Chapter 35: Turning Inward toward the Real
But Chuang Tzu is missing one thing - the dreamer. He is thinking only of dreams, comparing dreams and missing the dreamer - the one who dreams that Chuang Tzu has become a butterfly, the one who is thinking that it may be quite the reverse: that the butterfly is dreaming that she has become Chuang Tzu. Who is this observer? Who was asleep and is now awake? You may be unreal, you may be a dream to me, but “I” cannot be a dream to myself, because even for a dream to exist a real dreamer is needed. Even for a false dream a real dreamer is needed. Even a dream cannot exist without a real dreamer. So forget dream. This technique says forget dream. The whole world is illusion, you are not. So don’t go after the world, there is no possibility to gain certainty there. And now this appears to be proven even by scientific research.
For the last three centuries science was certain, and Shankara looked to be just a philosophical mind, poetic. For three centuries science was certain, but now, during these two last decades, science has become uncertain. Now the greatest scientists say nothing is certain, and with matter we will never be certain. Everything has again become uncertain. Everything looks like a flux, changing. Only appearance looks certain. The deeper you go, the more everything becomes uncertain, indefinite. Shankara says, and Tantra has always been saying, that the world is illusory. Even before Shankara was born, Tantra was preaching one technique - that the whole world is illusory, so think of it as a dream. If you can think of it as a dream - and if you think at all, you will come to realize it as a dream - then your whole focus of consciousness will turn inwards, because there is a deep urge to find the truth, the real.
If the whole world is unreal, then there is no shelter in it. Then you are moving after, following shadows, and wasting time and life and energy. Then move inwards One thing is certain: “I am.” Even if the whole world is illusory, one thing is certain: there is someone who knows this is illusory. The knowledge may be illusory, the known may be illusory, but the knower cannot be. This is the only certainty, the only rock on which you can stand.
This technique says look at the world: it is a dream, illusory, and nothing is as it appears. It is just a rainbow. Go deep in this feeling. You will be thrown to yourself. With that coming to one’s own self, you come to a certain truth, to something which is indubitable, which is absolute.
Science can never be absolute. It is going to be relative. Only religion can be absolute because it searches not the dream, it searches for the dreamer; not for the observed, but for the observer, the seer, the one who is aware.