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Centaurpede

Dreamed 1983/3/15 by Chris Wayan

I dreamed of a huge creature floating in space, like an equine Chinese dragon: linked horse torsos with occasional heads. It felt weirdly sexual; their bodies looped around and could lick and fuck in infinite combinations. But I wondered what sensations went to which heads... or did they share? I found the notion sexy, but also intellectually intriguing.

A long dream-beast floating in space, like an equine Chinese dragon: linked horse torsos with occasional heads
A lot later, I wondered if I was dreaming a metaphor of DNA, where the helix was the backbone of the beast, and the cross-linking ladder-rungs between adenosine and thymine or cytosine and guanine became sexual linkages between the four segment-types:

Mares with heads Stallions with heads
Headless mares Headless stallions

The metaphor isn't far-fetched. I'd read of Kekulé and his famous dream of snakes swallowing their tails, tipping him off to the structure of the benzene ring. My dream's chain of bodies squirmed in the void much like a large molecule undergoing Brownian motion. Sure, it could be purely sexual, but if Kekulé'd been a strict Freudian he'd have missed the breakthrough of his life.

Still, the centaurpede wasn't in a double helix--more of a protein-tangle! And I wasn't out to solve a genetics problem--I was just fascinated by all the sexual possibilities, and especially by the question of boundaries--which heads felt what. Was this an image of something in our world... something not so much biological as... social?

I wonder if humanity as a whole isn't something like this centaurpede--some members sexually active, some pairing off, some free-floating, some fertile, some not, but all linked in a second shadowy way not obvious if you only focus on the crosslinks of love. It almost suggests our souls aren't individual but group, with, perhaps, blurry and rather arbitrary boundaries; or, if you consider the spine to be time and each torso a life, there's an almost chemical image of reincarnation, in which a head (an enlightened incarnation?) only crops up now and then, to guide several lifetimes around it. Buddhism and Hinduism have variants of these notions: individual reincarnation of course, and the notion that souls come back in groups, meeting over and over. But I don't recall any Buddhist writer postulating occasional enlightenment, buddha-lives as a natural, normal, intermittent phenomenon, coordinating the lesser lives before and after it, like a horse-head coordinating several torsos, or a vacation clearing your daily cares away before you resume the struggle... Buddhists write of enlightenment as a goal to strive for, that will end the soul's painful journey through time--not this fumbling, sensual, endless, floating dance of the centaurpede...

Of course, it's not surprising I haven't encountered such ideas--I'm American, and we're individualistic to the bone! Among well-known English-language writers, I think Jane Roberts is the only one to explore any group-soul ideas at all seriously, in "The Education of Oversoul Seven" and other books.

I still don't know for certain what my dreaming mind was exploring. But this is an example of how a bizarre dream image, looked at patiently, can suggest issues all over the map, from sexual to neurological to biochemical to spiritual and social. If you let it--if you don't jam it into a Freudian, behavioral, Jungian or New Age box.

For example...

19 YEARS LATER

One of the major online collectors of furry and anthropomorphic art, Mozdoc, emailed me out of the blue, wanting me to do a portrait of his online persona. He's a very odd creature, Mozdoc--I was amazed when he sent me a description and two other artists' interpretations. A Buddhist third eye, five hundred equine body-segments... No, I think I'll let the portrait speak for itself!

Round portrait of Mozdoc: a long chain of linked horse torsos, some winged; the head has three eyes. Me as a centaur girl in background on right, with paintbrush. Click to enlarge.
Oval cameo of me with a paintbrush--but me as a red-headed, red-tailed centauress.

So now I'm wondering--twenty years after centaurpedes started floating into my head--just whose idea I had. Was the dream anticipating Mozdoc's commission, years ahead?

Or do such images crop up independently, randomly?

Like heads on a centaurpede. Flashes of vision in the mostly blind dance-orgy-tangle of our lives.



LISTS AND LINKS: dream critters - horses - centaurs - sex dreams - genital symbolism - animal sex - orgies or group sex - portraits - dreaming personified - work dreams - predictive dreams - ESP in general - biochemical dreams - DNA and other helical dreams - biotech, gengineering, and surgical chimeras - a related dream, Skimming toward Freedom

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