Are there two worlds? This physical universe and heaven? Are they both equally "real"? Where is heaven? It is not in the observable physical universe. It seems strange to have two separate "realities" that are so alien to each other. Or is there just this world and oblivion?
Recently I was dreaming about terrorists — people who were hunting down others and me and terrorizing us. The dream was going on and on. In a moment of lucidity, I recognized that I was tired of this dream, and weary of all of the emotions it made me feel. Part of my mind wanted to drift back into the dream and continue with the "story." I had to actively choose to stop thinking about being terrorized. It felt like a struggle to stop being pulled back into the dream.
Then I woke up. The idea came to me that perhaps my night dream was not so different than my waking "life." There are stories of terrorism in my waking world. Is it possible that my "daily life" is also just a temporary dream, seeming like "reality"? Perhaps only heaven is real, like the mystics tell us, and all else is a dream, temporary, and will pass away as all dreams do. Maybe the process of waking from this "dream" could be similar to waking from my night dream. Did my mind choose to be separate from heaven and so I am "dreaming" of being in a world apart from heaven? I now have to decide that I no longer want to continue dreaming this "dream." I have to actively stop my mind from slipping back into believing the "realness" of this world, this dream. It is indeed a struggle to stay above the battleground — above the dream — and to not get caught up again in the "realness" of the dream. I realize even as I write this that it will be a struggle for me not to get caught up in the "realness" of this world. I know part of my mind wants to continue with this world — this "dream" and all of its "stories."
Part of my mind has become so accustomed to this seeming endless "world dream" that unlike my night dreams, I can't envision what I would "wake up" to. So it seems that the end of "dreaming" is still fearful because it would be the end of the only "self" I remember. I see that without outside help, (outside the "dream") without the help of the Holy Spirit (or my "higher self"), I would never get "out" of this world — this "dream."
Above all else, I want the peace of God.
I do know I am weary of fearful dreams.
I choose instead to give up fear and to see this as a passing world, a passing dream. I choose to believe I will awaken to heaven where all is spirit and love and joy and light. I choose to no longer take anything too seriously here.
Am I just making up another dream? I don't know, but I know for certain that I would prefer to continue here in love and joy and peace than to continue to be here in fear and anxiety and pain, with grievances and enemies, and as a victim of a world I can't control. I am in control of my mind. Who else, if not me, is in control of my own thoughts? So I can choose to be at peace or in fear. I know many people don't believe they chose to be anxious and fearful, but I absolutely believe that we do have power over our own mind. We can choose peace rather than fear. We can choose love instead of hate. We can choose forgiveness rather than judgments and grievances. I know because I have seen the results of changing my mind, of choosing differently.
Jim Meisner lives in Ashland.