Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meher Baba on Dreams

   Please see update, bottom of page, for one correction.

Due to my recent outspokenness about visions, apparitions, voices saying they are Baba and so forth, several people have asked me about what Baba said about dreams. The following is from Lord Meher, page 2086. Elizabeth Patterson asks Baba this very question.

Elizabeth: "What are dreams?"

Baba: "Dreams are subconscious experiences which are always linked with your gross experience of the past. Sometimes, in your dreams, you see persons you never saw in this life. This link is from the past. It is all based on illusion and imagination."

Elizabeth: "Then how was it that when I was twelve years old I dreamt of you three different times, and when I first met you I recognized you as the one I had known in the dream? That was not illusion."

Baba: "What I mean," replied Baba, "is everything except your being infinite, is illusion. I am very ancient. Very, very old and always young."

Dreams were also brought up by Ella Winterfeldt with Baba, in particular because she had had a dream of Baba the night before. On this page Baba speaks to Ella in response to her sharing with him that she dreamed of him the previous night, and Baba uses this opportunity to tell her a story. Baba takes the chance of the subject of dreaming to explain to Ella how the Avatar comes into this dream of life to tell us we are dreaming. But he uses the analogy of an ordinary dream. He is not saying he has come to her during the night in her dream. Here is exactly what Baba said to Ella, from Lord Meher pages 4964, 4965.
More interviews followed. At 4 P.M., Baba called Ella Winterfeldt in to ask how many were left. Ella had dreamt of Baba, and he told her, "Ella my dear, all the world is an illusion; it is a dream and only God is real."
Baba called all those waiting in the other room – over one hundred – and when they had assembled, he asked Ivy Duce to repeat what he had just told Ella. She, however, did not have her tape recorder running, so she began from memory, but not too exactly, for Baba interrupted her, gesturing, "You speak as if you were in a dream!" After the laughter that followed, Baba himself narrated:

Baba told Ella that all this is nothing but a dream. Only God is real. And God is in everything, in you and in me. When Ella goes to sleep and sees the dream in her sleep, her body is on the bed. Yet she goes about, engrossed in the body; she enjoys a good dinner, eats well, feels happy. Then, sometimes she feels very sad, she suffers. Both pleasure and pain are there in the dream, yet the body is there on the bed. It does not go anywhere; it does not do anything; yet it enjoys.

Baba comes there in the dream while she is enjoying or while she is suffering an illusion, and Baba tells her, "Ella, don't worry; this will all disappear. It is nothing but a dream."

But she answers, "Baba, how is that? I suffer. How can I help it, Baba? I see you, I see others. Some are troubling me. Some are giving me pleasure. How can I believe it is nothing but a dream? How can it be so real?"

But as soon as she wakes up in the morning, she realizes that she saw only a dream, that Baba had come in her dream and explained that it was nothing but a dream, that she should not suffer, she should not weep. But she did not listen to Baba, so she starts weeping as she works, remembering the dream at night. Then Baba tells her: "Ella, that was a dream when you slept. But now I say this is another dream; while you are living and working, while you are sitting here near me, all that you see here, this New York City, and my lovers here, and Baba himself sitting here, it is nothing but illusion; it is a dream."

Then Ella says: "Baba, this is too much! I cannot believe that because I see them, I hear them. I see you here, sitting near me, explaining to me." Still, Baba insists, saying to Ella, it is nothing but a dream. Then after years, after Baba's grace descends, Ella suddenly wakes up from this vacant dream, and what does she find? She finds only God is real and infinite. When she experiences that bliss, that infinite bliss, unlimited, continuous, then she realizes what Baba said was true.
Have I had dreams of Baba. Yes. A few. They are very reassuring to have, though I would not say of anyone who had never had one that he or she had any less relationship with Baba, or conscious connection with him, or past lives with him, than me. It means nothing, though it is a lovely and, as mildly assuring thing that tells me that perhaps he is on my mind, or in my subconscious. But nothing of significance was ever shared with me by any such dream. And if one wants to take directions or discourses from one who claims that Baba is directing or revealing to him in his own, one takes their own gamble. I personally would never do such a thing. I have already one master, and he has left me more than I can digest in one life, and left this earth saying he had completed his work.

I have also been asked what I would do if Baba appeared to him. I would laugh it off as an illusion, for God is formless and needs no miracles. As it is said, if you see the Buddha (in meditation) kill him, for he is not the Buddha. See this article for what I think is a fairly good clarification of this idea.
Elizabeth Patterson: "Where do we go when we go to sleep?"

Baba: "Everywhere! You are always everywhere. Even now, though fully conscious, you are not conscious that you are everywhere, because the mind always has the natural tendency of losing its identity. Is that clear?"   (LM 2086)
God is not in a Divine Palace. God is Everywhere.

Update 7/22/14:

When I first wrote this blog post I did not notice where Baba said there is one kind of dream that is an exception. See Discourses by Meher Baba, Volume II  p. 86.

Also see this very good page on Baba on dreams. 

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