Friday, July 1, 2011

The House

I dreamed I was renting a room in a large old Southern house. I don't know why. Was I selling antiques or living there or both? Was I alone? I don't know. There were many other renters with various agendas. I don't remember their traits, only that there were many. They would talk among each other and with me, and it sounded like a murmur, and I cannot remember what was said.

The door to my room became locked or jammed one day, and the landlords wouldn't or couldn't do anything about it. Other renters faced the same predicament. The doors to their rooms were also barred.

After many inquiries, I talked to someone that revealed a secret entrance to my room through an adjacent room. I had to remove the shelves, which were full of white towels, and open the cupboard door, because it was actually a secret door to my room. Several people were with me because they wanted to gain access to their rooms as well. I don't remember who they were or what they wanted.

I don't remember much more. Upon waking, the dream did not make immediate sense to me, but the house and the landlords remind me of The Skeleton Key, which may be the best horror film ever made. That movie has a way of creeping into the unconscious. I don't recommend anyone watch it unless they want elements cast into their dreams.

My interpretation is that the dream depicted an underworld where my soul was kept until I found a way to get into this world. The way was barred, as it was for many souls, until someone or something revealed to me a secret entrance or until I found it myself after much searching. Many souls wanted to get in, but I was there first, and so I was born. The others must find their own ways.

I think the dream was inspired by reading several more pages of The Last Days of Socrates by Plato*, in which the old man is going on about immortal souls and the underworld. I read all that with disbelief. It seems to me he was flattering his ego by claiming that people like him, philosophers, would get rewarded the most in the afterlife, a typical thing for a man to believe. Humans wish to assert control over things. Death is the ultimate usurping of control, and so men weave fantasies to assert control even over death. And Socrates wished to put on a brave face before his friends as he faced death.

Then again, what if he were right, and there were souls, and what I think of as me derived from another substance, immaterial and more or less permanent? Then in that case, the dream about the house and the secret doorway was a recollection of an actual event rather than a busy exercise of a human brain in the REM stage of sleep.

* - my progress in The Last Days is slow because I seldom agree with Socrates about anything and don't think he is wise at all at least by modern standards. I can only manage a couple pages per day without putting the book down in boredom or annoyance. He was a tragic figure, not meaning harm to anyone, a seeker after truth, and I feel that he was unjustly condemned. I think instead that he should have been engaged in debate and made to defend his ideas, but maybe that is an unrealistic expectation for that time period. He had probably offended one too many of the rich and powerful.

Every time Socrates makes a pronouncement and his chorus of yes-men chime in with their immediate and unquestioning approval, I want to say, now wait just a minute, this makes no sense at all, because of X, Y, and Z. I think the book reads better when Socrates speaks in a monologue, without all the yeses, as during his Apology.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

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