How real is your dream?

Image: chuttersnap

Michael Jackson was SET UP!

This is the message I was bombarded with as I walked into the office this morning.

Our office is on a little one way street in downtown Reno. We call it an alley. Even though it’s technically not an alley. Anyways…

We get a high number of — what’s the politically correct term here, transient folks — here in this alley. The tall apartment building that sits next door to our office provides ample nooks for them to set up shop and crash for the night away from the main streets of Reno.

It’s all a scam — a F*CKING SCAM!!!” he blared out from behind his shopping cart.

He paid me no mind. I walked in our building and went up to the second floor. It was muggy in there, so I opened the windows to let some cool air in.

All of it! Goddamn it, ALL OF IT is going to hell! I’m going to hell!! Aghhhh!!” his diatribe continued through the open window.

I closed the window to muffle his preachments and then I realized…

This guy — for whatever reason, chemically or not — is totally validating and amplifying every single thought that crosses his mind. They’re all very real to him. And they’re coming at him faster than he can talk (erm, yell).

If his next thought was about a snake who humped a camel — he’d probably start droning on about that. Why not?

But here’s the kicker… We all do this (to one degree or the other). Tell me this isn’t what Poe was talking about in this little number:

A Dream Within a Dream


Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow — 
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand — 
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

We all live in a dream within a dream.

The more real we believe the dream of our thoughts to be, the more we close off our connection to Spirit.

The difference between our varying degrees of well-being is the degree to which our thoughts appear real to us. If we know the dream is just a dream, it isn’t too scary. But when it appears real, it’s absolutely terrifying and we find ourselves victimized by a world that we seem to have no control over.

This is how “Michael Jackson was set up” turns into “I’m going to hell.” If we don’t understand that it’s all just thought — all just a dream — it seems to take on a life of its own and take us in all sorts of interesting, dark places.

I’m Jonas Ellison — a motivational messenger and performance coach who writes daily here on Medium. To get my short vignettes in your inbox every day, click here.

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