“To die: to sleep: No more; and by a sleep to say we end, The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, — ’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come?”
Shakespeare takes some getting used to but I’ve always loved getting into his work. It takes some time to begin the whole translation thing between that archaic English and our modern ears. After about five minutes, I get it. I love the above passage very much – for what it implies. It implies something questioning beyond the very Christian times Shakespeare was living in – a voice of reason, one might say.
Was Hamlet really Shakespeare’s consciousness? I wonder about that at times.
I actually came to the book What Dreams May Come (Richard Matheson) when I was about 14. I read it and fell in love with it. It helped me through some very dark adolescent times, when I struggled with the fact that my mortal body was going to die. Terrified me. I read this book and yes, it was fiction, but it gave me some home and put me on a path. It turned me on to researching what different philosophies and religions believed. It brought me, ultimately, to Co-Masonry and to where I am now.
I don’t think I realized what an important writer Richard Matheson was to so many of MY favorite authors. Ray Bradbury and Dean Koontz were admirers. His works were made into movies – I had no idea. I remember seeing the movie trailer for “What Dreams May Come” and was ecstatic. The movie was good but it wasn’t as good as the first, perfect impact of reading the words on the page.
20 years later, I got to read the book again, after fearing it was out of print. I realized how much it meant to me and how far it took me. Kudos to Richard Matheson. Here’s a page about him. Enjoy! http://www.tor.com/sites/what_dreams/matheson.html