Would our lives be somehow different if inside each and every one of us dwelt a person? This person I will call the Other would not be an imaginary entity nor a foreign intelligence. The Other would share the same consciousness with us and would not originate outside ourselves. Always dwelling within the Other would never be seen. But the Other would be our companion from birth and would help us come to decisions. There is nothing we could hide from the Other.
Would our lives be better or be much more difficult if this was the case?
The Other is not against us but is for us. The Other cares for our well-being. How we choose to relate with the Other is completely up to us.
The Other is a person and this person has individuality, dispositions, preferences, and character. Even so, we are living together in the same body and must get along. It is not the Other’s nature to sabotage us but in all things, the Other is our helper. Because we get along so well with our Other most of us never notice that the Other does in fact exist.
This was not so for Ben.
When Ben was just a little boy he discovered that the person he loved was in his mind. He had quite an active imagination so in his free time he found himself creating worlds in his head and filling them with people and all sorts of creatures.
At first, he created a city that he filled with beautiful buildings so sentient races could conduct business. He created cobblestone pavements and introduced crystal magic to power up carriages to ferry passengers across the city to different villages far away.
At times Ben found himself inserting himself into these worlds, these cities, to interact with his creations up close and personal. But he grew tired of imagination because there was one key piece missing, the other senses except for sight were incredibly dulled. Ben wanted to smell the aroma of sizzling meat as he passed by the restaurants of his busy city. He wanted to feel the coldness of the rain on his skin as he visualized millions of water droplets falling from the sky.
He wanted to feel the sting of bumping one’s toe against a rock as he ran around the parks. But it was all in his head so how could he feel all these things just as he could in his physical waking world. Could there be a way, he wondered, that he could mimic a dream world?
When a person was in a dream, knowledge of the physical world was forgotten and the only reality was the dream. In a dream, a person carried all his senses and none was dulled. Food tasted just as it was supposed to and one could feel the texture of different things that they touched.
A dream consciousness was the perfect consciousness that Ben desired in order to experience his imaginary world as a form of reality.
His desire for this consciousness was so strong that he would lay in bed at night, close his eyes, and visualize his world continually in detail as he fought off sleep. If he slept he didn’t want to end up in some weird dream world that was of no real value to him. That would be a waste of valuable nighttime. When he fell asleep, he wanted to provide his dream consciousness with a world of his making, with rules of his creation, to enjoy the fruits of his creative mind.
A dream consciousness was not imaginary. He was not a foreign intelligence nor was he a separate consciousness. His origin was not external but internal.
A dream consciousness, that is Ben’s dream consciousness, had a dream body in which to traverse the dream world. With his dream hands, he could touch dream objects and feel the different textures they possessed. With his dream mouth, he could taste food, different kinds of delicacies that his dream cooked up, and he could shout at the top of his voice and laugh.
Due to the many senseless dreams he had had in the past Ben knew without a doubt that he already had a dream body. There was no need to create a dream body and no need to fashion it from nothing. There was no need to craft its appearance for his dream body was like a replica of his physical self. Also, his dream body had been his partner for as long as he had slept at night time.
The only challenge was to get him to stop following a randomly generated dream story that put him in various situations, others were tedious repetitions of his daily life and others were nightmares from his snake phobias, and to follow a story that Ben wanted to follow, a story from his imaginary world.
The challenge was to introduce his dream body to his amazing creation, a paracosm of magical beings, amazing technology, and limitlessness.
So Ben had to begin by teaching his dream body to reject the random stories his mind threw at him. Ben’s dream body had to say, “I am Ben. I am dreaming. I do not have to act out this role if I do not want to. This is all a dream that I will wake up from.”
Then one day, after countless nights of failure, Ben found himself standing inside his dream.
He had full consciousness of who he was in the physical world, and he had full consciousness that he was indeed dreaming and that he had hijacked his dream body. This is the dream body he had desired for so long that had the capacity to enjoy his paracosm.
With this body, he could finally stop by his favorite restaurant, ride a levitating carriage, or even better, ride a dragon and fly.
And no sense was dulled.
He didn’t have to imagine anything. Everything here was as real as the physical world. Now he had liberated his dream body from an arsenal of boring dream stories that his mind generated randomly and threw his way.
No, Ben had a better plan for his valuable dream body.
It was a simple shift, a turning away from a static dream world and a facing towards a better and more vibrant paracosmic world.
People call it lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when you realize that you are asleep and dreaming, and instead of waking up you just continue the dream and experience a great sense of freedom.
There are no constraints in a lucid dream. In this type of dream, you can overcome your fears in a safe place where you never die from a high fall, or from drowning, or from venomous snake bites.
In Ben’s lucid dream he was going to experience his paracosm just as he had planned. So he found himself standing in a park in his favorite city of cobblestone pavements, busy merchants, and lovely restaurants.
People walking by past him were chattering away in lively conversations, and he could follow that they were talking about their lives and what their plans were for the afternoon and for the time ahead, and so his sense of hearing was working just fine. Girls sounded like girls with their high-pitched voices, and the muttering of an old senile man sounded like a low monotonous drizzle.
This was wonderful.