I am in the US, in a country store selling a variety of different things. I see some beautiful old-west revolvers and rifles and am fascinated by them. Especially one revolver is exactly the classic style and I find it beautiful with its silver metal, ivory (or polished bone?) shaft, and soft leather holster. It’s $90 and not very expensive. I have an innocent fascination with it, its beauty, and it’s all connected to my innocent childhood fascination with the old US west.
I start wondering if I should buy it but am reminded that I have to bring it back to Norway. I am not sure if I am allowed to import weapons to Norway, or if I need a permit in advance, and the taxes may be very high in any case. Also, I’ll need to take it to the police to have it registered, and they’ll probably want to interview me and ask why I would want to own a gun.
I decide to get it anyway since it’s such a good match with my innocent childhood fascination with the old west, and I go to the counter to pay for it. The man behind the counter makes me hesitate and I am reminded of the ugly gun-loving culture in some parts of the US. I also see some beautiful stickers and fridge-magnets, with very ugly (bigoted) sentiments written on them.
In the end, I decide to not get it. There are too many ugly associations with it. The reality of these guns is very far from the innocent fascination I initially had for them.
This dream reflects a topic that’s been on my mind my adult whole life, and also recently: there is sometimes a big gap between innocent fascinations and reality.
In this case, it’s the gap between my innocent childhood fascination with the old west and the ugly reality of European settlements in North America (genocide) and the equally ugly reality of the current gun culture in the US.
It also came up in a conversation where I mentioned the Thank U, Next song. I see the lyrics as wise and kind and am grateful that such a song became number one on the lists. My conversation partner was much more skeptical and focused more on the (very unhealthy) images and ideals in the video, and so on. My innocent enjoyment collided slightly with all the ugly things around it, which I had been aware of but chose to set aside or disregard.
I also see how I do this with people. An innocent fascination sometimes collides with a different reality, and I may chose to follow the innocent fascination for a while instead of fully taking in the reality.
I assume we all do this in different ways and different areas of life. It seems to be part of how the mind works, and resolving the difference between the innocent fascination and other sides of reality is part of growing up and aligning more fully with reality.
Our innocence is natural and a part of us our whole life, and we can find where it naturally belongs in our life. For instance, an innocent fascination with the world, innocent awe and wonder, innocent excitement in exploration and expression, and so on. And we can recognize when the innocent fascination is placed on specific objects (including people) in the world and needs to be balanced with a dose of reality.
I’ll add an example from my own life: I have been in two relationships where I had this innocent fascination with something in the other, and set aside (and tried to ignore) the more harmful sides of the other and the relationships. I wanted to keep the innocent fascination, but it did cost me a lot to not take in the reality of the situation more fully. Of course, I eventually had to take the reality in more fully. The dream reminds me that it’s better for me if I can do that earlier in the process, before I metaphorically actually “buy the gun”.