You say that thoughts are not real in that way. But thoughts are not real, period. As phenomena they happen, but what they are about are never ever real. If there is any doubt, then try to quench your thirst by thinking of water. You obviously can’t. Why? Since the thought of water is not water. The thought of water doesn’t contain any experience. The thought of water not wet and not drinkable and not able to quench your thirst, no matter how strongly and vividly you imagine it.Because thoughts are purely mental phenomena that don't exist in the physical, material world. They are not real in that way. As for WHY they are like that, I don't know. That's just the way they are.
Yes, this is thinking. But dreams are just more imagination. And how do you know that? Well, if you are attached by a bear in your dream, when you wake up, you are unharmed.It is not completely clear because I am not sure how dreams fit into it.
There is no difference between thoughts and dream. Dreams = thoughts/imaginations
It doesn’t matter how vivid they are, they are still not real.
What matters is that thoughts and mental images are never the actual thing. Never.
The thought of table is never the table itself.
It’s just a symbol, and that’s all.
A symbol is never ever the thing that it symbolize.
You can never be able to put your cup of tea onto the word ‘table’.
The vividness of the imagination or a dream doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that an imagination or a dream can never ever be able leave the realm of fantasy.
Are these totally clear?
Please read my comments slowly, and actually check each sentence in reality. But don’t think or analyse. That’s a dead-end. Rather check your immediate experience if what I am saying is in line with it or not. And about dreams, you can check them in the morning when you wake up.