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What Is Real And What Is Unreal?




Al's talk following Yaani's




The story you've just heard is an incredible example of how a dream of awakening can come to replace a dream of death. This subject is so important, and so key to the mind transformation necessary to awaken, that I will focus my talk today on many of the same ideas that presented earlier, repeating them in different ways, with the hope of evoking a deeper experience of the truth in you.

Let me begin by recapping the story. It is of an innocent girl, the victim of a dreadful assault. She's a devotee of Sai Baba in India where she spends six months per year. In the other six months in America, she is a much loved teacher of little kids, who lives a very simple life and is very active in service projects helping many others throughout her area. This is the lovely persona visible to all who care to know her. It's the kind of sweet being we all love to love.

But is there more? Is there another side that is not visible, perhaps not even to the person herself? Baba teaches that good and bad are the reverse and obverse of each other. In the objective world you cannot have good without bad, light without dark, desirable without repulsive, although they may be separated in time. All such opposites and differences have nothing to do with truth or reality; they merely seem to exist in the world of individual beings and objects.

God, or the Atma, our true Self, has nothing at all to do with these pairs of opposites. They are merely the illusory creations of the mind, much like dreams of the night which can be made up of different individuals and things, some good, some bad. But all parts of the dream are just concocted out of thin air by the one sleeping mind. The mind first makes up a world of different beings doing different things, and then, without questionong it, totally believes it all to be a real. There are many classic stories, such as Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", which bring out this dichotomy of two characters seemingly separate, representing two poles having little or nothing in common; one is good, the other is bad, but both are manifestations of the same mind.

One pole is the "face of innocence", as the Course of Miracles speaks of it. It is the part that is generally showing in individuals, as they play out their lives in the ego-thought-system, the system governing the social structure that makes up the human experience in the objective world. The face of innocence is the attractive part we like to display. But then there is also the obverse of that, the hidden pole, which is not so pretty and usually well buried. Although only one is usually showing, both poles are present, nevertheless.

To return to our story, we have looked at the one half, the attractive Dr. Jekyll persona, the good being, the benefactor, the modest shy one that everyone likes and is clearly visible on the outside. But behind this pole there is also the dark Mr. Hyde persona, which we will do everything to deny and keep hidden. It is what we swear we will never look at. It is the predatory side of the ego which defends its self-identity at all cost, ready to do anything to keep its separation and independence from God alive, even to the point of brutalizing and nearly killing the body. And so in this story, it makes up an incident, a dream, in which a criminal form breaks in during the middle of the night when our girl is innocently asleep. It holds a knife at her throat, screams at her, threatens to kill her, ties her up, beats her, rapes her and robs her. Not a pretty picture.

Now if for a moment you think we are speaking of her story and not of yours, you haven't gotten the message of this powerful teaching. This is your experience, your dream, and it is playing out in your own mind. The story and the characters may appear to be different but the purpose is the same and the capacity for savagery is the same. You have chosen to shelter the ego, because it serves your wish of maintaining your autonomy as a little separate being in a great big world independent of God. That ego you have allied yourself with is a serial killer, a rapist, a cannibal, a heartless terrorizer. And dressed in its Sunday-best, it lodges in you and dreams your dream of death. You're walking around with a war zone playing out in your mind. Every hurt, every bit of suffering in the world is of your making. You are responsible for all of it.

When you stand in the total guilt of having done all that in your mind, the devastation is so enormous you will do anything to free yourself from it. You just don't want anymore suffering. In the past what you've done in an attempt to get rid of the guilt is to project it out. And so you peopled your world with images that contained your guilt. They became the bad guys, the guilty ones, the victimizers, while you could play the role of the good guy, the innocent one, the victim. But alas, it never worked. It couldn't work. The guilt remained, although now well hidden, even from yourself. When you finally realize that you cannot solve your problem by yourself, that you've never been able to solve it, and you cry out to God for help, and you're mind is open and willing for a real alternative, then you are shown a possibility that really works. The answer you receive initiates a complete and fundamental change of mind.



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