(Oh, sorry it’s late!! I was celebrating a family event).
When you hear the word dream, what first comes to mind? Your future, your goals, your desires in the short and long term? Or is it bedtime–sleep–that in between world of reality and thought? Is it a nightmare and running to your mom at three in the morning, or the gut-wrenching feeling you get when realizing an opportunity slipped you by and you didn’t make it? When I speak of the value of dreams, must we differentiate between the good and the bad, the sleep-induced and the daydream of a distant desire?
This thought started awhile back, while reading Life of Pi. I called into question every aspect of the story after a certain point, distrustful to the reality of my narrator. This in turn sparked thoughts of the brain in a vat theory–that we are nothing more than brains in vats somewhere, given impulses and stimuli to create a fake world around us. (FYI, Brandon Sanderson has a short story on the subject).
Really, though, I wonder at the value of dreams. They can overwhelm and terrify us, or twitterpate and uplift us. They lead to undoing ambitions and the achievements of ages. What makes the magic difference between a tragic memory and a triumphant idyll?
The value of dreams in truth ties directly into the most spectacular aspect of humanity: our potential. Humans have a great capacity for good and evil both, as evidenced by the massacres and miracles of history. What takes us to these heights and depths is our imagination–anything you can think of is achievable, if you work for long enough. This in turn directs us to the dreams of mankind in both waking and slumber. Any of these are products of our mind, the ingenuity and imagination of a spectacular race. Terry Pratchett said in his novel Hogfather: “HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM. (~Death)”. In another, he mentions how odd it is that humans find the working of the universe so fantastic and overlook the wonder of their own reality–that we ponder the rise and fall of civilizations but not the wonder of a lamp post.
I said above that anything is possible if we work at it long enough. I’ve also questioned the reality of this statement. My only answer to it is thus: if we will not stop until we have succeeded, then we must at some point do so. For if we haven’t yet then it is not the end. And that, really, is what dreams do for us. The unobtainable becomes reality with the will of a mind.
I’m not saying it’s easy–dear heavens no. That would laughable. But it is possible, because you’ve decided you just won’t stop. It makes me wonder–what do I value enough to keep working towards, no matter what?
Just something to think about,