Where do dreams come from? They come from deep, deep inside of you and only you. They remain hidden down three flights of stairs, carried along a darkened corridor, and dropped down a plunging lift to your private world of imagination. I want to step into that world — to float like a bird and soar to the heavens; to dive to the deepest trench in the seas and to communicate with all forms of life.
In short: I need to join Gaia (1) and commune with this wonderful world. I must feel this “oneness with all.” But I can only do this through my healthy and fertile creativity. I need to step away from the world of the day-to-day and reside, even for a moment, in the world of “make-believe” — the realm of the fantastical.
What happens to man if his dreams are removed, what does he become? He returns to his most neutered and primitive self. We know this quiddity or essence. It is the province of the appetitive man, (2) the bitter man — the base, and violent man. Behind every criminal act and terrorist mind (if not insane) lies a rudimentary human being who looks for basic answers and easy solutions to the complex issues faced by all men.
Why do I exist? Without imagination and aspirations, I don’t. I simply function, eat, reproduce, and die – another wasted life form, one of many – perhaps most. The choice is 100% my own, given the nature of free will and your givens. (3)
The other evening, on my stroll in a local park with my elegant friend, I chanced upon an extraordinary singer with an impressive vocal range – think David Bowie. (1947-2016) Later most touchingly, he came and sang me several old Beatles classics. I asked if he did this “for a living.” I found his response to be most troubling.
He said no that his dream had been destroyed by long and difficult struggles and now he was too old. The details remain private, but I was absolutely speechless for I know, as we all do, that if I believe anything, it becomes concrete – it is real. If I say, “I will fail,” I usually will – such is the power of the human mind.
My riposte was the standard: That’s not true. Age is no barrier. You can do anything you set your mind to. I could see, however, that these words fell on fallow ground. (4)
Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit,” 2 Kings 19:29.
I must learn to fight against this Internet-numbing negativity that washes over me every single day. I must be that valiant warrior of the self to achieve my potential or, at least, walk along its path. I must never give up on my dreams – no matter how grand or how humble. The great poet and writer, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), leaves us with a thought:
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed—
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
That holy dream—that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.
What though that light, thro’ storm and night,
So trembled from afar—
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth’s day-star?
A closing thought: The human mind is a wonderful gift, but also, potentially, an accursed burden. Like any muscle, to quote Tony Robbins (b. 1960), it must be trained – trained to be positive, hopeful, and tenacious. At its most humble, it must be taught to enjoy the beauty of life itself: the sounds of birds, the playing of children, and the whistling of wind through the trees. It must learn to distinguish between the hopeful and the cataclysmic. It must have faith in the self, a personal God, and the Universe. (Parts of this essay were first published in 2020)
To sum up: This week, we spoke about dreams and their necessity.
To be noted: From Arnold Schwarzenegger (b. 1947) — Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
Just for fun:
For reflection: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Amasing+polly
This week on your thoughtful walk, please reflect on your own dreams.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful
Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!
Quote: Dreams belong to the brave and the adventurous.