I have always been very confident that there is a greater reality that underlies the reality in which our every day life takes place. I suppose this is what the terms “heaven” and “the Kingdom of God” attempt to describe in Christian terminology.
I once had a dream where I experienced this greater reality directly. In my dream I was in a green room lit from some unknown source. There was a low humming sound in the background like a florescent light bulb. What was distinctive about this experience was that it felt “more real” than my every day experience. Along with this feeling of “real” there was also the feeling of recognition or gnosis. It seemed very familiar but not in the deja vu way where I am aware that something is familiar but cannot connect all the dots. In this experience the feeling was simply a timelessness and I felt like I knew with absolute certainty that what I was experiencing was the reality that underlay reality. When I woke up I felt an extreme sense of disappointment and a longing to get back to that ultimate reality. I had the feeling that that place was home and where the important action was happening. It pointed out the fact that in my waking life was an exile hidden by the illusion of normalcy. I had the sense that I was being left out of something that I should be a part of.
Similarly, I remember feeling left out in elementary school when I was not in the smart kid group but felt I should have been. I was always picked last for kick ball. I could never get the girls to like me. People treated me like a loser. Anytime I put myself out there and tried something new I was humiliated. To defend myself I isolated myself. This provided some measure of protection but now I know it was me who was leaving myself out. Because it hurt less than being actively left out by others I kept at it. But as a result I never got good at those things I isolated myself from. In a sense I perpetuated my sense of being left out by preventing myself from mastering those skills I would have gained had I put myself out there despite the fear of humiliation. Regretfully, I never had that moment of recognition and struggle to set things right. Now in many ways I am an adult struggling to catch up with everyone else.
I always felt the saddest part of A Christmas Carol was the scene where Ebenezer Scrooge finally shows up to the dinner party hosted by his nephew Fred. Fred had been inviting him for years to come to dinner on Christmas Day but Scrooge always declined. When Scrooge finally knocked on the door I imagine he half expected to be rejected but he took a chance and knocked on that door anyway. I have cried many times watching this scene late at night and perhaps a bit buzzed. There is something about seeing Fred welcome Scrooge with non-judgmental acceptance and genuine happiness that elicits this emotion in me.
There is a connection between these three anecdotes. I am aware that I have been separated from my true self or home. Whether this means my soul, heaven, my true calling in life or all of these things I am not entirely certain. Along with this separation is attached the emotions of longing and sadness. When I see this separation depicted allegorically through literature I experience an emotional release. Emotions (particularly uncontrollable emotions) are always true. That is, they are always there for a reason. Their existence is a clue or a piece of evidence pointing towards a greater truth that what I suspect most people normally experience in their everyday life.