All our thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. are fleeting, insubstantial, empty phenomena constantly arising and passing away – depending on countless causes and conditions. As we are sleep-living, we can't recognize their true nature – their true causes, conditions and effects. So we make-up stories and beliefs; we unwittingly give them meaning, power and importance. Since they have become powerful, we take them seriously; since we take them seriously, they have become very powerful and real. Now we become a slave to thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc., and they dictate our lives.
All our suffering and miseries are nightmares in our sleep – our own unwitting creations; we give them their power and we become afraid of them. In order to protect ourselves from them and feel safe, we make-up more stories, beliefs and other powerful entities. They give us pseudo hope and courage to live through our nightmares. Nevertheless, these stories constantly fail as they stand on a shaky ground; but, as we are so invested in these stories, we continue to make-up more stories and excuses to cover-up the holes. We spend so much of effort to protect them – sometimes burning, destroying and killing anything or anyone that stands against them. We find comfort in those who believe in our stories; and others become our enemies. If anyone tries to wake us up, we feel offended and we become angry at them.
This is the story of our ego. As Shakespeare puts it: "It's a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".
The moment we wake up, all our nightmares simply disappear. But, how are we going to wake up from our deep sleep? Are we ready to give up our treasured stories and fantasies? In our sleep-living, life may be filled with stress, struggle and miseries, but sleeping is cozy and comfortable. So we continue to sleep – hoping that it will be a sweet dream!