I like to let my mind wander a lot. From the time I was young, I would dream up worlds and imagine my place within them. My canvas for this activity could be anything from a blue sky to rain running down the side of a car window on the way home from school. As a child I had an agreement with my parents, where if I ever told them, “I’m thinking,” they weren’t allowed to disrupt my train of thought until I said it was ok.
My favorite philosopher Alan Watts,, spoke about what it would be like to control your dreams, were you to be able to live entire lifetimes every night you were resting.
Perhaps at first, one would imagine themselves with wealth, and then again with fame. The list would continue on and on until, at a certain point, the dreamer would have everything they could ever imagine wanting. The problem with that is, there would no longer be anything left to want.
You could dream of adventures, life in lavish, existence in an alien world. You could live millions upon millions of lifetimes, and eventually, you would have done it all. The thing is, after a while, that would be rather boring. At a certain point, you wouldn’t want to be controlling it all; you would wish for the dream to surprise you, to give you a life somehow beyond your imagination. In a way, isn’t that what your life is like right now? After a certain amount of time, we would dream the exact life we are living now.
This is the idea Watts put forth, and to this day, I think about it as I drift off to sleep or daydream. In a sense, I think it is comforting,, that even an omnipotent dreamer would one day imagine the life I am currently living. All the good, the bad, and the grey in between…that’s a part of the surprise, and that’s what makes life worth living. We don’t know what’s around every corner, but that can be a good thing. If we let go of this illusion that control is always beneficial, then we can see the true beauty in the turbulence of life.