Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keep Holding On

So I actually wrote the Atheism post about a week or so before I posted it. Why the wait?
Well, the night after writing it, I had a really interesting dream, and it felt wrong to post the entry after having it.

In the first half of my dream, we found that when you die, you go back and live your life over again... except you still retain all of your memories, or at least the best that you can have them after two lifetimes. Do you do everything the same and stay a step ahead of the game? or do you do something completely different? It's sorta like playing Pokemon for the second time...
The only thing was, everyone else was also on their second round, but no one knew it. We all thought we'd sound crazy, and besides, no one remembers third grade history anyway. After all these years, everything just feels like a hunch anyway. "Do I know him...? We may have met, I can't remember."

Two distinct occurrences in this half of the dream:
I was in fourth grade math class. I decided to give up on a frustrating math problem, saying "fuck that." ...I forgot that fourth graders aren't allowed to say "fuck." "...uh... screw that? can I say that?" Needless to say, my teacher was not happy with me. I was told to do pushups. "Okay, no problem," I thought, forgetting that in fourth grade I had noodle-arms. Push-ups didn't work as well as I'd hoped.

Next, I was a freshman in college. I chose to go to the same university. I saw my friend Alyssa and waved - forgetting that I hadn't met her yet. "I... uh... you're in my Orientation Group, right? Alyssa?" We awkwardly shake hands, but I know we're going to be awesome friends, our personalities get along awesomely. I see people from my prior run-through who used to be my best friend and used to be my boyfriend, and I purposefully choose not to meet either of them. Instead of doing the activities, I decided to lay down on a wall listening to my headphones... maybe I should have gone somewhere else, I thought. In a world where everything is deja vu, nothing feels new.

The second time you die, you end up in the kitchen of what appears to be a large house. I knew what I was supposed to do - go through as much of the house as I want, make my way back to the kitchen, and meet God. "Sounds good," I thought. The house was a maze - I don't mean confusing hallways and rooms, I mean it's like a maze for a lab rat, the walls made out of evenly spaced two-by-fours, feeling sort of like a house of mirrors, since you can see through all the walls.

The maze is tight, as if it's a playground for small children, built inside of and worming through this house. After wriggling my way through the maze, I make it to the backyard, where there's a big open area, complete with strange cartoon-esque alligators. Surprisingly, throughout all of this, I'm uncomfortably calm. "Yeah, okay, whatever, let's do this" was my mentality. I decide I've had enough of this maze, so I start to snake my way back to the kitchen. Somehow, I end up going to the upper level of the house, where the maze spits me out into a shallow, open room. On one wall hang three baseball bats, and a cricket bat (for the brits?) I take a baseball bat and the cricket bat, and behind them on the wall, I see scrawled "use the bats to beat your way through the house!" I know that it's cheating, but the rules of the game weren't really explained or defined, and I know that deep down, it doesn't matter, I'll do what I damn well please and I'll get the same result. So I start wailing at the wall.
Apparently, dead me has noodle arms too.
I give up on the wall and look for a door. It's gotten dark now, so I flip a light switch and head through a door...

...into what appears to be a fully decorated L-Shaped living room, with a fireplace and everything. A man and a woman in Christmas sweaters explain that they live there. ...no, they're not surprised that a strange man burst into their room. Around the corner I could see a rocking horse, and other children's things, I assume there may have been children with them, out of sight.
I was relatively unfazed by this couple, but I saw another door, blocked off by various tables and knickknacks. I asked them where it went, they didn't know but they found it unwise to try to find out. I ignored them, and began pulling away the tables and knickknacks. I tried the door, which didn't work, and I began kicking it. They asked me repeatedly not to, but I had to try this door. I whipped out my bat and knocked the handle off the door, then pounded the door open to the top of a now-dark stairwell. The couple wasn't upset with my decision, but gave up on me and went back to the fireplace.

I tried the lights on the wall, but the power no longer wanted to work. I used my cell phone (yes, my cell phone that dead me apparently has) to light my way down the stairwell, which spit me out into what appeared to be a large dining area, with about nine rectangular tables arranged almost like a classroom or dining hall. It was twilight, dark enough to turn on a lamp, but enough light was coming through the windows on my right to deal without. I walked through the dining room and up a step into the kitchen.

"Yeah, I'm in here."
I look to my left to see an attached sun room. The sun room is filled with plants, and even though there was light in the dining room where, you can see the sunset through these windows, too. Wood colored carpet and leaf colored walls surrounded a large work station, the centerpiece of which is a huge computer.

I approached the PC, and on the center was a large "Home" icon displayed on most internet browsers. I nonchalantly said "Oh, I get it. 'cuz you're 'home'." Note, I wasn't bitter, annoyed, enthusiastic, or determined throughout the entire maze or this conversation... I was logical and emotionless.

A browser opened, and brought up my email.
I had hundreds, maybe thousands of new emails from eHarmony.
Each email was something nice someone had to say about me.

This was the first time I felt emotion.
I started to cry.

I immediately woke up.


No, I don't know what this means. I don't really believe in dream interpretation. If anything, while writing the atheism piece, I pushed all enjoyment or desire of a concrete God into my subconscious, so my brain gave me some answers. But hey... if this is what happens after death, I'm okay with it. ...I think the "second life" thing was kind of strange, but I wouldn't be surprised if something like the house thing happens after we die... it'd be sorta like the final boss, or the SAT's, or like when Link Luke finds out that Ganondorf Darth Vader was his father the whole time.

Or you know what? Maybe nothing happens after we die. Maybe we just rot. I mean, in every sense, that certainly makes more sense. It's what most other living organisms do, and in the course of human history, there's been a fucking lot of people. I can't imagine a place where our "souls" have a final resting place, all eleventy-million-billion of us. Maybe some of us are expendable. Maybe they let a certain number into heaven, a certain number into hell, and then the rest of us were just here to keep the main people in line, or even to set up the world for the people who count and haven't even been born yet. It's a scary thought to think that maybe, just maybe, we're not important. That's likely why religion was created.

I don't think that this house and this computer and this whole thing was meant to be a final resting place... I think it was a place to reconcile all your regrets, all your fears, and all your worries, and get ready to move on. ...to be done. Read a whole bunch of amazing things about yourself, and you're basically set for death. I'm okay with that idea.

Maybe this dream was prophetic. Maybe it meant nothing. It'll definitely change how I think about things, I just haven't figured out in what way. Maybe I'll forget in a couple months. ...maybe I'll never forget it.


My favorite dream study went as such:
The researchers put participants into three groups. All groups had to the same task: write in a journal every evening, and every morning write about what they dreamed about.
Each group was also to select a specific person from their life.
In group one, if they thought about that person, they were to write in their journal about that person, everything that came to mind.
In group two, if they thought about that person while writing in their journal, they were not to write about the person, but were to make a tally mark every time they did.
In group three, they were not to think about that person at all costs. Do not write about them, do not think about them, change the subject completely. (anyone that's tried not thinking of something knows that all you're gonna do is think about it.)

The dream reports showed that almost no one in group one dreamed about their assigned person. Those in group two dreamed about their assigned person something like 25% of the time, and those in group three dreamed about their assigned person around 50% of the time. What this shows is that we are more likely to dream about things that we shove into our subconscious, no matter how insignificant. Dreams are not necessarily a representation of our unconscious needs, wants, and desires, but more representative (still not 100%) of the things we tell our brain to keep quiet. On top of it, there's two different kinds of dreams. Rem Sleep dreams are the ones we tend to remember because usually, those are the dreams that you wake up from every morning. Stage Two dreams, however, take place during a different light stage of sleep, and generally revolve around working through problems (not necessarily real-life problems, just whatever your dream as made up.)

Point being, if you wanna have that dream about Robert Pattinson, I suggest doing your best not to think about him before bed.

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