For many years now since my arrival in London, I have been having the same recurrent dream: I am in a house, my own house, even though it changes from one dream to another, when I suddenly discover a door or a staircase that leads to an extensive section which I didn’t know existed. The newly discovered space usually turns out to be an entire wing with many rooms, although on a few occasions it has been a garden or terrace (which once even included a jacuzzi!). You could argue that this dream is just a reflection of every Londoner’s desire for more living space. I certainly believed so until I realised this is in fact, a very common dream. If you are one of those lucky individuals who recurrently dreams of finding additional spaces in their home, then you know the exhilaration that this ever expanding house can kindle in you whilst you sleep. Jane Teresa Anderson, a dream analyst and author, claims that these dreams happen “when we are beginning to discover our own, previously hidden, wondrous potential. The dream is an invitation to bring more of our magnificence into the world.” The house is us and the unlocked rooms are newly discovered aspects of ourselves. In my personal case, I suppose that living in a foreign country, speaking in a tongue that is not my own and confronting situations that constantly force me out of my comfort zone, all represent perennial opportunities for self-discovery.
Albert Einstein once said that “the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” It is indeed in our capacity to challenge ourselves and discover that we strive both as individuals and as a species. Since the times of the Babylonian empire, over a millennia BC, we have been looking at constellations of stars above us in an inexhaustible search to answer questions about our own existence and our connection with the universe. It was out of this insatiable curiosity that in the Late Middle Ages humans sought to discover new territories with nothing more than wooden ships and a limited understanding of cosmography. Also, prompted by this urge to experience wonderment, today, the best engineering and scientific minds work together to send rovers to explore Mars and orbiters to scan Saturn. However, isn’t it puzzling that even though we have come this far, having unveiled so many intricate mysteries of our complex universe, we remain so ignorant of our own internal worlds? We have evolved, we have invented, we have progressed yet we are so easily manipulated, so confrontational, so self-destructive. As much as we like to look at the world out there, shouldn’t we also aim to explore and discover more about our worlds within? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we got rid of our internal locks, doors and walls to finally release and embrace this ‘wondrous potential’ that we all possess? By learning to embrace our own uniqueness, would we finally be able to accept each other’s individuality?