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Dreamed 12/28/1998 by Chris Wayan


I just read Journey of Souls by Michael Newton, a therapist sucked gradually into pastlife work by his own clients' needs. More intriguing than the particulars of their cases was an odd commonality--his clients consistently report their lives were chosen solely for character-building.

So is all our pain and triumph just... schoolwork? If so, our struggles to right wrongs aren't much use: the world's rigged to have problems, it's a boot camp. The idea gets me mad, though of course my indignation won't change its truth or falsehood. I have my doubts--feel like Newton "leads the witness" a lot. But then he's paid to heal not study--the info on between-life is incidental, and apparently as hard to get as pulling teeth, since his clients' guides don't want him reporting their in-house business.

That's more interesting than his cases, to me. Clients are cooperative, though reluctant to relive intense pain; but their guardian angels (whatever those are) often block lines of questioning that might reveal the set-up behind the scenes! Like a director cracking the whip on actors who break role. These entities (whether they're parts of the clients' personality or not) all act like they want mere mortals ignorant about life and death--why, we might relieve suffering, and we can't have THAT! It's so useful; it builds such character.

I can't recall my early childhood well, let alone any hypothetical past lives. And yet dreams like Don't Want Him to Soar and Viewpoint flatly said I need certain pastlife memories to heal--not my interpretation, they openly used the term "past life." But such dreams also show guards blocking or sabotaging access--and Newton's cases make me suspect this isn't a fear of unearthing pain, or disapproval of therapy's focus on the past, but a conviction (true or false) that such information is off-limits--even when the therapeutic need is clear!

So what do my dreams think? Have I lived before, and if so, why not let me see?


I'm biking along an underground hall, deeper and deeper into a hill. Every few yards is a slot on the wall and buttons and a little screen--I think it's a security checkpoint where you're meant to put in your card. I don't have one, and just ride on in. A second after I pass each checkpoint, a gate slams down from above, behind me.

sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: biking down a long dim corridor with partitions every few yards, with glowing buttons and faint signs; the nearest says '2000'.
I go on, at first contemptuous of their slow and inept security system, but eventually uneasy and a bit guilty. I don't mean them any harm, crashing their gates--I just want to see someone or something. The doors are slowly catching up to me, and I don't want one of them closing on me. So I stop and let them seal before and behind me. Trapped. I can't think of any other way to tell them I'm no threat--I proved I could get in, then choose not to. The display screens, now that I stop to think, all had dates on them--dates from centuries past or future. I think each checkpoint is also a door to that era. The one I'm in leads to a future century. I wait patiently for them to come get me.

The door opens at last and a young white woman appears. She's even skinnier than me, with short pale blonde hair. She's attractive but her body language is deeply strange--somehow it marks her as truly foreign to my world, or at least my time.

She holds a bulky object with lenses I assume is a weapon, but she's not in a uniform--shorts and a rumpled shirt. Seems wary but not angry or paranoid. I'm relieved. She says in a thick accent (like a farmer in some rural English county) "Yew goh to th' top o' th' midden." I suspect she's just speaking standard English of her century.

She follows me down the ledge to the cavern floor, then just points left... and goes back to her own work! I feel pleased she trusts me to make my own way. I bike slowly through the crowd, toward the midden--a mound of trash, mostly clamshells, several yards high near the back of the cave. No, the cave opens out beyond again. The narrows is fluted stone, like stage-drapes. The mound ends in a sheer drop, in back, making it feel even more like a canted stage.

People react oddly when I ride by, as if they'd never seen a bike before, and as if my modest speed were nearly too fast to perceive. Doesn't the future have bikes? Even if they've been forgotten, surely time-travelers wouldn't be shocked by such a simple thing.

But their security system acted the same way--overwhelmed by my speed. Or my bike's speed. I'm overlooking some power--in me or the bike. Flitting through centuries like that--while thinking it's a crawl?

I set the mystery aside for now and climb the mound. Sit near the top. Think "It's the accumulated trash of centuries of human civilization." But it doesn't stink or leak, seems quite safe and inert--and I'm quite sensitive to volatiles, smell them when others can't. The futurians have detoxified it or contained the toxins. Good enough! I sit atop the mound and observe the others all around. They mostly face down the sloping side as if it's theater seating...

And it is. On a dais a yard above the cave floor, a play begins. I sense this is what I came to see--not consciously, but fate or my soul aimed my long journey at this. So I pay attention.

The actors clown and dance, wearing big paper-maché masks. The troupe is nearly all men... and the women may be men in drag.

But when I wake I can't recall the plot, just the style--touches of Kabuki and Mud Clown. But not really Asian or American--European. Commedia dell'arte!

Wait a minute! Is that why they gawked at my bike? What if the signs in those checkpoints were wrong--is this really the past? The past mislabeled?


Figure in green, in lodge jammed with sharp rusty junk; playful wolf-dog enters.


I tell the dream--and a couple of others. My therapist Shelley sees parallels: in Damocles Hall, the wolf and the wolfgirl in the red dress seem a lot like these players in Time Hall--rowdy spontaneity. And the scythes and axes swinging from the rafters of Damocles Hall echo the dropping security gates in Time Hall's entry-tunnel.

I blurt "I don't want every little detail!" What am I after? Suddenly I see myself on a date, getting ill again. Of course--I want data on past-life trauma that might be triggering my illness! But I've never thought much about what WOULD cause that. I try now. At first, I picture painful memories, but realize quickly that reliving pain, even my own death, would not faze me long. After thirty thousand dreams, what pain, what fear is new to me?

What I dread is guilt, not pain! Memories of hurting others. Yet in the deep past, I must have committed some cruelties, done some wrongs that have consequences now. Can I accept them, and what's more, expiate them somehow?

I don't know. Usually, when I feel guilty, I just get glum and isolate myself like a nasty virus. But this quest may require more than learning to cope with such moods. It may require action--to balance scales crooked for years. Centuries.

If it can be done at all.

sketch of a dream by Chris Wayan: biking down a long dim corridor with partitions every few yards, with glowing buttons and faint signs; the nearest says '2000'.

LISTS AND LINKS: incubation - time travel - reincarnation - astral plane - bike power! - shamanic dreams - theatre dreams - therapy dreams - life-scripts and paths - 3 dreams mentioned above: Damocles Hall - Don't Want Him to Soar - Viewpoint

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