When we sleep at night, we dream. In our dream are people, places, things, pleasant and unpleasant occurrences. These are real to us while we are dreaming. As long as the dream lasts these are the only reality. Not till we begin to awaken comes the dawning consciousness, "This is not really so. I have been dreaming."
But all the while we were dreaming, knowing only what we were experiencing, we were in very different surroundings and the people, places, and things real to us were not there. The real to us was the actual of the moment; and because the actual was all we cognized we felt that it was the all. But the real lay outside of the actual all the while; that real that was greater than the dream; that real to which the dreamer was unconsciously related while he was related consciously only to the actual or the dream.
He was, all the while, more than he knew; more than he cognized; but his self-sense was bounded by his dream. Consequently his self-sense was far below the level of what he was outside of his dream. The reality to him was only what he saw, felt, and knew. The reality in itself was what he was in himself, not what he temporarily experienced. His dream was a natural consequence of a possibility in himself—the ability to dream.
But this faculty of dreaming, which made the dream for him, is not all there is of him. He is greater than it or its consequences. He has other faculties. He has the ability to recognize this dream for what it is, recognize its nature and source, and discriminate between a possibility temporarily actualized and a higher consequence of his nature to be permanently actualized.' He is able to see that if he allows himself to be dominated by the dream, if he accepts it as the only reality, he is bound to what it contains and is shut out from that larger reality that lies outside the dream.
He is able to see that the first step toward this greater freedom is the perception that the dream, though real to him while it lasts, is not real in itself; but that its whole substance is drawn from his own nature; even the people, places, and things. They are composed of the material afforded by his own nature as a living being. They have no other substance, great as they seem. They are bounded by his own consciousness of them.
He is the unconscious magician who by exercise of thought force, not knowing its potency, has conjured up a vast procession which he looks upon with wonder and even fear, and believes to be a world outside of himself. He fears his own creations, not knowing them to be his creations, and believing them to have power over him.
Does he not suffer? Here is a house on fire and he barely escapes with his life while the flames have blistered his flesh cruelly. Here is a man seeking his life and he is running to a secure shelter as fast as his legs can carry him. Here is severe illness and friends are standing about him as he lies prostrate on his bed, ministering to him and striving to ease his pain.
Does he not enjoy? Here he is seated at table with a delightful company, eating and drinking, the banquet music sounding in his ears. Here he is walking in a beautiful garden with one whom he loves and who loves him, every step a bliss, a joy.
His experiences are of all possible kinds, pleasant and painful, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. But of what are they composed? Until he awakens he does not know that they are out of the material afforded by his own nature. They are so real to him that he cannot conceive their unsubstantiality till he has something with which to compare them that the dream does not afford. Judged by the dream, by the dreamer's standard, they are positively and unmistakably real, every one of them. Judged by the man awake, by his standard, they were temporary illusions. They have gone back into that substance out of which they came. When there is no dreamer there can be no dream.
Whether the dream be one hour in duration, as we reckon time, or whether it continue threescore and ten years, it is the same in itself and in its relation to the man awake.
"Awake thou that sleepest!"
Do you not see that what you call existence, before you have gained the true idea of its nature and meaning, is only the dream as compared to that larger reality of being which lies outside of it?
That all your experiences which include persons, places, and things, which are pleasant and painful, are but parts of the dream?
That this great world and all that goes on in it, is in your own nature, shaped out of its substance?
That, real as it is to you in these seventy years, they are but an instant as compared to what you are in being and to those greater possibilities that are in you waiting your recognition?
That at your word of command the world and all in it, even that physical body and its pains and disorders, will begin to disappear from your consciousness; vanish in proportion to your power over thought-creations?
That it will grow less and less dense till it is only a transparent veil, pierced by the shining glories beyond?
That as it was put out from your own being, it is taken up again by your own soul through recognition of its nature?
To see this truth is to use the world and not be used by it to hold all that is now objective at its true value and not be beguiled by a false value. It is to listen to the woman in ourselves as well as to the voice of appearance. Appearance says, “I am the reality. There is no other." The woman says, "You are the reality. Appearance is illusion. Dream no longer."
The man in us, the rational, reasoning nature that draws conclusions from what it sees objectively says, "What I see I know. Facts are the only reality." The intuitional nature says, "What you see is what you believe. You do not yet know. You do not discriminate between the limited fact and the greater truth, and cannot without my help."
The man-Adam says, "Facts are enough." The woman Adam says, " Truth, only, is sufficient. The time will come when the fact alone will not satisfy you. You will stand before the unknowable; for you can relate your limited fact to the greater truth only through me. Without my help you cannot lift the veil that hangs between."
The rational nature says, "I know only as I prove by experience." The other says," I know, before you prove in this way. I can teach you if you will listen to me, and you can be saved the experience that forces truth upon you. I am not dreaming your dream. Your eyes are closed, mine are open. Your experience is the sum of your beliefs."
The rational nature says, "I am afraid to listen to you. I shall get lost in the fogs of speculation." The woman says, “Perfect love casteth out fear. If you loved the truth rather than the limited fact, you would not fear to seek it through other avenues of your own nature. And you would find that it is your own intellect that continually speculates about the fact and makes you deaf to the truth I speak unto you. This is the mist that waters the whole face of the ground and obscures your vision so that you do not see what I can do for you. While you are thus blinded you must continue to till the ground, gaining the self-knowledge which you must have, only as you get one fact after another, slowly and painfully."
The rational nature says, “If I go slowly I go surely." The other replies, "You are choosing to live in time rather than in eternity; and while this is your choice time will remain. The dream will continue for you because you continue to create it. I do not live in time, I do not dream your dream. I see the Son of God. You see the Son of man. I know the eternal real. You know only the temporary actual. I conceive truth. You are liable to conceive error. When you are raised from this sleep and dream, you will father my child."
Thus the seed of the woman wars with the seed of the serpent and eventually she will conquer; for the man in us, wearied with the toil and pain of his quest, will turn to and listen to her and begin to truly live; live in that freedom which belongs to the Son of God, no more subject to that death which pertains only to the Son of man.
Do not be afraid to listen to this woman in you who draws the veil and reveals truth to the Soul. Do not fix your eyes immovably upon this man in you that is dreaming the dream of sense consciousness and being slowly awakened through what he experiences. Both are in you and each has its office. He can show you the present fact. She can show you the larger reality. As you understand the office of each you will be able to make the connection between the fact and the truth, the actual and the everlasting real.
You will thus bring order out of disorder, harmony out of discord. Out of the varied experiences of existence you will bring forth the grand meaning which runs through them as the central thread that relates them to each other. This central thread is the unfolding nature of your own being. Can you not see it? It is two in one, a duality in unity.
As a soul you are two-sided; you have an outer and an inner nature. The outer nature dreams the dream; the inner nature interprets the dream. But you do not hear the interpretation till you listen for it—while you seek it in the dream. It is not there.
The dreamer cannot interpret his dream. The man awake is the interpreter. The man-Adam is in the deep sleep. The woman-Adam is awake. Only the one able to interpret the dream has mastery over it and what it contains. The dreamer is ruled by the dream. This is his fate. The one awake masters the fate with the destiny. The servant is he who obeys a tendency. The master is he who rules a tendency. The master is born of the virgin. She is the mother of all living. The servant belongs to the dead.
Do not fear to follow that spirit of truth which will lead you into all truth. "Awake from sleep and sin not." Stop thinking the dream, and believing it the truth itself because it is true to you. It is true only to a part of you. It is untrue to the other part. Begin now to live in that reality which is all around the dream. Pass from death unto life.
Say to all these experiences of the dream, "I fear you not. I know your nature. Henceforth you have no power to deceive me. I see through the woman in me as well as through the man; and my vision has widened beyond your limitations. Unwittingly I have produced you. Now I withdraw from you and you must wither and die. Through the light which shines for me beyond the veil, I see through and through you. Your only reality is what I permit you. You are subject unto me and I claim my divine right of mastery over you. Depart from me, I know ye not. I know only the Son of the woman, the Son of God. Unto me this Son is born and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor; and the government of you shall be upon his shoulder."
More Articles by This Author Ursula N. Gestefeld
- Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
- Involved in Christian Science
- Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.