As I remember my younger days at school, we always met “true or false” questions in examinations. Sometimes it was so hard to tick a choice and simply try one’s luck. When we grew up, there were also many “true or false” choices to be taken in life. In fact, both of these “true or false” just mean “right or wrong”. But in Zen, it always represents “real or not real”.
When we ask “is a dream true or false?”, it means “is a dream real or not”. We will definitely answer after waking up: ”The dream is false.” But it is so real when inside a dream. If you have even a little awareness of “I’m inside a dream” when you are dreaming, you will be less influenced by the “reality” of the dream.
We can recollect about the feeling in a dream. When dreaming of something we love, we’ll cling to it; when dreaming of something we hate or fear, we’ll resist against it; when emerging from something neither feeling good nor feeling bad, it is a kind of ignorance. When we say that the hatred or fear is not good, we should remind ourselves that both of them are derived from “clinging to love”. Some people may cling to “neither feeling good nor feeling bad” and think nothing, because they feel peaceful. But inside this “peace”, the “love” and “hatred” are just hidden and not really free from them. So we call it “false peace” or “ignorance”.
Neither of these three circumstances are real, the way to awake from the false is to keep a clear mind on these states and stay with a clean mind without attaching to any of them! There’s no other truth besides false; when you recognize “the false” is not real, the truth is emerging.