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Perception and Dreams: The Nature of our Reality

Are dreams and reality any different? Is perception the lens or the eye?

It was a cold, bleak night and I was walking down the street heading home. The area was desolate and the street lights were dimly lit. The wind felt lifeless. Something about the weather made me feel uncomfortable. I was half way to home when I noticed that a person had been following me all the way. He was a tall, muscular person with pale complexion. His face was buried in a brown hoodie and he had eyes of a Vulture, focused on just one thing, me. I glanced at him for a second, he met my eyes with a malign stare. My blood ran cold. I was not ready to confront him, I was too scared. So, I started sprinting as hard as I can. I almost threw him off my trail; then I heard a voice shout my name. I instantly knew who he was. Sometimes we think we can just snub the things that we don’t want to be in our life, the dark side of light. But like an echo, they always come back. That voice had always been there in my mind, like a bone in my body growing as I do, whose presence I comfortably chose to forget, but the pain of the past wounds made me remember. I was running away from the obvious all this time. It was my voice and this person was a part of myself that I chose to ignore.”

Abstract feelings, blurred visions, some real life characters, some strange aliens and not always a perfect ending, we all have experienced these in our dreams. We turn into superheroes, confront devils, marry our crushes and also we get scared, be terrified by our greatest fears, get glimpses of our most dreaded things coming true. We wake up and say “It’s just a dream. No big deal “and get-on with life.

I think there’s more to dreams than just that. They are a medium to tap into a new dimension of our human nature. It’s a pathway to the subconscious, a story written by the conscience. A scrying mirror to see part of our personalities that we cherish or chose to ignore. It’s a world of infinite possibilities without a reckoning and what we do in that world says all about the kind of people we are, the ugly and the beautiful.

Dreams are not so different from Reality after all. We think that dreams are crazy and full of absurdity but life is at least as absurd as dreams. Only, in a different kind of way.

We are taught that murder is wrong but only if a human is murdered. Serial killers are bad, but hunting is a sport. We don’t imprison a mother for her child’s sins and yet some people see it fit to blame God for Man’s atrocities. “

What is more preposterous than these notions and rules we abide by in real life? May be we are living out our life in between 10 pm and 6 am of a person’s deep slumber from another ‘real’ world. What if life as it is, Is just one dream and we wake up one day (May be when we die) and tell ourselves “It’s just a dream. No big deal” and get on with our real lives. We wouldn’t remember the entire thing anyway, just flashes.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” – Edgar Allen Poe

The similarities between Reality and Dreams are uncanny. Perhaps it’s because they are connected at their core by one thing that makes us different, Perception. Perception is the lens through which we experience the world. What we see through these lenses is not always objectively true. At times, Preconceptions look like observations. One person’s red may be another person’s blue. We don’t see things for what they are, we see them for what we are. I wonder, would anything still look beautiful if the entire world is blind?

Our reality is just as biased as our dreams. Likewise dreams, our vision and understanding depends on our own thoughts and persona more so than what we see. The same applies for all our ways of interaction. Perception is our fundamental flaw. Our human hamartia.

We all know so little about one another. We embrace a shadow and love a dream.” – Hjalmar Söderberg

If an idea, a thought or a notion can change our reality, then what is real and what is an illusion? Is life just a dream? If it is, what does it all mean? Does our life inherently defy understanding?

May be my reality is someone’s dream and my dream is another person’s reality.

Possibly, even yours.

Originally published at Thinkingparade.wordpress.com

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