Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 21st December, 1947 | Madras, India

Question: I dream a great deal. Have dreams any significance?

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What is the significance of dreams? Surely, it is this, is it not? The conscious mind, during the day, is actively engaged in either earning money, doing routine work, learning, or is occupied with some technical job. So, the conscious mind during the day, is actively busy with superficial things such as going to the temple, going to the office, having a quarrel with the wife or husband, thinking, reading, avoiding, enjoying; it is constantly active. When the mind goes to sleep what happens? The superficial mind is fairly quiet. But consciousness is not just the superficial layer. Consciousness has many, many layers, you don't have to be told what they are: hidden motives, pursuits, anxieties, fears, frustrations and so on. And these layers of consciousness can and do project themselves into the conscious mind and when it wakes up it says: 'I have had a dream.' In others words, the conscious mind is so occupied with daily activities, daily anxieties, daily fears that it is incapable of receiving intimations and hints during the day. Each of the many layers has its own consciousness and when the superficial mind becomes quiet the layers project themselves on the superficial mind and then you dream.

There are of course superficial dreams and dreams which have real significance. The superficial dreams are the dreams created by the bodily response; indigestion, overeating etc. So, we need not consider those. Other dreams are the intimations of the deeper layers of consciousness. Now, when you dream, what happens? It often happens that as you dream interpretation is taking place. I do not know if you have noticed it. That is, dreams are really, are they not, symbols, images, pictures which the conscious mind translates and says 'I have dreamt this or that.' Symbols and hidden motives which when projected into the conscious are translated into symbols which convey a significance to you when you wake up. And when you dream, when you say on waking 'I have had a dream,' immediately you want to interpret it. If you are at all aware you want to know what it means. Now there is the luxury of going to a psychoanalyst, the dream expert and he will translate your dream for you after a very difficult process taking many months and costing a great deal of money. But most of us have not the money, fortunately, and we are not near any psychoanalyst. Psychoanalysts are the new priests in the modern world. They have also their own jargon and they exploit you and you exploit them.

Tags: dreams

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