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Wake-up call

From the October 2012 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Have you ever reached for something in a dream and been unable to grasp it? Have you ever tried to get somewhere in a dream, and no matter how hard you tried, it eluded you? You may have woken up feeling sad, lost, frustrated, or you may even have wanted to go back to sleep to get back into that dream and to try again. Though you may linger a while, you do get up, brush off the memory of the dream, and get on with your day. You don’t give that dream substance and reality that it doesn’t have. It’s an illusion, and you have no doubt about it.

Then you go about your day, and things don’t go along as you hoped they would. The car won’t start, or you’re caught in traffic with no way out. Maybe a huge financial crisis is on your horizon. Or you hear of a family member in distress. You just don’t feel well, or have stubbed your toe and it really hurts. Certainly there are many worse things that surface daily on the world scene to thoroughly dampen even the most glorious sunshiny day. Think 9/11.

No doubt about it, the waking dream of mortal existence feels much more real than the sleeping dream that we all recognize as pure illusion. And we really don’t believe it’s as easy to wake up from this waking dream as it is to wake up from a dreamy night’s sleep. So we don’t. We drift and dream; we struggle to make our way through the traffic, take on a second job to pay the bills or borrow ourselves into greater debt, pull up the covers and decide we’re too ill to go to work, worry fretfully about our family member, or limp around for several days on that sore toe. 

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