Friday, July 27, 2012

in the middle of the end of the road

Good morning, everybody.

This post is related to this entry in my dream journal.

One thing that I'd like to mention right away is that the beautiful sky imagery in the second part of the third dream comes almost from a NASA video I saw on YouTube. About once a week, NASA puts out a "Science Cast," which gives a little glimpse of some of the science NASA works on. This could be anything from astronomy to satellite technology to atmospheric phenomena. The Science Cast I watched last night was all about how the electromagnetic storms this July caused aurora borealis-like effects to spread all over the world.

I think this video heightened a lot of the mystic feeling of my dreams.

What I'd mainly like to think about, though, for this post, is the interaction I had with my great grandmother and my grandfather. Against all rationality, whenever I have dreams involving my great grandmother and my grandfather, I always think that they're actual interactions with them. My great grandma died three years ago, and my grandpa died four years ago.

In fact -- I've always kind of hated to admit this to anybody -- but one of the reasons I feel my life has taken the path it's taken lately is because of a dream I had with my great grandma in it. This dream occurred just a little over a year after my grandma had died. It seemed to precipitate me ejecting myself from my job and putting myself into a position where I had to come back home.

My thought -- well... let's say... I'm pretty agnostic in general. I think, depending on what mood I'm in, you could assume that my beliefs are mostly based on a physical world and nothing more. Don't ask me why.

I obsess over religion sometimes. I love the old Theosophy of Charles Leadbeater and Annie Besant. I also obsess over not-quite-spiritual writers like Charles Fort. And I think of Carlos Castaneda as real philosophy. (Geez, that's a lot of Charleses, ain't it?) But I still have difficulty, almost all the time, believing that there's anything beyond existence other than the physical. That said, I still let mystical fancies play in my head almost nonstop.

"WTF?" you may be asking. Trust me, I ask the same thing. I WTF myself about once an hour.

One of my mystical fancies is that when my grandma died, she went straight to whatever the next plane of existence is. She didn't look back. She wanted to go. She was ready to go. She had people in the other world that she wanted to be with. And she didn't want to have to worry about this world anymore. So when she left, she left. That was my idea. And it was probably wrong.

So when my grandma died, I wasn't so surprised that I never saw her. Over the few months after my grandpa died, however, I had a couple of dreams about him. (Keep in mind my grandpa died a year before his mother, my great grandmother, died.)

It seems like he started out in those dreams with a very low level of intellect, like his spirit was really impaired by whatever the death process had been for him. But he was still trying to make contact from those worlds. Later on, I fantasize, he had much better ability to make contact. But he was still unable to keep himself mentally or "physically" (in terms of appearance) stable -- at least in the realm where he could interact with me. Once he got behind some wall, an invisible wall, which I saw as being the boundary of the other world, he was himself again, mentally and physically. But I personally could barely hear him!

Like I said before, I didn't have any dreams about my great grandmother. And I just figured that was because she'd headed out of this world and didn't look back. In spite of how much she loved all of her family in the living world, I think she was tired, and that she really wanted to be re-united with the people who had left her behind.

But one night I had a dream where I was at my great grandmother's house with my mom and my sister. My great grandmother rose up out of the floor and started yelling and screaming at me. I can't remember now what she wanted. But the feeling I got upon waking was that I needed to come back to my hometown.

At that point in time the dream did nothing for me other than fill me with a gnawing anxiety. I couldn't come back home. I was working a good job, a steady job, and I had a career that had a future. I felt terrible, of course, for not being able to be back home with my family, for not being able to see, for instance, my nephews grow up and go through all the important events of their lives. But I felt like I was fulfilling my own life's goals, and not just that my family understood this, but that they were proud of me for it.

Nevertheless, I've had this tendency all through my life, when I get the instinct that I need to make a change in my life, not necessarily to control the change, but to let my current life situation decay to the point where I need to make a change. There have been exceptions to the rule. But, to a large degree, I seem to let myself decay into change lazily, instead of taking an active role in the transitions in my life.

So I ended up quitting my job and losing all my money, etc., etc., until I was basically forced to come back home. I've harped on this one single event in my life enough throughout these posts. But one basic thought at the back of my mind all this time was that, if I did get back home, that I'd have some direction, some kind of answer, from my great grandma, on why she wanted me back home, what I was supposed to do.

As it turns out, I'm out here, I'm back home, and I feel even more lost, more confused, more afraid, more paranoid, than I did even while I was in New York! I miss New York terribly -- even though I hate the place -- and I want to be back there so bad. But I'm stuck here now. I'm not just stuck here. I'm stuck here in a situation where I'm not even sure, from month to month, if I'm going to be able to keep up my level of living. Okay. Enough of that.

So last night I got a surprise visit, not just from my great grandma, but from my grandpa. I'm not sure what the dynamic of things is -- why I helped my grandma around the house, and we had an interesting conversation, while my grandpa directly gave me information regarding the afterlife.

But my grandpa seemed, for the most part, normal, while he spoke with me. This might be the first time I've seen him in one of these "speaking with the dead" type of dreams where he's seemed normal. I should say that, from the time I saw my great grandma in a "speaking with the dead" dream, she seemed normal.

The information my grandpa passes me is that he woke into an afterlife, and some details on that afterlife. I take that information to help me not be afraid of death. I think about passing along this information. But I don't want my information to conflict with, or distort, other people's experiences, if they've had experiences like I've had, where they've interacted with my grandpa or great grandma after they've departed.

But at the same time -- especially with the earlier dreams I've had -- I've felt like I really should talk to people about the dreams I've had, like I should tell my mom, or my step grandmother, my grandpa's wife. I've gotten to a point, on a couple of occasions, where I was about to tell my mom. But it's really hard. I just -- I'm afraid. I don't know why.

Partly, I'm conflicted. Any psychologist will tell you that you probably aren't speaking to the dead. And I believe that. The world is what it is, physically. And I could -- well, for instance, I dreamt of Mr. Rogers one night and Michael Jackson another night. Do I think I really saw them? Of course not! So why do I think I saw my great grandma and my grandpa? Because I miss them. That's all. I didn't really speak with the dead.

So why would I tell my mom, who I know believes in all this stuff, that I spoke with my great grandma or my grandpa? Why would I upset her by telling her something I know to be an impossibility? It just seems cruel and absurd.

Now, obviously, crossing over the bridge in the second part of my grandma and grandpa dream is obviously a kind of analogy for my own passing into the afterlife. Which is kind of scary, especially with that freaky dog that unleashes Fortean torrents of rain upon me.

But the third dream also involves my death. So that's kind of scary, too. I'm walking toward some place out in the plains, apparently to get rid of teddy bears, which I associate in my mind with ancient Greek maidens sacrificing their dolls to Artemis as the maidens reach puberty.

But I'm turned around by a wise woman who holds five knives in her hand. I feel like the five knives almost certainly stand for the five of swords in Tarot. But I'm not sure what the five of swords would mean in Tarot, or what it would mean for a woman to be holding those swords -- or what it would mean for a woman holding the five of swords to be followed by near total darkness and death.

I should say that I'm not certain I die in that dream, or even that I'm injured. But I'm in the middle of a very narrow road. I've turned around from the task of sacrificing my dolls to Artemis. I see the light of my city in the distance. But it's not light enough to guide my way. I'm trying to find a bridge so I can cross a river I can't cross by wading. And, while searching -- by feeling -- in the dark for that bridge, a truck either nearly hits me (as I seem to sense it in the dream) or actually hits me (which I may have been too shocked actually to feel).

I'm lying on the ground, under a wheel, in what appear to be death linens. And I hear a woman screaming. So I obviously assume that I'm dead -- that I've been hit by the truck and killed. So that's a bit distressing. But I've had death dreams all my life, and I'm still alive. I don't think I'm going to die. I think that most of the time death dreams symbolize a transition.

What I'd guess is that, at the crossing of the bridge, I'm at the end of the road. I'm making a transition in life. But I'm completely in the dark. I have no idea where I'm going. I don't know if I'll make it across. But then -- bam! -- the transition hits me! Regardless of what I want, regardless of what I can do, my life makes a change.

That would be wish fulfillment, more than anything else -- just because I want so badly to have some sort of direction just take over my life. I really -- what I really want more than anything else, is not to have made the mistakes I've made in my life. I think that's why I keep turning back, turning back, in all my dreams. Maybe what this dream is saying is, "Quit turning back. All your mistakes have already been made. If you keep trying to turn back and undo your mistakes, you're going to find yourself in a great deal of pain."