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Chapter 2: Magicless Magic

The first related his dream. When he left the second came and he related his dream. And he waited for some hint that the psychiatrist was shocked or surprised, but he was not surprised at all. He simply listened as if there was nothing out of common, as if it was just usual, as if it were an everyday affair.

The man asked, “Are you not surprised?”

The psychiatrist said, “This is the third time I have heard this dream.”

The man said, “Third time? Who is the third person?”

He was shocked because only two persons knew about the dream. Who was this third person?

The psychiatrist laughed. He said, “You cannot play a trick like that on me, because no two persons can dream the same dream. It is impossible.”

It does not happen that way, because a dream is an absolutely private world. You cannot invite anybody else into your dream, you cannot ask anybody else’s opinion about your dream - whether it is true or untrue. It depends absolutely on you. And if you cannot even awake in this, how will it be possible for you to awake in the great maya, the great illusion that the world is?

So Gurdjieff used to say that the first effort is to awake in a dream and see the dream as a dream. He had a few techniques for how to awake in a dream. He would teach his disciples that every night, when they went to sleep, they should go on repeating as deeply as possible, as passionately as possible, “This time when I start dreaming in the night I will raise my hand and touch my head. And immediately when I touch my head the remembrance will happen to me that this is a dream.” For months together the disciple would think, autosuggest. Every night falling into sleep they would repeat it again and again with deep passion, so that it entered into the very unconscious layers of the mind.

When it enters deeper than the dream then one day it happens; while dreaming, automatically the hand goes to the head and suddenly he remembers that this is a dream. But the moment he remembers that it is a dream, the dream simply withers away, fades out. He is awake while asleep, and the dream has left him.

If it happens that you awake in a dream, in the morning the whole world has changed. It is no more the same world because your eyes are clear, you have attained to a certain clarity of perception. Now dreams cannot deceive you, now you see things as they are. You don’t project.

Beware of imagination. You would like me to tell you that yes it was me. You will feel very much fulfilled if it was me hitting your head. People like to believe in miracles; hence miracles happen because people like to believe. People feel happy believing in their dreams; they go on giving energy to their dreams. That’s how you have lived for many, many lives in a dream world.

I am not going to cooperate with you in any way. It was sheer imagination, you imagined it. Now you want my help also.

I have heard.

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