I have no idea where the time’s gotten off to. When did it become 1:35AM on Sunday?
I had the craziest dreams last night…er, this morning? Right before I woke up on Saturday morning, and while I dozed through the ante-meridian hours, to be exact.
My dreams were kind of ourborean – the end was really the beginning, and the beginning was, if anything, kind of the middle. I dreamt about mankind as a species, only mankind was really more of a metaphor for life in general.
It was partly a kind of fictional account of how superheroes (the comic book kind, in a semi-literal sense) came to be – only they weren’t fictional in my dream. I didn’t find this out until the dream, as I watched the superhero-type characters emerge from regular society in a sort of natural selection kind of way. They were the fittest that survived. But as I found this out – at the end of the dream, mind you – I also realized that what I was learning was really how our myths (of my fictional dream-world) came to be. They were real, but the antecedents of who we are today.
They closest I can come to describing them would be a much cooler version of He-Man and Thundercats characters. Flying engine-machines with feathers and special swords and stuff. But that wasn’t really the meat of the dream – at least not as far as I was concerned.
There were a couple of apocalyptic scenes – one that I witnessed toward the end of the dream, and one that I puzzled out that happened at the beginning of the dream. The one at the end of the dream explained what happened at the beginning of the dream, if that makes any sense.
I can’t really say that there was a main character, but there was kind of a flash-between of Maximus from Gladiator and Leonidas from 300 – who was also partly me – who was one of the main survivor-personas. Their survival was based either upon being god-chosen or upon making just the right decisions at critical junctures. And a combination of both – again, if that makes any sense. I’m choosing my words carefully, but words and paragraphs are very linear and this dream was more spherical (notice I’m not saying circular).
In any case, I can’t describe it much better than that, because I don’t really remember the details. One of the apocalyptic events involved small (grapefruit- to volleyball-sized) round black meteorites with red laser-like tails and skins falling from the sky in a kind of hard thick diagonal rain that obliterated everything in their path. Though a consistent rain, they destroyed things seemingly at random. The Maximus/Leonidas/Me character mostly stood still and didn’t get hit, which basically fooled whatever evil was throwing the rain down. That was the second apocalypse that gave rise to the next flowering of mankind with the feathered flying machines. It happened in our distant past.
The dream was very clear, but I don’t know that I would necessarily term it a ‘lucid’ dream (at least not for me). It was very close to qualifying, but one of my prerequisites for a lucid dream is that I have no idea how it relates to anything that’s happened to me recently.
And I have a vague notion that the undercurrents of this dream are directly related to my reading of C. S. Lewis‘s Space Trilogy. Without getting into Lewis’s life and writings too much, I’ll simply say that he was a regular Christian dude until his teens, when he became an athiest. At around age 33 (very close to mine own age), he (re-?) converted to Christianity. His writings are rife with Christian metaphor – probably the most complained-of aspect of his Chronicles of Narnia.
I read the Narnia books when I was about 8 (in no particular order – I didn’t quite realize what a series was back then), but thankfully didn’t read any Christian metaphor into or out of his novels. I just liked the stories.
In any case, Lewis’s Space Trilogy is also heavily Christian-centered. Which is fine by me, because the story is good and I’m a bit more able to see where he’s coming from – especially after having read other such works as The Screwtape Letters (which I couldn’t recommend more highly). The first novel, Out of the Silent Planet, gives a kind of cosmic look at the god-question/issue, and does a good job of it. The second novel, Perelandra, is basically about the temptation of Eve – only within the history of a completely different planet. I’m about halfway through That Hideous Strength, and my feel so far is that it’s going to follow a bit along the lines of the subject matter of the book of Revelation.
Lewis does a great job in his writing of presupposing a Christian god. That is, everything is just a bit unbelievable until the Christian god is fit into the picture. It’s the missing puzzle piece that allows the whole picture to be seen and understood; the hub of the wheel.
But I’m not overly concerned with that – it’s a central aspect of Lewis’s writing, but only relates to my dream tangentially.
When I woke up, I remember thinking that the character(s) with whom I identified in my dream had to go through a lot of hardship to come out on top and, as it were, be “proven” worthy. While this may be directly in line with my oh-s0-manly-chicks-dig-scars mentality, I can’t say that I’m all that attached to the idea that everything has to be done the hard way. At least, not right now.
I think I’m growing out of that. I’m not saying that the easy way is always the way to go, but rather that doing things the hard way just because it’s harder doesn’t make much sense. I think that’s an ego-bolstering proposition for me. “Sure, we’re both at the top of the same mountain, but it took me twice as long and I bushwacked – you just followed the trail, which any idiot can do.” Yeah, meanwhile I’m exhausted and have no water left to get me back down the mountain and the ‘idiot’ is barely even winded.
In Perelandra, ‘Eve’ doesn’t give in to the temptation, and their world is set on an entirely different (happier) path than our own (fallen) world has followed.
And that’s had me thinking about life in general for me (as pretty much any damned thing is wont to set me doing). What good does it do me to always take the harder path? Besides form a false buttress for my ego, of course?
And now I’m tempted to get into a discussion of the Law of Attraction and things like that, which is WAY beyond the scope of this post, and more involved than I have time or inclination for. Suffice to say that if I expect things to be tough, they’re going to be tough; and if I expect things to be easy, they’re going to be easy. Not in every individual case or situation, of course: I’m talking about broad-brush, overall outlook things here.
My main point is that, while it is certainly story-worthy and makes for a more interesting dream, I don’t think hardship necessarily has to be a sine qua non for eventual happiness or worthiness. That is, things don’t have to suck right now in order for them to be better later on. Things can be just fine right now and be friggin’ awesome later on. Or they can be friggin’ awesome NOW. All I really have is right now anyway, and I’ll tell you, dear reader, things are pretty friggin’ awesome right now. [See: Law of Attraction, supra.]
I think situations of contrived hardship are the devil:
Fuck you, student loans. I’m not eating out of a can for you.