Yesterday I came across a piece of writing I did back in 1988 for a philosophy class I was taking at Cal Poly called ‘Myth, Ritual and Superstition.’ It dealt with an age old question in philosophy and religion: Is our life experience in this world real or is it all just a dream? Most people may think it sounds a little crazy, like something a mentally unbalanced mind might dwell on, but believe me, it is a legitimate question.
Think about it, what if life as we know it is nothing more than a brief moment in some much greater journey. Time, after all is a man made concept, a perception imposed by our own minds to help us understand the world, as it pertains to our life experience. So in the big scheme of things our entire lives, long or short, might actually amount to less than the time it takes to blink your eye or snap your fingers. Can you imagine, your lifetime, might actually amount to squat, just an infinitesimal blip on life’s radar.
If in fact our lives are just a dream or a series of dreams that exist only in our minds, then who or what the hell are we really? Am I an ordinary man dreaming I’m a king or am I a king dreaming I’m an ordinary man? Are we who we think we are or are we who we dream we are? Will you wake up from the dream at some point in time to find that you’re really just a small child, an awkward teen or maybe even an eighty year old man. Can you imagine waking up, rubbing your eyes, stretching and thinking to yourself, “Now that was one hell of a dream!” What if our waking life is nothing more than the final memories of an old man or woman in the last moments of their lives? Life flashing before their eyes! Could a lifetime of experience be stored in our minds and condensed into a few moments of activity? Sure, Why not? Or maybe we’ll awake one day to discover that we’re not even human!
Pretty trippy stuff huh? Books, journals, and movies on the subject abound. Several sci-fi movies have explored this life is a dream concept ‘Inception” being the latest. Others include ‘The Matrix, ‘Dreamscape’, ‘What Dreams May Come’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘Groundhog Day’ and many more. All searching for answers trying to come to some understanding about the miracle of life.
Funny, as I read through the pages I was amazed that I had been so ‘into’ the whole dream/life concept, but then I was a young man in my thirties, on a quest for truth and understanding. It wasn’t sufficient to accept that something was as it was, I hungered to know why! Funny, all these years later, I could care less. Oh every once in awhile I still wonder about various theories on time, dreams and life, but truth be told, I now could care less!
As I approach 60 I’m more concerned with living my life and getting the most from it and doing what I can to make it better. If it’s real, great! If it all turns out to be a dream, that’s okay too! Because the fact is, I believe that I’m currently “living the dream!” Life is good and God willing it will continue that way. I’ve been very content with my life and how it has turned out, in fact, nearly eleven years ago I changed my primary email address to “Contento 49″(happy/content) to reflect the way I feel.
Since I was a senior in high school all I wanted was to be happy with my life. It was never “I want to be rich” or “I want to be famous,” it was always “I want to be happy.” It took awhile , but I believe my dream has come true. Thanks in part to my family and friends, and my own acceptance of what life has thrown my way, I have to say I’m a very happy man. Oh I may have a dark moment now and again, but for the most part I am quite content. And if by chance it is all just a dream, so be it, I just hope I don’t wake up anytime soon…
Keep on Dreaming…
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream…