The world that we are accustomed to regard as a reality which we can perceive it with our sense is but a dream for some philosophers. In addition, they think that all of people are asleep in this sensible world, only when they die, they will wake up. By all means for some people who regard all the things in the world that can be seen and perceived by our sense are surprised because it absolutely contrasts for their world views even they will completely refuse the theory. However, I think that they have deeply not understood about this course. Hence we must be able to understand what is the true meaning of it.
Because we are dreaming in this world, it means that all of the things in the world are illusory. So what should we do? Do we have to ignore or abandon all of them? According to Ibn ‘Arabi a dream here, is a symbolic reflection or representation of the reality itself. It is just like when we dream. We will see some of events in our dream and they are representation of reality, not reality itself. Accordingly, we have to interpret those symbols in other to get understanding of what is the meaning of them. For example, when Joseph as a prophet in the past dreamt that he saw eleven stars, the sun, and the moon bowing down before him. Then Joseph interpreted his dream that eleven stars are the symbolic forms of his brothers, the sun is representation of his father, and the moon is representation of his mother. Several years later it came true. This was the interpreted meaning of his dream of long time ago.
As an explanation mentioned, ‘ all of people are asleep, only when they die, they will wake up’, the death does not mean a biological death, but it means a spiritual phenomenon. We must be able to release the manacles of the soul so that we can see what lies beyond those symbols.
Toshihiko Izutsu ‘Sufism and Taoism a comparative study of key philosophical concepts’ page 8-9.