Dream of: 10 August 1996 "Prisoner In A Cathedral"

think of love divine

save yourself above all else

is the coward's theme

I was being held prisoner inside a giant cathedral which had a tall tower made of heavy dark stones, and a circular stone stairway which wound its way to the top of the tower. At present I was being held in the tower, but I wasn't exactly right inside the tower. Instead I was in a space inside the walls of the tower. I had found this place to hide while I put together a plan to escape from this prison, a plan which I was now ready to execute.

I knew my captors, dressed in luxuriant golden robes and mitres, would be making a solemn procession up the ponderous stairs of the tower. It was my intention, while the high church officials marched and prayed, to begin throwing religious relics and paraphernalia out the small windows found along the tower stairs. I thought that by so doing, I could distract my captors and thus make my escape. When the time came and I sensed the procession was about to begin, I slipped into the stairwell and put my plan into operation. I quickly found a small window and began wildly throwing things from it. Almost as soon as I had begun, I stopped, for something else had caught my attention. Up and down the rough stone steps, I noticed niches in the wall, perhaps three foot high and a foot deep. Inside each of these spaces was a woman, knelt down on bended knees, praying. All the women looked roughly the same: they seemed dressed in some dark red, medieval-looking garb, like something out of a painting from the Middle Ages.

None of the women were moving, and they were paying no attention to what I was doing. It thus occurred to me that my plan might not work, that merely throwing out the religious relics wasn't enough. But then an even wilder plan popped into my mind. What if I would, instead, throw these praying women out of the tower windows? Surely the defenestration of the women would cause the distraction I was seeking. But even to me this just seemed too lunatical: I didn't want to kill anyone.

In a sudden frenzy, however, I grabbed one woman from her niche, hurled her out the window, and shouted, "Tutti est deraptam."

I didn't really stop to think what language I was speaking, but this seemed to me to be a famous phrase which these praying women would understand. The meaning I meant to convey was that "everything would be seized" and thrown out the window.

Continuing my onslaught, I grabbed another woman and hurled her out a window. Then another. None resisted and they actually seemed more like dolls than real people as I tossed them out, but I knew they were real people.

Now I sensed the religious men were coming up the stairs. I realized I must escape now, or I would be caught. I also realized there could be no mercy for me after what I had done. I had really gone too far. Realizing I dare not be caught, in frantic, frenzied desperation, I hurled myself out the window.

As I now felt myself falling through the air, I seemed calmer, and paused to think: this all seemed just too crazy to be real. It wasn't like me to be throwing people out of windows. And besides, I didn't see how it was possible for me to now be floating in the air. Suddenly I realized there was only one explanation: I must be dreaming.

Upon making this realization I felt I had lightly landed on the ground. I looked around and saw a barren countryside. Beside me now I could more clearly see the dark foreboding walls of the tower, which now looked more like part of a medieval castle than a cathedral. I continued casting my eye about, trying to decide what to do next. I loved the idea of being lucid, of knowing that I was dreaming, but everything looked so real and clear, I began to doubt I was actually dreaming, and I thought if it seemed this real, I must surely be awake.

Perhaps I was only wishing this was a dream instead of reality. I knew that I wrote my dreams and that many people read them, and I knew I especially liked writing the dreams in which I was lucid, but I wondered if anyone would believe I had really been dreaming when I wrote about what was happening to me now. Would people think I had just been awake and making it all up? Especially since I wasn't even sure if I were dreaming?

I needed to do something to take hold of the dream to show that I was actually dreaming, to show that I was lucid and that I had control over the dream. Again I looked about trying to decide what to do next. To my surprise, not far from me, I saw a large shelf which looked completely out of place in the desolate surroundings. Stacked neatly on the shelf were dozens of board games, perhaps as many as fifty of them. I saw this shelf with an immediate twinge of chagrin. This wasn't what I had had in mind when I had thought of taking hold of the dream. I had in mind doing something spectacular with my lucidity. Instead, these board games represented to me a rather silly side of my personality which I would rather not be bringing out into the open: my proclivity for collecting all kinds of trivial things such as board games. I specifically thought about how my friend Donna Griffiths (with whom I exchanged dreams on the internet) would later be reading this dream. Now when I wrote this dream, Donna was going to see how silly I could be. This wasn't how I wanted to take advantage of being lucid.

Commentary of February 1, 2015

The "praying women" in this dream remind me of the members of the Dream Journal. Unlike the women in the cathedral in this dream, however, members of the Dream Journal are real people who are sometimes recognizable in the published dreams of other dream journalists. Recognizing other dream journalists in dreams - especially by name - seems essential for those who believe in the simple concept of sharing dreams with each other - about each other - on the Dream Journal. Some members, however, may not want to be identified by having their user names published in someone else's dreams. In my opinion, the right to publish the user name of any Dream-Journal dream journalist who actually appears in a dream by another Dream-Journal dream journalist should be absolute, without qualification, subject only to the honesty and discretion of the dream journalist who is actually publishing the dream. This right exemplifies the beauty of freedom of speech.  

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