All of your trials and tribulations are dreams. The struggles for safety, security, and success are fantasies that you create around yourself just as, while sleeping, you create worlds.
Some dreams feel good, and others are nightmares that feel as though they tear you to pieces. Some dreams are provocative and others are banal. Our dreaming sequences have the same weightless substance of our email inboxes, all mere words and contrived situations. It is in the duty-bound reactivity to our dreams that we draw blurry outlines of ourselves – it is in our self-judged success or failure that our egos appear to have form and substance.
The past and the future are both dreams. They are dreams of what once was and what might be. They have no more weight and truth than other dreams; the present moment contains all infinity and all time.
Mindfulness and meditation are the ways to know the illusions. In emptying out the dreams, the truth at last begins to shine through dispersing clouds. That shining truth is equanimity, stillness, love, and peace.
To mean you want the peace of God
is to renounce all dreams.
For no one means these words who wants illusions,
and who therefore seeks the means which brings illusions.
He has looked on them, and found them wanting.
Now he seeks to go beyond them,
recognizing that another dream would offer
nothing more than all the others.
The end of dreaming is the end of fear.
Gifts from A Course in Miracles
The deepest flaw of most approaches to happiness is the attempt to trim back the bad dreams and bolster the good ones. All dreams only perpetuate more dreams. There is no ultimate freedom or victory to be found in any fiction of success and failure.
If you’re determined to tell yourself a story about yourself, then yes – make it a good one. Make it full of laughter and adventure, make sure your fortresses are well-supplied against the cold and foreign armies. Of course, good dreams are preferable to bad dreams. But even the good dreams contain the hidden terror of their ending.
The end of dreaming is the end of the terror, the end of struggle and fighting, the end of anger and hate. You don’t have to withdraw from life to end the dreaming – you can simply stop believing in the stories. Those tales are about someone else, a fictional character authored by an ingenious and convincing writer – you. Stop suspending your disbelief. See how ridiculous the struggle for money and fame is, how it forfeits the true wealth of this world: heart-felt community, natural scenes of beauty, and gentle compassion.
There is all the time, wealth, security, acceptance, and comfort you could ever want just here, just now – in the peace of God.