How many dreams or dreamers are there?

This post is in response to several other issues ramesam touched on in his comments of Dec 19. The comments are repeated here in part, with the main points in bold italics for emphasis:

“…I do not find anywhere, either in the ancient Indian lore or in the modern non-dualism teachings, any body explaining the emergence of the wakeful state with all the phenomenal ‘world’ and its goings on.

Words like ‘Maya’, ‘Leela’ (play), ‘Freedom’ etc. are used to explain how from that Immutable Oneness the first ‘I-thought’ is engendered to manifest later as the variegated manifold. But these are admittedly just explanatory fictions. Such explanations take all the mathematical precision and scientific regularity in the phenomenal world as ‘given’. They accept the inevitability of inexorable natural laws and never provide any clue as to why a law is the way it is.

As I said, we see a ‘signature’ of dream state in a dreaming brain (REM sleep). How do you think the brain state would be when one is “abiding” as ALL, One, Consciousness, Brahman.”

Take the last point first. Not having any experience in neuroscience, it is difficult to comment about a brain state, for anything said would be speculation. All that can be done is to speak from the standpoint of Pure Awareness, and hopefully some of this can be seen in a new light.

It would seem that when “abiding as Oneness, Consciousness” there is no thinking activity, and little or no experience of sensations—so it would follow that those apparent related areas of brain activity would be greatly reduced or inactive. Meanwhile, in such states the body usually still appears to breathe, pump blood, etc. so it would seem that whatever brain activity is involved in these apparent functions would continue.

There are stories of yogis and saints who have reached a state in which all body functioning is virtually nil—and there is no reason why this is not possible. From the standpoint of Pure Awareness, there is nothing material or physical—and so if one were to mention what appears as body, it thus is seen as “idea” rather than a physical object. An idea does not need food to in order to be the idea it is—nor do ideas breathe, and so on.

Right now, see the idea Mickey Mouse in thought. It’s just an idea—nothing material there, no breathing and no food required, no sense of weight or physical density. Nor is there a physical brain or any “mind-activity” there—it’s just a mind-less idea, a thought-image. Nor does that Mickey-idea dream.

Now consider the body that appears to be sitting in front of this computer. See it in thought as it appeared to be doing something “yesterday”—perhaps eating dinner. Now see it in thought doing something “tomorrow.” In both cases it, too, is just a thought-image, exactly like Mickey. What’s more, that body as it appears to be sitting here right this instant, is the same. There really is no physical, material stuff there—it just seems so—and only to the degree one seems to be sensing, rather than being Pure Awareness.

Body actually never is other than a thought-image, no different—and there is no brain in a thought-image, either. To say there is, would be an assumption. A brain supposedly is a physical object—yet an idea, a mere thought-image, cannot contain a physical object.

The basis on which this is said is discussed at length in chapters 13 and 14 in Consciousness Is All. (If you do not have the book, chap. 13 is offered free on this website.)

This is NOT advocating that one should “try to see body as idea” because the only One aware is Awareness Itself, and It is not doing any such thing. It is being Pure Awareness only, with no concern over ideas. To try to de-materialize things is to mistakenly assume there are material things—and there are not! There is only Awareness—and consistently, persistently (and effortlessly!) abiding Here, the would-be physical sense of things will seem to eventually fade. To try to get rid of objects or physicality is starting with objects, not Awareness, and only making more of a “reality” out of them.

One final point. Who or what is claiming there are many minds in bodies “out there” all having the capacity to dream? Can one honestly say there are many others “out there,” all with their own minds that dream? Have you ever experienced “their” dreams to be certain they’re occurring? Or is the whole thing merely going on within the one dream that seems to be experienced by a “personal you”? And isn’t that “personal you” equally part of the same one dream also? Are there really many bodies, many minds, thus many dreamers? From CIA, p. 146:

Look very closely again. Exactly what is the only “mind” to whom all those “others” supposedly exist? Only to what seem to be the five senses of this “sense-mind” here.

The thinking may try to disagree and say, “There most definitely are others who have their own minds, because I talk with other people every day.”

The only thing claiming there are “others” out there to talk to, would be this so-called sensing mind. It all appears to be coming from these five senses right here, nowhere else. Take this sensing mind away, and all those “others,” too, just like the entire objective world, wouldn’t appear to be there.

As said earlier, when you awaken from a dream, all those seeming “others” in the dream do not awaken with you—you are the only one there is to be awake.

Some may still disagree and try to say, “But even if this ‘sense-mind’ were not sensing anything, the objective world and universe still would exist. It still would be there as objective and would exist to all the others who are sensing it too. There is far more to the objective world than just my sensing of it. And even if there weren’t any body to sense it, the objective world and universe still would exist.”

You never can prove that. Look even more closely. Again, what would be the only thing claiming that the entire objective world and all “others” supposedly exist? Only what seem to be these same five senses.

The only thing claiming there are “others” out there who also are sensing an objective world would be this so-called “sense-mind” right here—these five senses, not those of others. Again, the whole thing appears to be inseparable from this sensing mind.

The so-called objective world isn’t really objective or external at all. Meanwhile, pure Conscious Being, the Real You, is none of this sensing mental activity. The Truth is, it’s not “your” sensing mind, though everything you’ve ever been taught would say it is. Why is it not “your” sensing mind? Because all there is to You is Pure Being, Pure Infinity, and Infinity does not possess anything finite, not even a finite sensing mind.

As Consciousness, You do not have a mind. All You “have” or are, is Pure Consciousness. The Being You are is changeless Presence, and any so-called sensing mind that functions in time would be non-presence, non-existence. How could You possess non-existence?

It must be emphasized that this entire discussion is speaking hypothetically, on the basis of “if”–and it’s a huge “if.” It only could seem to happen if Timeless Being were not ALL, or if the Absolute Present somehow stopped being the entirety of Presence–which actually is impossible.

8 thoughts on “How many dreams or dreamers are there?

  1. Dear Peter,


    Wonderful Posts once again!!

    I would like to salute you quoting the Great Sage, Venerable Gaudapada (c. 8th Century), the “solitary philosopher who [even] before Sankara gave a rational explanation of Advaita Vedanta which is the objective of the Upanishadic teachings”:

    “There is no dissolution, no birth, none in bondage, none aspiring for wisdom, no seeker of liberation and none liberated. This is the absolute truth” — Verse 32, Chapter II, Karika on Mandukya Upanishad.

    The same Karika says in Verse 48, Ch. III and again at Verse 71, Ch. IV:

    “No kind of individual is ever born nor is there any cause for any such birth. The ultimate Truth is that nothing whatsoever is born.”

    Verses 44 and 46 in Chapter III give helpful hints: Awaken the mind if it gets into a state of deep oblivion (= deep sleep like stance). If it is distracted, bring it back to the state of tranquility. Let the mind be not get attached to the happiness of Samadhi. Then the mind verily becomes Brahman.

    Swami Nikhilananda gives the following comment on mind: “The truth is that mind is identical with Atman. It is only through ignorance we separate the mind from Atman.”

    The echo of the above quotes cannot be missed in your teachings. We are fortunate to receive the wisdom direct from a living Sage like you in simple easily understandable language and with such great patience,

    With thanks again and warm regards,


    (P.S. The quotes were given above only to show the exact similarity in what the Upanishads said as the Ultimate Wisdom and what you speak with amazing fluency and clarity.)

  2. Hey Peter,

    Much appreciation! Thing-less things, that were never here to begin with, seem to fall away whenever I visit Reality Check or read CIA.

    What good fortune that this work is Being offered!

    Hymns To The Obvious,

  3. Dear Peter,

    I fully agree with Ramesam’s above comments and would appreciate it if you could verify it is indeed the same as your teachings.

    Best wishes

    Ray Greenwood.

  4. What teachings? Who’s being taught? Where? When? Who became ignorant? When? Who’s doing the teaching? All silly questions. God, reality, truth, use whatever word, it matters not. Reality is NOW. NOW means NOW. NOW is not a “was” or a “will be”. NOW is NOW. In truth, there IS only truth and thus no one is learning anything from the information on this website or any website or book, etc. It’s neither important nor is it unimportant. There is nothing here that needs to be emphasized nor deemphasized.

  5. Anonymous,

    Maybe my question is silly and got what it deserved a silly answer, but if you wouldn’t mind I would prefer a comment from Peter not you.
    Unfortunately we do have to still use words to communicate and I have never heard anyone come as close as Peter to explaining Gaudapada’s Truth on creation.
    And yes teachings is a politically incorrect word to use but I am sure Peter will forgive me.

  6. To the Anonymous Self at Now(January 1, 2010 12:24 PM?)

    you say there’s no teaching ? here’s a teaching: Awareness when Alive Sees the merger of I/not-I. Awareness Now is not Consciousness at Rest.

    Does Awareness Now Sees the teacher/not-teacher?

    Awareness as Mr. D/ Not Mr. D

  7. Presumably, both ‘Anonymous’ are the same ‘apparent person’ that now has something else to say, in an apparent contradiction.
    The last line, “Awareness as Mr. D/ Not Mr. D” is cryptic but clear: Mr. D (or Peter) is just a ‘vehicle’ for Consciousness. All comments, commentators, utterances, dialogues, books and chairs, etc., are nothing else, ultimately, than Consciousness.
    Can it be said, though, that all of those are simple ‘appearances’? If Consciousness would say that, why not take its word for it? Or would Consciousness not say that?

  8. Thanks for the comment amartin. Frankly I’m not sure what to make of Anonymous’ comment(s). It’s not clear as to how they are meant, so it’s hard to reply. Strictly speaking, Consciousness (as defined here) wouldn’t say anything. Also, it doesn’t really “see” appearances as they appear to the human sense–so it’s a moot point. Consciousness, as defined here, is similar to your recent (9/20/2012) beautiful Nisargadatta quote on your blog about being beyond even the witness, “an infinite intensity of emptiness and silence” yet which is “consciously alive stuff.”

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