The Cult of Blindness
Dreamed 1984/2/12 by Wayan
I'm considering blinding myself. It's all the rage. A cult recommends it. It's supposed to make you a more sensitive listener. After all, seeing is distant and impersonal. Blind folks are warmer, more intimate & vital.
My mom's an enthusiastic member of the Cult of Blindness.
Is it worth losing my eyes to be in?
For a long time, I practice this Blind Superhearing (while keeping my eyes) by listening in on a class that meets downstairs. Pick up a lot. Finally go down and try impress the prof into letting me join while I still have eyes. I'm confident I can join and finish the class; expect to be let in. Display broad knowledge.
But the Professor, an obese German with a white beard, says "No! You only have the gist of it. My students have first-hand knowledge and details. Your ability to grasp underlying principles without even being taught is amazing, but it's no substitute for real experience. If you join, you'll have to take the introductory class."
Suddenly I'm less eager to blind myself to join. If they won't credit my own sharp perceptions, how perceptive are they?
NOTES IN THE MORNING
At the Stanford Library, the obese guy guarding the security portal faces a conundrum: a blind woman with a guide dog wants in. The Library policy forbids dogs without exception. Never came up before. In the end, he lets her in.
I wonder how she reads the books.
GRAND CONCLUSION THAT EVENING
My mom's nagging, my concerns about dating, all that's true enough; but when I dream of blind people and an obese gatekeeper, then run into them next morning, all I can think is: "So much for symbolism."
Decades later, I also note that this isn't just an apparent predictive dream, it comes close to being a self-flagging dream (a dream that prompts you to go lucid by mentioning lucidity, a psychic dream that brings up ESP, a literal warning dream in which someone TELLS you it's literal not symbolic...) The next morning, I thought the Cult of Blindness meant the Cult of Normality or the Five Senses, and that my eavesdropping through the floor meant a sixth sense. In short I was already interpreting the dream as about the costs and benefits of ESP/intuition... only to find, a few hours later, that the dream was itself predictive.
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