Leo Tolstoy used to ask his friends about their dreams.
Once Leo & Gorky were sitting together. They were talking of things, gossiping, and suddenly Leo asked Gorky “Can you tell me one of your dreams which you have not forgotten? Which has remained special to you in your whole life’s dreams?”
Gorky said “Yes, there has been one dream that I cannot forget. And it has not happened once, it has happened many times in the same way again and again. So it goes on being more and more impressed onto my consciousness.”
Tolstoy became very interested. He said “You tell me. You tell me immediately.”
Gorky said “The dream is that I see a vast desert with no trees, no people, no animals, utterly utterly empty, sands and sands and sands. And the sun is burning so hot, it is fire. And I see myself walking to nowhere in particular. There is nowhere to go, no destination. Not only that, the strange thing is that I see only my feet and my shoes. I cannot see anything else. I try and I try, and it becomes very very crazy. I cannot see my face, I cannot see my body, I cannot see my hands – just two feet covered in leather shoes. I can hear the noise they are making, and those two feet go on and on and on in that desert – to nowhere! And it seems to continue for ages! Nothing happens, just those two legs without the body, without the soul, without the face. Where are they going? And why are they going in the first place? And what is the point of going? Why can’t they stop? – all these questions arise, and great fear grips my soul. And I always awake out of it trembling, shaking, perspiring.”
The dream is symbolic. This dream is what modern man has become.
My name is dream. All of you know me very well. I can make you believe that I am real but you have no power to catch me alive and force me to confess that I did not deliver what I promised for you, or what you expected of me. All of you try to find meaning in me whereas I don’t have a meaning. I arise out of your subconscious. I try to make you aware of the reality. The reality of what you truly are and what you truly want. I exist in a space of your mind which you do not discuss with anyone, not even yourself. I have known people who plan their future based on what I showed them. I love that game. One night, I would show a king that a war is upon him and he will assemble all his army next morning, ready to fight for him. The second night, I would show him that he is going to die because of illness and the best doctors would be called upon for his treatment in advance. I see a person who has taken the vow of celibacy for the rest of his life and I show him all kinds of sexual dreams & fantasies. No one understands my game, ever. The more you fight with me, the more easier it becomes for me to defeat you. The less you think about me, the better for you. How does taking a vow will stop you from thinking sexual? You may think all the time that you have taken a vow and that is what makes you dream about sexuality. The things you suppress while awake, are the things all over your mind when you are asleep.
I have a sister named desire. She gets depressed when she sees each one of you ignoring both of us and running everywhere like crazies. Both of us often laugh about your confusing behaviors. How stupidly you believe that your dreams are your desires and your desires are your dreams. Moreover, most of you think of us as one and the same thing. You desire to be perfect and perfection exists only in the future. In the present, you are never perfect, you can never be perfect, there is always a one or the other thing missing. Perfection has to be achieved in the future. So what can be achieved in the present, you might ask. I say wholeness. Wholeness is totally different, its flavor is different. Wholeness is accepting yourself the way you are, no more change is required. If you want to achieve perfection, you will have to sacrifice your present, the today for tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes, what comes is always today.
You try to divide me in good and bad. If I show you good pictures, good omens, you thank God when you wake up. If I show you bad pictures, bad omens, you curse Devil. How easily you ignore the fact that I am showing you whatever is hidden in your own subconscious. I have seen people praying before sleep so that they get to see good dreams only. I have seen people writing down their dreams and analyze or try to understand the meaning behind it. What meaning would you extract if you see a sandalwood tree with snakes hanging from its branches? Would you think it as a good omen because sandalwood is a sacred tree or a bad omen because snakes are dangerous? Do not try to understand the meaning in what I show you. Do not try to roam in my territory. I am the king when you are asleep. I decide what you see. I pull out stuff from your memories, from your thoughts and show it to you. You have no control on yourself when you are asleep. You may go on thinking about gold & diamonds all day and I might choose to make you work as a shoeshine in your dream.
You do everything possible to understand the meanings of what you see when you are asleep but you do nothing in order to understand what you do when you are awake. For me, you are asleep all the time. Your body is not functioning in the sleep, that’s when I take over your senses and take you to my world. But, I feel more surprised when you allow me to take you to my world even when you are awake. I step in front of you, grab your hand and turn your thoughts towards something which is practically impossible but you appear to believe me with all the faith. I can’t resist laughing at you that moment. You want to be a billionaire by just dreaming about it. You want the perfect wife or a perfect husband by just dreaming about it and not trying to do anything to make yourself perfect! Perfection attracts perfection. I can’t resist making fun of you. I have the power to make you pee in your sleep and you act as if you have the power to fulfill your wishes by just dreaming about them?
I play games with you all the time. I see you doing something or the other all the time, wishing something and not getting your wish fulfilled. I fulfill your wish when you are asleep. I make you feel that everything that you wanted when you were awake, is happening right now and I love the look on your face at that moment. You smile with your eyes closed, you hug the pillow and pull your knees up, I love everything you do when you are unaware that what you are experiencing is not the reality but only an illusionary part of what you wanted. It is a feeling that I try to bring in you while you are asleep. But, when you wake up and realize that it was not happening in the reality, you start cursing me! You put on the robe of sadness once again and leave me in no man’s land from where I cannot do anything to make you feel better. I have to wait till the time you sleep again to take you back to the moment where you were more than happy on realizing that your dream was a reality. Why can’t you be happy that you got to feel the way you would have felt if it was all true? Don’t you all want to be successful just for the feeling success brings with it? The feeling of a winner, a champion or a survivor. Why is it then if I have helped you to feel as a winner, you still curse me and go on with your routine life? You do not even try to attain that feeling in the real world, which is possible, very very possible.
I never want to see you sad. I actually hate it when I see sad people. You people are not satisfied with what you have, you people want more of everything. You want more money, more power, more respect, more satisfaction, and not to forget, more life. You yourself are forcing me to bring you face to face with reality. The reality that this world itself is a dream. You cannot change what you did yesterday and you have no control what you will be doing tomorrow. Why am I talking about past and future when I know that you do not even have control on what you are doing right now, in the present moment. You are taking orders from others all the time, from people who do not matter to you at all. These people were not part of your life few years ago and there is a possibility that these people will not be a part of your life in the future as well. Your school teacher, your professor, your boss, your milkman, your sweeper, your maid, your cook, your driver, your watchman, your competitors, your girl friend, your boy friend, your enemies, you let them control your life and that’s what they do with their lives. All of you are living in a dream and I can see it so clearly. I try to show you the real aspect of your lives, I try to inspire you, motivate you to work for the real purpose of your life but you just wouldn’t listen. You have so many deadlines to meet, so many projects to finish, so many bills to pay, so many promises to keep, so many hours, days and weeks you waste year after year without even thinking about it.
You ignorant beings, I pity on you. I show you the way all the time. I dive deep into your sub consciousness and I bring out your innermost desires, I show them to you via myself and you simply shun me away by saying dreams do not come true! You have lived under the impression of God as a person, and that’s why two calamities have happened. One is the so called religious man, who thinks God is somewhere up in the sky and you have to praise him, to persuade him to confer favors on you, to help you to fulfill your desires, to make your ambitions succeed, to make your dreams come true and this is a sheer waste of time and energy. On the opposite pole, the people who saw the stupidity of it all became atheists, they started denying the existence of God. They were right in a sense, but they were also wrong. They started denying not only the personality of God, but also the experience of God. The theist is wrong, the atheist is wrong, and man needs a new dream to rescue himself from both the prisons.
I am not wine which gets better with time. I will get bitter & I will go farther from you. One day, I will grow into repentance and that day, sitting on a wheel chair in your courtyard, you would be thinking what if…