Is the Universe Dreaming Itself? By Paul Levy
When you begin to spiritually awaken, it is like waking up inside of a dream and recognizing that everything you are experiencing is nothing other than a very convincing projection, or display of your mind. The boundary between inner and outer, between dreaming and waking starts to dissolve, and you begin to realize that the same dreaming mind that is dreaming your dreams at night is dreaming your life. You realize that there is a Deeper Dreaming Self that is having a dream and we are it!
This Deeper Dreaming Self is active in us at all times and is continually seeking to express it itself. If we recognize the dreaming process that is happening right now, we can step into it and help it unfold consciously. It will activate our own inherent process of awakening and reconnect us with ourselves. It is as though there is a dream that is trying to be dreamt through each and all of us -- both individually and collectively. The universe is seen as a field not separate from and through which this deeper, dreaming process is continually expressing it itself.
Recognizing the deeper dream, or archetypal myth that we have been unconsciously acting out in our waking life reconnects us not only with the deeper ground of the psyche but also with other people, as everybody is seen to be fellow actors in a divine drama. It takes one's life out of a purely personal framework and gives it a deeper sense of meaning, which makes suffering so much more bearable.
When you begin to awaken to the dream-like nature of things you realize that waking reality doesn't exist in the way you thought it did, as something separate from you. Saying it is a dream, your own projection, reflection, etc. is the same thing as saying it is nothing other than your own mind appearing in a convincing, externalized display. Everything that happens is seen to be the unmediated expression of your mind, which you now understand can just as easily express it itself in outer events as it does in inner feelings, dreams or intuitions.
This is related to Jung's idea of synchronicity, those "meaningful coincidences," where an inner situation gets mirrored through an outer event. They are examples of where there is a fissure in reality and one gets a chance to glimpse the underlying unity.
By saying that our waking reality is some sort of a dream, which is the same thing as saying that it is a projection of your mind, the implication is that how you view it actually effects how it appears. This is very clear in lucid dreaming, where the dream is realized to be the unmediated manifestation of your mind.
Once you realize this, you don't become conditioned by, and react to, the reflections as something solid, real, and autonomous (as a kitten would looking in a mirror), you just recognize them as your own energy appearing externally. Your relationship to the universe changes dramatically.
Waking reality is seen to be a manifestation of "something deeper," just like the rays of the sun are the manifestation of the sun. In the same way that the rays are not separate from the sun, but rather are a perfect expression of it, waking reality is not separate from this "something deeper" but is it itself a perfect expression of it.
The question then becomes: what would you do if you did wake up in THIS dream and recognize that IT was all your own mind? How would you dream it on if you were to have this realization? Imagine that there are all these other people in your dream who are so asleep that it is as though they have fallen under an enchantment. They've gotten absorbed into the dream and have become so identified with their roles that they literally have forgotten who they are. They are truly suffering a case of mistaken identity. And they're all just aspects of you.
It is like your task is to try and wake up parts of yourself that have fallen asleep. How you do this is totally up to you; it is the ultimate creative challenge. In essence you are figuring out a way to wake yourself up, to break the spell you have fallen under.
As the Deeper Dreaming Self, we are always dreaming each other up in exactly the role that is needed. It is an amazing realization when you discover that we can't help but play the role that other people have dreamt up for us.
For example, you, as the Deeper Dreaming Self (your True Self) have dreamt up this article right now -- at this very moment. And I, of course, by writing it, effortlessly stepped right into playing and fulfilling exactly the role you dreamt up for me. Even to say that someone else stepped into a role that you dreamt up for them is to say too much. As it is all just you. There is no one else.
It is exactly as if you were having a dream and into your dream walked a dream character who was having an awakening (he has become lucid in "his" dream). Let's make it even more real than that, let's imagine that this dream character expressed himself by sending you an article such as this. Who is this dream character other than the awake part of yourself? He knows that he's being dreamt by something deeper. He is a mirror, a reflection, a manifestation of the awake part of you.
It is also no accident that he has delivered this article into your dream; he is trying to engage you. It is your own awakeness appearing in seemingly separate, externalized form. It is clearly your own projection, something you've thrown out of yourself. And it is trying to step back into you. Or better yet, you're trying to step back into yourself. It is a situation that you, as the Deeper Dreaming Self, have clearly dreamt up.
This dream character realizes that the "I" who he thought he was, including the body that he's been identifying with all this time, is not only not who he is, but is itself being dreamt by "something deeper" -- what I call the "Deeper Dreaming Self." Becoming lucid means that he's recognized his true identity with the Deeper Dreaming Self, which is dreaming the entire dream.
This is the same thing as saying that he has recognized his unity with the entire dream, which is realized to be nothing other than the manifestation, or expression of the Deeper Dreaming Self, not separate from it in one iota. Just like the waves of the ocean are not separate from, and are the expression or manifestation of the ocean. It is as if one wave discovered that it was one with the entire ocean, and hence, with all waves. Nothing has to be added, one just discovers an already existing fact.
This awakening dream character has had an expansion of identity from a skin-encapsulated ego, or separate self -- which experiences it itself as being disconnected from the rest of the dreamscape -- to a larger, much more all-embracing identity, which recognizes that the dream is nothing other than a very convincing display of his true nature. This is analogous to having an archetypal death/rebirth experience.
Our dream character also realizes that he can consciously step into this universal dream that we all are sharing and help it unfold. He can help co-create and co-dream the dream to its highest unfolding, whatever and wherever that may be. When he realizes his identity with the Deeper Dreaming Self, he also recognizes that everybody else has the same Deeper Dreaming Self. He realizes that there is just one Deeper Dreaming Self and it is not only his own True Self, but it is the True Self for everyone. He understands that he's not even the slightest bit special, as everybody else is in the same condition, but they just haven't recognized it yet.
At the point when you understand this, is when you become that awakened dream character who can then step consciously into the next person's dream. You then become the mirrored reflection of their own awakened part. And what would you do other than to try and awaken them in as gentle, loving and creative a way as possible?
When enough people awaken to this situation, and this is simply a matter of when the Deeper Dreaming Self dreams that enough people awaken to it, we can begin to create an art happening that we can title "global awakening". This is really a question of stepping into and owning not only your negative shadow, but your positive shadow also. It becomes so easy to project your own enlightenment out there onto whatever guru. It is a question of realizing who you are, for God's sake. I would like to suggest that there is nothing stopping us from doing this right now. And not only that, I would like to further suggest that IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW and it is simply a question of recognizing it.
Don't place any limits on yourself. It is your dream, please dream it all the way, go totally far out, over every edge. If you woke up and realized that it was your dream, how would you then dream it on? Remember, I am not addressing you as the little egoistic self but as the True Self.
I would like to suggest that if you are having a genuine awakening, you have no other recourse than to let the Deeper Dreaming Self dream itself through you. The question then becomes, if we are the dream of the Self, where is this dream going?
We need to really expand our realm of possibilities and realize that we are living a historic time, maybe more amazing then if we lived in Palestine during the life of Christ. We are actually living in the time period where human beings wake up. We need to realize, to see that the universe is dreaming itself awake through us. And it takes the most visionary among us to help further the momentum of the process until it actually builds up a life of it is own, which it already has in us.
Isn’t it just a question of whether you see the situation or not? And if you do see it -- it is not a question of thinking about it but of seeing it -- then at that very moment you become an awake, responsible player in this dream drama you've found yourself in. And not just a player, but writer, director, producer and the audience, too. You begin to realize that this isn't a universe that you are just passively observing but one that you are also actively participating in and co-creating with. At this moment you step into your Bodhisattvahood, which is who we are meant to be. You realize that there is no separate "self" or "other", just "Self". Out of this awareness naturally arises genuine compassion.
Finally, you realize it is total insanity to be waiting for the Messiah to arrive. We are the Messiah.