Suppose you were dreaming right now. Everything you would be experiencing at this moment would be a product of your imagination. Your dream body would be moving through a dreamscape, every detail of which would be generated by you. Although you may not know it, this dream would be happening entirely inside of you.
If this were a lucid dream, you would realize that you are more than just the dreamer reacting to events as they unfold in the dream. Lucidity means being aware that this is all a dream and that you are the dream-weaver who creates it. At the height of lucidity, you can control and manipulate the dream by making the leap from dreamer to dream-weaver.
This leap lets you engage in a type of alchemy by which you transform your dream body. When the one who creates the dream lives in that body, its capabilities expand infinitely. Suddenly, that body can take flight, change forms, or gain superhuman strength. The possibilities of what this body can accomplish or experience are limited only by the dream-weaver’s imagination.
Whether you know it or not, you ARE dreaming right now. Everything you know about yourself and the world around you is based on mental constructs—the products of your own mind. Psychologists and physicists are in agreement on this point. “The study of relativity theory,” writes Gary Zukav, “can produce the remarkable experience that space and time are only mental constructions.”
You may be tempted to think that waking reality is different from the kind of dreams you have when you sleep at night. In a dream, everything is subjective, whereas when you are awake, there is an objective reality upon which two or more people can agree. In actuality, there is no such thing as objective reality, according to quantum physicists. “The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived,” wrote physicist Erwin Schrodinger. “Subject and object are only one.”
You and I can agree upon the existence of something—such as the words you are reading right now—because we share certain conventions. These are customary ways of perceiving and understanding the world which are based on shared assumptions that could be a function of similar genetic, social, and cultural influences. To a large extent, we are of like mind, which is why we may come to see the world in similar ways.
How like-minded are we? According to many of the world’s most influential wisdom teachings, such as those found in the 1000-year-old Recognition Sutras, there is only a singular consciousness in the universe—one light of awareness shining in each and every one of us. So, here is the bottom line: Everything you know is the dream of a single dream-weaver.
If this is all a dream, then what is it like to wake up from it? There is a reason that so many wisdom traditions speak of the experience of spiritual awakening. For instance, the term Buddha means “the awakened one.” You know that you are dreaming when you sleep at night because you can awaken to a very different reality from the one you experienced in your dream. In the same way, you must be able to awaken from the dream of waking reality to something completely different. Buddhists call this “other” reality shunyata—the realm devoid of all form.
Can you co-exist in both realities? Yes, of course! Just as there is lucid dreaming, you can also have an experience of lucid waking. This means knowing that the reality you are living in is all a dream, and that the dream-weaver lives and breathes inside of you. The experience is called “inspiration” and it is an unparalleled form of alchemy. Just as the medieval alchemists sought to transform base metals into noble ones, the alchemy of inspiration allows you to transform yourself from dreamer to dream-weaver. This transformation happens when you are able to embody fully the one light of awareness that is the source and essence of all creation.
On Thursday, February 28, I will discuss this alchemy and how it works in the following presentation:
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