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Question: Most of the popular spiritual “New Age” people giving advice on how to manifest the life of your dreams, etc., are telling us that we need to imagine and dream and “think positive thoughts” to be able to manifest the life we deserve. We are told to construct “dream boards” and to feel the excitement of our desires as though they have already manifested. Can you help me understand this a little better since you teach to let go of the dream states and to not project outcomes?
Answer: There is nothing wrong with visualizing the perfect golf swing, or the way one wishes his or her patio to look like after they re-arrange plants, etc. … but when it comes to imagining one’s life, there are inherent (and painful) problems. First, if one loves something… a career or a creative hobby, there is never a problem with imagining possibilities because it’s love that is active and working to create more of itself along with what is needed to achieve that perfection. When love dreams, no one screams!
But when we start to dream of some goal or ambition because, in doing so, we want to feel good about ourselves and our future, then in such dreams live fear… because the level of self that dreams of becoming whatever it envisions, dreams what it does to escape the essential emptiness that drives it on. It creates a future for itself where it imagines its contentment, because it can’t stand being what it is without imagining a time to come when it won’t feel that way! This is a hopeless cycle for the self stuck in it, as well as for the unfortunate life that it fashions in its blindness.
In short: dreams are of the finite world; they belong to passing time… as does the level of self that believes in them, and that follows them to their eventual emptiness (and attending fear). Persist with your wish to be free; true freedom may be the only thing that’s not a dream.