Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Where to find missing dreams
What happens to the dreams we don't remember?
I asked myself that question one morning, when I awoke with little dream recall, though I could feel that my night had been highly active. I decided to go back to bed, focused on this intention: I would like to visit a place where forgotten dreams are kept.
I drifted into the following conscious dream, which I titled
THE COSMIC DREAM VIDEO STORE
I arrive in a space that looks like a neighborhood video store. I don’t walk through the door. I am simply there. There do not seem to be other clients, or any of the regular clerks.
There is a strange creature among the shelves. Its head is birdlike, with a single eye, and – like its long neck and upper body – is chromium-plated. I notice this thing is next to the Horror section. I wonder whether it is simply a display, then see that it is alive, moving slowly on multiple feet or pads. I give it a wide berth.
The videos on this level are organized according to familiar categories – Drama, Comedy, Family, Adult etc. There is a large Adult section most of whose content is quite unfamiliar to me. I realize that a block has been placed on some of this material, so that it did not reach my conscious mind, or – in cases where the film has been rated I (for Intrusion) was not allowed through during the night.
Beyond the first room, I see a space devoted to Diagnostic Imagery.
I also discover sections devoted to my dreams of individual people. I have only to focus on a name or title, and the movie begins to play all around me, so I can enter it at will. There is no need here for a DVD player. You simply select a movie, and it starts playing.
I see an unremembered dream of a woman who had disappeared completely from my remembered dreams. In the dream movie she tells me, “I want to give you a life of exquisite beauty.” She changes from a sarong to the flowing evening gown of an older woman; its gauzy fabric floats about her.
I am surprised to find a fairly large section devoted to another woman who has only appeared in my remembered dreams once or twice, and equally infrequently in my waking thoughts. I sample one of these dream movies. In it, she shapeshifts back and forth between the forms of a woman and a flowering vine.
I realize I have a guide available, a woman in a sky-blue uniform, rather like a flight attendant’s outfit. She shows me a staircase leading down, through an opening that is doughnut-shaped, padded with blue upholstery. I go down, and am surprised to find myself at a bus stop. I wait at the bus stop for a time, then realize that just as a bus is a shared vehicle, so this bus stop is a portal to the realm of shared dreams.
I am excited by the prospect of exploring dream adventures I may have shared with other people, and may not have remembered. I focus on three women who are central to my life. In each case, I ask to view the dream movie that presents our initial encounter (whenever and wherever that may have been). I find that there is an immense archive of shared dreams involving each of these people. One is as large as a great gothic cathedral, with shelves rising to the high roof many stories above. I watch several dream movies in each location. They take me deeply and vividly into scenes of other lives and other times - of leopard people in Africa, of Celtic voyagers in a coracle on a cold northern sea, of a turning castle in a high desert landscape where everything is the color of sand except for the pretty star-shaped flowers, blue and purple, on a terrace. The dream movies reveal a hidden order of connection in all these relationships, transcending our present lives.
I know now that there is no limit to the entertainment and instruction available in this Cosmic Video Library. I note again that some of the unremembered dreams were not merely forgotten, but blocked. There is an operating censor who tries to shut out psychic intrusions and projections.
I decide to make a quick scan of materials available for the history of dreaming. A new movie starts playing. It involves an ancient battle in China. In the time of the Tang dynasty, guided by a dream, a general deploys his troops in a mountain pass to crush an enemy.
I will watch no more dream movies on this visit, because my female guide in the sky-blue uniform is telling me it's time to get up and write things down. Time to re-member the forgotten dreams.