A Funny Thing Happened at the Beach Yesterday

I was walking my dog and talking out loud to the wind and asked what’s the difference between reality and illusion when they both happen inside our heads. I was thinking about dreams. I had one about a week ago where I woke up inside it and said “This is a dream. And it’s lame.” So I changed it. I was thinking of this quote by Chuang Tzu “I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?”

What’s real?

Not only is the boundary between reality, dream, and illusion extremely thin – I’m beginning to think it moves and changes.

Anyway – I was thinking and walking and talking to myself when a scene from a Harry Potter movie popped into my head. Harry had died and was talking with Dumbledor in what resembled a clean version of the train station. Harry asks if their experience together at that moment is happening in his head or if it’s real. Dumbledor replies that of course, it’s happening in his head, and then he asks Harry why that would make it any less real.

Or something along those lines.

So – at that moment – when I think I’ve just barely mentally grasped something super mystically cool – and have no idea what it is – I realize I’m holding something in both hands. I look down and my set of keys, which has several rings of keys – has separated. I’m holding two key rings with keys on each ring. And a thought immediately popped into my head – that I have the keys to reality and illusion.

But I’m beginning to wonder if they’re different versions of the same thing in the same way that love and hate are different versions of the same thing. Polar opposites are extreme versions of the same thing.

I can not explain how my key ring separated. It’s a miracle that one of them didn’t drop in the sand when they separated. I can’t explain how I didn’t realize I was carrying two sets of keys because I normally carry them like a ring, dangling off one of the fingers on my left hand.



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