Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Going Tidal

The musings about dreams over at Jill Writes got me to thinking about my dreams and the one recurring dream that I have.

It's not so much a recurring dream, as a recurring circumstance, because the details of the dream always vary, but the basic structure is always the same:
I'm in a room with a group of people. It's always a sunny, open room, with big windows on one side. Sometimes it seems like a classroom, sometimes the beautiful home of some friends. Once it was a lighthouse. There's often a lot of wood - wooden floors, wooden window frames. Everyone is chatting, happy. I am happy too. Sometimes we are eating or drinking, like a party. Then, something passes in front of the sun and the shadow darkens the room. An awful fear falls upon me. I turn to see an enormous tidal wave, huge, towering over us, coming slowly towards us. I know with utter certainty that it will fall on us and crush us and drown us all, and that this is the end and nothing can be done about it.
And that's it. I always wake up. I've had this dream many times, perhaps a dozen, and I can't relate it to anything in my waking life.


Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Wow. No pattern to the recurrence, right? How long do you remember having these - I mean, the dozen or so times happened over the last year, five years, ten?

Just curious...

November 16, 2005 8:31 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

How coincidental. A tidal wave is my big natural-disaster-phobia.

November 16, 2005 9:12 AM  
Anonymous anne arkham said...

I can't go into too much detail about mine. But it involves escaping from a bad place with bad people, and running and running only to realize that I've made a big circle and I'm right back where I started.

November 16, 2005 11:06 AM  
Blogger Connie Marie said...

The bright, sunny & open room is reflective of your personality.

The different places: classroom, livingroom, lighthouse are all recent events/daily life that are part of your most recent day... classroom=new learning, livingroom=loving relationships... and lighthouse=sharing the knowledges that you have been enlightened with.

Since the tidal wave happens repeatedly, it is a fear in your life you have not dealt with and it always bothers you.

You think you forget about that fear and try to go on with your happy life, but the shadow of it always comes back.

If it is not addressed it continues to hold impending doom for you ---and all those around you, those you love. Whatever the fear is not only will swamp you, but those closest to you in your life.

You're right, it won't go away until you find out what fear you have and overcome it.

This is my own dream translation for you... free of charge even!

I don't do dream translations, but I have so many wild dreams myself I try to figure out, I wanted to give yours a try.

November 16, 2005 12:49 PM  
Blogger jedimacfan said...

I always have dreams that I move in slow motion. Usually I am being attacked and I can only move in "bullet time" and can never defend myself.

But I've never had a dream about Tidal waves or anything as interesting as this.

November 16, 2005 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Pil said...

In most of my dreams, good or bad, I can't move one of my legs properly and I have to hop a lot, terribly embarrassed and hoping no-one will notice. It is such a strong motif that I have to double-check that it doesn't happen in real life too.

Connie Marie, what do you make of that?

November 16, 2005 2:59 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

RaJ: No pattern I can see. The dreams have happened now for at least twenty years. I had one recently, not long after telling someone that I hadn't had it for a while...

Jill: Well since many of us live in cities by the ocean, I guess it's a reasonable concern.

Anne Arkham: Same dream always? Or same circumstances?

Connie Marie: Well, nice interpretation, and very thorough. But I don't really have any fear that I haven't dealt with, except maybe the obvious one of having my life snuffed out by forces I can't control. Which is a fairly reasonable fear in that it will happen to all of us eventually. Other than that, my life is mostly pretty balanced. The dream doesn't even happen when I'm in bad circumstances, as far as I can remember.

jedimacfan: Better to be moving in 'bullet time' than 'pullet time' in which you make motions like a chicken. That's a dream you really don't want to be having.

November 16, 2005 3:06 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Pil: That would be dreaming in 'stork time'.

November 16, 2005 3:08 PM  
Anonymous anne arkham said...

Minor variations. The building changes but the people are the same.

November 16, 2005 3:36 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Over the past few years I have repeatedly dreamt that my teeth have fallen out. The funny thing is, I'm not worried about having no teeth; I'm worried about what my parents are going to say when they find out.

I also have a surprisingly large number of dreams where I am painfully murdered, which I will nto go into.

From the time I was about six years old until I was about eight years old I had this reoccurring dream that always terrified me. There's this lady, right, who goes to a cafe and she orders goats cheese. (I'm allergic to normal cheese so I always eat goats cheese) Anyway, she's laughing and chatting, eating her cheese, when suddenly she notices the inside of it is all red and icky and she goes "this isn't cheese... it's blood!" And then she collapses and is taken away in an ambulance and dies. I have absolutely no idea as to the meaning of that one. But a couple of years after I stopped having the dream, I suddenly had it out of the blue, only this time I wasn't terrified - I thought it was an absurd dream by now. I never had it again.

November 16, 2005 4:27 PM  
Blogger Joe Fuel said...

I'm not sure whether I want to post this or not. Tough. I think I will...

Recurring dreams often tend to mean something. What I'm trying to say is that they may have an interpretation...

But if there is some sort of message in your dreams, who or what is putting that message in your head?

November 17, 2005 1:22 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

After many years of keeping a comprehensive dream diary I came to the conclusion that dreams don't actually 'mean' anything at all.

In the same way that Raudive Voices or Spiritualism capitalize on our tendency to want to find guidance in a turbulent and disordered world or to find order in disorder, dreams give us a grab-bag of rich imagery from which to build stories that are meaningful to us.

The profound need to assemble order from chaos comes from within us. We attribute meaning only because we can't stare irrationality in the face without flinching.

When it comes to recurring dreams, well, why should they be any different? Just because they are repetitive, doesn't make them any more meaningful. It's irrational anyway - if someone or something was putting a message in my head why make it an obscure meandering piece of nonsense that can be interpreted in any number of ways? Why not just simply say what the message is?

Dreaming is a strange and wondrous phenomenon. But that doesn't make it supernatural.

November 17, 2005 7:18 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Is a supernatural or even external "sender" needed? Why not the neurons etc. of the dreamer?

Seems like if/when dreams *do* have something resembling meaning, you'll likely have (or find) whatever insight you need. I'm not convinced dreams are meaningless, though the "meaningful" ones I recall weren't very mysterious. In other words their connection to Something In Life seemed obvious.

In your dream diary did you happen to note what your stomach might have been working on?

One more thing - I like the post pic. At the risk of once again exposing my artistic clue-impairment, is that a repro of something semi-ancient and oriental?

November 17, 2005 12:53 PM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

I did sometimes note down what I'd had to eat and drink before I went to sleep. There was no connection as far as I can see. Supposedly, if you eat lots of salted almonds before going to sleep you have vivid dreams. It's never made any difference to me...

The picture is called 'The Great Wave' and it's by a 19thC Japanese artist called Hokusai

I always feel a little guilty using images like this, because someone probably holds the old-paradigm copyright. Nevertheless, it's a very famous image and appears all over the net. You only have to do an image search on 'japanese wave' and you get hundreds of hits.

I have some definite views about copyright and the internet and I'm thinking of making my entire blog a Creative Commons enterprise at some stage. I'll post about it when and if I do.

November 17, 2005 1:52 PM  
Blogger Connie Marie said...

Pil, you probably turn and turn in bed a lot, and that leg is always the one that gets tangled up in the sheet so when your legs begin to kick in your dream, that one is always stuck ---- :-))))

November 17, 2005 5:36 PM  
Anonymous praying for you said...

I think you are correct that many dreams have no meaning or import at all. They just fill the mind at night.

However, I think you are incorrect about the dream you describe. I think (i.e., am convinced) the interpretation is this: It is not a dream about something you do fear or some suppressed fear. Instead it is about something you do NOT fear, but should. "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." Matt. 24:37-39. You have received a pictoral representation of the very image that Jesus relied on to convey his warning to be prepared for the end of the age. "Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day [the] Lord will come. . . . So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him." Matt. 24:42-44. Why are you having this dream repeatedly over a long period of time? Because "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentenance." 2 Peter 3:9. And what should you do in response? Jesus said that "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. John 3:3. Repent and give your life, your heart, your mind to Jesus. He is calling you.

November 24, 2005 7:10 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

praying for you: let me tell you what I think is wrong with your assessment.

If Jesus wants to tell me something and he has the power to compose my dreams, why the hell doesn't he just appear as Jesus, and convincingly say " Hi, I'm Jesus and I have an important message for you?" In fact, if he has this kind of power why doesn't he just appear in the middle of the day and tell me that. Give me any convincing reason at all that he has to create a dream full of perplexing obtuse imagery that could mean anything from 'there's going to be an apocalypse' to 'you've left the gas on'? What's the point in that? Any reason you can make up is just going to be as daft as the concept is in the first place.

This kind of diffuse dissembling is familiar to me. It's a conjuror's trick. The misdirection, the inane patter, the vague platitudes. I see it everywhere that there are humans trying to hoodwink one another. It's a hallmark of those who insist there are aliens from other worlds trying to get in contact with us, or astrologers who think they can predict the future. It has the fingerprints of human need to believe that we mean something all over it. Our pathetic little egos just can't accept that it might just conceivably be that we are not the be-all and end-all of the universe. Why should we be the epitome? Why? There is no evidence for it. In fact the evidence is quite to the contrary. We continue to disrespectfully and wilfully destroy this planet and one another, in spite of thousands of years of examples of what not to do. We are petty and vain and intolerant and shallow. We do not deserve this place. And so far, no religion, NO RELIGION, has made us any better. Pick ANY creature on the planet. Any one of them is more deserving of the inheritance of this place than we are.

Let me put you straight. I fear death. I fear the kind of fear-filled, degrading, de-humanising, painful, desperate kind of death my wife died. I watched her die, I held her hand, I heard the last breath go from her body and I'm telling you right now - there was none of your God anywhere to be found. It was a silent soulless disappearing of a bright spark of light into a pitiless black void. If this is the way your God works, then I want none of it. I prefer the void. One thing I don't fear on any level is some kind of judgement by a mythical deity. If this a fear that I should have, then Jesus has failed miserably to communicate that effectively to me. If he's interfering in my dreams as you say, then he's doing a better job of telling me to watch out for tidal waves.

Your dream interpretation is illogical on many other levels. You accept most dreams as having no meaning, 'they just fill the night'. And yet you choose to find meaning in this particular dream. Why? Maybe all those other dreams that 'fill the night' are dreams from Jesus too. How can you possibly tell? Maybe all dreams we ever dream are from Jesus. Maybe Jesus is talking to us consantly every day through the horoscope pages, through hunches and coincidences, through misheard conversations, through obscure coded sequences in episodes of Survivor. How can you tell?

Or maybe it is that you believe that you have been given a special dispensation to know what Jesus is trying to tell me. I'm sorry, but that just smacks of smugness and self-righteousness. And evangelism. Three things that may not be officially classified as sins in your book, but in my opinion can be attributed to an awful lot of what is wrong with the world.

November 26, 2005 12:22 PM  
Anonymous praying for you said...

Perhaps you are right. Please forgive me for my offense.

November 27, 2005 5:14 AM  

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