Friday, 23 September 2016

Reflections on Desires and Dreams


     What are our dreams made of?

     By dreams, I mean those states of existence we aspire to achieve; dreams of things we want to own, places we want to go, the people we want to be.

     I once read about something called the Scanner Personality, the Renaissance Soul, and I connected with that and felt that finally I found a slot into which I can categorize myself rather than feeling adrift and lost and out of place. Whether this personality or soul is a correct and accurate and valid definition or not is not of importance here. What is important that I tell you that for all my life I have jumped from liking things, wanting things and dreaming about things like a rabbit; I hop from one topic, one idea, one dream to another, pursue fiercely and with gusto, dissecting it, learning it, internalizing it. And then dropping it. When I latch onto a new hobby or interest, I see myself doing it for life, for a living, defining myself by it, and after reaching some kind of point of critical mass, it's out of system. Things lose momentum too fast for me to comprehend.

     The concept of the Scanner Personality or the Renaissance Soul helped me understand that this is supposed to be normal and that for such kind of a person it's not a matter of mastering something or taking it to the extent of where that road would lead, but more about achieving something that your heart needed; simply getting it out of your system.

     With every interest I have pursued something has always stayed with me. Sometimes those interests remained and became a big part of my life and who I am. That's mainly the only way that I know how one thing or the other means more to me.

     So, now you have that background, this brings me to the topic I am tackling now, what are our dreams made of? In other words, when we want something so bad, how do we know that this is REAL? That this is our TRUTH? And not just some transient, temporary infatuation?

     This question is so much more difficult to answer with people who are like myself and are characterized by the description I laid out above, because for us we believe so strongly in one things and in our desire to pursue it and at the time it feels so real, so right. But there is always a good chance that at some point, when one hits that elusive critical mass, it's out of one's system, and it would have been a very bad idea to invest too much time or money pursuing that direction; pursuing that dream.

     But what is a "very bad idea"? If one just lives life as it comes, and deals with the feelings, desires, and dreams as they come, is that such a "very bad idea"? I'll postpone tackling that question for a while just now. Before that, let me return to the point of what our dreams are made of. We shed some light on the confusion about the nature and authenticity of the dreams and desires of a "scanner personality", but want about the other types, the so-called "normal" people?

     In my experience their lives are both much easier but in my opinion also sad. Because these people are not confused by how fast their minds and hearts shift from one direction to the other, they mostly concentrate on one thing or a few specific things that they pursue for the entirety of their lives. Achieving those things or not is not the point, but things are clear for them. Relatively clearer at least.

     The reason I feel sad for them, is that since their desires and dreams are few and specific and they remain as such for most of their lives, they do not get the urge to question the origin of those desires. How did they get them in the first place? Why do they want these things and not something else? Usually when asked, they are quick to give answers that are logical and rational and make perfect sense to them, and to most people. But if one listens closely, one will begin to find, hidden inside those answers, echoes of the desires of those people's parents and families, friends and colleagues. Also, most of the time, their desires lie close by, just out of reach to make them a challenge but close enough that achieving them, one day seizing them, is not such an absurd outlandish dream.

     People usually want things that make sense but still make for a good chase, a good challenge.

     Now, here we come to the next important point to tackle. For the scanner type, what happens is that he or she gets exposed to something and that something ignites a desire to ingest and internalize as much as possible of that thing, following the path all the way to its conclusion; of turing that thing into a profession, or moving to live somewhere for example. These kind of flash ignitions of the heart and mind happen so frequently that that type of person, such as myself, starts to question the authenticity of everything. For a more normal personality, the dreams and desires that remain constant for most of their lives, even if influenced by society, peers and families, probably are still rooted in some old experiences that created that same ignition in their hearts and minds. The difference is that in these cases, in most of the cases, these instances are more subtle rather than flashes of passion, and happen at a younger age, that they embed themselves into one's psyche and years later he or she believes that these are his or hers true desires and dreams.

     To attempt to reach a conclusion, I will now address the next logical point; from all the rationale already detailed, no matter what type of personality one is, desires and dreams come from moments when one thing rather than another, embeds itself in your mind and heart and moves you to want to acquire it, be it, live it. That moment can be very frequent and always changing and the desire it creates is burning, or it can be subtle and creeps into your mind and soul and clings their for the rest of your life. Now the point is, why would that type of moment not be considered REAL or AUTHENTIC? What are we if not the collective effects of different moments and experiences that we have passed through? If one would eliminate all the consequences or effects of all special moments in one's life, what would he be left with?

     In the end we should differentiate between a few things. For any person, one should make sure that what he or she wants is the result of a true experience lived and not the attempts of others to get one to conform to their own ideals; not to live out other people's dreams, but one's own. If a desire or dream is a result of an experience, one of those special moments, that embed themselves in our heart, then by all means pursue it. But if that "moment", that "experience" is no more than a time when fathers, mothers, families, friends, peers, were just spilling their own beliefs into your head, then it is up to you to choose to make that your own or refuse it. That of course will all depend on the fact that you can remove yourself enough out of the picture to be able to see it for what it truly was.

     And for those, who like myself, experience these moments time and again, with that flash of passion that may soon fade. I want to believe that these moments are still what make us who we are, and eliminating them or their effects and consequences would be refusing to accept who we really are. But the challenge always is that life, family, jobs and what have you, rarely move at the same pace; the world as we live it in the twenty first century doesn't always keep up, and we are usually forced to choose to pursue one dream and drop another.

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