Chapter 3: A Gap of Millions of Miles
The East says “Unless you attain to a greater awareness, your life will never know what the reality is, what God is.” That greater awareness means becoming totally aware, not leaving a single corner of your consciousness dark, dropping all unconsciousness - what the Freudians call the unconscious disappears by and by. By methods of meditation, prayer, love, it disappears; more and more, you become conscious. One moment comes when your whole being is conscious, full of light, luminous. Then there is no dreaming and no sleep. Just awareness is the stuff you are made of. In that moment you will become able to know what this Baul is singing:
Nothing has happened
and nothing will happen.
What is there, is there.
And if you understand this, even a glimpse of it, then how can you remain in an agonized existence, how can you worry and how can you remain tense and feeding illnesses?
Henry Thoreau used to say that what man thinks is wealth - when man thinks that he is becoming by and by wealthy - is more like “illth” than wealth. We become more and more ill. Well-being does not happen through it, so why call it wealth? Man thinks he is becoming more and more powerful, and deep down, more and more impotence happens. On the outside you think you are achieving many things, but deep down you remain empty, hollow. The sooner you realize this hollowness the better, because then you will not waste your time and energy. Then, your whole life will be of a totally different quality: the search will begin. Then you will not be chasing dreams.
And dreams look very real. They are not, but they look very real. To an unconscious mind, dreams look as if they are the only reality. Have you not watched that deep in sleep, dreaming, every night you again become a victim? You again start thinking that this is real. In the morning you realize it was false, just a dream, but in the night, again and again you are a victim and you start thinking it is real.
Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, “Unless you realize in your dreams that they are dreams, you will not be able to awaken.” So he used to give them techniques of how to realize while dreaming that it is a dream, how to recognize that it is a dream. But the moment you recognize a dream as a dream, it stops - it immediately stops. Then it cannot be there. With your recognition of the dream as dream, the dream dies. It exists only through your cooperation and recognition; you give it reality. Pull your hands away and it drops flat, and it has nothing in it. The dream has power only because you impart power to it.
Watch people on the street, in the marketplace. Just stand by the side and just look at people - you will be surprised. It is so obvious that they are sleepwalkers. They are walking like somnambulists. Somehow, they are managing, but they are walking fast asleep. You can watch their lips moving as if they are talking with somebody, and there is nobody. They can even be found making gestures to somebody who is not present. Watch their faces; their faces have not the aura of awareness - a dullness, a dark shadow, as if somehow they are pulling themselves together to be aware, ready to fall any moment into dreaming, into sleep. Drunk with their dreams, people go on moving.