This post is related to this entry in my dream journal blog.
My first dream is another dream involving organized stalking. Organized stalking is, or was, when I was following things, one of the main ideas in current conspiracy theory. It's the idea that people organize themselves in groups in order to follow other people around, for some reason or another.
The conspiracy theory idea is that organized stalking is a method of mind control, some kind of CIA operation to see how to shape and control people's minds. A lot of conspiracy theorists say that there is some sort of ultimate CIA link to all the groups of people following other people around. The person being followed around is called a targeted individual.
Regardless of the fact that CIA mind control programs have been documented as having existed (and when Clinton was President, he apologized for mind control programs done on people in the 1960s and 1970s), I'm not sure I believe in any of the theories about organized stalking. But I think it shows up in my dreams over and over because it's a theory that meshes well with my own psychological complexes.
In fact, one of the reasons I followed conspiracy theories for a while, and occasionally still follow them, is because I find that they match with a lot of the darker aspects of our collective unconscious, in terms of really powerful authority figures, people out to get people, ultimate links to ultimate evils, and so forth. In an age where religion seems to be in its death throes, things like conspiracy theory may step in to allow the human psyche some realm in which to express archetypes and symbols and what not.
But even if there isn't some big conspiracy surrounding activities such as organized stalking, it's pretty obvious that currently people have been using technology, social media, to conduct activities that would look very much like organized stalking, such as flash mobs for robbing stores.
One phenomenon of the flash mob robberies is that they are often accompanied by group beatings. A mob might end up attacking one person in the streets or in a park while that person is alone, or while the group of people targeted is far outnumbered by the group of people in the flash mob.
This kind of hits home for me personally, even though I know for certain that what I'm about to talk about has nothing to do with organized stalking or flash mobs. Mostly it has to do with my own stupidity.
On New Year's Day, 2011, I walked through Prospect Park after having visited with a friend. It wasn't very late at night at all, but the sun was down. Still, Prospect Park had become (for better or worse) a place where people feel safer and safer to walk around or jog or bike at night. But on that night I was attacked by about ten kids. They all just grouped around me and beat the crap out of me. I'm really small and skinny. So it was pretty easy for them to do.
Like I said, it was my own stupidity for walking through the park at night. But the event allowed me at least to sympathize with some of the people who were absolutely on record as being victims in a flash mob beating.
And I think the event stuck with me even more, since I don't really like myself. I don't feel wanted in the world. I feel like nobody in the world thinks I deserve to be around. I really give myself a working-over with self-hatred just about every day of my life. I project all my self-hatred outward, so that I feel that I don't really hate myself, but that everybody else hates me. Having a group of people beat me down just confirmed it.
Actually, I do have to say that I've been in very few fights in my life. Because I'm weak. I purposely keep myself very skinny. So I just don't get into fights.
But the only fights I can think of have been where big groups have fought against me. The one I just mentioned is one. The other was in 2006 where a group of scrubby guys confronted me right in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan. And the other was in 2003, where (this one was all my fault) a bartender, then three kids, then an entire bar full of people, got in a fight with me.
Those are, I think, the only three fights I've been in in my entire life. And they were all... not fights so much as they were me getting my ass beat down.
But I think the ideas of conspiracy theory and of organized stalking have recently been at the forefront of my mind because of two books I've just read: Condominium, by John D. MacDonald, and Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie.
In Condominium, one of the characters involves himself very deeply in conspiracy theory, to the point where his studies of conspiracy theory shut him out of the rest of life altogether. Another character in the book organizes what could basically be thought of as a vigilante militia to protect the condominium he lives in from some kids hanging around the area.
I'm hardly a kid anymore. I'm 34. But the way this character is drawn in the book, I feel like I know him in the personalities of people whom I've lived around over the course of my adult life: people in their 50s and 60s who look at everybody under the age of 40 with jealousy and suspicion -- violent, vehement suspicion. Seeing that character brought to life by MacDonald brought my own resentment of real-life versions of that character back to my mind.
In Murder on the Orient Express, of course, the murder victim actually is followed around by a large group of people. The murder victim in Orient Express really could be thought of as a targeted individual who is the object of organized stalking. Of course, he committed a crime that deserved his punishment. But it really shook me to see such a blatant presentation of organized stalking.
The theme actually reminded me a lot of the Fritz Lang film M, in which the Peter Lorre figure is first the object of organized stalking and then becomes a defendant in what basically amounts to a mob jury of vigilantes.
I think my own fears of being followed come from two things. One is the idea that there is some "inexpressible guilt" I have on my conscience that "everybody else" knows I must pay for. The other is the idea that I have some "great potential" in me that "everybody else" wants to keep down.
These two ideas, I think, compensate each other. The truth lies somewhere between, obviously. I'm a normal person with normal faults. I think if I could accept myself as a normal person, I'd probably lose a lot of the paranoid fears that inform my dreams in such a way that they involve themes of organized stalking.
But I think the idea of some "great potential" informed a lot of this dream. At the beginning of the dream, I've apparently finished one task, and now I'm waiting for word on my next task. This gives the idea of me being on some sort of assignment, of being part of a larger goal: of having, in other words, some great potential.
So, while I'm waiting, I do a strange thing. I begin to fly. I do this, though, by stepping on a stone. I then fly up through the air and around a tree's canopy.
A few nights ago, I had a dream in which I was assigned a "task" of spitting on trees. I had to spit on the root crown of the trees. I don't know what this means. But it's obvious that in that dream, my concern was with the base of the tree. In this dream the concern is with the canopy of the tree. So there is a balancing out of themes, which, according to Jung, happens a lot in dream cycles.
But what also interested me in the dream was this image of flying by stepping on a stone. I think one obvious interpretation of that image would be that I was "using stepping stones" to "rise up in the world." Unfortunately, I'm so ill-equipped for the social processes of this world that I think using just one stepping stone will allow me to fly as high as I want in the world.
But I think the image of the "stepping stone" also comes from the video below. The video shows a captive test for the new Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser space vehicle. The test was, as far as I could tell, to determine some of the aerodynamic characteristics of the Dream Chaser's structure. But you'll notice in the video how the vehicle is lifted off from and dropped back onto something that looks like a giant mattress. I think I translated this mattress into a "stepping stone" in my dream.
The views of the Dream Chaser being carried over the Jefferson County landscape (which is, incidentally, my landscape -- where I'm living right now) reminded me a lot of some of the other spaceflight-related dreams I've recently had. The fact that the Dream Chaser is basically picked up, wheeled around a bit, and then dropped back down to earth, also reminds me of the flight pattern I take around the canopy of the tree in my dream.