Friday, November 17, 2006

Q & A: If life was just a dream, would you want to wake up from it?

Dreaming of Peace

{Audio this essay; .mp3 1.5mins 1.45MB}

Dear Mr. Supposed Philosopher:

If life was just a dream, would you want to wake up from it?

~ Sleepy in Seattle

Dear Seattle Snoozer:

In some ways the question asks, What is our preferred relationship to reality?

Some people think that how reality happens to be is unimportant, "as long as I'm happy" (i.e. as long as I have a first-person perspective that's pleasing.)

Other people think that how reality happens to be matters, and often this is what's behind our wanting to know 'the truth'.

Imagine that you enjoy being around a certain group of people which you define as 'friends'. But further imagine that when you are not around they mock and laugh at you, and often discuss what a pitiful, disgusting person you are; but, they think it's great fun to pretend to be your friend - in fact, they've formed a little club that will pay-out a pool of money they all put in when they were kids, long ago. Whoever is alive at last and has maintained the "friend" illusion to you wins an extraordinary amount of money. But, alas, you'll never know.

Would it matter that your "friends" were all shams, as long as you never found out, and as long as you always felt that happy feeling of friendship when in the presence of shams?

Most people have the intuition that something important would be missing. Likewise with a forever-dream. Something is missing when the first-person presentation is not tied to the way things actually are -- again, when the element of 'truth' isn't an element in one's life.

So, yes, I'd like to wake up. (Now just *when* in my life, the exact timing I'd like to risk it all to know 'the truth', that's a tougher question.)


[image] "Dreaming of Peace" Gallery and Gifts (Accessed 11/17/2006)



At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe this is your best Blog to date.

I tend to believe most people live for the moment, thus waking up to find life only a dream would likely go unnoticed or at best... relief that it was a dream!


At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once saw a an episode of 20-20 where a priest performed an exorcism on a youg girl who had for years been plagued by demons (or that was the story). The short story is that the priest's efforts were effective and the girl was liberated.

Which was the dream and which was reality?


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