Public Talk 21st December, 1947 | Madras, India
Question: I dream a great deal. Have dreams any significance?
When you yourself interpret the dream, who is the interpreter? You have had a dream during the night, it has some significance, it is not just a superficial dream, it is a dream which has some worth, some meaning. Now, you want to understand it, which means you want to translate it, you want to go into it. Now, how do you understand a dream? You try to pursue it and find out its significance and what happens? You try to interpret it. You are interpreting it and therefore you, being the conditioned, active superficial mind, are not able to pursue it, understand it. You can only translate it, interpret it according to your like and dislike. But the dream gives you very little of its significance, its meaning. If you pursue your dream you will see what I mean, because you, the interpreter, are very anxious to find out what it means; therefore you are agitated; therefore you cannot understand it. But if the interpreter is fully alert yet passive, then the dream reveals its significance. That is the only way of dealing with dreams. The conscious mind wants to understand the significance of the dream which is the intimation of the many layers of consciousness; so if the dreamer is passively alert, quiet, then the dream begins to yield its significance. But if you pursue it and say, 'I must understand it', the conscious mind becomes agitated and translates the dream according to its conditioning. Therefore it can never understand it. So, how the dreamer, the interpreter, regards the dream is of the highest importance.
Then there is another problem. The other problem is, as the interpreter, the dreamer is constantly unaware, how can it be possible to free thought from all dreams, so that there will be no interpreter. That is, why should the mind, the conscious mind, always be dreaming? Why should you have to go through these dreams and all the bother of interpretation, and the anxiety on the part of the interpreter? Is there any way of not dreaming at all? Because the moment the interpreter, the dreamer, intervenes in the understanding of the significance of the dream, he is bound to misinterpret it. He can only translate according to his own conditioning which is always pleasurable and therefore he avoids anything that is painful. Is there not a way of transcending all dreams, because dreams, as I said, are intimations given by the many, many layers of consciousness to the superficial layer, of what they want, what they desire, what their intentions are.