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As my head touched the pillow last night, and I entered the halfway house between waking and dreaming, I heard a whisper: “Thomas Aquinas.” Aquinas was an influential theologian whose work I’ve encountered over the years, yet never dived into. The echo of his name in my half-conscious state made me alert, intrigued. The whisper arrived again, along with a sense of ‘knowing’ that I was him in a previous life.
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.”William Blake
Dreams have been significant catalysts of my awakening. Some were revelations, etched in memory with more lucidity than events lived in the real world. Some were extraordinary; I’ve looked at Earth from the moon, explored unfamiliar worlds with pink trees and oceans of liquid bliss, had the chance to interact with beings of light.
Yet one dream has stayed with me due to its simplicity, and the way it changed my relationship to the ordinary. It was a lucid dream where I chose not to fly, or transform, or instantly manifest any desire. Instead, I explored the intricacies of the world itself.
The ineffable is impossible to capture in language, yet poetry offers an attempt to translate. Merriam-Webster defines poetry as: “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”