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Awakening to the Dream

by Leo Hartong

Excerpt from chapter 21 of :

Awakening to the Dream

The Gift of Lucid Living.

Lucid dreaming is a term that refers to waking up inside a dream, realizing it is a dream, and then continuing the dream with this understanding. Seeing through the illusion of separation could be termed lucid living, as it is not you waking up from the dream of life, but the impersonal awakening to the dream of life. From which point could an illusion see through itself as an illusion? What could an assumed doer do to become a non-doer? What thought could take the thinker beyond thinking? The answer is nothing and none. Like Rumi said, "Whoever brought me here will have to take me home."

This "coming home" reveals the illusory nature of the ego, the world, time and space. All this does not disappear in a blast of white light, but what does disappear is the sense of separation that constitutes the ego illusion. Although it may put a glint in "your" eye as "you" delight in this cosmic illusion, there will be actually no you to delight in it, no you to see it, and no you to get it. The play, including your role in it, continues with the altered perspective of knowing, delighting, and seeing, without an individual claiming these as personal activities or achievements. What is left is that which appears as you and everything-your true Self, which is already and always awake to the dream of life. 


This realization happens by itself. No new knowledge is acquired, but old assumptions fall away. No effort in the world can make you what you already and actually are. The truth behind ego is a no-thing-ness too close for investigation, since it is the very source from which the attempt to investigate arises. Seeing this makes it clear that the activating agent in all your actions is not a fictional "me," but the universal energy, or one's true Self. The belief in a "me," as well as the seeking for enlightenment, is seen through by no-one as nothing but the playful activity of this primal activating energy. The cosmic joke in the journey of the seeker is that the energy that fuels the seeking is precisely what is being sought. In Zen this is called "riding an ox in search of an ox." Wei Wu Wei compared it to looking for your spectacles, not realizing that they are on your nose and, were you not looking through them, you wouldn't be able to see what you are looking for.


IT awakens to itself or, more to the point, IT is Awakeness itself. It is the light in which all apparent opposites reveal their interdependence and ultimate One-ness; it is the clarity in which the illusion of separation dissolves. The witness and that which is witnessed merge into witnessing, while the illusion of past and future dissolves into the clarity of timeless presence. As It Is, life has no meaning beyond itself. It is always at the point of completion and, simultaneously, as fresh as the morning dew at the dawn of creation.



The book 'Awakening To The Dream' is about Self-realization and written from the non-dual perspective. Many of you who are reading this are familiar with these words, but for those of you who are not, here is a short description:   


Non-duality is a general term that covers several  -mostly eastern- schools of thought, which point to the single source before and beyond all temporal experiences and apparent diversity. While reading texts from non-dual systems such as Zen, Advaita, Taoism, or Dzogchen, you will find the affirmation that Self-realization has no promise other than to release you from your belief in a separate self or ego. That's it. The dropping away of the illusion simply reveals this as it is, often summed up in the phrase "Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water."  

The best known teachers in this field are Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi. 



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