What if the world you think is real is just a creation of your mind?      What if you’re a being, stuck in a box, imagining all of ...

An Elaborate Dream

   What if the world you think is real is just a creation of your mind? 

   What if you’re a being, stuck in a box, imagining all of this? 

   If you could, would you dream up a better world? You’ve wondered this ever since you were a kid, what change it would make to your life if you knew that you were the only thing that mattered and everything else, everyone else, was just a prop or a character you’d made up to fill the space.

   Would you worry less? Sometimes you worry yourself sick about things that don’t even seem to matter at all only a month later, under a new light. You spend so much time now wondering which of your towers is about to topple and land on top of you that you’re too scared to build any more; so what if you knew that they were creations of your own, and completely under your control? What if they were never to topple, and even those that did wouldn’t leave a scratch, because you’d already decided they were weightless? Your mistakes buried, past truly in the past, laid as a foundation for your future, perhaps you could move on from the things that you fear will come back to haunt you. Maybe you’d even realise that some of them were imaginary. You’re sure you read somewhere once that someone wise once said, ‘some of the worst things in my life never even happened,’ and that struck you as so applicable to yourself, so incredibly personal that it must have been written for you. What if it was? What if Mark Twain was just the name your mind gave to the part of its circuitry that came up with it?

   Would you feel less angry? Less stressed? Less hard done by? Would the world feel suddenly fairer, when you realised that it was all inside of your head? The injustices of your times, the people who’ve wronged you, the anger you’ve stored up, letting it build and build until you feel like a racecar tyre on its hundredth lap, just about ready to burst… surely all of that would fade into nothingness, drift away like a mist, when you realised that you made it all, and you could take it all back. Anyone you couldn’t forgive, you could just forget, and imagine up somewhere nice to meet someone to replace them. It wouldn’t be that hard, if you think about it, to just cut out the people who hurt you, to stop visiting the places that remind you of dark times. So why not do it, when the world is yours to shape? Why not replace those places and those people with somewhere and someone much nicer? You’re sure you would, if you carved out the horizon.

   And what if this world of yours, this elaborate dream, was shaped by the energy you fed it? What if it sipped up your negativity and held it in its mouth, ready to spit right back? What if the positivity you pointed at it was reflected right back at you? Would that change your attitude? Would you reassess the way you treated your imaginary friends, valued your imaginary possessions, lived your imaginary life? You’ve always known the areas of your life you’d like to change, the aspects of your personality that need tweaking; but you’ve never felt strong enough to do it yourself, never known exactly how it should be done. What if you decided? What if you set your own strength level, wrote your own self-help guide to patching up a chipped personality? Would you do it straight away, knowing that the positive effects of the change would be immediate? Would you be more open, telling the world how you feel, or heighten your guard, protect yourself more than you did when you were young and naïve and way too trusting?

   These are all things you’ve wondered as you stumbled through life, barely aware of what was in front of you, never planning more than a few days in advance because so much of your time was spent cleaning up, either mentally or physically, the mess you were kicking yourself for making yesterday. This is what you spent your time thinking about when you were boiling with rage at that girl who said that thing you didn’t like, or that boy who you knew would never be right for you but you liked anyway. You wondered it even when you were happy, wondered how you could grab hold of that feeling and keep it there forever, never have it kicked out by the darkness you knew would come one day.

   Schoolyard arguments. Punishments you were sure you should never have received, but did anyway. Unfair grades, and the smugness of those who achieved more. The awkwardness of teenage years, the spots and the hairs and the periods and the way your body changed differently to the other kids’ and the way they noticed it and made fun of you even though they were far from perfect themselves. The rejections, the puppy fat, the hormones, the way you always felt like you’d blossom tomorrow, but never did. Sexual experiences you regret, sexual experiences you yearn to relive, sexual experiences you wish your lover had never had or had at least never chosen to tell you about. Sexual experiences you’ve never had, but wish you could. Skills you never had, skills you have but can’t use, skills that everyone else but you seems to enjoy. The fact that one day, you are going to die, and there’s nothing you can do about that. Wasted careers, wasted years, wasted friendships and wasted effort, all combining to make a life, to build the person that you think you are, this mind stuck in a box, with a world it created living inside of it. What if all of these things that sound like obstacles, all of these horrid brick walls between you and happiness, all these mountains to climb, could be forgotten in an instant? What if they turned from mountains to speedbumps, because you said it should be so? Would you make it so? Would you be brave enough to do that? It sounds like it would be easy, but to decide that everything that used to hold you back is no longer a restraint at all is a brave step forward for someone like you. For anyone.

   An imaginary world. An elaborate dream. Everything not quite as it seems, or as it has been sold to you. Maybe I’ve painted the picture of a world that’s way out of your grasp. Maybe I’m just imagining, myself. But what if I’m not? What if the world is already like this? What if, when you clean your glasses, open up the box you’ve been living in, you find that this is all already true? It could be. Maybe tomorrow would be a better day, if you decided that all of this was already the case, because you’d made it so. Maybe we can shape the world, all of us, because it is ours to shape. Maybe we are all just minds stuck in calcium boxes, cultivating our own view of the world we all share.

   Or maybe I’m drunk. I don’t know.

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