Some of my favorite dreams come from borrowed fragments of somebody else's imagination. I for one, am one of those individuals who gets way too invested into movies. I enjoy them entirely too much. Much like books were in the last century before the advent of radio, I feel movies have become more than just entertainment, for this generation.
Games will, in my mind anyways, eventually surpass movies as the contemporary medium of modern times. Fully interactive experiences (games of the future) will help influencers more easily coax the general public into common ways of accepted groupthink. These same games, will become havens of safety and security for those escapists who wish to avoid the harsh realities of a very real world.
Hence my opening statement. My dreams are borrowed.. Almost all of my favorite ones come from someone else. Guilty as charged. When I speak of dreams it usually involves some kind of intense struggle followed with epic swells of emotion. I'm involved in some kind of great effort, some kind of overwhelming task that's being undertaken to create a desired result…
Talking with one of my closest friends, I find the opposite is true. She dreams of quite visceral observations and experiences. Sometimes she's falling, sometimes running in pursuit of… Sometimes running in fear from… All the while perceiving minute undercurrents of emotion or awareness… of something not quite right, nagging her from somewhere in the background.. In my dreams I know the names and faces of characters. In her dreams I've come to note that she feels the flow of the quicksand swallowing her up or the waves of water as they rush past her in the sea. Always running from phantoms… Always laughing or interacting with faceless friends.
When I'm desperately fighting off zombies in my dreams or fighting for my life in some obviously ridiculous circumstance, I reflect now that I'm awake, how odd it is that I never question it in the moment. I fight, I run, I drive, all without a second thought as to how I actually got there or what took place to make all of this insanity possible. I am fully aware of the moment… Completely submersed inside of the dream.
It's awkward and frightening for me to imagine a future where society at large will live mostly to participate in such virtual realities… waking dreams if you will… Borrowed dreams. Does it matter that they originated in a boardroom or on a piece of paper in the hands of some struggling storyteller?
It doesn't escape me that many folks would actually prefer to live within a fantasy instead of actually live life. In an article I recently read, it is mentioned that modern day men have taken to dating “virtual” girlfriends. What is significant to me is that the marketplace has actually responded to this “need” by supplying certain physical locations which house sensors that allow said guy to take a picture with his virtual love interest. “Watching men form relationships with two dimensional characters in a video game is both fascinating, sad, and suggestive. Where might we be with this phenomenon in 10 years?
In the future, when man lives on the moon and earth is no more than a living mausoleum… perhaps then people will laugh at how we constantly fought wars and almost destroyed our own planet by misusing and abusing our resources. Perhaps then, they will dine on genetically modified, extinct animals and take 3D videos of their virtual grandkids and fly space vehicles to the nearest, planetary, getaway hotspot.
Perhaps then, someone will learn the meaning of what it all means to truly and intentionally, live life to the fullest… Without selling it and formulating it into another, #1 bestseller ebook… that will sell millions of copies to millions of people who will never, ever finish reading it.
I believe that the art of communication isn't lost. There is always a chance to influence others for good no matter what type of world springs up around us. God isn't the author of confusion even though the devil wishes he could convince us otherwise. Whether we prosper or falter, there is always hope. I try to remind myself never to forget that. Art, in many people's eyes has a responsibility to help facilitate change. In others opinions, it is merely meant to communicate whatever “honest” thought is happening to be felt in that particular moment. I think that both of these ideas are true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all, right?
My questions becomes more than questions when I consider the order in which history is playing out before our very eyes. To some beauty is a garden, a building designed for a purpose, an institution chartered to inspire the gifted… To others, however, beauty is destruction, a picture of a dead body, a book written to glorify serial killers. As Shakespear once wrote, “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come”…
We have an incredible capacity for good or evil as finite, human beings that only live once on this planet. It says in the bible that God himself, once walked with Adam in the garden, in the cool of the day. That statement implies that they spent time together, continually. Fast forward to today where people wonder and argue whether God even exists.
I believe that God and his existence are more than apparent. Just ask Albert Einstein.. “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Those whose dreams would have others perish, to me, resemble nightmares. My dreams, albeit the ones where I survive, are usually ones with a happy ending. If heaven once touched earth, to the point where man was free to walk and talk with God on a daily basis, what has changed? What calamity befell us all that now we have people inspired to kill, steal and destroy and call it a good thing? History would prove that this has always been so but I would argue only that it has increased in frequency and intensity.
I believe that just like a radio dial, some of us are tuned into God… While others are tuned into the devil. I think this is best illustrated by C.S. Lewis when he once wrote,
” …at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder.”
Should we strive to be better people? Yes.
Should we desire to dream better dreams. Sure.
Should we fight against the night and live for the day. Definitely.
Is it purely speculative and generally wrong to expect that we should all respect each other and live peaceably, if at all possible??? Never.
I don't curse in my songs because I am a perfect human being. I never use curse words in my art because I don't want that to resonate and to reflect and reverberate throughout all of history, long after I'm gone… Years from now… Miles from here. I want to change the world even if its as imperceptibly as planting a flower or showing kindness to a stranger. I want to shine bright in a world full of shadows. I want to as they say, “be the change that you want to see in the world.”
We all have dreams. It's only some of us who dream big enough to outshine the clouds when the storms come. Selah.