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Dreamed Christmas 1979 by Chris Wayan

I'm in the City of God, all monuments and monoliths. To heavenly music, I bike across a plaza toward a door in vast cliffs under a gigantic Hokusai print. The banners on the side walls look just like my bedroom curtains scaled up a thousand times. I pedal and pedal, but my efforts get me barely a tenth as far as I think I should.

But all this is rigged! The angels don't want me to reach the door. So they hung those giant curtains to confuse my sense of scale--to make me feel I'm only gaining inches across the floor of my bedroom, not this huge space! It half-works--I'm discouraged, but I ignore my sense of futility, and stubbornly, endlessly bike on...

And up to the door at last. And in. Into God's front hall.

Leaning up against a wall is a life-size image of Jesus--or is it him? He lives here too, after all. A deep voice says "He knows all, and sees all faster."

I say mildly "He's an unusual person. I've only heard of a few others who know all: Buddha, and that dragon in 'Grendel'..." then realize I shouldn't have compared Jesus to anyone else--not in this neighborhood!

God goes ballistic. "Heresy!" he roars, and summons an army of 30,000 angels. They look like mortal men with spears. "I'm in for it now" I think. There's a delay, though: two are missing from the ranks, and God's furious at this lack of discipline. He is a fussy God.

My body, armed with an axe, is at the far end of the hall now, separate from me--my soul I mean. Whirling the axe swifter than I'd ever have thought possible, my body advances on thirty thousand angels. I have no chance, of course, but I admire myself for trying, and see no way it'll be easy for 'em.

I turn and see a delegation of Archangels and lesser Gods waiting to attack my soul. I change size, feeling ashamed to be cheating, by exercising my full power as a dreamer... but I do it. Remind myself "They picked this fight, not me."

I grow so big the gods fall back. These small fry can't handle me.

God'll have to fight me himself--or back off. And I'll fight God, if he pushes me. I've had enough.

Finally, finally, finally, I've had enough.


Lately I've felt I wasn't making any progress for the effort I put out... but in the dream, I judge my speed by the wrong scale. In fact, I got all the way through God's hall of judgment... right on through submission and judgment, to defiance!

Like that Norse hero who thought he was just lifting alligator-skin luggage, when it was really the Midgard Serpent, heavier than the world... and he SHIFTED it! And went away feeling weak and defeated... not knowing he'd done the impossible.

But that's not the central myth here. This dream is really not even about Christianity. It's a rerun of a famous scene in the Chinese epic, "Journey to the West." Monkey goes to Heaven, and steals the elixir of immortality from Lao-zi. The whole Journey follows Monkey (the mind) as he's gradually tamed. But I always saw those Chinese bureaucrats (divine or not) as a scheming, pompous clique. So I dream I'm like Monkey, but the story runs the opposite way: my stubborn, patient auto-untaming.

They may try to convince you you're getting nowhere... but even thirty thousand angels can't stall forever. Sooner or later, you're at God's door. If the last century taught us anything, it's that God weasels out. Deus absconditas, like any white-collar thief. You have to catch him. And then... mano a mano with God.

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