I find it is important to remind myself that despite appearances, sublime or ridiculous, it is all a dream.
Here's an article I wrote a while back that reminds me that it is all nothing.
Related articles: Obstacles; Reality Check; A Dream is a Dream is a Dream
Thursday, February 10, 2005
It Is All Nothing!
Years ago, I was out with my boyfriend at the time when we met up with his old friend who was with his partner. They spoke for a few minutes but he didn't introduce me to his friend. I introduced myself. We shook hands, said hello and goodbye. I was fuming. How come he didn't introduce me as his girlfriend? Maybe he was ashamed of me. Maybe introducing me as his girlfriend suggested commitment which he wasn't prepared to acknowledge in public. I was already insecure enough as it is and this only added more fuel to the fire.
When we returned to his car I asked him why he hadn't introduced me. He said he felt very uncomfortable and embarrassed because he couldn't remember his friend's name. It was that simple.
Let's take a hypothetical example. You have sent an email that is intended to provoke a response but you haven't received a response. It could be because (a) the email wasn't delivered; (b) the email was received, read and deleted without response; (c) Your email address has been marked as Spam, therefore, it is automatically deleted. If you, the sender, is not aware of this you could create stories about the why and how. You could get angry and imagine all sorts of scenarios. Your fantasies attract similar situations confirming your worst fears etc, all because of nothing. Before you know it you are living a life based purely on fantasy. In the meantime, the sender is blissfully ignorant of the sender's delusions.
Let us return to the experience I had with my ex-boyfriend. He hadn't introduced me to his friend because he couldn't remember his name. Before I was made aware of this vital information, I built up fantasies. Those fantasies had a cause: my insecurity based on past experiences in other relationships, going further back to my childhood, further back to a previous life, another previous life...ad infinitum. What happened to the resentment I'd harboured towards my boyfriend when I found out the truth, when I realised there is no cause? The emotions, the fickle dreams that they were, dissolved into nothing. I returned to my blissful nature...until the next delusion. Hahaha!
This is how we make a big deal out of nothing.
In Autobiography of a Yogi, the wife of the Yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya, relates to the author how it took her years to realise her husband's identity as God-realised. When she finally "woke up," her husband initiated her into Kriya Yoga. It didn't take her very long though to go back to "sleep" and dream new expectations of her husband.
"I will confess a sin which I committed against my guru-husband. Some months after my initiation, I began to feel forlorn and neglected. One morning Lahiri Mahasaya entered this little room to fetch an article; I quickly followed him. Overcome by violent delusion, I addressed him scathingly.
"'You spend all your time with the disciples. What about your responsibilities for your wife and children? I regret that you do not interest yourself in providing more money for the family.'
"The master glanced at me for a moment, then lo! he was gone. Awed and frightened, I heard a voice resounding from every part of the room:
"'It is all nothing, don't you see? How could a nothing like me produce riches for you?'
"'Guruji,' I cried, 'I implore pardon a million times! My sinful eyes can see you no more; please appear in your sacred form.'
"'I am here.' This reply came from above me. I looked up and saw the master materialize in the air, his head touching the ceiling. His eyes were like blinding flames. Beside myself with fear, I lay sobbing at his feet after he had quietly descended to the floor.
"'Woman,' he said, 'seek divine wealth, not the paltry tinsel of earth. After acquiring inward treasure, you will find that outward supply is always forthcoming.' He added, 'One of my spiritual sons will make provision for you.'
"My guru's words naturally came true; a disciple did leave a considerable sum for our family." An Interview with the Sacred Mother
In the above example, the guru demonstrated how he could dismiss the dream of his body into nothing, which helped wake his wife up from her delusions. The problem with delusions is they can continue for years and years deceiving you into believing they are real, possibly for eternity, unless you wake up to the truth that it is all a dream.
In another part of the same book, Yogananda describes how during meditation he felt himself in another man's body who was about to die. Yogananda couldn't tell whether it was his body or not.
"As I closed my eyes in meditation, my consciousness was suddenly transferred to the body of a captain in command of a battleship. The thunder of guns split the air as shots were exchanged between shore batteries and the ship's cannons. A huge shell hit the powder magazine and tore my ship asunder. I jumped into the water, together with the few sailors who had survived the explosion.
Heart pounding, I reached the shore safely. But alas! a stray bullet ended its furious flight in my chest. I fell groaning to the ground. My whole body was paralyzed, yet I was aware of possessing it as one is conscious of a leg gone to sleep.
"At last the mysterious footstep of Death has caught up with me," I thought. With a final sigh, I was about to sink into unconsciousness when lo! I found myself seated in the lotus posture in my Gurpar Road room.
Hysterical tears poured forth as I joyfully stroked and pinched my regained possession—a body free from any bullet hole in the breast. I rocked to and fro, inhaling and exhaling to assure myself that I was alive. Amidst these self-congratulations, again I found my consciousness transferred to the captain's dead body by the gory shore. Utter confusion of mind came upon me.
"Lord," I prayed, "am I dead or alive?"
A dazzling play of light filled the whole horizon. A soft rumbling vibration formed itself into words:
"What has life or death to do with Light? In the image of My Light I have made you. The relativities of life and death belong to the cosmic dream. Behold your dreamless being! Awake, my child, awake!" The Law of Miracles
If it is all nothing, what exactly is this nothing? People have given this nothingness various names: Uncaused, Brahman, Consciousness, Reality, Source, Emptiness, Void. I see it as the Uncaused. As the name suggests, the Uncaused is causeless. It is nothing. And yet it would appear that infinite forms and universes originate in the Uncaused. This I find to be false.
For some time now, I have been joggling two views of reality which seem to be a paradox. There is the reality of cause/effect: every action has a cause whether you believe in God as a First Cause or human thought as a cause, there is always a cause. Then there is the Uncaused i.e. there is no cause to any experience or action, they come out of nothing. The above examples, where people make a fuss over nothing, resolves the Uncaused/cause-effect paradox. When clearly understood, there is no paradox. The Uncaused is reality. The Uncaused is not the origin of fantasies and dreams. Why? Because the Uncaused creates nothing. To create something requires a beginning and an end. The Uncaused has no beginning or end, It simply is.
Earlier today, I emailed a friend describing an experience I had a while back during meditation when I saw myself as a dark formless entity with vortexes of light emerging from me. These lights appeared to be origins of new universes. I haven't thought about this experience for some time until recently when I've been exploring the Uncaused. What if the universes are dreams which come out of nothing? It doesn't mean that the formless entity is the originator of these dreams, it just appears that way.
There are many stories and myths about who we are and why we are here, and we have created a concept of a God and what S/He is. Many have theorised that the universe has an origin. Either the Universe has always existed, which suggests it is the Uncaused appearing; or it has an origin. If the universe has an origin it is a dream that is not of the Uncaused. Then you are living in a dream of cause/effect where you dream up reasons why such and such is such and such. And so the onion layers of skin build up until it gets to a point when you can no longer tell the difference between truth and illusion. What is truth when it is all a dream?
Here are few more examples of how we make a fuss over nothing.
My body is Uncaused and yet I experience it as cause/effect. There are times when I only have one meal a day, late at night. I don't even drink anything and yet I still have the urge to have a pee. Why would I want to have a pee when I haven't drunk anything? Science, education and our programming tell us that our body is composed of water, therefore, excess fluid has to be excreted. There is always a cause. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night wanting to have a pee. If I can't be bothered to get up, I simply switch into silence, the uncaused. My sense of Self is formless and I seem to forget what it means to urinate, hence, no need to pee. When I am meditating or in silence, I have no thoughts about "call of nature." Why? Because the "call of nature" is the dream that has no part in the Uncaused. The Uncaused never created it, therefore, it is coming from nothing and is therefore a nothing. I can dream it is something and continue the cycle of needing to have a pee etc, but it will not change the truth that the Uncaused is.
Take women's periods which is another fantasy. That was never created by the Uncaused which has no beginning or end. Menstruation occurs in monthly cycles. How can the ever-existing, timeless Uncaused have created an event that occurs in cycles? Having periods is a huge fuss over nothing. Periods seem very real for a lot of women. Multi-billion industries have come out of serving the needs of women by manufacturing sanitary towels and tampons, yet it is all based on a dream, one billions of women experience as reality. It is nothing. Naturally, the manufacturers need to keep this dream going so they could continue to make massive profits.
Here I am using the Internet which is supposed to make communication a lot easier between us. Yeah right! Another dream coming out of nothing. Why would I need to communicate when there is only one Consciousness? The One is forever One and therefore speaking to itself. Near where I live there is a black cat I've spotted a few times running across the road. I happen to love cats. I've learned not to waste my breath calling out to cats (or any other animal for that matter). All I have to do is simply say "hello" in thought and the cat always looks back at me. S/he is acknowledging our oneness in the void.
What can I say about the food industry and the dreams about what one should eat or not eat? What about the dreams from the medical industry about sickness and health? I could go on and on but I haven’t much dream time. (smile)
Life is a dream made out of nothing, which makes all of us dreamers. We are dreaming lives - individually and collectively - that have nothing to do with the Uncaused, that is beginningless, endless and unchanging.
Here's the good news: if you can make yourself sick, angry, jealous, fearful, happy, joyful, depressed, out of nothing, it shows how powerful we all are as dreamers. We can dream up grander and more beautiful dreams effortlessly as we already know how to make a big deal out of nothing. The only snag is when you forget you are dreaming and take it seriously. This is when you need the opt-out clause like the one Lahiri Mahasaya used to snap his wife out of her delusion: "It is all nothing." Or as I would say, "There is no cause!"
The bottom line is that life, for me, is about waking up from all dreams. Only then am I truly free to dream or not to dream with full awareness that it is all nothing.
For related dream stories see Senseless Figures; Ask Me No Questions and I'll Tell You No Lies