It’s ironic that Robin Williams would star in this remarkable film, and yet not have understood where the film was leading him.
This film touched on so many obvious aspects of the afterlife, that you’d think a careful observer would have asked him/herself, “how much of this is true? and how much of this is fantasy?” Robin Williams obviously missed it. His suicide on August 11 last year was doubly shocking, considering that he should have known better. What he could have learned from a careful analysis of his part in the film, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME! might have prevented his death. There was LIGHT in that film! He could have followed the light.
By the way, that’s what I mean by my slogan, LIGHT FROM DARK PLACES. I know from long experience that there’s always a little bit of truth in even the most convoluted fantasy. In fact, you can’t have a believable science fiction film if there isn’t some truth in it. The job of an intelligent human being is to pick out the truth and throw the rest away. All art contains truth, even if the artist himself doesn’t insert it consciously.
It’s my contention that artists and writers and poets often brush up against profound truths, almost by accident. That’s because a real “truth” is a concept that is true forever, for every age, in every age, as long as this one particular Universe (the one we’re in) exists. You can’t get away from it. If you will take these obvious truths and fit them together properly, you should always come to the right ultimate conclusion, if you’ll keep an open mind and check out every piece carefully as it comes your way.
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME is obviously about the afterlife. The title itself is from Hamlet, Act 3,Scene 5:
“To die, to sleep-
To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub,
For in this sleep of death what dreams may come…”
The reason Hamlet is considering suicide is because he’s finding it hard to cope with reality. He says in Act 1 Scene 5:
The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Reality can be pretty vexing and painful. Life can be overwhelming! So we’ve got to remind each other constantly that daily life (with all it’s pain & vexations) is only one piece of the puzzle. There’s also an afterlife. Ever think of that? Ever follow through and check out what’s fact or fiction about the afterlife??
You can’t put together the puzzle of life without including the pieces about death. What happens after death?. You can be like the atheist who insists there’s NOTHING after death. But how does he know? Has he been there and come back? Shakespeare, who was a far wiser man than most, believed in heaven and hell. That much leaks through in his plays, even if we never read an autobiography of his personal life.
You don’t need a philosophy course to realize there’s more to life than the here and now.
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME was written by a science fiction writer, Richard Matheson, who also wrote The Incredible Shrinking Man. Matheson incorporated all sorts of possibilities into his stories. He was a dreamer and a philosopher, and he wove tales around little pieces of the truth. We all live, we all die, there’s got to be a purpose to it all, or else life is just pointless. Macbeth said it well:
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / and then is heard no more: it is a tale / told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” [Macbeth Act V Scene V]
But after life, there is so much more!
However, who are you going to believe? Richard Matheson? He’s a good storyteller, but he’s not God. So what if what he says about heaven and hell sounds familiar, is any of it true? How much of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME is true? How much of it is fantasy?
To judge WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, you’ll have to hold it up against something that isn’t fiction. Know of a book that’s thousands of years old and has stood the test of time, and has been endorsed by millions to be true? The Bible stands head and shoulders above all the rest.
Let me just list in my own words some of the things the Bible says about the afterlife:
- Yes, there’s a heaven and a hell.
- No, you don’t get to choose (or MAKE) your own heaven or hell.
- Yes, when you die you go to either heaven or hell.
- No, you don’t go to hell for committing suicide.
- Yes, you can send yourself to hell by committing suicide.
- No, you will not be able to rescue your loved ones from hell.
- Yes, you may meet your loved ones again in heaven (isn’t that wonderful).
- Then again, maybe not. Not everybody who dies goes to heaven.
This “checklist” was a quick roster of TRUTHS. ( In the Bible, a truth is called light, and an error is called darkness.) Notice WHAT DREAMS MAY COME had some light, and some darkness. Question is, how can you tell which is which?
That’s the whole point of the ANALOGYMAN thesis, “LIGHT FROM DARK PLACES”. The only way you can tell if something is an eternal truth, genuine LIGHT, is if you have a basis for comparison. You’ve got to have an outside standard (and by “outside” I mean outside the Universe) something that hasn’t been touched or marred or changed by human hands, something that’s pure truth, right from the Creator himself.
That “something” is the BIBLE. It is a unique book. It is truth incarnate. It is the source of all light. Of course, many of my readers who have been infected by the sceptics and scoffers and militant atheists in our midst will scoff at my mention of the Bible. But that’s why I’ve started this site. There are plenty of sites where people quote the Bible as the ultimate authority. But I happen to know that a lot of you out there don’t respect the Bible as an authority. So I will instead point out the LIGHT that’s out there and show you that the light of God’s truth shines into the deepest, darkest places, that even in the most appalling and fantastic literature there are glimmers of the truth… and my premise is that IF YOU ARE SINCERE and will allow yourself to follow the light where it leads, even the darkest darkness the world has to offer has enough light in it to lead you to absolute truth… and as Jesus said, “the truth will set you free.”
Too bad about Robin. He was an incredibly good actor. Unfortunately, he left this world without leaving us a clear paper trail (especially after baiting us with so profound a film as WHAT DREAMS MAY COME). It’s odd, it’s not like Robin Williams to star in something that doesn’t have a happy ending.
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME had a happy ending, but Robin Williams didn’t. Why he took his own life is still a mystery. He had fame, fortune, good looks, and an incredible personality. Why would a man with his advantages do such a thing? One reason people commit suicide is they ACT before they have all the facts. They think they can escape the pain of this life by ending it entirely. Unfortunately, there is no way we can end our own life. We don’t cease to exist when we kill the body. We continue to exist on the other side — and that is either in Heaven or in Hell.
Did Robin Williams have all the facts? Do you have all the facts? We can get what we think are facts from fantasy films, but we shouldn’t act on guesses. Remember, death is forever, and there’s no coming back. If there’s anything WHAT DREAMS MAY COME gets right, it’s that there is definitely an afterlife. But all the rest is fantasy– and there’s nothing wrong with fantasy, just don’t stake your life on it. Don’t risk your eternity on fantasy, make sure you get your facts from something proven, reliable, something full of light.
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME had a little bit of light. That’s good. Its at least led you to this point, to listen to an argument about the Bible which you probably would have ignored if the film had had the title, WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL.
Now that you’ve read this far, continue to look for and follow the light. There will be light shining out from the darkest places. Hopefully my film analogies will get you started…but ultimately, let’s hope you go to the source of all light, the BIBLE, in which is recorded this testimony by Peter ( a disciple of Christ’s, the one that denied him three times): .
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (emphasis mine) 2Peter 1:19-21