Tonight at my book group, we read about the relationship between the Absolute and Creation, and it triggered the memory of a dream I had a few years back, maybe eight years ago, that I haven’t thought of for a long time.
I still think this was one of the most remarkable dreams I’ve had, and I want to share it. If you’ve ever had a dream like this, I would love to hear about it in the comments or via email. The dream just reeks of clarity.
In part 1 of the dream, I am back in high school. I am older and a high school student at the same time. I live off-campus in my own apartment. I go to class when I want to, and I actually do go to school because I want to learn.
In the dream, I don’t give a damn about the rules. Remember how many rules there were in high school? If I’m tardy, I miss out. If you want to penalize me further, that’s your stuff, not mine. I’m there to learn.
There is some problem with my schedule that I try to resolve with administrators, to no avail. I get very clear in my thinking that if people make something too difficult, that is, they let their power run away with them, I don’t have to get upset. I can just opt out or set my own course. And if people enjoy making things complicated for others, as administrators sometimes do, fuck them. (Pardon my language, but it was that kind of dream.)
I decide to blow off a class I’m supposed to be taking because somehow, taking it has gotten incredibly complicated, and I’m just not going to suffer about it. I feel confident that I’ll pick up what I need to know when I need to know it.
Also, I’m naked. I arrive at school naked, walk down the halls naked, sit in class naked, and I don’t care what anyone thinks. I don’t seem to have any clothes, and it’s not a problem. To me, anyway.
I do have long hair that keeps growing in the dream, brushing down my back as I walk. It feels pleasant, sensual.
I notice that most of the students have clothes on, and they are pretending not to notice naked me. They don’t talk to me. I probably scare them. A few other students are naked too. We see each other, recognize each other, feel a kinship, but don’t talk. I’m there for class.
Then a shift in scene occurs. I am standing outside the school looking toward a covered walkway on which a group of students are standing. They begin to move in unison, beautifully, silently. I am transfixed, watching them.
I realize that they are dancing because I’m watching, and that I’m watching because they’re dancing. The dancers and I feed each other in this way, joined into a holy union through mutual acts of attention and respect.
And that’s when the dream fades.
The first part of this dream showed me how I had changed over the course of my adult life. It showed me that I could live with a healthy attitude about learning and being myself and making decisions. Although I do wear clothes!
The second part of the dream I now understand as an invitation to explore how I use my attention and how I relate, and I have actually done that since I had this dream!
This part of the dream is like a koan. It’s about presence and awareness, and it’s not linear. This is the part of the dream that I first remembered from our reading about the Absolute and Creation and their relationship to each other.
Interestingly, dancing in unison is part of Gurdjieff’s legacy, and my book group is studying The Work too. I occasionally do ecstatic dance myself, and it is a great pleasure.
My naked self in the dream may very well represent my essential self. Or perhaps be my essential self.
Anyway, it’s totally worth sharing this dream, which still delights me years later. And now, I’m going to put my clothes back on.