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The Universe as We Dream It
by Paul Levy

I find myself having a dream in my life that I would like to share. I keep on having an imagination that I am waking up in a dream that all of my fellow dream characters call "reality." When I don't fall into the habitual pattern of invalidating my imagination and thinking I am just hallucinating and going crazy, but amplify the imagination and allow it to unfold, something very interesting begins to happen: the boundary between my imagination and the seeming reality that I live in begins to blur to the point where I can't tell the difference between the two. Clearly this is the point of genuine psychosis, is it not? Can I share my dream with you?

I start off by imagining a meditating Buddha, who is having a dream, or an imagination. The dream is THIS universe, with six billion people on planet earth, spinning around the sun in our solar system, in this galaxy, etc. This meditating Buddha does not really exist as an independent, separate object, but as the dreamer of the dream, a metaphor for the formless matrix out of which all creation springs. This formless, meditating Buddha, who is at the same time one with all the forms of the dream, manifests as, and is indivisible from the dream itself, just as the rays of the sun are not separate from, but are the unmediated expression of the sun.

In this dream, all six billion dream characters think that they are awake, experience themselves as being separate from each other, and think that the world that they inhabit has some sort of objective reality.

I then find myself wondering what would it be like if one of these dream characters became lucid and realized that the universe that he found himself in was a dream (of the meditating Buddha). Upon deeply imagining this experience, it is clear that he would discover that who he had been imagining that he was, which we could call the skin-encapsulated ego, or separate self, was being dreamed by a deeper part of himself (the meditating Buddha). Upon closer inspection, he would have a radical shift of identity and discover that he, in essence, was this formless, meditating Buddha, and he would realize that there are not six billion meditating Buddhas dreaming each one of us, but that there is only one meditating Buddha, and it is all of our "True Nature state."

Being part of the dream, this person who has become lucid sees that the dream universe that he has woken up in doesn't exist "out there," separate from himself. He sees that the dream is totally fluid and malleable, and is mysteriously and intimately affected by the way both he, as well as his fellow dream characters, observe it, or dream it up.

He is beginning to have the astonishing realization that the universe that he has woken up in is manifesting in such a limited, problematic, and solid-seeming way because he, as well as all of the other six billion dream characters, are mutually dreaming it up that way. He realizes that all of his fellow dream characters, who are none other than parts of himself, are actually under a spell or enchantment, based on fear and separation.

He sees that everyone is hypnotically inducing and unconsciously reinforcing this spell onto each other in what has become a closed, infinitely self-perpetuating, feedback loop. He sees that people in the dream are so asleep to the nature of their situation that nobody has any idea that the agreed upon consensual reality that everyone thinks of as being the objectively existing real world, is nothing other than a reflection of their own limited and habitual pattern of perceiving.

Then I find myself imagining what would happen if two people become lucid in the same dream and get together. Or ten. Or one hundred. They would realize, like I've pointed out, that the dream is manifesting in such a limited, fear-based way because this is the way all of the dream characters have been conditioned to dream it up.

The way to understand this realization is through your imagination. Please imagine that you are in a dream and you have become fully lucid, and then imagine that more and more of your dream characters are sharing in your realization. What do you imagine would happen in the dream? What do you imagine would happen when a critical mass of people (hundredth monkey phenomena) who are lucid in the dream, people who have the realization that the universe is nothing other than their own consciousness, that there is no such thing as a universe out there, that the universe is totally malleable and in actual fact is as we dream it?

I would like to suggest that this imagination that I've been sharing with you is in fact our very situation; it is happening right now. When you imagine deeply into this, you discover that the universe is dreaming itself awake, which it's doing through you and me. As a participant in this process, I see no more elegant way to dream the dream than for it to unfold in a complete and utter global awakening. Anything less would be unsatisfying.

For more articles about dreaming, see