The dream begins with the mountain resort motif that I’ve experience a few times before. The difference this time is that I’m on a high school trip modeled after the Orlando trip my senior year. It starts with our large group ascending a forested mountain in a remote area. Oddly, I realize that I’ve been through this before; that I am re-living a past experience but in the flesh, as though I am living it for the very first time but with foreknowledge. For example, we have yet to arrive at our lodging but I know that I don’t like roller coasters. I am already thinking ahead to day 2 or 3 of the trip when the group decides to tackle Space Mountain & I, realizing that I didn’t like it the first time around, must gracefully find something else to occupy myself with while saving face before the group. At this junction, I see several familiar faces from my high school days just as they appeared back then although high school was many years ago now.
Once we arrive on site & receive our room assignments, the scenario changes. We are no longer high school students on a trip but professional actors producing a movie. Gone are the familiar faces of my high school peers; I am surrounded by intimate strangers. Intimate because in the dream, we are all close friends. Strangers because I don’t recognize any of them from real life. About a dozen of us gather in one room to share our excited tales about who rooms where & what floor this or that friend is on. The rooms are generously spacious, given that twelve or so of us can sit comfortably in this one room at the end of the hall to socialize. The accommodations look more like a college dorm than a resort aside from the fact that the rooms are so big. The floors in the rooms & hallways are white tiles with very little carpet anywhere; the furniture is old, heavy, & spartan. This is where the dream gets strange.
A handful of people we have not seen before barge through the door. There are about three or four of them & they block our access to the hallway outside, trapping all twelve of us in the room. The lead man has a space-aged looking pistol. He informs us that the whole affair was a trap to get all of us celebrities in one place under the guise of making this movie when in reality we were now hostages to this terrorist organization. We are all celebrities from various countries. The organization wishes to coerce our native countries into some international agreement & they plan to use the images of our suffering over international media outlets as leverage. The plan was much more intricate & from a creative standpoint, even brilliant! When I awoke from the dream I was so elated over having conceived of such a Tom Clancey worthy idea in my own humble pedestrian mind that I immediately prayed to God: “Dear Lord, thank you for allowing me to experience adequate sleep this past night & for allowing me a dream so thoroughly entertaining!” I should have gotten up right then & there & written the scheme down, but I would have to get ready for work in a couple of hours & could use the extra hour or so of sleep.
“Awh,” I thought to myself: “It was so vivid, I’m sure I’ll remember.” Currently, it’s about eighteen hours post-dream & I am unable to recall the details. Darn it!
The dream shifts back to me & my high school peers. We are haphazardly affecting a mass exodus from our imprisonment. Like a migrating herd of wildebeest, we stampede down a steep, rocky slope towards a beach that beckons to us far below. We hesitate when the thick grass & dirt that has provided decent traction gives way to a sharply sloping collection of jagged rocks peering out from beneath a sandy surface. It’s essentially a 1,000 ft dune with a rock cliff just beneath its surface. Luckily many of the rocks are long & flat & extend from the cliff out towards the sea. I determine that we can descend the path free hand like a rock climber if we’re careful. I lead the way & the group follows. Even if we slip & skewer ourselves on one of the many sharply pointed flat rocks below, it’s a better alternative to captivity.
Miraculously, I & most of my peers make it safely to the shore below with about a 20% casualty rate. While there were only twelve of us in the room in the previous scene, we were a much larger group from the start. By now, our group has ballooned to several hundred. Many of us lie dead on the beach and along the steep ledges from whence we’ve come; but most of us live.
The mood becomes festive again. We start playing in the sand like kids. We revel in the triumph of our survival. Once again, the scenario changes & we were never in any danger at all. It had all been one big game, like a super fun day at a childhood summer camp. Until something strange happens. An unseen forces descends from the sky & takes me & perhaps a few others back up the mountain just to go through a whole new survival scenario like the previous one all over again. I wonder aloud if this is what death & reincarnation feel like.
Recently I had a discussion with my sister who is a bit of a scholar. She has a Ph.D & is well read & quite reflective. Although raised in a Christian church, she no longer attends a formal institute of worship but contends that she is now more spiritually aware than she ever was before.
She brought up the concept of reincarnation & then added her own rather Nathaniel Hawthorne-like spin on the matter. She believed that sons could inherit the sins of their fathers. It goes even deeper than that. We discussed the possibility that a father who has failed to reach a proper spiritual evolution in either his former or even current life could undergo a reincarnation by proxy; that the father could have a son who inherits his same weaknesses, his same temptations, his same goal for spiritual evolution—essentially, a son who is the father’s pseudo reincarnation. It’s not a pure reincarnation in the true sense of the word, as both father & son may live simultaneously; but a reincarnation in the spirit of the word. What if the father’s salvation no longer depends on his own ability to navigate successfully his moral minefield but on his son’s ability to navigate that same minefield for him? What if the father’s salvation depends on his son’s ability to achieve spiritually what the father could not?
Imagine that: a son inheritng the same deck of cards as his father, essentially being born solely for the purpose of solving the moral riddle that his father failed to master.
Sounds like deja vu to me.