CLOUD OF GLORY
Dreamed 1986/5/19 by Chris Wayan
Shining energy-beings rescue a small group of humans stranded when our starship drive fails. But they don't take us home. They keep us inside their luminous cloud, deep in space, and raise us there for years. We're treated well, but feel intimidated--inferior. Are we really guests?
They rarely give orders or treat us as formal students, but always, in back of our attempts to decide for ourselves and retain some feeling of self-respect, lurks a sense of futility. For we're just grubby little animals, beside these figures of light.
I even catch myself thinking "We ought to take a couple of kids aside and raise them to be evil, so our hosts can see the full spectrum of human possibility!" Like I'm some biochemist hoping to grow a new culture in a Petri dish. But the "culture" I'm toying with is my own.
Uh-oh. I'm identifying with the aliens, looking down on my own kind. Isn't that a common kidnapping syndrome?
But you know, it won't do to blame myself too much, either.
Because it's hard for anyone to stay sane (let alone good) in a cloud of light full of angels looming over your shoulder.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
Well! This (literally) unearthly dream may make more earthly sense to you if you know that I'm working at Stanford, surrounded by wealthy, intellectual, conservative people--this is the home of the Hoover Institute after all--Reagan's favorite think-tank! So here I am, a scruffy little radical, doing dreamwork instead of real science, staying poor instead of making my million off silicon like all the other computer geeks in the Valley...
Though the dream has deeper roots. The real reason I stay poor and marginal is that I was raised by radicals who saw people who make their pile as corrupt, self-indulgent resource-hogs. I have to be better than them, live on less, live on air, live on light! I judge myself strictly, from the lofty viewpoint of my immortal soul. For that austere, bodiless angel does peer over my shoulder: and what it says is:
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