When we were in Cape Town, South Africa, my good helpmeet had a dream. She dreamed she was telephoning to one who was in our home in Oregon. They talked chattily, as ladies like to do, and without much regard for the transoceanic telephone rates. When the chitchat was ended, my wife bethought herself to ask the operator what the toll was for the call. The operator said, "One hundred and eighty-nine dollars and seventy-five cents." That ended the dream; my wife woke up!
That is the way with dreams. They often are enjoyable for a time. Then something happens that shocks one into awakening. Sometimes we are reluctant to let go of the dream, even though the alarm clock is calling us.
A dream is rather a good illustration of the nature of the temporary material sense of existence, which seems so very real to the thinker who consents to accept at par the testimony of the material senses. Educated to believe that what he physically sees, hears, and feels is the last word in reality, he wraps himself up in a bundle of self-deception and wonders why his life is so restricted, difficult, and often afflicted.
Christ Jesus came to awaken all mortal thinkers out of this delusive material sense of life and selfhood, to find the true and spiritual sense of existence and individuality that is the rational outcome of the Mind, or Spirit, that is God. Paul thought of materialistic thinking as so devoid of a real sense of life that he called it "dead." Said he, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
As the dreamer in the ordinary dream has to divest his thought of the belief that he is a dreamer before he can be free from his dream, be it pleasant or unpleasant, so the one thinking in terms of selfish material selfhood, sin, disease, and death, must divest his thought of the belief that his status is that of a materially-minded and materially-environed mortal, whose life and viewpoint are made up of material conceptions, before he can awaken to real being, and his sonship with God.
Of the erroneous material concept of life, creation, and man, Mary Baker Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 530 ): "The history of error is a dream-narrative. The dream has no reality, no intelligence, no mind; therefore the dreamer and dream are one, for neither is true nor real." The struggle most of us have is to recognize and realize that our one and only selfhood is not a dreamer, dreaming a dream of material life, selfhood, environment, and relationships, but is the spiritual, individual evidence of affirmative Mind, intelligence, possessing the Mind of Christ, and actually cognizing only the man of God, and the works of God.
A woman dreamed that a burglar broke into her home. After gathering some loot, he wrapped her up in a blanket, took her out to his car, and started off. Said she, "And what are you going to do with me now?" Said he: "That's for you to tell me. It's your dream, isn't it?" A wise burglar! She followed his advice, exercised her prerogative, got free from the blanket, the car, and the questionable company. How? Simply by waking up.
Perhaps you seem to have been dreaming a long-drawn-out dream, a chronic affair. Or perhaps it has been one that has been briefer but acute. Millions are confronted with some phase of the tragic thing we call war. Even while recognizing its horribleness let us be glad it has no possible place in God's kingdom, Love's universe, and that it cannot prevent the awakening by all men from this nightmare of evil-mindedness to the intactness of Truth's harmonious kingdom.
But whatever be the phase of the dream of material life that would mesmerize us, the way to dominion over it is at hand. It is the Christ-way. It is through thought awakened to permanent spiritual reality; through clinging to the true idea of God as the only Mind, loving, intelligent, and good, and of man, collectively and individually, as His manifestation, sinless, healthful, and eternal, that we dispose, step by step, of the dream of material sense.
What seems to accept and dream the material sense of life is never the true "you" or "I." God's son never surrenders for an instant his spiritual nature and his God-given understanding of the omnipresence and omnipotence of God, good. Only mortal mind, the basic error, dreams the dream of mortality. You and I must radically affirm and know that our consciousness derives only from God, Spirit, is constituted only of the perfect ideas of God; sees, hears, and feels only the works of God. Consequently the lie that we are materially-minded mortals, more or less mesmerized by and held in the snare of ignorance, fear, hate, and affliction, is never our thought, life, or selfhood, and cannot possibly substitute itself for our God-reflecting consciousness and being. We are factually not mortals working out of mortality. We are actually, because eternally, immortals living with God in Truth's immortality. Through increasing awareness of this fact we awaken from mortality's dream—never really our dream—and so dissolve evil's godless, truthless lie.
In the words of a much-loved hymn,
"O dreamer, leave thy dreams for joyful
O captive, rise and sing, for thou art
The Christ is here, all dreams of error
Unloosing bonds of all captivity."