Although dreams are something which is known to everybody,
the study of them leads to the deeper side of life. For it is
from the meaning of the dream that one begins to realize two
things: that something is active when the body is asleep, and
to the deep thinker this gives faith in the life hereafter.
For the dream is the proof that when the body is not active,
a person is active all the same, and seems to be no less active
than in the physical body. If one detects any difference, it
is a difference of time, for in dreams a man may pass from one
land to another in a flash instead of taking a month. In no
way is he hindered as on the physical plane. In dreams he flies.
The facility of the plane of dreams is much greater. There
is no difficulty in changing one's condition from illness to
health, from failure to success, in one moment. People say it
is only imagination, a working of the mind. But what is mind?
Mind is that in which the world is reflected. Heaven and earth
are accommodated in it. Is that a small thing? What is the physical
body compared with the mind which is a world in itself? The
physical body is only like a drop in the ocean.
It is only because of ignorance that a man does not know
the kingdom in himself. Why is he not conscious of it? Because
he wishes to be able to hold something; only then does it exist
for him. He does not wish to admit to himself the existence
of sentiment: he says that it is of no account, there is nothing
to it; and so of the dream, it is only imagination, it is nothing.
But science and art spring from imagination, from the mind,
not from a rock, not from the physical body. The source from
which all knowledge comes is the mind, not an object. Mind means
'I'. It is the mind, which identifies; the body is an illusion.
When the mind is depressed, we say, 'I am sad.' Not the body,
but the mind was depressed; so the real identification is with
the mind, not the body.
When in a dream man is able to see himself, what does that
show? That after what is called death, man is still not formless;
that nothing is lost, but only that freedom is gained which
was lost. The absence of this knowledge makes man afraid of
losing this physical body, makes him have a horror of death.
But what is death? Nothing but a sleep: a sleep of the body,
which was a cloak. One can take it away and yet be living. Man
will realize after all talk about death that he is alive, that
he has not lost but gained. Man is in the physical world to
learn, and the dream teaches that a law is working; that all
that seems surprising, accidental, a sudden happening, was not
sudden, not an accident. It seemed accidental because it was
not connected with the conditions.
Nothing happens which does not go through the mind. Man has
turned his back to it; he is open only to manifestation. Did
they not say in every country when the war came: we did not
know? Yes, it was so for those who slept, but the awakened ones
had seen the preparation. In all things we see this. Every accident,
pleasant or unpleasant, is preceded by a long preparation. First
it exists in the mind, then on the physical plane.
A dream shows the depths of life; through a dream we see
things. Has every dream a meaning? Yes; only there are always
people in a country who do not know its language, and so it
is with minds. Some minds are not yet capable of expressing
themselves, so the dreams are upside-down, a chaos. One sees
a goat with the ears of an elephant. The mind wants to express
itself. There is a meaning in what the child says, but it has
not yet learned to speak, it has no words; it can only cry or
make a sound; yet this has a meaning. So it is with dreams which
are not expressed correctly. There is nothing without meaning;
it is our lack of understanding of its meaning that keeps us
But what about the quite meaningless dreams one sometimes
has? They are due to the condition of the mind. If the condition
of the mind is not harmonious, if its rhythm is not regular,
then the dream is so mixed up that one cannot read it. It is
just like a letter written in the dark, when a person could
not see what he was writing. But all the same it is a written
letter, it has an idea behind it. Even if the very person who
wrote it in the dark room is not able to read it, it still remains
a letter. When man cannot understand the meaning of his dream
it is not that his dream has no significance; it only means
that his own letter has become so confused that he cannot read
One may say, how can the mind learn to express itself? It
has to become itself. Often the mind is disturbed, inharmonious,
and restless. When a person is drunk he wants to say yes, and
he says no. So is the expression of the mind in a dream. It
is a marvelous thing to study the science of dreams. How wonderful
that the dream of a poet should be poetical, of a musician harmonious.
Why is this? Because their mind is trained. Their mind has become
individual. Their mind expresses itself in their own realm.
Sometimes one marvels at the dreams one hears experienced by
poetic souls; one sees the sequence from the first act till
the last, and that every little action has a certain meaning.
More interesting still is the symbolical dream: to see the
meaning behind it. It is wonderful to think that a simple dream
comes to a simple person, but when the person is confused then
the dream is confused. And in the straight dream, in the dream
with fear, with joy, with grief, one can see what a person is.
Then the dream does not seem a dream; it is as real as life
on the physical plane. But is this life not a dream? Are the
eyes not closed? The king has forgotten his palace. We say,
'Oh, it is only a dream, it is nothing.' But this dream can
show our whole past life; this dream can be tomorrow. It is
only on the physical plane that it is a dream; it is made a
dream by the condition in which the mind is.
We say, 'Yes, but when we awake we find a house; that, therefore,
is reality. If we dream of a palace, we find no palace.' This
is true and not true. The palaces which are built in that world
are as much our own, are really much more our own. When the
body dies, these remain; they will always be there. If it was
a dream of pleasure, the pleasure will come. If it was a dream
of light, of love, then all is there. It is a treasure you can
depend upon; death cannot take it away. It gives a glimpse of
that idea of which the Bible says, 'Where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.' We can find glimpses of it too
when we compare dreams with the wakeful state. Whatever we hold,
the longer we have held it the more firmly it is established;
then we create a world to live in. This is the secret of the
whole of life. But how can words explain this?
Another form of dream is the vision. Therein a person sees
clearly what will happen, or what has happened perhaps many
years ago. It is like a flash. When does one get this? When
the heart is focused to the divine mind. For all is there like
a moving picture. There was a poet of Persia, Firdausi, who
was asked by the king to write the history of the country. The
king promised him a gold coin for every verse. Firdausi went
into the solitude and wrote down the traditions of centuries:
characters, lives, deeds, he saw it all as a play and he wrote
of it in verse. When he returned to the court, the king was
most impressed; he thought it wonderful. But there are always
many in the world who will reject such things. The truth is
only accepted by the few. At the court he was much criticized
and many showed skepticism. It went so far that they told the
king that it was all Firdausi's imagination. It hurt him terribly.
He took the one who had spoken most against him and held his
hand upon his head, and said to him, 'Now, close your eyes and
look.' And what this man saw was like a moving picture and he
exclaimed, 'I have seen!' But the poet's heart was wounded and
he would not accept the gold coins.
What was the message given by the great ones, by the prophets
and masters, by Rama, by Krishna? It was not imagination. It
was that record which can be found by diving deep, that prophecy
given to the world as a lesson, living in the world, like a
scripture. It is direct communion given by all masters.
A vision is more clear in the sleeping state than in the
wakeful state. The reason is that when a person is asleep he
lives in a world of his own, but when a person is awake he is
only partly in that world and mostly in the outer world. Every
phenomenon needs accommodation. It is not only the sound which
is audible, but also the ears make it possible to hear the sound.
The mind is the accommodation to receive the impressions, just
as the ears are the accommodation to receive the sound. That
is why a natural state of sleep is like a profound concentration,
like a deep meditation; and that is why everything that comes
as a dream has significance.
Lastly there is another step forward, and that is revelation.
It needs a certain amount of spiritual progress to believe that
there is such a thing as revelation. Life is revealing, nature
is revealing, and so is God; that is why God is called Khuda
in Persian, which means self-revealing. All science and art,
and all culture known to man have come originally, and still
come, by revelation. In other words a person does not only learn
by studying, but he also draws knowledge from humanity. A child
not only inherits his father's or his ancestors' qualities but
also the qualities of his nation, of his race, so that one can
say that man inherits the qualities of the entire human race.
If one realized profoundly, that storehouse of knowledge, which
exists behind the veil, which covers it, one would find that
one has a right to this heritage. This gives one a key, a key
to understand the secret of life: that knowledge is not only
gained from outside but also from within. Thus one may call
knowledge that one learns from outer life learning, but knowledge
that one draws from within may be called revelation.
Revelation comes from within. It makes the heart self-revealing;
it is just like a new birth of the soul. When one has come to
this state, then everything and every being is living; a rock,
a tree, the air, the sky, and the stars, all are living. Then
a person begins to communicate with all things and all beings.
Wherever his glance falls, on nature, on characters, he reads
their history; he sees their future. Every person he meets,
before he has spoken one word with him he begins to communicate
with his soul. Before he has asked any question, the soul begins
to tell its own history. Every person and every object stand
before him as an open book. Then there no longer exists in him
that continual 'why' one finds so often in people. 'Why' no
longer exists, for he finds the answer to every question in
himself. And as long as that answer is not created, in spite
of all the learning of this world that is taught to man, that
continual 'why' will exist.
Again one may ask, how does one arrive at this revelation?
And the answer is that there is nothing in the whole of the
universe, which is not to be found in man if he only cares to
discover it. But if he will not find it out no one will give
it to him, for truth is not learned; truth is discovered.
It is with this belief that sages of the East went into the
solitude and sat meditating in order to give that revelation
an opportunity to arise. No doubt as life is at present there
is hardly time for a man to go into the solitude. But that does
not mean that man should remain ignorant of the best that is
within himself. For compared with this great bliss which is
revelation, all other treasures of the earth are nothing; they
cannot be compared. Revelation is the magic lamp of Aladdin;
once discovered it throws its light to the right and to the
left, and all things become clear.