Where do you suppose you exist? In your body? Your brain? Do you suppose you are defined by the boundaries of your skin? Contemplate on who and where you are for a moment…
Around the time I was about to become thrown into a conscious journey on the spiritual path, a recurring dream visited me often in sleep.
I am driving my car. But, gradually, as you might see in some old driving video games (like the photo here), I am driving from outside of the car, with the car in front of me. It’s like remote control: my car is in front of me, while I’m still in control of driving. It gets farther and farther away from me, and I get more and more anxious. I have this unsettling feeling that “how do you expect me to drive the car? I barely have a good angle to see my own car, let alone other cars! I’m going to crash any minute now!” I don’t remember ever crashing, or at least that part didn’t seem significant. The dream usually ended with this increasing level of anxiety from lack of good control.
Now, I can be somewhat of a reckless driver. So my reaction to this was “I need to be more careful while driving.”
But meaningful (superconscious) dreams are often symbolic. I didn’t figure it out for a long time. One night, as I was driving, an idea for what it might mean dropped into my mind. It immediately rang true. I never did have the dream again.
Who is this voice, that once in a while whispers to us, if we get quiet enough, and which is so clearly not coming from our mind, our intellect?
The meaning the came was this: the car is my body and I’m my soul, my real Self. I’m realizing that I’m not the body, only a soul operating it for the moment. As we get more and more separate by this realization, the ego (which identifies self as only a body and mind) is freaking out. A true and lasting realization of the essence of the Self is the funeral of the ego! The anxiousness that was the prominent part of the dream represented that. Maybe this dream was telling me of a change in the course of my life—a shift towards awakening.
Dreams are so interesting. Yogananda said one of the purposes of dreaming is to give us a hint of the nature of God, and the relationship between God and the creation: you. In your sleep, how easily we create entire universes. Everything and everybody in your dream may in its own mind think it’s a separate real thing. Yet you know, after you awake, that they were nothing but a pigment of your own consciousness. What was so real, all those emotions felt, evaporated into nothing in the morning. Yet your dream was not something you created outside of you. It’s part of your own consciousness. Yogananda taught that the creation, our waking reality, is itself nothing but a dream of the cosmic dreamer. And it is the destiny of every soul to some day awake from this present dream and realize it’s essence as nothing but a part of God.