Chapter 11: Footprints in the Sky
I cannot distinguish between imagination and reality. Can I assume that I do not know reality yet, so why not enjoy watching the whole movie without trying to distinguish? Or, is it necessary to be aware of the difference between imagination and reality?
There is no question of making any distinction between imagination and reality. Imagination is that which disappears if you become aware of it, alert to it.
Reality is that which becomes more real if you become aware of it, alert to it.
You cannot distinguish between the two, because both are never present simultaneously.
And you need not worry about it. All that you have to do is simply be watchful. Whatever passes through your experience - thoughts, feelings - don’t let it go unwatched, and the unreal will disappear on its own accord. It cannot face the watching eyes; only the real will remain.
So for the watcher, there is only the real.
For the sleeper, there is only the unreal.
And they never meet, so the question of distinction does not arise. It is not that you can put reality on one side and imagination on the other side and make a comparison, or find differences.
For example, in this room, either there is light or there is darkness. You cannot manage to have both. Darkness appears to be as real as light, but it is not a reality because you cannot do anything with it. You cannot bring it in, you cannot take it out, you cannot cut it into pieces; you cannot do anything with it.
Just bring a lighted candle in, and the darkness simply disappears. It is not that it goes out of the door, or runs out of the windows. You can keep all the windows and doors open or closed; in either case darkness will not be found.
Light is real because you can do everything with it. You can bring it in, you can take it out. You can light a candle, you can blow it out. It is a reality.
Darkness is only an absence - an absence of light.
Light is presence, darkness is absence. Imagination is not even absence; it is simply a thought in your mind, just a signature made on water - you have not even completed it and it is gone.
So don’t be worried about these subtle distinctions; rather, simply be aware that shadows will disappear - the unreal, imaginative experiences will disappear - and only that which remains in your awareness and becomes more and more clear as you become aware is true, is real, is the nature of existence.