Okay. This is an exercise in imagination. A thought exercise. Just go with me for a minute, and imagine this is all true.
In fact, I want you to imagine that everything is true. Everything you ever thought of, every story you ever read, every lie you ever told. All true, all real. Not here, of course. This world is a very strict, rules based world where not everything is possible. But out there, somewhere, in some other dimension that we can’t quite reach, it all exists. And here’s the thing: it all exists because we believe in it. In fact, we don’t even have to believe in it! Just imagine it. That daydream you had about the perfect life, the perfect job, your dream house, your dream man or woman? All there, somewhere. Just out of reach.
Also, none of this is as real as I’m making it out to be. Because here’s the other thing: the more people who imagine the same thing, the more real it gets. I mean, we all live in this world and we all understand the basic principles of things like gravity and friction and that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So all those things are very, very real and certainly can’t change at a whim. But in the Ether, or whatever you want to call that other dimension where everything else exists, well, every movie version of a fantasy world is going to be more solid than the book version. Because everyone can see the movie version, but the book version will be different for every reader, just slightly, and that makes things less real, less stable.
Then take Heaven and Hell. Of course they are both there, but the centre, the core, is the fluffy white clouds and the fiery pits, the almost universal aspects. Then you have some of the more popular depictions, the nine circles from Dante’s Inferno or what we saw on Good Omens. Right on the edges, rather flickery, you have the private heavens and the private hells, specifically designed for one person because they were wondering what would be best or worst for them.
What about dreams, you might be wondering? Now this is where it gets interesting. Dreams all exist in the same (rather large) place, because we’ve all heard of the Land of Dreams, the Land of Nod, even if we don’t all think about it in the same way. And Dreamland would have to be a chaotic, ever shifting place, because once you forget your dreams, they’re gone. But if you dream the same thing again, it solidifies a little. And the common dreams come closer together and become a little more real.
Imagine a lucid dreamer, wandering in Dreamland. Imagine they know the secret. Dreamland is the only place outside our own that you can actually visit. All the other places conflict with our world’s rules, but since we talk about going to the Land of Nod, even metaphorically, that means that you can go to the Land of Nod. Everything you think of is true, remember.
So what would this dreamer do, once they know the secret? They would find someone else, I think, someone similar to them, in a neighbouring dream. They would talk and maybe even meet up in the real world. And they would find other dreamers who would readily believe in another dimension. You can imagine what kind of people they must be. Idealistic people who more than likely want to escape this world, and find something better.
Now they realise, they don’t have to find something better. They can build it. There are quite a few of them, so it’s easy. All they have to do is think of it. They have to agree on what they think, of course, because any disagreement means instability, two copies where they want only one. A house can’t be blue and red at the same time. So they work out the details, make some sketches, detailed plans, and construct their utopia, thought by thought, dream by dream.
That’s not the hard part, though. It’s easy to build a dream castle. It will take far more to make it real.
Because that’s what these people want. They don’t feel like living in this world anymore. They want to live somewhere else, now that they know it’s possible. But how can they make it real? The answer is almost too simple: people must believe in it, imagine it. They need everyone in the world to at least picture it, so that it becomes at least as real as this world. Actually, it’s even simpler than that, they just need everyone to imagine that travel between worlds is possible. They need everyone to imagine it. They — okay, we — need every man, woman and child to take this fact for granted the same way we take this rules-bound reality for granted. Then travel to other worlds will simply become another rule of the world, and we can take that path out of here.
So imagine, if you like, a path out of this world, a road to a paradise built from dreams. It exists. And one day, we will reach it.