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November 25, 2014

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I'll fall back on Occam's Razor again. If we naturally awaken from dreams to see they are not real, then how is reality itself a dream? The obvious answer is, a waking dream and a sleeping dream are different, but they are both dreams. Therefore it is possible to experience illusions while awake. Otherwise, hallucination itself would be nothing more than a metaphor, and I don't think this is what the Buddha meant. He most likely meant that waking dreams are "like" sleeping dreams, but of course they are still dreams.

I think that to awaken from the dream means to be enlightened, to become aware of the dream's true nature. Half of this awakening occurs when we realize our world has been a delusion. The other half happens when we see through that delusion to the true nature of reality.

Electric Black,

I have also struggled with this understanding. Once it was explained to me that the phenomenal world can be viewed simultaneously in its absolute and temporal realities, like an optical illusion which transfigures what is seen from one to another image. The absolute is imageless, thus I have heard, but the analogy applies to this world of seeing. At least it has been helpful to me to see the focus on a "mode" of seeing (just as dreaming is a mode) rather than what appears as phenomena. Some Hindus celebrate a rite of passage (called Upanayanam) where the four fingers of one's hand represent four modes of human experience: ordinary waking consciousness, dream sleep, dreamless sleep, and knowledge of the absolute (brahma). Buddha always said this life is "like" a dream, but I think he was pointing to a mode of seeing which has been buried under delusion, not trying to confuse dreaming and waking states or suggest they are more than a metaphor.

I guess what I am trying to say is that reality is an insubstantial product of Mind, therefore it is a dream, and any dream has clues for you to awaken to the fact that it is a dream, IF you are aware enough to see them and IF you can admit they are there. That is why I think a person who denies their senses is deluded, for the senses are the product of Mind and therefore they can only point back to their source, IF you admit to what you actually are experiencing. In my understanding it is the belief that the senses are inherently substantial which is the evil belief, NOT the belief that Mind produces them or that they point back to the original source. If we could see that the phenomenal world is a condition of Mind rather than an imminent reality, and if we could see that the phenomenal world is actually composed of Mind, I believe the evil would be purified from our senses and they would be transformed into Mind's own luminous nature.

This is why I think that things like ghosts, OOBE's, past lives and the like are not illusory in themselves, but they are in reality Mind giving us the clues we need to see the insubstantial nature of the world we THINK is totally material and absolutely real. As such I believe these experiences are legitimate, in the sense that they need to be there to show us how insubstantial this dream called Reality really is. The fact that people don't believe in them is also very amusing, because it is just like a dream, where weird things happen all the time but nobody notices except, perhaps, the lucid dreamer who has awakened to the reality of his position.

It is possible to use the right evidence to come to the wrong conclusion. One should be certain to interpret the evidence correctly, instead of interpreting it in their own personal way.

Occam's Razor is often used to judge whether an interpretation of evidence is correct. Occam's Razor states the simplest explanation is most likely the right one. Unfortunately for the skeptic, the simplest explanation for seeing a ghost is that ghosts are real.

Have you heard the phrase, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof?" What about the phrase, "I'll believe it when I see it?" To claim the senses are the wrong way to prove things, is itself an extraordinary claim. If the senses can be fooled they can also be right. You cannot assume direct experience is automatically wrong in the face of certain opinions.

I think it takes a pretty sick person to knowingly deny their own senses. It has led to a movement where people believe skeptical opinions are more real than direct experience. This is mind control and evil, in a pure form.

That's funny. I could use the same questions and come to a totally different conclusion. Who believes in ghosts and reincarnation has not seen through the mechanisms of makebelief, which are not materialistic but spiritual (mental). The spiritual insight of out-of-body experience, the meeting with ghosts and near death moments may just lead to this wisdom: There is only one life of this one person, and the life that is not this one person is not reincarnated, as it is neither (human) life nor does it come to an end. What ends is exactly what could be reincarnated - the individual that is deluded about himself as an "I", anything that would need a "re" (again) to live. There is no need to project anything into a future and base it on experience that is dependent on one's one prejudices while experiencing it. One can have all those experiences and take them as a proof for the non-existence of either ghosts or reincarnation. That's what happened to a lot of soldiers. This is of course unpopular, because one kind of hope is totally destroyed, the hope for the survival of something personal.

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