What is life? a tale being told.
What is life? a frenzy extreme,
a shadow of things that seem.
And the greatest good is but small,
because life is a dream after all,
and dreams are just dreams.
(Pedro Calderón de la Barca)

Suspecting. Ethereal and agile. Capable of leaping distances with a wish. I was aware of myself but like in a dream I was having. Not realizing that I was the one being dreamt of and the one dreaming. Time and consequence were very fluid. Movement from scene to scene did not require intermediate steps. It was like changing channels.

Emotions would run high. Intense bodiless sensations with no muscular tension, no friction, yet perceived in the mind. Sometimes paralysis would set in, when confronted with a situation, yet other times I could jump over mountains or float in an abyss.

Roles would change, gender was fluid, and points of view multifaceted, as circumstances faced, but the awareness of an I ness was present and distinct. Never really tried to self-define who I was, nor was I much concerned about why I was, or any angst about time. Time seemed not to be an issue. It was as if the setting was in continuous mode. There was a sequence but no beginning or end. The coming into and out of a scene was instantaneous. It was a timeless moment of being someone undefined experiencing intense situations.

It might have happened many times, but I was not aware of any continuity, any indication of a previous apparition, any sense of a possibility of self, extending beyond these timeless instants of being. The situations and the other people that shared with me those timeless moments seemed to be endowed also with a flexible, agile, ethereal, and elastic essence. Some, I got to know closer than others and even developed intense relationships with them, but I could not figure out what they were thinking or feeling beyond my own point, they were their own independent characters.

I was having a very passionate moment with my lover. Like always these moments were intense emotionally and vibrationally, almost physical but yet eerie, with more energy than touch, more imagination than friction. The body felt burning in its ethereal sheath and energy oozed out everywhere.

We were on top of an impossibly high mountain. A remote isolated place that somehow, we had gone for our rendezvous. All of a sudden, in the usual channel-changing mode of life, the scenery changed. We instantly built a small cabin propelled by our ardor and desire.

At the most intense moment of our embrace, I heard someone calling at the door. The cabin then grew and became a larger two-story structure. I went down to open the door, but there was no one outside. Decided to walk around what was now a very sizable cabin, to see if there was anyone there. It was a starry and serene night, framed by a very deep darkness, that ran through everything, including me. As I started to walk back to the cabin, where my beloved was waiting for me, somehow, I stumbled upon an insubstantial rock and fell into what seemed to be a bottomless abyss.

Falling vertiginously, like a stone in a void, and surrounded by impenetrable darkness, a great anxiety overtook me, a terrible dread befell as I plunged into that dark, endless space, a feeling of irremediable vertigo.

I called for the love within. Suddenly, I began to float, over the beautiful landscapes that appeared below. There were green and flowery gentle slopes, landscapes of sublime lost paradises, framed in the bluest skies I had ever seen, crisscrossed by silver rivers, that reflected a glow bathing everything with the golden light of dawn.

My heart somersaulted on itself, doing impossible acrobatic pirouettes, my consciousness was fully tuned to the essence of being. Drunk, from this magical floating, I decided to return to the cabin in the mountain, to tell my beloved what I was experiencing. All the passion, the ardor in which I was engaged with her, had completely disappeared from my consciousness, now I just wanted to share these subtle landscapes, beyond any sensation.

When I arrived at the cabin, I found my sister instead of my beloved, waiting for me. She had come from nowhere to see how I was doing because she hadn't heard from me in a long time. I met her, excitedly, impatient to share with her, what I had just seen “come I have to show you something,” and took her by the hand to the edge of the abyss and invited her to jump with me.

She resisted, and I jumped alone, but this time from the start, invoked the name of the love within, and immediately began gliding like a bird over horizons, above graceful, green, and endless hills. Maybe time passed, I don't know. But the next moment I saw myself on the ground, surrounded by a magical wooded landscape, asleep but awake, inert, with my eyes closed, motionless, but feeling and sensing my surroundings. Like dead and alive at the same time.

After a timeless time, I heard the voice of my sister, who said "Finally I can find you, I've been looking for you for so long since you jumped off the mountain, it took me a long time to locate the roads and open new paths through totally wild places, and now I find you, but it seems that you are not there, you are like death, what is wrong with you? Talk to me." She sobbed as she said that.

At that moment, trying to respond to her, a breath, a sigh, an exhalation came out of my mouth, and it flew like a small bird. It landed on the tip of a branch, of one of the majestic trees that surrounded us. And there it underwent an instantaneous, yet slow-motion transformation. First, it became a plant, which unfolded and bloomed, into a beautiful flower, which after a moment transformed, into a beautiful multicolored butterfly, that flew away.

My sister was very sad. I apparently deceased, my passionate companion abandoned, forgotten in the cabin. Everything was now a love from within, which turned free falls into angel flights, dark landscapes into scenes of radiance and beauty, and a breath, where that love from within resided, out of its confinement, became beauty in flower and butterfly and integrated into the tale of beauty that surrounded everything.

I was somehow aware that there was more to life than just the role I played in being in the midst of these changing scenes, of the diverse intense emotions, oscillating between fear and plenitude, of my agile jumps, the vacuum falls, butterfly flights and the pains experienced. Deeply conscious of the transitoriness of my existence, I started to ponder what this is all about. Who am I? This is when I discovered that you were dreaming of me and that I was you.

I was awake in my dream. Consciously being that character that had the experience of transformation after the fall. I never had a lucid dream before and was now confronting a character of my dream, that was myself. Tell me, so I am just part of your imagination, but then what does all of this beauty and awareness mean?

I have had many dreams, but never woke up inside them, much less had a conversation with one of my dream characters, who realized was me!

Well, -he said- I am a character of your dream that now remains in your awake state, and I am not going to go away, you owe me some explanation as to why you dream me and make me go through all of this. At the same time, he continued, “I am happy knowing that I am still here."

Really? I answered myself, but I did not know where I was, noticing I was barely awake in a strange bed, talking to a character in my mind who was myself while trying to figure out in the deep darkness where I was. It was a bad dream, maybe I was still dreaming. But after turning the lamp beside the bed, my memory came back; I was in a hotel in Beijing, and had just landed last night after a 16-hour flight plus connecting times and crashed in bed like a dead man.

I was here on business; everything got back to normal. Except that this guy was still there in my mind as if the dream continued in my now awake state.

I remembered reading about lucid dreams and having had those moments in life, as Deepak Chopra describes, “when there is a catastrophe or when something happens that makes you so shocked or ecstatically happy, that life goes out of kilter, and the world doesn’t seem real and substantial anymore. …and you say this can’t be happening, it’s like a dream”.

At those times, I somehow had a veiled and short-lived intuition, a suspicion, that I was a dream character of my own dream. That the multitude of others, known and unknown, that populate the stage of life, the surrounding settings, and that which extends magically beyond the immediate theater, in time and distance, are all part of this dream, being dreamt. Somehow, I have felt that everything is intimately, inextricably, and inexplicably interconnected and that there is only One existence that dreams of this infinite multiplicity.

Now, why does this existence dreams of life? I do not know the answer, but it follows, that if I am a character in a dream, how can I understand the action and reality of the dreamer that dreams of me? Just like this character in my lucid dream in Beijing, that was asking me for an explanation for my dreaming him. For I certainly cannot understand who I am, and why I dream. Dream characters do not exist outside my dreams, and usually disappear when I wake up in the morning. They become part of me, as they always were, part of the dream character that maybe I am and in turn part of the One existence that might be dreaming me.

Conceivably this character I represent, that is being dreamt by Existence, has no real existence as a character, like the character of my night dreams, that for some weird reason I was still “feeling” in my mind as I woke up from my dream in Beijing.

Maybe, I pondered, the dream of life and universe constitutes an incredible unfolding story, with events, time, distance, particles, forms, and tragic and comical, infinite magic plots. Multiple objective interminable dimensions, that we all subjectively observe, invent, interpret, sing, narrate and categorize as we dreamt.

What a marvel is this incredible subjectivity, this mind, that conceptualizes and opinionates, and has so many points of view, as it attempts to define the context of the dream, its surround, during the short periods of time where each character makes their apparition in the dream. Like what I am doing now.

I will join forces with the character of my own dream in Beijing, that somehow still remains, in my awake consciousness, and together we will try to solve this dream riddle and find the real nature of the dream.
Maybe together, we can confirm what was said once by Salvador Dali, “One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.”

And wake up!