Awakening to the Dream

The Gift of Lucid Living

Welcome The world is unreal Inner Strength Be the way you are Where is Shiva not? I am not this person What is real Talks with Bob Adamson Clarity talks with Nathan Gill An ancient story Certificate of Awakening The Mysterious Stranger Extracts from Tony Parsons Seeds for the Soul The Drama of it All Clarity talks with Nathan Gill The Self-Perfected State Amazing Grace The cage of self-centeredness Original mind You Are That All There Is The existence of consciousness A myriad bubbles Beyond the grasp Selling water by the river Awake In The Heartland What is wrong with Right Now? This First Instant Peace of Being Talks with Ramana Maharshi All That Jazz About Silence It is all The background Seeing it Simply The Dream of Space and Time Discovering Already Awake Reincarnation? IN MEMORIAM Basic Questions Integration Simplicity One Essence Thought The Central Teaching Unity Knowledge and Ignorance Inexpressible Door of Nonduality The real "I" Presence/Awareness Awakening to the Natural State Looking for God Life As It Is There is only Source appearing Yearning for otherness Dharmakaya The ever-present nature Getting rid of the ego To Hell with it All! You Are the Self The Search is the Trap The Obvious Are you awakened? The Supreme Self Naturally Timeless Awareness The Absolute Seekers of Enlightenment Presence of Awareness I am... This Amazing Realization I am Life itself Awareness is the Source The Golden Eternity Simple Beingness The Boundless Void Self-enquiry Who pays the bill? Changeless Reality The Precious Treasury Transparent Radiance You Are the Buddha Beyond Good and Evil The real does not die Memory Seeking I Am The Nature of Thinking The Great Way Beyond na?ve affirmation Ping-ting T'ung-tzu Free will versus determinism The End Of Seeking? A Sharing of Timeless Being Present and Obvious Blinded by the Light Hooked on Enlightenment It's marvelous All the world's diversity There is no oblivion Direct insight Remembering and forgetting Letting go Beingness That which appears Manifestation of the Absolute Nothing Being Everything Consciousness This Radiance Benedictory Verse to the Self
    *  ATTD News Letter Number 97   Sunday, January 07, 2007   *
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    Table of Contents.
    Q & A.
Question: Could you elucidate on your use of psychedelic substances and entheogens and what you feel/think about their use as a tool for awakening? Ram Dass once wrote "When you get the message; hang up the phone.." i.e. "sacramental" mind-altering substances are useful to a point....but when the revelation has occurred there 'should' be no need to continue taking them...What do you think? In one of edition of "Talks with Ramana", Maharshi is asked about bhang (hashish) and enigmatically replies, "Oh, when they smoke that they run around saying 'Ananda' (Bliss!) ". Strangely, in later editions that section had been edited out!
It seems that current societal taboos prevail in the "spiritual" advaita world and there has been pitifully few real considerations of this issue.
Answer: For some the use of psychedelics and entheogens may or may not result in a peak or mystical experience, for others they may result in a nightmare. As far as the 'successful trips' go, they can indeed be ultimate or peak experiences. I remember almost feeling offended on hearing that even such experiences are not what awakening is about. What more could there be? What could surpass such an overwhelming and sacred experience of absolute love/oneness? And that is where the assumptions start; for example that this is about someone having experiences and that 'awakening' is the absolute and ultimate experience to strive for .
As far as I'm concerned, a peak experience, whether it comes about spontaneously, through, meditation, love making or psychedelics, would be hard to top. But what if awakening is not about bigger or better experiences? What if it is not an experience at all, but the re-cognizing of THAT which knows all experiences as they come and go? THAT, is the 'unknowable-knowing-you-ARE.' IT cannot be approached as a project, not even with such amazing tools as entheogens.
To put it differently: Awakening is a paradox as it reveals that there is no one to awaken and 'no-thing' that could be called awakening. Awakening -like a self consuming fire- cancels itself out in the realization that there is no awakening and no one to awaken while, at the same time, it may be seen that 'Awakeness' is already and always fully present. There is only This-Oneness and this Omnipresent One cannot reach 'awakening' as it IS already everywhere. It cannot really lose or find anything either, as it is everything. When there is only This-One, appearing as apparent diversity, then who or what could exist apart from this, get closer to this, or avoid THIS?
As part of 'the dream' many experiences are available, from agony to ecstasy, from doing the dishes to peak experiences. They all come and go. They are the 'content' and Awareness is the 'context.' This Aware Context is not an experience, but it is the 'Experiencing Space' in which all experiences arise and subside without ever touching this 'space.' IT is like the mirror, untouched by reflections, like the screen supporting the movie, or the empty sky in which clouds drift by and dissolve.
Psychedelic experiences -arising in the 'Empty Sky of Awareness'- may include moments of seeing through this 'game of hide and seek' that Oneness seems to play with ItSelf. Usually, when the effect of such substances wears off, the 'I' returns to claim the experience and the game of hide and seek continues. Or perhaps the 'I' -claiming the experience- may be recognized as again another experience. When this happens, it is also seen that it never really happened at all; the 'I' never experienced anything as it always was/is an experienced 'object.' Nothing is achieved in complete Oneness, no 'tools' for awakening can be applied, as it is always already Awake as whatever appears. Just THIS as-it-is, right now.
PS In chapter 18 of the book Awakening to the Dream there is some more on this. Below is an excerpt.

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Art by: John Lawton Cullison, Jr. Title: 'World of Dreams' (detail of a much larger painting)
Found at:
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    Excerpt from chapter 18 "Blinded by the Light"
There is a story about a soldier who was sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, he is transported in an open cart to the gallows. As he takes in his surroundings for what he believes to be the last time, a great stillness descends upon him. The world appears in a clear and transparent vision of unity and harmony. His fear of dying is replaced with a deep sense of peace in which he and all of creation are one in a mystical union with God. At the very last moment, the king pardons the soldier. He regains his freedom and life, but loses the vision of paradise. The rest of his life is a hopeless quest to regain that vision. He takes to heavy drinking and dies years later as a lonely alcoholic.
For me the experience came when I was twenty-one. For several reasons, I felt at the end of my rope, and as it slipped through my fingers, my overwhelming sense of desperation suddenly lifted. I've got a Feeling from the Beatles' album Let It Be was playing on the stereo, and it touched something deep inside of me. A large space opened up. It would be as true to say that I expanded to encompass the whole of existence as it would be to say that I had totally disappeared. Eternity, which I had understood as time without end, appeared as the absence of time. Everything was infused with life, including what, up until that moment, I had considered inanimate. All existence shared a common source and the first day of creation and the final day of destruction were seen as equally present. The Universe was neither big nor small. It revealed itself as simply One beyond all relative attributes, such as size, location, and time. While on the relative level, everything's purpose was shown to serve everything else in an intricate mosaic of perfect harmony, the totality of creation showed itself beyond purpose. I saw that it simply is as it is: Its own cause and fulfillment.
Things that really mattered before did not matter any longer. The people I saw from my window all seemed to be "in the know" while pretending not to know who they really were. As the experience was slowing down, I remember thinking: How can I go on with my day-to-day life, pretending to be this limited character? How can I go to work and face the daily routine again? As it turned out, I was perfectly able to continue my life as before-but I was left with a certainty that, even when I do not see it, all is as it should be.
What the soldier's and my personal story have in common is that they show a vision of the eternal recounted as an experience with a beginning and an end. It has been called a mystical, transcendental or peak experience, and that is exactly what it is -an experience.
The content of such experiences seems to vary from person to person, depending on one's personality and socio-cultural background; but in essence, all peak experiences are similar in that they all recount a unity of man and God (or whatever name you're comfortable with), and they all transcend space and time. It is the sort of experience that people who want enlightenment are looking for; and many have confused it with enlightenment, as did I. What is generally overlooked, however, is the silent background in which both the experience and the "I" that remembers and interprets it occur. To this mirror-like Awareness, such an experience is simply another cloud drifting by.

From the book: "Awakening to the Dream"
Art by: Rassouli. Title: 'Light of the Mystic'
Found at:
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    Awakened Poetry
You, you only, exist.
You, you only, exist.
We pass away, till at last,
our passing is so immense
that you arise: beautiful moment,
in all your suddenness,
arising in love, or enchanted
in the contraction of work.

To you I belong, however time may
wear me away. From you to you
I go commanded. In between
the garland is hanging in chance; but if you
take it up and up and up: look:
all becomes festival!

    Quote of the Moment!

From the pine tree
Learn of the pine tree.
And from the bamboo
of the bamboo.

~ Basho ~
Art by: Peter Miller
Title: Three Friends of winter
-- pine, bamboo, and plum -- a classic theme in Chinese and Japanese art.
found at:
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    Smile of the Moment!

Heaven and Hell

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher asked, "What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl replied, "Then you ask him ".

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