Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Dreams feel real while we're in them. 
It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.
--Inception



Throughout human history, dreaming has fascinated and mystified humans. 
Dreams are visions from the gods, they are prophecies, they are magnificent glimpses into other worlds.
One of my friends tells a story of when her older brother was 5. 
He came down from his bed one night and exclaimed: "Mommy! I saw pictures on my eyelids when I slept!" This small little boy had found images from a different kind of reality had invaded his eyes while he slept. 
How mesmerizing. 

In a sense, dreaming mirrors the reality of life. When we dream, we enter a different sort of reality that remains a part of our larger reality. 
When we wake from dreaming, we return to the waking world, the "real world." 
But, just as dreams end, this life will pass by, when we die will we wake into the reality for which we are truly, deeply, actually meant.
The illogic of dreams we find jarring when we are aware that there is a greater world we are meant for. When we realize that there is a greater, deeper, more real reality that we are born for, then this world will seem like a passing dream.

Rose, the sanguine young heroine of Shadow of the Bear, ponders: 
"Have you ever felt that there was something going on in life that not everyone was aware of?...As though there’s a story going on that everyone is a part of, but not everybody knows about—a sort of drama, a battle between what’s peripheral and what’s really important. As though the people you meet aren’t just their plain, prosaic selves, but are actually princes and princesses, gods and goddesses, fairies, gypsies, shepherds, all sorts of fantastic creatures who’ve chosen to hide their real shape...Or have forgotten who they really are." 
The possibility that there is a deeper reality to our world is exciting and exhilarating. When we shuffle off this mortal coil, we will enter something so real, this world of ours now will seem like a passing shadow.
Now we dream, soon we will awake. That's the hope.

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