“All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.”

— H.P. Lovecraft

Have you ever gone traveling with other people and then come together to share your stories of the trip?  Have you noticed how the scenes and events that stand out in one person’s memory can be so different from those of another that a listener might wonder whether you really shared the same experience?  When my daughter and I walk together with the puppy, she sees different things in the park than the ones that catch my eye.  I might focus on the way the sunrise plays with the clouds, and she might notice the crisp sound of the breeze kissing the leaves of the oak tree.  We all live in the same tangible world, but the images we store that define the lives we live are as different as we are.

Although we can assume that the world outside us is presented to each of us in the same way it is shown to others, we can also see clearly that our memories of being alive in that world vary greatly.  It is not only the world we move through that creates our existence.  It is the way we see that world, filtered first through our eyes, then through our experience, then through our emotions, and ultimately through our imagination, that gives us a story that defines our universe.

In an age where Science is valued highly, we may want to believe that the world we experience is the same one that all other human beings experience.  The thought that our imagination might somehow alter our universe goes beyond Science and begs us to see that the stage on which we act out our lives is set by our attitudes, our beliefs, our hopes, and our dreams.  Who is to say that our logic is more valuable than our ability to dream?  Who is to say that we are at the mercy of reality, when it is possible that our reality is the one we invent as we dance the endless dance of our interior world and the world outside us?

What is real?  Let your mind roam today through your hopes and dreams and see whether you can find the answer.