The set up:
Imagine yourself inside a dream with complete and total awareness of who you actually are–a sleeping person whose brain is manufacturing the dream, and who has a “real reality” that can be obtained by simply waking up. Of course, you would have complete recall of the dream content should you wake up.
In this dream, you are, well, no other way to describe it, almost God. You, by simply intending it to happen, can create anything you can imagine. And knowing that the entirety of this “world” is sprung directly from your imagination, there is not the slightest moral qualm or fear for you within this world.
Want a troop of baboons who are entirely shaved, dressed in typical Wall Street attire, speaking with perfect cogency about Kurt Godel’s formally undecidable propositions at a cocktail party? No problem. Want to go slaloming the rings of Saturn without a spacesuit? Pihhhh! Child’s play! Or, get this, want to look into a dream mirror, see your actual body’s image, and have this incredible feeling of satisfaction? Done deal.
Get the set up? You’re in this dream world, and you can do ANYTHING, you can feel ANYTHING, and you can be ANYTHING. Within this reality, you are freedom personified.
Jump ahead. Think of yourself having had this ability to be anything you want to be in your dreams for TWENTY YEARS. Hours every night for years have been spent having every experience you could imagine. You’ve done it all. You’ve done it all with polka dots, you’ve done it upside down, inside out, and Mobiused. You have been a super hero, a villain, a genius, and a billionaire. And, now, nothing, nothing, NOTHING is left to do that isn’t, well, ho hum.
So here you are, twenty years from now, in the following dream sequence: You’re at one of your fabulous astral parties. You’ve outdone yourself. You’ve created hundreds of people decked out in finery that would make Liza Doolittle’s coming out party seem an “oh so drab affair.” You waltz, you tango, you hip, you hop, and you change genders and costumes ten times in ten minutes. You know, YOUR typical dream.
Now, someone comes up to you. This dream person, Pat, doesn’t know who you really are, and instead has been precisely created to KNOW that you are this incredible person who is adored by everyone at the party for reasons not a single one of them has ever examined the veracity of for a nanosecond. Pat, easy on the eyes, has designs upon you. Pat wants to get jiggy with you, and says, “Wow, some party!”, and proceeds to attempt small talk with you using a rather impressive knowledge set, and, like an amalgam of Jim Carrey and Stephen Hawking, pulls off being thoroughly entertaining AND deep!
Unfortunately, this is the fourteenth time you have had Pat come on to you like this. In fact, variations of this Pat character have done, said, felt, and been every possible thing for, to, with, under, and of you. You’re sick of Pat! And, you’re sick of anything that remotely has the “stink” of being entertainingly deep! Been Mobiused, done that Mobiused. You’ve got a closet full of Pats and Robins and Kims and Dales and Chrises and Mickeys.
Pat doesn’t “get” that the ultimate fabric of the universe is about a pound of cerebral cortex snoozing on your pillow!
What to do? THAT’S THE EXERCISE! Think of something to do in this wonderful environment after twenty years of having done so. What would you do? (Remember, you’ve already done it.)
How many years WOULD I really need to get THAT jaded?
What is the nature of my wanting to have experiences that it so disallows obvious repetition?
Have I already done this? If I could remember all my dreams, would I pretty much be in the same situation? Are my dream experiences actually affecting my ability to enjoy real life? Am I sort of “rusting”?
What IS the difference between a perfect, red, luscious, sweet, firm strawberry with a dollop of sugary whipped cream and a real strawberry that you can really eat–not that imagined one in this sentence?
If I had a dream about me sitting at my computer reading this exercise right now at this very word, and then I woke up with reality being absolutely in sync with my dream, how would I know I woke up?
Am I awake, or am I dreaming I’m awake, or am I a character in Pat’s dream? How do I know the answers?
Is Pat-talking-to-the-dream-me a little like, a lot like, or completely like, the “real, waking me” talking to an enlightened person?
Do I have to have had every possible experience to finally be wise?
What experiment could Pat do on the dream me to determine if the dream me was actually awake, too? What questions could Pat ask that would yield answers from me that Pat could verify (remember that Pat is as smart as Hawking)? How would Pat be able to know that the tale I might tell about my other reality was true?
What is the difference between knowing me and being me?