Do you dream when you are asleep? Are your dreams in black and white or are they in technicolor? Do they involve people and places and objects that you have seen or interacted with but sometimes they appear to behave in the wrong context? If you are curious about your dreams there are “dream dictionaries” (also known as oneirocritic literature) written for interpreting images in dreams. However, dream dictionaries are generally not considered scientifically viable by those within the psychology community. Most people have several dreams when they are asleep even when having a cat nap. Sleep is important. We know the body needs to rest and the mind, which does not sleep, needs to filter and deal with all the information it has collected and that happens by dreaming. But do you not find that immediately after waking you cannot remember the events of the dream? You may at first recall one or two points but once you get into your day even those disappear.
I have always enjoyed reading sci-fi and you have probably read or seen a story of a mad scientist who develops a method of entering a parallel universe or a ray that can send him back and forward in time. He often comes to a sticky end when he cannot get back to where he started. Perhaps it is developing an imagination that triggered a thought recently. What if the life we have now is really a dream? I do not mean dream in the sense that it is perfect but that we are not really here, we living in our dream and that we are, in reality, living somewhere else.
This concept would mean all the heartaches, upsets, sadness, physical aches and pains, depression, joy, elation, fun, and excitement are not real but are a figment of our imagination and this life is a dream that began at our birth and will end with our “waking up”. And when we do awaken we would realise this life have all been temporary and that we may not be able to remember it all. This would of course also mean that all the people that come within our orbit, each of them has been created by us for our experience within our dream.
This idea may at first glance appear weird, just like all science fiction is weird. But let’s just pretend for a moment that each of us really is the product of us dreaming. The question then is how would this knowledge affect our relationship with what is going on in our world, with the people around us, with our ambitions and goals? Please pause for a moment and consider how this idea would affect your attitudes. Also, how should we think of the past events in our life if we have manufactured all of them for our own experience? Certainly, we may then not consider them with deep regret if we are the event creators.
Please, bear with my weird imagination and spend a few minutes now, just pretending, using your own wonderfully weird imagination, with the concept that this life of yours is really a dream, it is only temporary, and that you will one day wake up.
How do you feel now? May I suggest that for those brief moments, while you were doing this pretending you were also relaxed, found peace, and had a sense that “nothing really matters”. It is all a dream. These feelings come with a realisation that everything in this life is temporary and that one day our life will be different, that we will leave everything behind – except perhaps the character and personality that we have created for ourselves whilst dreaming. And then even this will at some time be put aside when we come to understand who we really are.
I do not ask you to think about totally changing your current understanding of life and to live with the concept that your life is a dream unless you really want to. I do not know how living the idea will affect your own personal moral compass. Even if you did start to fully believe all in life is a dream and only temporary, both you and I should still try to treat all people with love and respect. I say this because the purpose of your life now is likely to be so that you can come to a greater understanding of unconditional love both in giving and receiving. We all can only gain this important understanding if we behave and treat others with compassion, sympathy, empathy and patience, tolerance, and all the other good ways you can think of, even though these people will someday pass from our life.