The Power of the Dream

M2. As children we all dream. So don’t underestimate the power of the dream. You may have forgotten your childhood dreams just as you may have forgotten your last night’s dreams, but they are still there influencing your life even now.

We tend to associate the term dream with ambition or wish, and that is for very good reason, because it is the power of dream that drives your ambitions and your deepest desires.

But as we grow out of childhood, we are told that dreams are mere fantasies and that the real world is more important. So for many of us our dreams rather got lost in our training to be an adult.

William Wordsworth, the poet says,

“Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy”

This is the reality of growing up. And just as reason and rationality are essential to live in the world, so intuition is a faculty everyone possesses. This intuition looks beyond our normal world to our dreams and ambitions of life.

Our education system fosters reason, but it is dreaming, day-dreaming and contemplation that exercises our intuition and enables our connection with who we really are.

Dreaming is clear, but what is contemplation exactly?

Contemplation is simply paying attention to “things of the spirit”. It’s looking inwards to see outwards with a new meaning. It’s a natural activity that children and adults do and is not weird or outlandish. Through it we can capture a sense of wonder of the world, and re-connect and  we re-energize ourselves.

The messages we receive in a contemplative or day-dreaming mood are often of great importance to us and we should take them seriously. They can not only provide a new direction, but also liberation, hope and fulfillment in our lives. The power of the dream is a very real force.

Choices

You may believe that you have choices in life, or conversely, you may believe the opposite, and that fate is all that controls each of us. The reality is that our choices are determined largely by our fate, but then again, our fate is also determined by our choices. We are a simply a part of nature, and neither above nor below it.

So if we only look at nature or nurture as the influences on our lives, we will neglect the effect of our own individuality. And that depends on who we believe we are and what we choose to do. Our life’s calling comes out of our dreams and this energy goes into the world through us.

The Chinese principle of Wu Wei suggests that we carry within ourselves the potential of our own future growth rather like an acorn holds the pattern for an oak tree. As oak trees just grow, so it takes no effort to realize our dreams either. Our individual energy pours out of us during our lifetime, demonstrated through our life’s work as we achieve our full potential.

Conclusion

This idea leads us again to the opportunity that we all have the chance to re-assess our lives from childhood to the present time, through our dreams: And in that way we will discover our own particular purpose in life. It’s rather like discovering what variety of the acorn we are and so determine the pattern that guides our growth and what we will eventually achieve.

To behave otherwise is to live as a slave to others so be careful not to ignore the power of the dream. As Frank Zappa, (rather strongly, I feel) said:

“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your sh**, then you deserve it.”.

It’s your dream, and have some fun with it. If you are not doing what you love in life and really having the fun you deserve, then take another look at your childhood dreams.

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