dream

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

It’s a Wonderful Life meets St. Elsewhere

February 24, 2018: After a long hiatus, during the last week I finally got back into a consistent meditation routine. As usual, this helps me remember my dreams better, and to also have lucid dreams. Last night that combined with something else I had thought about casually recently: Wouldn’t it be nice to be young again, and if I was young again, what would I do differently?

After falling asleep, I wake up in strange apartment. Looking around I can’t figure out what’s going on, but having been in this situation dozens of times before, I find the bathroom, turn on the light, and look in the mirror. I’m pleasantly surprised to see a much younger version of myself. My face is young again, and my hair is longer, soft, and as dark as ever, with no touches of gray. Realizing I’ve been given a second chance, I vow to make the most of it.

After I figure out the apartment situation, I decide to go for a walk and see what the neighborhood looks like. As I walk down the road and enjoy the new scenery, a speeding car comes around a turn. I try to get out of its way, but it hits me hard. My body flies through the air and crashes hard on someone’s lawn as the car speeds away. Lying on the ground, my face pushed into the lawn, I look at the blades of green grass in front of me. I try to hold onto it in my mind because I know that my second chance at living a younger life is coming to an abrupt halt. The green grass fades into darkness.

Christmas gift exchange (part of an ongoing dream series) alvin December 13, 2019 - 8:33am

In one of my ongoing dream series I’m a young man who works at a restaurant at night. Two nights ago I was working there when a female co-worker told me she bought a Christmas gift for me, and wanted to see if we could do a gift exchange. I hadn’t gotten her anything yet, so I said something like, “I, I ... I can’t do it right now because <insert excuse here>. How about tomorrow?”

After work I went out to buy something for her. “Think, think,” I said to myself, probing my dream memory, “what would be a nice gift?” Then I remembered that a few weeks ago she told me about something she always wanted when she was younger, so I went out and found that item, and wrapped it up.

Last night we exchanged gifts during a break at work. She opened hers first, and when she saw it she began to cry. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “now you’ve gone and made her cry. This might not be good.” But then she said it was beautiful and thoughtful, and said her gift to me was nothing compared to it.

Tonight I think I’m going to call in sick to work, or maybe just stay up all night and binge-watch Stranger Things.

~ December 13, 2017

Knowing the word ‘pericardium’ from a dream

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that the word pericarditis sounded familiar, so I searched an electronic diary I used to keep and found this entry from January 3, 2008:

“I don’t remember the whole dream, just the very end, where I woke up with the word ‘pericardium’ in my brain. There’s nothing too peculiar about this except for one detail: I don’t remember ever hearing that word before in my life.”

“Later in the morning I looked it up online to see if I made it up, and it is indeed a real word. Even cooler is that it’s related to the chest/heart, where my niece hit me. Wikipedia says it is ‘a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.’”

“I'm not saying that I've never heard this word before, only that I can't consciously recall hearing it before, and I had to try several spellings before I got it right. What I’m saying is that my conscious mind didn’t know the word, but my dreaming mind did.”

The dreaming mind and subconscious in general fascinates me.

“You’re Matt?”

Last night I counted 17 dreams that happened or attempted to happen, and I know there were many more that I wasn’t lucid for. An interesting thing about being aware of my dreams is that I know how they affect me, i.e., whether they make me happy, sad, whatever. I always wonder if other people can’t remember their dreams, and if that’s where the saying “got out of the wrong side of the bed” comes from, meaning that they had a dream or series of dreams overnight that triggered them in a certain way.

I was about to get out of bed this morning when another dream started, so I let it play out to see what was going to happen. At first I was working with a man and a woman at some company, and we couldn’t figure out how something was supposed to work. Then the woman and I ended up making out in a car outside the building. After that, she and I were goofing around at some sort of amusement park. I was in a swimming pool, holding some sort of swim/water-related device I had just broken, and decided I had had enough of the dream, so I was about to wake myself up.

The Girl Next Door

(Back in 2015 & 2016 when I was especially sick with the mast cell disease — before anyone knew what mast cell disease was — I wrote the following incomplete, fictional story titled, “The Girl Next Door.” I’ll finish it if/when I can.)

“Here we are, come in,” I say to my two police escorts as I open the door and welcome them in. “Home, sweet home.”

Before they even get past the front door the young, hyperactive cop blurts out, “Okay, where is she?”

Huh, not much warm and fuzzy “welcome to my humble abode” time, I think to myself. “That’s where it gets a little tricky,” I say.

“What do you mean? Is she here, or isn’t she? If you lied about her, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.”

“I didn’t lie, she is here,” I said, “uh ... just not in the way you think.”

“Do tell,” said the older policeman as he fingered some books on my bookshelf, looking around, studying everything. Those were the first words he said since we left the police station.

I paused. This is the part where nobody ever believes me, so I’ve found that it’s generally best not to talk about this at all. But when two policemen have you in handcuffs, my decision is more like, do I tell them fast — just blurt it out, or do I find some way to tell them about it slowly? I decide to try to explain it.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” I say, searching for my next words. I walk over to my dining room window and point with my cuffed hands. “Technically, she’s right over there.”

The young, hyper cop comes over and looks out the window. He sees that I’m pointing at a walkway between two buildings. He quickly turns and looks at me. “What kind of game are you playing?,” he asks, seemingly about ready to punch or strangle me.

“No game, sir. This is the thing: Have you ever read about parallel universes?”

“What the ...”

Running on all fours in a dream

Wow, how embarrassing. It has taken me *years* to realize that when I run on all fours in a dream that I’m actually a dog (or maybe some other four-legged animal).

I finally realized it this morning when I was running like that and came up to a group of human friends, and one said something like, “Hey, look over there, it’s your new friend.”

When I looked in the direction he was pointing I saw a group of people who didn’t look familiar, and a black dog. Just then the dog came running at me. When it got to me it started licking and biting me and I thought, “This dog is crazy, why doesn’t someone get it off of me,” when everything suddenly made sense.

My favorite Midsomer Murders episode

My favorite Midsomer Murders episode is ... one that nobody else has ever seen. It keeps coming to me in a recurring dream. There’s something to do with a warm swimming pool, then Ben Jones is undercover, with a beard, dark/dirty skin, and unkempt hair. Then a group of people get in the back of a large car, including Jones, Tom Barnaby, and me. (It’s nice to be in the middle of an episode). It must be something like the back of a limousine, because there are five or six of us sitting in two rows, looking at each other and talking.

A little later there’s something about an oriental woman and some gold. Near the end of the episode Tom starts singing, and he sounds really good, but the group can’t get funding for what they’re doing, presumably putting on some kind of show, but a famous woman helps them out, something to do with a commercial. Cully is involved around this time, and there’s also a black bear named William Hanks (I don’t know where that came from). Joyce is involved at several points, especially the end, and fortunately she doesn’t cook anything. :)

At the end of the episode Tom is sitting in a chair, and I’m standing on his left and Joyce is standing on his right. I say to them, “This is the best episode ever, it’s much more of a movie than an episode.” Joyce agrees, and Tom doesn’t say anything, but sits there with a satisfied smile.

I’ve had this dream at least twice so far, and I look forward to seeing it again the next time it’s on. :)

Hate-y bits

In the “lucid dream holodeck” this morning, I was hanging out with a group of peeps when a tornado suddenly appeared. Everyone started running for cover, and I grabbed a dog and started running for a basement when I looked back at it and thought, “This isn’t a tornado, it’s just an insane amount of energy.”

Holding the dog under my right arm, I stood my ground. When I did this, the energy stopped moving like a tornado, and — skipping over the whole “Transformers” thing — it eventually took on a female human form.

Further skipping past our introductions ... I eventually suggested that she talk to some other people in the dreamspace, but she said no, I had less “hate-y bits” than the other people. (Language differences often make for interesting translations.)

I’m just a character in your dream

“I’m just a character in your dream. Check with that guy over there wearing the motorcycle helmet.”

~ a note from September 5, 2010