A friend writes:
Dear Weaver of Dreamz–
I have three different recurring dreams, and I wonder if they are connected somehow.
In one, I am in Paris. I have always loved that city, have lived there before, visited it numerous times since I first went there as a child. It is very much a second home to me. However, over the last ten years or so, after several terrifying experiences with storms and turbulence, I’ve become much more nervous about flying, particularly for more than a few hours at a time. So the idea of being on a plane for ten hours from the west coast to Europe seems like a daunting prospect, and is something I have not done since 2008. In the dream, I am always already in Paris, and surprised to find myself there. I never actually dream about the flight itself, but once in Paris I always seem to recall that the flight was not really a big deal, though it still gives me shivers of anxiety thinking about it.
The second is a reconciliation dream. I am with someone, a friend or an ex that I have not seen in a long while, with whom there has been some tension or falling out, and we end up laughing or kissing or collaborating, and becoming closer than we ever were before. Like most dreams that involve unexpected intimacy, I wake up with a genuine feeling of connection to that person, and whatever was between us has been healed. Some of these dreams repeat multiple times with the same person. Others are one and done.
The last is fairly obvious, and pretty common for recovering alcoholics like myself. But I often have dreams where I take a sip of whiskey without thinking about it, or I have already consumed three beers, and I am devastated about having to admit to my friends and peers that I need to start my sobriety calendar over from zero again. I always wake up extremely relieved that it was merely a dream, because they are terribly vivid. More vivid than just about any other dreams I have. In the beginning, these were nerve-wracking dreams, and they came often, they were infused with all sorts of guilt and shame. As the years have progressed, they are much more infrequent, and while they are still nerve-wracking, they definitely don’t hit as hard as they used to. I am not so shaken by regret as before. In fact, sometimes I even seem to enjoy myself. Waking up from these dreams is unnerving in a different way. I am still relieved that it was a dream, but it worries me a little that I am so much more nonchalant than before. I don’t think that fear is generally a healthy emotion, but for an alcoholic, having a reasonable fear of alcohol is a necessary thing.
What see you, my friend?
The short answer is yes. Everything is connected. But the dream resists short answers.
Everything has resistance. Everybody has resistance. We are hardwired with it. Every body has resistence. It’s how they move, and how we know not to kiss snakes, to fear the cliff. Some of this resistance is inherited, some learned. We learn from interacting with the world and fucking up and getting hurt or being rewarded.
Everything is everything and connected. And dreams are part of this. Everything is the dreaming and the dreaming is everything we know. There’s this dreaming, the one I’m writing this in, and that dreaming these dreams you have. Both are chambers in another dream we can wake from. Waking inside one dream trains us to wake inside another, and then into another. We train through reinforcement, like fear is reinforced through pain. All the dreams are connected but different.
We can adjust to resistance within one dream, to normalize into a new self, while the old body lives on in another dream. These are all worlds unto themselves. There are maps of this everywhere. Look for them. We can accept a possibility in one dream that opens it in another.
Death is proof that you can die inside a dream, and proof is an illusion. The self is a feedback loop, each dream a discrete period of homeostasis. Do something wild with your dream. In each dream, rail at fear with sharp weapons. Refuse pasteurization. You are the creator of self-pain. You are the creator of self. You are not self.
Airplanes are a beautiful place for dreaming. Become an airplane and stay in flight above your body forever within this dream.
Stare back at what you are with the limitlessness of your first breath. You are the first one you chose in this dream of mirrors. Each dream a new chance at this. Dissolve fear with mutilation of self. The body melts. With it, time.
Vigilance is good so long as you can swim in it. Revolutionaries should be stone fish. There is a dream beneath the sea, of a fear of water. There is a dream with the belly of the whale dancing above us. Distribute the good of the dream like seed.
The goodness is what we’re swimming through. Another form of water surrounds the sea. Some birds can swim. Another form of air surrounds the sky. Be what you are when you are not what you are.
There is a dream within the eyes of the world looking through you. It is here. It is love.