Prophets And Poets
message/ you have direct contact with god in dreams
My name is Frank Whitfield. I am a psychologist who lives and works in Paris, France. For a number of years, I have been intrigued by the dreams of a prolific dream-writer named Steven Collier, who was born in 1952, and who lived much of his life in the small town of Portsmouth, Ohio, USA. Collier died at the age of 95 in 2048. Twelve years later, in 2060, I was born in Portsmouth. Now in the year 2087, at the age of 27, I have developed an affection for Collier's dreams which has inspired me to compile some of them into meaningful stories.
This is the tenth time that I have created a story from a small group of Collier's dreams in which a particular person, place, or thing appeared. In this story, Bob Dylan was mentioned or appeared in each of the following dreams.
Dream of: 16 July 1982 "Under The Cross"
mental torrents of
power may be sources of
After standing for a while in the lobby of an apartment building and looking at some books, I walked upstairs to an apartment where Birdie (my dark-haired girlfriend from my late teens) was living. I stood in front of the apartment door, knocked, then stepped to the side where I did not think Birdie would be able to see me through the small, round, peep hole. No one said anything from inside, but suddenly the door opened and Birdie stood before me. I asked, "Well, you just open up your door like that without making sure who it is?"
When she replied that she knew that it was me, I asked, "Well, how'd you know it was me."
She answered, "Well, you hadn't been here in two or three days. I was expecting you."
I walked into the apartment and began talking to Birdie. Recalling a book I had seen in the lobby, I reported, "Well, Bob Dylan has out a new book now."
Actually, Bob Dylan had not written the book to which I was refering – it had been written by Carlos Castaneda. I even had the book - which I had bought in the lobby - with me. On the cover was the image of a man whose features could not be discerned. A shadow stretched out from his feet. The total impression of the man and the shadow was of two shadowy figures standing there. After I said, "The name of the book is Under the Cross," Birdie asked me what the title meant.
I had the impression that Castenada had become a Christian. Referring to Castanada's old beliefs before he became a Christian, I said something like, "He kind of, I suppose, rejected those old ways, but in this book he re-experiences these torrents of power which apparently came surging forth. And that was mainly what the book was about."
I was thinking that the "torrents of power" derived from his former beliefs in sorcery, and not his new religious beliefs.
I feel blessed to have been given the calling of creating stories from Collier's dreams. The more I read and assemble his dreams, the more I feel the hand of God working on Collier's mind and speaking to mankind through those dreams.
Although I had heard songs by Bob Dylan before I discovered Dylan in Collier's dreams, I listened to the songs more closely after beginning work on finding the story of Dylan in Collier's dreams, and I would agree with Collier that Dylan was the most influentiel songwriter of the nineteenth century.
I sometimes have a similar feeling of the hand of God at work on Dylan's mind and speaking to mankind through Dylan's songs as the feeling which I have that God worked on Collier's mind and spoke to mankind through Collier. It seems to me that in both cases of songs and dreams, God is declaring God's power to communicate to mankind through beautiful language.
Dream of: 23 July 1982 "Song Played Over And Over"
poetry and dreams
may have the same source in the
I was watching a scene unfold in an open field surrounded by trees where a group of people had four or five large, hot-air balloons of various colors, including red and blue. The people had tied the balloons together and were about to ascend and escape in them because the people were about to be attacked by a group of Indians.
One man disagreed with the idea of using the baloons to escape. Apparently - once upon a time - he had owned a balloon and now he did not think these balloons would fly. The others, however, were adamant about using the baloons to escape, and suddenly the balloons took off.
Although most of the women and children had already boarded the ballons, some men still on the ground scurried about and some grabbed for ropes hanging from the balloons. Some ropes looked like rope ladders, as if they were designed for the men to hang onto and climb. The balloons continued ascending until only one long rope was still hanging down.
The man who had disagreed with the baloon-escape project was still on the ground with a couple other men. They grabbed the long rope and the balloon continued ascending.
Seeing the Indians riding up furiously on horses in the distance, I began wondering whether the Indians would be able to shoot arrows and hit the men who were still dangling from the ropes. I thought perhaps the men in the balloons might also have arrows which they could shoot down at the Indians.
The scene changed to what appeared to be a deserted encampment of log houses next to a lake. Through the trees which surrounded the lake, I could see red in the sky and realized the balloons were coming to this encampment which was the very place which the people escaping in the balloons were trying to reach.
The balloons were being pulled on a rope by a large, metal machine-contraption chugging along in the sky. The contraption was as large as all the balloons put together. When the contraption and the balloons were almost over top the encampment, something suddenly happened and the balloons and contraption began falling. While the contraption fell close to the log houses, most of the balloons fell into the trees.
The balloons were punctured and dangled in the trees. The people climbed out of the balloons and walked toward the houses where they gathered around an old, gray-haired man who had been the person driving the machine-contraption which had pulled the balloons. He, apparently, had devised the entire plan of escaping in the balloons and reaching the encampment.
The encampment was several days journey by foot from where the Indians were, and since winter was approaching, it appeared that the Indians would not be able to reach the encampment. If the people stayed in the encampment during the winter, they would have to leave early in the spring before the Indians were able to arrive.
Since people were supposed to be already living in the encampment, and no one was there, the people began asking the old, gray-haired man where the people were who were supposed to be there.
Although the old, gray-haired man appeared to be insane and did not seem to know what he was talking about, the people needed to know what had happened to the people who had been living there before. Finally the old, gray-haired man said he would take the new people to where the other people were. After he made a little speech about how the people here could go with him, several people decided to accompany him.
For a long while, the old man led the way through weeds and bushes while the others followed, until the old man finally stopped and told the others that it was going to be a three days march.
Even though the old man had not said anything, I suddenly realized that he was only intending to lead these people to the graves of the other people - who had already died.
Looking more closely at the old man, I realized that his body appeared to be that of a lizard. Although he still had the same face, he appeared to be a man-sized lizard. The more I saw how peculiar he looked, the more he reminded me of the main character in the movie E.T.
Abruptly, I realized I was sitting in a room watching the old man in a scene on a television screen. The movie was a very early one - a precursor of some of the modern day movies of the genre. I particularly noted what a good job of makeup had been done on the old man and I generally thought the movie was an important one.
As I watched, the movie changed into a series of colorful animated scenes with people dancing around, and I became completely enthralled. The music, which seemed like early rock and roll, was also good and played a large role in the effect of the movie. The movie reminded me somewhat of the movie Tron which compelled me to realize even more the technical importance of this early movie.
As the animation and music continued, the scene focused on the blue cover of a record album lying on the street. On the album cover was a picture of a man standing in the rain. I realized I had seen the cover somewhere before, but I could not remember where.
I then looked around the room, and saw my girlfriend Louise sitting there and holding the very same album cover in her hand and looking at it. When I asked her if I could see it, she answered, "Well, don't you have this album?"
I replied, "No."
She replied, "Yea, that's right. I've only heard one song at your place."
I knew she was referring to a song by Bob Dylan - she said I played the song over and over.
Then she mentioned something that she had dreamed, which upset me. When she said she had told me about it before, I replied, "The hell you did. I know what you told me and you didn't tell me that."
For some reason I was becoming quite irritated with her.
I looked back on the television screen and saw the lizard man there. The people were trying to decide whether they should spend the winter in the encampment and then tear down the houses in the spring. They thought they could use the wood from the houses to repair the bottom parts of the balloons which had been damaged by the fall.
Then they could try to fly on out of there.
But they were unsure what they were going to do.
I have my own personal theory that beauty leads us to God. Actually finding God, however, is not the same as finding beauty, but as one approaches God, somewhat as Dante did, one may have a greater appreciation of beauty.
I am sure that Collier wanted direct contact with God and I suspect that Dylan did also. Perhaps both of them sought to allow God to speak through them. Which brings us to the crux of this story - did God actually speak through Collier in his dreams?
A look at the hard facts might help. From all the information I have been able to obtain about the early years of the Internet, Collier was the most prolific dream publisher in the world at least into his 60s. Although he did not focus on the voice of God in his early years, he did so later in life.
I have not yet been able to prove that God
communicates to humans in dreams. Yet supposing that God was trying to
communicate a message to mankind in Collier's dreams in which Dylan appeared, I
wonder what exactly that message would be.
Dream of:30 November 1983 "Deteriorated Songs"
the source of all art
is essentially the same
with every artist
I was sitting in a room which was my bedroom. When a fellow walked in and sat down on the bed, I looked at him for a minute. When I finally realized that he was Bob Dylan, I asked, "Are you Bob Dylan?"
He said he was. After we began talking, he told me that he had bought some land in a farm-area in Kentucky and that he was going to move into a cabin there. Although he told me the name of a city near the land, I did not recognize it, and I asked him where the land was in relation to Lexington, Kentucky.
After I told him I had a Cabin in Ohio, I looked for my photo album which contained a picture of my Cabin (on my paternal grandparents' Gallia County Farm), but I could not find the album anywhere. When I told Dylan that I had built my log Cabin myself, he seemed quite impressed.
Thinking that I would not mind living with Dylan in the wilds of Kentucky, I asked, "Puedes hablar espaol?"
He answered, "What?"
He had seemed to understand me. I continued, "Puedo ensearte espaol."
I explained to him that I had told him in Spanish that I could teach him Spanish. He seemed pleased with the idea of my teaching him Spanish.
I was unpacking my cassette tapes and other things from a large chest. I told Dylan that I had been living there for several months and that I had only now begun unpacking my things.
I wanted to ask him why his songs had deteriorated after he had become a Christian, but I did not know exactly how to pose the question. I also wanted to know if he intended to continue writing songs.
If God were really going to send a message to mankind, it would seem that God might begin with an explanation of why humans exist in the first place.
Angels are often portrayed as messengers. I would be tempted to look at Dylan as a symbol of an angel. If "Dylan" is viewed as a symbol of "an angel," God may saying that sometimes God sends other intelligent and living beings to us in our dreams to communicate God's messages to us.
I find that theory of angels difficult to accept because I want to think that God has direct contact with men and that God is the ultimate creater of dreams, just as I want to think that I am the ultimate creater of any beauty which I create.
Believing that any other intelligent being has contact with my mind is disconcerting, even though I do believe in such direct contact from God. Nevertheless, angels are not entirely out of the question.
Dream of: 16 August 1984 "Short Comic Play"
the sources of both
comedy and tragedy
may just be the same
I was in a classroom with about 30 other students. The teacher (a woman) had brought in a short comic play for us to read with parts for two different characters. One character was Bob Dylan. Since the teacher was going to pick me to read one part, I told her I wanted to be Bob Dylan. I thought the other fellow which the teacher picked might also want to play Bob Dylan, but I thought I liked Bob Dylan so much that I would like to have that part.
After I was given the part of Dylan, the other fellow and I began. The first speech was a long introduction by the other character. After the other fellow began reading, his speech was interspersed with music which a third person played on a record player. The music consisted of the lyrics of songs. The other fellow would first speak, then the third person would play lyrics on the record player, then the other fellow would speak again. The book from which we were reading also displayed pictures of Dylan.
I was preparing to read. When the other fellow paused for a moment, I thought we had reached my turn to speak, but then I saw that the other fellow had merely reached the title of the play. When he continued reading, I looked ahead at my part and prepared to read it. I knew the play was going to be a comedy, even though Dylan was a singer and not a comedian. I thought the play was going to be pretty good.
Critic that I am, the concept of the sinful Collier's being enlisted as God's story-teller is most difficult to accept. Nevertheless, I feel inclined to accept the concept.
Dylan is the symbol of an angel prophesizing the realm of beauty. Torrents of power are necessary to create this beauty. The death of the body marks the birth of the soul. Eternal life is envisaged in our dreams. God speaks to every man individually in dreams. God speaks to all mankind through poets and prophets.
Dream of: 26 July 1986 (4) "Poets And Prophets"
wars and poetry
both seem to originate
from a common source
I was a student among other students in a classroom in Dallas, Texas. When I suddenly heard that the students were going to take a test, I tapped on the shoulder of Mary Biester (a Dallas attorney) who was sitting right in front of me, and I tried to find out what kind of test it was going to be. Apparently it was a word test.
It was a Monday and since I had not attended class on Friday, I had not expected the test. Some students were prepared, but I was completely taken by surprise.
We only had a few minutes to study for the test. Since Mary had her book open, I asked her if I could see it. When I placed my head on her shoulder, I could feel her face next to mine. I moved around, sat next to her, and asked her about a stomach problem which she had; apparently it was not that bad.
For the test, each student was going to have to stand and sing a song. We were given a bit more time to work on our songs.
The seats in the room were in rows which ran across the room. I rose and moved into the chair at the far right side of the front row. The teacher (who reminded me somewhat of Angus McSwain, one of my law professors when I was in law school), told us to prepare to sing our songs. McSwain was going to begin with the person on the left end of the front row.
The singing began and one woman sang what appeared to be an Italian song. As the teacher proceeded down the row toward me, I tried to think of what I was going to sing. Finally I knew I wanted to sing a song by Bob Dylan and I began writing the first lines, "Poets and prophets throughout the land."
Although I could not remember the order of the rest of the lyrics, I wrote several lines, one of which was, "Take your stand now, the chance won't come again."
Another line said, "The order is rapidly changing."
But I could not seem to fit the lines together - I simply was not prepared. However, even though I did not know how I was going to sing the song, I did at least know that the first line was "Poets and prophets throughout the land." That was the line that impressed me the most as having something beautiful about it.
I thought the second line might be, "Come sing your song well, the chance won't come again."
Another line might be, "Admit that the waters around you have grown."
I thought my ex-wife Louise was somewhere in the classroom. I wanted to sing correctly because I rather wanted to make a good impression on her. I thought my voice would be in good form; it was just a matter of getting the words right.
I began looking for a rifle which I had had with me earlier and which I had set down in front of me. When I was unable to find the rifle, I asked, "Where's my gun?"
I stood and began looking around for it.
When I saw some people standing along the side of the room, I decided to go stand with them. I thought perhaps the teacher would pass me by; then I could work on my lines more and sing a bit later.
By definition, prophets are humans who are inspired by God to deliver messages to mankind. The answer to the question of whether Dylan was inspired by God seems to be similar to the question of whether Collier was inspired by God or even to the question of whether Old-Testament Jeremiah was inspired by God.
To believe that any of the three - Jeremiah, Dylan, Collier - was inspired by God would be to believe in prophets. Of course a large portion of mankind still believes that Mohammad was the greatest prophet of God. In my mind, therefore, the belief in prophets is something which must be accepted with the utmost caution.
Nevertheless, I tend to think of Collier as being inspired by God in the form of a symbol of an angel - Dylan - being sent to Collier in his dreams.
Dream of:12 August 1987 "Another Man's Dead"
the sources of poems
imagination and dreams
may be similar
I was in the front room on the ground floor of the Dallas Zen Center. I had previously been living in an Apartment on the second story, but another fellow (in his mid 30s) was now living in that apartment instead of me. That fellow, along with three or four women, was now here in the front room on the ground floor of the Zen Center with me. The man and the women were engaged in an activity – maybe story-telling or dream-telling, or maybe hypnosis. Whatever the activity was, I was interested and wanted to join.
As soon as I sat in, however, the activity stopped and the fellow brought out little musical instruments which simply looked like sticks and gongs. One gong-like device on the floor seemed to consist merely of a slab of metal held by wire. The device intrigued me and I wondered how it would sound if struck. I was given a stick.
Five or six of us were present, two men and the rest women. When the others slowly began humming and taping their sticks on their drums or gongs, I quietly hummed along a little.
The woman to my left was sitting raised up on something so that she was above me. She gradually began singing a song which seemed as if it might have been improvised as she sang. The song was absolutely beautiful and the woman's voice was rich. I was thoroughly charmed by her singing; the experience of listening to her was thrilling.
The song seemed to consist of perhaps eight lines and told a little story. I could hardly embrace just how moving the song was. I would have liked to sing a song myself, but I was unsure what to sing. Nevertheless, I quickly composed a four-line song in my mind, the first line of which was, "Which way will you go now, my darling young son," and the last line of which was, "Another man's dead out along the line."I was too shy to actually sing the song out loud. It vaguely seemed as if I might have borrowed some of the lines from songs by Bob Dylan. The humming soon began again and I felt carried along with it. The humming reminded me of how my friend Eloise LaGrone (whom I first met at the Dallas Zen Center in 1987) and I had recently sung together. I thought Eloise would fit in so well here. The humming continued and turned into different notes which grew louder and louder. When the crescendo reached a climatic peak, I let myself go as I felt the tremendous beauty of the music flowing from me and mixing with the invogorating music of the others.
Suddenly everyone stopped - the silence was quite pronounced after such music. I recalled that Will Johnson (another member of the Zen Center) was moving into another apartment next door inside the Zen Center and I wondered if he could hear the music and whether he would be inclined to join in.
One woman sitting on the couch rose - apparently she intended to leave. She walked through the room and since the other fellow did not move, I rose to show her out. I accompanied her to the door and mumbled something about the door's probably not being locked. I was vaguely attracted to the woman, but I did not say much to her.
When I opened the door, I could see that the outside door to the apartment into which Will was moving was open. After I stepped inside his apartment, Will walked from the front room to meet me inside the door. He mentioned that he had just put some bamboo mats onto the floor in the front room; I could see them there. Some mattresses were also piled in the kitchen. He said he was moving a few of his things in right now, although he was not yet moving in himself.
I stepped back into my second story Apartment, looked out the rear window and saw down below that the woman who had left had already boarded her car and that she was pulling out. Several other cars were also down there pulling out. It looked as if a couple of the cars belonged to people next door.
I must admit that I find the subject of angels quite disconcerting, and my interpretation of "Dylan" as a symbol of an "angel" in Collier's dreams does not mean that I believe in angels, or even that I believe that Collier believed in angels.
In fact, the premise that God used Dylan as a symbol of an angel might even indicate that all so-called angels which can be found in literature and art are simply symbols of God's power of communication with mankind and that angels do not actually exist at all. So-called "angels" may simply be symbols in themselves of "messages" from God.
Dream of:17 November 1987 (2) "Philosophize Disgrace"
the source of disgrace
may be the same as the source
of the universe
I was standing in front of what appeared to be a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. Since it was night and people were gathered out front, I was a bit apprehensive at first. When I walked inside, I noticed a marquee which seemed to display the names of movies playing in the building.
After stepping up to a water fountain, I saw a square hole in the ceiling above the fountain. I climbed onto the fountain and pulled myself up through the hole in the ceiling and discovered that the night club was actually up there on the second floor. When I noticed a small ladder standing there on the second floor, I thought the ladder should be placed down on the first floor so that people could use it to climb up to the hole in the ceiling instead of having to climb up on the water fountain to reach the hole.
Once I was upstairs, it seemed as if I were riding along in the cab of a truck and singing a Bob Dylan song, "You who philosophize disgrace, and criticize all fears, take the rag away from your face, for now is the time for your tears."
When I heard someone else singing off key over to the side, I looked and sawmy brother Chris (1957-1974) down below me in another section of the truck. He was singing off key and was interrupting my singing.
I was sitting on the right of the seat, and when I looked down I noticed a large gray rat, perhaps over half a meter long, sitting there looking out the window. I tried to push the rat out the window, but it was so big I could not budge it. I was afraid it was going to turn around and bite me. Then I heard Chris say something about another big rat being down there with him. I thought his rat could not be any bigger than the rat up here with me. I really did not know what I was going to do.
I was driving and it was difficult for me to do anything. If the rat attacked me I would be in real trouble.
Many of the stories in the collections of Collier's dreams concentrate on the meaning of life and the necessity of life after death in order for life to have meaning for the dreamer. Mortal life is meaningless. Only life eternal has meaning for the individual human being.
Although Collier experienced intense challenges in proving that his soul was immortal, he has at least convinced me of the necessity of the eternal propostion if life indeed has meaning.
So Dylan may be conveying the message in Collier's dreams that mankind should concentrate on beautiful things. Maybe Dylan's message is that belief in the truth of eternal life may facilitate the birth of beauty in the individual mind.
was never able to proove the
Men need other men in order to create beauty.
That theory si
Whether God communicates
Important issue: are the haikus and the images created by Steve or by Frank
does one stand or kneel before the source of all creation
The question has arisen as to whether Collier furnished the pictures in the
dreams in my collections or whether I furnished the pictures
i supply the pictures
as for the haikus, the answer to that I prefer not to
give right now colllier became obsesses with the
idea that his dreams were created by god
does one stand or kneel before the source of all creation
The question has arisen as to whether Collier furnished the pictures in the dreams in my collections or whether I furnished the pictures
i supply the pictures
as for the haikus, the answer to that I prefer not to give right now
colllier became obsesses with the idea that his dreams were created by god
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04 July 1995 (2) "The Source"
17 November 1987 (2) "Philosophize Disgrace"
12 August 1987 (2) "Another Man's Dead"
26 July 1986 (4) "Poets And Prophets"
16 August 1984 "Short Comic Play"
30 November 1983 (2) "Deteriorated Songs"
23 July 1982 "Song Played Over And Over"
16 July 1982 "Under The Cross"
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