Drawing a sharp line between real and unreal ignores how consciousness really works. If you say to me, “I have a guardian angel,” I can interpret that statement through several states of awareness. You could mean:
I imagine I have a guardian angel. My religion teaches me that I have a guardian angel in heaven. I have read eagerly in the mythology of angels, and the one that attracts me is the guardian angel. I see my guardian angel and experience its presence. Having a guardian angel is my cherished wish. I saw my guardian angel in a dream.
Certain states of awareness, such as dreams and imagination, are accepted in our society, but they press close to other states that modern people often relegate to superstition, such as seeing departed spirits and having holy visions.
Yet I have met too may people who tell me soberly of having saints appear to them in meditation, and others who have been visited by gurus, the archangel Michael, Jesus, Buddha, ancient Tibetan lamas, and incarnations of themselves. Access will not be denied.
Other cultures have felt more comfortable navigating the subtle dimension than we do; our tendency is to wall this region off from the physical world and to make arbitrary judgments.
Yet, to create in consciousness is our greatest gift, and what we create continues to evolve. If you open yourself without judgment to your role as creator, you gain much more freedom.
A great work of art can begin in a dream, a vision, or an inspirational moment. It gestates in the invisible reaches of the imagination, but then the artist begins to shape it in clay or on canvas.
Being a work of art, a human product, like the Mona Lisa, doesn’t stir our skeptical nature, but since we can’t observe ourselves creating angels, we aren’t as accepting of the process.
Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).