In his book, The Heart of the Shaman, Alberto Villoldo describes the concept of the "sacred dream." He states that there are three types of waking dreams, the daydream, the nightmare and the sacred dream. Of these, only the sacred dream can help you fulfill your mission here on Earth. To live within a sacred dream requires that you understand that daydreams can feel pleasant but will turn into nightmares as the circumstances of your life change.
The book talks about three shared daydreams/nightmares:
The daydream of security turned into the nightmare of insecurity - how do you stay safe in a dangerous world?
The daydream of permanence turned into the nightmare of death - why does everything, including your life, have to die?
The daydream of love that is unconditional turned into the nightmare of conditioned love - how will you find the one you love and who will love you as you are?
He states that these three nightmares are at the heart of modern society. Safety, health and love are things we all want yet cannot seem to find enough of. We end up feeling scared and insecure, trying in vain to secure safety for ourselves in a world that is not under our control. We fear death and the signs that we are slipping and sliding toward the finish line, desperately wishing that we could ignore signs of aging and deterioration. We fear being rejected and ending up alone and unloved. We try to hedge our bets in relationships so we fell that we are getting as much as we are giving - and end up ruining them. These are the nightmares we fall into despite our efforts to avoid pain and experience happiness.
The goal of the book is to help us transform the three dreams that keep you from your destiny into one sacred dream.
Here is a brief description of the sacred dream concept from Dr. Villoldo's blog.