I had a dream some nights ago, in which………:
……..I’m about to enter a park of some sort. At the entrance there’s a large amorphous machine made of seemingly tangled metal (rather like a crashed car). It is issuing a message – either verbally or psychically – that says “The individual is nothing”.
I assume, while in the dream, that the machine is implying that it is the family and society that are everything. A friend, who I’ll call Tom, is either with me, or just inside the park. I say to him, “that machine is saying what you’ve always said”.
I continue walking with Tom into the park – I think to join up with his wife, who I’ll call Tess, and some other people. I know I’m late, and think Tess won’t like this, and will be angry. Tom says don’t worry, because he knows I’m coming from doing something else (or am coming from elsewhere). So Tess will understand.
Tom – who is one of the few people here who isn’t spooked out by very old men like me, and who I meet up with occasionally – is of the Chinese culture, and has reminded me, in fact, many times that in the Chinese culture, the importance of the individual is as nothing, compared with the importance of the family and society.
Upon waking from this dream I wondered if it was of any significance, for, despite being a retired General, I interest myself in things that Generals aren’t supposed interest themselves in – like our dreams. I felt instinctively that this dream – coming, I thought, from deep within my psyche – was telling me something about myself that I’ve been ignoring.
So, why was it telling me that “the individual is nothing”?
Clearly, it was because, in clinging tenaciously to this earthly life for so inordinately long, I’ve been tacitly saying to myself that the individual (my individual self) is everything – so much everything that I can’t “let go” of it. My dream was telling me to “let go” and to just go gently into that good night, where all my family and old friends have already gone.
What, then, about the “…… large amorphous machine made of seemingly tangled metal (rather like a crashed car)…..” in my dream?
Since such a badly damaged car implies death, my own forthcoming death was another of this dream’s important themes. Perhaps, then, the park I was entering into in the dream, represented the Realm I’ll enter when I breathe my last.
In my dream, I was late in entering the park, in the way I’m already late in going gently into that good night where my family and old friends understandingly await me, as understandingly as Tess awaited me in the park in my dream.