Ramana Maharshi on Dream World, Illusory World
Question : Is then the world no better than a dream?
Ramana Maharshi : What is wrong with the sense of reality you have while you are dreaming? You may be dreaming of something quite impossible, for instance, of having a happy chat with a dead person. Just for a moment, you may doubt in the dream, saying to yourself, `Was he not dead?', but somehow your mind reconciles itself to the dream-vision, and the person is as good as alive for the purposes of the dream.
In other words, the dream as a dream does not permit you to doubt its reality. It is the same in the waking state, for you are unable to doubt the reality of the world which you see while you are awake. How can the mind which has itself created the world accept it as unreal?
That is the significance of the comparison made between the world of the waking state and the dream world. Both are creations of the mind and, so long as the mind is engrossed in either, it finds itself unable to deny their reality.
It cannot deny the reality of the dream world while it is dreaming and it cannot deny the reality of the waking world while it is awake.
If, on the contrary, you withdraw your mind completely from the world and turn it within and abide there, that is, if you keep awake always to the Self which is the substratum of all experiences, you will find the world of which you are now aware is just as unreal as the world in which you lived in your dream.