To dream and altogether not to dream.
This synthesis is the operation of genius,
by which both activities are mutually reinforced.

— Novalis

Dreamers and creative types walk a thin line. That line between fantasy and reality. Innovators and visionaries understand that without fantasy, reality would not exist. Without reality, we would not create the fantastical magic that instills in us a contemplative trauma, leaving us with residual wonder. Without our creations in imaginal realms the reality we work and live in would be a zombified empty void, or we’d be like plankton snatching nutrients passing by, depending on chance happenings for our survival.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” -Douglas Everett

Image: One of Gustave Doré’s Illustrations from Cervantes’s classic Don Quixote “A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination”

Image: One of Gustave Doré’s Illustrations from Cervantes’s classic Don Quixote “A world of disorderly notions, picked out of his books, crowded into his imagination”

Too much fantasy and there’s a danger of walking aimlessly through life, without purpose, or worse, suffering a quixotic loss of sanity. Too much reality and insight and drive disappear, stalling progress.

Visualization brings abstract concepts, images and activities to life inside our minds. We all have a genius in us. We each have the ability to spacetime travel: we are constantly transporting ourselves to spaces of the past, present and future — real and imaginary.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

It’s all a matter of finding a balance. Acting on our dreams. Changing and improving reality based on what we envision, what drives us, where our passions lie.

“There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.” —Hermann Hesse

For some reason not even I can explain, I’ve always known this. Was it my upbringing? Did my introversion make me more observant of my surroundings, more introspective? Was it something that was read to me as a child and I latched onto? Was it part of a song that stuck with me all this time and I was forever searching for similar lyrics, all the while it became a guiding force? Whatever it was, whatever drifted by in my lifetime, at certain moments in my life, I was steered back to this balancing beam, walking that filmiest of screens, as William James put it, between realities or states of consciousness.

“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” — William James

Course Number: College English 101
Title: My only wish, my only hope (draft)
Date: 01 February (17 years old)
You are walking down a hallway and there is a window in the distance to your left. You can see sunlight beaming in and covering part of the floor. As you move closer you notice you can no longer see the light. It has not disappeared — it is within you. You feel its warm touch and bright smile… At this time in my life I can see the light. I can see the many possibilities that are ahead of me. What will I be doing with my life and where will I be? Those questions will be answered a short time from now … My hope is that I will have the chance to open the doors that conceal the places I have dreamed of going. If I stay here I will never know if my fantasies will turn out to be real…If I stay here for the rest of my life I may never feel or walk into the light. I think the explorer and dreamer in me will fade away and be locked up in a dusty, dark part of me and something I do not want to become will escape. It will be me — but not the me I had envisioned. Hope is what we live for, and dreams are why we never give that hope up. My only wish is that I have the chance of living out my dream. Just thinking about it makes me look forward to my possible future that much more. I guess I just have to remind myself to take things one step at a time…

Wherever we go in life we are constantly teetering on that tightrope between realties. Pay attention not just to the obvious, the conspicuous, but look in those hidden corners. They are all around you and in you. The more you pick up, the more you notice in your peripheral vision, worlds of possibilities appear. Be attentive, relax your attention, go unfocused, refocus.

Incoming Images
Log: 23 August (41 years old)
13:51 In between blinks I notice I have a white spot in the center of my vision… what’s that about?
13:51 U-shaped image. Darker blue on left, turquoise on right. Image changes, flattens.
13:58 I close my eyes again and see a digitized U-shaped blue/turquoise-filled shape “the spot”
14:01 It sometimes goes into focus, something is beyond that image
red interlaced to left, white underneath, flashing blue lines
14:03 disappears …. gets larger 14:05
shape like a lizard or small dog jittery, walking left to right. I can’t make out image but it changes like one of those old-fashioned animations when you flip pages of a book and see an image “move”
I cover my eyes and I see it better 14:10
In my right eye it gets bigger. The image wraps around my eye, moving, jittering
14:17 flashing …Now it’s like I can’t quite focus on the scene — I can see in my peripheral vision the scene coming at me and passing by … Image gone 14:19
I can see in my peripheral vision the scene coming at me and passing by like signs overhead just to the right — on a highway?
15:02ish temple pressure
End of moving image scene 15:02ish 23 August

My way of acting on the “fantasies” is to bring them out of my head, shape them and bring them to life, create a commentary of sorts and share them. I know others have experienced sequences of events, witnessed strange phenomena during different conscious and dreaming states like I have. Deep down I know there are and will be more out there needing a guiding force. My wish, my hope is that my stories will help them along the way to stay the course, to wherever they are going.

Navigational Tool: Life’s a flicker show. Take time to blink.

The pebbled path rolls and shifts under my sandals. I slowly walk the grounds, pausing every so often to listen to the interplay of songbirds and buzzing insects, to look at the intersection of lines and curves, admiring the contrasting colors-soft and vibrant, breathing in overpowering scents and subtle fragrances, noticing the flash of texture filling a void, empty spaces winking in between.
I wind my way through the twisting walkway, squinting as I hit patches of brightest light, residual shapes behind my eyelids while in shadows cast by taller shrubbery.
A low stone wall encloses the garden, the rusts, grays and light browns of the rocks and mortar match the palette of the hills that rise into the horizon.
A corner of the wall ponts out to the hills, into Nature’s Window: two trees’ arching branches frame the countryside beyond.
I sit under one of the trees, my feet rest on the arrowpoint of the wall, tickled by the long grass that arcs up and over. My eyes trace the grooves in the hills, the trail where I’ll soon be…
“Nature’s Window” 19:49 12 January (41 years old)