Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In the Looney Bin and Almost Lucid

I visit a live-in care home for crazy people, emotionally disturbed and retarded or physically disabled people of various ages.  The “keepers” or staff are having breakfast and invite me to sit with them and I have some of their food which is a mixture of potatoes and meat—large pieces like a stew. Then I go in among the patients to observe.  They are roaming around a courtyard that is planted with trees and flowers and looks as if it is a section of woods, pond and bog brought into the courtyard rather than a garden.  People, children and adults are roaming around in various activities, but there is something strange about them and their wanderings, something random and disturbing. 

One great huge fat young man rockets out of a cave on his belly like a gigantic otter, crushing some orchids I’d just been admiring.  I look sadly at the mashed orchids.  He is unconcerned, doesn’t even noticed, and I am disturbed and annoyed by this.  The young man disappears into the forest within the courtyard.

I need to use the bathroom* and throughout the continuing dream, I try to do this and am thwarted.  I discover that the first sets of bathrooms I find will not lock.  I decide to use one anyway, but then the director of the place, a man, comes in to ask me if I want the same thing for breakfast today as yesterday.    I say, “I will have anything, or that,:” and then realize I have to tell him about my allergies.  I am standing there with a wad of toilet paper in my hand I think I have to flush the toilet because I started and didn’t finished because I’d gotten up to check again for a lock when I heard someone coming.  Later, I find a staff bathroom with multiple kinds of locks including a special high power unlockable lock for staff, which has a long key about three feet long.  I fiddle with the lock.  I really have to use the bathroom, but it occurs to me that this seems much like a dream.  I might be dreaming, so I’d better be careful so in case I am, I don’t pee and wet the bed.  I feel, stroke, palpate the bathtub next to the toilet—it is cold and very hard, shiny, and feels like porcelain.  The toilet has no seat.  I lower myself onto the cold hard porcelain, and take a moment to consider.  It’s cold, it’s hard, it’s a real toilet and not a dream.  I pee a little, but I am afraid. Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I wake up to discover I am in fact in bed, and luckily, I did not actually pee.

*I often have dreams about needing to use the bathroom before I wake up in the morning, because, in fact, physiologically, I do need to use the bathroom.  Usually, the dream goes out of its way to thwart me, to keep me from using the bathroom until I wake up.

What does this remind you of:

I am fascinated by the workings of the mind.  The fact that within the dream, I realized I might be dreaming and had better be careful not to pee the bed interests me.  The fact that within the dream, I investigated the toilet and bathtub and found them to be HARD and COLD and shiny and smooth and in every perceivable way like a bathtub, but was still afraid to pee indicates that at some level, I knew I was dreaming.  It also shows how REAL  a dream can be, which indicates that any time we believe we are awake, we could be dreaming, which brings into question all of “reality” or the phenomenal world as we perceive it.  If in a dream, when I am laying in bed in the dark with my eyes closed, I can see light (lots of light), and flowers etc, and FEEL cold hard tubs and toilets, and in every other way experience what is convincingly real, how do I know what we call reality is real?  And not just my dream or someone else’s?

Ῠ:  note that again, I had an opportunity to become fully “lucid,” that I came close to it, but failed to realize consciously (as opposed to simply consider) that I was, in fact, asleep and dreaming.  However, this is a step closer, so I am hoping to still be able to possible do “lucid” or conscious dreaming.

The location reminds me of a home for disturbed people I visited after an accident in a blizzard.  I found it very disturbing and it haunts me.  I am writing a book about it. Or, it appears in several books I am working on.  (Discuss?)(Maybe have already been discussed multiple times?)  Why did/do I find it so distressing?  In the dream, I found it distressing.  I tend to “tune in” empathetically to various “energies” people put out, including crazy confusion, and then I feel somewhat crazily confused and disoriented.  (The dream about the loony bin is much more detailed than described above; I can no longer recall the details.)

I’ve had a fear of “The Looney Bin” ever since I was at Langley Porter and they said I would never recover.  Interesting that at the Looney Bin, I am “almost Lucid,” but not quite.  Sometimes, I think that the truly “sane” are “crazy.”  I’m not sure that being truly sane is an appropriate goal—perhaps being happy and conscious (aware) is a better goal?  No, not “happy,” because no one can be happy all the time, probably, unless they are in fact a little crazy or touched or something, but what?  Total self acceptance?  Inner calm?  None of these seem right, because sometimes, calmness is not the appropriate response to what happens—SOME core of inner calm could remain, though.  And I guess total self acceptance might be a goal, I just have trouble imagining being that forgiving of one’s foibles.  

Orchids and other rare wildflowers often get stepped on and crushed by animals, which seems somehow ironic.  I’ve also seen them crushed by young men on motorcycles, which angered and upset me.  In the dream, I wasn’t sure if that great fat young man (teenage boy?) had the ability to care about the flowers.  So I wasn’t sure whether to be sad or angry.

Sometimes, I feel as if I am becoming like that great fat boy, mashing everything in my path, and that I may have to navigate by sliding along the ground when I am too fat to walk.  Needless to say, I am upset by my weight and size.