« i had a dream... | Main | what is to be done with the tinyblog »

dream warrior

Wow. Writing down my last dream worked.

I took a nap this morning after getting up and watering the garden, and slipped into one of the most amazing lucid dreams I have ever had. I have had lucid dreams occasionally my whole life, and when I hit lucidity, the first thing I think to do is often to fly. I love lucidity in dreams but I often try so hard to change the fabric of the dream that I wake up. This time I was able to keep it on the downlow and play in the dream and basically see it to its conclusion.

So, who knows how dreams really begin, but I became aware of it when I was traveling with my friend Vicki (name changed to protect the not-so-innocent). We were traveling through some kind of modern airport or travel station. We were just waiting around idly talking, and at some point we pulled out our bags and repacked them a little.

When my sister was here and we went to Portland I packed a bunch of her stuff in my bag, and there was a sleeping bag of hers in my bag as I repacked it. I don't remember exactly how we got to our destination but it turned out to be Burning Man! Vicki had never been before and she was going for her first time with me. Next thing I remember we were picking out a site for her tent. It was near some railroad tracks and totally was in a more temperate setting with grass, but it was totally Burning Man anyway.

Vicki left for a little while once we got the tent set up and I realized I hadn't really planned on coming to Burning Man. I knew I'd be fine, but I just had brought plain clothing and didn't have ANY costumes or even food. I was like, "What was I thinking?! Now I'm going to have to take the bus into Empire and buy all of my food there." There really is a store in Empire, and it's more than a convenience store but a little less than a grocery store. I was a little dismayed but I knew I'd work it out.

I also realized our tent location wasn't the greatest. It was right on a major thoroughfare and lots of people were walking by. It was a very screeny tent with some kind of cupola at the top. It started raining a little and it was starting to drip right into the tent. Vicki came back and we started to get comfortable and I set aside my concerns for a moment. After a little nap, however, I told her about the impending trip we were going to need to take and my sudden bout of practical thinking.

That was pretty much the end of the Burning Man portion of the event, however, and I don't remember any transportation, but we ended up in some kind of very pretty, very modern city like Vancouver or Dubai or something. It had lovely glass skyscrapers mixed with some other kinds of modern, well-built buildings. We were basically just here to enjoy ourselves and, I think, to find a coffee shop.

While we were in the cement stairwell of some building it suddenly occurred to me that I was dreaming. I felt happy and excited at the opportunity to have a lucid dream. I was curious how my dream version of Vicki would respond, and was pretty sure now that I knew she was kind of an automaton that she would not be able to really acknowledge her unreality.

I told Vicki and thought she'd be interested (like she would in real life) or give some kind of witty comeback. I teased her about being a construct of my mind, but she was already clearly an Automaton and not able to respond meaningfully about her own lack of independent existence.
I wanted to stay asleep so I didn't do anything too tricky, just went along with her, looking around at the vivid and complex surroundings... noticing only some faint spots of blurriness, but basically just as real as real life.

Eventually we got to our destination: some kind of strange café. The café was located in the bottom floor of a large business-like office building. Basically in a kind of jutting-out portion of the building and it had its own high raised ceiling with a huge skylight. It was pretty, and was set up as just 3 or 4 huge long tables and huge long couches. Lots of people were sitting at the tables, but no one had coffee. They were just sort of discussing and hanging out.

Right as we got there, there was some big restructuring of chairs and couches, and two massive couches were laid out facing each other with a small coffee table in between. A few people sat at them, including me, and one end. There were a few people on the long couch and I thought about socializing with them, but the atmosphere really was sort of stolid and boring, and the effort of doing something so mundane finally struck me as silly and I knew I needed to go.

"Fuck this," I said, "I'm gonna go fly now. You'll see me as I pass over the the ceiling."

I ran outside and thought, "am I going to be able to do this?"

I reached for the sky and sort of leapt like I do, and up I went. I could sense that my control wasn't totally pixel perfect, but it was enough to fly straight over the building like I'd said once I gained altitude. I thought I'd be able to see them and the skylight, but the building had a bunch of different skylights, and although I flew right over the center of the building I wasn't able to see for sure that I'd flown over that skylight.

The city was very detailed and shiny and movie/videogame like in its interestingness and vivid colors and shapes. It was like a Spiderman movie set in Portland or Vancouver or something. I was so glad it didn't stop the dream to go ahead and flaunt the rules of reality and be totally aware of myself and my actions like this. I felt the tremendous freedom, joy and privilege of being able to fly like this and experience it.

I flew over rooftops and did some experimentation, but the flying seemed to take more and more effort as time went on. It first I just was able to control my direction less and less well, and finally really wasn't able to maintain altitude. I remember I tried a little exercise where I looked up above me and saw a mass of electrical or telephone wires and tried leaping off one roof and having enough control to weave my way in between them and land on a higher roof. I did get up to the higher roof but totally blew the tightly controlled movements. So, I contented myself to just explore by walking on the roof.

It was some kind of terra cotta tiled roof, several stories up. It had round thick clean tiles. It was a fairly sharp angle like a house roof, but with some additional little cupolas and spires. I had a very good view of the rest of the city from here and saw it stretching out before me.
I marveled then at this world before me, that I had created somehow, but that I never would have imagined consciously. It didn't SEEM like it came from me and here I was exploring it just like if I was doing it with my real body. I looked around at the colors and shapes, feeling all the similarities with differences between it and my normal waking experience.
I don't recall any smells or sounds or other senses really, but a vivid visual sense for sure. I noticed that there was a little bit of glitchiness to it, however. If I looked right at things they had visual consistency but anything I wasn't looking directly at could easily shift and change. Also, I saw sort of shimmering blurry spots in my vision. I could tell my brain just couldn't make as consistent a reality as waking life could. I was so delighted and amazed, and I thought, "Can I really doubt that the waking work is any less of a dream than this?" and I felt a great sureness that it was so.

It seemed like people did come up here, for some kind of utility maintenance and maybe for other reasons as well. There were some kinds of signs up on walls and such. One was some kind of sign with a portrait of a person… a cartoonish individual who looked like some kind of bearded samurai pirate with a big curly white wig. It was very strange and looked like some video game character. Like… I don't know, Dr. Robotnik or something. I didn't really give it too terribly much thought, but did notice that he looked a little ominous.

There were a few other signs. One was some kind of chrome utility plaque with black writing engraved on it. I had heard that if you're not sure you're in a dream to read a sign, then turn away for a moment and read it again. If it remains static then you're probably not in a dream.
So, I read the sign sort of, and tried to read it again. I realized I hadn't really got what it said the first time, so I tried several more times to read it. It seemed like it was changing subtly every time but I never looked at it long enough to comprehend its real message. Finally when I looked at it the fourth or fifth time I recognized its message. I can't remember it exactly but its gist was:

"Message #5: You have exhausted the entertainment value of this sign for today. Please move along."

"Ok, ha ha ha, Daniel's brain, I get it," I thought, and I did indeed move on and start to think about my next move.

Before I could really start to explore further, something happened that I was SO NOT EXPECTING. I started to walk over the crest of the roof when someone appeared at the bottom of the roof. I immediately recognized him as the villainous person in the poster. It occurred to me that it was probably some kind of wanted poster or something and I was surprised that it didn't recognize the importance of him in the dream when I saw the sign. It was just another sign.

And now here he was trying to kill me. His deadly intent was immediately apparent and I realized he was some kind of master assassin and was going to waste absolutely no time in trying to kill me as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

Even though he was clearly armed to the teeth, I felt very prepared and a great deal of confidence in engaging him in mortal combat. I had a moment where I wondered how hard I should try to avoid killing him in order to keep my vow of non-killing. But, some kind of instinct took over. Even though I had almost no fear, since I knew my life was not really at stake, I knew I should fight confidently and that it was okay in terms of my vow. This person was an aspect of me, or just part of some drama that needed to be played out.

When he saw me, he immediately ran towards me at full speed, only pausing to level his gun at me. It was some kind of arrow or harpoon gun that didn't seem to involve combustion. He fired at me and I ducked around the other side of the rooftop and got low, waiting to spring upon him when he crested it.

I did defend myself as cunningly and cool headedly as I could imagine. As soon as he came in sight I grabbed hold of his gun or one of its projectiles and shoved it smoothly into his body, probably the shoulder. He barely registered the damage. He pulled out a katana from its scabbard and pulled back for his strike. However, before he could even pull back, I grabbed his hand and without hesitation used it to plunge the entire length of the katana into his chest, wounding him mortally.

I stepped back a bit and he made his final move, again immediately. He pulled some large dagger from his coat and whipped it at me with great precision. It spun end over end perfectly towards me in sort of matrixy time.

Some part in me wanted to see what was going to happen and did not stop the dagger, was just waiting to see what happened. I was of slightly mixed feeling and moved half-heartedly out of the way, but I just had the feeling that I should be at the mercy of the internal logic of my dream. Nowhere in any of this did I feel any fear or hesitation, only a feeling of joy that I was getting to experience this.

What happened next is not totally clear. I was not 100% sure of the outcome, and I did feel the scene blank out a little. I did not experience getting struck and I sort of felt like I might have been able to dodge the dagger and I might not have.

Then I saw what I can only describe as a "game over" screen from a video game. I saw a black background, and lying in some kind of spotlight was what appeared to be a kind of cartoon-like chunk of a part of someone's head, in a pool of blood, and the ornate dagger lying beside it. I realized that indicated I had probably not dodged the dagger, even though it still seemed like I might have.

I was so excited at the dream, and didn't feel like it had anything to offer me. "I guess it's time to wake up now," I thought, and I did immediately. I sleepily ran over to the computer and sketched out as many notes as I could about the experience. What could such a dream mean? It felt so hopeful and fearless and auspicious the whole time.