Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is the Mind a symbol for the Ocean's unconscious?

A few nights ago, I dreamed I landed on the moon, like Buzz Aldrin, in a house shaped spaceship. At the front of the house was a giant picture window and I gazed out over the grey sand and rock, my heart beating like a jackhammer inside my chest. "How did I get THIS job?" I thought, certain that at any moment HAL 9000 was going to jettison me into the void. (This - from the picture 2001 - is, to me, the most terrifying death scene ever)

Then, as all dreams do, the scene made a whiplash change. I turned from the window and all these kids ('round 21 or 22 years old) were standing in the house in bathing suits. I looked back out the picture window to discover we were at the beach. "Oh. Okay."

I wonder, am I nervous about launching, unprepared, into the great Unknown? Huh. I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT.

Whenever I have dreams that consist of very easily determined symbols, I feel a little gypped. Don't misunderstand - the utter rush of seeing, with my own mind's eye, the cold expanse of space is at once terrible and beautiful. But I want to slap my brain's pink little face for not being more creative about how to show my conscious self the Unknown.

Isn't it time we updated our cultural symbols for the unmapped outer-reaches of ourselves, or are they always going to be the same? Since man could conceive of metaphor, the forest or the ocean, or space have been used to depict the unconscious mind or The Great Beyond.

Why not? They make sense. Back in the old days, if anyone ventured out to sea, there was a good chance they would be killed by sea monsters or marauding pirates. Those who returned from nautical disasters came back haunted, lingering by the sea shore. The forest was populated by wood sprites or "the man in black". Better to stay out in the open than to risk possible bewitchment and burning at the stake.

And who knows what's in outer space - Aliens, God, or, worst of all, creatures just like us?

When I dream, I want the symbols I see to have a little mystery to them or, if nothing else, a little oddity. What if the Unknown came in the form of Alphabet Soup, or Wikipedia? Feeling anxious? Oh, look, a dolphin is driving you to work. Excited about an upcoming event? Presenting ceiling-high stacks of Hanes underwear. Secretly in love? Here is a cup of Dannon Fruit on the Bottom yogurt.

But please, Brain, don't show up with tired flash cards that show me the ocean and tell me I have issues with the unknown. Tell me something I don't already know.

PS: I get the absurdity of scolding my brain to tell me something I don't know. We'll get to duality later.

PPS: I had another dream the other night about an event and I want to see if it was a premonition. I don't want to say it out loud for fear it will jinx it. I'll tell you the moment it either happens or doesn't.

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