The Broken Dreams

posted on 28 March 2014 | posted in Information

Who has not, at a point in his life, made so many beautiful dreams? In fact, everyone is constantly dreaming of some bright future or paradise. The poor is dreaming of becoming rich or, at least, more comfortable materially. Lovers are dreaming of marriage, honeymoon and beautiful family. The businessmen and politicians are dreaming of flourishing businesses. With clearer perception, it is not difficult to come to the fact that almost everyone spends his life dreaming nearly constantly. Everyone is living in a mentally created world. Life has become so ugly that many people or even nations are dreaming of peace, something which should have been natural, human or our birth right.

But how many dreams are fulfilled? Does the lover succeed in having a peaceful married life, a life of constant honeymoon, with material comfort fulfilled? Dreams and reality! How many people are disillusioned! Who has not cherished the image of an ideal life partner? Let everyone ask himself about the fact of the ideal partner! Who dreams of the thorns? We all create images of the best rose petals. Every second, crimes of all sorts including rapes, killing and wars, poverty, diseases and natural cataclysms are falling on us to shatter our dreams and to make us take cognisance of the realities of life. Yet, people go on living in a dream-world. That is a wonder!

broken dreams

There are certainly a few people who are starting to become aware of the fact that the treasure of life does not lie here or in this way of life, but they are not sure about the whereabouts of the eternal treasure. Though the statement of Jesus resounds highly in the Bible, yet people are deaf to it. Let me remind you, dear Reader, of his statement where lies the key to eternal bliss. After all, are we not all seeking eternal and boundless satisfaction? Jesus said, "Lay not your treasure on earth where it will gather moss and may be stolen by the thief, but lay it in heaven where it will be well guarded." To which treasure was he referring? Who is the thief? What is the moss and also where is this heaven? My understanding of this statement is very simple. Matter is not eternal. Seek the spirit which by nature is eternal and pure infinite bliss and peace. By using the ten senses to indulge in the illusive pleasure of this world, the mind or the spirit gets corrupted, that is, it gathers 'moss." The mind becomes more unconscious and its energy flows outward.

What can be done? Be courageous to become aware of the real nature of things. Has anyone ever achieved something here? Alexander the Great had both his hands laid out of his coffin after death so that people could understand that the Great Alexander was leaving with empty hands. This is where Albert Camus" famous philosophy of "la vie est absurde" finds its real meaning. But Camus stopped at the absurdity of life. How can life, the most beautiful expression of the Divine, be said to be absurd? Life is what we make of it. The Kohinoor, the biggest diamond ever found, was a piece of material that lay in the bosom of Mother Earth. Its value, price and beauty is now incomparable. How did it achieve such a status? Didn't we humans give its real value? Similarly, if you consider yourself a mere body meant for sensual pleasure and some material progress then, of course, life is absurd.

No one wants to face the crude fact of the absurdity of life because if they do so, then it would be as if a dream is being broken. What next if the dream is broken? If you take away the dreams from the human mind, the empty space should be replaced by something else. If it is not, then life becomes absurd and absurdity is worse than hell. This is the reason why the existentialist Jean Paul Sartre says that the only thing that is worth doing is suicide.

The culminating point of broken dreams is reached at death when even the dreamer will be finished. Who is not going to taste death? After all, it is the ultimate fact of life. Note well, I have said 'ultimate fact," not 'ultimate truth." The difference is immeasurable. It is unfortunate that Camus saw only absurdity of life. Buddha realised it too, but he went on a search. He went to search what is beyond the absurdity of life. If Camus had sought, he would have found. All those who have sought have found. Of course, the conditions for seeking must be fulfilled. Life is already like a big dream and in that dream, man creates so many dreams. It is a dream within a dream. Eating, drinking, indulging in sex and seeking material comfort: is life only this? If this only is life, then it is indeed boring and thus absurd.

Fortunately, life is much more. We are blessed that there have been people who have, by their achievement, given proof of it. "I am a witness to truth," proclaims Jesus. "I am all," retorted Krishna. "I am God," utter the Upanishadic sages. "I am infinite peace and bliss," says the yogi. "God is love," says the devotee. Why should we listen to Camus only? What he said was half-truth, the complete truth is that life is a gift. Those who can understand this will attain life eternal. But only those who are ready to give up dreams can face reality. The beautiful scene of a rising sun and the nectar of a fresh breeze are enjoyed only by those who wake up early.

It will be definitely painful to realise the absurdity of life. Broken dreams bring suffering, but they also open the door for seeking eternal, infinite bliss and freedom. The only thing that is required is the courage to give up the stone which is taken to be a pearl. Be ready to wake up when the sun is rising on the horizon. Do not continue to sleep, otherwise night will again shroud you in.

By Swami Paramananda