Interview with Vedanta student and educator Dhanya on Nonduality Street:
The following is from Dhanya’s blog at
You are the Material of the Dream
Some might ask, if who I really am is ever-present, my natural state, and the truth my very being, why have I not recognized this before? Is it because I was looking for it?
No, that’s not the reason. If one is looking for the Self as an object, one will never find it.
The cognition of objects is all that we initially are familiar with. It is the way, as individual entities, we navigate through this vast 3D appearance which is known as duality.
An analogy: For a dream character to recognize that he or she is the very material, the stuff of the dream isn’t all that easy.
We take the all pervasive dream material, upon which is our very existence depends, and assume that it is unique to this one individual body mind alone, and that other body minds are different.
We superimpose our individuality onto the material of the dream, and the material of the dream onto our individuality, taking them to be one entity alone. This process is called mutual superimposition.
Thus I take That, which is the most real thing about me—my very being—to be different from your being, different from the being of everyone else, and different from the being of all objects.
This process is the hallmark of self-ignorance. Everyone is born with self-ignorance, and thus everyone makes the mistake of mutual superimposition, until the person gains self-knowledge.
Another analogy that is used is the red hot iron ball. If one has never seen an iron ball that wasn’t red hot, one would think that red hot and iron ball are one and the same thing.
As human beings, with the types of minds we have, we have the possibility of making the distinction between the unchanging baseline reality upon which our existence depends, and the changing objects (i.e. the body/mind) that we previously thought our existence depended upon.
We also have the ability to recognize that all changing objects have this same baseline reality for their baseline reality.
But it isn’t all that easy. and it takes time and teaching, which is done through some very clear pointing out.
Also, one has to initially accept that I am that One unchanging reality, the being of the entire world of experience, prior to having recognized the truth of the statement, in order to be willing to undertake the investigation.
So again that’s a big step.
Here is another analogy which is used. Say there is a giant clay tableau, and there is nothing else, it has no edges or sides. It’s total. And in that giant clay tableau there are trees and rivers and rocks and animals and human beings. And then say some of the clay objects can move around, and some of them have minds.
For the clay figure to recognize that ‘I am the clay, and so too is everything else,’ isn’t all that easy, and yet it is the truth of the whole thing.