In the ancient scriptures of the East it is called the power of maya. Mind has the hypnotic power to create any illusion. If you are after a certain thing, desperately, it is one of the functions of the mind to create the illusion to stop your desperateness. It happens every day to everybody in their dreams, but people don’t learn things.
In the night you go to bed hungry. In the night you are going to have a dream about eating delicious food. The mind is trying to help you so that your sleep is not disturbed; otherwise you are hungry and you are bound to be awakened by your hunger. The mind gives you a dream that you are eating delicious food of your choice, which satisfies your mind. The hunger remains but sleep is not disturbed, The hunger is covered by the illusion of the dream; it is a protection of your sleep.
You feel in sleep that your bladder is full. If the mind does not create the dream that you have gone to the toilet, come back and gone to sleep again, then your sleep will be disturbed – and sleep is a great necessity for the body. The mind is taking care that it is not disturbed again and again; you can have a long sleep, rest, so in the morning you are rejuvenated.
This is the ordinary function of the mind; on a higher plane the same thing happens. It is an ordinary sleep, an ordinary awakening that mind prevents. On the path, it is an extraordinary sleep and an extraordinary awakening. But the mind is programmed – it is just a mechanical thing. It simply does its work without bothering, because it has no way of checking whether it is ordinary sleep or spiritual sleep, ordinary awakening or spiritual awakening.
To the mind it is all the same. Its function is to keep your sleep intact and create a barrier for anything that disturbs your sleep. If you are hungry it gives you food; if you are desperately in search of truth, it gives you truth, it gives you enlightenment. You ask for anything, and it is ready to give it to you.
It can create the illusion of the real thing – that’s its intrinsic power.
Western psychology has not yet been aware of the dream’s actual function, what function it has.
Sigmund Freud thinks that its only function is to bring up your repressed desires and allow them a certain illusory reality so that you don’t go insane. The dream is an outlet so the steam that you go on repressing is released. That seems to be the whole understanding of Western psychology about dreams – that it is an outlet. While you are asleep, your dreaming helps you to get rid of many aberrations.
You had seen a beautiful woman while you were awake, but you had to maintain your civilization, the civil code, manners, morality, religion, respectability, and you behaved that way. You could not behave like an animal. That’s actually what you would have liked to do, but all these barriers prevent you.