This World Is a Dream
“A man is sleeping, and dreams that he is a soldier. He goes into battle, fights bravely, then is fatally wounded. Sadly, he dreams of his approaching death, perhaps thinking of the dear ones he must leave behind.
“Suddenly he wakes up. In joyful relief he cries, ‘Ah! I am not a soldier, and I am not dying! It was only a dream.’ And he laughs to find himself alive and well.
“But what of the soldier who actually fights in this earth life, and is wounded and killed? Suddenly, in the astral world, he wakes up to find that it was all just a dream; that in that other world he has no physical body, no flesh to be wounded, no bones to be broken.
“Don’t you see? All the experiences of this world are like that. They are nothing but dream experiences.”
The Illusory Nature of Time and Space
“Time and space form the imaginary framework on which was constructed the vast universe.
“Suppose I am asleep, and I dream that I board an airplane in Los Angeles and travel 12,000 miles to India. On awaking, I see that that whole experience occurred in the little space of my own brain, and that the actual time elapsed was, perhaps, just a few seconds.
“Such is the delusion of time and space, on which we base all our human conception of reality.”
God Dreamed You into Existence
“This world seems real to you because God dreamed you into existence along with His cosmic dream. You are a part of His dream.
“If, at night, you dream that you bump your head against a wall, you may get an imaginary pain in your head. The moment you awake, however, you realize that there was no wall there to hurt you. The pain you experienced was in your mind, but not in your head!
“The same is true of this dream you are dreaming now. Wake up to the one Reality, God, and you will see that this earth life is just a show.
This Life Is No More Real Than a Movie
“In the movie, the action seems very real. If you look up to the projection booth, however, you will see that that whole story is being produced by a single beam of light.
“That is how it is in this great ‘movie’ of creation. ‘God said, Let there be light.’ Out of the great beam of cosmic light was manifested the entire universe. It is a cosmic movie, in many ways like the one in the movie theatre.
“Much of the difference is in degree. In the movie theatre, what you behold is two-dimensional, and is true only to the senses of sight and sound. The cosmic movie is three-dimensional, and is true also to the senses of taste, smell, and touch.
“The movie you see in the movie theatre may move you to laughter and tears. How much more compelling, then, is God’s movie, involving as it does the sense of depth, and not two senses only, but five!
“This life, however, is no more real than a movie.”
Excerpted from The Essence of Self-Realization: The Wisdom of Paramhansa Yogananda
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