Sunday, January 13, 2008

Feel Free to Interpret....

A few nights ago, I had two dreams unlike any that I have ever had before. The most worthy detail of these dreams is their significance. Two days later, I am still considering their potential meaning.

Before continuing describing these dreams, I have to reiterate that I am trying to recreate on “paper” dreams that occurred two nights ago. Immediately upon waking from the second of the two dreams, I booted the computer and created rough summaries of both experiences. From those summaries and my memory, I am going to try to create a re-telling that is as descriptive and truthful as possible. Instances of vagueness should be expected. It should also be noted that I had intended to write about these dreams immediately but a long National Guard drill weekend prevented me from doing so.

The first dream was incredibly frightening. The second was the total opposite; I woke up in euphoria. For more than just these reasons (but including these reasons) I tend to refer to the first dream as a depiction of hell and the second as a depiction of heaven. Both dreams woke me. Upon waking from the second, I remained awake. Their impact was that profound. At the conclusion of the description of both dreams, I will briefly mention a few factors that may have contributed to their occurrence.

I do not recall exactly how the first dream began. However, I was acutely aware that I was in a bad situation and my life was in danger. Without being told, I was also aware that people were gunning for my life because I had gained too much knowledge about something related to government or politics. The reason why I was being pursued for my life is not significant. The fear that I felt because of the situation is.

Knowing that my life was in danger, I began to run- maybe not physically “run,” but I tried to escape. Upon doing so, I blacked out. When I returned to a form of consciousness I was in the craziest of conditions. First, I was not completely coherent. I felt a level above drunk and without full control of my motor functions. Also peculiar: I had the normal first-person perspective but I would also occasionally travel out of my body and could see from an external view how I looked.

This is where the dream becomes very odd: From my perspective, I could see that I was in an urban area. Near me I saw a decrepit old man who was also, for some reason, an oddity. Observers had gathered around him to watch him. He was a sort of exhibit at a freak-show. Upon this recognition, I traveled out of body and realized that I was also part of the freak-show.

Covering my entire body were yellow objects. Imagine a poker chip, yellow in color. Implant half the poker chip in the skin so that only a half sphere projects externally. Half-crescent, yellow objects like these covered my entire body. Also peculiar was my action. I was running, but very slowly. I would run in slow-motion for a couple of feet and then turn around and return to my starting location by running very slowly. However, the yellow objects covering my body caused my running to be deceiving. The optical illusion made it seem that I was running very fast but with very deliberate movements. People were gathered to watch me “run” these odd, short circuits.

At this point, I traveled back to my internal perspective. Upon being relieved of my drunken-like funk, I realized that I wasn’t bound to my “circus act.” I quickly started running away. While running (now at full pace), I realized that I could wipe all the yellow objects off my skin. I did so quickly while running and nearly everything was back to normal.

However, I was still fully aware that my life was in danger. Also, I could feel an object on my ear. It felt like a heavy earring.

At some point during my escape, I came to a level of great heights. From this level, I could jump safely into the stands of a baseball stadium. I felt strongly compelled to embrace the safety of the mass of people in the stadium so I jumped into the crowd. As soon as I did so, I saw someone that I recognized. I didn’t know who it was but I realized that it was a familiar face. I caught up to the individual and the details of my precarious situation began to become understandable.

The people out to kill me were close friends, but I did not know who exactly. I had an ex-girlfriend who had gone missing just prior to my blacked-out experience and I recognized that she may hold the knowledge to my safety. The individual I had met at the stadium was going to transport me to my Mother’s house which happened to be some political mansion; maybe even the White House. In any case, I felt that I was in a great deal of danger. I felt fear in this dream unlike any I had felt in previous dreams. I was not just scared in my dream-state; I was genuinely and physical frightened.

Abruptly, I found myself in my Mom’s political mansion. I realized that I was not alone. My old girlfriend had turned up there and was present currently. Also a male friend of mine was in the mansion. I recognized that I did not know whether this friend was to be trusted or not. I was also aware that my old girlfriend could supply answers. Also in the mansion was my Mom. I quickly ran to her. I found her completely unaware of my situation or the situations of the others in her residence. I passionately tried to explain everything. It seemed that I was making headway…

…While fearfully retelling her perils of my situation, she interrupted to inquire about the object on my ear. I could not see it, only feel, and figured it was an earring. She recognized it as a tracking device. She quickly began to remove it. As she did, my male friend raced up behind her with an object and mimicked like he was going to kill her. I was shocked but I also now knew that he was after me and I was defenseless. However, for some reason, he allowed my Mom to live and took no action but to grin at me evilly. I again felt the chilling fear described earlier. My Mom removed the device from my ear and quickly ran out the door of the mansion to find help.

I desperately did not want her to exit. Her presence was my security.

As soon as she left, however, I raced toward my old girlfriend. Uncharacteristically and aggressively, I threw her to the ground and demanded answers. There was a weird sexual / apprehensive tension. She began to cry violently. She knew what was going on concerning my predicament. I vaguely seemed to understand that she had originally intended to kill me also. She had in the meanwhile become a victim herself. I began to develop ideas of how we could escape together.

I suddenly realized that the male friend had entered the room. At this point, I knew he was going to kill both the ex-girlfriend and I. I also knew there was little that we could do to prevent our demises. Upon this recognition, I didn’t fear death. I did fear my own inability to successfully escape my dilemma. At this climax of panic, disappointment, and fear, I physically awoke.

My awakened state was not a pleasant one. The dream had left me frightened. I was so startled that I briefly considered not returning to sleep. While I convinced myself to return to sleep (and that the fear from the dream represented no real danger), I still had the feeling that the dream held more significant meaning.

In any case, I returned to sleep.

I quickly rushed into another dream. However, this dream was very much a continuation of the previous. I had escaped death somehow but I was still in danger. By some unknown means, I had fled to a very odd hiding position: the apex of a very tall sky-scraper.

However, I was not alone. On the roof accompanying me were a few relatives: my sister, her girlfriend, and my God-Mother. Despite being on the outside ledge of a towering skyscraper, all initially seemed well. I was relieved that my pursuers from the previous dream could not reach me at my current location.

I recall watching my sister and her girlfriend walk the ledge of the skyscraper. I also remember that they were performing all sorts of acts to make clear that we were unable to fall. For some reason, gravity had little control over us on this rooftop. So I began to defy gravity myself. I hung my head over the edge of the building in defiance of our loftiness. However, upon doing this, I quickly recognized my own fear of heights. Despite the relative safety provided by the lack of gravity, I began to panic. Because of my horror, I suddenly lost all ability to move. I was stuck hanging precariously over the ledge of a soaring building. With the inability to move, the only person that I had in my field of observation was my God-Mother. I was completely full of fear.

My Godmother began to reassure me. She told me to release my fear. She told me to momentarily move off the building. She assured me that I would be safe.

I continued to watch my God-Mother. Suddenly the dream became dramatically majestic and brilliant.

My God-Mother began to hover just above the roof. She raised her hands to the sky. As she did so, she began to glow. A halo was placed above her head and dazzling light unlike any I had seen before traveled from some unknown place in the sky to her body. My own fear quickly dissipated. It was replaced with a feeling of immense ecstasy. I was now aware that my God-Mother’s form had been transformed into that of an angel. I felt such bliss that I allowed myself to fall from the building. As I did so, gravity returned and I began to drop towards the earth below.

However, I felt no panic. The angel-figure flew towards me and provided a hand. I gripped it and we began to successfully fly together. We traveled throughout the air with no effort or fear. I heard the beautiful singing of the Christmas song, “Joy to the World.” I was absolutely delighted to be in the grips of the angel.

Suddenly, however, my flight ended. It concluded in a convention center type of building. I was on the ground and the angel had disappeared. The facility was full of people. I began to run around in elation. Upon doing so, I encountered an old friend from the Army. He looked aged from the last time I had seen him. I wanted to catch up on old times but I told him that I had to meet my Mom and tell her some good news. To my shock, the old Army buddy knew the news I was going to tell. He said:

“You found God.”

When I questioned how he knew, he told me that he had seen the angel transport me. He told me that no one else could see the angel but him and that my “secret” was safe. With someone else to reconcile my seemingly impossible journey, I grew increasingly overjoyed.

At this point I became less aware of my physical actions and fully aware of my inner feeling. As epically frightened as I was in the first dream, I now felt an opposite level of joy. Every burden and pain was removed. I was in a state of infinite satisfaction and this is how I awoke.

Upon awaking, I quickly felt a connection between the two dreams. I was also moved by the profound and readily apparent presence of God in the second dream. I quickly moved to the computer to collect my thoughts concerning both dreams. As I typed each word in my summary of the two dreams, I remained covered in “goosebumps.” However, I continued to experience happiness from the second dream. I was so thoroughly satisfied to have a happy feeling replace the fear that I experienced in the first dream.

Now that some time has past since the dreams occurred, I have been able to find calm perspective that I originally did not have. For example, when I immediately awoke, the profound nature of the dreams caused me to draw wild concussions. At first, I felt that I had experienced heaven and hell. I even briefly considered whether I had been unknowingly on the verge of death during my sleep. This, of course, seemed unreasonable. However, the intensity of feelings provided by the dreams was also a bit unreasonable.

With some time past, I recognize now that the dreams were, mostly, just dreams. I do think, however, that there was a bit more to their occurrence. I genuinely believe that God’s presence was manifested in those dreams. The significance of this recognition is that I have held a lifetime stance agnostic or even atheistic towards God. The authenticity of these dreams was so great that I now find myself hard-pressed to ignore the “realness” of God. In any case, there resided something in those dreams greater than what my imagination has the ability to create. I sincerely feel compelled to attribute this presence to God.

Now, I must also admit that there were certain factors that may have encouraged these dreams to occur.

I had gone to bed that night without my dog sleeping at my feet. Since obtaining her, my puppy has always slept in my bed. So I was accustomed to her presence. However, being that I had to awaken early for my National Guard drill, she slept in a roommate’s room. The lack of the puppy’s company may have attributed to the feeling of insecurity in the first dream. This seems like a stretch of the dog’s impact on my quality of sleep but it is noteworthy.

Also, prior to sleeping, I had accompanied friends to a Hookah bar. There, we smoked copious amounts of tobacco. I don’t smoke cigarettes or any other type of tobacco besides that smoked during these infrequent visits to the Hookah bar. No other drug or alcohol, etc, was digested. In fact, the only other drugs that I ever consume are alcohol and caffeine. Neither was involved on this night. The setting of the bar was a bit eerie. It was dark and the d├ęcor was quite avant-garde and brooding. The tobacco and location may have provided the stimulus for the emotionally-intense quality of the dreams.

However, it is also noteworthy that none of the characters in the two dreams were figures in my thoughts or conversations before bed. I haven’t talked to my God-Mother in months. My sister and I are close but we hadn’t spoke in a few weeks. I am also very close to my Mom. However, we live far from each other and, while we talk often, it can not be suggested that I was thinking of her explicitly before sleeping. While I study religion at my university, I was not considering anything related to God prior to sleeping. More odd is that I had completely forgotten about the old Army buddy that appeared in the second dream.

Any further analysis I will leave to the reader. These were my dreams. They were monumental. Never have I had dreams that caused me to both recall them days later and describe them so vividly that others could share. It should be noted that I have had fairly harrowing dreams concerning Iraq but none have caused me the fear of the initial dream described above. Surely no previous dreams have caused me to genuinely consider the existence of a god.