Dream of: 29 August 1996 (2) "To Thine Own Self Be True"

My wife Carolina and I were sitting in a crowded movie theater. Instead of sitting next to me, Carolina was sitting in the seat directly in front of me, while another woman whom I didn't know was sitting in the seat directly behind me. I was aware of the woman behind me, because I had discovered that my seat rocked back and forth like a rocking chair, and a couple times I had rocked so far backwards that my head had touched the woman. The woman had become upset by my rocking and snapped at me to stop it. I was having a similar problem with Carolina, because when I would rock back my feet would kick the bottom of Carolina's seat, so that she likewise began complaining. Although I could understand the woman behind me becoming upset, I felt insulted that my own wife would be quarreling at me in a public place. I become so irritated with her that I decided to just get up and leave without her.

I walked out into the lobby, which was quite large and almost appeared to be an amusement arcade, with a number of people milling about. I myself began ambling around, even venturing up to a second story level, but I soon turned around and went back downstairs because I discovered that part of the floor was missing on the second floor, leaving a dangerous hole right where someone might fall through. As I walked back downstairs, it also looked as if some shops were in the lobby, because I noticed one fellow carrying two twelve packs of coke. I thought perhaps the coke was cheap here, and I might even buy some myself later.

Basically I was getting tired of just walking around, and I began to realize I had made a mistake by leaving the movie. The movie had starred Steve Martin, and I had anticipated that it would be quite good. I now regretted that I had left, and I decided to go back in.

I realized that in order to get back in, I would need my ticket, and I wasn't sure I still had it. If I did have it, it would be in a large cloth sack which I was carrying with me. Realizing I would need to search through the sack, I sat down on the floor and opened it. The sack was filled with all sorts of things which I began laying out on the floor beside me. I did find a movie ticket, but it was an old one, and not the one to this movie; so I kept looking.

My search was suddenly interrupted by an unexpected event. During my search of the sack, I had pulled a violin case out of the sack, opened it, and laid it on the ground beside me. The interior of the violin case was lined with blue velvet; the violin was on one side of the case, while the bow was on the other. I hadn't even been aware that I had laid the violin case beside me, until I suddenly noticed that someone had dropped a five dollar bill into the side of the case where the bow was.

I immediately picked up the five dollar bill and looked up at an attractive long-haired brunette woman (about 20 years old) standing right in front of me. She had a clean wholesome look to her. I realized she must have thought I was begging for money, and I handed the bill back to her. I also shut the violin case, so the same error wouldn't be made again by someone else. I knew I could keep the money, but I didn't want to do that.

What I did want to do was talk to the girl, and since she remained standing in front of me, I struck up a conversation with her. I wanted to make it perfectly clear that I wasn't begging for money. In fact, I wanted to make it clear that I didn't even approve of people begging for money. I told her that I myself made it a practice not to give money to beggars. To myself, however, I thought about one time when I had given $20 to a homeless woman on the street, and how it had made me feel good. However, to the girl I explained that I didn't approve of giving money to beggars since one never knew what the beggars did with the money. I told her that beggars might even be using the money for drugs. I immediately regretted that I had said something negative about drugs, since I thought drugs received too much bad press the way it was. Nevertheless I had made my point, and I could see that the girl now realized I wasn't a beggar, but a level-headed person who might be of interest to her.

It was now obvious that I was of interest to her, because she walked around to my left side and sat down facing me, but she didn't say anything. Instead she pulled out a thick book, leaned back, put her feet on my left shoulder, and began reading. Obviously she felt comfortable being near me, and I wanted to get to know her better. Thinking that the book she was reading might offer an opportunity as a topic of discussion, I bent my head around trying to see what the title was. Finally I was able to read the black letters of the title on the bluish-purple dust cover: Revelation. I was also able to read the name of the author: a certain Saint so and so.

It was immediately obvious to me that this was a book about the book of Revelations in the bible, although it wasn't actually the book of Revelations itself. Instead, this book seemed written by someone who was a follower, almost like a sect, of the biblical book of Revelations. Seeing this, it was immediately clear to me that this woman must be a Christian. I looked at her and said, "You're Christian. That helps explain your delusion."

I was trying to be funny, and I meant the "delusion" to refer back to the fact that she believed in giving money to beggars. I was trying to say that I now understood that her Christian belief was the source of this delusion, but she didn't understand what I had said, and I had to repeat, "That helps explain your delusion."

She still didn't understand, and for the third time I repeated, "That helps explain your delusion."

This time she did understand and she she was clearly affronted. She immediately took her feet down from my shoulder, said, "I'm sorry" in the most insulted fashion, and rose to her feet, obviously intending to leave me.

I was sorry to see her so offended, because I already had a train of thought in mind which I wanted to discuss with her. Just as I had spoken to her, I had had a sort of mini-revelation myself. As I had spoken to her of her delusion, I was indeed thinking about how deluded were the people who believed in different religions, all of them thinking their religion was the one true religion. For myself, not believing in any particular religion, I had recently been examining my own beliefs, and had concluded that one maxim I could live by was the old Greek adage, "To thine own self be true." I had been sure that this was a sound belief.

I now suddenly had doubts about even this. It now occurred to me that even someone such as this girl, who believed in the many falsehoods of Christianity, could still live by this maxim. I now saw that it was possible that a person could still be true to his or her self, even though the person believed in a religion based on lies. Even this girl, as deluded as she might be by the Christian religion, could still be true to herself.

This revelation was somewhat disconcerting. My one belief seemed to vanish before my eyes, and once again I realized I had nothing concrete in which I could believe.

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