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Article XX: States of Reality

Amritabindu Upanishad
11: Verily the Atman should be known as being the same in Its states of wakefulness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep. For him who has transcended the three states there is no more rebirth.

The three states of wakefulness, dreaming, and dreamless sleep illustrate three experiences of reality. During wakefulness, the physical body directly perceives the objects of the world through the senses. In a state of dreaming, the physical body is no longer active, but only the mind actively perceives reality as experienced in a dream. Finally, in dreamless sleep, the physical body is no longer active nor is the mind; all that remains is consciousness. This consciousness that exists without the body or the mind is evidence for Brahman, ultimate consciousness beyond the mind and body.

During a dream, an experience may be just as real as an experience during wakefulness. However, we know that the dream is not the same level of reality because we wake up and recognize that we were dreaming. Enlightenment can be thought of as awaking into the ultimate level of reality, which is even more real than wakefulness itself. This true reality is Brahman, pure Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss, beyond space, time, and causation.

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