Reality is a Dream — a Thought Experiment
Let’s do a thought experiment. What if your current life was just a dream? Can life be, as we see from philosophy or spirituality, just images and thoughts projected onto our consciousness?
The personal growth literature says what you think you can have determines what you actually have. So, that’s like a dream, too. If you dream it, you can manifest it.
In the dream, we attract people who mirror us. They help us to better understand ourselves. What brings these people into your life that teach you the lessons you need to learn? In your dreams, you make connections in your subconscious, which, if you are lucky, help determine your reality.
This thought experiment results from a 33-year-old book I found about Spiritual Growth. While I have been on a personal growth experiment for several months, this is my first move into spiritual growth.
Imagine that your reality is in truth only a dream you are having. You have embellished your dream with certain props—your home, job, and material possessions—all reflecting what you think you can have.
I love this thought experiment! What if reality is a dream? And your house, your job, and all of your stuff are just as good as your self-limiting beliefs allow?
When you wake up every morning, what proof do you have that you are in a life exactly where you left off yesterday? Sleep seems like a bit of death, where every morning, you get to decide who you want to be (if you have a revelation) and if you want to keep acting like you acted yesterday or be a little bit more like your higher self.
Sleep means that, in truth, reality is only a dream you are having. You have a new chance at reality every morning by living more in the moment. Being present will keep the days long and full of new discoveries that reflect what you think you can have. You can choose good stuff and serendipities if you live in the moment.
Moreover, living in the moment only includes this one step here and now in front of you. The past is part of this step (as is the future), but you have to choose what you do right now. How much you let the past be part of a quality step depends on your ability to let go. Let go of the past that no longer serves you. Let your reality be like waking up to a dream every new day.
Other People as Mirrors
(continues) You draw to yourself other people who play out complementary roles, acting as mirrors to teach you more about yourself. You are here to learn about your thought and emotions, and you learn by seeing them reflected all around you.
Having this one life to live is reason enough to better understand your thoughts and emotions. Since you can change your thoughts and emotions, you understand that what you are experiencing now is what you choose to experience.
You can choose your experience as you better understand yourself. How can you better understand yourself? One way is by using other people as a mirror.
Is someone upset at you? What is it in themselves that they see in you is so distressing?
Are you upset at someone for something they did? Look in the mirror and understand what this says about your thoughts and your emotions.
In a dream, you get to pick the narrative. We must have belonging and connection, so you bring into your life people who can teach us the lessons we need to learn.
What is the mirror of other people trying to teach you about the quality of your dream?
Reality as YOUR Dream
Since your reality is YOUR dream, you can dream it any way you want. You can change the script anytime you want, bringing in new actors, and make your dream turn out a better way. You can have everything you want that serves your higher good. Your reality is not as rigid as you might believe; you can change your circumstances more easily than you might think. You can have a world of joy, smiling faces, peace, abundance, and more; there are no limits to what you can have.
Since reality, as your dream, is actually a dream, you can choose to make it what you want. You can now decide to invite new people into your life and make your life better today. You can also improve your life by deciding ahead of time the person you want to be and then keeping up your boundaries.
As a dream, you can decide what serves you and what you need to let go of. Honestly, look around you right now. Is there something there, right there in front of you, that you should probably throw away, and something else that you should probably take off the shelf and start working on it because you enjoy doing that? Since this is just a dream, stand up right now and take action: throw one thing away, and grab something else to bring closer to you to start working on when you finish reading this. Remember, Important but Not Urgent.
Since reality is not as rigid as you think it is, it is easier to change what you think about and who you believe you are. You change your circumstance by deciding to do so.
And as a result, you can have good relationships that are based upon acceptance of your true self and just a bit of vulnerability.
Since you can choose to make it what you want, you might as well make it full of joy, fulfilling relationships that are mutually connected, and finally, understand that enough is the opposite of scarcity (you don’t need abundance). But since “there are no limits to what you can have,” it’s ok to want abundance.
You just need to know what you dream about.
Summary Reality is a Dream — a Thought Experiment
The dreamer is consciousness itself – who you are.
To awaken within the dream is our purpose now.
When we are awake within the dream, the ego created earth drama comes to an end and a more benign and wondrous dream arises.
Let’s do a thought experiment. What if your current life was just a dream?
After all, only you have your five senses that report reality. Only you have your mind that filters the information and makes sense of it all. And only you can decide what it all means to you!
Only you are the dreamer who can become consciousness. To awaken within the dream means that your ego loses control of your life’s narrative, and you can allow a more wondrous dream to fill your reality.
You can choose your dream.
Another way to think about this: impermanence. I’m new to these Buddhist circles, so forgive my ignorance, but if nothing is permanent (that is, it is all subject to change), then it might just be a dream. The source of suffering is your ability to see things around you and believe they are somehow real. This creates thoughts and emotions in your head, and if you believe these are real, you lose your freedom (and suffer).
Said another way, because you refuse to believe your life is a dream, you suffer.
Instead, you can experience life as a dream and just be curious about why you are experiencing it. Let it ebb and flow and don’t judge it or chase it away. You can accept life as it is, or you can accept life like the dream it is, subject to alternation the next time you go to sleep and wake up as if in a new life.