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  • Writer's pictureJv Prathyusha

Dreams and Reality: Unraveling the Illusions of Mind and Matter

Updated: Dec 22, 2023


In the kaleidoscope of our existence, where dreams and reality entwine, lies a profound question that echoes through the corridors of human thought: Does the world truly exist, or is it merely an object of perception for the mind? As we navigate the intricate balance between waking life and the dream world, we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of perception and existence, pondering the nature of reality itself.

In the waking state, the physical world envelops our senses, grounding us in a shared reality that we collectively agree upon. Yet, as we close our eyes to sleep, we step into the ethereal realm of dreams, a space shaped by the limitless boundaries of our imagination. This prompts a compelling inquiry: if the world of dreams is a creation of the mind, could it be that our waking reality is also a construct, albeit one governed by different rules?

World is just an object for the mind. Does it truly exist?

Consider this: the world is not an absolute reality but a subjective experience, intricately woven into the fabric of our perceptions. Our minds, in both waking and dreaming states, play the role of architects, constructing the world around us. Remove the subject—the observer—and the object loses its definition, fading into the nebulous expanse of the undefined. So do we still feel without the mind this world truly exist?

A dreamer on his bed
A dreamer

In the mystical verses of the Dakshinamurthy Stotram, a poetic revelation echoes through time, drawing us into a metaphorical landscape where the world becomes a city seen in a mirror. Imagine, for a moment, that you are the resident of this city, navigating its bustling streets of sensory experiences, visuals, and the myriad facets we collectively call 'reality.' Yet, here's the twist: the mirror reflecting this city is none other than your own mind.

In this analogy, the dance of your existence unfolds against the backdrop of the mirror-mind, reflecting every nuance of your journey through this city of life. The Dakshinamurthy Stotram beckons us to recognize that what we perceive as the 'world' is, in fact, a mirage dancing upon the surface of our consciousness.

As you tread the streets of this metaphorical city, the sounds, sights, and sensations are known to the mirror of your mind. Yet, the ancient verses whisper a timeless truth: the essence of your being lies not in the external spectacle but in the unexplored recesses within—the 'nijanthargatam' or the inner reality.

Our exploration ventures into the heart of this revelation, transcending the ordinary to uncover the extraordinary. The city in the mirror is but a fleeting reflection, and the Dakshinamurthy Stotram invites us to gaze beyond the surface. Here, in the depths of our own consciousness, lies the profound truth that eludes the grasp of the external world.

Bhagavad Gita ,the Dance of Dreams and Reality: Dissolving the Illusion of Duality

Well, Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita spills some profound wisdom that's not just ancient but timeless. He says, "Everything emanates from ME, is sustained by ME, and eventually dissolves back into ME." Here we shouldn't imagine him with as a physical body as in the 8th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, he clearly mentions himself as 'Akshara Parabrahma' ,that is which doesn't perish ,so he is speaking from this point of view. Now, that's a revelation that takes us on a mind-bending journey into the interconnectedness of everything.

Think about dreams—they're like fleeting wisps, right? Krishna's words make us ponder: just as dreams dissolve when we wake up, could our waking reality be a creation of our consciousness too? It's like we're the dream-makers of our own lives.

Krishna's wisdom isn't just about dreams—it's a game-changer for our wakeful state too. Understanding the true 'I' breaks down the walls between 'self' and 'world.' In our awake mode, just like in dreams, the 'I' isn't just about 'me,' but it expands to hug the whole shebang of existence. Krishna's vibe is clear: everything comes from the same cosmic source, hangs out for a bit, and eventually goes back into this divine dance.

It's like waking up from a dream—suddenly, the lines between dreams and reality get all blurry. Krishna's words echo that feeling of unity, where everything flows into this cosmic dance. So, there you have it—a direct answer to the dreams vs. reality puzzle. No more two separate states; it's all a seamless dance where everything comes, hangs out for a bit, and then swirls back into the cosmic mix. Mind-blowing, right? 🌌💫

Krishna showing Arjun , that he is everything

Ever wake up from a dream where you felt everything—pain, pleasure, the whole shebang—only to find out you're perfectly fine? It's like the dream world played a trick on you. Well, ancient scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita claim that the 'I'—that core you—is eternal and untouchable by things like birth, death, or even a dunk in water.

But let's get real. Take Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, a wise old soul who faced throat cancer. The scriptural promises matches the same. In his world, cancer was no joke. Yet, in meditation, he looked calm and cool, as if pain was on vacation. So here it clearly showcases the real 'I' is not touched by any kind of pain or pleasure!

Why it Matters: The Significance of Understanding the Mind's Role in the Dreams and Reality Aspect

Understanding the mind's influence on our perception of the world is more than just a philosophical endeavor; it holds profound practical significance. Here's why this topic matters:

Personal Transformation: Recognizing the mind's role in creating our reality empowers us to initiate personal transformation. By understanding how our thoughts shape our experiences, we can actively work on improving our mental well-being and overall quality of life.

Enhanced Empathy: Appreciating that everyone's reality is shaped by their unique mind cultivates empathy. It enables us to understand and relate to diverse perspectives, fostering better relationships and a more harmonious society.

Spiritual Growth: For those on a spiritual journey, comprehending the connection between the mind and reality is pivotal. It can be a path to self-realization and a deeper understanding of the universe's interconnectedness.

Mental Health: The mind's influence on our perception is central to mental health. By acknowledging this connection, we can develop more effective strategies for managing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Cultural and Societal Implications: These ideas have far-reaching implications for culture and society. They challenge our conventional understanding of reality and may inspire new paradigms in science, religion, and philosophy.

Environmental Awareness: Recognizing that our perception of the world is interconnected with our inner state can also drive environmental awareness. A deeper connection to nature and the world may lead to a greater commitment to preserving and protecting it.

Scientifically understanding the connection between dreams and reality

From a scientific standpoint, while we sleep, our minds are responsible for constructing the dream world. This process is driven by the cognitive energy generated within our minds, resulting in the creation of the entire dream world, complete with its characteristics and environment. Which is in simple terms our mind's energy is utilized to create this world, right!

In religious and philosophical contexts, such as those described in scriptures and teachings like the Lalitha Sahasranamalu, Vishnu Sahasranamalu, and the Bhagavad Gita, there's an expression of the idea that everything is interconnected or originates from one divine source. In these beliefs, the concept is that everything is an extension of the divine, akin to the way our dream world is an extension of our mind.

The notion that "There is nothing other than ME" as expressed by Krishna implies a unity or oneness that transcends individual identities and extends to a higher, all-encompassing intelligence. Here we shouldn't take it literally as a physical person ,as initially he was portraying himself as "Akshara Parabrahma " in the eighth chapter saying the imperishable and absolute nature of God.

The concept here posits that, just as the human mind, possessing data and a degree of intelligence, can produce the dream world, there might be an entity beyond the individual mind. This entity could possess a more extensive database capable of managing the vast complexities of the universe, potentially responsible for the creation and orchestration of the physical or wakeful world, imbued with a remarkable level of inherent intelligence.

What's the way out for us:

So until we experience that mental stillness which is not again deep sleep but what the spiritual knowers call it as 'nirvana', we need to consciously provide some objects to the mind. Perhaps that could be the reason why in most of the cultures, they have proposed idol worship , so that the mind could hang on to some image and then could meditate on that as an object.

However, the human experience is intricate and demanding. Continuous meditation can be a challenge. To address this, our scriptures offer a range of practices, known as the 'nava vidha bhakti margalu' or the nine ways of devotion towards a deity.

1. Shravanam -- Hearing to stories related to the ultimate. (Ears)

2. Keertanam -- Singing the glories or chanting the names (tongue )

3. Smaranam -- Recalling what all the mind has regarding the ultimate (concentration of mind)

4. Paada sevanam -- service to the ultimate ( physical body)

5. Archanam -- Worshiping the ultimate (physical body and mind )

6. Vandanam -- Offering prayers (mind)

7. Daasyam -- Working as a menial servant of the Lord (physical body and mind)

8. Sakhyam -- being his intimate friend/ lover (mind)

9. Aatma Nivedanam -- complete surrender to the ultimate (mind)

Our minds are dynamic receivers, constantly gathering information from our senses and using it to shape our perceptions. Recognizing this, we can consciously harness our sensory experiences to elevate our awareness. We need to remember in any of these ways the involvement of mind is needed else this will just be a physical exercise but nothing more than that.

Our mind could be inclined to any one of the above , so don't think further just go over and embrace any one of the above which is relevant to you and continue your spiritual journey. I read that Ramakrishna Paramahansa was the man who was able to dwell in not multiple but in all the above 9 kinds in just one life span , which scholars usually say it's impossible for normal persons like me but not for avatars.

These practices guide us on a journey to anchor our minds in the divine, even as the mind itself yearns for a state beyond the ordinary—a state of profound connection and transcendence.

Who am I?

Indeed, the exploration of this "something" beyond the individual mind is a profound and enduring quest. It ties closely to the fundamental question of "Who am I?" and offers a pathway to deeper self-understanding and enlightenment. By delving into the nature of this higher intelligence or source, we may gain insights into our own existence and purpose in the grand scheme of things. The journey of self-discovery and understanding the nature of reality is an ongoing, intricate, and deeply personal exploration that can lead to profound insights and transformative experiences.

Absolutely, our observation aligns with the understanding that the world, as we perceive it, is intricately tied to the functioning of the mind. During deep sleep, when the mind is at complete rest and devoid of even the dream world, our subjective experience of the external world ceases to exist. This realization underscores the significant role that consciousness and the mind play in shaping our reality. It's a fundamental concept that has philosophical and practical implications, encouraging us to explore the nature of consciousness and the self in our understanding of the world.

Finally , if just our mind is able to create such a vast world with even us involved without having the any idea about what's next in our dream state, then why can't some one else's something as mind could have created this physical world and we are again just playing in their dream?

So now do we see the world as really as we see till today or are we sparked for striving to wake up from other's dream?

Drawn into these deeper thoughts ? Let us know below.

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