Beyond Our Dreams... A Season of Lucid Living (Part 2)
“In my dreams I walk the winds, I climb the stairs of open space; In my dreams I float …Unfettered By myths of connectedness that limit…”
(Excerpt from the poem “Surreality” by the author)
Dream vs. Vision
Beyond the short stories in our sleep, we have the ability to consciously project the futures we desire in the waking hours of our daily lives. Some refer to this as “dreaming about the future”. While our dreams are mostly involuntary ventures into the surreal, we have a real ability to mentally and spiritually and emotionally project the kind of future we want for ourselves. We can call this “having a vision of our lives”. It is a truth worth noting that “if we don’t know where we want to go we will end up someplace else”. Our destinies are a function of the choices we make about where we want to end up in life. Every road leads somewhere. The question we face has to do with whether the road we are traveling is leading to the places we want to go.
Creating a vision of our futures gives us a useful predictive tool that most of us find handy in navigating the course of our lives. Despite their semantic and rhetorical points of departure, we often use the words dream and vision interchangeably. The operational difference between them has to do with the purely incidental nature of dreams, as against the purposeful nature of being a visionary in the matter of charting one’s destiny. We can agree that our ability to “move ahead” has a lot to do with our penchant for seeing ahead through the foresight that a well cultivated vision provides. Life without a purposeful vision can be a course of stumbling… A journey fraught with too many unforeseen obstacles.
There is a place where our dreams and our vision of life merge. I call it a place of Lucid Living. Lucid living is our ability to creatively engage the circumstances of life with the clarity that comes from a well honed vision. That clarity facilitates the engagement of useful perspectives that are not otherwise available to us. It allows us to take calculated risks that we would otherwise retreat from. It helps us see possibilities that evade those who face similar circumstances, but who haven’t done the work of vision cultivation.
It is “cool” to dream… many of us spend an inordinate amount of time at it; but then we must wake up and do the real work that accomplishing one’s vision involves. It is one thing to be the receptacle of a surreal experience; it is quite another matter to be fully and consciously engaged in the real work of creating the life and world we desire for ourselves. It is one thing to spend our time wishing and hoping; it is quite another to offer up the sweat and tears that come from what is at times a bruising sustained effort.