I had a very interesting experience today. I was listening to my iPod and drifted off to sleep, then found myself immersed in a dream, and it was a dream which I was rather enjoying and wished to continue. Somehow I was partially aware that it was a dream experience and that there was another state of consciousness from which I had come; and thus aware that this experience could potentially end, or could be continued. I could still hear the iPod playing and wished to turn it off, because at the very least it was an annoying distraction, and at the most it might bring me out of the dream entirely. So I began searching, in my dream, for a way to turn it off. Into the dream entered an iPod, and I began attempts to turn off the music on the dreamed-up-device. All attempts were futile and I had a hell of a time trying to use the damn thing, which was all sorts of confusing and would not work properly as I knew an iPod should. It was very frustrating. The recognition of this experience as a dream — and the memory of some other realm of waking consciousness — was fading, if not gone altogether. And yet there was still this understanding that the iPod needed to be turned off in order for the “dream” to continue, even though I had obviously lost sight of what the “dream” concept actually meant.
Finally I just snapped out of it, and I couldn’t tell you what was at the source of that happening because it was so fast; it could have been a result of a thought or realization within the dream, or it could have been a completely spontaneous occurrence not linked to anything within the dream itself. Whatever the case, I had the “ah-hah!” moment and knew that the physical iPod must be physically turned off using my physical body in the physical world , and I woke up. I turned off the iPod, but then that whole dream world was instantly gone, only a memory remained, and no re-entry appeared possible. A mild disappointment arose, but overpowering it was this profound fascination and amazement with what had just happened, and gratitude for the experience.
And it made me wonder. Is this what is going on in this physical reality “dream”? Am I looking for tools within the dream itself that do not exist here, but rather are only accessed from that other realm? In this case, rather than trying to find a way to “keep dreaming”, I am trying to find a way to “wake up”. And, like in the dream experience I just described, I am vaguely aware that it is not just my dream-self that wants this, it is my awake-self. And yet all of my searching for strategies to awaken are just dream-thoughts of dream-doings, and none have any effect.
So, if it is true that the required action to awaken must come from the “awake me”, and that in fact the “awake me” desires this, how the hell is that process engaged? Because there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do from this place.