Friday, November 25, 2011

Trying to record in the night museum

I am delighted by the detailed reports dream travelers have brought back from a journey to a museum where they can find secrets from other lives and other times.

As they share their adventures, I am taking more care than usual to make notes in my travel journal. Although I am using a new ballpoint pen, the flow of ink is erratic. I shake it to try to improve the flow, then try writing letters again where previous efforts have left only indentations on the paper. When I press down hard, the results are worse than before. I try writing lightly, letting the tip of the pen just skim the paper. This works better.

I write and rewrite the title of the third journey report, stated clearly by a woman in the group as


By this, she appears to be saying that she went to an alternate Louvre museum, in the imaginal realm. She found that inside, it had double walls. She could step through any wall and find, an arm's length behind it, a second wall, behind which the real treasures were to be found.

She had a particular interest in a mystery of the American Civil War, involving "two lost names". She found the names. I duly recorded the first: "Orlando Orlando or William Orlando." I wrote down the second name also, but can't recall it write[*] now - since I woke to realize that I was doing all this recording inside my dream, not in a literal journal.

The dream content was quite typical of workshops I lead where a frequent and popular group exercise is to travel to a space like a library or museum where it is easy to find portals to other times, or speakers from those times. The literal-ness of the dream (in the context or how I spend my days) makes me feel that my dream self either (a) went ahead of me, across time, to lead a program I'll lead in ordinary reality in the future or (b) taught a workshop inside the Dreamtime, which would not be a novelty.

The trope of trying to record something inside a dream will be familiar to many dreamers. Sometimes we are quite convinced we have journaled everything - until we wake, to find the relevant page in the bedside notebook blank. Still, the physical-seeming effort of having to write over and over to get ink on the page did succeed in imprinting a few memories that remained in my waking brain.

* I'll leave the slip, on the principle that we want to notice what's showing through our slips. Clearly, a message for me is WRITE NOW.


Karen Sharp said...

I love this typo:

I wrote down the second name also, but can't recall it write now

and I am reminded that all of life is a dream, and our dreamingself leaves us clues in our "waking" life.

Thank you Robert, for what you contribute to this communal collective dream.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks, Karen. As I noted in my postscript, a message for me is clearly WRITE NOW.

nina said...
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nina said...
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Robert Moss said...

Nina - That is an astonishing quote from Philip Glass. As it happens, one of my close friends is involved in a research project concerning the American Civil War, and of course I have shared my dream report with her. The woman who describes her discovery of the two "lost names" in my dream is someone I can't yet identify, but I feel she is an actual person - encountered in a parallel or future reality - rather than an aspect of myself.

I must say that names are of tremendous importance to me. Retrieving dream names, and getting them right, has opened vast avenues of research and discovery.

Wanda Burch said...

This is so interesting.
There is a William Orlando Butler that I have stumbled across several times. He was a general, living on his family home in Kentucky; also a slaveowner. His service was in earlier wars; and his mind was on peace when the Civil War broke out. He was conservative and attempted to convince his fellow Kentuckians that slavery should not expand and that the Union should be preserved. He appeared in distinguished gatherings preceding the war hoping that he could turn the nation to peace. He survived the war, never served because of his age but was remembered for his service in the War of 1812 and most particularly for a poem published in the newspapers and magazines of the day. It is quite long - A Night View of the Battle of River Basin - January 1813.

You might be writing the name[s] of someone else other than this William Orlando; but I find it interesting that I have found this one more than once in my research. His message to his country was that a peaceful way could have been found to preserve the Union and to honor and bring to an end that which was a cruel and dying lifestyle in the south. I'm not sure where he stood in the ownership of his own slaves; but he was convinced that slavery should not be allowed to expand. That, too, would not be a real solution to problems boiling over at that point. Politics, greed, and all the usual partisan and personal agendas got in the way, as usual; and so many people died horrific deaths before something like peace was established.

To borrow at least a phrase from Twain, the rhyming of dreaming often spills over in our waking projects, doesn't it?'

Robert Moss said...

Wanda - That's a most interesting connection. The woman in my dream was not quite certain of the name she had retrieved, but was certainly focused on the period of the American Civil War. "William Orlando Butler" is a close and plausible match for the name she reported, inside my dream.

By providing this context, you help to reinforce the understanding that dreaming - especially by practiced and active dreamers - takes place within transpersonal and objective realities, not merely in the basements of the personal subconscious, and is more than "thinking in a different biochemical box".

I was aware of your own researches into the Civil War period, but the woman in my dream was another person I cannot currently identify (perhaps on assignment for you :-)

Mark Twain reputedly said that "history rhymes". (There is no solid source for this attribution, as I noted in my SECRET HISTORY OF DREAMING). It was one R. Moss who riffed on this by suggesting tha "life rhymes".

Thanks very much for your post.