Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The State of Consciousness - Dreams and Reality

dreams, reality, states of consciousness, waking state of consciousness, dreams, spirituality, psychologyI can’t help but share a story that I came across from the Mandukya Upanisad. It is the story of an ancient king who had a strange dream. In his dream, he saw himself as a tramp- shelter less, without food and in tattered clothes that begged from door to door. He woke up only to find himself in the luxury of the royal couch. The perturbed king called up his wise men to pose the question –“ Am I really the King, momentarily playing the role of a beggar in dream or am I really a beggar dreaming as the King in the Court?”

The rest of the story anyway turned less important once this question gripped my mind. The question of being the beggar or the king boiled down to whether the “waking consciousness” is more real than the dream world? For most of us the answer is ”Yes”. Dreams for us are just for a short while and not useful to the activities of this world.

The hermits of the time in India took this subject seriously. In the pursuit of knowledge for the same, they discovered the four states of consciousness. Among these four, two are the predominant ones –
1. Waking state of consciousness when our organs are wide awake and interact with the external world.
2. Dreaming state of consciousness in which we view symbolic transformations of the real world.

All what we see in our dreams, no matter how weird it seems has got to do something with our real lives. For the above mentioned King, his state of being a beggar, I think, might be some kind of seeking. Although he was a King, he must have been seeking for something - either love, peace or happiness. The act of begging is just symbolic.

14 comments:

Sankarsan said...

This is a really nice post.I have read translation and annotations of Mundaka Upanasihad chapter.But the story of this king seemed very interesting to me.I agree with you that in most of the times our dreams are related to the objective reality surrounding us.But there are occassions where our dreams are devoid of "I" and we dream about nothing.Don't we?

Rupsa said...

@ Sankarsan : Most of our dreams are related to the real world, and the few that are devoid of "I", are revelations from some other world. Some call it the spiritual one. More on this on the next post. I cant wait to write.

Sankarsan said...

Rupsa:Waiting for your next post

Anjan said...

guys am scared now coz very often i have those really weird dreams.. :(

Nice post by the way!!

do have a look at my bloggers meet review if u get time...

starry nights said...

Hi Rupsa..Nice post!!
I have posted a review on Kolkata Bloggers meet
@http://shiningdaylight.blogspot.com
Please do visit and leave ur feedback.

Kind Regards,
Samik

Debjit said...

that was absolutely splendid.... now days people don't see things that way anymore and often forget to notice the wonders of the world. Keep writing !

An existence said...

Please read my first blog at http:\\thisisnotwhatimeant.blogspot.com and share your feelings.
I loved yours and wrote mine just after I read it in about 10 minutes.

Rupsa said...

@anjan: dont be sacred of any dream, just explore them. It's fun.

@ Samik: thanks for the review. Did check it out. Nice one.

@ Debjit: Often we all are so busy that we overlook the subtle things in life.

@an existence: Hey, thats flattering to know that I could inspire someone to write. I did check ur blog and comment too. Shine on.

R. Patel said...

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stuka said...

Dreams are what we see and feel in our mind.
So they may arise out of desire and fear of things unknown.
Either way nice article

Keep writing miss river!!

Regards
Anirban

arthur Cardozo said...

Dreaming is the source of all creativity.In a given situation why should one call dreams unreal when they actually occur in a real dimension? They occur in a real living, throbbing...absorbing world. Absorbing being the key word here. If the thin red line that divides reality from dreams is permeable then who are we to control the osmotic symbiosis of this perpetual relationship? The significance then shifts focus to perception and that is the crux of all matters of the conscience...real or unreal. Dream on...dream real.
- Arthur Cardozo

Janit said...

Beautiful image!

Anonymous said...

I've always enjoyed discussions on dreams hence this was the first piece of your work i read....I like the parting thought about the King seeking something...very nice keep going girl !
`Anisha

Anonymous said...

I know very well how it feels like to use the ocean as a blanket.

Lay down, cover the bodies under the stars and hold each other tight.

Kiss
da King of Chapora