The focus of my blog is mysteries in broad daylight. But, I am making an exception to write about another sort of mystery, a dream that I’ve been having. Actually, its been recurring for over ten years. Although I am proficient at dream interpretation, my own dream still perplexes me. So, maybe you can help me to decipher it.
As a matter of fact, the person who posts what a panel of judges deems to be the most insightful interpretation will win a free copy of my book Awakening with the Enemy. The contest runs from now until June 1st. The panel could also judge that no one has won. Ready? Here goes…
The dream is always basically the same. I’m working at my computer when a strange application takes over, causing it to freeze or to crash. I would then be required to restart my computer.
When I wake up, I can never quite remember what this alien program looks like, but it seems to produce, on my computer screen various colors and shapes of all sorts, something like an expressionistic painting.
I have a strange emotion when this occurs, in my dream. It is partly disturbance over having my work interrupted, by the alien application. And it is partly a sense of being seduced into taking a “moral holiday,” to use William James’ expression, from my responsibilities. In that sense, the dream has an almost erotic feel to it. (By the way, Marshal McLuhan was right: the medium is the message. The computer, even apart from the internet, profoundly influences us and shapes our perceptions of the world, in ways that we do not even realize. My dream confirms, on a personal level, McLuhan’s insight.)
The Dream Takes a New Twist
And so, for over ten years, I have been having this dream. But, last week, something very different happened in the dream. As usual, the colors and shapes would take over. But this time, the conclusion of the dream was very different! After the colorful imagery appeared, I saw — written across the screen of my computer — the words “The End.”
Puzzled, I put my head close to the screen to see what was happening. Then, my Mac computer, which is shaped like a lamp (see accompanying photo), starts to turn on its axis, such that the screen starts to push my head aside. I resist it, but the pressure is so powerful that I must move my head away.
The screen finally swivels 180 degrees, such that I am now looking at the rear of the screen. Then, to my astonishment, I notice that the rear of the computer has its own screen. I also notice that it has an on and off switch, that looks like a room light switch. I then have the opportunity to flip the switch on. I have a feeling, in the dream, that I would like to turn on the switch, so that I could see what would be on the screen. I have an anxious sense of anticipation, for I sense that the screen would be a doorway into life’s deepest mysteries. I then awoke, to find myself staring at the light switch in my bedroom.
So there you have it. What could it mean? I don’t know, but am image or two occurs to me, which might be clues. What if the world was like a giant TV set or computer screen? Actually, way before such technology existed, Plato, in his famous “Allegory of the Cave,” suggested that we are all viewing mere shadows on the wall of a cave. We mistake those shadows for true reality.
OK, then, what if the world that we experience was very much like a giant TV or computer sending us an endless series of images. And what if these images, that we call our world, were to flip over”? Then, rather than encountering life, as we always do, we could peer behind the veil, and see the inner workings of the this TV or computer that presents us with that endless series of images that constitute the many dreams that we call life?
Oh, and here is one more clue. The dream contains a kind of pun. At the conclusion of the last version of the dream that I had, after the expressionistic colors and shapes appear, there appears on the screen “The End.” It is a pun because it signifies the end of the dream. But it also signifies that screen that I am viewing is only one end. The other end I was about to see. By the way, Mircea Eliade, in his book Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, argues that the headstand if symbolic. He states that it symbolizes to the yoga practitioner, that the world is upside down — i.e., people are acting foolishly — and that if you want to see the world as it is, you must compensate by standing on your head. This reversal of standpoint is called a metanoia.
OK, enough clues. What does the dream mean?