The Hero is setting out on the Quest. He is given his weapons. They are not the usual hero's weapons, like a sword or a wand or a magic cloak.
The first is a tightly rolled scroll, inside a cylinder of the kind provided with degree certificates. This is the Document of Decision. It is a clean, clear, tight statement, and when the Hero unfurls it and reclaims it, he can move forward with sword-point resolution and clarity, and those around him respond accordingly.
The second gift is the Dissertation of Doubt. This is an untidy mass of hundreds of pages, loosely held together with what appear to be shoestrings. The contents may have their uses, but consulting this interminable discussion of pros and cons and whys and wherefores does not seem likely to get the Hero where he needs to go very fast. However, those who support the Quest must have their reasons for weighing him down with all this material.
Feelings: I woke from this dream cheerful and curious.
Reality: In the midst of research into Tolkien's use of dreams (and their use of him), I was re-reading The Return of the King late at night just before this dream. I jotted down these lines, spoken by the King of Rohan, roused from his enchanted torpor, to the man who will become the greater King, the heir to Atlantis (here called Numenor):
"You will do as you will, my lord Aragorn," said Theoden. "It is your doom, maybe, to tread strange paths that others dare not."
I capitalized Hero and Quest in my dream report because it seemed I was viewing a model for the archetypal Quest, not a specific version of it.
Question: Why do those who support the Hero burden him not just with doubt, but with this huge and ponderous Dissertation of Doubt?