The dream state is often described by the movie analogy. Imagine that you are sitting in a cinema and watching a very exciting movie. You are so immersed in the story that you even forget that you are in a cinema. It is so entrancing that you totally forget about yourself and ‘become’ the character on the screen. You can feel and sense it as if you were the hero. Emotional responses arise in your body (which is sitting in the cinema but you totally forget about it) when the loved one dies or when the whole universe is saved by ‘you’. This is a dream. A fiction. But you believe it into ‘reality’. At least it becomes ‘your reality’ until you wake up from this mesmerisation when the guy behind you sneezes. But soon, you fall back into believing to be the saviour of the world.
It can be assumed that this dreaming is over when the film ends. You leave the cinema and the reality of everyday life is full blown again. Isn’t it? Or, you just have fallen into another dimension of ‘reality’, dreaming your life story into ‘existence’?
Awakening from the dream is realising that there is a continuous display of movement on the screen with characters coming and going and ‘affecting’ the hero (‘you’), the supposed owner of the story, in many imaginable and sometimes unimaginable ways.
Questions may arise…
Is this story of ‘my’ life real?
What is behind the story?
What am I without the story?
Am I without the story?
When we read reviews about new books, we often find those types of comments where the reader / seeker compares a writer’s previous book with the new one and concludes that this second one is not good enough, there isn’t anything new in it, it didn’t give anything to them. Quite often, the seeker finds another ‘spiritual teacher’ whose words can add a bit more to their ‘knowledge’ or beliefs about spirituality or how to achieve ‘enlightenment’ or certain states.
This seeking can be so strong that one could do nothing else than searching for more and more ‘knowledge’ or strategies. ‘This new type of meditation… maybe this is the one. Maybe this will give me what I’m searching for’.
But do you know exactly what you are seeking for?
What if the self is searching for itself? What if the ‘I’ desperately wants to find itself? Is it possible? Can a thought find itself? If not, what is searching and what is it searching for?
Fulfilment… can a thought be fulfilled?
Peace… can a thought be at peace?
Love… can a thought love or be loved?
Can a thought attain anything?
Is it really seeking something? Is there really a self that is searching? Or this whole seeking is just a cover up? What if seeking is just a cover story laid on top of the illusion of the self?
Not to find out the truth… not to see what IS… and what is not.
Philosophers and psychologists have tried to define the nature of self for centuries and came up with hundreds of concepts, ideas and definitions about it. However, one theory can be in complete opposition to another and there is a constant criticism around the current definitions and concepts. But what if the answer cannot be found in concepts, definitions or theories?
Does a baby have a self or the self is is just a mental construct that is learnt in early childhood? If you can entertain the possibility that the self is not something that we are born with, then how could we end up believing that we have a separate self, a separate entity, which is so fragile and vulnerable that needs constant protection from everything else which is defined as not the self?
What is the difference between you and a baby? Have you developed a self, a ‘me’ somewhere along the way of growing up from non-existence into existence? How?
My success, my failure, my children, my wife, my country, my life…
What is this ‘I’ who has all of this? Where is it? You could say, here it is, this body. Are you sure about that? Then why do you say ‘my body’?
My self, my body, my mind, my soul… What is this ‘I’ that claims it has a self, a body, a mind, a soul? Where is this ‘I’? Could you show me you?
Have you ever really contemplated who you are? How do you define yourself? Are you a human, a man, a mother, a daughter, a good or respectful member of society? Are you these roles? Are you sure about that? How do you know that?
What makes you you?
The list can be long. But are you sure that you can find yourself among the lines?
Contemplate on this.