Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream

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There is overlap between the wondrous and the impossible, and if you’re looking for either, you only need find a mirror. The likelihood of life having managed to exist and thrive at all was astronomically unlikely—and yet, here we are. Against all odds, we—these sentient beings—roam an Earth able to sustain us. If one thing had changed even the tiniest amount, we would have been an impossibility… We won the universal lottery.

I previously covered the whimsy of imagination—but what of reality? Between the holographic universe theory, as well as the evidence that we shouldn’t really exist (according to science), reality, at times, feels like little more than a dream. In fact, there are a number of quotes from well-known authors and playwrights that suggest this very idea. Edgar Allan Poe wrote "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?" Perhaps these stories hold some truth. We spend about five years of our life dreaming, and that doesn’t even take into account our daydreams, either. This time is spent in an alternate reality, one that, for a short while, feels real to us. So who’s to say our waking lives are any different?

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Like that which is imagined, everything we know as reality exists purely in our minds. All that we experience is simply information brought to us through our senses: taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell. Life is filtered through these. If we lost the ability to process or register this information, reality as we know it would cease to exist. Many of us hold the belief that what we experience provides us with the whole "truth," and that which lies outside these perceptions is not real. This is easily proven untrue through the existence of individuals with a condition known as Tetrachromacy, which enables them to see colours unobservable to the average person. In a sense, we're all slaves to our physical bodies. They decide what we can and can't perceive as reality. All that we know is what we're permitted to.

My point with all of this is the following: The universe is a delightfully strange place. It’s not that magic and whimsy don't exist, it's all around us—we’ve simply forgotten how to see it. Take, for example, the first time we see a rainbow. To us, it’s magic. However, every viewing thereafter becomes increasingly mundane, and therefore un-magical. The world grows from a strange place, to a familiar one, and with familiarity comes a loss of whimsy. If we lived in a world with a lavender sky, where humans could sprout wings and take flight—how long would it be before we no longer saw the fantastical in it?

We ourselves are proof of the extraordinary. Perhaps all that dreams do is show us a glimpse of what reality can be. 


Allison Van Maren

Meet Allison. When she's not contemplating life or daydreaming of far-off places, you can find her sketching weird faces, listening to indie/alt rock, gaming, and drinking copious amounts of kombucha tea. At the end of the day, all she wants is to live a happy and fulfilling life, and to contribute positively to the world around her.

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