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DOCTOR WHO AND DEATH

Dreamed 1984/6/30 by Chris Wayan

Doctor Who is walking along an English country road. He turns into a small tunnel. A boat full of cows passes, going the other way. The south end of the tunnel opens on a green pasture-valley with a lake.

As he emerges from the tunnel, an invisible creature leaps from the bank above and catches him behind his neck. And possesses him. His neck stretches and his head unfolds into a flowerlike thing with four large petals or ears, and a smaller, smiling face in the middle. In this new form he has vast magical power. Seems unaware he's changed, yet within days he's conquered the world and set himself up as the Wizard God. In weeks he rules most of this galaxy.

He moves his headquarters to a nearby planet. Attracts, recognizes, and assigns a unique color to others with great talents for magic and power. He assigns each one a facet of life, too, something they're responsible for--Birth, Death, Time, Space, Good, Evil. Twelve such colors, twelve such principles, including the Doctor himself. Interestingly, Evil is not feared, because this is a multicultural system, and Evil, apparently, is just what a given culture disapproves of... so the mage responsible for Evil conscientiously stimulates dissent, perversion, innovation, rebellion, breakdown... curiously close, in a way, to Change. There is one who is isolated though: everyone, even the other 10 mages, fears Death. Except the Doctor. They DO form polar opposites. Death resents the isolation but likes the power. Death's color is uniquely mutable: black at first, then charcoal as the body corrodes away in little pits till pale gray ash is all. Death can do little BUT this, but then, he can do it to ANYONE. Even the other wizards.

Death has an understudy: Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise. He slowly starts to worry for those who lack any magical power--so vulnerable to the twelve, especially Death.

Kirk secretly brings together some high-tech groups and many of the Twelve, who are equally troubled by Death, and they set up an assassination. They surprise Death with his own deadly spell, amplified by half the council.

But Death is stronger than death. Kirk darkens to charcoal, then erodes till the carbon flies away and he pales to a dusty statue, a pillar, a pile of dust. Horrible to see, yet proof how right he is. Was. Death is so powerful--his own apprentice, with the edge of surprise and the support of most of the Powers, had no chance at all! What restrains Death?

Dr Who, perhaps; he's certainly his only rival for sheer power. But they never quarrel. Even now, the Doctor walks in and supports Death, not the rest. "Assassination attempt, eh? I'll make inquiries to see how far the plot went." And he does.

So Death now knows he has the support of the strongest magic in the universe. He's confident, and increasingly... dominant.

The next morning, Dr Who, with instant backup from every wizard on the council, blasts Death from behind, blasts him to oblivion, using a version of his own spell. And then the Doctor undoes his possession and stops being Wizard-God.

He explains, "Death was an Earth man who got possessed and acquired terrible power, far more than me, in fact. I let myself be possessed too, turned megalomaniac and conquered the galaxy and all that, just to give him companions to distract him from his own megalomania while I studied his powers. He could have destroyed the universe, you know. But we all helped him think small."

I woke and wrote:

Dr Who is me, possessed.
Megalomanic rule.
Colors. Magic. Arrogance.
All for Death--to fool
Him he's one of many Powers
When Death could blot us all.
Who lets Him sear mortal me's--
Who betrays our souls.
Death relies on Who, aglee--
Till the backstab bolt!

Dr Who played me, possessed--
Mad traitor for the best.

NOTES

Dr Who is an altruistic time-traveling alien scientist, in a long-running BBC series. He seems spacy, innocent, even comical, but...

Sometimes to defeat or just survive a destructive force, one must string it along until the right moment, even allow it to do some damage. This dream was a frightful example. I think it warned me how powerful a death-wish I still have, and why. What motivates most suicides is depression or the hunger for relief in oblivion. They want to end pain. But what I feel is stronger--a longing to return full-time to the wonderful spirit world I experience nightly. I hate to wake up! That hunger's SO strong, I have to string it along, accept some asceticism, some illness--some casualties, so to speak.

Because if I fight it face to face, too soon... I could lose.

And I wonder--how many other people I look down on for unsavory, unhealthy habits, really aren't stupid? Maybe they aren't indulging a deathwish, but distracting it. Setting backfires, to starve and eventually snuff a far deadlier wildfire.

Having seen Death defeated by the deviousness of Who, I'm slower now to judge.



LISTS AND LINKS: nightmares - Dr. Who - Death personified - truth and lies - masks and disguises - ethics and morality - violence - abiku (homesickness for the spirit world) - anorexia - personality integration - another dream of the Twelve Sacred Powers - duty and sacrifice - dream poetry

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