Is this life real or only a dream?


The changes of life and death are nothing but a series of motion pictures. No matter what your circumstances may be, always remember that you are only playing a part. You must realize that you are a divine traveler, and are only here for a little while.

Since God has given us will power and consciousness, He expects us to see this life as a motion picture only. When you are a baby, you are one picture; when you are an adult, you are another picture; and when you are old, you are still another picture. Death is simply one more picture.

Do not love one thing more than another because all things will change. That is why the saints say, “Don’t become attached.” You must learn to enjoy things without becoming attached to them. In other words, enjoy the vast play of life, but do not take it too seriously. The more you think this life is real, the more you will suffer.  Attachment to the physical body causes a host of sufferings. Your body’s only reality is as a fragile dream body.

This motion picture of life will soon be ended, and then another picture will come. God expects that in this dance of delusion in the picture house of the cosmos, we will behave as He behaves. He is watching all things, but is not affected by them. He created us so that we may also learn to watch this world as a dance of life eternal. As God is in the universe watching the changes without being changed, so does He want us to recognize and find the immortality within us.

You can only know what an orange is like by tasting it. You cannot know what it is really like by listening to a talk about it. So it is with truth. As you come to know God through deep and frequent meditation, you will lose all your fears and troubles. India’s Masters specialized in this immortal knowledge.

Always remember that we are made in God’s image. God wants us to see this world as a drama only, so that we may enjoy His consciousness even as He, in His creation, enjoys His infinite joy. God is joy and He created us in joy. Instead of trying to satisfy all our desires, we must try to please Him.

From Inner Culture, January 1941.