Chapter 4: From Dreams toward Truth
“The day I realized life to be no more than a dream, everything became equal. Honor and dishonor are the same to me. And what is the difference when all is a dream? If it were otherwise, it would have made a difference.”
Napoleon lost the war and was exiled to the isle of St Helena. A great emperor, who had never known defeat, had lost to his enemies and was now held prisoner on this small island. He went for a walk in the mornings with his doctor. One morning, as they were walking along the narrow track at the edge of a field, a peasant woman came walking toward them from the opposite direction. The doctor called out to her to get out of Napoleon’s way, but Napoleon held him back and said: “Those days are over my friend, when people stepped back for the great Napoleon. Now it is my turn to step back - even to a peasant woman.”
Napoleon was wise. Napoleon was the same in defeat as in victory, realizing how changeable life is. When one begins to understand this dream quality the mind begins to be restful. Then where is the difference in victory and defeat? Then victory, defeat, honor, dishonor, life, and death are all the same. This is the peace, the track that leads to the heights of truth.
Through the path of tranquility man reaches truth, and only those can walk this path to whom life appears to be a dream. Those to whom life is still a substantial truth cannot walk this path of peace. This is one thing. The next now is: How does the man, to whom life becomes illusory, live? What rules will guide him? What do we do with dreams? We merely see them - that is all! We cannot do anything to them. So a man to whom all life is a fantasy will become a mere spectator, a witness. He will just observe life. He will see it as it is and do nothing but observe.
Dreams are our ardent desires, whereas the witness state, is the evolvement. Dreams are the base, but the witness is the mansion that is constructed over it. To know life as a dream is to be an observer. Then when the person is no more than a spectator, a revolution takes place within him. This is the spiritual revolution, and this is not attained by reading the scriptures or repeating the well-worn precepts. He who begins to live thus, climbs those peaks from where truth is invariably discovered.
So the second rule is: The witness state: to live life as a mere spectator - as if a man is going on the screen of life and we are merely watching it.
Carry out this experiment and see what happens. Life will look different. Resolve one day, that from six in the morning to six in the evening, you will be no more than a spectator. Then life will look a story on the screen. On the very first day something new will begin to happen to you. After this experiment you can never be the same again - you will be a different person altogether.