“Anything that comes and goes is a dream.” – Osho
Many of the great philosophers have described the reality of things to be a dream.
Well, wait a minute. When I go to bed at night and I dream, and I wake up there is clear obvious difference between dreaming and being awake.
And you are absolutely correct to see things that way. Which is why there is a clear difference between dreaming in this physical reality and being awake.
There is no difference, but until you have awakened to this dream that you are perceiving, you will be continue being caught inside of this dream.
So what is the dream that you are dreaming?
Firstly, it is you who is dreaming, which means there must something outside of the dream to awaken up to.
The dream is thought/perception itself.
You have taken your thoughts/perceptions themselves to be reality, thus you have falsely believed that who you are is this dream.
Dreaming without having awakened means that you think that who you are is what you think and is what you are perceiving.
You think that you are the way that you perceive because you know that it separates you distinctively as an individual.
Then who is the dreamer?
The dreamer is the one who realizes that there will continue to be a dream, that what we perceive will come and go, that what we think will come and go, but that and they are still happening within the dream as witnessed by the dreamer.
How did we get stuck inside of the dream?
By identifying we are with thinking-mind, we identify with and are stuck inside time.
The dream is a combination of thoughts and time.
The future is generally something that has yet to come, so most don’t see it as a reality, yet. The past, though, is what is often seen as reality.
It is based in memory that it is believed to be the past , but this is a mind created reality.
Surely the past has to exist, or I wouldn’t know anything about the world, how spell, how to write, to talk, walk and all other stuff, if weren’t for past.
If you say that you don’t think that the past exists, then you are still in the past.
The reason you are still in the past is because you would not know of this concept of “past” without memory, which is based on past. The past is an idea created in the mind.
Let’s take another look into what Osho meant in the above quote
“Anything that comes and goes is a dream.”
What he means by such is that you cannot find absolute reality, absolute existence in anything that comes and goes.
For example, linear time refers to past, then thoughts of the present moment, then the future.
They follow each other in sequence.
What I mean by the thought of the present moment is that is the only way that the mind can perceive this present moment.
The mind perceives this present moment based on the way that it’s thinking about the way it’s experiencing this world.
The perception, the thought and experiencing are all synonymous with each other and these coming and going phenomena are precisely what created this dream and experiences to begin with.
The mind is stuck into believing that the way that it thinks about this present moment IS the actual present moment, thus making you think that who you are is what perceives the dream itself.
The real present moment is not the one you think about though; it is the dreamer that witnesses all dream like states from thoughts to perception to experience.
It is the neutral sky that allows all of the clouds to come in and go, just as the dreamer allows all of the thoughts to come and go.
The neutral sky also allows for there to be past in this dream because we need to use the thoughts of the past for survival, and it allows for the future, because we need anticipation for practical survival reasons.
However, the thoughts of the past and the future come and go but still happen within the present moment, but the thoughts cannot exist without the present moment.
The body has to be alive and has to function for the mind to think, and the body can only ever exist in this present moment.
Waking up out of the dream means waking up to what is outside of it, which means waking up to that which is outside of the thought: the present moment that you are aware of.
The reason that it is the present moment is because you cannot realize that you are here and only ever right here OTHER than in this very instant.
You are always perceiving the dream from right here, and always right here.
Realizing that who you are is outside of the thought, as the space between thoughts is arising conscious presence.
This is why the present moment that you are aware of without the mind realizing it is not a part of time.
Time only consists of that which comes and goes, which is past and future.
Let’s dissect the mind, though, and show how the mind and time correlate.
If you take a look at the picture above, that line going from left to right represents the mind and time.
On the left side of the line it represents past, and on the right side of the mind it represents future.
The middle is your thought of this instant.
But here is a question for you….
Where is the exact cut off between past to future?
When does the past become the future and the future then becomes the past again, precisely at which time?
The mind can’t actually comprehend the answer to this question, which is not necessary anyway.
So why else have we been stuck in this dream for so long?
The world has conditioned us to believe that who we are is the mind; this is precisely why we don’t know the dreamer, because mind identification is what has trapped you inside of the dream to begin with.
Mind equals time, time equals mind, and both thoughts and time come and go. If you were these things that come and go, then when they went, you would go with them.
What you are is reality, what you are is existence, reality and existence can only be realized in this moment as this moment.
So cutting through all the materialism in the world and getting to the root of reality, you are the awareness of this moment, without the mind knowing it.
The moment however is eternal.
You can only ever directly experience this moment, you can never directly experience past and can never directly experience future.
You can only ever directly experience reality, which is now.
If the past and the future are only mind made concepts to survive in this physical reality, then how would the awareness of presence be anything other than eternal?
“Your mind is the knife that cuts the continuum of time into neat slices of linear experience.” ― Deepak Chopra
So let’s go back, take a look at why the past is a dream. Everyone thinks that we only fantasize about the future because on the surface the past seems alive and well, but past only exists in memory.
And if you are this moment, then you cannot be memory.
So did the past actually happen?
“Of it course it did!” says the mind.
Your eternal being, which is, knows no time, so, in reality, the past has not happened, and will never happen.
The past relies on future to happen, but again, because you cannot directly experience the future, it does not exist and won’t ever exist.
Past and future rely on each other to exist, so, in essence, once neutral aware presence arises, past and future cancel each other out and vanish into nothingness of this moment.
So in neutral aware presence, your mind, the “self-image” that was created by the mind, is not here, in this instant.
The self-image, the idea of who you are, is also memory, not existence.
Thinking happens within aware presence, but if cannot think of this, therefore the present moment will always be here, but it cannot be thought about in order be aware of it.
Then how about physical death?
Take a quick glance at eternity.
Does eternity go forwards?
Does eternity go backwards?
How can they?
The answer to this is neither eternity, space, or the infinite rely on backwards nor forwards, both of which are past and future.
Eternity is also comprehended in terms of linear time going into the future forever, but eternity just as this eternal present moment, can be comprehended by thought.
This means that…
“If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein
Conscious aware presence is eternity and nothingness itself.