I’ll start with a story. Everyone loves a story. Especially old stories. One about Gods and Dreams.
Mystery and enigma unveil more readily in the fluid feminine of Myth than in the linear logic of argument and sermon.
Here is my favorite version of Genesis [Latin: literally, ‘Birth’].
A Story of Creation is told in the Vishnu-Purana where Vishnu as primordial divinity is stretched in slumber on the cosmic ocean of milk.
He rests his head on the abyssal serpent Ananta [‘Endless’] and dreams a great and grand dream of the universe.
Vishnu is dreaming a great and grand dream that He is dreaming a great and grand dream, and all men and women, all living things in Vishnu’s dream are in turn dreaming a great and grand dream of the Universe in which Vishnu is dreaming a great and grand dream.
[Lots of meticulous synchronization needed; but then that is why Vishnu is Divinity while you and I take the bus to work.]
Vishnu awakes and a lotus unfolds. Brahma, the divinity of Creation emerges and rules the created world of Vishnu for 100 cosmic years [Maha-Manvantara: 311 trillion human years, rounded-off].
At its end, Vishnu closes his eyes and returns to slumber. The lotus folds and the universe and all that is in it return to their source in the Cosmic Dreamer. In time Vishnu awakes, a lotus unfolds, a new Dream begins.
Stop [I knew you were going to try this].
You may not interpret this myth in any conventional way. For any commentary you have on this myth is itself part of the myth.
If ‘All is Dream!’ so is my claim that: ‘All is Dream’. The myth is the purest expression of the Self-Loop.
You reading these lines, right here, just now, about this Dream, according to this Dream, is in the middle of this very same Cosmic Dream.
It is all about catching the beam in your own eye: I catch myself; I catch myself catching myself; I catch myself catching myself catching myself…
The Symbol ‘0’ [Shūnyam] is the original, the paradigmatic Self-Negating Expression. It is simply a formalized construct to help you decisively exit the Self-Loop.
Shūnyam was designed as a guiding-rail. Without it the ‘Backward Step’ is not navigable. You will spin indefinitely in self-referential loops with no exit.
You will never wake-up in Vishnu’s Dream.
But then, to paraphrase the Sūtra: ‘Enlightenment…is waking-up and realizing you were never asleep. If you think you have newly woken-up, by that very fact, you are still asleep’.