“I finally understand what I’ve come here to learn,” I said. I was incredibly happy. I recall the sun was shining, making its way up from my feet to my legs in a symbolic way, soon to reach my head. I was on the cusp of an epiphany. That’s when I woke up, needing to head to the bathroom. Of course, after that it’s difficult to fall back asleep. I knew that even if I did it would be to a different dream and I wouldn’t learn what it was that I’d come here for. So it is with the great experiment of consciousness. Either we’re continuously learning or we’ve already died. Nobody has all of the answers. Consciousness may be the true final frontier. There is no scientific explanation for what it is that is universally accepted. We all, however, know what it is though daily experience.
Dreams are considered part of our subconscious. While we sleep we’re said to be not conscious, although we all know that at times we are. Sleep can be somewhere between. And we don’t even know what consciousness is. The study of dreams is still valued in psychoanalysis—it is a form of thinking too—but in our materialist, capitalist society we tend to dismiss dreams. They generally don’t bring in money. In ignoring them we move further from understanding consciousness. Enlightenment, while not a scientific category, still seems possible, even should it come in dreams. If only we could stay asleep long enough to see it through.
I have a friend who also thinks too much. He sometimes wonders if this constant focus on what the “they” want isn’t a plan to keep us too busy to think things through. I often think that the monastics had it mostly right. At least the part about taking time to contemplate. When you encounter an idea that feels like a key and you know the door that it opens will be profound, it always seems that work comes to interrupt right at that point. The job where you can wrestle with ultimate reality and not worry about not producing “product” for which you’re paid, is rare indeed. That’s why waking from this particular dream was so difficult. I had a semester break while teaching where I read three books that changed my outlook forever. It was possible because I had a few weeks before I had to be back in the classroom. Since then the dream, I guess, has been to return to where you’re paid to learn, for the betterment of all.