Friday, March 12, 2010

71 / Dreams

Perhaps I am not alone in spending a good bit of time thinking about what "reality" really is. The philosophical tradition in the West, particularly after the industrial revolution, tends to consider "dreams" and "reality" as fundamentally different things, yet there is a whole body of thought that says that there is a fundamental identity between these two categories.

It never hurts to see what Shakespeare says, when pondering important questions. In the Tempest, was he really talking only about the dramatic arts?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

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