Seventy years ago, in 2016, Steven Collier became the first person in history to compile on the Internet a set of his personal dreams in which Buddhism was an element in each and every dream.
Now, in 2086, I, Frank Whitfield, have made my own commentary on that little group of dreams which are written here exactly as Collier left them. I have not altered the dreams in any way. Only my commentaries are new.
The more I have learned about Collier, the more interested I have become in his theory that dreams contain messages from God. I thought perhaps if I were to take my own look at his group of dreams about Buddhism, perhaps I would be able to discern some evidence that God communicated with Collier in those dreams.Dream of: 23 July 1975 "Buddha, Buddha"
only one right way
exists for those who try to
walk the proper path
While I was in the Gallia County Farmhouse, my paternal grandmother Mabel was cooking lunch in the kitchen. My father was sitting like Buddha on the floor of the living room.
I gazed out the front window, down the front of the hill atop which the Farmhouse sat, and toward the bridge which crossed Symmes Creek at the bottom of the hill. When the dogs began barking at approximately twenty men on the other side of the bridge, the men threw rocks at the dogs. After walking into the next room and fetching a rifle, I walked out on the front porch and shot the rifle at the men. After quickly running out of bullets, I became frightened because the men (carrying guns) had started crossing the bridge and were headed toward the Farmhouse.
Meanwhile, my grandmother was placing a delicious meal with potatoes, bread and corn on the table.
When the men reached the Farmhouse, they wanted to come inside, but I stood in the door with my gun, blocking their way. I decided, however, to allow one man inside so he could use the bathroom. While my grandmother continued working in the kitchen, my father, still sitting on the living-room floor, said, "Buddha, Buddha."
After one of the men on the porch pointed his gun at me, my father said I should also let the other men enter. I acquiesced and the poor and hungry men walked inside the Farmhouse. When one man tried to steal a potato and a piece of bread, I caught him, but I felt so sorry for him, I gave him the bread anyway. Although we did not have much food, we decided we wanted to share the food with the men. They sat in the living room while I carried the food to them, and as they ate, the filthy, dirty men became rather friendly.
We soon led the men upstairs, where everything was black from a fire which had once occurred there.
Just as the structure found in nature is evidence that an intelligent God created the physical universe, so might the structure in dreams serve as evidence that an intelligent being creates dreams. Evidence, however, is not absolute proof. For whatever reason, God does not seem to manifest himself in an absolute manner to the average person. Many pieces of evidence might point to the existence of God, but the absolute proof of God's existence remains elusive. Although Collier may have come to believe that some form of intelligence other than his own conscious mind was responsible for the structure in his dreams, he could not absolutely prove such a belief.
Dream of:16 June 1984 "Buddha In The Attic"
time robbed from god is
time which cannot be reclaimed
in this fading life
Just as I was walking into the room of a large building, I saw another fellow (about 30 years old) walking out. Inside the room was a large table on which lay what appeared to be a piece of jewelry. I walked over and picked up the piece which consisted of one large and two smaller, solid, light orange stones which were obviously gems and quite well cut. I thought that the fellow I had seen walking out was probably the owner of the jewelry and that he had left the jewelry there. Nevertheless, even though I knew that I was not the owner of the piece of jewelry, I decided to keep the piece for myself.
After quickly sticking the piece into a paper sack which I had, I walked out. I had not walked far when I saw the same fellow headed back toward the room. Seeing that he looked quite upset, I thought he was probably returning to the room to search for his gems. Nevertheless, I kept the piece anyway. I thought that I would have the piece transformed into a ring and that I would give the ring to my wife Louise.I tried to remember the size of her marriage band which I thought was two and one fourth. I thought that she, however, would probably want to wear the gem on her middle finger, which would be larger than her ring finger. Since I was unsure of the size of her middle finger, I thought I would first have to consult with her.
I finally found Louise in the building. When I pulled out the gem to show it to her, it was no longer orange, but now displayed several colors including blue and gray. The gem had an intricate design and one side had been cut straight. We both looked at the gem in amazement. Louise said something about it's being "sandstone," but I knew we were obviously looking at a valuable gem.
When I told Louise that I wanted to make a ring for her out of the gem, she wanted to know where I had obtained the piece. After I told her the circumstances in which I obtained the gem, Louise insisted that I return it. Since I was already beginning to feel somewhat guilty about having the gem, I agreed that I did need to return it.
After I left Louise to return the gem, I decided I was not simply going to leave the gem where I had found it. Instead, I decided to hide the gem somewhere and leave the owner a note explaining where to look for the gem. I wrote a simple note which said, "Your gem is someplace high."
After I left the note at the place where I had originally found the gem, I looked for someplace high to hide the gem until I ascended to the upper part of the building, toward the attic. On my way, I remembered having once seen a statue in the attic. When I finally reached the attic this time, I saw a large statue of a sitting Buddha in the rafters. With difficulty, I finally climbed up to the large statue and began scrutinizing it. I noticed an opening in the statue's chest, opened it up and found inside a smaller statue of a sitting Buddha made of greenish metal.
I attached the gem I had found to the chest of the smaller Buddha. As I did so, I had a picture of a flower in my mind. As the flower opened, it turned into a woman who seemed like Louise. Watching the occurrence was exhilarating. The woman was wearing a pretty white and yellow dress. As the unfolding continued, I saw on the woman's chest, between her breasts, a floral design of pretty yellow thread sewn into the woman's chest. The woman was smiling and the sensation was exhilarating for both of us.
I climbed back down from the attic and walked outside, where I waited for quite a while. I knew that the other fellow had found the note by now and that he was looking for the gem. Then I saw the fellow pull up in a large van. It was fairly obvious that he had not been able to find his gem and that he was going to leave without it. Since I thought I was going to have to tell the fellow where the gem was if he was going to find it, I walked over to the van and stepped into it. Once inside the van, I looked back toward the rear, and saw that the interior of the van appeared to be outfitted with living quarters, but I could not see anything clearly. There was a hallway in the van and to the left of the hallway were little rooms in which the fellow apparently lived.
Two fellows were sitting in the front of the van in the driving section. When I asked them if they were leaving, they responded affirmatively. The fellow who had lost the gem was one of those two fellows. His black hair was starting to turn gray. When I asked him if he had been looking up high, he said he had. Finally, I said, "Well, go up there where the Buddha is in the attic. Do you know where the Buddha is in the attic"
He said he did. I said, "Well, go up there and look in that Buddha and see if you can find your jewel."
He stepped out of the van and headed toward the attic. I felt pretty good because I knew he was going to find his gem.
A story can only be created by an intelligent being. The elements of a story may exist alone, but those elements can only be brought together in a story by some form of intelligence. Just as a story consists of a sequence of events, so does a dream consist of a sequence of events. The events of a dream usually follow each other and are connected to each other, one after the other, just as they are in a story. Whereas in a story, however, an intelligent being places the events in order, the elements of a dream appear in order without the certainty that an intelligent being is placing the events one after the other. Obviously, however, either the elements of a dream are placed in order by a form of intelligence or they or not. It has to be one or the other.
Dream of: 21 October 1985 "Buddha In The Well"
against themselves lose power
needed to succeed
My mother had a well in her back yard which had been covered by some old boards. Since the well looked rather dangerous, I told her I was going to try to repair it. After I walked outside and looked at the well, I found that sacks of clothes had been stacked up on the boards which covered the well. After looking through the sacks and finding some blue jeans, one pair of which was brand new, I decided I would distribute the clothes to needy people.
I looked more closely at the boards over the well and saw that some kind of covering had been placed on the boards. I took the covering off the boards and I began working on the boards, which were not in bad shape themselves, although they were loose. After I had fitted the boards together as best I could, they looked good and formed a round cover about two meters in diameter over the top of well. The more I looked at the cover, the more it reminded me of a table top.
I finally decided to place a table on top of the boards. I found a rather elegant-looking, rectangular table and set it on the boards. When I noticed that one leg of the table was sticking out incorrectly. I worked on it and tried to fix it. When I finished working, I stood back and I realized that what I had in front of me was not a table at all, but a handsome, life-sized, dark wooden statue of a sitting Buddha. It was quite lifeless, but still quite remarkable.
Suddenly the boards broke and the bottom half of the Buddha fell into the well.
Since dreams might simply be a series of disconnected images,Collier could not absolutely prove that dreams were created by an intelligent being the way stories are created by intelligent beings. Just as it was possible that life had no meaning, so was it possible that dreams had none either. Dreams might still be of interest merely for the images they produced, but without an intelligent being creating them, dreams did not tell stories. One could long ponder the question of whether dreams told stories, or one could accept Collier's faith-based answer: dreams tell stories created by some form of intelligence.
Dream of: 12 October 1986 "Epic Poetry"
the lord saith that
the righteous need not fear the
terror of the truth
I had found a large book probably 30 centimeters tall, very wide and thick. The title of the book was on the front. The book apparently contained a couple epic poems, and the title of one poem contained the word "Apollo." Since the book was written in English, it occurred to me that many, epic, English poems which had been forgotten and which no one read anymore, must exist. The poems had probably been pushed onto the back shelves of the library. I thought I might want to try to uncover some old, epic poems to see whether they contained anything worth reading.
It occurred to me that if one were writing an epic poem, the objective would be to try to express truths. I reflected how difficult it was to find something actually true. I tried to think of examples of truths and I thought something like, "Well it's not true that you shouldn't lie because there are times when a person should lie. It's not true that you shouldn't kill because there are times when you should kill. It's hard to really pinpoint some things that are true."
Nevertheless, I tried to think of something that was true and I began thinking of Buddhism. I thought how Buddha had proclaimed certain truths and I wondered if his truths were really true.
I remembered that one of his truths was that the cause of suffering was desire. It appeared to me that such a statement was probably true and that there were no exceptions to that truth. Anytime someone desired something, the person would automatically suffer.
It seemed that Buddha had developed a method of stopping the suffering, but I could not remember exactly what the method was. I thought, however, that the method involved the extinguishment of the self.
To jump from the conclusion that dreams are created by some form of intelligence, to the assertion that that form of intelligence is God, is quite a leap, especially since no absolute proof of the existence of God can be given in the first place. The best evidence which Collier could offer for the assertion that dreams are created by God were the messages which he claimed to uncover in his story-like dreams. Even more persuasive, he found, were the messages which he claimed to uncover when groups of dreams were assembled together in what he came to call dream-epics. He would call the central messages from such a group of dreams a "dream moral."
Dream of: 07 August 1987 "Phosphorescent Buddha"
the voice of god sometimes yields
Two enemy armies were assembled on a large battlefield. Although the men appeared to be dressed in battle garb such as might have been worn by the ancient Greeks or Romans, the soldiers appeared quite sophisticated in their methods of fighting. Although physical prowess was still important to them, the battle apparently would be waged on a spiritual, perhaps mystical, level.
I identified with a strong muscular warrior on one side. He was dressed in battle gear and appeared to wear a metal breast plate and a sort of robe or skirt which fell toward his knees. Although I was not he, I perceived the scene from his vantage point and I shared his experiences.
This particular warrior was going to be important in the coming battle and his actions would determine the outcome of the war. The side he was on had only perhaps one tenth the number of warriors as the other side. Therefore, to win, some extraordinary measures would need to be taken. It was decided that the warrior must make a quick journey to a place where another warrior with superhuman powers was located, and bring the superhuman back to fight in the battle. The superhuman was practically unconquerable.
The warrior was not thrilled at the idea of making the journey, but he quickly saw that the journey must be undertaken. The warrior began walking among the other warriors as they cleared a path for him. As he walked, I saw what he saw. He was in the process of feeling the strength within him and in so doing, a bluish phosphorescent image of a Buddha formed in front of him and acted as sort of a light clearing his path. The power of the Buddha was quite stark and that power reverberated in the warrior. I also felt it.
The warrior began his journey to find the superhuman. He first traveled deep into the earth on circular steps which descended down a vertical tunnel. Although the descent seemed interminable, the warrior finally reached the bottom and stepped out onto a field with sky overhead. He had expected to find another army and the superhuman there. Instead, the fields were deserted and from the looks of the area, a battle had clearly taken place and the army he was seeking had retreated under the assault of superior forces.
The warrior began tracking the route of the retreat over fields and through broken fences. He traveled on and on.
Eventually, I found myself in the middle of a battle. Considerably fewer soldiers were on my side than on the other side. My fellow soldiers and I were completely surrounded and it appeared the enemy was about to begin bombarding us with arrows. I was ready to fight and I felt little fear, although I was concerned about not having a shield and about not having a chance to actually fight because of being killed by an arrow.
Finally, I was called in front of one of my superiors and told that I must search for the warrior with the extraordinary powers. Apparently the warrior was in San Antonio. I knew I was quite a ways north of San Antonio, although I did not know exactly how far. Clearly San Antonio would be difficult to reach because enemy troops were between San Antonio and me.
Ultimately I ended up headed toward San Antonio in an old, beat-up car being driven by John Smith (an acquaintance from my late teens). It did not occur to me that John Smith had died several years ago, although being with him did seem a bit strange.
John seemed to be driving a bit recklessly and suddenly as we sailed around a curve, I saw that he was going to run off the road into a green field. I prepared myself for the crash. The car rolled over, but finally it turned back over on its wheels and I realized that neither John nor I had been injured.
We both stepped from the car and looked it over. It looked a bit damaged, but as if it might still run. We both boarded the car and prepared to set off again.
The common moral which I believe may be derived from this set of Buddha dreams is simply this: God communicates with humans in dreams. The beneficial messages contained in Collier's dreams served as evidence for Collier that not only were the stories in his dreams created by an intelligent being, but that that intelligent being was actually God, a benevolent being which chose dreams as a method of communicating with humans. The proof of the truth of this belief was not to be found in some abstract philosophical logic, but in the result of following the messages contained in dreams. Collier believed that by following the messages contained in dreams, he would understand more clearly the will of God.
Dream of:30 August 1994 "Teachings Of Buddha"
in whatever unhappy
place you find yourself
My father was talking with me about gem stones. Since I was thinking of trying to acquire some gems, I asked him if he knew how much the dealers in gems marked up the prices. He did not seem to know, but I told him I thought dealers probably marked up the prices 100 percent, which seemed huge, and I wondered if I could obtain gems somewhere else besides through a dealer. I also wondered what kind of stones I wanted and I tried to remember their names. The name "rhinestone" came to mind and I thought about the song "Rhinestone Cowboy," but I did not think that I was thinking about acquiring rhinestones.
My father wanted me to accompany him to his home, about an hour away by car. I did not want to go at first, but I acquiesced, left with him, and rode along in the front seat of a car which he was driving. As we traveled through the countryside, I thought about how I should not be wasting my time just riding around like that. At the same time, I thought, my father's home was only an hour away. I also began thinking I needed to try to be more satisfied with whatever situation I was in, and not complain. Being satisfied and not complaining seemed to me to be one of the teachings of Buddha. The word "Buddha" repeated itself several times in my mind, and I thought I might try to discuss the topic with my father.
Collier looked at dreams as extensions of God, as embodiments of God. God communicated in dreams not only in images and words, but in emotions. Communication with God was indeed pleasurable. Implementing God's commandments as those commandments were revealed in dreams was ecstasy. To implement all such commandments might even be nirvana, might be ultimate enlightenment. Since the primary commandment to Collier was to publish books of dreams, Collier's pleasure was intensified when Collier wrote his books of dreams because more than anything in the world, Collier loved publishing books of dreams. How ironic that the thing which Collier loved most was exactly the thing which God most wanted Collier to do.
Dream of: 20 July 1996 "The Tear"
dreams may embody
the beneficent will of
god in story form
A set of wooden stairs rose to a door on the second floor of a large frame house. After I had mounted to the top of the stairs, two people met me at the door and allowed me to enter. I had come to the house knowing a play was going to take place on the second floor, a play which would encompass the entire floor.
Once inside, I strolled through the first room and into the second room, which only contained a bed sitting against the wall. Although I could hear people in the following room, I decided that this room would be a good place from which to watch the play. Since I understood that the spectators could sit anywhere they wanted, and that the play would take place all around the spectators, I settled down on the bed. It looked as if I were the only audience which had arrived. Of course it was Wednesday afternoon, I reflected, and not many people attended plays on weekday afternoons.
Since no one else was near me, I decided to sit in a meditative pose. I crossed my legs in front of me, placing one foot atop the other. With my legs in place, I debated which way I would hold my hands. I finally decided to place my hands in front of me with the tips of my thumbs touching each other in a typical Buddhist position. At first I interlaced my fingers together, thinking that such interlacing was a more casual-looking way of holding my hands. When the position did not feel quite right, however, since I did not think that anyone was watching me anyway, I placed one hand on top of the other in a more formal fashion. When I also leaned my back against the wall, I noticed that sitting in this fashion forced out my stomach and made me appear fat. I straightened up my back until my back was not touching the wall and until my stomach looked flat.
I closed my eyes and almost immediately slipped into a meditative state. I could feel a perceptible variance in my mind as I became clear and focused. I was able to concentrate without the pain which concentration sometimes brought.
I soon found myself concentrating on one of my dreams. I had been thinking about the dream earlier, and now thoughts of the dream returned to me again. Although I knew that I should have written the dream when I had it, I had been too tired, and I had not done so. Now I was trying to remember the details of the dream to fix them in my memory so I would be able to write the dream later.
In my dream, what I was supposed to be doing with my life had been revealed to me: studying mathematics. Even at this belated date in life, I needed to return to college and study mathematics. In the dream, the idea of throwing myself completely into the study of mathematics had engulfed me with a beautiful intensity. As part of the feeling, I had received a vision of a series of triangles ascending step-like into a cloudy blue sky. As I had concentrated on the triangles, a word had come to me: "Griff." It had been revealed to me that "Griff" was an important concept which was essential to comprehend if I wanted to understand triangles.
I could not remember any more of the dream. What now intrigued me most was the word "Griff." I mulled the word over, trying to comprehend its meaning. I had the feeling that "Griff" was a concept which had something to do with one side of a triangle. Although the word "Griff" made no sense to me, the word had indeed appeared in my dream. I thought, therefore, that I might need to analyze the meaning of the word. I began by trying to think of other words with similar sounds. At first the word "grip" came to mind, but that word did not seem to fit. Then suddenly, the solution came to me: "Donna Griffiths." The word "Griff" might be referring to Donna Griffiths, a woman with whom I had been exchanging dreams on the Internet. I was unsure whether Donna's last name actually contained two "fs," but I thought it did. The more I ruminated, the surer I became that "Griff" must refer to Donna.
I still felt that the concept of a triangle was involved in this riddle, but I failed to see the connection between Donna and triangles. I knew that I had never met Donna in person, and that I had only communicated with her over the Internet. Since she and I belonged to a small group of people who had been exchanging dreams with each other on the Internet, I thought perhaps the sides of the triangle stood for the number of members in our dream group. I recalled that four of us were in the group. I reflected, however, that a triangle only had three sides. However, when I thought about one of the other members of the group named "John Jacobs" (whom I referred to as "JJ"), the idea of a triangle with JJ, Donna and me seemed to make sense. The triangle of us three especially made sense when I thought about studying mathematics, because I thought JJ would have had extensive experience with mathematics.
Since I knew that JJ had studied engineering at MIT, I thought he clearly would have far more knowledge of mathematics than I. He might even be skeptical of the idea of my now beginning to study mathematics. He, however, did not fully comprehend the depth of my abilities in this area. Although it was true that I had not devoted time to studying mathematics as JJ had, I did have the inherent ability to do so. I thought that JJ would understand this, and that he would even encourage me. I also thought JJ would understand my desire because of a closeness between him and me which allowed us to understand each other well. There was a depth in our unusual relationship which allowed me to respect and even admire JJ.
Still in my meditative state, I gradually became aware that the play had begun. Although my eyes were completely closed, I could now clearly hear the dialogue taking place. Nothing was happening in the room to my left, the first room which I had entered and where the stair was located, but from the room to my right, which seemed to be the kitchen, I could hear people talking.
As the play progressed, the actors would sometimes enter my room, continue talking, and then return to the other room. Having the audience sit right in the middle of the action seemed to me like a wonderful way to perform a play. At the moment, I seemed to be the only spectator in the room, perhaps in the entire house. I thought the actors would probably not mind the way I was sitting with my eyes closed in a meditative state. They might even find that seeing someone in a meditative pose and listening to their play was refreshing. The actors might also realize how well I was able to concentrate in this position, and how involved I was becoming in the play. It almost seemed as if I were somehow a part of the play.
I knew that the play had been written by a woman, and that all the action took place in the upstairs of a house. As the play continued, I also realized something was quite sad about it. Concentrating on the sadness in the play, I perceived a tear had formed in my right eye and was slowly rolling down my right cheek. I hoped the actors would not see the tear and become distracted by it. If the actors did note the tear, I hoped they would simply take the tear as a symbol of something. I seemed to recall that I had heard stories about Buddha and how he would sometimes communicate to people with signs instead of words. I even seemed to recall a story in which Buddha had communicated to someone with a single tear on his cheek, just like mine. I myself was unsure what the tear meant, but I felt as if it meant something.
By now the play's action had shifted into my room, all around me. The action was so strong that even though my eyes were closed, I could visualize the actors. I saw one blond-haired boy (13-14 years old) standing in front of me and looking at me. I knew what he was going to do next, even before he did. He moved closer and closer to me, finally reached out, and lightly, but maliciously, slapped me on my right cheek. I instantly opened my eyes in a start and snapped out of my meditation. The boy recoiled and immediately realized that he had done something wrong.
Irate and nervous, I looked to my left and was surprised to see several people sitting there. I angrily jumped to my feet, then hesitated for a moment about whether I should say anything. Finally directing myself to a woman sitting nearby who was apparently the mother of the boy, I shrieked, "Your son just accosted me!"
All the people looked chagrined and abashed by what had happened. One fellow also had tears streaming out of both of his eyes. His tears made me realize that I had not been the only person shedding tears. I had the feeling, however, that the fellow was crying not because of the play, but because he felt bad that I had been awakened. Feeling somewhat embarrassed, I sat back down. I wondered if I should have jumped up like that – like an hysterical woman. I knew I sometimes reacted too stridently in tense situations, but I thought that under the circumstances, my outburst had been appropriate. Besides, my reaction had been somewhat subdued, probably tempered by the peacefulness engendered by meditation. Still, I felt shaky, as if I had gone too far by screaming, and I tried to smile at several people to show that I was now calm and again under control.
Continuing to glance around the room, I noticed something else: on my right lay a strong, husky man (probably in his mid 30s) stretched out on the bed. Immediately perceiving him to be the amiable sort, I struck up a conversation. It seemed there was a break in the action of the play, so we were able to talk. I began by talking about the play and the author, who I thought was Willa Cather. I told the man, "I read one of her books once."
I told him I could not remember the name of the book, but I added, "I remember it was very convoluted."
I recalled that all the action in the novel had taken place in a small restaurant/store, and that the story had been extremely complex. Actually the book contained many stories rolled into one. As we talked, I noticed that a book by the author was lying on the bed and I picked it up. I opened the book and on the first two pages saw a list of books which the author had written. The title of each book had a small picture beside it. I began looking through the titles, trying to find the title of the book which I had read.
Meanwhile the man continued to talk. At first I thought I was going to like him, but then he said something which made me realize how shallow he actually was, something about having "read the Lord." I intuitively knew he was talking about the Bible. He was expressing a concept which I had heard before, that the Bible was the physical embodiment of God, that the Bible was actually part of God. For me the concept was hollow, which indicated that the man had a deluded image of God. I could see that he and I were going to have little in common.
The more Collier focused on his books of dreams, the more serene he became. After all, Collier believed that his books were written to a large extent by God, and that he (Collier) was merely transcribing God's creation. If Collier's philosophy rested upon any particular precept, it was the belief he (Collier) was not the creator of his dreams. Collier's dreams were surprises which were communicated to his sleeping mind. Although Collier was a participant in the affairs of his dreams, the setting was provided by God.
Dream of: 13 December 1996 "Right Thought"
only one way of
right thinking exists and all
others must be wrong
It had suddenly occurred to me that it might be a good idea for me to write a book on the subject of "right thought." I was thinking that there must be some rules or methods which a person could follow in order to improve the quality of thought. If I could discover those rules or principles, then I could improve my own thoughts. This seemed to me like a most prudent path to take, for I conceived of my thoughts as being the basis for whatever else transpired in my life.
As I thought about the subject, I realized that I had previously encountered the idea of "right thought" in Buddhist doctrine. I recalled that there were eight "rights" altogether, such as "right action" and "right speech" – I could not remember what the others were, but at least I knew that my idea was not completely crazy, and that other people had also considered the subject. If I were to write a book, however, the book would not be in the Buddhist tradition, even though I might be able to delve more into Buddhist philosophy and obtain some ideas therefrom.
Mostly I would be writing the book for myself. If I could learn the principles for "right thought," perhaps I could establish some control over my own thoughts, which all too often seemed worthless and out of control. Surely I could make some improvements if I would just think more about the subject of "right thought."
Collier claimed that at times, at least, he strove to make himself a living proof that God communicates to humans in dreams by focusing on God's central command to Collier that Collier publish books of dreams. Each of those books was said to contain a "dream moral" which expressed a lesson from God. The dream moral of Collier's first book of dreams about Buddha in 2016 was simple: God communicates to humans in their dreams.
Dream of: 02 February 1997 "The Nature Of God"
the nature of god
reveals itself in dreams of
I had taken a seat at a table in a large empty room which seemed to have windows for walls, allowing the light to flow in. Two other fellows (both probably in their late 20s) had also sat down at the table - one straight across from me, and the other at the side of the table on my left. Although I could not distinctly see the fellow across from me, the fellow on my left had dark curly hair.
Even though none of us knew each other, we had assembled for a specific purpose: to talk about God. At least I had originally thought our purpose was to have a discussion about God, but now as I sat there, I began to realize that we had not yet defined our topic. Since I now was not completely sure what we would discuss, I sat and listened to the other two talk to each other. They seemed unconcerned whether I took part in the discussion. The curly-haired fellow on my left undertook the bulk of the conversation, and I soon suspected that he was a Christian. Discovering whether the fellow was indeed a Christian would be important for me, for if he were a Christian, our discussion of God would not lead us far. In the past I might have found that engaging a Christian in a debate about the nature of Christianity worthwhile, but I no longer found that arguing about whether one religion or the other was the true religion was productive. It had become evident to me that all religions were false at their cores, and that the only way to truly learn of God's nature was to put the religions aside.
When I was ready to begin my conversation, I did not want to start out by attacking the fellow. For example, asking, "Are you a Christian?" seemed too blunt to me. So when I finally had the fellow's attention, I began my speech by asking, "Do you believe in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism?"
I knew that many more religions existed, but these particular ones seemed to represent a sufficient number of religions for me to put across my point. I thought by asking my question in this way, the fellow could see that if he professed belief in one of the religions, he would in effect be declaring that all the other religions were wrong – because it was a fact that if any one of these religions were true, the others must necessarily be false. Perhaps the fellow would even be able to make the leap to realize that if the other religions were false, and that if so many people blindly believed in those false religions, that perhaps he also had made a mistake by believing in his religion.
I did not really expect such an awakening. If the fellow did indeed consider himself to be a Christian, the odds of his changing his mind were almost zero. This was the lesson that I had learned for myself: when people were trapped in the quagmires of their various religions, it did not behoove me to try to pull them out. I should simply relish my own liberation, and realize that these people were sinking of their own accord. Of course I also realized that my having a conversation about God with someone who believed in one of these religions would be pointless. At one time such discussion might have been helpful for me, but I was past such useless prattle. No, I wanted a purer, more undistorted vision of God.
The fellow seemed confused and taken aback by my question about his belief. As I stood and elucidated further, he seemed surprised by my words. I noticed how clear my speech was, and how I used several large words – not trying to impress the fellow with my vocabulary, but simply trying to be precise. Clearly the fellow was trying to reassess me, realizing that he had underestimated me.
What he thought, however, did not matter much to me. I just wanted to reach the subject of whether he was a Christian. If he were, I would try to make my departure as graciously and as swiftly as possible. Since a chance still existed that the fellow was not a Christian, however, the possibility remained that he and I could have an enlightening discussion about God. I felt a need for that, a longing really, to delve more and more into, and to discuss with sharp minds, the nature of God.
If one could actually receive a message from God, even a message of the slightest significance, then one might have absolute proof that God actually exists. Such proof, however, may not actually be forthcoming. One may live a better life by adhering to the messages which one receives in one's dreams, even though such better life still does not absolutely prove the existence of God. One may still be left with agonizing belief, instead of liberating knowledge, no matter how diligently one adheres to the commandments of God which are discovered in dreams. That is, unless God actually does exist, and actually does reveal the absolute proof thereof to the dreamer.
Dream of: 02 March 1998 "Message From God"
dreams contain many
communications from god
for awakened ones
I was investigating a woman (20-25 years old) who apparently had disappeared. I had not been able to find out much about her, but I had learned that she had used hallucinogenic drugs for a while.
I also learned that she had appeared in a video, a copy of which I found and began viewing. Although I had trouble following the video, the action appeared to be taking place in a Buddhist temple where Buddhist priests were standing here and there. Apparently the woman had once before been in the temple, and she herself may have even filmed the video.
Suddenly I heard a loud clang, as if from a bell or from cymbals, and I suddenly saw a theme developing in the movie: that God sometimes communicates directly with people. As I watched the video, I seemed to glide down toward the screen, and as the images on the screen became larger and larger, I realized that God was communicating to me right now. I was unsure, however, of the message, other than the simple message that God does indeed communicate with people.
Whether God actually communicated to Collier in Collier's dreams has become a conundrum down through the ages, but I would define a prophet as a person who communicates the will of God to other people. To say that God communicates to people through the dreams of his prophets seems so utterly ridiculous that one would wonder about the authenticity of the dream of the seven cows. Yet the mere fact that intellectual beings inhabit the earth seems equally mysterious. God appears to work in very mysterious ways and communicating to men in their dreams may well be one of those ways.
Dream of: 13 July 1998 "Buddhist Music"
to someone through a dream is
a highly skilled art
In a Buddhist temple which I had recently begun visiting, I was thinking about frequenting the temple even more, perhaps even living there. Other members of the temple were seated in the room and everyone had a musical instrument. I had my silver flute which I had not played in a very long time. However, since the others were apparently preparing to play music together, I thought I should probably try to join them. I held the flute in my hands, trying to remember the fingerings. I had problems, especially since the head of the flute seemed to belong to a musical instrument other than the flute. When the others began playing their music, however, I managed to figure out where my fingers should go, and I also began playing.
Although I was surprised by how precise and clear were the notes emanating from my flute, I was aware that I was not playing the same music as the others. I was playing a little tune on my own, trying my best not to be in discord with the sweeping music of the other Buddhists, but aware that the tune I was playing was definitely different from theirs.
Abruptly the others stopped playing and I could hear someone complaining about how the flute playing did not comport with the rest of the orchestra. I felt abashed and uncertain what to do. A man (probably in his mid 30s) who seemed to be dressed in white and who seemed to be in charge of the temple stepped up to me. He seemed strong but not threatening. He quickly engaged me in conversation and questioned me about my abilities with the flute, and as we talked, I realized just how important the flute was to me. Although I had badly neglected the flute for a long time, I felt as if the flute was an important part of me and that I should focus my attention on playing it again. Just holding the flute my hands made me feel good.
As the man seemed concentrated on determining whether I could learn to play along in the Buddhist orchestra, I realized that I did want to play with them, and that I was willing to work to be a part of the orchestra. When the man asked me if I knew how to read music, I told him I had a "rudimentary" understanding of written music. I said I could both read and write music, but then I corrected myself and explained that what I meant by "writing" was that I could write the notes, although I did not know how to compose music. I told him I knew how to write a "C" note and I knew how to write other notes, such as quarter notes, half notes and whole notes. I could read music, although I had some problems reading complicated music. However, if I were given the chance, I was sure I could learn to read the music which the other Buddhists were playing.
The man seemed satisfied, although somewhat dubious, of what I was saying. Clearly he intended to give me a chance to learn to play music with the others. I realized if I were going to be successful, I would have to work hard.
Do I, Frank Whitfield, 38 years after Collier's death, sense the voice of God in Collier's dreams? Honestly, it seems that I do, which is just a little intimidating since I also have grave doubts that God ever spoke to Collier. Many common megalomaniacs probably conceive that God is communicating with them. Some, such as Buddha, may have actually communicated with God. Whether God actually communicated with Collier, however, remains in strong doubt even though the possibility that God communicated with Collier cannot be entirely ruled out.
Dream of: 25 June 2000 "Buddha And The Tornado"
the calling of art
should be heeded at all times
by those who hear it
I had joined the military. Although I was not completely certain to which branch of the armed services I now belonged, I believed I was in the navy. This belief was supported by my present location the deck of a huge navy vessel.
About 50 other soldiers were also on deck, dressed in khaki uniforms. Suddenly they all began lining up in four different lines. Sensing that I should join in, I also stepped into a line, but I quickly felt uncertain of the line I had chosen because only one other man was in my line - in front of me - while each of the other three lines contained at least a dozen men.
I was just about to change lines, when the commanding officer a tall thin man (about 50 years old) stepped on deck. Someone then began walking along each line and handing a piece of bologna to each soldier. When I was handed my piece, I felt somewhat disgusted. Although I sometimes ate meat, I felt that doing so was wrong, and I especially did not want to eat this coarse piece of bologna.
I felt confused. I sat down for a moment and tried to catch my thoughts. How could it be possible that I had joined the military? I tried to reflect, but my mind seemed groggy. I seemed to recall having had several shots of alcohol with other soldiers just before we had begun lining up, but beyond that, I drew a blank. My reasons for joining the military were completely absent. I only knew I would probably have to remain a soldier for around seven years. Incredible! How old would I be when I was released from this duty? I still had some life in me, but seven years would certainly rob me of a good hunk of it.
Suddenly, as fast as a bolt of lightening, I knew what I needed to do I needed to make a collage. I had created many collages in my life from pictures which I had cut and collected from magazines, but I had not made any collages for a long time. Now, clearly, I must make one, and the image for the collage began forming in my mind.
A threatening, black tornado would descend from the upper left corner of the collage. I reflected that I had been having many tornado dreams lately, and I had not understood why. Now, the tornado dreams seemed to make sense to me. Inside the tornado I would place pictures of various objects which in some way represented threats to me. One of those objects would be a picture which had recently been associated with one of my dreams a poster from the army with a picture of Uncle Sam which read "I want you for the United States Army." I reflected that this poster was another dream element which I had not understood, but which now made sense in the context of the tornado.
The focus of the collage, however, would be on the lower right corner where I would paste a picture of a sitting Buddha. I saw in my mind a picture which I thought I had seen in one of the copies of National Geographic which I had accumulated. I would have to search for the picture, but I believed I could find it. The Buddha would be sitting serenely in the foreground, while the menacing tornado, with its debris, raced toward it, in the background.
Now, I only needed to decide whether I would make an actual collage of paper and paste, or whether I would scan the pictures onto my computer and make a digital collage. I could see advantages to both ways. I might not even use a picture for the tornado, but draw it instead. If I did so, I could draw the furious black lines of the tornado on a piece of paper, and then scan the drawing onto the computer. Or I might simply draw the tornado on the computer. Whichever method I chose, I needed to start.
Whether life has meaning for an individual depends upon whether that person's life is eternal. For ultimately, a finite life loses its meaning for the individual. A meaningful life, therefore, must be an eternal life. Yet man's understanding of spiritual life after the death of the physical body is severely limited by the lack of proof of the existence of a spiritual world. Collier looked at his dreams as possibly offering a connection to that spiritual world. Still the meaning of life continued to elude Collier, and instead of trying to understand the true meaning of life, he finally chose to simply describe the spiritual world by repeating the stories which he discovered in his dreams.
Dream of:15 February 2011 "The Curse"
the promise of death
is a promise of god heard
often in one's dreams
I was lying on a bed in a hospital. After arriving at the hospital, I had been given a shot in my left arm. Gradually I recalled what had happened to me. I remembered that I had been sitting in front of someone's house and a police officer had shot me in the leg after mistaking me for someone else.
As I lay on the bed, I noticed that my left arm was turning dark green. I looked at my right arm and saw that it was also turning green. I pulled up my pants legs and saw that both my legs were turning green. I thought perhaps a substance on the bullet had caused the problem. I hollered for the nurses, who entered the room, but as soon as they looked at me, they turned and ran screaming out of the room.
A succession of doctors came and left the room. I asked the first doctor what my chances were. He said there was one chance in three that I would start feeling intense pain. I wanted to know what my chance of survival was. I had the feeling the chances were slim, but the doctor would not tell me.
As I perceived that the doctors were obviously becoming more and more worried, I wondered if they were more worried about their own liability than about my health. One doctor was dressed differently than the others. He was wearing a sports tee-shirt with a number on the front. I thought he seemed to know what he was doing. When I asked him if he had ever handled a case like mine, he replied, "No."
Slowly I realized that I had contracted an extremely rare affliction. I told the doctors I wanted to see my father and my mother, but no one paid any attention to me. Finally, I told them I wanted to see a lawyer, and I mentioned that I myself was a lawyer. I thought I might have said the wrong thing, because I thought the doctors might now become more concentrated on their own liability than on my well-being. I began to worry that the doctors might simply try to kill me and I thought if I had the chance to speak to my father, I needed to tell him that the hospital might be liable if I died.
Quite a few people had crowded into the room, including police officers and one man dressed in a military uniform who appeared to be a general. Finally, a man and woman dressed in black suits walked into the room. The man had black hair and the woman had long black hair. Both were probably in their late 30s. As they worked on me, I became very frightened that they were going to harm me, and I pleaded with them to give me a phone so I could call my parents, but they would not listen to me.
Suddenly I had a paroxysm and seemed to be losing control of my body. I made an awful gurgling sound and seemed to be losing my ability to speak. I seemed to be lapsing into unconsciousness. My surroundings began looking fuzzy and vague. My thoughts were scrambled and I was unable to think well. I hollered out that I would curse them if they did something to me. First the man and the woman in black, then everyone else in the room burst out laughing. Intending to invoke God and curse them, I began saying, "Oh God of David, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Lao-Tzu ..."
I was going to say "Confucius" next, but I could not remember his name.
After 2016, Collier focused more than ever on compiling his dreams into the works of art which he believed God intended them to be. He delved into the reason for the creation of the universe and the existence of good and evil. He trusted that life had meaning and was therefore eternal. He believed that dreams might be a connection with the afterlife. He leaned toward the belief that God was the creator of all dreams. He focused his mind on God and sought to experience God through the stories which he discovered in his dreams.
Dream of: 26 November 2013 "When Buddha Was Buried"
to become buddha
the taint of evil must first
be washed from the mind
Doug Clifford (whom I first met when we attended the 7th grade together in 1964) and I are in a house (which somewhat resembles the Grandview Avenue House in Portsmouth, Ohio, where I lived with my mother in 1970). Clifford (around 30 years old) seems to be living in this house, although I'm not quite sure of that. Clifford's wife is also in the house.
I have a little bit of marijuana which I intend to smoke in the basement. I know that Clifford is straight and I do not think that he has ever smoked pot, or at least not more than once or twice in his life. I think that trying pot would be good for him and that he would benefit from getting high. I invite him to descend to the basement and smoke with me and he seems to agree to do so. I say, "You're going to get so happy."
After he descends to the basement with me, I light up a joint, take a couple hits, and hand the joint to him. He takes two or three hits. I wish he would take more, but he has to go back upstairs. I hope he smoked enough to feel it.
A pudgy girl (15-16 years old) walks half-way down the basement stairs and stands there. She's dressed in white and wearing a rather short skirt. As she's leaning over the banister, I hold the remaining little bit of the joint close to her face just as it goes out. My finger is so close to her face, I almost feel like tickling her chin, but I refrain. I wonder how old she is and I reflect that she's clearly too young for me. She walks back upstairs and disappears.
I see Clifford standing up at the top of the stairs. I'm wondering if he's high, but I cannot really tell by looking at him. I'm feeling the marijuana, but only moderately. Clifford reaches down and hands me a paperback book with a colorful cover on which is printed the title "Buddhism." I say something like, "I like Buddhism. I like to think about it."
I open the book and discover that one section of the book has come loose from the binding and has been stuck in the back of the book. The first page of that section has a chapter heading at the top which reads, "Hallucination." This seems like a perfect example of my belief of the relationship between Buddhism and drugs: both Buddhism and drugs are involved with the subject of hallucination. I appreciate the book and I tell Clifford that I like to think about the intricacies of Buddhism.
I abruptly have a memory of Clifford having given me something else about Buddhism just yesterday or the day before. I try to remember what he gave me and I seem to recall seeing a picture of the grave of Buddha. Recalling in my mind the picture of a freshly dug mound of dark-brown dirt under which Buddha was supposedly recently buried, I try to describe my sudden memory of the picture by blurting, "Oh, when Buddha was buried."
Eternity extends in two directions: into the past and into the future. There is no beginning and there is no end. To understand the beginning and the end would seem, therefore, impossible, since neither the beginning nor the end exists. The meaning of life, likewise, may be impossible to understand. Nevertheless, the story of good and evil begs to be told.
Dream of: 18 August 2016 "Paper Buddhas"
promises of life
eternal may be found in
the essence of dreams
I find myself walking around a huge Goodwill-type store in a city, perhaps Columbus, Ohio. It appears that a big sale is taking place - perhaps half price - and seemingly hundreds of people flock into the store and snatch up items along the lanes and in the many rooms. Ending up in a side room toward the rear where the shelves are bulging with items, I am in disbelief to see hundreds if not thousands of pictures which appear to have been cut out in contour for use in collages just the way I used to cut out many collage pictures many years ago. I think another person must have done the same thing that I did and cut these pictures out in contour to use on collages. Since I still have my large collection of collage pictures, I even think for a moment that these pictures might somehow be my collage pictures. When I scrutinize these pictures a little more carefully, however, I see that these are clearly not my collage pictures. I conclude, however, that if I were to add all these pictures to my collection, then I would have a huge collection of collage pictures. This is a once-in-a-lifetime find and I am immediately interested in acquiring these pictures. By adding these pictures to the pictures which I already have, I would have the material for creating many beautiful collages.
There are so many pictures which have been cut out in detail. They are lying scattered all over the place in piles on a table and a bench beside the table. Some similar pictures are piled together in groups. I seem to see a group of airplane pictures as well as a group of pictures of modern military armament. I definitely see a group of pictures of sitting Buddhas cut out in such detail that they almost seem to sit up from the page in three dimensional postures.
I definitely want to buy all these pictures, but there are so many, I will need something in which to carry them. I see some wicker baskets and pick up one about the size of a large Easter basket and I start filling it with pictures. Searching for a larger box, I end up in another room behind the store. An employee helps me look through the junked-up storage-room until I find a large cardboard box and head back to the pictures.
My chagrin is intense when I discover that the pictures have disappeared. Obviously someone else from the hoards of people has snatched up my pictures and taken them. I realize that I made a big mistake by leaving the pictures to look for the box. Now all the pictures are gone and I have no right to them. I have missed my chance to add all those beautiful pictures to my collage collection. I'm devastated.
At some point in my remorse, I notice that many small statues perhaps 5-10 centimeters tall are sitting on shelves around the perimeter of the room. I seem to have noticed the statues earlier, but only now do I focus my attention on them. They all appear to be hand-carved from rock and are quite beautiful. Most are beige or brown. They appear excellent and I immediately decide to buy them. As I place the statues in my flat box - just the right size to hold the statues - I turn over some of the statues to look for the price on the bottom. Seeing different prices on the bottoms, I conclude that - with the sale going on - the price of each statue will be under ten dollars.
A couple statues are made of silver metal. At first I think the metal statues are also hand-crafted, but upon closer examination of the one in my hands, I see that the statue looks more as if it were mass produced. The metal statue is not as appealing as it was at first, but I still want all the statues.
I also notice a row of much larger, hand-carved rock-statues on a higher shelf up toward the ceiling, and I probably become absorbed in looking at those for a moment because when I look back at my box full of little statues, it too has disappeared! Deeply chagrined once again, I at least think that I have a right to the little statues if I can only find the person who has absconded with my box when my back was turned. Downcast, I rush around through the rest of the huge store which is still throbbing with many customers and I begin to lose heart that I can find the person with my box of statues in such a large store. I dread the idea of confronting the person and I'm ready to give up the chase. I continue walking around the store and thinking that I'm not going to buy anything here today.
Collier was fond of saying that individual dreams tell stories, while compilations of dreams focused on the same subject can tell epics. Understanding stories and epics requires concentration, and concentration is one of the central concepts of Buddhism. I am unable to conclude that Collier himself would have claimed to have been a Buddhist, but I am sure that he believed in concentration in the stories he found in his dreams as a source of enlightenment.
Dream of: 03 September 2016 "Successful Reality Test"
to the truth of the meaning
of life may be real
I have moved to Columbus, Ohio. At the moment, my father and I are walking around the streets of Columbus and are looking for my maroon car which I have parked here somewhere. Many people are walking on the sidewalks. Since I'm unfamiliar with this downtown area of Columbus, I'm looking at all the landmarks which I see. I know that in the past I have had trouble finding my way from downtown to other areas of Columbus, so I'm trying to remember the buildings which I see so that I can establish some points of reference if I need to retrace my steps. I particularly notice one large office building which is under construction.
Since I cannot remember where I parked my car, I ask my father if he knows where the car is, but he does not seem to know either. I notice that my father is wearing a trench coat. It looks as if he's wearing house slippers and white socks - like something an old man might wear. I notice other old people also walking around.
I say something to my father about how it looks as if I'm going to be living in Columbus. I have left Portsmouth and it seems as if everything has led me to living in Columbus. Even though Columbus does not seem like the ideal place for me, here I am, so I might as well get used to it.
As I continue looking for the car, my father walks a little ahead of me, and suddenly I realize that I have lost him. I look at all the people walking around the street and I cannot see my father anywhere. I think I may be able to call him on my phone, since he probably has his phone, but I'm not even sure that I have my phone with me.
Having lost both my car and my father, it strikes me that this whole scenario seems somewhat strange and I abruptly wonder if I might be dreaming. Although I'm sure that I'm not dreaming, I think I might go ahead and do a reality test by holding my nostrils closed with my fingers. I think if I'm dreaming, I will still be able to breathe even though my nostrils are closed. I have tried this particular reality test before and have always been unable to breathe.
I lift my right hand toward my nose and hold my nostrils shut with my forefinger and thumb. I'm astounded because I continue to breathe even with my nostrils held tightly closed. I cannot believe it! I conclude that I'm definitely dreaming! The realization that I'm dreaming makes me look around and I think, "I can do anything I want."
I think I could have a sexual dream, but I'm not interested in that. That's not what I want. I want to do something else. Everything, however, looks so natural that it's still difficult to believe that I'm dreaming. I do the reality test again and I'm definitely breathing even though my nostrils are closed. Again I conclude that I'm definitely dreaming. I am lucid.
I'm unsure, however, what I want to do. Everything looks so normal. People are walking around in a normal fashion. I look toward the opening at the end of this covered street and I see a bunch of men who look like Buddhist monks all dressed in orange and pressed tightly together so I cannot see past them. They almost look like a collage.
I cannot figure out how I want to manipulate this dream right now and I begin to wonder if I'm already awake.
Enlightenment requires concentration.
by Frank Whitfield
06 November 2086
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