You are dreaming that you are chased by a werewolf in a dark forest, you feel fear, and you try to find a shelter or a weapon, it is all very real for you, but is it? What are the components of that experience? We have the chased, the chaser, the forest, all the emotions and thoughts that arise, and…the dreamer, the witness.
If we dig a little bit into the nature of the dream experience we realize that the substance of the dream is not to be found in its drama and content but in the essence of the witness. Many movies can be projected on a screen but the screen always stays the screen, it is not affected by the movie. The chaser, the chased, the emotions and thoughts present in the situation, and the forest are one, in essence, they all arise in and from the consciousness of the witness.
If, while dreaming, you realize that you are essentially the witness experiencing a dream then you are having what is called lucid dreaming. You realize that you created the chased, the chaser, and the dark forest. You were identified for a time with the chased but now you might, if you want, become the chaser or the bat in the tree or you might even…try another dream 🙂
The analogy of the dream can be used to approach the nature of our daily experience as a defined individual, a mind, in a body, in a world. Are we dreaming? Who is the witness? Could awakening be a form of lucid dreaming?
The analogy of the dream can be used as a seed of meditation to approach the reality of Presence which is essentially witness and witnessed, the One reality behind appearances.