In all my pondering of the wonders of the universe I had never before imagined what my own subconscious showed me one night while I lay dreaming. I had seen already seen depicted the many types of stars, from red giants to the dullest of dwarfs. There are dead stars made of compacted neutronic metal. There are black holes, bulbous tears in spacetime which swallow light; yet for being the blackest and most lightless things, they are surrounded by thousands of radiant halos.
There are rogue worlds, planets without suns, hurtling through the interstellar voids at speeds far outpacing the flight of our own solar system through the galaxy. There are planets made entirely of swirling gasses. There are glittering planets made of crystal and diamond. There are planets whose atmospheres are bing devoured by their own suns, soon to leave the planets skyless, smoldering rocks. There are nebula clouds spread out like huge gossamer veils. They sparkle with jewel tones: ruby red, emerald, and opal.
The universe itself is a marvel. If one takes a greatly zoomed out view, seeing with the eyes of God as it were, the cosmos is like a dark and empty room through which spread threads woven of hundreds of galaxies, like cobwebs in the corner, spreading luminous strands through empty space. Between these thin strands of galaxies are vast voids, larger than the human mind can conceive, of starless, fathomless blackness. Like the darkness of pre-creation.
But in all these musings, never did my waking mind conceive what my dreaming mind beheld. As I lay dreaming one night, this is what my sleeping eyes saw. A world. A single, lonely world at the furthest edge of what we call space. A world without a sun to warm it; a world without siblings. Alone; the most isolated thing in the universe. But this utterly lonesome planet was also the most beautiful world I have ever seen. It was deep purple in color. A world of Tyrian richness; an imperial world in its natural majesty of color. Imagine the stripes and bands of cloudy Jupiter changed to the most vibrant violet and magenta hues. Even from my lofty abode high above this distant, silent world, I was enthralled by how brilliantly it stood out against the dark backdrop of the cosmic veil. It was like a marble of the brightest amethyst.
But the biggest wonder was yet to come. My vision of this wondrous scene moved, as they do in dreams, miraculously. I suddenly had the feeling as if I were peering out through the porthole of a vessel down at this strange world, which grew suddenly smaller in my vision, giving the sense of movement, though I felt no sense of moving. Then when I looked up at the thin veil of stars twinkling in the distance, there I saw a sight that made me balk in wonder even as I slept. There was a structure behind the stars. A cross-hatching as of beams or lattices. They were angled, like the mullions of old casement windows, leaving vast diamond-shaped gaps between them.
Even in the land of dreams it is possible to feel small, to be swallowed up, even for a brief moment, by awesome excitement at what you are witnessing. Dreams are a way that we may, in this lifetime, truly look upon the impossible. The lattices were massive in size, in width wider than even the most titanic of planets. I was seeing a truly cosmic structure. The lattices seemed to be behind the distant stars, standing out like shadows in the indigo recesses of star-strewn space. I could only guess at what these vast beams stretched across space could be. Because of my limited view through the hole, I could not see much of them. I had the feeling—as one gets in dreams—that they were like the bars to a cage: a spherical cage which had entrapped this vibrant planet and a number of stars. The circumference, then, of such a cage would be dozens or hundreds of lightyears across. Then this amaranthine world was like a prisoner in an astronomical Plato’s cave, cut off from the rest of the universe by beams laid down by Titan hands in eons past.
But then I thought was I seeing something deeper? Something larger? Was I, in my dream, looking at the utter edge of the universe, the ultimate end of all thing? Were these the very beams of creation, holding back the stars and their light from the nothingness on the other side? There were multiple options for what these enigmatic structures were. They might also have been the very framework or foundations of the universe itself, the glue that held stars and galaxies together. For being such simple, geometric shapes, the shadows of those mighty lattices boggled my dreaming mind. And when I woke up and remembered instantly this incredible and vivid dream, it mystified me then just as much as it had in the dream.
It was a dream which instantly stuck with me, finding a fertile resting place in my waking thoughts. I still marveled at what I had seen in my own dream. I felt as if I had peered through the curtain and spied, even if only the vague outline of it, one of the mysteries of the cosmos. And it has left me wondering if such a thing can really be. Could there be such a planet out there, one which sits at the utter edge of all that we know? One side of it faces the universe and its inhabitants of stars, including our own tiny, isolated sun. And the other side faced… what? The complete edge. The great, black wall of infinity separating what is from what isn’t. Or so I think. Maybe, maybe there is such a thing out there in the infinite fathoms of outer space.
But such are dreams, giving us glimpses of sights beyond the mundane. Allowing one asleep to instantly traverse the length of the observed universe in the span of a single night and see a sight which no other has. Such are the enticing majesty and power of dreams for those who are open to their call.