Earlier today, I was browsing videos on Closer To Truth, one of my favorite websites. The neuroscientist Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn interviews top intellectuals from the fields of physics, technology, philosophy, neuroscience, theology, and other disciplines, asking them about the nature of consciousness, the cosmos, God, and all sorts of interesting things. I was watching videos related to sleep in the consciousness section and was reminded of a nice dream I had the other night.
I was in my very first car, an old 1987 Nissan Sentra, cruising on this massive super-highway, pushing that old car as fast as it could go. (That is NOT a picture of me by the way. I would never have posed for a picture in front of that car. It only lives on in memory.)
A powerful thought kept flowing through my mind, “This highway leads to success!” If I could just stay on that road, I’d be set! I wasn’t where I wanted to be, but that was all temporary. I was on my way. How glorious it would be once I made it to my destination. Where was that exactly? I didn’t know, but that highway led there. I just knew it.
Before too long I came across a small team of police officers and road blocks. It was a detour. They were forcing me to get off the main highway and I didn’t want to. I argued with them and even held up traffic, telling them that I had to get through, but they wouldn’t let me. So I had no choice but to turn down the gravel side-road. And wouldn’t you know it, I was soon lost. To make matters worse, the old Sentra broke down and I was stuck on foot.
As I was walking down the old country roads, out in the middle of who knows where, I started seeing “visions” of all my regrets. It was almost like the air had magical properties, drawing out nasty experiences and bursting them into flashes of light which would paint a scene in the sky, forcing you to remember things you’d rather forget.
I kept walking down these roads for what seemed an eternity, lost, watching these terrible experiences from my past. I was first back in high school and I watched a girl I liked get with some other guy and I had to sit there listening to her tell me how much she liked him. Then I remembered watching my Uncle Layton die, then my grandmother die. I saw myself at their graves and their funerals. I relived my entrepreneurial days, working 12 hour days, much of it never amounting to much. I regretted missing out on experiences I could have had — instead I was just working. I remembered watching my old friends struggle in life and there was nothing I could do to help.
As I wandered these backroads, I ran into all kinds of people, all of them miserable. They were all unhappy, depressed, and unable to find the strength to do something with themselves. They had no motivation to even get up to greet me, most of them staring blankly off into the distance, lost in these back roads. I had compassion for them, but nothing I said or did helped. Eventually I told them I was going to keep pressing forward, trying to find a way back to the super-highway. They weakly cheered me on and I asked if anyone would come with me. None of them would.
Eventually I got tired of those country roads. I couldn’t stand seeing those “visions” of regret and I yelled out that I didn’t want to see them anymore. They kept coming so I said to myself, “Screw these roads. I’ll cut through the woods and fields.” By that point I was really lost. I kept wandering through open plains, crossing rivers, and cutting through dense forest.
With time I came to beautiful open pastures with flowing rivers and crystal clear waters. There were deer grazing, flowers in bloom, and a nice breeze. I said to myself, “Now this is nice!” There were even people there but they were different. They were scientists and philosophers, thinking people, and they wandered around these places, studying and recording everything they found. They’d tell me, “There are strange creatures living over here. Come with us!” Another would lead me deep into these caverns and we explored their depths, admiring the glow-worms. I told one of them, “It’s like a starry sky.” Then he told me, “It IS a starry sky!” We were actually near the entrance of the cave again and there was a large opening to the sky, a glowing Milky Way.
I found that I really enjoyed the time I spent with those guys. They were engaged with the world and had a child-like curiosity for the mysteries of life. After some ten odd years, I had completely forgotten about the super-highway. I was completely happy wandering those beautiful plains with my fellow scientists.
One day I set out on an expedition to chart a distant set of hills and found a new path. It was strange because we hadn’t charted this area yet. Somebody must be nearby, so I followed it. It went for a ways, winding about the hills, through the trees, and eventually popped out in a surprising place — the super-highway! I rubbed my unshaved, bristly chin, thinking, “My my my. It can’t be!?” Nobody was anywhere to be found.
I saw the road-blocks which by this time were worn down by the weather. I gently pushed them aside and made my way down this mega roadway. It was huge, featuring curved banks for high speed travel, just like a Nascar race track, but it hadn’t been tended to for quite some time.
It was really something, even grander than I originally remembered. I walked a short ways, probably less than a quarter mile, and then I came to a short hill. As I got to the top I realized that the pavement abruptly ended, crumbling due to erosion, and there was a row of trees in the distance. It just, ended.
I burst into laughter, threw my hands in the air and yelled out, “There is no road!” I couldn’t stop laughing! I could hardly contain myself. All that excitement woke me up and I felt so good inside. Such peace.
For several days this dream was all I could think about. At first I felt it meant that I was never on a detour, that I was always on the main road. All of those things that happened were just a catalyst to prod me to find the beautiful fields. Then I thought that it may have a deeper meaning as well.
That location with the roadblocks represented “now”. The eternal now. In the beginning I was so busy trying to get someplace else, I just couldn’t enjoy the present. That caused me to go on the detour and suffer, a sort of purification process. Then after the long detour loop, I ended up exactly where I started, but unlike before, I wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere. That’s when I was ready to see the “truth”. There may not be a highway, but I didn’t feel scammed, or angry, or let down. I just laughed. I could now see the world in a grain of sand or a blade of grass. I always had what I needed, I just didn’t realize it.
It really was a wonderful dream.