Chapter 14: The End of Illusion
We call a dream a dream because it vanishes in the morning. But what we call waking also vanishes in the evening. When we wake up in the morning from a dream we find it was false, it has vanished. Someone who was an emperor in the night while he was dreaming finds himself a beggar in the morning. And then, having been a beggar the whole day long, when he sleeps at night he totally forgets about begging. During the night who remembers about being a beggar? Is there any difference between an emperor and a beggar during sleep? During a dream even an emperor cannot remember that he is an emperor. Thus the dream of the day vanishes in the night.
Then what is the difference? One dream vanishes in the morning and the other vanishes in the evening. We forget the day during the night’s dream and we forget the night during the day’s dream - what is the difference?
So Berkeley says: “How can I believe that there is some existence outside of me?”
It is a very interesting idea, but even Berkeley is not able to remember while dreaming that what he is seeing can be doubted. During the waking state doubt is possible, but during sleep doubt is not possible. Even the greatest of skeptics is not able to doubt during a dream.
The illusory world of dreams is very strange. Even the waking state does not have that much power; it is less powerful because we can doubt it. We can say that one never knows if what is seen really exists or not. But the illusion within a dream is incredible. In dreams we are totally lost and drowned, we accept situations which are quite illogical. A dream does not allow for any logic; if logic remains, doubt also remains.
In a dream you see a friend standing before you suddenly turning into a horse - and you never doubt: How could it be possible? In your dream you never doubt. When you dream you are full of trust, your trust is absolute. In the waking state even the most trusting person has doubts, but in the dream state even the most doubting person trusts. You never doubt for a moment your friend becoming a horse - but how could it happen?
In a dream everything is accepted - a dream has no logic. A dream has this quality - one cannot doubt while dreaming. Whatever is seen in a dream feels real as long as the dream continues. Anything may happen in a dream, it will not be inconsistent. It is just the same harmonious inner realm.
A dream and what is called maya have a common characteristic. Understand it like this - maya is the dreaming in the waking state. That is why the more surrounded with illusion a mind is, the more difficult it is to doubt it, to raise doubt about this maya. This state of maya feels perfectly real to it. You see a face and it looks beautiful to you, it seems to you that your life can be sacrificed for this face..
In the love story of Laila and Majnu, Laila never appeared to anybody else the way she looked to Majnu. The whole village felt Majnu’s pain, so the chief of the village called Majnu and said, “You are totally mad. Why do you think only of her? She is just a very ordinary, very common girl. Why are you crazy about her? I feel pity for you” - because Majnu was wandering through the village weeping, crying, going from door to door, calling out “Laila.Laila!”