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I had epic dreams last night.  They touch on a whole different things that I've been thinking about lately, and a lot of things that I haven't been consciously aware of thinking of.

The basic common theme or plot of the dream was that I had joined the army, and been sent to somewhere in Africa (although it was not explicitly stated in the dream it would make sense that it was Nigeria) where there was a lot of conflict between different militant groups.  But I was developing technology and cultural systems that would allow us to shut down the militant groups and stop the conflict, without having to use violence.

We were doing this with smartphones that tapped into intelligence and information we had about the militant groups, and gave individual people instructions of small, simple actions they could do that would make things more difficult for the militant groups.  But it was totally decentralized, and based on AI, so the militant groups would get minimal benefit by killing individual people.  Furthermore, we were developing a constructed language that used ideograms, like chinese, so people who seized the phones wouldn't be able to understand what was going on.  But the language also had a way of thinking that communicated values that would undermine the militant groups' ideology.  So the idea was that if someone tried to learn the language in order to crack the code, in order to think in and understand the language, it would shape their thinking in a way that would move away from the ideologies of the militant groups.

So...we were somewhere in the middle of developing this whole system, and we were in a small group of military personnel in an area with a lot of indigenous people, a good distance from the areas where there was fighting and violence, and the people were really friendly, and there was some sort of local holiday that had spiritual significance in their traditional culture, and that involved a big feast, and they had made a huge amount of food and invited us to it.

And we were getting ready to eat, and I started asking them about the festival, it was connected to the Yoruba religion, and I recalled that I had had a vision some time before I had joined the army, involving Yemoja.  Unfortunately, while I remembered what the vision was in the dream, I don't remember what it was now.

However, I remember the setting in which I had had the vision.  It was set earlier in time than the dream, and I was in some sort of big city somewhere, on another continent I think, and the city had a steep hill and multiple layers of plazas with bright white tiles and pretty buildings.  I don't remember exactly what I was doing in this city but I was high up on one of the plazas on the higher level near the top of the hill when it happened.

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There is another part of the dream that was also equally detailed.  I don't remember chronologically how they fit together in terms of experiencing them in the dream, but in the dream time it was the time right before I joined the army, like I had shown up for the beginning of training.  But it wasn't what you'd expect basic training to be, it was in this big maze of a building that looked like a corporate office park or an airport, with long corridors going in different directions, and tall glass windows.  Unlike an airport it had a lot of elevators and multiple levels, but like an airport there were a ton of people going in different directions.  In this building I was surprised to find a gender neutral bathroom that was a large, open public restroom, and I walked in and was surprised to see women and men using the restroom.

I went to use the urinal, and I noticed there was a woman standing next to me using the urinal next to me (this didn't seem strange).  She started talking to me (which also didn't seem strange) and somehow this brought up like, some side-plot or past story...it was like I started telling her a story about something that had happened earlier.  I wasn't sure whether this had happened before or after the image of Yemoja.

In this other story, I had been in a house somewhere...it was a very dark, dimly lit interior, and the walls were drab and dirty.  I think there were a couple guys in the house.  And at one point I was standing next to this door, and this strange monster somehow slid under the door, without opening it or damaging it in any way, and when it came out it was huge and looked very threatening.  The thing is, I don't remember what happened after this point, and I think it was like, the conversation with the woman ended without me actually telling her how the story resolved.

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So like, in this building, there were people that I was talking to whom I knew, and I was telling them about how I had decided to join the army, that it was not something I would normally consider doing, but they had come specifically to me, to recruit me, because I had unique skills that they wanted to use for something very special, and like, when I listened to the recruiter, I was convinced and I decided to join.

But I felt out of place with all the new recruits.  I was waiting in line, clustered around an elevator, and talking to a bunch of them, and they were mostly much rougher and more physically robust people than I was.  Also, some of them were voicing sexist and misogynistic ideas, which I associated with low-grade bullying when I had been younger.  It seemed immature and I didn't want to be around it. Then there were two people who started fighting, but not maliciously, they were just sparring.  But a third person came up and started taunting them or insulting them in an aggressive and disrespectful way.  I don't remember exactly what happened, but the third person had a taser and tased one of the people who was fighting, and then I was speaking up against them doing it, and they were all like saying that I couldn't do anything about it because they were higher ranked than me.  And I was like, I haven't even started yet, we're just waiting in line to go in, and I haven't even received any instructions about how rank works yet, or who I have to listen to and when, so I'm going to speak out against behavior I think is bad if I want to.  And I think your behavior is bad.  And then the person tased me.

That's the last memory I have from that part of the dream.

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So, then I have this memory of being back at the feast that was about to happen, and the people had been super friendlly, but they were somewhat skeptical when I told them about the vision I had had.  And I was like, thinking, what can I do that would show them that I'm being sincere?  And then I remembered (as I often do in dreams), "I'm a wizard!" so I cast three magic spells and they all produced visible effects.

The rest of the dream is fuzzy and disjoint but I think it involved a conversation about the magic spells that I had used.

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However, there was one snippit in the dream that I sort of remember a glimpse of...and it may have been in the conversation about magic...or it may have been some sort of vision or something.  Like but I have this memory of being somewhere and I think Yemoja was there and there were several people and then there was a third figure and suddenly I recognized the figure as the monster that had come under the door in the story I had told the woman in the restroom.  But the figure was more complete and I felt safer looking at it and I felt like everything was right.

I don't know what this meant and I didn't know what it meant in the dream but I remember that there was a very powerful feeling, like it was a feeling of making sense of past experiences that had been scary or traumatic, like a sense of things having meaning and coming together in a purposeful way.

I think this was the end of the dream.

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I'm really not sure what to think about these dreams, but there are definitely some themes that I've been thinking about a lot, like being surrounded by a culture that I feel I don't agree with in a lot of ways, and that seems immature to me, and like the question of obeying authority and not knowing who to obey and choosing to take my own path and act defiantly even if I am low in status or authority or outgunned (everyone being stronger than me, and the person having a taser), even it leads to negative consequences.  But the dream was also rich with signs of hope and progress, like the unexpected gender-neutral restroom, and the whole idea / theme of the dream, in that we were finding a way to stop violence, and we really believed that it was going to work, and then the goodwill and the generosity of the people who invited us to the feast.

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