Books and movies are transferrable waking dreams. And perhaps, as Jung believed dreams themselves are our individual way of tapping into a world of greater possibility. Perhaps, they are even examples of divine providence: a roadmap for our waking lives that will bring us to an existence that is closer to our heart.
Three years ago I read, “Your Money Or Your Life,” a book that provides a vivid vision of a life made more simple and fruitful through the demystification of our money taboo.
I was engaged, and so, for the past three years I have been actively paying off my debts. It has meant paying at least an extra thousand dollars each month toward my various credit card, student loan, business loan, and other outstanding balances. Slowly the balances have evaporated, and I’ve gotta tell ya. It has made a difference in my outlook. That road in the photo above. It used to lead to only one place… to the congested highway that was my commute to my job.
Two years ago I re-emerged from my brief freelance life and took a job with this objective in mind. But, not one to set (and therefore achieve, many goals), now that I’m pulling myself up on the opposite shore, it feels kinda strange.
Today is Martin Luther King day the radio tells me on my commute in. I think about my erased debt and think that this must be how it feels to win the lottery. I drive to work, finally as much out of habit than out of necessity. The scales are tipping. As fate would have it, I have arrived at the mountain top that until now was only a vision in my mind. I mailed in my final payment to my credit card company and arrived back at the zero balance we are born with (with the exception of our patriotic burden of the national debt- a kind of original sin that blemishes each newborn American.)
I like to try to vividly visualize the life that I want to achieve. This morning, as I drove to work, mine looked something like this: I accept my new job assignment with a down payment and a hand-shake from a new client who is excited for me to get started on their new website.
I tuck my laptop into a backpack, a couple changes of clothes, gas up the Wrangler and head, leisurely, for Phoenix to see my sister whom I have not visited in her hometown since she moved there ten years ago. Along the way I work, rest, take in the scenery, I draw diagrams about the site and future site on napkins in diners. I meet people casually and hand out my business card along the way. I make a list. I write and send some letters.
Work and life benefit and move forward hand in hand rather than one at the expense of the other. It’s a part of the greater dream that I have named A Day On.
An interesting observation as I headed into the office today: organizers of the Martin Luther King observance are calling for “A Day On”– a day of work or volunteerism rather than a day off, simply lazing around the house with no purpose because you haven’t thought about how you’re going to spend your day that you are not allowed at the office. Perhaps the people in charge of Martin Day realize that while Dreams are important examples of inspiration, it is through taking a day of work or service and then another, and another that still greater dreams are achieved.
I feel a little retired today. I always tell Lisa that I want to consider myself retired right now. I want to get as much bullshit out of my way while my health is still good. Why should I follow everyone else’s schedule. I want dessert right now! I think that many people’s fantasy of retirement or of coming into their own are sketchy and therefore difficult to achieve. It’s like the Rush song, Limelight.
Living in the Limelight, the universal dream
For those who wish to seem.
Those who wish to be must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination, the real relation
The underlying theme.
You have to methodically remove the barriers between where you are and where you want to be. If you dream a hazy dream of Caribbean islands, it is but a dream. The same way when you sleep, you dream of crazy things that make no sense. Without active analysys, those dreams have no context. Without choosing what it is you will dream, there is no intention. We must construct our visions with care and context. If it is to be seen by our mind’s eye, there must be a reason that the set pieces around us include palm trees, white sand and sea. Why? Like when a writer wakes to the inspiration of a man standing on a beach. He must discover why he is standing there. What is his raison d’etre?
Three years ago, waking from a dream of being free from debt would have made little sense. “But,” I would have likely said, rushing to shut off the drone of the alarm clock. “I have debt. Lots of debt. Wow, wouldn’t that be great. A life free of debt!”
Perhaps I would have been motivated by the dream, or perhaps I would have settled back into a dull depression as we sometimes do, frustrated at waking from a dream more pleasant than our actual life.