It is a long while since I bothered entering a dream into my Dream Diary, but last night's dream was remarkable and deserves a mention. This dream was remarkable for being 100% in the "problem resolving" genre.
I dreamed that it was a bright, sunny morning. An ideal day for hill-walking, but I was committed to attending a conference in town, a consumer consultation on how best to present contours on maps for hill-walkers/ mountain-climbers. No doubt I would be confined all day to a stuffy hotel room. I had in mind to suggest a few things myself: printing of maps for individual hikes, rather than a whole county on a map; printing the maps on plastic, waterproof paper; "print-on-demand" maps, where a client would select the needed area on a computer screen, in a shop in town or online, and the individual map would be printed on the spot, rather than having to have a store of pre-printed maps. I doubted the consultant engaged in the consultation would, however, have any function to absorb strange suggestions, but merely be confined to assessing how consumers would react to a number of different options to be presented.
Another reason why I want to head for the hills, is that I wanted to try out my new "invention" for mountain snacks: a balanced diet in a single, easily prepared, food, that could be held in a plastic tub and eaten with a spoon. This snack would be simply Chia Seeds, (a super-food of the Aztecs) steeped in (an equal quantity of) water for five minutes to form a paste, and enhanced by flavourings such as herbs or spices. My particular choice of flavouring at the moment would be lightly cooked Bramley apples mixed into the chia paste. Chia seeds provide fibre (30%), vegetable oils including unsaturated fats and omega 3 oils (30%), protein (20%) and carbohydrate (20%), so are a complete balanced diet in themselves. They are also rich in minerals and some vitamins. Bramley apples are richer in vitamin C than oranges and give a nice tang. I would also consider adding a spice such as cinnamon or coriander.
As I walk out towards the bus, somewhat dejected at having to go to a stuffy conference while the hills are beckoning, I meet two of my neighbours, Ronnie and Michael, spiritedly bouncing along. They are, in fact, heading for the mountains, and, what's more, they are being paid for it! The Department of Education has woken up to the need to get children out of the obesity culture that has spread over the last number of generations, and restore de Valera's dream of "an athletic youth." Mountain-walking has been at last recognised as a suitable educational activity, teaching map-reading, organisational skills (organising walking groups, bus routes, and so on), nutrition (how best to cater for refuelling needs on the mountain-side), nature study and even maths, as well as enhancing fitness. My two neighbours have received a contract of employment from the department to lead groups of school-children on educational mountain-walking expeditions.
Dream skips to the end of the day and I meet Ronnie and Michael, both dejected. They have been sacked from their new jobs. Why? Well, to have an effective, educational walking trip, you need to provide the students with maps. They went and printed out the maps on the school computers; used up a supply of paper needed for other things, and used the computers for this activity which had not been approved by the school principal; so they were fired. Ah well, how often are government schemes blighted by failure to provide miniscule resources at the implementation level? It may also be a reminder that approval or appointment from the Department is not enough: you also need the support of the local tyrant, in this case the school principal.
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Friday, 12 February 2016
I have not posted a dream for some months. That's the way it goes with dream-watching. We keep it up for a while and then lose interest and give attention to more important things.
Today I was leafing through old documents and came across a memorandum of a dream that occurred on 22 January 2014, as follows:
Today I was leafing through old documents and came across a memorandum of a dream that occurred on 22 January 2014, as follows:
Last night (22 January 2014) I had another psychic dream. I dreamt of somebody winning a large amount of money. This morning, I woke to hear on the radio news of a betting coup that took the bookmakers for several million, Paddy Power alone losing one million.
This recalls a dream I had some years ago of a flood in Cabra, to wake to the radio news of an actual flood in Cabra.
My children, Niamh and Tomas, had experiences of vague dreams about tsunamis in advance of actual tsunamis.
Of course there is more to a dream than the coincidence with outside events. These coincidences are probably only a device used by the subconscious mind to alert us to the importance of the dream itself – in relation to some aspect of our own life. The challenge this morning is to decipher the personal message of last night’s dream.
When I dreamt of a flood in Cabra, the message concerned the break-up of my family. In the dream, the flood, which was more extensive than in real life, prevented the family leaving the Phoenix Park, where we had been having a good time together. Having prevented our exit by the Cabra gate, the flood then invaded the Phoenix Park and caused the separation of the family, as my wife fled the flood with two of the children, while I led the other two to high ground, where we were isolated. Afterwards, when the flood receded, and I re-united with my wife, two of the children were missing. The flood was a metaphor for life. This metaphor often occurs in people’s dreams, and gives rise to the phrase “River of Life.” The message was that the River of Life was about to bring about the break-up of the family, which soon afterwards happened in the shape of Niamh going off to Australia and Ronan going to live as a scholar in Trinity College.
So, on to the details of last night’s dream:
It begins with the family travelling in a double-decker bus. Diarmaid is driving the bus. Instead of the driver sitting in front of the bus and downstairs, Diarmaid was sitting at the back, upstairs. This had obvious disadvantages, but it had the advantage that he could see how the bus occupied the road as he travelled along. The journey was hazardous. I was afraid that the rest of us, dispersed around the bus in front of him, were occluding his view, but he kept assuring me that he could see fine. He did not use the breaks. Perhaps they were not working. The bus kept trundling along and had to swerve this way and that to avoid obstacles. It took up approximately half the road, so when he had to veer out to pass a parked car, he had to veer back in again snappily to avoid oncoming traffic.
Then we came to the gate of the Phoenix Park, a gate kind of like the North Circular Road Gate in real life. We had to turn right, across the oncoming traffic, to enter the park, and there was some doubt in my mind as to whether the gate was wide enough for the bus. It proved just about wide enough, and the traffic leaving the park held back sufficiently for us to pass through the gate and swing to the right to follow a road around the periphery, heading up towards Cabra and then Castleknock.
Is there any significance that this psychic dream returns to the same venue as the other dream of twenty years ago? I don’t know. What are the characteristics of the Phoenix Park in my family life? It is a place where we often enjoyed family outings when the children were young.
Eventually, after many alarms connected with Diarmaid’s driving, he eventually parked by the roadside, and we all tumbled out of the bus. The day was bright and airy and we hopped and skipped along the road. Then Niamh came out with her prediction of a lottery win.
A stanza of Nostradamus, she announced, had just revealed to her the winning numbers of today’s lottery, the Euro Millions.
“O no,” I said, “you can’t ever correctly interpret Nostradamus in advance of the event he prophesises. Take what happened back in 1998 or 1999. A French expert on Nostradamus had predicted that a Russian Satellite would fall on Paris on a particular day. As a result of this, hundreds of people left Paris for the weekend, but the disaster never happened. Actually what Nostradamus predicted,” I explained, “was that ‘the King of Terror would appear in the sky’ on that date. In fact, the ‘King of Terror’ turned out to be nothing else except an eclipse of the moon. Nostradamus’ verses have two forward-looking senses,” I said, “one is to predict stellar events by reference to his great knowledge of astronomy, and the other was to prophesise things that would happen to coincide with these events. The ‘King of Terror’ appearing in the sky was not a prophesy but a prediction of a date on which an eclipse of the moon would happen. By making this accurate prediction, Nostradamus hoped to arrest some readers to the probability that the accompanying prophesy would also come true. In this case the prophesy was that a new despot would be born in Russia on that date. My guess is that he meant ‘political birth’ rather than actual birth, and that the object of his prophecy is Vladimir Putin.”
What a lecture I was giving!
“When political leaders hold power too long, they become infected with a notion that they have some kind of divine right to rule. But segments of the population become disaffected as they cling to power. Putin has now held on too long. Russia will soon go the same way as Syria. The trouble is already beginning in the Ukraine. When demonstrations break out in Russia, Putin will suppress the riots violently and spark even wider uprisings until the whole country is in chaos.”
I had introduced Nostradamus to the family one Halloween, when the kids were getting too big for going around the houses doing trick or treat, and I looked for something spooky to excite imaginations as we cracked nuts.
My lecture was cut short when we all became aware that Diarmaid was missing. Nostradamus was put on the back-boiler. We anxiously retraced out steps towards where the bus was parked, but there was no bus there!
We had a fairly extensive engagement with a group of gardaí, even in a garda station or van, but they had no knowledge of Diarmaid’s bus or his erratic driving. We had an encounter with road-workers who were laying tar on the road, somewhere around where the bus had been parked, but they had not seen Diarmaid either. Then a fellow with a bike said to me, “Why don’t you ask Nellie O’Dee?” Now, I didn’t know any Nellie O’Dee. “Who?” I said. “Nancy O’Donnell,” he said: “we just call her Nellie O’Dee.” No wiser, I followed the direction his finger pointed and saw some people camping on the other side of the road. They could be set-dancers, or, alternatively, people involved in drugs, or maybe just campers. I went looking for Nancy O’Donnell, and was pointed to a girl who said she had called Diarmaid over to give him a present (which she had held for him since Christmas). She said Diarmaid had told her he had better not leave the bus where it was, but take it to a bus-park, and assumed that that was where he was gone.
Now Niamh announced that she had just nipped into a shop and bought a Euro-Millions lottery ticket and had won the millions. She showed me the Nostradamus stanza, and, by the hokey, there was the prediction, clear as day. The date of the win was absolutely clear. The verse went on to refer clearly to two politicians of our era. When you took their names and coded them into numbers, you got two numbers. Multiply these two numbers together and you get a large number. Breaking this large number into two-digit numbers gave you today’s lottery winners.
The Diarmaid adventure being forgotten, a happy atmosphere once again prevailed.
The mystery of how the subconscious mind knows about current events, (flood in Cabra, gambling coup, tsunamis), remains, but is trivial as regards my personal emotional life. That the flood, of my dreams, being the River of Life, brings change to my life is clear. But what emotional event is indicated by our bus adventure and Niamh’s imaginary lottery win? Why the bus and why the Phoenix Park?
I imagine that each of the participating children represent some aspect of my own personality. I had a dream once of my wife being swept away by a torrent, and a new life emerging. That turned out to be me finalising my decision to take early retirement from my civil service job, (a constant in my life for 40 years, like a wife), to embark on a new career as consultant.
What aspects of my life or personality do each of my children stand for in my dream world? Diarmaid is the artist, creative and unpredictable. Ronan is the mathematician and stability personified. Tomás is the actor and performer. Niamh is the teacher, adventurer and psychologist.
Surely Niamh is not the person with the mathematical focus to extract dates from obscure verse, translate names into numbers and perform strange mathematical processes! She must represent the teaching or preaching area of my psyche. So the dream seems to predict some new direction in the preaching or teaching area of my life!