Really, Subconscious Mind? REALLY?

This morning’s dream, apropos of nothing:

I was on a long trip with a friend and a group of students. We went to a…place, I suppose. We ended up picking up a pack of dogs of varying sizes along the way. We ate lunch at a tiny, tiny airport at which my friend was seduced by a weird old Wurlitzer organ and decided not to come home with the rest of us. In order to save the life of one of the critters, I ended up doing a jump and roll out of a moving vehicle. When the van stopped, one of the students came back to find me, but the van sped off. The small dog and I were walking past a farm when she found us, and I had to climb through a tractor (yeah, I don’t know what that means, either, but it accurately describes the experience), to reach her. The dog disappeared. We were told we could catch the van by taking a shortcut through the tall, tall corn.

[Note: Never, ever believe anyone who tells you that it is possible to take a shortcut through a cornfield. It is in no way possible to do this, even in a dream. The Corn never gives you up.]

Storm Over Corn 3
There are no shortcuts here. Homicidal children, maybe, but no shortcuts.

As we walked through the corn, a woman tried to encourage us into a corn maze, but we refused to turn from our path. She merely shrugged, and told us to enjoy the fair. Night was falling, and we suddenly came upon a massive merry-go-round. I took pictures of it with my phone, and caught the most stunning image of the stars (which, somehow, I couldn’t see otherwise) above and behind the circling horses. Just past the merry-go-round, the cornfield descended into a valley. At the center of the valley was a great bubble of energy and light surrounding a weirdly designed structure (a sort of Bizarro-world combo of the Guggenheim and the Sydney Opera House) of pale tan stone. We went inside, and in my head there was a warning in the form of a single word: “akousmata“. Inside was a sort of complex society in which selected people were given the opportunity to compete in a sort of battle-game for the prize of prosperity and/or social advancement. They actively competed even for the right to compete, even as the chosen were unable to give up the right to do so — there was a whole waiting room full of hopefuls trying various reality-show tricks to get attention, some of them even  wearing costumes indicating the bribe they were willing to pay. We came across a room for “Loyalists”, who I somehow understood to be ideal or professional competitors who were given the choice of sides: “good” or “evil”. Those who chose the “good” could choose again, but “evil” once chosen was a permanent assignment until victory was achieved.

My friend and I became involved in a sort of legal negotiation in order to get out of there — we had to dress in Victorian skirts and shirtwaists, with our hair done up in period style, and haggle over a complicated (and ultimately nonsensical) document with the Loyalists and their masters. I kept adjusting my wire-rimmed spectacles right before hitting a rules-“gotcha”.

Then I woke up.

All of this is apparently a warning to me from the depths of my own subconscious, and it seems to go something like this: If I want to avoid weirdo dreams about playing in the Pythagorean Akousmatic Hunger Games, I should avoid a) doing too many pushups in a single workout, and b) eating 3-bean vegetarian chili for dinner.

The Forbidden Meal…

…or something like that.


[P.S. for the classicists in the bleachers: Yes, I know the no-beans rule is an item under dispute and that it isn’t clear from the documentation we have that this was ever actually a dietary rule among the Pythagoreans. I just always thought Burnet’s list of the rules was funny. :) ]


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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