A letter to, ███████
In response to your inquiry of ‘The Living Dream’.
Firstly, the question put forward is simply, “have you ever been deceived?” A question, undoubtedly, that could only be answered honestly with, “yes”. At some stage in each of our lives we would have been led to believe something that is unequivocally false. In the modern world we are exposed to all kinds of deception. Exaggerated results in advertisements to better sell mediocre products, countless fraudulent attempts imitating authorities and businesses phishing for our personal details. While this is unscrupulous and disingenuous behavior, it is not the purest form of deception.
The purest form of deception, is a deception whereby the victim never learns the true nature of the information he/she has been given. After all, what is the English definition of truth? The most widely used definition of truth reads as follows: ‘A fact or belief that is accepted as true.’ But what truly determines if something is accepted as truth?
Propagation. To spread. An ancient means of directing the accepted beliefs of a group. Because ultimately, it is the beliefs of a group that matter. An individual can be corrupted, deluded, or wrong. But who could contend with the will of the masses? The individual is meaningless, the majority rules.
Our world is rife with many forms of deception each seeking to achieve many different ends. The aforementioned forms of deception (such as credit fraud), by their very nature, make perfect sense. They want to acquire something from you, your money. To do this, they will distort the world around you, like all great liars do, to give you reason to comply.
How do they distort your world? The instant someone provides you with a piece of information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, they are contributing to your interpretation of the world around you. Whether you believe or doubt, your grip on what you think you know to be true is now under siege. Eerily, in some circumstances, when what we believe to be true is questioned, the once stone foundation can appear to crumble.
“It’s easier to deceive someone than to convince them that they have been deceived.”
— Mark Twain (attributed, though there is no proof he ever said this).
So what does this all have to do with the Living Dream Theory?
Firstly, a suggestion (that may seem entirely counter-productive): forget what you know, or rather take for granted as true. For there is no religion higher than truth. Yes, truth has no equal in this world, but as foolish as it sounds, you will need to part ways with this tether if you seek to understand the nature of our Somnium Vitae. Fragment your mind, if you are capable of doing so and imagine you weren’t so certain of anything. All of time and space in its entirety, including the mortal instrument you are conducting now and even the surroundings where you currently find yourself.
Who you are, is a collection of memories. Where you are, is a collection of memories. Every detail you perceive is being perceived by a mind that exists on the basis of a lifetime of cerebral cultivation, of memory. Rather than focusing your doubt on a large scale, perhaps a smaller exercise.
Would you, for a moment, entertain the idea that this text does not exist? That the words you are subsequently whispering in your mind after interpreting each grouping of symbols are not actually in front of you at all. Why then, or more suitably, ‘how’, you might ask, would a sentence that does not exist, be capable of questioning the validity of its own existence?
In the assessment of what could be true and what could be false of this exercise we notice two things. The text itself along with any general interpretation, could be either true or false, in that it exists or it does not. The message however, casting doubt on its tangible existence, is undoubtedly true. Because something has to exist, to question its existence (cogito ergo sum).
The source of where this doubt comes from, can also be only proven as a definite, if it is in fact your own contemplated doubt. Any other variable source of external stimuli has no (definite) basis in indisputable truth, unless you actually doubt the nature of your reality.
As utterly ridiculous as it may seem and as detrimental as it may be to what you consider your existence: your ability to doubt your existence is more intrinsic to your reality (or state of consciousness) than what physically presents itself to your senses.
Therein lies the foundation for our Somnium Vitae (όνειρο ζωή), The Living Dream.
If I were to ask you if you were awake or asleep right now, you would no doubt reply, with some certainty, that you are awake. You know what it feels like to be awake, you have some understanding of what it feels like to dream. But the average person (who lives approximately 75 years) will slumber for a total of 9,125 days or about 25 years. To the general consensus, that 25 years is an abyss. A quarter of a century spent in oblivion. Sure, a dream can seem like it lasts for an eternity, but in truth, most dreams last a few seconds, very few individuals are capable of dreams reaching beyond 30 minutes. So what goes on during these decades of emptiness, blind spots in our memories?
Well, first let’s consider what happens if one goes without sleep. Science still doesn’t know definitively why and what goes on when we sleep, but we know what happens when we fail to do so. Interestingly, severe sleep deprivation is known to cause an individual to experience hallucinations and is said to possibly lead to a state of mind that resembles acute psychosis. Essentially, we’re all capable of losing touch with our reality if our brains are not regularly maintained. This is far from definitive evidence, or even an insinuation that our reality is false. But it shows how very vulnerable our species is of losing grip of our senses.
The concept of the Living Dream suggests that some/all of what we consider sentient life contained in this dimension is somehow independent from the physical representation. The “physical” world can impede your perception, like damaging the lens of a remote camera that continues sending a signal of what it sees. But ultimately, the all consuming reality of this dimension is more like a crossroads of consciousness. How it is orchestrated, or why? There are no clear answers.
Many would refute the notion entirely, almost insulted to be presented with such a theory. But infuriatingly for some, the concept of the Living Dream (at this stage in our understanding) cannot be disproved (just as it cannot be proven either).
Are there signs? Clues? Indications that suggest this world is an illusion? You could waste an entire lifetime pondering the nature of reality. Many have.
Unfortunately though, the more you narrow your eyes, the further out of focus it becomes. You might give anything to see beyond the veil. You’re also no doubt well aware that most of us, when we face something we can’t truly identify, our brain will create an explanation for us. Most of us learn to master this skill. So for many, this is where the tale ends. Conceding to the veil, often learning to love the very illusion that imprisons us all.
Besides, who would want to wake up from the Living Dream?