Ever had a great night’s sleep, and woken up, to see the world around you is no longer what you thought it was? But you still wanted to drift around in that lumber state, exploring the distant worlds of fantasy and dreaming? So you let your attention go to where it wanted to travel to. You lay there half sleeping, enjoying the moment.
That is what good fiction and fantasy books do for a person. It is also what art does, what singing does, what composing does.
I write, and this is exactly what I do when writing. I let my mind go where it wants to go. I do not control it. I do not dictate which path or mountain or cloud it must travel to. It is like I, the writer, am the dreamer, and I am dreaming for others too. And I type as a travelogue to where my mind goes. That is my trade.
I have also read the best and been taken down that same dream- path by the world’s most exalted writers and dreamers. That is why I venerate science fiction. I like to be led down the road by those great masters of Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Donaldson and more. It is why I like to dream for others.
Good books take you where you need to use your mind, imagination, to dream, far beyond the confines of the material world. It is your world, your real world where your mind goes. Imagination is your asset. In fact, it is perhaps of the few assets that a spiritual being truly has. We use it to live by, plan by, and to even make a shopping list by.
Good music will do the same. It takes you there. It can invite that beautiful sadness, of times past or times not yet reached. Music does it for you. So can cooking.
Paintings can, as you marvel how the artist did it. Buildings can.
Imagination is so important. Without it, I am not even sure how alive we are.
You always finish the book and then look around you. You look at your surroundings. It is like waking to the alarm clock on Monday morning, at 6 am. You have to go to the dreary office to make another dreary dollar for the man. But you take the remnants of the dream with you.
Or, you put your book down to go and make a coffee and reflect on what you just read, and compare that to the universe around you. You look at those pages and where they took you. You love your book. That is why I write and encourage all to write, paint, sing and more.
We call the physical universe the real world. And if we see someone bucking its system, we sometimes tell him to stop dreaming and get real. But is that truly true, is this reality we call the physical universe, really real? Some spiritual greats have claimed it is not.
And so, also, can’t the world the artist lives in some way be more real than anything that money in the physical universe can buy?
Could it be that an artist, writer, singer, can take us to make places more real than anything that we can touch? Is not the artist more valuable than more mortal men?