Whatever reality the metaphor has, that and none other is the mode of reality the dream has. Which is to say the dream is a metaphor through and through, existing only in whatever unique reality the metaphor does.

The difference between dream and reality is really only this: dreams are not bound by the intransigent law of cause and effect—that is, the law of consequences—that reality always is. For instance, if I kill myself I take myself out of human reality and into another, nonhuman reality—no matter how much I may speak of one or the other as being dreamlike. Or if I murder someone I send them to another reality and dramatically alter my own, whether or not I am caught and punished.

These facts are incontrovertible, and the law that informs them is the main, perhaps the only difference between dream and reality. Logical effect does not necessarily follow cause in dreams as it always does in reality, nor are the consequences of any dream action guaranteed.

The dream, then, is the truest anarchy there is, metaphysically speaking. Reality can only aspire to such anarchy, and when it does it is usually through its most creative people, its artists and writers who make a fetish of the dream because in so many respects it is their guiding star. It often guides them in a world of non-ordinary reality, which can loosely be described as a shamanic world, a world of altered consciousness (even when they are not in an induced trance). But it may also serve to soften the impact of the world of ordinary reality.

Those who go insane are not those who use the dream as a guiding star but who take it for reality—or die trying, some of them. But the greatest artists only pretend to take the dream for reality; they know and respect the difference, and so can produce and sometimes even live as if there were none. Their god, when all is said and done, is the metaphor . . . god itself being but a metaphor and only real as such. And for that matter so is—or so do they strive to make—the content of their lives.

One final point. I believe the better we turn our life into metaphor—in other words, into poetry—the easier we will die. Not to say the more ecstatically we live. And aesthetically if not ideologically that means there will always be something of the anarchist about us.