After The Dream

Vishnu’s dreaming. He’s exhaling. Each exhale is tens of thousands of our years long. Rumor has it soon he’s about to arrive at that soft pause between exhaling and inhaling, so quiet. Since Vishnu is dreaming us, and our universe into existence, I wonder what that rest might feel like. Then the great inhale will begin. What if Vishnu wakes up? What then?

Inside of our little microcosms, inside of our little universes, are we also dreaming? Are we dreaming we’re awake? What would it feel like if we did wake up? What would it feel like after the dream?

But in our reality, we have our little dreams, and they don’t feel little to us. Finishing school. Forging a career. Earning money. Getting married. Providing for your family. Buying a house. Keeping a house. Having children. Adopting children. Traveling the world. Spiritual enlightenment. Peace of mind. Contributing to society. Working toward justice and mercy. Being an artist. Being a scientist. Whatever your dream might be. Waking dreams. American dreams. African dreams. Japanese dreams. Mexican dreams. Indian dreams. All over the world dreamers are dreaming.

Have you, by chance, noticed that Life usually doesn’t go as planned? We may have our dreams, but Life has its Dream. Does it mean we’ve failed when our dreams do not turn out as we’d hoped? Who’s to say? Who knows in the end? Maybe the Dreamer’s Dream is the best dream for us, even if it does not feel that way. Maybe we are not failing. Maybe we are not falling short. Maybe our lives are unfolding according to the Dreamer’s Dream and it is up to us to interpret the Dream creatively, insightfully.

How do we know when we are off following our little, nearsighted dreams, and when we are aligned with the Dreamer’s Dream?

I’m dreaming. A boy, in black, a knife in his right hand, is after me. He wants to kill me. I’m petrified. I run into a dark movie theater. He following right behind me. Some old black and white Hitchcock movie is towering over me. Loud, eerie music is coming at me from every direction. I’m running through the isles. He’s leaping over the seats. He’s closing in. He corners me, thrusts his knife deep into my stomach, and smiles. He’s laughing. He’s so happy. I look down. Where’s the blood? No blood. The knife’s blade slid back into the handle. It was a toy knife. The boy just wanted to play. He wanted to be my friend.

Could it simply be a matter of misinterpretation?

How do we know when we are following our little, myopic dreams, and when we are letting ourselves be dreamt by the Dreamer’s Dream, call it what you wish; fate, destiny, nature, God. I don’t know, but I have a hunch. Often, we hear a silent voice within us encouraging us to do something that challenges our little dream, something that might make life feel less predictable, less secure. It may feel like we are losing a little control. Yet, it doesn’t feel impulsive, or reckless. It is usually accompanied with a surge of energy, but it is not manic, just strong. Like a calm, large wave moving through us. You feel you’re going to a place you don’t know, and yet you feel like Life is leading you forward to a place it does know.

One of the great dangers of becoming obsessed with our own little dream is that we might forget that we are inside the dream of every person we meet. So our dream changes their dream, and their dream changes our dream. Our dream is but one thread woven into a basket of dreams.

The more empathic we are to the dreams of those around us, the more we begin to feel the larger dream, the Dreamer’s Dream. Our fate is intricately interwoven with everyone else’s fate. When I open to this likely possibility, my preoccupation with my personal dream lessens. Momentarily it feels like a loss of drive, but it isn’t. It’s an absence of being driven. Without my fanaticism will I make it? I don’t know, and there’s only one way of finding out.

When I become very quiet, very still, my intuition tells me I’ve got it backwards. This intricate interweaving of dreams is far stronger than my seemingly individual dream. Right now I feel like I should be working on my book, my little dream, but for some odd reason I find myself writing this small piece that seems to have no apparent purpose. But I am learning something through writing it, and just maybe this piece is not for my little dream, but for someone else’s.

Listening to the dreams of all of those around me. Giving my best when I’m living within people’s dreams.

It’s counterintuitive. It doesn’t sound right. That might be a good sign.

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