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Dreamwork and Vedanta
Karen: Ramji, this is what I have written today and I am excited about what knowledge has appeared to me; I look forward to hearing if my knowledge is actually knowledge!!
Ramji: Okay, sweetheart, you asked for it. Close but no cigar. It’s knowledge mixed with ignorance. I’ll help you sort it out.
Karen: Our waking life is actually more imagined (unreal) than our dreamworld.
Ramji: More imagined by whom? If they are produced by the self, the waking and the dreamworlds are not different, because the self has no duality. In fact they are not produced by the self, because the self is incapable of action. It is the immutable substrate of the three states. It is produced by Maya, which is not the self, but is not not the self. In any case, Maya/Isvara doesn’t add value to or subtract value from the states. It just creates and destroys them impersonally.
So “more or less imagination” is your idea, the waking-state entity adding or subtracting value. It is a pyscho-spiritual belief that somehow the dream state is more real than the waking state. It isn’t. They have equal value.
In fact most people think that the waking state is “more imagined,” i.e. more real, than the dream. Why is your belief more important than the belief of the fry cook at the local diner?
The ignorance appears again in your statement “In dreams, you create the world…” This is not true. Imagination and creation are the same.
Neither the jiva nor the self creates the world. Maya/Isvara creates it. The “you” you are referring to is not Isvara. These are instances of superimposition (adhaysa). You are confusing Isvara’s power to project with jiva’s power to project, which leads to the next issue. You do say that God creates it, but that statement contradicts the statement that jiva creates it. You are addressing jivas with your writing. If they take you as an authority, they are going to be misled. So you have to have the knowledge of Isvara at your fingertips or you will get arguments.
Isvara creates the dream, but the jiva interprets it. Isvara/Maya doesn’t interpret, because Isvara is not a person with karma. It has no vasanas, no interpretation mechanism. It creates vasanas but it is completely unaffected by them. The dreamer doesn’t interpret the dream. The dream is only interpreted by the waking-state jiva, in this case, Karen. What is her interpretation based on? The effects of ignorance, i.e. her conditioning.
The dream is actionless action, meaning that nothing is actually happening in the dream. It seems as if it is, however. This leads to the next bit of ignorance: jiva creates or exhausts karma in the dream. Karma is only created or destroyed in the waking state by the waking-state entity, assuming it is real. The dream and the dreamer are mithya, apparently real. Apparent reality is as good as no reality because it has no impact on you, the self. And it only impacts on wakers who think it is more valuable than the waking state, which is equally dreamlike. But how can something that is unreal impact on anything or anyone? The real has no impact and the unreal has no impact. In other words, karma is also mithya. So you need to be careful not to create the idea that that dreams are more valuable for self-knowledge than other sadhanas. In fact karma yoga and jnana yoga are superior because they are based on the idea that thoughts and actions are unreal because the purpose of both is to negate the waker and the dreamer.
The dream state and the dreamer are just ignorance apparently outpicturing. Nothing is going on. Dreams are, well, just dreams. They are only useful to the waker, who is also just ignorance outpicturing.
In Vedanta we provisionally accept ignorance because that is all we have to work with. So we pretend that Karen is real and that her dreams are valuable.
The next bit of ignorance is assigning gender to Isvara. There is no actual difference between ignorance and its effects. So projecting gender adds an idea to the idea of God that is going to have to be removed if God-knowledge is going to be in line with the facts.
The basic problem with dreamwork is jiva’s interpretation. Our argument is that jivas are not reliable interpreters, because their biases skew the interpretation. I sent you my dreamwork to point out that dreams are only useful if you have a non-human interpretation mechanism, i.e. Vedanta, because it takes all dream factors into account in an unbiased manner. Yes, you can argue that Vedanta is biased too if you are attached to dreamwork because the only conclusion you can come to is that the jiva and its dreams are equally unreal. But that is the whole point. The more you do some kind of sadhana the more you reinforce the belief that you are doing some kind of sadhana, which just keeps the notion of doership alive.
Jivas don’t have clear knowledge of the four factors in reality: the self, Isvara, jiva and the world. If their natures and their relationships are clear, then dreamwork can be marginally helpful for the waker. If not, not.
You acknowledge this fact with your statement “Dreams are a step toward surrender, as they show us these projections, therefore dreamwork is a step toward freedom,” the operating word being “step.” So you are good to go. If you are going to tell lies, you should know that they are lies. Vedanta, as you know it so far, is also a lie, but it’s a useful lie if you are trying to get out of samsara.
~ Much love, Ramji