Everybody needs to dream. A life without dreams is a life without hope. Of course it is important to be sorry for the wrongs you have committed and to regain your integrity – but this will only take you from being down in the minus back up to zero. A life without a plus is not enough.
To embrace a dream is to plot the best possible course for your life. For instance, when you have a house built you employ an architect to draw up a plan and the builders follow the plan to create a wonderful house. In terms of life, however, the architect is none other than you yourself, and if you do not draw up a proper plan the result will be a haphazard affair. To build a house you might take a lot of trouble over the planning – so you should take at least as much effort over structuring your life. Too many people live a reckless life just taking everything as it comes.
Not much is needed in the way of a plan, after all : you simply have to embrace a dream, to have a dream of the future. You can tell who does have a dream and who does not by the confidence they show, by their powers of persuasion. When you meet somebody with a dream, it fills you with joy: it inspires you to do something about your own life while wanting to help them in theirs.
There is something about embracing a dream that intoxicates people. I am sure it is true that every person who has performed any great feat on Earth started with a personal dream. Having been born on this world, it is important for us to have the enthusiasm and energy to try to accomplish something great. Modesty need not prevent you from thinking big. Modesty is a necessary part of growth, but it is really needed only when you become overconfident. In other words, modesty acts as a kind of brake, but you cannot drive a car with only a brake pedal. To make the car move forward you need an accelerator, for without an accelerator the car will not fulfil its intended purpose. The brake is there as a mere precaution: it is there simply to stop the car from running out of control and crashing.
You must not spend all your time worrying about the danger of falling into Hell. If you spend each day praying and chanting the sutras you will never achieve any growth. You must put your foot down on the accelerator and only use the brake when you think you are travelling too fast. That is what the brake is for. If you are living your life in a positive way, progressing towards your elected destination, you need only check now and again to make sure that the brake is still working. So long as you are certain that the brake will work when you need it – to redress the situation if you should ever make a mistake – you might otherwise just use the accelerator and travel at full speed. That is the way to embrace a dream and make that dream come true.
A dream is more than a mere plan for life, it also possesses an inherent mysterious power. A dream is a vision that persists in your mind and communicates itself to the other world – that is, to your guardian and guiding spirits. These spirits are all the time striving to find ways by which to guide and protect the people on Earth, but the thoughts of the people themselves are like bubbles on a lake, and they have no plan for their lives, no clear idea of what they want to do. How can the spirits guard or guide such people? They cannot guide their every move because that would be to deprive them of their independence of will. All they are permitted to do is provide us with inspiration. If we have embraced a dream, however, the guardian and guiding spirits can consider how we might go about achieving it, and supply us with the inspiration to do it.
So if we have a clearly defined dream, the spirits in the other world may be able to help us bring it to fruition. This is the true meaning of self-realization. First we have a dream, which is converted to a vision; then we pray to the guardian and guiding spirits for help and it is eventually brought to reality. It goes without saying, of course, that your dream should be one that leads to the improvement of your soul or the spread of human happiness.