‘So in order for one to gain this ‘understanding’ – what do you have to do? Isn’t there a process, a practice, a purifying, a learning to be done? Don’t you have to go through awakening experiences, have exposure to the masters, the teachings, and so on, in order to wake up?’
‘Waking up’ and the dream analogy is actually a very good one: Let’s say you are dreaming a dream. And within the dream, the principal character – ‘you’ – has this niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right, not quite complete, not quite the way it could be or should be. So the dream character starts seeking for the truth; seeking to know his / her Self. And within the dream you meet many other dream characters, and some of those might actually tell you that ‘yes, there is a higher truth’ and in fact they have woken up to this, and they can help you, the dream character to wake up, too – just by following their instructions, by following the path outlined by them, their teachings, their practices. Join the club, the sanga, the satsang trail! Indeed, isn’t this exactly what all those ‘gurus’ tell you?
Just look at the folly of that! Can the dream character ever wake up, at all? And is there anything at all, another dream character can do in order to help wake up your dream character? These are all just dream characters! How relevant are they, really?
Hang on. Go back! Aren’t we forgetting something? Who are you again?
So what is actually happening here? It seems like there is this dream character here – me – talking to another dream character – you. But… listen to the message: YOU ARE THE DREAMER! And YOU ARE AWAKE – despite the dream that is seemingly going on! So what is really going on, is that the DREAMER is talking to the DREAMER. And the DREAMER is not asleep at all.
All there is, is ‘I am’ talking to my Self. Because the ‘I am’ that I am, is the same ‘I am’ that you are. And that ‘I am’ never was asleep. It is that presence that is always here. Can you ever deny that sense of presence, that sense of existence, that sense of ‘I am’?
So here ‘we’ are – WIDE AWAKE. What is there to say? Is there anything ‘your’ dream character had to do, or could do, for that matter, for YOU, the DREAMER to wake up? And how helpful were all those gurus and all that advise, the practices and what not – so that your dream character could become just like their dream character? To stick to our analogy – I assure you – any dream character referring to YOU as a dream character, whilst insisting that they can give you (the dream character) anything at all to help you wake up – that ‘guru’ is himself fast asleep!
But the world keeps turning. As long as we express through these body-mind-organisms, the dream will go on. No problem with that. Simply know your-Self as THAT.
In the words of Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Just realize you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done.”
Stepping out of the analogy: You already are that Consciousness, that Presence-Awareness, however you want to call it. No becoming that, no getting there, no waking up to that. The person that you think you are, is just a story. The person, the ‘character’, the ‘me-story’ can never get there, can never understand THAT. It simply cannot happen, because the ‘person’ is nothing but an appearance within THAT – a dream character within a dream. There is nothing that ‘the me’ can do. Just let it be and know that you are THAT – that which is here prior to any-thing that arises within YOU. All that is needed is a shift of perspective; a change of attitude.
You will find that life goes on quite effortlessly – untroubled by the identification with an imaginary character. The personal story – the dream -continues, but without the sting, without that charge which has caused all the suffering.