And what is a “dream”, an “illusion”, and all of those other terms used in various spiritual literature, used in stories or when giving advice and guidance. And anyway, does a man who had embarked on a spiritual path REALLY want to wake up? Or is awakening just a buzzword he is using as a buffer – what is “a buffer”? – while in fact, he is just “fixing up” his self-image and his image of the world – what are “self-image”, and ”image of the world” – having NO REAL wish for realizing the Truth of himself, having no real wish for really waking up in a dream he is in?
Is the idea of “awakening” real, or is it just like any other idea within the dream; a new kind of game whose aim is self-deception, a game which is being played by the forces of the minds. Are we really journeying towards ourselves, or we simply want to belong to something greater than us; to some new social circles; to spiritual “parties”; to something which makes us feel accepted and competent. Is the one using this terminology, one who is parroting spiritual scriptures and spiritual quotes, really journeying to himself, or is this “journeying to self” just a new layer of self-deception? A layer that is simply a natural outcome of our inability to fulfill our dreams of success and satisfaction, an outcome of our failure to make a name for ourselves, whereby we peaked into the shop-window called “spirituality”, yet wanting the exact same things we wanted while peaking into the “material life” window? Does a man REALLY want to wake up, or he merely wants a pleasant dream?
While he is in a nightmare, if he is even slightly aware that he is dreaming, a man will want to wake up, he will want to leave the dream he is dreaming. All of his abilities; his strength, skill, knowledge, consciousness, are bent on jerking him out of the unpleasant dream. But a man dreaming a pleasant dream doesn’t want to wake up, all that he wants is for his dream to continue, and he is giving real strength to this dream. A third man is having an unpleasant dream, but by some stroke of luck, a part of his consciousness awakens within the dream and tries to stop it, or to change it. And so he starts dreaming of something more pleasant – will he want to wake up?
Do you dare to point to your category within these three? Usually, a man passes through all three categories; in each day, in each month and in each year, up until he realizes that he is wasting his time, that he is not going to change, not going to wake up in this way. And anyway, the majority of those who embarked on a spiritual path have no real intention of awakening. For this I can vouch with my life. Because, if one REALLY wants to wake up, one doesn’t stop making effort until that happens. Realistically speaking, you don’t need lifetimes or years to have this “experience of awakening”. If u are resolute, if you have resolved to awake with every inch of yourself, it will take you a few years – two or three, perhaps five. Waking up from a dream is not difficult. But what comes after is the stabilization of that state, and this may take years or decades.
Many things in spiritual teachings have not been made clear. But what are “spiritual teachings” anyway? Do you think you need some “spiritual teaching” in order to awaken? No, you don’t need “spiritual teachings” in order to wake up. You need them to grow up. But what is this “spiritual growing up”, spiritual maturation? You don’t need all of those spiritual teachings, all of those theories, insights to wake up. What you do need is discarding, you need readiness, willingness to realize that you are dreaming. But in order to reach that moment when you don’t need “spiritual teachings” anymore – you need to grow up, you need to mature. A conceited person imagining herself to be an adult cannot awaken. She needs to grow up first.
A Spiritual adult is one who stopped believing in the dream. But what is a “dream”? A dream is every meaning that you gave to the world, to others, to the universe, to yourself. A dream is believing that your mental-emotional constitution is true, believing that it is real in relation to the constancy of that feeling of life, that feeling of existence within you. A dream does not imply that this world is not real, that the things around you are not real. They are as real as everything else, but they are ephemeral, inconstant, changeable under the influence of space, time and individualized consciousness. The term “dream” is used concerning a person dreaming a dream of her life, a dream in which “her” life has a personal meaning. A dream in which she is projecting, imagining, lying, in which she is being ignorant of the reality which is surpassing her personal reality and that of her life. Such a person ascribes meaning to things, the same meanings that were instilled into her beforehand and are now arising from her by associations, while she is thinking that those are her own thoughts and emotions, her physical reality.
Such a person is “asleep”, “dreaming” the dream of a life, of herself, of an image that she believes is herself, that is, of an idea of herself in contrast to the world, to others, and the universe. This is a dream. Such a person is asleep. She is not awake within herself. She is not yet an adult. In order to get out of the dream she must first realize that she is dreaming. She must realize that she is not the person she is dreaming to be, that she is not that image she believes is representing the real side of her. To grow up, she needs to realize that she is still a child of ten or so. Perhaps her body is that of an adult, perhaps her intellect has knowledge, but she herself has not grown up. This is the “human baby”, a “brat”, an immature man, a man in sleep. One’s quality of dream usually determines the manner in which the exiting process starts. Some will experience a shock in their life, some will be curious concerning the reality of wishes, hopes, expectations, while some will be curious in general etc. In such moments the influence of the dream ceases for an instant. But this does not mean that the person will not fall asleep anew; dreaming pleasant dreams in between nightmares – for this is what usually happens.
Spirituality is supposed to be a means by which one grows up, except that nowadays it’s not. Today it’s a new kind of a pleasant dream, in which one believes in one’s personal greatness, personal significance. Such a belief is a dream, a dream in which you are a spiritual person; in which you are a someone who is working on himself – but on WHICH SELF, I wonder; – a someone who had embarked on a process of awakening, and so on. There is no such thing as a process of awakening. Either you are awake or you are not. As soon as you believe that you are in the process of awakening – you are ASLEEP. Still, we use this expression to designate those who had started questioning their dream; for those who had noticed that something “isn’t quite right”; to whom it seems that there is something “off” with their beliefs, convictions, attitudes, and with the others around them. But if we take a hundred seekers of truth – since there is nothing else to seek anyway – we will find only ONE, if anything, who is really awakening. All the others are still (ful) filling their dreams with new meanings, with new little dreams, with the dream of awakening being one of them. This one has the quality needed for spiritual maturation. But such men are few, although the spiritual scene has no shortage of those talking of being spiritual, talking of starting to awaken or of being awake.
A dream is an “illusion” in which we believe, an illusion to which we ascribe meaning, an illusion that we color with associations we believe are real. Illusion, or Maya, is not the world that we see, but the WAY we are seeing it. When tantric masters said that we are dreaming, that the world is an illusion, we misunderstood them and thought that the world of matter is unreal. This is not what they were saying. Maya, a dream, an illusion consists in giving “our own” meanings to the world; in all of “our” beliefs and convictions, in all that we consider to be “ours” – that is what they were saying. But an immature mind, a child’s mind in an adult body, projects everything on the outside. By extension, the meaning such a mind has ascribed to the words of the masters agrees with the madness that is prevalent among both spiritual and un-spiritual people. There is no such thing as the Illusion of the world; but there is the illusion of meanings you have given to that world; to yourself; to others; to the universe; to god. If you had not believed in the illusion you would have been an adult. But you’re not. This in which you believe, this which you see with your dreaming eyes, with a mind which ascribes meanings IS the ILLUSION, THIS IS the DREAM.
“A buffer” is every form of justification or excuse, every belief that you put above the reality and above the possibility to see that reality, it is every meaning that you gave to your dream in order to remain in it. A buffer is when you believe that your infantile “heart” is real emotion, that it’s something worth following, that emotions are real, it is every form of explanation which keeps you in the dream, etc. A buffer is a term used to point out that you have stabilized your dream; that you have used something you believe in or that you like, or that you have given your own explanation of “reality” – all for the purpose of REMAINING in the DREAM. Buffers can be spotted through phrases such as: “but”, “maybe”, “still”, “what if”, “if only” etc. All of this is a buffer you use in order to stay in the dream and keep dreaming, to remain a human baby, immature, to preserve your convictions.
A buffer is a part in the personality which is preventing two, usually contradictory, things from ever meating. A man who is awake sees these buffers in every conversation, in every act, in every show played by a so-called “grown up”, and especially by a so called “spiritual person”. The purpose of every justification we use is to create a buffer between contradictory realities. Reality cannot reveal itself to us as long as our buffers are active. Yet a buffer has a useful purpose for it prevents an immature personality from seeing its own contradictions. If buffers are broken too soon one can end up with a mental illnesses or even dead. Removing a buffer from a person who had not yet matured, had not yet became an adult and stopped believing in the dream, is usually life threatening. But if you had really started journeying to yourself, to your real, true self, toward realizing the truth of what you are, then buffers need to be broken. Illusions you believe in, fantasy, self-lying, conceptions, projections, self-image – all of this can, as it so often does, serve as a buffer.
When a man wishes to awaken, he needs to go through what we would call a “spiritual growing up”. He needs to become a mature human being, an adult human being. Such a being is characterized by ceasing to believe in a dream. He ceases to believe and to maintain that which he used to, while he was a human child. An adult is not deceiving himself, he is not lying to himself, he doesn’t believe in his self-image, in the image of the world, of the universe, of god. He stopped believing in the reality of the dream and of the illusion. He has matured and is ready to face the painful fact that he is asleep and that he needs to wake up; the fact that his dreams aren’t real, that the illusion of life and of himself needs to fall away; the fact that his loves are nothing but childish projections; that expectations are not real, that he is surrounded by “grown ups”; that he is not the self-image he believes in and which he projects outside in trying to fit in, to be accepted etc. He knows that acceptance, love, partnership, friendships belongs to a world of (make) belief, a world of lies, lies in which he used to believe and now sees as unreal.
He “awakens” in a world that is a “desert of reality” and in this world everyone is asleep, everyone believes in their dreams. Gurdjieff had a term for such a man; the good householder – a man who is responsible toward life but doesn’t believe in life or in its shows. This is the kind of people who can become awakened, who can become an awake human being, because by growing up they are going through the process of awakening. This process of awakening, of becoming an “adult”, is painful. Many put it off until later or give it up completely. Such people are not adults, they are not in the process of awakening but in a dream. They “become spiritual” and then dream a wonderful dream of awakening through their spirituality.
You cannot love awakening no more than you can love growing up. It is painful. If you are loving it, you are most likely dreaming the whole thing. This does not mean that the one who is awakening, and stating that he doesn’t love the process, is not working on himself in spite of all the pain and suffering. But he is SUFFERING for REAL. His suffering is REAL in relation to the suffering of a brat, of an immature human being. Although, his suffering is nothing like the suffering of a man in a dream.
A grown man, man who is waking up, does not believe in spirituality, let alone that he is spiritual, or that there is such a thing at all. He knows that spirituality belongs to the dream world. He may use what is REAL in spirituality to kick-start his own awakening, but he does not believe in all of the convictions, projections, hopes of spirituality that are accepted by people in sleep i.e. by human children. He does not accept the ideas of god, of the universe, of the world as something real, but questions them on his own. He questions every part of himself, every part of “his” life, everything he believes in, everything he hopes for, every one of his projections.
By questioning everything he discards his self-image, his image of the world, of others. Self-image is an image we believe in; an image of ourselves that we present by the roles that we play, by the masks that we wear, by the lies we believe in, by the fantasy we believe to be true. A self-image is like a show in which the actor forgot that he is acting, in which he had identified with the show and with the part he is playing. Everything that you “know” about yourself is a self-image. Every part of you is an image. Your personality is an actor in the show of life, a life that is an image of the world. Other people are actors in this show too, and all of you are asleep; dreaming of shows, of yourself, of others, of life. In this dream you are trying to present (show) yourself in harmony with the role that you’re playing – in harmony with your self-image – with the show you are in; with beliefs and projections that you think are real.
You, as an actor, are not real – you are a part of the show and when the show ends – you’re gone. Others around you believe in the show just like you do. A grown man stops believing in his roles, in the show, in all the acting he is a part of. He is starting to awaken. He is starting to question the reality of the show and is asking himself “what am I doing here?”
The moment in which an adult starts waking up from the role he believed in, is the moment he is starting to awaken. Awakening is a process in which you stop believing in the dream; in the shows you are playing and in the world as their stage. Waking up is a process in which you are seeing your structure, one in which you used to believe in. It is seeing it and knowing that it is not real, that it is just a show to which an immature man ascribed reality. When you are Awake you are still in the dream. But awake in it. You have awaken in relation to the dream, but the one dreaming it has not yet been seen. You know that you are dreaming, you know that until recently you were a human child, and that through the process of awakening you discarded pleasant and unpleasant dreams. But still you haven’t seen that you are not real, the one who is dreaming the dream is – for you too are a product of the dream. You became an adult, you feel more real, you don’t believe in child’s dreams, you see your own dreams, but you’re still in a dream. And this dream is named after your “I”.
Your “I” is the cause of the dream. You are the one creating it. You are the one to whom the dream is happening. And you are the one suffering for it. You have not awakened as yet. You are awake in a dream, you can perceive it clearly, you see that others are dreaming too, you are conscious, conscious of yourself, you can no longer become fully identified with the dream and with the person – but you are still in the dream. When the processes of awakening and of growing up bring you to the state of being Awake you can no longer sleep like a baby that you used to be. You know that you are the one who is dreaming, you can feel yourself, in every moment you are giving this conscious state; you are manifesting through it, manifesting with it, but you had not awakened. You can fall asleep for a moment but you are quickly reminded of the dream, you remember that this isn’t real, that you are dreaming. In awaking you are coming into a “stable” state of consciousness in which you don’t forget yourself. You are awake in the dream.
Then you find out what it means to “journey to oneself”, what “working on oneself” means. For the first time you realize what all of this means, what it means to “fight for oneself”. Questions may appear to some people, questions such as: “what does all of this have to do with me? What in this dream has any real relation to me, to the feeling of the AWAKE I”? or some of the sort. As long as you are in the dream you can’t go to yourself, you can’t work on yourself because you don’t know to which self you are supposed to go, and on which self you are supposed to work. When you are awake in the dream you finally know that “going to oneself” means to stop dreaming, stop believing your projections, fantasies, lies, dreams and start moving towards that “I” which is fully awake since it is a reflection of the real, of the true state. Then, you work on yourself; you are freeing yourself of all residual dreams, convictions, shows, parts that you were playing, but also – you are starting to question that same feeling of an awake “I” in you. You start doubting even that “I”. In order to wake up you need to question even your own feeling of consciousness, your feeling of awakeness, feeling of the one who is awake. You cannot reach the objective state of consciousness until there is someone who is separated from it, or better yet, until there is someone with an illusion of being separated from it.
You will not awake through the process of questioning, not even through the process of questioning the awake man, the mature man, the adult, not through questioning the feeling of the awake “I”. Full awakening has nothing to do with you as an awake being. The objective consciousness cannot contain a consciousness that is limited by an awake “I” – this is the final barrier that has to be broken. The Awakened state has been explained by various traditions, and such explanations are believed by people in a dream, by human children, actors in the show of spirituality, but not by a man who is awake. He stopped believing in such explanations because he had realized that this too is a parable, a story, a fairy tale with the aim of using a “spiritual teaching” to show a man that he is asleep. He is no longer dreaming, he is no longer believing in the dream and consequently, he is no longer believing in spiritual teachings. And yet, from those teachings he is able to extract the essence which then guides him further.
An awake man understands the meaning of the words “spiritual teaching”, yet doesn’t believe its show in the dream world. He understands that spirituality is bound to lie; in order to force human children to embark on the process of self-knowledge, to start the process of searching, and in order to enable transformation from a child to an adult – and this is why he doesn’t believe in the spirituality of the dream world. He is real, he is mature, not a child believing in fairy tales. But still he is not awakened, because even now he doesn’t realize that he doesn’t exist as an entity that is separate from Reality, from the Objective Consciousness.
When he is awakened through the effort he is making, – which he later realizes wasn’t even his- he realizes that there is no “awake man”, there is no “I”, that “he” is not – I. He realizes that there is no such thing as separateness, and that the Objective state pervades all of the lower three states and is always “objective” – for nothing which is below is able to exist without it. He is leaving the state of awakeness as an awakened being, but doesn’t perceive himself in that way. He isn’t any kind of “being”, isn’t any “I”, isn’t any kind of “awakeness” or a “person”. He is a bubble of air in an ocean of the Objective Consciousness. He is Reality manifested as a drop in the ocean, he is an ocean manifested in a drop, yet had never been the drop. No longer is he an awake being projecting a dream, for such a being doesn’t exist for him anymore.
He is Reality manifested in this body, in this awakeness, in this dream of reality, in deep sleep. He is the Objective Consciousness within all three states of consciousness, unaffected by anything, knowing that there is no such a thing as the dream; that there is no such a thing as a person, i.e. as an awake being apart from itself. And then we have the reversal of the process; one which an awakened man calls full realization of the Truth – of making it real. He will be engaged in this process for a considerable time until the realization (understanding) of Truth is not fully manifested – made real – and until the final pieces of what is human in him had fallen away. Some would call this the “Divine Life”, but it’s just a dream of a “divine life” and nothing more.