Dangerous dreamers

It is easy to feel anxiety and uncertainty in a world that seems unstable; with these feelings come a sense of helplessness and lack of direction.  What are we to do?  What can we do?

I am reminded of a statement by Thomas Edward Lawrence in which he asserts:

“All [humans] dream, but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous [people], for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” 

Thomas Edward Lawrence

Lawrence reminds us of the importance of dreaming.  But not just any dream, a dangerous dream, one that we will be compelled to act on.

In last month’s blogpost, I wrote about the invitation to “sit down next to.” I suggested this is a beginning place for change.  But taking a closer look at what is happening in the world, in our communities, or in our own minds and hearts can be overwhelming.  It can make us weak-kneed and frozen in despair.  I know this hopeless, helpless place in myself.  I know that sitting down in the middle of my life, in the middle of all that is happening in the world, often feels like too much.

Perhaps the despair and hopelessness we might feel has more to do with seeing the gravity of the situation than any human weakness.  Perhaps we are stronger than we might think.  Perhaps we are more ready than we might admit.  Perhaps it is time for us to not only look, but to dream.

Sitting down next to without judging, without turning away, puts us in a teachable place.  It enables us to see more of reality as it is, not as we want it to be.  When we have the courage to look combined with the strength to stay out of our own preferences, something new begins to show itself, another way we haven’t been able to see.

In this time of extreme polarities, it is valuable to remember this third way of seeing.  This is the place of dangerous dreamers and the playground for imagination.  It is, in the words of Brian Swimme, the place where human imagination allows the future to reach into the present and shape the life process.  Here we can see what is, what is not, and what could be. We see what is, but also imagine the best of what could be.  Here we can dream dangerously.

Real dreams, dreams that matter, dangerous dreams that take root are born from tears, strength, and vision.  They don’t disappear in the daylight hours but begin to grow in stability and clarity. So, begin to dream the world you want to live in, and then begin to dream your role in it.

Be, in the words of Lawrence, a dangerous dreamer of the day.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top