Fantasies and Daydreams
This was fascinating from Michael Casey’s book, Toward God.
“Fantasies and daydreams have not been studied sufficiently, though they are often highly significant in pinpointing areas of vulnerability within an individual’s life. (What is still more interesting is to see the totality of daydreams embodying the cumulative aspirations of the human race.) Usually the daydream is the obverse of life: a person who is hungry fantasizes about food; one who is tired, wet and miserable dreams of a comforting bed. Our fantasies express in graphic form the need we have, though we may not be aware of its full dimensions. The five human priorities commonly manifested in daydreams tell us much about our natural yearnings.
- We yearn to be invulnerable and beyond pain. We conjure images of our own place – an environment not alien but familiar and safe, remote from the reach of enemies and those who do not understand. When hurt too often, we long to retreat to a mountain fastness, a desert island – or even a comfortable suburban dwelling.
- Those who belong to the “civilized world” sometimes deep down wonder what it would be like to throw off the trammels of convention and run wild. While appreciating the benefits of rationality, sometimes we would love to be uninhibited – give scope to our noble animality, be spontaneous and free, act unreflectively, and fly, unshackled by routine. “If only I had the means, I’d drop everything and make a new start.”
- To the extent that one feels unaccepted and misunderstood, one yearns deep down to be validated and confirmed. We have a desire to be acclaimed as valuable human beings, even glorified. Freud remarks that young men are particularly prone to hero-fantasies, probably to offset the unheroic character of routine existence. Oddly, some people gain solace by daydreaming about their own funerals, where their worth is vindicated in the eyes of the multitude. If others do not give us recognition, our fantasies contrive it.
- Acceptance, however welcome, is still not enough. We desire intimacy. We want to admit others into our space and have access to theirs. And though in daily living we may spend much time and energy keeping others at a distance, we do desire closeness. We cannot survive alone; we need companionship. Frequently, like children with no one to share their company, we conjure up a fictional friend.
- Above all, we desire to be whole. Our lives are scattered over disparate moments of space and time. A twentieth-century person travels widely. By the end of a long life, one has made contact with hundreds of other men and women who have since gone their own way. Once they were part of our lives; now they are not, and we are poorer for it. We sometimes wish the golden moments of life could be gathered in an instant – that we could enjoy the freshness of youth and the mellowness of later years together. How pleasant it would be, as in dreams, to break down the barriers of time and move without restraint. Instead of being divided interiorly and without, our desire is to have life compressed into a single rich experience of now – containing in one moment all those personal energies that are presently fragmented. Then we would be fully alive!
Fantasies can spring from self-pity, but even then they indicate something about human sensibility. Beneath them all is our dissatisfaction with the good things of this life and our consequent longing for heaven. Whether we call it by that name, whether we give it religious connotations or not, we do yearn for a fullness of joy, and for ever. We desire to be invulnerable, without limits to freedom – spontaneous and uninhibited. In fact glory will be ours, the ultimate validation. Communion with God and with those we love will satisfy our needs of intimacy. And all our being will be gathered in one: our hearts will be pure and simple, devoid of duplicity, and our lives and loves will come together in an endless moment of total fulfillment.
Is heaven, then, simply a case of wish-fulfillment? Yes, because no wish of ours will be left unsatisfied. No, because our present hankerings are only the dimmest foreshadowings of what is to come. Our desires point to a void that God will come to fill. Meanwhile even our most spiritual words and hopes are babblings when compared with the reality to come. “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it risen in the human heart: what God has prepared for them that love Him.” (I Corinthians 2:9).”
In the Name of Jesus,
Soli Deo Gloria