My name is Frank Whitfield. I am an imaginary character created by Steven Collier for the purpose of commenting on his dreams in a story-like fashion. I have already composed several of these booklets, each of which contains a series of dreams about a particular subject. The subject in this set of dreams is Jesus Christ. I am commenting on these dreams from a distance of seventy years, since the last dream in this series was published in 2018 and I am composing the commentary to these dreams in the year 2088. I am 28 years old, I am a psychologist, and I live in Paris, France. I was born in Collier's home town - Portsmouth, Ohio - in 2060 - twelve years after Collier's death in 2048.
Although I may be imaginary, Collier's dreams are fact. Collier was strict about adhering to the truth when he wrote his dreams, and I have published them just as Collier left them. Collier is responsible for the dreams, for the titles to the dreams, for placing the artwork in the dreams and for the haikus. I am responsible only for my commentary and for the story which I seek to glean from this group of dreams.
Dream of: 02 August 1989 "The Descent Of Christ"
the power of art
may derive from communion
with divine powers
My father was driving a car in which my mother, my sister, and I were riding on a hilly, paved road in the country. A car in front of us was traveling quite slowly, and my father did not seem to be able to pass. Every time the other car reached a place where my father might be able to pass, yet another car would come along from the other direction. We finally reached a place where the road descended into a deep valley and then ascended back up the hill on the other side of the valley. When we started down into the valley, we were in a passing zone and my father intended to pass, but then he saw another car coming toward us from the other direction headed down the hill on the other side of the valley road, so he was unable to pass.
As we traveled on, I glanced through a book about exercise which was lying in the car. On one page were written general rules of exercise, one of which said that a person could not become physically fit simply by reading a book about it. The rule seemed obvious enough to me, but I wondered how many people just read exercise books and then did not exercise.
When we again reached a level stretch of road, I looked out the window and saw large, billowy, cumulus clouds on the horizon, and it occurred to me that I had developed the ability to look into clouds and create images. It was a powerful fantasy-technique which I enjoyed. It was also a means of escaping from the world around me, and in this instance, I would like to escape from my father, who did not seem particularly friendly toward me.
I concentrated on a cloud, and quickly began seeing the form of a large, white horse appear across the length of the cloud. I had a side view of the large galloping horse, and the more I looked at it, the more detailed the horse became as it mesmerized me with its silky beauty. When the horse finally turned its head toward me, it almost seemed as if it were trying to communicate with me.
My sister attracted my attention. She had frizzy, blonde hair and seemed only about 3-4 years old. That surprised me because it seemed as if I remembered her being much older. I tried to figure out how I could have thought she was older, but I could not seem to reconcile the thought of her being older with the fact that she was obviously so young.
She began pulling into the car a rather long string with a fish hook on the end which she had been holding out the window. She had simply been letting the string drag on the surface of the road as we traveled along. While being drug, the string had fallen into some tar, and now some of the tar rubbed off onto the orange car seats. I immediately pointed out the stain to my mother who began chastising my sister. Finally one of us grabbed the string and threw it out the window. Obviously the black spots of tar on the seat would have to be removed. The situation grew increasingly unpleasant as my sister began crying like a baby.
I began trying another fantasy technique. I was able to squint one of my eyes so much that there was only a small round hole through which images were entering into my eyes. The effect was almost like looking through a small telescope. This was a new technique and I was not very good at it yet.
We finally approached a small village where I could see a large stone statue of the crucifixion of Christ on top of a hill behind the village. The cross was made of large, white stones and the entire statue seemed immense. When we were almost in the village, I could more clearly see the hill, which appeared to have a large monastery sitting on it. As my father passed through the village, I continued gazing at the monastery which seemed to change as we passed by until the monastery looked as if it were not on the hill, but on ground level, and as if it were not a completed building, but only a structure constructed of wooden beams whose walls had not yet been erected.
Since I would like to stop and see the statue, I asked my father to stop, even though I knew that he did not like to stop anywhere when he was driving. He ignored my pleas at first, but when I continued saying that there was a wonderful statue in this little village which we should see, he finally grouchily agreed to stop for a short while. He turned the car around and pulled up in front of what had looked like the monastery.
After I hopped out of the car, I saw that we had stopped at the village plaza whose ground was covered with large rock slabs with short grass cropping up between them. Trees shaded the plaza along the edges of which squatted small buildings and a few shops one of which had a newspaper rack in front where I thought I might find foreign newspapers since I was beginning to have the feeling that this was a tourist attraction and that people from other countries might come here. I thought about buying a newspaper, but then decided against it.
In the middle of the plaza was a small statue which appeared to be of a boy at which some people were staring. From my position, I could only see the back of the boy, which seemed disappointingly small. I hoped that this was not the same statue which I had seen from the road and which had looked so much larger from there.
When I suddenly noticed a side street and looked down it, I was amazed to see what appeared to be a church. Over the high doors of the church was sculptured an immense relief in white rock which depicted what I identified as the Pietas of Christ which apparently depicted Christ's being carried from the cross with perhaps twenty people gathered around him. From where I was, I only had a side view of the sculpture and could not clearly see it.
I hollered to my father and the others to come on, that I had found the sculpture. When I thought about it, I now remembered that I had previously heard about this famous sculpture's being located in this little village.
A thin monk (perhaps 35 years old) wearing a brown robe was walking in the plaza. His hair appeared as if it might be cut and shaved on top like that of a Franciscan. I thought he might be there to give tours of the statue, but I thought he would probably charge us for it. Although he did not appear unfriendly, I did not want him to help us.
The others followed as I began walking down the side street toward the large relief. I felt quite good and I felt free. I decided to do something which I knew most people could not do: I spread my arms out, let my feet rise off the ground, and began floating. In a vertical position about a meter off the ground, I slowly floated down the street, having to concentrate deeply on the floating in order to maintain it. I knew what I was doing took enormous skill and power, but it seemed as if the others around me did not realize the difficulty and importance of what I was doing. I wondered if the monk would realize just how special this ability was if he were to see me. As I continued, I happily began humming, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......."
I am searching for evidence of God in these dreams. Like Collier, I believe that God is the creator of dreams. I also believe that God speaks to mankind through artists and prophets. Yet my beliefs remain unfounded in provable truth. I have no absolute proof for the existence of God or of immortal life. God and the afterlife remain invisible to me and I only see traces of the possibility that God and/or the afterlife even exists. I am filled with fear that all my life is in vain and that when Collier dies, I will cease to exist.Dream of: 11 January 1990 "Extraordinary Power Of Christ"
the power of art
pounds on the mind like the nails
in the limbs of christ
While walking in a rural wooded area, I noticed a white frame building which appeared as if it might be a church. As I circled around to the back of the building, I could see perhaps twenty men and women (probably in their early 20s) inside. I was unsure what was transpiring inside, but I thought I would like to watch, and perhaps even participate. At the moment, however, I had a pressing need to urinate, and I sought out a large tree in back of the building. I stood behind the tree, extracted my penis and began urinating.
I had no sooner begun when a young man and woman literally danced out a door in the back of the building and began fast-dancing not far from me. Before I could collect my thoughts, a second young woman also appeared (apparently from inside the building) and walked right past me. Without finishing, I quickly put up my penis and zipped up my pants.
The woman walked on by and entered the side of the building. Soon all the people from inside came outside to where the woman had been, and they also appeared to be dancing. I decided I would like to join them and I walked over to where they were, but no one paid any attention to me and I just stood idly watching them.
I noticed one person standing close to me, and I decided I would demonstrate something to the person which I thought would be impressive. I bent up both legs behind me and grabbed my toes with my hands, so I was suspended floating in mid-air. I thought I was performing quite a feat, but the other person did not seem particularly interested. I remained stationary for a few moments, hovering over the ground, relishing the enjoyable feeling of floating. I had practiced floating at different times in the past, but perhaps I had never felt in such control of my floating abilities as I did now. I had no fear of falling and I felt as if I could probably float as long as I wanted.
I decided to begin moving as I floated, and I slowly began circling around the group. I let go of my feet and floated in several different positions about a meter off the ground - on my stomach, on my back and in a seated position. I was thoroughly enjoying the exercise and I felt quite confident in my floating abilities. It mattered little to me that people seemed to be paying scant attention to me.
I returned to a stationary floating position near some people who now seemed to be taking note of what I was doing. I raised myself perpendicularly upside down on my head in a floating position which particularly seemed to impress them. It crossed my mind that some of the people might confuse me with Christ since I seemed to have these extraordinary powers. I hoped that would not happen because I realized that although I had developed a skill at floating, I certainly was not Christ.
A fellow mentioned something about gravity and he seemed astonished that I was able to defy gravity as I was doing. For myself I realized that the scientific understanding of gravity was not complete and that gravity was not an impediment to floating, if one simply knew how.
As it seemed the others were losing interest, I moved away and finally I felt it was time to land. Although I had been able to maintain the floating position for quite a while, I was actually uncertain just how much longer I could continue. So I touched down and landed. I then smelled my hand, thinking it had an odor from where I had earlier been touching my penis. I thought that the odor might have also interfered with my floating.
Although I believe that God speaks to man in dreams, it seems that God rarely - if ever - speaks directly to man in dreams. Even in dreams, God seems to keep himself hidden. God remains invisible and speaks in symbols, metaphors, parables, and stories. At least this is what I believe. God, not man, creates the spiritual environment in which man's disembodied dreams take place. If life does indeed exist after death, it must surely be more akin to what is experienced in a dream than to what is experienced in waking life, for in a dream man has no physical body but is ethereal, just as the human spirit may be after the death of the physical body.
Dream of:06 May 1992 "A Vision Of Christ"
the power of art
may come from the love of an
After I learned that Jesus Christ - apparently traveling from town to town - had come to this town, I decided I would like to see him. Having learned that he was traveling in a white van, I found out where he was, went to the van and saw men with long hair and beards descending from the van. As each man stepped from the van, I thought he might be Jesus Christ, but none were.
Finally I went into the van myself, and had a vision of Christ sitting in the van, playing a guitar. I could also hear his voice. He was telling someone else to bring in the person who had abjured sex to talk with him (Christ). I knew he was talking about me, and that one of the reasons he wanted to talk with me was because I had abjured sex. I knew that having abjured sex made me special, so Christ would want to talk with me.
I heard Christ ask if I had abstained from sex for at least one day. I knew I had abstained for longer than that, but he was only concerned that I had made the decision to abstain from sex, and that I had abstained for at least one day. I thought that was definitely true.
I looked down at my hand and saw that I was wearing a golden wedding band. I knew that since I had given up sex, I needed to resolve this question of what the wedding band meant. There seemed to be somewhat of a conflict there.
The messages in dreams are often so morally designed that I sometimes came to regard "the Conscience" as a better drescription than "God" for the "Dream Creator." Indeed, I have concluded that "Conscience" actually is a word which describes an aspect of God when God is morally communicating to man. In dreams, just as in the New Testament, God demands that man be moral. I simply do not understand this. The question of why God demands morality is tormenting because I do not see any answer. That a God with the power to create the universe would create man simply so that man would be good does not make sense to me. It would appear that Christ was saying that God created us so that we would love God, which might also indicate that the more good a man is, the more power he has to love God.
Dream of: 04 June 1994 "Experiencing The Presence Of Christ"
love god with all your
heart seems like a safe and a
I could see an image of Jesus Christ, who had apparently just been crucified, but was still alive. As I experienced Christ's presence, I realized I was having an important religious experience. Christ put his hands on both sides of my head, pressed his fingers into my temples, and caused a shock to go through my mind. I screamed out as loud as I could. I stopped, aware that people, including my mother, were standing around me. Everyone looked at me strangely after I had screamed. I knew I had had some kind of experience, although I was unsure what it had been.
I also noticed a door with a cloth hanging over it. When someone pulled back the cloth, I heard a shrill, shrieking sound, such as Moslem women make before a battle, and I concluded that we were about to be attacked. I looked around and saw hundreds of people with me, all of whom looked like swarthy Indians from India.
Not far from us was a vertical cliff. I told everyone that they must go to the cliff and climb it. I was the first one to begin climbing up the side of the cliff. I felt as if I had been given new powers so I could easily scale the cliff. Although the cliff was straight up and down, I was able to hold onto small crags on the face of the cliff.
When I reached the top, I saw a place where we could hide, but when I looked back down, I saw that most other people had not yet begun to climb. Clearly they would soon be attacked. I did see some people who had begun the climb. I felt somewhat guilty, because I was already on the top and the others had not yet made it. I reached out and helped pull up one man. When he was on top, he in turn began helping other people up. He pulled up a small baby being held by its mother. He then tried to pull two men at the same time, and I joined in to help him pull them both up.
I thought when the attack began, I would give orders to throw rocks down the cliff on top of the attackers. I thought we were now in a good spot where we could defend ourselves against the attack.
I would simply like to know for certain that my soul is eternal and that I will experience a comfortable existence throughout eternity. Until I have that knowledge, I fear my soul will remain troubled. Like Collier, I cannot depend on the teachings of prophets like Christ who claimed to know the will of God. I need direct proof from God himself. I need to feel that God is speaking directly to me in such a way that the presence of God cannot be denied. Since I cannot deny that a moral being other than myself creates the environment of my dreams, I at least see the possibility that that being is God. That seems to be about as close to God as I can get. Thus I - like Collier - record my dreams in hopes of grasping what God has to say to me.
Dream of: 11 November 1995 "Called By Christ"
artists and prophets
must surely know when they are
called to their duties
As I stood on a sea shore, I felt the presence of Jesus Christ nearby, and I knew he was calling me to join him. I sensed him as a strong, robust, healthy man, and my becoming one of his followers seemed perfectly natural. Five or six men were standing in a line nearby, all wearing long black robes which fell to their ankles and stretched to their wrists. I knew that these were the followers who had already joined Christ, that Christ intended to find a group of twelve, and that I would be number six or seven. Joining felt like a good decision.
In Collier's dreams, Christ was a symbol of a Messenger of God. God himself makes an appearance only in whispers and shadows, but does not reveal himself with absolute, undeniable certainty. Instead, a moral Messenger is enlisted by God to speak with Collier about Collier's duties in life without ever giving clear understanding of the meaning or the purpose of life, or the reason why God created man.
Dream of:01 November 1996 "The Patient Gaze Of Christ"
communion with the
divine may occur by means
of symbols in dreams
I was riding in a car with someone who was showing me the sights of the town. We had arrived at what appeared to be the central plaza which was a large green area about the size of a city block. All around the green area stood massive and elegant houses perched on hillocks which rose on every side around the central plaza. The person showing me around pointed to the houses and indicated that I could visit some. My guide pointed to one especially splendid house and told me that a lawyer lived there, and that we could visit the house, except that the lawyer was an alcoholic and was indisposed at the moment. So, instead, my guide drove the car to another house also inhabited by a lawyer and told us that we should be able to tour this house.
After descending from the car, we stood at the back door of the house, waiting for someone to open. Looking around, I noticed that someone had apparently been painting the back porch and that one of the paint brushes was still lying there on a shelf. The brush was still wet with the white paint which was being used to paint over the old red paint on the porch. Still waiting, I picked up the brush and painted a few strokes of white over the red myself, until I had used up the paint which had been left in the brush.
At the same time, as we waited to enter the lawyer's house, I reflected about how I was also a lawyer, and about my status as such. I would soon have no more legal clients – I had been working for quite some time to dispose of all my clients, and I was just about to finally succeed. I had intended not to take on any new clients, but now I was beginning to reconsider this proposition, and I thought I might possibly resume a law practice at some point in the future. I would not like to permanently practice law, but maybe I could practice for a limited period of time, such as for five years. If I did practice law again, I would probably focus on litigation, taking on all sorts of cases with the intention of trying them in court. That I was not an expert in any particular area would not matter - being able to handle myself well in court would be paramount. For example even though I had never worked on personal injury cases, I did not see that such cases would present much problem. I would simply need to prepare the petitions, file the law suits, prepare the case, and go to court.
Of course I also questioned where I would practice. Although I was only licensed in Texas, I might want to practice in another state. If practicing in another state proved to be a problem, I might have to pull some sleight. I might for example assume another identity, maybe of a lawyer who had died or who had left the state. Being admitted to practice in another state was not most important - having the knowledge to practice law was. And I had the knowledge.
Still lost in my thoughts, I realized I was no longer standing on the back porch, but that I had entered the building. Or at least I was in a building, although it was not at all what I had expected, for I found myself inside a church, or a mosque – for it had a large vaulted ceiling and an open central area like a mosque.
I had entered the church with my father, my mother, and my brother Chris (1957-1974). The three were sitting on the other side of the church while I walked around the perimeter, admiring the beauty of the place. It seemed that a service would soon take place, and I intended to go back and sit with them. Suddenly, however, I saw something which caused me to pause: Jesus Christ himself was standing over at the side, talking to some people listening to him.
Eight or nine people were lounging around on the gray and white marble floor in front of Christ. When I saw an open spot on the floor right in front of Christ, the opportunity seemed too good to pass up. I thought I had always wondered what hearing Christ himself speak would be like. And he looked like such a friendly person. With the feeling that hearing Christ speak in person would be something I would not want to miss, I sat down on the floor.
Christ had a long beard, tinged with gray. He seemed somehow familiar, and as he spoke, I felt comfortable sitting here listening to him. At least I felt comfortable until I realized that he was asking questions of the people sitting in front of him. I had not sat down with the intention of becoming involved in what was happening, and I definitely did not want to answer any questions, but now I felt trapped.
I now saw that we were sitting in rows, with three people in each row. I sat in the middle of the second row. One row was in front of me and one row was behind me. I ruefully realized that Christ was asking the same question of everyone, and that he had started with the person sitting at the left end (from my viewpoint) of the first row. Christ had then proceeded to the person in the middle of the front row, then to the person on the right end of the front row, and then back to the person on my right in the second row. I would be the next one to have to answer the question. And I did not want to answer any questions. I just wanted to depart, but now I saw that it was too late. It was my turn and I must answer the question.
Suddenly, as Christ looked at me, waiting for me to answer, I did not feel so bad, and I was ready to answer. It was as if his gaze had calmed me. The question was quite simple. Christ had asked each of us to relate what we had done or experienced of significance the prior weekend. I had been reluctant to try to answer the question, because I was drawing a blank. It seemed to me that I had not done anything of significance the prior weekend, but now with Christ's patient gaze upon me, the answer came to me and I began talking. I said, "My parents came down from Ohio this weekend to visit me. They brought my brother Chris with them."
At this point I started choking up. I could not speak. Sensing my emotion, Christ lay down on his side on the floor in front of me, facing me. I could tell that he knew what I was trying to say, but my emotion was so overwhelming, I simply had trouble speaking. It seemed as if I had previously tried to speak of what was now on my mind, but due to the powerful nature of my emotions regarding the subject, I had been unable to say anything before. Finally I continued, "I don't know how to explain it, but being around him is like being around an angel."
Finally I had found expression for what I had been trying to say, and Christ seemed to understand completely. Now I felt more voluble, and I continued talking about how I had come to regard my brother Chris as a sort of angel. I described how angelic Chris had been when he had been alive, how I had never known anyone with such an angelic nature, but how I had never comprehended Chris' angelic nature until he had died. Now, however, the angelic nature of Chris was all clear to me, and I knew that Chris was the closest thing to an angel I had ever known. And when Chris had come with my parents to visit me over the weekend, it seemed as if I had had the fortune of again being with an angel.
I wondered if Chris and my parents could hear me talking from where they were sitting on the other side of the church. I wondered if they knew the sense of relief I felt. Knowing I had indeed experienced something of such significance during the previous weekend was quite a revelation to me, and I was glad that the experience had been brought to my attention.
As I was summing up, I suddenly realized that Christ was not actually Christ at all. He was just an actor portraying Christ, but he certainly was a good actor. I wondered if he had been practicing his whole life for the role.
If God intended to speak to other men through Collier's dreams, then Collier might be said to be a prophet because God was speaking through him. Once again, I would reiterate that I find no absolute proof that God even exists nor that God was speaking to Collier through Collier's dreams. I likewise find no absolute proof that God spoke to the four men who created the Gospels. Yet the Christ of the Gospels and the Christ in Collier's dreams came from somewhere and I believe that both the Christ of the Gospels and the Christ of Collier's dreams more likely than not originated from God. I do not see any apprecible difference between the Christ of the Gospels and the Christ of Collier's dreams. Both stand for the proposition that man's first duty is to love God.
Dream of: 20 February 1997 "Christ And God"
loving god with all
one's power just may be the
heart of the matter
I was piloting a small space ship which resembled the fighter craft used by the Rebel Alliance in the movie Star Wars. Although I was alone inside the ship, other people occupied thousands of similar ships flying all around me. All our ships had been dispatched to form a barrier on the faraway eastern side of the solar system which was about to be attacked. For a moment, I thought we were being sent on an interstellar mission to protect the galaxy instead of the solar system, but when I thought more about it, I realized we were only guarding the solar system.
All our space ships were supposed to disperse in space to form a fence-like web, with the ships stationed ninety miles apart from each other. This barrier would be the line of defense for the solar system.
I continued flying until all the ships began separating from each other. When I finally lost visual sight of all the other ships, I concentrated on my mission and continued flying through the unrelieved blackness of space.
Unexpectedly, I suddenly realized I was flying over a planet. I was close to the surface, which was mostly obscure except for patches of bright red and yellow flames. The sight of the planet surprised me because I was not supposed to encounter any planets before reaching my assigned coordinates. I needed a few moments to realize that I had overshot, that I had passed the place where I should have stopped, and that I had ended up in the battle-zone. The patches of fire on the planet below were obviously a result of the war being waged on the planet.
I had no choice: I had to land on the planet and take my chances. I reasoned that landing on the planet might not be so bad. I seemed to recognize the planet and I thought some of my comrades had previously landed on this planet and had been trapped there. Perhaps I could rescue them. In fact, one man still marooned on the planet seemed to be my own brother. I remembered that he looked exactly like Michael J. Fox and I had the feeling that I also somewhat resembled Fox. I also had the dim impression that my brother had been on a mission which had something to do with the movie Back to the Future, and that my rescuing him might be shown in a sequel to the movie.
After I landed on the planet and debarked my space ship, I began walking down a peaceful, residential street on a sunny day. I began a lively conversation about religion with several women (mostly in their 30s and 40s) who were walking along with me. All the women were devout Christians; indeed, it seemed as if everyone in the settlement avidly practiced Christianity.
This community was perched atop a lofty hill, from which descending to the bottom was difficult. The height of the hill presented a problem because my missing comrades were at the base of the hill, and I would have to descend the hill to reach them. Since I did not know the way to the bottom, I had hoped I would be able to enlist the aid of the women who were walking with me. Therefore, I tried to restrain myself as we talked about religion since I did not want to say anything abrasive which might anger them. It was, however, too late for that. I had already managed to blurt out that I did not believe in Christ, and in so doing I had already enraged and deeply offended all the women.
I realized that taking a combative stance on the subject of Christianity was unproductive. I had long known almost no good could be derived from arguing with Christians about their religion. Pointing out the error of their ways was pointless. Simply trying to get along was the best course of action with this kind of people. Sensing the quickest way to allay their concerns and pierce the heart of the matter, I affirmed, "I believe in God."
This statement, which was a true statement, was so disarming, I could instantly sense the women soften. This was exactly what I wanted. If we could find some common ground on which to communicate, perhaps our differences would seem less weighty. I went on to explain that I agreed with much of what the Bible said. I clarified, however, that I believed in a more "encompassing God." With a swoop of my hand, I outlined an arch in the air in front of us, as if the arch represented God. Then I traced lines in the air under the arch, and I said, "Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mondoism." I was trying to show that I believed in a God which enveloped all these religions. When I said the word "Mondoism," however, I realized that no such religion existed. I had been trying to think of "Moslems" or "Islam" and I had become confused, but I did not think it much mattered. I knew that these women, like most Christians, had little notion of the nature of other religions, and that they would probably think there was such a religion as "Mondoism."
As I elaborated, I asked the women what they would think when new worlds with living beings were discovered, worlds which had their own developed religions, worlds which had never heard of Christianity. Would that mean that all the people on those worlds, as well as all the people on earth who believed in religions other than Christianity, were lost? I tried to point out that it was much more likely that a God existed who was above all these man-made religions – and that was the God in which I believed.
At the same time, I was trying to delineate some similarities between what these women believed and what I believed since I did not want to antagonize them any more. I added, however, that "we part paths" when they started thinking of Christ as God. I was trying to think of a passage in the Bible which stated that Christ and God were the same, but I could only recall the words "he gave his only begotten son," which was not the passage for which I was searching. I wanted to point out the extreme implausibility of believing that Christ and God were one. Since I could not think of the proper Bible verse, however, I did not pursue that point.
Instead I began explaining to the women that I did indeed believe in life after death. I related that I thought living a good life was important so that we would receive our "just reward" after death. As soon as I had said "just reward," I realized I had made a poor choice of words. It sounded as if I were saying that the only reason for being good in life was to receive a reward after death, and that was not exactly what I believed, and not exactly what I had wanted to say.
By now we had reached a point where the sidewalk gave way to a very steep, rocky path down the side of the hill. Suddenly a woman ran past me and started sliding down the path. I was immediately concerned because it looked as if she might injure herself. I hoped she had not slid down the hill on my behalf, to show me how dangerous the path was, but such did not seem to be the case. Although the women had ameliorated their attitude toward me, I could see that they were still suspicious of me and were not inclined to help me. At most, I could hope that they would simply indicate the way to me.
My hope was somewhat realized, for they pointed to a paved road which also curved down the side of the hill. Unfortunately, the road ended up quite a distance from where I wanted to go, whereas if I chose the steep, rocky path instead, I would come out at the bottom of the hill exactly where I needed to be. As I stood there trying to decide, a car passed by, stopped, and picked up two elderly, black women who slid into the back seat. The car then headed on down the hill. There would have still been room for me in the car, but they had not stopped for me. I thought to myself, "They did not offer and I did not ask." The only thing left to do was to decide which route – the rocky path or the paved road – to take down the hill.
I needed, however, to first attend to one other matter. While I had been walking with the women, I had been eating vanilla custard from a cardboard cup. I had now finished and I needed to throw away the cup. I had also been using a metal spoon, which one of the women must have given me. I did not want to simply toss away the spoon, but the women had already dispersed and there was no one left to whom I could return the spoon. Perhaps I would just stick both the cup and the spoon in my back pocket and head down the hill with them.
Now I needed to decide which route to take: the rocky path or the winding road.
Assembling his dreams into works of art became Collier's means of loving God. Collier had only one calling in life: the creation of beautiful books of dreams. Why exactly God wanted Collier to create beauty was unclear to Collier. That such a powerful being as God would care what anyone on earth created, let alone what Collier created, did not make sense to Collier. So much was left unexplained and unclear in Collier's mind that he finally had to set aside unsolved riddles in order to concentrate and focus on the composition of his booklets. When Collier equated the creation of his dream-booklets with the actuation of his love for God, then the beauty of Christ's insistence that the first commandment to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul, and with all one's mind, began to endue the creation of his dream-bookles with a modicum of sense.
Dream of: 27 March 1997 "Almost Like Christ"
loving god may be
acheived without actually
knowing who god is
Perhaps thirty spirits, including myself in spirit form, were gathered in a high-ceilinged, athletic-like room. Although we were spirits, we still resembled normal physical beings – except that we displayed no color, all of us being dressed in white. Although our purpose for being assembled was far from pellucid, I had a certain sense of why we had been gathered. Gradually I began to sense that one among us was to be selected for some grandiose purpose, and that at least to some extent, we were in competition with each other to be chosen. I was calm, but somewhat subliminally agitated, realizing the importance of what was transpiring.
Slowly I also became aware of another figure standing over to the side of the room, set apart from the rest of us. This figure - all dressed in black - somewhat resembled judge Mike Schwille (a Dallas criminal court judge before whom I had previously practiced criminal law). That he was the being with the power here was immediately manifest, and he wasted no time in displaying his power. He announced that by now it should be completely obvious to all of us who was the chosen one because that person was wearing white shoes. With trepidation I gazed down at my own feet and saw that I was sporting a pair of brilliant, white tennis shoes. Glancing around the room, I saw that no other spirit was wearing white shoes, that I was the only one. When the other spirits saw my white shoes, everyone knew I was the chosen one.
However, the being dressed in black mentioned that one other spirit in the room had also been chosen in some way, but that the other spirit was more like a child and that its destiny was to remain on its knees, praying.
My destiny, however, was not one of supplication, but of action. I knew that the selection ceremony had now been concluded, and that it was time for me to act. I also knew what I had been selected to be: an artist. An intense feeling of satisfaction welled within me. I had previously suspected my destiny, but until now, I had never been certain.
I detected no animosity from the other spirits that I and not they had been chosen to be an artist. Everyone seemed to know that being an artist was my destiny, and no one opposed it. To the contrary, all the other spirits now seemed to realize that they were the raw material of my art.
By now the other spirits no longer resembled people. Instead, they all looked like white bricks neatly lined up on the ground, awaiting me to work with them. As I felt my artistic powers flowing naturally within me, I raised myself off the ground, floating a meter or so in the air over the bricks. As I did so, the bricks also began to move, all slowly rising synchronously around me, somewhat in the form of an abstract funnel cloud. With complete ease and mastery, I turned my body upside down so that I was floating with my legs straight up above me and my head and arms below. I felt no discomfort whatsoever; the position was highly conducive to my work. From this position I could reach down and touch the bricks, which now seemed more like thick, white books lying on the ground. The sonorous strains of music played in the background – something which sounded like Love Is A Many Splendored Thing.
I touched the books, which also seemed somewhat like audio books, that is, the cases of audio books with the cassettes inside. As I felt the books in my hand, I thought I discovered a key to art: awareness. Holding each book in my hand, I became aware of it, I incorporated it into my being, and I understood that an artist must be continuously aware. As the floating brick-books formed a funnel-wall which looked like something from an abstract painting by SalvadorDali, a more concrete realization began to unfold inside me: by practicing my art, I not only created art for other people, I also learned something for myself. And as I hovered there upside down in the air, with my long white gown flowing in the air, experiencing sensations of being almost Christ-like, I realized something else. For a long time I had tried to know God. Now I had discovered a truth about God's nature: for me, creating art and knowing God were the same thing. There was a fusion for me of two different ideas – when I created art, I felt God within me. I had never before put these ideas together. Now I not only knew the truth of this fusion of God and art, I felt it. And that feeling was part of my essence, an essence which I was now beginning to understand. When I created art, I knew God.
My hands held onto the books, absorbing the feeling of the books so I could remember them. Becoming aware of things and remembering them was a critical part of my art. Now I focused on the concepts and words in my mind, fixing them so I could remember them later: "God," "art," and a voice in the background saying, "Steven on the fourth floor."
Dreams formed the raw material of Collier's art. Having published more dreams than anyone in his time, Collier possessed a vast supply of raw material from which to compose his works of art. As I try to unravel the connundrum of the origin of dreams, Collier's vast collection of dreams allows me also - just as Collier did in his day - to assemble a small number of dreams into a meaningful story which may or may not have been embedded by God into Collier's dreams in much the same fashion as the story of Jesus Christ was embedded in the minds of the four men who wrote the Gospels. I am tempted to conclude that the source of the inspiration for the writers of the Gospels was the same source that inspired Collier's dreams in which Christ was mentioned.
Dream of: 22 August 1997 "The Body Of Christ"
perhaps in exchange
for love god grants the power
to create beauty
Late at night, I was in the kitchen, fixing something to eat. I had found a thin-cardboard box in the refrigerator, the kind of box in which a pre-made cake might be packaged. I knew, however, that in this box was a big piece of meat - steak - which I quickly pulled from the box. The brown meat was square, about 20 centimeters on each side, and about 10 centimeters high. When I noticed that a piece of the meat had already been sliced off one end, I recalled that I was the one who had previously eaten that particular piece.
After setting the meat down, I read on the box that this meat was supposed to be from the actual body of Christ. I found this almost impossible to believe. There were too many improbabilities. Christ had died almost two thousand years ago, and I did not see how the meat of his body could have been maintained fresh all that time. Besides that, it seemed that there would have been so little of the meat, I did not know how I could have ended up with any of it. Surely the meat would have been extremely expensive. Although I simply did not believe it, I still had to think there was at least a chance it was true.
It did not make that much difference because I was hungry, and I decided to go ahead and fix myself some of the meat. Using a knife, I cut off a piece about a centimeter thick from one end. I then laid the slice on the table while I turned on an electric cooking skillet which had about three centimeters of grease in it. When I looked back at my slice of meat, I saw that the side facing up was now covered with a thick, rubiginous sauce which appeared to be oozing up out of the steak. I picked up the slice and placed it in the electric skillet.
The kitchen seemed like the kitchen of the Gallia County Farmhouse. I could look through the wide door to the living room, and beyond that I could see the door to the bedroom, which was open. The light in the bedroom was off, and I thought my wife Carolina had already gone to bed in there - or at least that she had gone ahead and turned off the light to go to sleep. Thus I was surprised when I looked around and saw that Carolina had walked into the kitchen. She seemed upset because I was up so late. She looked at the steak as if she were going to complain about the way I was fixing it, but then she seemed to realize that I was cooking it properly, and she did not say anything.
I felt embarrassed about cooking a steak. It seemed that I was eating much more meat lately than I should. I did not even like the idea of eating meat and I tended to think of myself as a vegetarian. I wished I could give up the meat, but here I was, doing it again.
The central issue in the story of this group of dreams seems to be the same as the central issue in the story of Christ: the origin of the stories. Collier was continually trying to prove the existence of God to himself and early on he decided that the best proof he could find of God was in his dreams. Thus "the story" held sway over his thoughts as he believed that a story can only be inspired by a sentient intelligence. Since Collier was convinced that he himself did not create the stories which continued through his dreams, he identified the sentient intelligence which created those dreams as his "Conscience" which he in turn identified as the moral voice of God. I can easily see how he could have identified the Conscience which created his dream-scenarios as the same entity which inspired the writers of the Four Gospels to create those stories.
Dream of: 13 November 1997 "The Spirit Of Jesus Christ"
prophets who love an
invisible god may still
hear the voice of god
My wife Carolina and I were talking about renting a car and taking a trip from Fort Worth to Arizona. We would only be gone for a couple nights – we would just drive out to Arizona, turn around and return. As we looked at a map spread out in front of us, I noticed a long line of highway headed due west from Fort Worth. The stretch of road reminded me of alligator alley, the long ribbon of highway through the Everglades in southern Florida.
The map showed how the road looped around in Arizona and how we we could follow the loop and return to Texas on the same road. A small town named "Waverly" was located on the loop. Since I had been thinking of looking for this particular town, I thought the town might be a good place to spend the night. From the map, the town appeared much smaller than I would have anticipated.
We would also be passing through another large city not more than 150 kilometers west of Fort Worth. The map even displayed a picture of the city – a huge gambling metropolis, ostensibly filled with casinos. I joked with Carolina that we could visit the town and add gambling to our list of vices.
When we finally headed west on our trip, we stopped along the side of the road at a small church which seemed as if it might have been in a tent. After we had stepped inside the church, we saw a few people sitting scattered around in their seats, and we also sat down. At the front of the church, at a pulpit, stood the preacher – a slender black-haired man (not more than 30 years old) – delivering his sermon. The meeting seemed informal, and at times, members of the congregation even posed questions to the preacher.
I also began trying to formulate a question for the preacher. I was sure the preacher did not really understand what he was saying, and I wanted to phrase my question – not so much to trap him – as to narrow down the possible answers. My principal aim was to delve into the confusion which I perceived concerning the God-nature of Jesus Christ.
I would question the preacher about whether he thought Jesus Christ himself was working through him (the preacher) when he was preaching. If the preacher answered that question affirmatively, I would bring the question of God into the formula, and query the preacher about how God fit into this scheme of things. How exactly was God different from Jesus Christ? If Jesus Christ was working through the preacher, was God also working through the preacher?
I began by getting the preacher's attention. I addressed him as "pastor" and I simply first asked him if he believed in Jesus Christ. He immediately began a long speech about how he believed in Christ. Continuing my interrogation, I asked the pastor if he thought when he was preaching, Jesus Christ was trying to communicate to his congregation through him. The pastor answered, "Yes."
The idea that some power could be working through a man – to communicate to other people – was fascinating, verging on frightening. It was difficult to grasp that the pastor might think the spirit of Jesus Christ was inside him right now, passing through him to the sundry souls – including myself – seated in the congregation.
Having established that the pastor believed Jesus Christ was working through him, I asked the pastor a question about whether God was also working through him. The pastor's forehead wrinkled, perplexed, almost nonplused. When I interjected another question (almost facetiously) about the so-called Holy Ghost, the pastor appeared momentarily even more consternated.
It was not my intent to be malicious; I had pried enough and saw no point in simply digging further at the pastor and embarrassing him. So finally I simply retreated to the original question concerning Jesus Christ. It was interesting enough to me that the pastor reverently believed that a spirit was working through him to communicate to me. Since I knew that most Christian churches identified that spirit as Jesus Christ, I was satisfied to simply leave it at that.
The question whether the creation of the fictional Jesus Christ of the New Testament was inspired by the same entitiy which inspired the creation of Collier's fictitious dreams is not far-fetched. God may have inspired men to write the fictitious Gospels just as God inspired Collier to have fictitious dreams. Just because the story of Jesus might not be literally true does not mean that it does not contain helpful truths about the universe. Similarly just because Collier's dreams might not be literally true does not mean that they did not contain helpful truths about the universe. The first commandment of the Christ in the New Testament was to love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul, and with all one's mind. The Christ in Collier's dreams may offer instruction about how that love of God might be accomplished.
Dream of:17 December 2002 "Instruction Of Christ"
loving an abstract
concept like god may be the
zenith of duty
My fatherwas sitting not far from me, reading a passage from the New Testament. Abruptly, I told him to stop; he had read something which interested me and I wanted to study the section further. The passage indicated that Jesus had instructed his followers that they should no longer sacrifice animals. Specifically, the passage indicated that animal blood should not be used in sacrifices.
I blurted out to my father that I wanted to find another passage in the New Testament which confirmed this commandment of Christ. I tried to explain that I was trying to better understand the differences between Old Testament Jewish doctrine and New Testament Christian beliefs. If I could understand the specific changes which had been decreed by Christ, I would better understand both belief systems.
The sacrifice of animals seemed like an excellent starting point. I thought that animals had been sacrificed not only in the Jewish religion but all through the Mid East, and I could even recall having seen ancient rock carvings of animals being sacrificed. I had never been able to pull my mind around this concept: sacrificing animals simply did not make sense to me, and I had particular difficulty understanding the significance of blood in these rites – the sprinkling and splattering of animal blood. However, I could comprehend that Christ's negation of the sacrifice of animals was a significant change of doctrine.
I also had a Bible in my hand. I began flipping through it. I became distracted for a few moments with one book of the Old Testament. The book was short and the story seemed interesting. However, I quickly flipped forward to the New Testament and began looking for a passage concerning animal sacrifice. I recalled that I had once memorized a New Testament passage in which the subject of human flesh had been mentioned. Where was that passage? Maybe it had some clues. Was it in the book of Mark or the book of Matthew? I continued turning pages, looking for the passage.
The more one concentrates on the purpose of life, the more Christ's first commandment to love God comes into focus. Collier believed that he loved God when he created and published booklets of dreams. This was the work which Collier believed that God demanded of him in order for Collier to accomplish the task of loving God. In return, Collier believed he could feel the inspiration of God in his dreams, such as when Collier believed that God was saying that one of the newer commandments was that "man shall not consume animal products."
Dream of:16 October 2005 "Turning Christ Into God"
the meaning of life
may be found without ever
knowing who god is
I was sitting at a table with four or five other fellows, one of whom was GaryAltizer (my boyhood friend from the fourth and fifth grades). We were in a building in a rural county in southeastern Ohio. The others talked about where they lived, and Altizer spoke of Gallia County, not far away. I thought of mentioning the Cabin which I had built on the Gallia County Farm, but the Cabin had deteriorated so much over the years, I decided to not even bring it up. We continued talking for a while longer, until the meeting broke up and everyone dispersed.
As I walked out the door and began strolling through the building, I realized that I was in a church. I noticed a stairway and thought I heard someone preaching upstairs. I walked up the wide stairways to the second floor, until I reached the room from which the preaching seemed to be emanating. I stuck my head inside the door and discovered that the preaching was coming from a radio. I backed out and headed back down the stairs, still intrigued to have discovered this little church here in this little county.
Suddenly a preacher (a slender fellow probably in his mid 30s) appeared and began descending the stairs with me. He talked about his church and said it was a "Southern Methodist" church. I rather emotionally told him that I was somewhat familiar with Methodists because as a child I had been brought up in the Methodist church. I quickly added that I was not now a Christian. He acknowledged my statement and he simply stated "you changed your opinion." I responded, "Yes," but I quickly added, "I believe in God."
At this point, I wanted to try to explain to him why I was not Christian. I had many reasons, but one reason in particular had been on my mind lately. I had come to believe that there was only one God, and that the Christians seemed to contort that concept by turning Christ into a God. I told him I believed what Mohammad stated in the Koran, that God has no son. I said that God was "resplendent" in himself and that he did not need a son. Again, fumbling a bit, I explained that I believed in the idea of "one God."
I quickly added that I was "no adherent of the Koran" either. I was only using Mohammad and the Koran to illustrate my belief in one God. I did not believe in Islam, but I thought Mohammad's insistence in the Koran that God did not have a son was extremely important, and that Christians should pay attention to this assertion. I also wanted to impress on the preacher that my rejection of Christianity was well thought out, and that I was versed in both the Bible and the Koran. I had not arrived at my concept of God lightly.
We had descended the stairs to the vestibule in front of the main sanctuary to the church. The doors to the sanctuary were open, but the lights were turned off inside the sanctuary. Suddenly the lights in the sanctuary blazed on. Dozens, if not hundreds, of people had been sitting quietly in the darkness in the pews, engaged in something, although I did not know what.
I immediately felt embarrassed. I had been talking so loudly, practically shouting, denouncing Christianity. Obviously all these people must have heard me. Some elderly women approached me and wanted me to come in. I protested that I could not go in there. I was sure my little speech must have offended all the Christians inside. Nevertheless the women insisted that I enter. I relented and walked inside. The service was just about to start. As the preacher disappeared into the background, the women escorted me right down to the very front pew, positioned right in front of the pulpit. Before I could sit down, the congregation broke into song. In front of all the pews were microphones on silver rods. All the people were singing into the microphones and the sound of the singing was a bit overwhelming. A woman over to my right was particularly intent on blaring into her microphone. I felt as if all eyes were upon me. With difficulty I pulled my microphone around in front of me and I tentatively tried to catch the seemingly familiar and enjoyable tune and join in the song. As I chimed in, I distinctly heard the melodious lyrics "the promised land."
Whatever Collier may have believed, he still offered no concrete proof that God exists, much less that God was inspiring his dreams, or that God had inspired the writing of the Gospels. However beautiful might be the art of gifted painters, the source of their gifts is not proven to be God. God remains invisible. If one loves God, one must love that which one does not see. In the end, the best proof that Collier had for the existence of God were the very booklets of dreams in which Collier claimed he found beauty as a result of his love of God and God's acknowledgement of that love.
Dream of: 06 May 2014"The Fiction Of Christ"
may be faciliated
by the love of god
I am in the large living room of a house where a gathering of friends and family is taking place. Perhaps 30-40 people are gathered in the room, most sitting or standing around the perimeter. I am sitting in a corner by myself, not saying anything. The topic of discussion seems to be politics with the focus on a particular politician. Abruptly, a middle-aged man seated on the other side of the room says something about the "Koran." A young man standing with his back against the wall then makes a snide statement about Mohammad and implies that no one here wants to hear about Mohammad. I am standing behind some of the people and at first I think I do not want to be involved in any controversy, but something in the young fellow's impertinent attitude awakens me and I step forth past the others to the center of the room. I turn toward the young man and I begin my speech by saying, "I wanna hear."
The room grows quiet. I start talking, but my voice is extremely weak - almost inaudible at first. As my normal voice gradually returns, I say that I would like to hear about Mohammad and I quickly put the young fellow on the spot by asking him if he even knows where Mohammad was born. Already in my mind I am seeing a map of the Arabian peninsula as I begin formulating what I am going to say next. I am aware that I am fairly familiar with the Koran and its history and I am aiming to shame the insolent young man by exposing his ignorance. He is silent. Obviously he does not have a clue about the history of the Koran or where Mohammad was born.
Just as I am about to launch into the story of Mohammad and start with the historical location of his birth, a whole new line of thought enters my mind. I raise my left hand to my head and touch the point of my index finger to the left side of my skull and say that Mohammad "was born in the mind." My whole point which I want to make is that the story of Mohammad is a fiction. Instead of talking about the historical context in which the Koran was written, I am now preparing to talk of the fictional nature of the Koran and how the Koran was created in the mind. My mind is working fast, however, and I realize that although much of the story of Mohammad is fiction, the story is also based on a great deal of historical fact. The story of Mohammad actually has a great deal of truth to it.
The lack of miracles in the Koran seems to lead me to an even more imaginary story - that of Jesus Christ, and now I see a wider perspective for what I am trying to say as I rapidly compare Muhammad to Christ in my mind and I say something of the nature that Mohammad was not nearly as much a creation of the mind as Christ. Referring to the story of Mohammad, I say, "It starts here, in the mind, but not nearly as much as our Lord Jesus Christ."
I say "Lord" in a bit of a satirical way, but also as a sort of acknowledgement that some of the people in this room actually believe in the story of Jesus Christ. What I am trying to point out is that the story of Christ is even more an invention of the mind than that of Mohammad. Realizing that my saying that Christ was an invention of the mind might not be completely appreciated by this crowd, I decide to go back even farther in history. I continue, "And that not nearly as much as Krishna." Now I am trying to point out that the ancient story of Krishna is even far more the creation of the mind than the story of Christ. I have a vision in my mind of how the fiction of Islam was less than that of Christianity and how the fiction of Christianity was less than that of Hinduism. As I think of Krishna, I can see a picture of him in a billowy pile of cumulus clouds which seem to symbolize the almost total fantasy of the story of Krishna.
Everyone has grown completely silent as they listen to what I have to say. They seem stunned that I am even talking like this. As I pause, uncertain whether I should proceed, a young fellow (probably in his late 20s) who might be my cousin scoots over toward me, almost as if he is in a wheelchair. As the people in the room begin murmuring amongst themselves, he says to me in a friendly way, "You're ridiculous, Steve."
He seems to be on my side, although I am not completely sure. I am unsure whether anyone here is on my side. I do not know if everyone has turned against me, or whether they appreciate what I am saying. I am also unsure whether the fellow actually means that I sound ridiculous, or if he is implying that my speech is ridiculously astute and that my way of talking was amazing. Uncertain whether I should proceed, I answer, "Ok, I'll keep my mouth shut."
I am left thinking that I may have said too much, yet at the same time I am thinking that perhaps these people did appreciate what I said. The point was that I felt that the people here only dwelled on trivial subjects, and I wanted to talk about something that mattered. It seems that in the past I have sat meekly to the side without comment. Now it seems as if I actually have something to say and that people are expecting me to say something. I feel as if they want to know what I have to say.
Whether God speaks to mankind through prophets is such a vexing question. I define a prophet as, "A person through whom God speaks to other persons." I am so close to saying that I believe that God spoke to mankind through Collier, then I pull back and say, No, God does not speak through prophets like that. The concept of God's speaking through one person to mankind seems so odd, yet so much of mankind's sense of meaning and purpose seems to be based on this proposition. Although God himself remains invisible and unprovable, certain people in history have claimed to be prophets and to have experienced communications from God. Alone the number of people who believe that God spoke through Kirshna, Christ and Muhammad is staggering. That God would have chosen such a method of communicating with people seems simply incredible, and yet I find myself leaning toward that belief.
Dream of: 11 June 2016 "Christ-Like"
a prophet who is
an artist communciates
the beauty of god
I am walking past tall buildings in the downtown area of a large, unfamiliar city with many other people walking around me. I pass one large white-stone building which I have seen before, but never knew what it was. Now, however, I see words carved in stone at the top of the building and I realize that the building is a school, probably part of a college. It looks as if classes are just now ending because people start flooding out of the building and onto the street.
When a taxi pulls up in front of the building, people climb in, and I also climb into the taxi into the back seat directly behind the driver. Six people including myself and the driver are in the taxi. I immediately think that I should not have boarded the taxi since I do not even know where it is going. The taxi proceeds a couple blocks, then stops so that one person can climb out. That person pays and I think something like, "Well, I should go ahead and get out now."
I ask the driver how much I owe and he says, "Sixty cents."
I pull out what looks like a couple dollars worth of change - including a bunch of dimes - from my pocket. Since I do not want to count the coins, I hand it all to the driver.
Once I am out of the cab, I start walking back in the same direction from which I came. As I walk, I start floating and I continue to float back toward the school. I think when I reach the school, I may position myself in front of the people there and start rising into the air in front of them. I might hold my arms out on both sides like a Christ-like figure and maybe I will say something like, "Why can't you see me?" or "Can you see me now?"
I will say this because I have noticed that people who have seen me float in the past have seemed to be unaware that I am floating. This time I will try to position myself with my arms outstretched and speak to the people so that they can see me floating.
Although Christ maintained that man's first duty is to love God, the Gospels do not clearly define what love is. Collier, however, came to believe that his love for God entailed the creation of beauty contained in his booklets of dreams. His central means of creating beauty was through finding stories in his dreams. Those stories, he concluded, may have been sent to him - as they are sent to all men - by God. Each story contains a moral and the beautiful moral, I believe, of the story contained in Collier's Christ-dreams is that God does indeed communicate to man in dreams.
Dream of: 05 November 2017 "The Story Of Jesus"
an artist who is
a prophet communicates
the story of god
I have seen an empty, two-story, somewhat-modern house which interests me. It is in a residential area. Although the house does not display a "for sale" sign, I discover that the house is for sale for around $7,000. I walk through the house and examine it. The house inside is gutted and would have to be completely renovated to be livable.
Touring the house, I discover that the back of the house opens up to a fabulous view of a lush gorge teeming with towering, green trees. The magnificence of this gorge could not be seen from the front of the house which sits on the edge of the gorge and is surrounded by smaller houses - even some house trailers - which block the view of the gorge. Thus most people are completely unaware of the splendid view at the rear of the house.
I decide that I want to buy the house, work on it and fix it up. I want to complete the deal as quickly as possible and I talk about it with my father (1932-2016). I am thinking that I am simply going to have to pay the $7,000 because I really want the house, but my father indicates that I should offer less. I think he believes that I should offer $5,000. I think I should probably offer $6,000 since I think that one of the rules of purchasing real estate is that the purchaser always offers less than the asking price. In this case, however, in order to buy the house quickly, I think I would be willing to go ahead and pay the full amount.
A couple people who are apparently with me end up staying with me in a house which is directly across the street from the house which I want to buy. Another man and woman (probably in her mid 30s) apparently live in this house in which we are staying. I spend the weekend in their house, but I am somewhat worried that the man and woman who own this house may also become interested in the dilapidated house across the street and try to buy it for themselves. When the weekend ends, I tell the woman "goodbye," and I leave.
On Monday, however, my two companions and I return to the man and woman's house and, even though I feel as if I am imposing, I concentrate on buying the house across the street. After I start walking around the hallways in the house in which I am staying, however, I realize that I am in an immense, one-story school building. In one hallway, I meet the same woman of the house. She is a teacher here. When she and I walk into an empty classroom, I notice that one of her breasts is exposed. Thinking that she may be interested in me, I glance at her breast with its dark aureole and dark nipple and find it rather enticing, but the woman quickly covers her breast.
My two companions (who look like students only about 20 years old) show up. We are going to have a lesson and the woman is going to teach us something. After the four of us sit down together at a round table, the woman begins talking about the lesson for today: each of us three students is going to have to tell the woman a part of "the story of Jesus."
I am calm because I know quite a bit about Jesus and I think I should not have a problem talking about the life of Jesus. I can very well tell the story of how Jesus came from Nazareth and so forth. I also know that I have recently been involved in buying a house, and that certain rules pertaining to Jesus are applicable when buying a house. I also know those rules quite well.
The woman asks the other two students first to tell their parts of the story and they talk about Jesus for a little bit. As the other two talk, the woman lays her hand on my hand which is resting on the table. The touch of her hand feels good. She does seem to be interested in me.
The woman has lying on the table a written list of items which pertain to the story of Jesus. After the first two talk, she looks at her list and indicates that I should proceed. I think that the item from the list which will be asked of me will be about "a question of heart," "a man of heart," "a story of the heart," or something like that about "heart."
I think I will be able to handle this.
Whether dreams contain stories and whether those stories contain morals remains as hotly debated today as in Collier's time. The story of Christ was created by the writers of the gospels to support the proposition that life has meaning. The stories in dreams may also support that same proposition. Why God would choose to communicate the truth to man through fictional stories remains a mystery. Why God would not simply appear to man in reality remains unexplained. Yet the possibility that God is communicating to each and every person through dreams offers at least some measure of hope that life has meaning. Within those dreams one may be able to sense the purpose of one's life.
Dream of: 27 December 2017 "The Last Supper Of Christ"
artists are defined
by beauty while prophets must
be defined by truth
I have been visiting another town and I have now boarded a large bus to return to my home town. The other people on the bus have apparently also been making the same trip that I have been making. After I sit down in a seat with the aisle on my right and an empty seat on my left, I realize that a man whom I know is sitting directly behind me with his wife and a few of his children. This man has caused me problems in the past and I do not like him. The backs of the grey cloth seats are high enough so that the man and I cannot see each other, even though I know the man and his family are back there. I can hear them talking, but I, of course, do not say anything. I almost feel like deboarding the bus, but I decide that I am going to continue riding. We are only about an hour away from my home town.
When we are close to my home town, I begin gathering together the items I have with me which consist of six or seven framed paintings which I purchased today at a variety store. Suddenly, however, I realize that I purchased these painting yesterday and that I do not have the receipts for the paintings with me. At this point, I am uncertain that I have even paid for all the paintings. I figure that when I deboard, someone will check to see if I have paid for these paintings. I hope I am not going to have a problem.
As I gather the paintings together, I more selectively begin assembling the ones which I am sure that I want to keep. One is a painting of the Last Supper. It seems to have a metallic, embossed surface which depicts people attending the Last Supper of Christ, but many more than twelve people are present. Perhaps the embossed faces of fifty people who are standing in the room in their long different-colored robes can be seen and felt as I lightly run my hand over the surface of the painting.
It looks as if some of the faces are of noteworthy personages in history. I would like to identify the different people on the painting. I like this painting and I am sure that it is one which I definitely want to keep.
I also have with me my bulky scanner which I have had for years, but which has become wet. I do not think I am going to be able to use the scanner any more. I hate to abandon the scanner because I always liked it, but it is heavy and cumbersome and I am thinking of simply leaving it behind, especially since I do not think it even works anymore.
I believe that God does indeed communicate to men in their dreams. Loving God may be helpful to be able to understand those communications. Thus Christ's first commandment - "Love God" - may be a magical ingredient for the understanding of dreams.
by Frank Whitfield
Published 22 April 2088
Edited 27 April 2088
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