Islands of dreams

“To be connected with the whole world, doesn’t it sound like a dream?” Or, in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre: “Hell is other people.” One girl’s dream is another man’s hell! What are my dreams? And what is my dream? Not the same thing…

Due to the cold, perhaps, I woke up a couple times before the alarm, even though I had slept too little the night before. (Not a dramatic insomnia, I just did not get my timing right.) Thanks to this waking up, I remember the two last dreams of the night.

In the first dream, I was going to college. But it was a college run by my current employer, and had experts from the various teams and departments teach their specialties to us who were studying there. That way, if I managed to learn, I would be able to to solve many of the problems as soon as I got them, rather than sending them on to people who were already overworked. (This is actually, if not realistic, at least giving me a hint of something. I should talk about this with my boss. Obviously not a college, but some way of sharing skills across teams. If no one else, then I at least am willing to study with the other teams, because I cannot continue being this clueless when others are working as hard as they can and still falling behind!) Anyway, the details are restricted by my non-disclosure agreement. I woke up just as I realized that I would not have to apply to get my old job back after I graduated! ^_^

I fell asleep again, after putting on the second space heater by my bed. (Yes, it is that cold. It is that or wearing outdoors clothes in bed. We are talking deep freezer here.)

My second dream was much crazier. It was about a young woman who decided to dive into the ocean from the ceiling of the atmosphere. That would presumably be the ionosphere in real life, but in my dream there was an actual ceiling over the atmosphere! Otherwise it was kind of realistic though. Obviously she did not dive in just a swimsuit from that height, but in a kind of re-entry capsule, in the shape (though not size!) of a short pencil, its sharp end down. It seemed like a hopeless thing even so, but I was just a disembodied witness. Needless to say, we did not find her or her capsule.

I woke up again, but briefly fell asleep once more and in the dreamworld some 30 days had passed. I read in an online newspaper that the capsule had just recently been found. Obviously the young woman was dead, but the scientists were optimistic that they would find enough data to say for sure whether she died before or after hitting the water. So it was not all in vain. It might be useful to others in the future of space travel (except the ones who are dead…) and anyway, it is science. Learning something new is always valuable.

The article also mentioned that she had a baby daughter, a few months old, for whom she had evidently left a message. I don’t think the message was disclosed, but I would not have cared anyway. I was just thinking about how you just don’t risk your life when you have a baby, it is just wrong. (Although on waking up again, I realized that there is probably no other time in your life you are more inclined to jump from the ionosphere…)

Anyway, that was my dreams tonight. In eerily related news, during my reading of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I came to the part where they arrived at the Island of Darkness. Spoilers ahoy, obviously!


In the novel, this island is also known as the Island of Dreams. The crew picks up a man fleeing from the island. He tells them that it is a place where dreams become real. They start out thinking that this would be a good thing. Dreams come true? That is a very positive phrase, after all. But then he explains that he means real dreams, not daydreams. And suddenly they row for their lives. (Although in the end, they are able to escape only with the help of Aslan in disguise. This Aslan fellow sure is something!)

So this made me think of what Ryuho Okawa wrote, that you can get an idea of your afterlife by observing your dreams. He also says that the Other World is a world where dreams are real and reality is like a dream – they switch places, basically. The afterlife is not of the body, but of the soul and mind only. The soul will gravitate toward that which resonates with its content. If my soul is filled with love for others and hope of seeing them happy, then it will surely gravitate toward that kind of scene eventually, not just in the afterlife but during our last years on Earth as well. If however it is filled with suspicion or envy or grudges, it will seek out such places both in our dreams and later when it moves freely.

This certainly sounds logical, although I am not sure whether it is theo-logical. But if we think about it, who is going to Heaven if I am not a person who would like it there?  If I go to Heaven and hate seeing happy people, won’t Heaven be Hell? They should be swarming all over the place, after all. If I become transformed in death so that I wake up not hating people, is it really me, or haven’t the real me died and been utterly destroyed (“fear him who can destroy both body and soul, yeah verily”) and some other guy gone to Heaven instead? It is not much help if he has my name if he has a different soul.

So. There may be something to it. But! Our dreams, don’t they reflect our past more than our future? If they are beginning to change – and it seems they are – is it not the newest me who counts? Think of that robber on the cross, I am not sure he slept too well during his last days on Earth, but I think he slept much better after his death, knowing that he would wake up to be with Jesus in Paradise.

I myself is still a bit nervous, but I am no longer convinced that I unavoidably will go to Hell. There is still some Hell in me, but I don’t feel at home there the same way as before. I am no longer so quick to think “I’m going to take you bastards with me to Hell” if I feel threatened. But it may still be much, much too early for me to say: “I’m taking you bastard with me to Paradise!” like my hero.   Perhaps one day… Yeah. In my dreams.

10 thoughts on “Islands of dreams

  1. I worry about heaven. First of all, I know I’ll make it through grace (heaven knows, literally, that I could make it no other way!), but I believe all of us who truly believe in him will be there. Not just my friends. And I know it won’t be like this, but if it WERE like so many of the experiences of organized religion taught in my youth, it would NOT be “heavenly”! It probably won’t matter, though, because I’ll have the heavenly equivalent of scrubbing toilets to tend to, if there is any justice. I will be happy just to make it and be the least there, as is only Right and Proper given my pettiness and general shitty tendencies. So long as I’m back in the presence of my Master.

    Truly, I believe that we all have the divine in us, and our experience as humans on this Earth is to add as much to that initial spark God gave us as possible. Eventually we’d end up like a pearl, although without the irritant at the center! At the Judgment the wheat of our selves will be separated from the chaff, that which is unworthy, vain and unkind. This is why I expect to see a great deal of my grandmother there, for example, but less of myself. Hopefully I will have more years to make myself into something more pleasing in God’s eyes, and will have the sense and goodness to do so!

    On a lighter note . . . Potato bowls! I dreamed about them the other night and woke wanting them. Funny story, but I’m too sick and tired to tell it at present!

    • Based on your theory (which reminds me a lot of what Smith’s Friends taught when I was there) the vast mass of mainstream Christians would arrive in Heaven as little more than newborn babies, since most of what they have learned and done since then has been misguided. Perhaps the shedding of most of our lives is what the Catholics refers to as “purgatory”. Time does not really work the same way in dreams (and presumably the afterlife) so the notion of the time it takes may be based on how long time it takes to shed this stuff while we are alive. It is certainly a long canvas to bleach, as we Scandinavians say.

      I am also mildly amused that your notion of the inner divine seems (to me at least) pretty much aligned with St Teresa (and Ryuho Okawa, strangely enough) but would probably make the hairs stand on end on your friendly neighborhood baptists.

      I am not sure I would be allowed to scrub toilets in Heaven even if I come there, at least for a long time. After all, Jesus says that those who want to be the greatest, should be everyone’s servant and slave. So the competition to serve in Heaven is probably pretty intense! ^_^ Kind of like the competition to rule in Hell, which also seems to start in this life.

  2. I think I’ve locked down toilet scrubbing in Heaven. I don’t picture people in heaven trying to improve themselves by doing such tasks, just reaping their “rewards”. I think those who serve here on earth, just in faith or out of their hearts being turned in such a direction, are the ones who’ll be “first” in Heaven. People striving to rule in hell . . . that’s probably apt. I don’t see striving (or “strife”, ha!) in Heaven. But that’s my view.

    I’ve not read Okawa, obviously, and some of the things I’ve read you telling about him make me doubtful as to whether he really is seeing clearly or just batshit nuts! I do quite admire St. Teresa, though. The internal Divine Spark must be there, otherwise we’d just be meat. It is a gift from God. I’ve told you of the time (and I have had one other since that incident) when I briefly lost hold of my spark and felt myself just flesh. These were awful. Much more urgent and near than my “dark night of the soul” in which I let go and swam toward the opposite shore of the river. I believe this firmly, and when I can’t find it I am more frightened than I’ve ever been of anything. More frightened than I am about my children being harmed, if that tells you anything.

    Purgatory has been an interesting concept for me. I don’t know if it is real, but it theoretically has its value and I wouldn’t say, in my mind, that it is not real. The Lord moves in mysterious ways, and I just smile and am happy that HE understands them. Of course, I worry sometimes (that is, after all, what I do), but it all comes down to that!

    • No, no: The toilet scrubbing IS the reward. Being of any service to the saints is what they long for, not something they do to achieve anything. These are the people who “serve in Heaven”, and they are the “upper class” there. In Heaven, serving is the privilege, not lazing about as it often is on Earth. Or that’s how I have understood it. When Jesus says that those who want to be the greatest must be servants and slaves, he does not mean that they are servants and slaves and then become the greatest. He means that this state of mind is when they are the greatest. After all, this was what he did. Washing the feet of a dozen guys as a conclusion to his life with them gives you a pretty good idea of what kind of man he was.

    • I think I may understand what you mean about losing the divine spark. I wonder if it is the same thing that I experienced as having the core of my being gone missing and Heaven closed. I cannot imagine how such a thing may even be possible. The brief mention in the Bible of an eternal perdition away from God’s countenance would probably have made no sense to me if not for these brief experiences – perhaps a quarter of an hour, at most closer to half an hour. It was pure hell in a way no pain I have ever felt could be – but then I have surely not felt the greatest of human pains, either in body or soul or spirit. In any case, it was utterly terrifying. I would not be surprised if this is the same thing, strange as it sounds. I cannot believe this is how ordinary atheists live, for I cannot imagine anyone being able to survive it even for a few days. I am not talking about suicide, but the sheer physical shock.

      I have no idea how this can even happen while alive, and I sincerely hope to never ever in eternity see it again. A total eclipse of the heart indeed.

  3. I have never looked at it that way. Brainwashing from my youth, I suppose. I looked at it as those who had toiled in the service of others in this life would have the next life to be free of their labors.

    It does seem to me that it would be something quite foreign to my grandmother not to be serving, in a way, in Heaven. She served not out of any sense of being forced to do so, but because of the love in her heart for those she helped. It would not be like her to throw that off, sit down and say, “Whew! Am I glad THAT is over!”

    Funny that I never thought of the serving as the reward. I always thought what a fine line it was to serve others in this life because of having love in your heart for them, as opposed to serving others out of the selfish wish to store up reward in Heaven. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to keep my heart right, not succeeding very often, in such situations. I’ve finally managed it a bit more easily at this age, but pride and irritation with others still keep howling around my doors!

    Let’s take it from “toilet scrubbing”, then, to whatever would be odious to those saints in Heaven! Whatever it is, I’ll be doing that because of my less-than-pristine actions and thoughts!

    • Yeah, instead of struggling not to think of the reward we’ll get for doing some “thankless” task for others, we suddenly realize: “It doesn’t get better than this!” It is kind of liberating, in a strange way.

      That is kind of what happened to me and my earthly employment. I have written in this very journal, somewhat vaguely due to my non-disclosure agreement, about how “work sucks” and was God’s punishment for Adam’s sin. And then I saw Buddha’s light and realized that this was what Jesus had tried to tell me and I had not “got it” because I already thought I knew what He meant. Familiarity had bred complacency. And instead of thinking “I am too good for this, but I must accept God’s punishment” I began to think “I am not worthy of my work, what can I do to at least be of some more help?” Actually I still haven’t made much progress in that, unfortunately. It is quite humiliating, but then again I deserve that. I have years of self-righteous karma after all.

  4. My friend Fritz is an atheist. His wife insists he is an agnostic, not an atheist, but he comes right out and says that he is an atheist.

    Fritz has three children.

    I do not think I could have just gone out and . . . bred, I suppose . . . if I thought I were just bringing more “animals” into the world. If I did not believe that I have a soul, and the duty to try to show God’s world to my children in such a way that they, too, can feel their soul . . . I believe I would be suicidal. If the two times I’ve experienced that complete disjunction from God had gone on much longer, I could easily see why suicide would be a very reasonable option.

    Thank God for . . . well . . . God! And the senses with which to perceive him, whatever they are called!

    • Thank God for God, indeed. It is hard to say it better than that, but of course this looks probably as insane to the casual visitors as if we’d both claimed to be from Atlantis or outer space! ^_^

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