There is an unseen source of daily suffering that is the constant companion of humanity. It is in one respect one of the great driving forces behind the darkness that encompasses this planet – the unremitting wars, the violence, the greed, the fear, the desperation – all the things we see in the world around us.

The source of what makes this world sick lives in this human consciousness of ours. It isn’t some random effect. It is the wave of what happens when humanity – asleep to itself in the river of time – is carried off by a host of concerns, each seeming to be different. These frightening things appear just like in a nightmare when we, in an unconscious state, are carried off into the laws and the actions that govern the world beneath us. But we can see that it’s a source of punishment because of how thankful we feel to wake up from the bad dream!

So what is this unseen source of human suffering? What does it mean to be truly spiritually asleep? We’ll call it a “daymare.” Human beings unknowingly live most of their life in a daymare because there is nothing in it other than what is validating the sense of self they have as being victimized by a seemingly random set of events they didn’t choose. It happens all the time!

That is one of the problems that keep the suffering in daymares hidden from us. Most of them are so familiar as to just be something that we think is part of life. We are so used to worrying, to feeling sorry for ourselves, to being afraid. We are used to fretting that we won’t have the love or approval of people and that we must somehow do something. We are used to the idea that we’re inadequate. We are used to those feelings! That is part of what we call life. And it isn’t life. It is a daymare taking place in life.

A daymare is living out a dark negative state and seeing life through the eyes of the dreamer. When you’re anxious and in a rush, are you looking at real life? Or are you looking at a series of demands that you take with you into the moment that cannot be met? You actually dream that you don’t have enough time to do what you have to do so that you can enter into the anxiety and confirm the dreamer’s perception of that moment. And the next thing you know, you are doing the dreamer’s bidding – being cruel, hurting yourself, rushing around.

Daymares are an unseen source of useless suffering that torments humanity because humanity remains asleep. You, on the other hand, have the possibility of beginning the process of dying to the dreamer, releasing yourself from the level of consciousness that is wrecking your life, and by the way, everyone else around you.

Whenever you can, and as often as you can, have a “reality check.” Catch yourself getting negative, feeling worried – whatever it is. You can be five miles down the river into the negative state, and even at that point, exchange the dreamer for the new understanding that you’re in a dream. That’s all you have to do.

The goodness of understanding the world of dreams lives in a world the dreams can’t touch. And when you start coming out of that world of dreams, you will more and more instantly recognize when the dream comes on you. Doing this is the same as reaching for the Divine. The Divine will see that you are sacrificing yourself for the good of this other life, and It will exchange real life for a dream life.

Want to know how you can tell when you’re not in a daymare anymore? It’s when you are all right with everything the way it is. You’re living in the light of a higher understanding that recognizes that yes, you are in a stream of time and things are happening to you, but that river also runs through you. And the river is not concerned with the individual events that passing time produces. The river is interested in being the world that reveals these events.

It’s hard to imagine that the day will come when every single movement of a thought or feeling that you would ordinarily identify with, would be to you as something floating down the river, instead of something that carries you away. But I can promise you… that is possible.

Author's Bio: 

Guy Finley is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and bestselling self-help author. He is the Founder and Director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for transcendent self-study located in Merlin, Oregon. He also hosts the Foundation’s Wisdom School — an on-line self-discovery program for seekers of higher self-knowledge. Guy offers 2 talks on GoToWebinar, open to the public every week. Each talk is followed by a Question-and-Answer session with the audience. These talks are free to anyone who wants to join in. To register visit