” Is this a dream I live in ?” you asked me as we travelled in the car back from your tennis lesson. “But how would I know, for the word ‘dream’ does not come when I am really dreaming. What happens when I wake up ?” I was completely taken aback by your question, for you are still just 7 years old. Taken aback because for centuries the mystics and the wise ones have been grappling with this question. Except they may not call it a dream. They call it Maya, the illusion. Life is an illusion. It means the same thing.
Problem today is that many philosophers and mystics look down upon the ‘dream life’. Like ‘because it is an illusion, therefore it is something silly’. Not to be taken seriously. No my love, life is to be taken very seriously, for every thought, every action, every moment, every passion dissolves into a great churning that is your life. What is called your karma. And your karma is the connection between your universal self, your atman or soul, your god self, or anything you would like to call it, and your ‘maya self’, or your ‘dream self’. It is what you experience when you wake up !….
The ‘maya self’ is an essential part of your being though , a ‘created reality’ based upon your five senses and your desires, or as some describe it, based on your Ego. There is also much controversy about the word Ego. But because language can sometime sbe so limited, the Ego sometimes is defined in it’s very obvious way – ‘like so and so is egoistic’. But Ego but also has a deeper, more subconscious meaning often described as the super ego. Fundamentally we need to know that that the Ego, fueled by its own imagination and yearning is what provokes us to look for, and yearn for the Universal Ego and our the sublimation of the individual Ego to higher and more universal self.
If this all sound like a lot of words and complex and worthless intellectual indulgence, then it is my inability to somehow put together in language and words that which can only be understood by experience. That is why faith, prayer, meditation, art or any other creativity etc (like the wonderful evocative painting you do) can sometimes give you and insight in the universal self, or God inside you, what lies outside your dream life, what exists when you wake up.
So while it is really important to be aware of and nurturing your spiritual, creative and Universal self, , it is equally important to nurture the ‘dream self’. One does not deny the other, but they should come in harmony to complement each other.
And the one way to do that is to always question. Like you are now. I hope you never lose that quality. Your Dream self and your universal were in complete harmony when you were born. You would speak of Angels existing in your imagination and in reality in the same vein. You understood that both the world’s co exist. And really are one. Education, trying to come to terms with social behaviour patterns and just the daily challenges of living and being sometimes shake that belief in the oneness of the two existences. But keep asking these questions.
When the Buddha was dying, his disciple asked him – ‘Who are you ?’ and Buddha replied ‘ I am awake’. He finally came out of his dream world into a completeness that encompassed and dissolved his whole existence into eternity.