenly the boat hits a rock and starts to sink. In your distress you awake up. Would you go back to sleep in order to warn the other passengers that the boa is sinking ?"
Compiled by Ramiro Calle, 101 Cuentos Clasicos de la India
Would we go back to sleep or would we be happy and give thanks for having woken up ?
Would we remain in a state of distress or would we feel liberated and relieved because had been just a dream ?
The Saints have woken up spiritually, so they have the awareness to see the whole physical creation for what it is - an illusion.
Why, then, would they worry about what is happening ? Rather than talk about the apparent problems of this world, The Masters prefer to use any opportunity to remind us of the fundamental need to contact the Shabd (Sound and Light).
We can see this from Saint Maharaj Jagat Singh.
Let the dying year with all its memories and regrets, pleasant and unpleasant, bring home to us Satsangis the impermanence and unreality of what we behold, and strengthens our resolve to rise above the phenomenal existence and reach the glories of the Word, the Nam that was, is and will be. "The Science of the Soul"
Is it not then time that our dream became Reality ?