When we awaken from dreams, we realize that they were not real, but entirely of our own creation. In a dream, you are the participant as well as the creator of all the other characters and the settings. In like manner, everyday reality can also be viewed from this dream perspective; a dream from which each of us will one day awaken to realize that this too was an illusion of earthly consciousness.
Yet, many things in everyday existence do have apparent reality. There are many things we can all independently agree upon. So, if this is the case, who is doing the dreaming?
The answer may be that we all are - collectively. If we are the Universe, as well as essentially being spiritually One - indivisibly part of the Source/God/Creator of all - then we can conclude that we co-create the joint dream-reality we all participate in and perceive around us.
It is our spiritual life task to gradually awaken within the dream. At this point, we will be fully spiritually aware, seeing things as they really are and not with distorted perceptions. Then, if we participate in this world of forms and shadows, it will be through conscious choice; a full awareness that make our best present efforts resemble deepest slumber.
But what is the purpose of this complex interwoven dance we call life? Why did we manifest in this manner? The stories of esoteric spiritual teachings can help here. For example, the Garden of Eden story teaches that through tasting the apple of the knowledge of Good and Evil, we lost sight of the Divine Consciousness, and were sent into exile from true reality into this world of dreams.
What is the symbolic significance of the apple of the knowledge of Good and Evil? It represents the choice to live through misperception, and to view life from the standpoint of Duality and Division; Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, Life and Death, etc. Instead of participating in Unity consciousness, we choose Duality and are thus exiled from the divine spiritual perspective into this confusing world of ever moving shadows. We live in the world of Effects, without ever seeing the world of Causes.
Division entered and this was the Fall. We divided off from the divine part of ourselves and have ceased to even know it. Instead, we live in the world of shadows, obsessed with duality, and seeing no further than our senses permit. The way back is guarded by an angel with a flaming sword, because the attainment of eternal life is impossible as long as we remain mired in temporal earthly things. Nothing mired in an earthly consciousness can have any share in eternity.
At yet another level, the reality we see around us is the direct result of our individual karma, the group karma of our race and nation, as well as the collective karma of humanity. Life is a huge learning arena, set into play by ourselves for ourselves in order to stimulate our own awakening. However long it takes for this to occur is precisely how long it WILL take for each and every one of us.
Does this mean that the universe does not exist and is totally a creation of our minds? From an earthly perspective, it clearly does exist and possesses certain objective truths that we can agree upon that can be measured. Yet, even at the earthly level, the universe can be rightly called illusory in the sense that all is not as it appears. It may exist but it is certainly not the way we think it is. For example, the everyday objects we judge as solid are mostly empty space. Our senses do perceive and make sense of what is "out there" beyond our own bodies, but do not define it. A map is NOT the territory. A cat, a fly, a bird and a human may look upon the same scene and sense entirely different realities. Which is right? In truth, all are nothing more than interpretations of the unknowable shifting realm "out there".
So, from an earthly perspective, the world does have many elements of objective reality, whilst also simultaneously having many illusory sides to it. Ultimately, we may find it is composed of nothing at all except pure Thought and Mind. The universe is increasingly giving this impression at present, as our scientific techniques become ever more refined, and our instruments probe ever deeper in search of the essence of truth.
Spiritually, it definitely does appear that we participate and co-create in what we see around us. It is primarily our duality-oriented vision that causes us to see only in terms of right/wrong, good/evil, civilized/ignorant, life/death. From the undivided perspective of pure divine consciousness, all is as it should be. Nothing ever really dies, but merely changes state. Indeed, death is a necessary part of life itself. Life itself would be impossible without death. Seeing them as opposites or antagonists is the classic example of dualistic thinking.
Your purpose then should be to work within the world system, and the lessons it presents, in order to liberate your thinking and achieve the consciousness that sees all things as they really are. Deep pondering can assist this. Meditation will also break down the barriers. A willingness to perceive people and reality as they really are, without any judgments or dualistic notions, will definitely speed up your awakening.
In addition, refusal to participate in unhelpful attitudes or behavior will not only help you, but will subtly alter the fabric of the world we are all co-creating. If you see war outside of yourself, but do not see it in your very heart, you are truly blind to causes. If you see it within and eradicate it, then you make it easier to eradicate without. World change starts with personal change, and a correct perspective on "What Is"; willingness to change what you can and wisdom to let be what is beyond your control. What is within you is definitely within your power to control and master.
Copyright 2001. Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is an active writer/researcher on personal development and esoteric spirituality. Asoka's work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and find joy in their true soul's purpose.
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