Monday, May 30, 2016

A disturbing dream

Last night I had a terrible and vivid dream. I was high up on a ridge, where I could see parts of the plain below in the far distance where over a million people live. And I watched with growing horror how fire was occurring in several places and spreading through increasing parts of the city, in some places joining each other. Later in the dream I turned in the other direction and nearby high rises had been gutted, turned black. I had the radio on and realised the radio wasn't reporting it.

Several decades ago I read "the 100th monkey" and while it seems that book was concocted there is a similar phenomenon: socially transmitted panic or understanding reaching most once a threshold of enough people with the understanding is passed. Regarding climate change the slowly boiling frog story seem more apt (let's hope that story is also not literal) .. to me, the evidence of climate change and its civilisation destroying consequences is so strong that we should be engaged in a post-Pearl Harbor like frenzy to decarbonise our energy system. Yet, most of us, including most politicians and most media, ignore these warnings, just as Churchill's warnings about the Nazis were ignored until it was too late.

Below is a description of Carl Jung's dream which can be interpreted as forewarning the Great War:

This account is from Jung's autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

In October [1913], while I was alone on a journey, I was suddenly seized by an overpowering vision: I saw a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps. When it came up to Switzerland I saw that the mountains grew higher and higher to protect our country. I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood. This vision last about one hour. I was perplexed and nauseated, and ashamed of my weakness.

Two weeks passed; then the vision recurred, under the same conditions, even more vividly than before, and the blood was more emphasized. An inner voice spoke. "Look at it well; it is wholly real and it will be so. You cannot doubt it." That winter someone asked me what I thought were the political prospects of the world in the near future. I replied that I had no thoughts on the matter, but that I saw rivers of blood.

I asked myself whether these visions pointed to a revolution, but could not really imagine anything of the sort. And so I drew the conclusion that they had to do with me myself, and decided that I was menaced by a psychosis. The idea of war did not occur to me at all.

Soon afterward, in the spring and early summer of 1914, I had a thrice-repeated dream that in the middle of summer an Arctic cold wave descended and froze the land to ice. I saw, for example, the whole of Lorraine and its canals frozen and the entire region totally deserted by human beings. All living green things were killed by frost. This dream came in April and May, and for the last time in June, 1914.

In the third dream frightful cold had again descended from out of the cosmos. This dream, however, had an unexpected end. There stood a leaf-bearing tree, but without fruit (my tree of life, I thought), whose leaves had been transformed by the effects of the frost into sweet grapes full of healing juices. I plucked the grapes and gave them to a large, waiting crowd...

On August 1 the world war broke out.

***

In May 2017, in response to this post, a friend wrote to me to say that both she and her husband have had recurring experiences with something in common: warning people about a coming disaster, partly as a dream, partly as a vision.

My friend's vision occurred on suddenly waking, as a 12 year old child, in her mother's car. Her mother had taken her brother up to bed before returning to awaken her. A comet streaked through the sky. A hooded figure (neither male nor female), standing by the car non-verbally indicated for her to observe and remember what she was about to be shown; glimpses of a bleak ecological future: drought, dried up rivers, forests on fire, eerie sable coloured clouds, strange sunlight and people dying.

In another event, a dream, my friend tried to alert people to an approaching tidal wave, but the people she tried to warn paid little attention, having too much fun to take notice (as indeed happened to a few in the 2004 tsunami). She has been trying to help ever since.


My friend's husband also had a vision. He was tired of filming the standing stones at Carnac and went to sit by a lake. Suddenly, though fully awake, he felt transported back to a familiar lake in England he'd known as a small boy. He was shown the world as it was in his childhood and then as it is now, making clear how much has been lost. When he returned, he couldn't stop crying. All day long people were coming up to him and treating him as if he was Christ. He still can't explain rationally what happened. He knew he had to do something about it; it was a "call to service". 

He has since had recurring dreams about trying to warn people.

The standing stones at Carnac (France)

My friend has a theory that some people still retain a strong survival instinct and may be more receptive to such observations and perhaps dreams. She suggests that many young people have not had enough personal experience of time to clearly see the deterioration, but many do, especially those who feel close to Nature. Both she and her husband still get emotional talking about it.

While I was editing these memories I have been listening to Chris Hedges read the text of his speech "Revolt Is the Only Barrier to a Fascist America". His language is as fantastic as is his courage and delivery. He talks and writes very clearly about returning fascism and a coming war. There is a partial transcript here. Le Pen's possible election is only 4 days away. Turkey voted for autocracy. We are in grave danger.

**

Hindus and Buddhists have a concept of samsara (and maya); the imperfect illusion of existence; the never-ending, perpetually flowing change of scenery, moods and phenomena. A few generations ago, most humans could only observe the changes in nature, themselves, and their immediate community and surroundings; travellers and wanderers had a wider canvass of experience. Gradually (print, literacy, pamphlets, books, telegraph, newspapers, radio, TV, satellites, internet, social media, astrophysics, exo-biology) more and more of us can get quite detailed information not only about 7.5 billion humans (albeit divided into thousands of groups: Turks, Kurds,
Alawites, Ahmadis, etc etc), not only about our endangered ecosystems and climate, but the near-certainty the universe is populated by planets as well as galaxies and the almost certainty that life is common in the universe.

The view, albeit conveyed with certainty that the universe is merely random, expressed by temporarily famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins is just a competing worldview. Some cosmologists argue that if the fundamental laws of nature (the strength of atomic "glue" and gravity and so on) were slightly different then nothing would have evolved. To me, that is a clue that something is going on that we don't understand. As are these dreams and visions.


In 2014 I speculated in these musings that humanity might be about to transform its consciousness for the better: every generation is brand new, and influenced by the internet as well as ancient prejudices (though the internet is also permeated by these prejudice and taboos.) This builds on my first post, from 2009 called "The Anthropocene and the noƶsphere".

We live in samsara, which is permeated by the suffering of creatures, albeit with moments of joy, hope and value. Complaining and ruminating may not change a thing. But on the other hand the internet allows us to exchange thoughts on an ever-widening scale. I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to be confident that complaining
or ruminating is without value; it might contribute to a better world. So I will post this update.