Dreams are experienced as real. It is only when you wake up that you recognize that you have been dreaming. Likewise, the Yoga Vasistha says, when you awaken to your true self or the really real in Samadhi the world and the whole lot is seen as temporary and insubstantial. In fact quite literally, similar to the dream world, the waking world is declared to be a product of mind; the only difference being that the waking world (or waking dream) is lengthy and for this reason seems permanent.

Consciousness is that in which space is woven. All that we experience as reality is but mind-stuff. Energy and matter that fill up space-time are ultimately thought-trons. You who regard yourself as an irrelevant individual of little ability are the creator of the universe? Seems unbelievable and absurd except Maya is that which makes the impossible possible. The illusion of Maya has two sides, by the first it conceals our true nature from us and by the second it makes us to believe that we are this person and this body and that the world is external to us.

One needn’t believe any of this and yet books on the subject make for fascinating reading. Written several thousand years ago, the Yoga Vasistha consists of numerous stories that describe the power of Maya and of mind. These stories are incredibly, by a long way far more remarkable than any present-day work of science fiction and are inspiration to movies such as Matrix and Inception. Alternate realities, dreams within dreams, relative time references, travel to other realms, higher dimensions, plenteousness of universes … it is all there.

In his book ‘Kundalini’, Gopi Krishna describes his experience of cosmic consciousness. Like experiences have been recorded by many great sages, in every age. Consciousness surfaces as the only reality. You no longer see yourself as the body or mind but as consciousness. Nor is it a consciousness limited by a body, but infinitely larger and containing the whole cosmos. Time, space, your body, the world, all is seen within your own being which supports them. They now appear as insubstantial and as mere projections.

The marvelous aspect of the condition, lay in the sudden realization that although linked to the body and surroundings I had expanded in an indescribable manner into a titanic personality, conscious from within of an immediate and direct contact with an intensely conscious universe, a wonderful inexpressible immanence all around me. My body, the chair I was sitting on, the table in front of me, the room enclosed by walls, the lawn outside and the space beyond including the earth and sky appeared to be most amazingly mere phantoms in this real, interpenetrating and all-pervasive ocean of existence which, to explain the most incredible part of it as best I can, seemed to be simultaneously unbounded, stretching out immeasurably in all directions, and yet no bigger than an infinitely small point.  From this marvelous point the entire existence, of which my body and its surroundings were a part, poured out like radiation, as if a reflection as vast as my conception of the cosmos were thrown out upon infinity by a projector no bigger than a pinpoint, the entire intensely active and gigantic world picture dependent on the beams issuing from it. The shoreless ocean of consciousness in which I was now immersed appeared infinitely large and infinitely small at the same time, large when considered in relation to the world picture floating in it and small when considered in itself, measureless, without form or size, nothing and yet everything. It was an amazing and staggering experience for which I can cite no parallel and no simile, an experience beyond all and everything belonging to this world, conceivable by the mind or perceptible to the senses. I was intensely aware internally of a marvelous being so concentratedly and massively conscious as to out-luster and out-stature infinitely the cosmic image present before me, not only in point of extent and brightness but in point of reality and substance as well. The phenomenal world, ceaselessly in motion characterized by creation, incessant change, and dissolution, receded into the background and assumed the appearance of an extremely thin, rapidly melting layer of foam upon a substantial rolling ocean of life, a veil of exceedingly fine vapor before an infinitely large conscious sun, constituting a complete reversal of the relationship between the world and the limited human consciousness. It showed the previously all-dominating cosmos reduced to the state of a transitory appearance and the formerly care-ridden point of awareness, circumscribed by the body, grown to the spacious dimensions of a mighty universe and the exalted stature of a majestic immanence before which the material cosmos shrank to the subordinate position of an evanescent and illusive appendage.

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