Question: Sometimes in my dreams I see a seashore, and I feel that I once lived there. I don't know why, but it is very unpleasant for me.

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes the soul wants to give us a direct, luminous experience of reality, and what we see in our dreams can be true. But sometimes unaspiring things that come from the vital world can get mixed up in the dream. A dream is like the cover of reality; as soon as you remove the tablecloth, you see the table. Under the tablecloth may be so many dirty, filthy things.

Similarly, dreams coming directly from the soul are very pure; these dreams are absolutely clean, bright, encouraging, inspiring. There is nothing between the dream and the reality. But in other cases, many unhealthy, unaspiring things from the vital world make the dream very confusing, so the reality is not clearly visible through the dream.

Sometimes a dream is like an absolutely clear sky, and we can easily see the sun. But sometimes the sky is covered with teeming clouds and the sun is totally veiled. When we have dreams like that, we have to know that the vital has come forward and is not letting us see the reality. We have to pray and meditate sincerely for a few years so that we can learn to distinguish between a dream that comes directly from the soul and is showing us the reality and a dream that comes from the vital and is not showing us the reality.

When we know from which plane a dream is coming, then we can know whether or not to take it seriously. If it is coming from the vital world, we will not pay any attention to it, for we know it is all confusion. If it is coming from the psychic world, we have to know how to interpret it. And if it is coming from a high, spiritual world and showing the absolute reality, we will be anxious and eager to know what is happening or about to happen.