Been a while - you’ve made some serious leaps since I’ve last been on, @Steve_Gleason!
I’m going to say the answer is YES, we have the choice.
And not just in dreams.
(holding that view or intention at least… “How big are the sails on your sailboat?” sort of thing)
That proclamation comes with an enormous “however”…
First: I’m light-years from anywhere near “there”.
(and: “there is no there there”)
My sense is this is where meditation is critical, essential. And is having a qualified teacher.
I have a new phrase: “transmission by osmosis”
Something about the teacher’s “field” - basically their mind - is like holding a lit match close to an unlit match. It can light the other match, when close enough.
(nod to Holecek’s “2020 Bardos In Everyday Life - COVID vesion” demo of matches representing thoughts - not enough ‘space’ between the the matches and it shows how one thought lights up another and the whole set of matches is instantly ablaze)
Using that same metaphor - if one’s mind has the capacity (via training - meditation), the teacher’s ‘match’ can light the student’s ‘match’.
That’s why a teacher is so important.
What “match” did the teacher light?
I think that’s where the term “the path” comes in.
I’m only guessing here - but eventually glimpses of more and more subtle states of mind. And once a student has the ‘flash of experience’ (via osmosis) - they then go off and practice and work with their minds until they can experience that transmission on their own accord.
Then they go back to the teacher for more.
That is how it rolled out for me at a super coarse level, years ago, at least.
I suspect at some point, the choice you ask does become possible.
Milarepa, right? Put his fist through stone? Or his footprint in rock? (I forget)
He “chose to not reify” - is my left-brain guess.
In the waking state. Or maybe it wasn’t? Perhaps “at some level of dimension” is a closer guess to “a state”
“whatever those Masters experience as a constant way of being”.
(just got off the Ian Baker interview - WoW! The term he seemed to use was “more porous” or “more permeable”. That lands as “more open” to me, personally.)
– other points –
“Reification begins at birth” - and one could say we are being reborn 360 times a second. And reborn as this “meat body”, on a different level of the fractal.
(nod to Thurman, love the term!!! )
“need to establish boundaries” - I think the notion is to dissolve boundaries.
→ it seems to be a process of opening and opening further and then opening to a terrifying vast expanse. (theory, again. No experience here!)
“…in a dream” - one instruction is to view all phenomena as a dream or dream-like.
So now I wonder if the dream state is the same as the waking state is the same as the dreamless state at some point? It’s just all mind. And not the ‘heady, thinking mind’ but the heart-space mind.
Good stuff to chew on!