A knock on the door before dawn. I rise groggy from another country, my heart pounding from the wild action scene I have just been in. It takes me a moment to identify where I am, and a moment more to pull on a tee-shirt and answer the door. There’s nobody there. I stick my head out and inspect the corridor, lit only by the dull orange glow of the night lights. No one – except for a dim figure with hair sticking up like white hay in the wall mirror by the bathroom. I wasn’t dressed like that in the place I’ve just returned from. My hair was neatly barbered and brushed. I pad in my bare feet towards my mirror self. As I brush my teeth, I try to pull back the details of my latest expedition, the one from which the unexplained knock at the door has recalled me. I was in Moscow. I was privy to a crisis meeting of top executives from two Western corporations who feared they were being chiseled out of their fair share of the earnings from a joint venture with Russians after taking most of the risk and laying out most of the cash. Not the kind of news I follow any more, and not a scene to which anyone would invite my regular self. Let’s see. After that meeting, I went with a Russian companion to a private club where post-Soviet cowboy capitalists hang out. There was a group of pasty, self-important men in skimpy black swimsuits by a large indoor pool. As my companion led the way towards them, one of them grabbed for something under his recliner and came up with a gun, a stubby automatic weapon. My Russina friend moved at lightning speed, wrested the gun away from him, and used it against him. The gun must have been fitted with a silencer, since the shots were almost noiseless. This rapid, ruthless action left the Moscow mafiosi shock-still. I don’t know what happened next, because the mysterious knocking at my door pulled me back into my room a continent away, from Moscow to the foothills of the Cascades. We dream in many ways, and it is important to notice that very different things may be going on in different types of dreaming. My Moscow action thriller might sound like a movie scene, but for my dream self – and my waking self, when first aroused – it was altogether real. When I ask, “Whose body am I in?” I have no doubt that it is my own body, though it has been used somewhat differently than the body in which I am typing this, and has the attentions of the kind of tailor I haven’t frequented in decades. For an equally long period, I have led a peaceable life devoted to teaching, writing and healing, and building my dream school. I don’t follow the news closely. I have no access to corporate bosses and no inclination to run around with secret agents or get anywhere near shoot-em-ups. But my dream self seems to be leading a very different life. Jung might call this “compensation”, meaning that what goes on in dreams may give us a taste of a life unlived in ordinary days. Thus the ascetic priest (in a Theophile Gautier story) spend his nights as a randy libertine. This explanation doesn’t satisfy me. Nor does the scenario of the old “Quantum Leap” TV series, in which the hero is catapulted into different bodies to manage different crises – though I have dreams like this too. No, I think that I was recalled by the knock on the door from an adventure of one of my parallel selves, a self who made different choices from the man writing this line – a fellow (for example) who remained an international journalist able to open doors all over the world, ever-eager to predict the next moves in the great game of nations. What would you be doing if you had stayed in that marriage you left, or the old job, or (alternatively) had taken that risk and gone off to Samoa instead of taking that postgrad degree? In dreams, you can find yourself in the thick of the alternate lives you may be leading now, among the possibly infinite parallel universes that leading-edge physicists tell us are a probability. The unexplained knock on the door pulled me out of a parallel life adventure. It cut my experience short, but may have gotten me out of trouble; I’m sure there was more gunplay ahead. Knocked out of the dream, I retained something, a vivid flash of memory that might have slipped away completely had I made a smoother return from that other country. So perhaps I should give thanks to the unknown fist at my door that pulled me back. But wait a minute. On which side of the door was the knocking? To read the original blogpost, please click here. www.mossdreams.blogspot.com
by Robert Moss
Robert Moss leads innovative programs all over the world and is actively engaged in research projects that include the applications of conscious dreaming techniques to healing and care for the dying; creative innovation and conflict resolutions; dream education in schools; and future science. His many publications include Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life (Crown), Dreamgates: An Explorer's Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination and Life Beyond Death(Three Rivers Press), Dreaming True, the novels The Firekeeper and The Interpreter, the popular audio series Dream Gates: A Journey into Active Dreaming (Sounds True), The Dreamers Book of the Dead, The Three “Only” Things — tapping the power of Dreams, Coincidence & Imagination, The Secret History of Dreaming and Active Dreaming.