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Episode 9: ‘The Twilight Zone’ Perchance to Dream

Charles Beaumont’s first episode for “the Twilight Zone” explores the power of the imagination. It’s main question: “Could someone imagine him- or herself to death?”

The mind is undoubtedly powerful. It creates much of our reality. Self-fulfilling prophecies, the placebo effect, the law of attraction, “If you can dream it, you can do it…” These are the ways the mind bends reality.

When the psychiatrist’s new patient shows up in his office, the patient is concerned and facing a catch-22. If he goes to sleep, his dreams will deliver him a shock his heart can’t withstand; if he stays awake much longer, his heart will give out. He tells the doctor that the doctor won’t be able to help him. The patient has already made up his mind, all that’s left is for his body to figure out how to fulfill the reality the patient sees.

The same is true in our lives. How we think of something is what it becomes, and we can imagine both good and bad things. When someone doesn’t call you, do you imagine something like a car wreck or do you think his or her phone has run out of battery power? If it’s the first, they may not be in an accident, but your body reacts in the same way as if that person had experienced something terrible. You face worry and stress even if nothing has happened. Removing worry from the equation is hard, but if you can achieve it and face reality as it comes, you’ll be healthier and happier.

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