AWAKE DREAM STATE TO REAL AWAKE STATE
I am eternally happy for I know that I am the Infinite One. I alone exist; there is nothing besides me; all else is Illusion. Simultaneously, I suffer eternally.
I, as myself, am free. But in you, as you, I get myself bound. I knowingly suffer through you, to make you free from bindings. This is my crucifixion. Your experience of suffering is because of sheer ignorance; and your ignorance is my suffering.
You are sitting here before me, each one asserting his separate existence from the other. You come from different levels of society. You possess varied physical and mental aptitudes and abilities. Through the ego-mind you have become individualized, and the One Indivisible Soul is infinitely divided. But the Soul never becomes divided, it ever remains One and the Same.
You are really the Infinite Soul but you identify yourself with a finite mind and so have to suffer. You have your moments of happiness and sorrow. Whether your pains outweigh your pleasures or your pleasures outweigh you pains, you worry all day about something or the other until your finite existence retreats at night into sound sleep. There you unconsciously merge in the Infinite.
In sound sleep you completely forget yourself and your surroundings, your thoughts and emotions around which are ranged your ideas of imagined happiness and sufferings. But this respite is short-lived.
From the sound-sleep state you come down to the normal awake state, and as you come you have necessarily to pass through a dream state even though it be for only the fraction of a second.
Now, at one time you have a very happy and sweet dream in which your ideal of happiness is fulfilled. But being a dream it lasts only a little while, and waking pains you so much that you sigh, What a pity it was only a dream!
At some other time you have a horrible dream in which you experience great suffering. Time seems an eternity. As you wake you feel such relief that you say, Thank God it was only a dream after all.
In the dream state you enjoy and suffer. When you wake you realize that your enjoyment and suffering was nothing but a dream an illusion. But know that your present state of consciousness which you call being awake, when compared to the Real Awake State, is nothing but a dream state. Your life is a dream within the mighty Dream of God which is the Universe.
From your present awake dream state you have to go through many sleeps of death before you get established in the Real Awake State. After ordinary sleep you awake in the same surroundings; after death you arise in a new environment. But this does not bring the end of your suffering, for the Thread of Action (Karma) continues unbroken and unfailingly keeps on determining your life. The humour of it is new settings create new worries. The grip of illusion is so tight and deceitful that you cannot help worrying. So your life in your awake dream state becomes an endless chain of suffering.
You, as gross body, are born again and again till you realize your Real Self. You, as mind, are born only once and die only once; in this sense you do not re-incarnate. The gross body keeps changing, but mind (mental body) remains the same throughout. All impressions (sanskaras) are stored in the mind. The impressions are either to be spent or counteracted through fresh karma in successive incarnations. Buddha's wheel denotes the cycle of births and deaths. The wheel goes on in its ceaseless round. It lifts you to the heights; it brings you down to the depths.
To show you how karma persists as a connecting link and a life-determining factor of future lives I give you an example. There is a king who has vast possessions. But he is a worthless king. He spends all his energy and money in selfish pursuits and luxuries and has no care for his subjects. In his next birth he is born blind and becomes a beggar and thus compensates for his wrong doings.
Now this king has a servant who is honest and faithful and hard-working. In his next birth because of his merits he is born into a cultured and well-to-do family. One day, when he is going along the street he hears a pitiable cry from the pavement. It is from the blind beggar who was the king in his previous life crying aloud with outstretched hands, Have pity. Give me a penny in the name of the Lord. And because all actions however trivial, are inwardly determined by the Sanskaric ties, creating claims and counter-claims, the rich man is unconsciously drawn towards the beggar and gives him a few copper coins. A king crying out for alms and a servant taking pity on him what a comedy, what an irony of fate! This is the working of the law of karma, the expression of justice in the world of values. The law of karma is impartial and inexorable. It knows no concessions, gives no preferences, makes no exceptions. It dispenses justice.
By the divine law you are shielded from remembrance of past lives, for it would not help you in living your present life but would make it infinitely more complicated and confusing.
For me "past" does not exist. I live in the Eternal Present. I clearly see your former lives, with all your intimate and intricate relationships with so many individuals. Your various reactions to others seen in the context of your mutual connections in previous lives serves as a mighty joke to me and helps to ease my burden of suffering.
Now, I give you another example. It is not an uncommon happening. A Moslem after death is buried in a graveyard. After a few incarnations he is born again a Moslem family in the same town. It is customary among Moslems to offer prayers for the dead when they visit graves, to pray to God Almighty to save the departed ones. And so it happens that this person stands before his own grave and solemnly prays, "May God save his soul!" What an absurdity! How pathetic!
The wheel of births and deaths ceaselessly turns. You are born as a male, as a female; rich, poor; brilliant, dull; healthy, weak; black, white; of different nationalities and of different creeds, in accordance with your inherent and imperative need to have that richness of experience which helps transcend all forms of duality. Side by side with the experience, the paying and receiving of payment of karmic debts go on ad infinitum. How can you clear the account? The Avatar, or the Sadguru, having universal Mind, literally embodies universal life. It is through Him that you become free from this business of karma.
The life of everything and everyone is an open book to me. It is like a film show that I enjoy at my own cost. I am the sole Producer of this ever-changing and never-ending film called the universe, wherein I become you in your awake dream state in order to awaken you to the Real Awake State. When you experience this state you will realize the nothingness of what was your awake dream state which you experience now. This needs my Grace. When my Grace descends it makes you Me.
THE EVERYTHING AND THE NOTHING, pp. 51-55
1989 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust