Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Dream

Dreams may be a portal, a doorway into a consciousness beyond our struggles for survival, our instinctual influences, our goal-oriented striving. Though under-appreciated with a bad reputation and normally disregarded, dreams may be our most personal and insightful teachers and inspiration out of status quo games and herd-instinct ways of living our lives.

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Quotes (97)

“Think this way about our fleeting world: a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; a flash of lightening in a summer cloud; a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.”

Themes: Dream

13. Honor and Disgrace

“All things we see in the world are like a dream, an image miraculously projected.”

Buddha गौतम बुद्ध 563 – 483 BCE
(Siddhartha Shakyamuni Gautama)
Awakened Truth
from Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra

Themes: Dream

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Buddha गौतम बुद्ध 563 – 483 BCE
(Siddhartha Shakyamuni Gautama)
Awakened Truth
from Dhammapada धम्मपद

Themes: Dream

40. Returning

“Creatures of a day! What is anyone? What is anyone not? A dream of a shadow is our mortal being. But when there comes to men a gleam of splendor given of heaven, then rests on them a light of glory and blessed are their days.”

Pindar Πίνδαρος 522 – 443 BCE
Archetype of poetry

“How can you prove whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream; or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state?”

Plato Πλάτων 428 – 348 BCE

Themes: Dream

49. No Set Mind

“Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly. When he woke up he wondered if was Chuang Tzu dreaming he was a butterfly or now a butterfly dreaming it was Chuang Tzu.”

Chuang Tzu 莊周 369 – 286 BCE via Thomas Merton
(Zhuangzi)

from The Way of Chuang Tzu

Themes: Dream Butterfly

49. No Set Mind

“A dream is the meeting of minds, of mind with mind and of substance with substance.”

Lie Yukou 列圄寇/列禦寇/列子 4th C. BCE
(Liè Yǔkòu, Liezi)
from Liezi "True Classic of Simplicity and Perfect Emptiness”

Themes: Dream

“Is our ‘reality’ not as permanent as we think but just a fleeting thought, a dream?”

Lie Yukou 列圄寇/列禦寇/列子 4th C. BCE
(Liè Yǔkòu, Liezi)
from Liezi "True Classic of Simplicity and Perfect Emptiness”

Themes: Reality Dream

“Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up. Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this 'reality' as you view your dreams.”

Marcus Aurelius 121 – 219 CE

40. Returning

“All form, therefore, is like a dream… The body, in this way, has no existence; What, therefore, is male and what is female?”

Shantideva ཞི་བ་ལྷ།།། 685 – 763 CE
(Bhusuku, Śāntideva)
from Bodhisattva Way of Life, Bodhicaryavatara

Themes: Dream

13. Honor and Disgrace

“What we see and what we touch is stuff of dreams and mirages.”

Shantideva ཞི་བ་ལྷ།།། 685 – 763 CE
(Bhusuku, Śāntideva)
from Bodhisattva Way of Life, Bodhicaryavatara

Themes: Dream

49. No Set Mind

“This floating life is like a dream and time itself a traveling guest of the centuries.”

Li Bai 李白 701 – 762 CE via Lin Yutang
(Li Bo)

Themes: Dream

“All dharmas should be regarded as dreams.”

Atisha ཨ་ཏི་ཤ་མར་མེ་མཛད་དཔལ་ཡེ་ཤེས་ 980 – 1054 CE via Chögyam Trungpa
(Atiśa Dīpaṃkara Śrījñāna)
from Seven Points of Mind Training, Lojong བློ་སྦྱོངས་དོན་བདུན་མ;

Themes: Dream

49. No Set Mind

“Life is like a spring dream which vanishes without a trace.”

Su Shi 苏轼 1037 – 1101 CE
(Dongpo, Su Tungpo)
"pre-eminent personality of 11th century China"

Themes: Dream No Trace

“experience the absence of conditioned mind and observe that all phenomena are like dreams… enter into the uncontrived, uncluttered ocean of true nature.”

Yuanwu Keqin 圜悟克勤 1063 – 1135 CE via J.C. and Thomas Cleary
(Yuánwù Kèqín)
from Zen Letters

Themes: Dream Non-Thought

7. Lose Yourself, Gain Your Soul

“Sometimes I visit in dreams
And yet all alone
Sometimes I am even unable to dream”

Huizong 徽宗 1082 – 1135 CE
(Emperor Huizong of Song)
Great artist, failed ruler

Themes: Dream

“The chilled crane in its nest in the clouds has not yet been aroused from its dreams.”

Hóngzhì Zhēngjué 宏智正覺 1091 – 1157 CE
(Shōgaku)

Themes: Dream

37. Nameless Simplicity

“The teaching's voice is total silence amid the ringing wind chimes. The moon hangs in the old pine tree, cold in the falling night.”

Hóngzhì Zhēngjué 宏智正覺 1091 – 1157 CE
(Shōgaku)

70. Inscrutable

“Those who stay asleep will watch their life drift past them like a dream, and the traces of their memory will fade from time like smoke in air, or ripples on a stream.”

Dante 1265 – 1321 CE
(Durante degli Alighieri)
from Divine Comedy

“Like a dream, our actions seem to not be very meaningful or important; but, they bring about all the variety of happiness and suffering.”

Longchenpa ཀློང་ཆེན་རབ་འབྱམས་པ། 1308 – 1364 CE via Herbert V. Guenther, Shan Dao
(Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer)
from Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease ངལ་གསོ་སྐོར་གསུམ་

“Authentic presence may have a dream-like quality but it is not dreaming or tied to any purpose but founded on the recognition of reality developing from acceptance and appreciation.”

Longchenpa ཀློང་ཆེན་རབ་འབྱམས་པ། 1308 – 1364 CE via Herbert V. Guenther, Shan Dao
(Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer)
from Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Trilogy of Finding Comfort and Ease ངལ་གསོ་སྐོར་གསུམ་

“The world has fallen in love with a dream. Only sayings of the wise will remain.”

Kabīr कबीर 1399 – 1448 CE via Linda Hess and Shukdeo Singh
from Bijak of Kabir

Themes: Dream

18. The Sick Society

“Enthusiasm is love and dreams of a beautiful life, due to which we are enabled to become better”

Giordano Bruno 1548 – 1600 CE

“Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream.”

William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616 CE
from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Themes: Dream

40. Returning

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616 CE
from The Tempest

Themes: Dream Egolessness

“I find not a single property which with certainty separates the waking state from the dream. How can you be certain that your whole life is not a dream?”

René Descartes 1596 – 1650 CE

Themes: Dream

13. Honor and Disgrace

“When a country is defeated, there remain only mountains and rivers, and on a ruined castle in spring only grasses thrive. I sat down on my hat and wept bitterly till I almost forgot time.
A thicket of summer grass
Is all that remains
Of the dreams and ambitions
Of ancient warriors.”

Matsuo Bashō 松尾 芭蕉 1644 – 1694 CE

30. No War

“Let us not dream that reason can ever be popular. Passions and emotions may be made popular, but reason remains ever the property of the few.”

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 1749 – 1832 CE

Themes: Reason Dream

“Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.”

Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 – 1797 CE
Seminal feminist

“Our life is no dream; but it ought to become one, and perhaps will.”

Novalis 1772 – 1831 CE

Themes: Dream Shambhala

80. A Golden Age

“We are close to waking when we dream that we are dreaming.”

Novalis 1772 – 1831 CE

Themes: Dream

49. No Set Mind

“I had a dream, which was not all a dream...
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expired before;
Darkness had no need of air from them --- She was the Universe.”

Lord Byron 1788 – 1824 CE
(George Gordon Byron)
The first rock-star style celebrity
from Darkness (1816)

Themes: Moon Emptiness Dream

“Like day she came, making the night a dream
To move, as one between desire and shame
Thou comest from the realm without a name.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE
from Triumph of Life

“To know, to think, to dream... that is everything.”

Victor Hugo 1802 – 1885 CE
Literary pioneer, poet, and social justice provocateur
from Les Chatiments, 1853

Themes: Dream

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allen Poe 1809 – 1849 CE

Themes: Dream Illusion

13. Honor and Disgrace

“if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.”

Henry David Thoreau 1817 – 1862 CE
Father of environmentalism and America's first yogi
from Walden or Life in the Woods

47. Effortless Success

“Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
and of every moment of your life”

Walt Whitman 1819 – 1892 CE
Premier "poet of democracy" and model for Dracula
from Leaves of Grass

“Everybody lies...every day, every hour, awake, asleep, in his dreams, in his joy, in his mourning. If he keeps his tongue still his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude will convey deception.”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Themes: Lies Dream Deception

49. No Set Mind

“It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought--a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Themes: Dream

13. Honor and Disgrace

“They've promised that dreams can come true - but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.”

Oscar Wilde 1854 – 1900 CE

Themes: Dream Ignorance

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.”

George Bernard Shaw 1856 – 1950 CE
UK playwright second only to Shakespeare

Themes: Dream Creativity

“The dream is an inexhaustible source of spiritual information about yourself.”

Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 CE via Joseph Campbell

“Dreams show a special tendency to reduce two opposites to a unity or to represent them as one thing.”

Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 CE

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”

Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 CE

Themes: Dream

“The idea of the future, pregnant with an infinity of possibilities, is thus more fruitful than the future itself, and this is why we find more charm in hope than in possession, in dreams than in reality.”

Henri-Louis Bergson 1859 – 1941 CE

Themes: Hope Dream

“The idea of the future, pregnant with an infinity of possibilities, is thus more fruitful than the future itself, and this is why we find more charm in hope than in possession, in dreams than in reality.”

Henri-Louis Bergson 1859 – 1941 CE

Themes: Hope Dream

“The whole life is a succession of dreams. My ambition is to be a conscious dreamer, that is all.”

Swami Vivekananda ʃami bibekanɔnd̪o 1863 – 1902 CE
"The maker of modern India"

Themes: Dream

“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master… Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”

Rudyard Kipling 1865 – 1936 CE
Greatest—in-English—short-story writer

from If—

Themes: Dream

“I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

W.B. (William Butler) Yeats 1865 – 1939 CE

Themes: Dream

“Dreams are the guiding words, the speech of the soul. I must carry them in my heart, and go back and forth over them in my mind, like the words of the person dearest to me.”

Carl Jung 1875 – 1961 CE via Sonu Shamdasani
Insightful shamanistic scientist
from Red Book, Liber Novus

Themes: Dream

“I live in my dreams — that's what you sense. Other people live in dreams, but not in their own. That's the difference.”

Hermann Hesse 1877 – 1962 CE
from Demian

Themes: Dream

18. The Sick Society

“That is where my dearest and brightest dreams have ranged — to hear for the duration of a heartbeat the universe and the totality of life in its mysterious, innate harmony.”

Hermann Hesse 1877 – 1962 CE via Hilda Rosner
from Gertrude

Themes: Dream Magic

“There is no possibility of remembering what has been found and understood… It disappears as a dream disappears. Perhaps it is all nothing but a dream.”

Ouspensky Пётр Демья́нович Успе́нский 1878 – 1947 CE
(Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii)

“I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE

Themes: Music Dream

“He who robs us of our dreams robs us of our life.”

Virginia Woolf 1882 – 1941 CE

Themes: Crime Dream

“When shall I at last retire into solitude alone, without companions, without joy and without sorrow, with only the sacred certainty that all is a dream?”

Nikos Kazantzakis 1883 – 1957 CE
from Zorba the Greek

13. Honor and Disgrace

“You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams and it is well you should.”

Kahlil Gibran 1883 – 1931 CE
from The Prophet

Themes: Dream

“That which is possible is inevitable.”

William Carlos Williams 1883 – 1963 CE
from In the American Grain

Themes: Dream

“Trust the dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”

Kahlil Gibran 1883 – 1931 CE
from The Prophet

Themes: Dream

“yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.”

Kahlil Gibran 1883 – 1931 CE

Themes: Dream

40. Returning

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?... Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes 1901 – 1967 CE
Pioneering elevator of Black culture

Themes: Dream

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? … Or does it explode?”

Langston Hughes 1901 – 1967 CE
Pioneering elevator of Black culture

Themes: Dream

“Americans are bred like stuffed geese – to be consumers, not human beings. The moment they stop consuming and buying, the frog-skin world has no more use for them. They have become frogs themselves… this is the real world, not the Green Frog Skin World. That’s only a bad dream, a streamlined, smog-filled nightmare.”

John Fire Lame Deer 1903 – 1976 CE via Richard Erdoes
from Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Themes: Dream Consumerism

44. Fame and Fortune

“Artists are the Indians of the white world. They are called dreamers who live in the clouds… I tell you this is the real world, not the Green Frog Skin World. That’s only a bad dream, a streamlined, smog-filled nightmare.”

John Fire Lame Deer 1903 – 1976 CE via Richard Erdoes
from Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions

Themes: Dream Art

28. Turning Back

“Myths and dreams come from the same place… You can’t predict what a myth is going to be any more than you can predict what you’re going to dream tonight.”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

Themes: Dream

“A myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth.”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

“Dreamer! Dreamer! What are you dreaming about?”

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi 1904 – 1971 CE

Themes: Dream

13. Honor and Disgrace

“By believing in his dreams, man turns them into reality”

Hergé 1907 – 1983 CE
(Georges Prosper Remi )
Intrepid reporter of world culture

Themes: Dream

“They give up the dream of what may lie ahead on the heights of tomorrow for a perpetual nightmare - an endless succession of days fearing the loss of a tenuous security.”

Saul Alinsky 1909 – 1972 CE

Themes: Dream

“Dreams are as illusory as reality experienced when awake”

Freda Bedi, Sister Palmo 1911 – 1977 CE

Themes: Dream Reality

“My ultimate dream is to sow seeds in the desert. To revegetate the deserts is to sow seed in people's hearts.”

Masanobu Fukuoka 福岡 正信 1913 – 2008 CE
from One Straw Revolution

Themes: Dream

54. Planting Well

“Buddhism begins with a man who shook off the daze, the doze, the dream-like vagaries of ordinary awareness. It begins with a man who woke up.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE
from World's Religions

“Like dew I was born
Like dew I vanish
..and all that I have ever done
Is but a dream
Within a dream”

James Clavell 1921 – 1994 CE
Fictionalizing and fictional historian
from Shōgun, 1975

Themes: Dream

“sweet Buddha…I always did suspect that life was a dream, now I am assured by the most brilliant man who ever lived that it is indeed so”

Jack Kerouac 1922 – 1969 CE
from Some of the Dharma

Themes: Dream

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

Gabriel García Márquez 1927 – 2014 CE
(Gabo, Gabito)
The greatest Colombian

Themes: Dream Old Age

“If we have not achieved our early dreams, we must either find new ones or see what we can salvage from the old. If we have accomplished what we set out to do in our youth, we need not weep like Alexander the Great that we have no more worlds to conquer.”

Rosalynn Carter 1927 CE –
Insightful and compassionate politician

Themes: Dream

“To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence.”

César Chavez César Estrada Chávez 1927 – 1993 CE
(César Estrada Chávez)

“Losing consciousness in digital dreams
Ignoring life caught up in schemes
Time to come on back home
And start being alone.”

Shan Dao 山道 1933 CE –

“Reading is the key that opens doors to many good things in life. Reading shaped my dreams, and more reading helped me make my dreams come true.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933 CE –
Fierce and influential voice for justice, equality, and women's rights

Themes: Books Dream

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

Yoko Ono 小野 洋子 1933 CE –
(“Ocean Child”)

49. No Set Mind

“It's a Barnum and Baily world, just as phony as it can be. But it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me.”

Billy Rose and Yip Harburg 1933 CE –
It's Only a Paper Moon
from It's Only a Paper Moon

49. No Set Mind

“The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass.”

Wendell Berry 1934 CE –

Themes: Dream

16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

“Dream after dream we all lie in each other's arms”

Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016 CE
from Beautiful Losers

Themes: Dream

“The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

George Carlin 1937 – 2008 CE
One of the most influential social commentators of his time

Themes: Dream

“The first expression of compassion is to experience whatever occurs in our life as dreamlike, a phantom, just purely memories.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE via Shan Dao

Themes: Dream

“The past is fiction, the future a dream. We are living on the edge of a razor.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE

40. Returning

“Whatever we experience in our life – pain, pleasure, happiness, sadness… or whatever – is just purely memories… a phantom… things have a dreamlike quality.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE

Themes: Dream Pleasure

49. No Set Mind

“The shadows of dreams are reality. Dreams produce reality; reality produces dreams.”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Illusion's Game

Themes: Dream Reality

“But you know I know when it's a dream”

John Lennon 1940 – 1980 CE
from Magical Mystery Tour

49. No Set Mind

“And if my thought-dreams could be seen... they'd probably put my head in a guillotine.”

Bob Dylan 1941 CE –

41. Distilled Life

“One sweet dream came true today, came true today...”

Paul McCartney 1942 CE –
(Sir James Paul McCartney)
from You Never Give Me Your Money

Themes: Dream

“The answer is dreams. Dreaming on and on. Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out. Living in dreams for the rest of time”

Haruki Murakami 1949 CE –
from Sputnik Sweetheart

Themes: Dream

“everybody is living a totally wasted life… a sham, living in a dream … we are asleep never really using our senses”

Peter Kingsley 1953 CE –
from A Story Waiting to Pierce You

Themes: Dream Obstacles

“So what is wild? What is wilderness? What are dreams but an internal wilderness and what is desire but a wildness of the soul?”

Louise Erdrich 1954 CE –

Themes: Dream Desire

“If you dream that you are flying and continue to believe that you can fly even after you wake up, that becomes a problem.”

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche རྫོང་གསར་ འཇམ་དབྱངས་ མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་ རིན་པོ་ཆེ། 1961 CE –
(Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche)
"Activity" incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
from What Makes You Not a Buddhist

Themes: Dream Problems

18. The Sick Society

“It's as important to know how to give up on dreams and ambitions as it is to know how to generate them.”

Alain de Botton 1969 CE –
Philosophic link between ancient wisdom and modern challenge
from Twitter

Themes: Ambition Dream

“This is the dark side of the ‘American dream.’ We blame the poor, accusing them of being poor because they do not work hard enough. Yet for the most part, the poor have less because the rich have taken more.”

Karmapa XVII ཨོ་རྒྱན་འཕྲིན་ལས་རྡོ་རྗ 1985 CE –
(Orgyen Thrinlay Dorje)

75. Greed

Sources

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

by Carl Jung

Insightful shamanistic scientist

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