The Dreamer


ONE: The universe is My dream. Every thing therein, including 'you' and 'me', is an element of that dream - from elephant to virus, from nebula to atom.
TWO: Then each of us dreams a universe? How comes it that we all dream the same universe?
ONE: Each of us does not dream a universe. Only I dream the universe. You all perceive the same universe because you are all elements in My dream.
TWO: Is that concept not - let us say - somewhat egotistic?
ONE: 'Egoism' is a dualistic concept and implies 'non-egoism'. But there is no such thing in reality as non-egoism. Therefore there is no egoism either. There is only I - and nothing else (which would be necessary) to constitute egoism.
TWO: But why is the universe your dream any more than mine?
ONE: I have already told you : 'you' do not exist except as dreamed by Me.
TWO: Supposing I reply that 'you' do not exist except as dreamed by Me?
ONE: That is unnecessary: it goes without saying.
TWO: There is evidently something I have failed to understand.
ONE: That is due to our dualistic language, inadequate to the communication of truth. We have to use the same word to convey several meanings. You are still thinking in terms of identification with a body. You are using the terms 'you' and 'me' in order to indicate the unreal elements of My dream which are holding this conversation. Unreal elements of a dream cannot dream the universe of which they are elements.
TWO: Then who dreams it?
ONE: I do. Anyone who says 'I do'. For that I is the Absolute, Reality, Consciousness Itself, Cosmic Mind, Tao. That I is One - no matter who says it.
TWO: Obscure, very obscure!
ONE: 'Obscure' my foot! It is as clear as daylight, as simple and obvious as anything within the grasp of Mind in manifestation. Only its expression is obscure - for it has been expressed in words.
TWO: So I am everything in this universe, as I am everything in the universe of my sleeping dreams, every elephant, every virus, every nebula, every atom, 'you' and 'I'?
ONE: You have understood.
TWO: What more is there to say?
ONE: Nothing whatsoever. Everything is explained, every word of every Sage and Master. That is the meaning of the Lord Buddha expressly conveyed in the Lankavatara Sutra, and Sri Krishna if he be regarded as responsible for Vedanta Advaita.

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TWO: Let me quote the Lanka: 'The world which is mind-manifested is stirred up by the wind of objectivity, it evolves and dissolves', i.e. it is of us and we are of it.
ONE: '... recognition of the truth that an external world is nothing but the Mind itself (LVIII).
TWO: 'As they tenaciously cling to the thought of an ego-soul and all that belongs to it, they are really unable to understand what is meant by the doctrine of Mind-only' (LXXI). That was precisely my case five minutes ago!
ONE: 'And when he thus recognises the non-existence of the external world, which is no more than his own mind, he is said to have the will-body' (LVII). Nothing exists outside the Mind.
TWO: These elements of My dream, which seem to dream a universe, in their turn, when asleep - that is, 'you' and 'me' - we are quite unreal?
ONE: Words again. Nothing is quite unreal, not even a mirage, a reflection, an echo: all are manifestations of Mind. But none is an entity.
TWO: You have said that Non-reality does no exist.
ONE: How could it? It is one part of a dualistic concept.
TWO: Then Reality does not exist?
ONE:: How could it? It is one part of a dualistic concept.
TWO: Then what exists?
ONE: Reality-Non-Reality, conveniently suggested by a term such as Tao!
TWO: Can one go any further?
ONE: Yes, it is the gateway. But words cannot take us through the gate.

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TWO: The Lanka you have just quoted says that he who thus recognises that the external world is only his own mind is said to have the will-body. What is that?
ONE: Manomayakaya, mind-made body, no doubt the 'body' of the mind attained by a bodhisattva, freed from 'birth-and-death'.
TWO: These Sanscrit terms and the concepts they imply are difficult for us to grasp.
ONE: It is not necessary for us to grasp them, nor always helpful. Professor Suzuki's comment is enough: 'The Lankavatara will still insist on the doctrine of 'Mind-only', saying that it is a fact of immediate perception and that enlightenment or spiritual freedom comes upon one after realising this fact within oneself.' Is that not clear?
TWO: Perfectly. But has 'will-body' any corresponding sense in terms of Western thought?
ONE: Might it not be the 'self'-consciousness Ouspensky and Gourdjieff sought to develop from what they termed 'the essence' by a complex system of training, working from without inwards, and which alone, according to those doctrines, enables man to avoid extinction or eternal recurrence in time?

(© RKP, 1960)

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