Having just seen the enigmatic movie Inception, which has done nothing for my understanding of dreams, either as those developed while in the state of sleep, or even as a metaphor for some hope or aspiration in life, I thought it only fitting to discuss one particular dream that has plagued me since I was a young boy. It has recurred often throughout my life in various forms, but always upon waking, the same anxiety has consumed me. BUT… slowly I am beginning to feel the purpose of the dream may have a new answer.
Ever since I can remember, being seriously tested, either in my education or in my personhood, I have on occasion woken from a dream in total despair. At night, in the dark somber recesses of my mind, the true me, whoever that may be, has revealed itself over and over again, for 50 years. There I am in a classroom, waiting to be evaluated, tested, or examined, and I find myself feeling unprepared for the task. I also feel unexceptional in my abilities, and basically incompetent and unattractive. In the dream, I feel if I only had more time, more knowledge, more wisdom, and more vitality, somehow I would be able to succeed. But the clock is ticking, but soon the real me will be revealed, and I will fail miserably in my dream. In the dream, though, I never get to this place. I always wake with the fear of expectation. The actual exam never takes place.
I wake up in a total sweat, convinced that if one were to evaluate me, like the dream, I would fail miserably. If I were to stand naked before you, without my degrees, my wealth, my success, my clothes, I am nothing but a total failure. You would look right through me, deep into my soul, and see the total failure I might be.
Oh, in real life I can play the game of hide-and-seek, but at night, when sleep has slowly unveiled my external appearance, this person is revealed. I used to hate (and to some degree still do) doctors, because as they probe and examine me, nothing good can come from that. They will only find my faults, my frailties, and my sickness. Don’t look too closely, because as I stand before you, what am I?
So for 50 years, I have viewed these dreams with despair, because in my heart, I have believed them as the truth. But as I have gotten older, and begun to slip from these surly gates, I have slowly begun to leave this inception behind, and find some new meaning to these dreams. Maybe they represent not who I am, but rather my own attempt to keep me grounded (down, both physically and mentally), and to prevent me from seeking what is real and not a dream. These dreams represent a big part of me, but there is also the other part that is just learning it can fly.
For information on the new book, take the leap and visit it here, where The End is just the beginning.