It is not known whether animals dream or not. How could this be ascertained unless an animal speaks? We know what we dream because we get up in the morning and say that we have dreamed. After great perseverance and effort, a way has now been found. One man has worked for years on monkeys in order to find out about this, and the measures he took for this experiment are worth understanding. He started by showing a film to the monkeys. As soon as the film started, the monkey being experimented upon was given an electric shock. A button was provided on the monkey’s chair and he was taught to press this button whenever he felt the shock. So every day he was made to sit on the chair, and when the film began he felt the shock. Then he pressed the button to turn it off.
This went on for a few days; then he was made to sleep in this chair. Now when he began to dream he would begin feeling uncomfortable, because to him the film on the screen and the film in his dream were one and the same. He at once pressed the button. Time and again he would press the button, and this proved that he was dreaming. In this way, man is now able to penetrate into the inner dream world of dumb animals.
Meditators too have found ways of testing the experiences of the fourth body from outside, and now it can be proved whether what happens is true or false. The experiences of the kundalini in the fourth body can be psychic, but that does not make them false. There are authentic psychic states and false psychic states. When I say that kundalini could be only a mental experience, it does not necessarily mean that it is a false experience. Mental experiences can be false as well as authentic.
You see a dream at night. Now this dream is a fact because it has happened. But on waking in the morning you might recollect some dream that you did not actually dream; yet you can insist that that is what you dreamed. Then this is false. A man might get up in the morning and say he never dreams. Many people believe they do not dream. They do dream – all night long they dream, and this has been proved scientifically. But in the morning they assert that they never dreamed. So what they say is absolutely false, though they are not aware of it. In fact, they do not remember the dreams. Quite the opposite also takes place: you remember dreams you never dreamed. This will also be false.
Dreams are not false, they have their own reality. But dreams can be real as well as unreal. Real dreams are those which have actually been dreamed. The trouble is that you cannot narrate your dream precisely upon waking. For this reason, in the old days any man who could narrate his dream clearly and precisely was held in high esteem. It is very, very difficult to report a dream correctly. The sequence of the dream is one thing when you dream it and just the opposite when you remember it.
It is like a film. When we see a film the story unwinds from the beginning of the film. Similarly, the reel of the dream drama winds in one direction in sleep and begins to unwind in the opposite direction in the waking state, so we remember the last part of the dream first and go backwards in recollection. What we dreamed first becomes last in recollection. This would be just like someone who tries to read a book from the wrong end; the reversed script would just cause a chaos. So to remember a dream and give a true representation of it is a great art. Generally, when we recall a dream we also recollect events we never dreamed. We drop a good portion of the actual dream at first and later most of the rest.