Perchance To Dream

When Steven Collier died in 2048, he left behind a vast repository of individual dreams, as well as many collections of dreams which he had knitted together as works of literature. Although his devotion to literature may not have matched other literary giants of his time, he persisted, and he left behind a unique chronicle. Now, in the year 2087, I, Frank Whitfield, continue to find fertile material in Collier's legacy.

I have already compiled several booklets of Collier's dreams and I have found the effort rewarding. Thus I continue with this booklet, which focuses on a collection of Collier's dreams, all of which contain references to William Shakespeare. By focusing on this small group of dreams, I hope that I might unlock some of the untapped literary value to be found therein. The dreams, the titles, and the haikus are exactly as Collier left them. Only the commentary is written by me.

Boring? Yes, for most people, probably. Yet for a select few who may be interested in an unfettered and uncensored literary connection with the soul of another human being, a compilation of Shakespeare-dreams may prove to be a literary treat quite unlike any other form of literature.

Dream of: 22 October 1984 "Boring"

for the perceptive

the spirit of the lord is

strong in art and dreams

I was in a classroom where a girl was sitting on my right. Although Mary Krausz (my high school history teacher) was the teacher, Lowell Adams (my high school physics teacher) also sometimes seemed to be the teacher. The class was a special two hour class taking place in the summer. In the first hour we read a play by Shakespeare and in the second hour we read a short book out of the Old Testament. Different people would take turns reading out loud. I was rather tired of the whole thing and I was not enjoying it much.

At the end we were given a paper which had columns for our names, for the date, and for comments which we were supposed to make for both Shakespeare and for the Old Testament. I put down my name, the date, and my comments. In the comment column I wrote, "Boring. Waste of time." I really did think that what we had been doing had been boring and a waste of time. It seemed to me that teaching something like chemistry would have been much more beneficial in high school than teaching Shakespeare or the Old Testament.

The teacher said not to worry about what we had put down because she herself was not going to look at the comments, but that someone else would. I wanted the girl next to me to see what I had written, so I left my paper lying on my table until I saw her look over at it and smile.

Another girl walked up and stood to my left, pressing her leg against my arm until I began to become aroused. The girl only stayed for a minute and then walked away.

As I folded my paper, I noticed I had misspelled "boring."

Before all else, Collier conceived of his dreams as messages from God. I myself am a psychologist, and I have questions about the absolute truth of this conception upon which Collier insisted. I am sure that Collier himself had many doubts, but I am also sure that despite his doubts, he held to this belief as if his eternal soul depended upon it. God speaks to us in our dreams, Collier would say. If Shakespeare appears in our dreams, it is not a random event - Shapespeare is there for a reason. Our individual dreams tell stories and dreams woven together around the same subject can tell epics. At least this is what Collier believed and he has at least convinced me of the wisdom of those beliefs.

Dream of: 16 November 1986 "Preparing To Act"

failure to obey

god's law when the law is known

is failure indeed

I had joined a group of people who were planning to perform a play by Shakespeare entitled King Richard. Although I intended to be one of the actors, I was surprised when the director picked me to play the part of the protagonist himself, King Richard.

When the day of the play arrived, I found myself in one of the theater's dressing rooms. The play was scheduled to begin in about four more hours, and I was beginning to feel frightened because I had not yet memorized my part. Indeed, I had not even read the play. Our group had never conducted any rehearsals (a fact I blamed on the director) and I was not even sure who the other actors were going to be.

I was holding a paperback book which contained the play and whose pages were browned by time. Flipping to the first page, I saw that my character delivered the play's opening statement, which was about twenty lines long. I read three or four lines and began trying to memorize them. Since I still had four hours, I thought perhaps I could yet do some good.

In the first scene, the King was supposed to stand before a medieval-looking city named "Erichthyus." I visualized a picture of the medieval city stretching out before me.

The meaning of the words I was reading seemed obscure. One word in the first lines was "de." Although the sentence containing the word could not make much sense unless the meaning of that word was understood, I doubted that most people in the audience would know what the word "de" meant. Noticing footnotes for some words, I read a few notes.

I recited the first line to myself several times. Although I never spoke the line exactly right, I thought I probably knew it well enough to pass; my recitation did not have to be perfect. Memorizing the lines was taking so long, it was becoming increasingly clear that I simply could not memorize the whole play in time.

When I skipped down to the last three lines in the opening scene, I recognized the words as a famous, Shakespearean quote. Since most people in the audience would be familiar with those lines, I knew I must be able to recite them correctly.

As I memorized, my attention was caught by the small dressing room's wall-paper which had been torn back on the wall right above my head, revealing old wall-paper which had previously adorned the wall. The new wall-paper appeared to have been ripped back on purpose to reveal on the old wall-paper a picture of the heads of a man and a woman, behind which was another small picture of the head of Jesus Christ. Light seemed to fall in long rays over the three heads, creating an attention-catching scene.

My mind, however, was more concentrated on the problem at hand: I still needed to dress for my part in the play. Although I figured I would probably be given a long, kingly robe, I had never even yet seen the guise I was supposed to wear. In the meantime, I doffed the clothes I was wearing, except for a pair of under shorts and a tee shirt. I had a pair of clean blue jeans and a shirt which I planned to don, to be worn under my costume. As I dressed, since the door to the dressing room was open, I wondered if any women in the area might see me undressing. Since we were all actors, their seeing me probably did not matter.

I continued to worry about how I could possibly perform. As I envisioned myself walking out on the stage and speaking the opening lines, I imagined how my voice might seem small, like a child's. I was afraid it would be so painfully obvious that I was acting that some members of the audience might even leave. As I tried to concentrate on how I could effectively play the part, I seemed to improve somewhat in my mind. However, I still was obviously unprepared for the task before me.

Other people who apparently were also in the play entered the room including a strong, husky actor (about 30 years old). Recalling some of the story of the play, I remembered that he played a repugnant character who would finally kill my character, the king. However, the death of the king would not be a particularly remorseful event, because the king had a wicked streak in his nature.

Approaching the fellow, I engaged him in talk, thinking he likewise might be unprepared for the play. When I asked him if he were ready, he informed me that he had indeed memorized his entire part. Hearing this news, I was more depressed than ever; I did not know what to do. How could I have let this happen? I remembered I had even had dreams when something like this had occurred – when I had dawdled and waited until the last day to begin preparing for a play. Now it had actually happened. Incredible.

Perhaps someone else could be found to take my place. Indeed, I thought the very same play was being staged by several actors' groups at the same time. I thought that all the groups were actually part of a college class, and that other students had learned the parts to this same play. However, since finding someone to take my place at this late date seemed almost impossible, I abandoned that idea.

In desperation I walked over to the other actor and shamefully admitted that I had not even read the play, much less memorized my part. He looked at me scornfully and said that I was going to have to try my best to act. He mentioned that my part was not very long, because the king (my role) died during the play. Obviously I needed to know about that. We began flipping through my book, from back to front, trying to find the scene where the king died. For page after page the king did not appear. Finally after flipping from the back through probably three fourths of the book, I found the king's part, but the part seemed to be in a scene in which the king had already died, and only his dead spirit was talking. Was such a scene actually in the play?

When we finally found the scene where the king was killed in a sword fight with the other character, I began imagining how I would play the dying king in that scene.

I was definitely encouraged when I saw that the king's role was much shorter than I had originally thought. I now realized the character who killed the king had a much larger role – all the more reason to marvel at how the fellow had memorized his part. I was definitely impressed. I thought that the fellow probably wanted to become a professional actor someday and that he was therefore working extra hard in the college course to further his aims. I somewhat ashamedly reflected that I also would like to be a professional actor. Why had I been so neglectful?

Encouraged by the shortness of my part, I picked up the book and tried to acquire a better idea of the king's role. I still did not understand the plot, and I obviously did not have a feel for the character of the king, the characterization of whom seemed increasingly important to me.

As I leafed through the pages, I noticed the name of one character was "Lord," and I wondered if that character was actually God, or if "Lord" was simply the title of a feudal personage.

Somehow I managed to bend back the pages of my book, and as a result I could not seem to find the opening scene again. Several times I flipped to where I thought the front of the book should be, but each time I only uncovered blank pages. Every time that I flipped further back in the book, instead of finding the opening scene, I would end up in the body of the play.

The task seemed so hopeless anyway. I obviously did not have time. I could not even understand many of the words and I certainly was not going to be able to read the footnotes. I simply did not know what I was going to do.

Deep. The Shakespeare dreams go to a deeper level. Who exactly was William Shakespeare? Not until 2016 did Collier realize that the plays of William Shakespeare were more likely written by Edward de Vere than by William Shakespeare. The sublimity of this fact may, however, have been suspected by Collier at an earlier date. I bring up the subject now because the acceptance of this fact adds much to the understanding of the works of Shakespeare. However, as far as helping the world's needy, they are with us now more than in Collier's time, and the very survival of the world is in question as lonely readers still wonder if God speaks in the mysterious visions in dreams.

Dream of: 14 February 1988 "Spiritual Guide"

literature helps

relieve the consequences

of selfish habits 

 I had walked into a back room where I found several people sitting around a table. A woman (probably in her mid 30s) seemed to be the center of attention; it even appeared that the other people might be interviewing her. The woman talked in a smooth and intelligent manner. I was finally surprised when I figured that out she was William Shakespeare.

It would appear that I had been able to travel back in time to when Shakespeare lived. Amazing! But how was it possible that William Shakespeare was a woman? Could history really have been so distorted? When I finally had a chance to ask the woman a question, I asked her to tell me her name, and it sounded as if she answered, "Joan William Shakespeare."

That helped explain it. Her first name was a woman's name and her middle name was "William." Somehow in the course of history her first name must have been lost, and since only the masculine name had remained, people had assumed Shakespeare had been a man.

I was going to have to leave very soon. I would like to tell the woman about how famous she would someday be, but I was uncertain that would be proper.

I next walked into what appeared to be a large, crowded auditorium. I could not calculate with certainity how many people were there – a lot. I spotted an empty seat in what looked like a booth which might be in a restaurant and I sat on the side of the booth directed toward the front podium. In the seat on the other side of my table was sitting Warnie (a fellow about a year older than I whom I met around 1970 during my last year of high school). Since his seat was turned away from the podium, he had to turn around to see what was going on up front.

As I looked at Warnie, an old memory returned which I wanted to tell Warnie. Although he was absorbed in what was starting to take place on the podium, I snagged his attention and I told him that I had once seen him perhaps 15 years ago in a frenzied state in a store buying a pornographic magazine. The incident seemed important to me, because I thought that Warnie used to masturbate compulsively, but that he had been able to give up the habit. That meant something to me, because I would also like to give up masturbation.

Warnie was not interested at the moment in talking with me, and he turned his attention back to the stage. I in turn, turned my attention to a paperback book lying on the table in front of me. It was turned sideways and across its cover I had printed a long line of words which focused on the woman with whom I had earlier been talking in the back room. The written words seemed to be the first lines in a story which I was thinking of writing. As I carefully read the words, I realized that most of them seemed written in poetic meter. The words seemed to flow quite well, except for the name of the woman, which did not seem to fit well into the metric scheme.

I reread the line several times, to see if I could improve it. I knew almost nothing about poetic meter, and I was unsure what to do, but I did find it very interesting. I concluded I could not change the woman's name - even if the name did not fit well, the name would have to remain as it was.

While I had been absorbed with my writing, activity had begun on the stage of the auditorium: a woman had walked onto the stage. Although I did not realize it at the time, she looked like a woman I knew named Joan Ieulie. She was standing extremely impressively tall and erect behind the podium. In fact, she seemed to have a certain luminescence about her, almost supernatural.

Suddenly I became lucid – I realized I was dreaming. I felt like proceeding and awakening; I questioned the validity of my lucidity. As usual when I was lucid, it seemed as if I were actually awake, but I decided I would continue with the dream anyway.

It immediately occurred to me that I had previously decided that when I next became lucid in a dream, I would try to find Angel, the imaginary character with whom I was establishing contact in my waking life. I was pleased with that thought and I looked more closely at the woman on stage, thinking she might actually be Angel. I did not think, however, that Angel would have taken the form of a woman; instead, I thought perhaps the woman was Angelina, the other imaginary character whom I had been creating in my waking life.

Suddenly my concentration and lucidity were broken as the woman began to speak. I was startled to realize that of all the people in the auditorium, I had been signaled out by her; she was speaking directly to me. I looked directly at her and concentrated with all my might on her words. Her sentence was long and she used big words, so understanding her was difficult. She seemed to be using words in quite a sophisticated way and she did not seem affected. I seemed a little dull in grasping what she had said.

It sounded to me as if she were saying that I had been very self-absorbed so far while I had been seated here and that I had paid little attention to what was happening on the stage. I had to admit to myself that I had been absorbed in what I had been writing and that I had not given much attention to what the woman had been doing up there. Finally I answered, "If I understood what you were saying, I think you were correct."

When the woman continued talking, I began thinking of the many people suffering in this world and about my responsibility to help them. My thoughts seemed to parallel what the woman was saying. It was almost as if I could see scores of needy people going to their graves and I realized I was unable to help them. At the same time, I seemed to be realizing I did not need to place emphasis on helping them. My main emphasis needed to be on saving myself. The real struggle was to save myself; helping others was simply a means to that end. I rather imagined my own soul being somehow entombed and my being able to somehow dig it out.

The woman was still talking; it was ever clearer that she was a spiritual guide. She said something like, "The first thing I do is relieve people from the adverse consequences of selfish behavior so they can become fully self-absorbed."

It also seemed that I was becoming slightly lucid again and that I was creating some of her words for her. I was unsure I had phrased them just right.

Just imagine Edward de Vere writing all those plays and not receiving credit therefore. What a self-absorbed life he must have lived. His pleasure must simply have been from the creation of his work and not from the fame thereof. Perhaps that sense of isolation was transfered through the Shakespeare-plays to Collier's psyche from which God obtained the material for the dreams which God created in Collier's mind. I can hear Collier pleading, "Oh, mighty God, reveal to us your purpose. Show us why you chose this weak and fearful man through which to speak to mankind."

Dream of: 05 September 1990 "Goddess"

confusion of roles

breeds evil uncertainity

and the fear of death

A group of people was unhappy with me. In fact, they were angry at me. We were planning to produce a play (only for ourselves and not for an audience), a version of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, and I had been chosen to play Lady Macbeth. However, when we met for the first day of rehearsal, I still had not memorized my lines. Some of the other people had learned their lines, but I had not even been given my lines until now; I had not realized that knowing my lines for this first rehearsal would be necessary. So now, as I sat down and began trying to memorize, I contemplated backing out of the entire enterprise. Since the actual show did not start for a few more days, however, I decided I should still have time to learn my lines and play my role.

As I worked on my part, I noticed some stairs near me. A board had been laid over the stairs, stretching from the top of the stairs to the bottom. As part of the action of the play, water was flowing down the stairs and over the board. At some point in the play, someone was supposed to slide down the board through the water.

Since I did not have any lines in the first couple scenes, the others began rehearsing those scenes without me. As they practiced, I continued reading the text on my own. I noticed that before I would enter the stage for the first time, something "sublime" was supposed to happen and that after I had entered, the sublime thing would become "sublimer."

I also gradually realized something that I had not known before: Lady Macbeth was actually a goddess, and during the course of the play, she descended to earth. My copy of the play contained some pictures interspersed through it. On the page where Lady Macbeth's part began was a picture of fleecy clouds with light shining through them. The picture also showed Lady Macbeth, wearing a long white robe, seated and writing a letter.

I saw that in the first scene, Lady Macbeth would be writing a letter to someone. It was necessary for me to memorize the text of the letter. Two words of the letter's first line were "starbits fly." Since the second line of the letter made no sense to me, I thought I was going to have to ask someone the meaning of the words.

Obviously I was not going to have my lines memorized today for the first rehearsal; I would simply have to read my lines from the page. Most of the other actors were also reading their parts. One man, however, apparently had already memorized his part. I thought if I could simply memorize the first few lines, at least I would know something.

The theory that God communicates to man through dreams remains unproven. Indeed, the theory that God even exists remains to be proved. Yet it can be said with certainty that the author of Collier's dreams was not Collier himself because although a work of art - such as a play - is created by the conscious mind of the artist, a dream is not so created. The creator of dreams remains shrouded in mystery. Collier maintained that clues to the identity of that mysterious author of dreams became clearer when a group of dreams focused on the same subject - such as Shakespeare, for example - assembled and read together, allowing the light to shine through.

Dream of: 15 June 1991 "Favorite Play"

the guidance of dreams

may sometimes seem obscured by

conflicting stories

While my father and some other members of my family were upstairs, I was in the basement of a house. I had several record albums which contained various plays of Shakespeare. Upstairs, my father and the others were going to do something with some plays of Shakespeare, but I did not want to be involved with what they were going to do and I intended to refuse to be involved with them. If my father tried to force me, I figured we would probably have a fight. In the past he had tried to force me to participate in their activities, and when I had refused, he had beaten me until I had submitted, but now I felt as if I were strong enough to resist.

Soon I heard my father coming down the stairs. He walked over to me and acted as if he were going to be affable, but I knew it was only a ploy. First he picked up the album which contained King Lear. Then he put it down and he picked up the one containing Hamlet, which was probably my favorite. When he tore some paper off the front of the album, I called upstairs to the others that he was tearing up my album. I thought my time to react had arrived and I began struggling with him. We fell to the floor; I soon thought I would have the best of him and I wondered if I would start hitting him in the head.

According to Collier, a collection of dreams focused on a central concept - such as this collection here which is focused on Shakespeare - when read together, will reveal a higher level of meaning which may not be easily discernible in the individual dreams. In this context, I must ask myself what happened to the spirit of Edward de Vere when he died in 1604. Although these Shakespeare-dreams seem focused on bringing to Collier's attention the fact that he is a writer, on a higher level, the assembled dreams also seem to reveal a certain connection between dreams and the after-life.

Dream of: 29 July 1991 "Tragedy"

not listening to

dreams is a tragedy for

seekers of meaning

I had been in a play in which I apparently had portrayed a Shakespearean character. Afterwards, I seemed to be watching myself as, still in my costume, I arrived at a house where I was supposed to meet a woman. I was probably in my 50s, and the woman probably in her 20s. When I arrived, I did not see the woman anywhere, and talking to myself out loud, I asked if this were not just some sort of Shakespearean tragedy in which I was involved. Suddenly, however, the woman appeared, and said something in response to what I had just said. I stood looking at her. She was dressed in white and looked quite regal. Obviously she had not abandoned me after all.

Whether the spirits of the deceased continue to live after death was one of the abiding questions which haunted Collier throughout his life. He could not say "yay," he could not say "nay." He could, however, say that if his own spirit did not survive death, then his life had no meaning for him. He therefore clung to the unproven belief that the spirits of the deceased do continue to exist after death, and that his own life did have meaning. Whether incorporeal spirits were able to communicate with humans in dreams, however, was quite a different matter. Although Collier had many dreams of deceased people, he could offer no hard proof that those visitations were anything but illusions. Yet he likewise did not deny the possibilty that the visitations could be real.

Dream of: 25 January 1997 "Unprepared"

prepare in your dreams

 for the work ordered to be

accomplished in life

Like a rock in the forehead, it suddenly hit me: I was supposed to be acting in a play in just a couple hours – a play which I had not even read, let alone rehearsed. The tangled mess began to come back to my memory. I recalled how my friend, Wheat, had contacted me and had told me about a project with which he was helping at a local school. Part of the project was a play by Shakespeare. I thought the play was Richard II, but I was not even sure of that – it could have been Henry IV or Henry V. I was only sure that the lead actor in the play had dropped out less than a week before the play, and that Wheat had beseeched me to step in and take over the role. For reasons which I could not now remember or fathom, I had agreed to do so. But then I had completely forgotten about the play until right now, just two hours before the first performance was scheduled to begin. I remembered I had read the first couple pages, but I did not know what the play was about, and I had not memorized anything.

I was shocked at my foolishness for having accepted the part. In the past I had had numerous dreams of this kind of debacle – so many dreams that I knew what they meant: I was unprepared for something which I needed to do. This situation, however, was much different - because I was now actually awake and not dreaming – and a sense of panic began to overtake me. I could not possibly stand up in front of a roomful of people without knowing my lines. Maybe I could simply take the playbook on stage with me and read the lines, even though reading from the playbook would be devastatingly embarrassing. I definitely was not going to do that. I saw only one solution: I simply was not going to go.

What could anyone say? No one had even contacted me since I had agreed to take the part. We had not had a single rehearsal. Maybe they had forgotten about me. At any rate, I did not see how anyone could complain much if I simply did not show up. And that was what I decided to do.

I still needed to go to the school for something completely different, however, and I began preparing to leave.

When I reached the school – a large, old, brown-brick building – my father was with me. He and I walked inside and down some dour halls until we stepped inside a little room. All the while I kept my eyes peeled, hoping not to see anyone connected with the play.

Inside the room were sitting a man and a woman with whom I had an appointment. The matter at hand concerned the inheritance of either my grandmother or my grandfather. With me I had brought a letter opener made of dark ebony wood, and I handed the letter opener to the woman. She in turn used a knife to scrape off a little bit of the wood into an envelope. She then sealed the envelope and handed the letter opener to the man who put the letter opener into a separate large envelope. I was then told that the interview was finished.

I was a little surprised because they had not returned the letter opener to me. I was uncertain why they had wanted the letter opener in the first place, and I could not see how it had anything to do with the inheritance of one of my grandparents, but I just accepted what was taking place – I did not want to start asking a lot of questions. Instead I simply stood up, and my father and I walked out of the room.

Only when my father and I were back out in the hall did I realize something: the woman in the room had been Donna Griffiths (a woman with whom I had been sharing dreams on the internet). This realization came as a complete surprise to me, and I wondered what kind of impression I had made on Donna. I thought I had looked all right, except I was wearing a pair of black wingtips made of imitation leather. These shoes were rather shoddy-looking; I would have liked to have been able to explain why I wore them - not because I could not afford better shoes, but because I preferred, as much as possible, not to wear leather. I was not a fanatic about it, because I did have some pairs of leather shoes, but even though I knew leather looked better on me, as much as I could stand it, I tried to wear imitation leather. If I had been able to explain all that to Donna, she might have better understood the cheap-looking shoes.

In the present year 2087, I am 27 years old. Placing myself inside Collier's mind as it was in the previous dream 90 years ago is envigorating, similar to how I imagine Collier's mind may have been envigorated by placing himself in the mind of Edward de Vere, when de Vere was 27 years old, in 1677, 320 years before the previous dream. De Vere and I seem to be more united through the mediation of Collier's dreams, and even though de Vere might not have sought fame, fame seems to have sought de Vere, the great master of the English language, recognized by great subsequent lovers of English literature.   

Dream of: 22 October 1999 "No Prince Hamlet"

each person has a

destiny whose clear traces

can be found in dreams

On both sides of me, draped in their most brilliant hues, hung the autumn leaves. Before me, stretching straight down the side of the hill on which I was walking, lay the leaf-strewn forest path. How I loved it out here in the woods!

Continuing down the wooded path, I thought of T.S. Eliot and some of his poems which I had memorized. I was trying to remember references to Shakespeare in Eliot's poems, specifically references to Macbeth and Hamlet. I knew Eliot had referred to Hamlet more than once, and I could remember a specific line from Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," which read, "I am no Prince Hamlet."

I had repeated that line to myself many times in my life, unsure whether it was a positive or negative statement. Although I recalled references to Hamlet, however, I could not specifically recall a reference to Macbeth, even though I felt Eliot somewhere referred to Macbeth. What I did realize was that, even though I was quite familiar with Hamlet and Macbeth, I should become more intimate with both works. After all, I loved Shakespeare, and I strongly related to another of Eliot's lines, which I repeated to myself, "Oh, that Shakespearean rag. How it moves me. How it grooves me." At least that was the way I thought the line went.

By now I had reached the bottom of the leaf-covered hill, and I was approaching the campus of an old college, consisting of elegant red-bricked buildings. Seeing the imposing building for which I was headed, I walked up to it and entered.

Inside, in one huge room, cafeteria-style tables had been set up, and sitting on all the tables were antiques and collectibles which were going to be auctioned off here today. I was unsure whether I would buy anything, but I definitely wanted to watch the auction, and with keen interest, I began scrutinizing the items on the tables.

Most everything had price-tags, and all the prices seemed exorbitant to me, but I figured that whoever was selling the items had simply put on inflated prices to make the items seem more attractive. I did find one figurine of a woman, about thirty centimeters tall which had a low price of $9 on it. The figurine looked as if it were made of ivory and it had an oriental air to it. It was partially mechanized so that the mouth and one arm of the woman moved. The more I looked at the piece, the more I liked it. Hoping that no one else had noticed the statuette, I quickly decided I would bid on it.

Since it was almost time for the auction to begin, people began taking their seats in the metal folding chairs at the tables. I took an empty seat where no one was sitting on either side of me. Almost immediately the lights were lowered. Apparently a spotlight would shine in the middle of the room in front of the tables, and the light would be shone on each item as it was offered for bids.

Before the auction began, two women sat down right next to me on my left. The woman immediately next to me was tall and thin (about 35 years old). She was pretty, but not beautiful. I immediately felt attracted to her, and I wondered whether she noticed me. I also wondered if she noticed the silver ring I was wearing, with the little round face which looked like an Indian from old Indian nickels. Or she might notice the Jurassic Park watch which I was wearing. The ring was not expensive, and the watch was made of plastic, but both were colorful, and I thought they displayed my interest in the kind of collectible items being offered for sale here.

The auction began and the first item was sold. Then the second item was wheeled out. Loaded on what appeared to be a large, wheeled, baggage rack from an airport were dozens, perhaps hundreds, of empty cereal boxes. At least the boxes were empty of cereal. Instead of with cereal, they were loaded to overflowing with popcorn. I knew some people collected old cereal boxes, but believing that these boxes, which did not appear to be particularly old, were being auctioned, was difficult. I turned to the woman next to me, who also seemed amazed by the sight, and I asked her what she thought the boxes would sell for. She seemed amused and said they might bring $5 for all of them. I thought the price was a little low, and I said they would probably bring $100. At the same time, I thought maybe the woman and I could compare estimates on other items put up for bid. I liked comparing estimates with someone, to see who would come closer to the actual final bid.

The woman had apparently taken more than a passing note of me, because she laid her right hand on my left leg, very close to my crotch. Almost imperceptibly she moved her hand over until it was right on top of my penis. To encourage her, I pressed my legs together, causing her hand to put more pressure on my penis. She did not pull away. Instead, she moved her face close to mine until her right cheek was pressed against my left cheek. The corner of her mouth touched the corner of my mouth and I could feel a tiny amount of moisture pass from her lips to mine.

The passing of moisture immediately bothered me. Had I gone too far with this woman? Was it not possible to contract AIDS from another person's saliva? It was a shame I had to have these kinds of thoughts. Now the mood was irreparably broken.

Knowledge is transferred from one generation to the next through the art of literature. "To sleep, perchance to dream, " is a quote for the ages. Yet still, just as Collier, so do I, search for the meaning of my life. As Collier to the works of Shakespeare, so am I to the works of Collier bound. God and life eternal remain evasive, tantalizingly ephimeral in dreams. Not knowing the truth, is the source of so much pain, just as is being forced to believe with uncertainity something of such magnitude as God and eternal life. Dedicating one's life to extracting meaning from ephemeral dreams, such was the life of Edward de Vere, such that of Steven Collier, and such is mine.

Dream of: 27 September 2002 "Alter Ego"

a lifetime of dreams

may be necessary for

certain destinies

I was memorizing some lines from Shakespeare when I suddenly realized that I was supposed to act in a play on the day after tomorrow. Although I was the main character in the play, I was not even sure which play it was, but it somewhat reminded me of Don Quixote. The thing about it was ... it was also written in Italian. I didn't even speak Italian. Nevertheless, I thought I could still memorize my lines; so I was reading the play, even though I was almost ready to give up. I said, "Oh well."

I thought I would just fake it. Since people probably would not understand the play anyway, I was desperately memorizing it.

I was also thinking about calling up my old friend from my late teeens, Steve Weinstein and talking with him. I was also going to tell him that I had realized that I had written many dreams in which he had appeared, and that he was somewhat like my "alter ego." I thought that he seemed to represent another side of me. This idea had come through in the dreams and I wanted to tell him about that and see what he thought. I hoped I would be able to develop this feeling of his being my alter ego in the dreams. I figured by the time I was 70 I would have enough dreams to write a complete book of dreams with Steve in them, but I would need quite a few more years to develop this theme.

As I was memorizing Shakespeare, I was on a bus. Some other people were with me.

Although Collier appreciated the works of Shakespeare throughout his adult life, not until he concluded in 2016 that those works were more likely written by Edward de Vere than by William Shakespeare, did the flower of those works truly blossom. Then did God pour wisdom into Collier's ear and Collier multiplied his efforts to verify the voices of ghosts heard in his dreams to determine whether non-corporeal spirts actually penetrated into his dreams or whether such beings were mere illusion simply created by God as means of illustration and metaphor. 

Dream of: 01 April 2003 "Richard II"

some are born while

others are called into the

highest worlds of art

I was sitting in a capacious room with a stage area on one side – a nightclub ambience. Sitting next to me was Ramo (an old friend from my high school years). I was telling Ramo how I belonged to an amateur band, and how the band had recently been performing on stage here. I explained, however, that I was tired of the band and that I wanted to move on to a different endeavor: acting.

I specifically wanted to act in plays by William Shakespeare. I even had a play in mind: Richard II, and I had been made aware of a theater where I might be able to pursue my ambition. The theater seemed experimental – I might have to do all the parts in the play myself.

Moving on to Shakespeare from my band seemed positive. In so doing, I would meet a new group of people. The denizens of this club probably knew nothing of Shakespeare, much less Richard II. I was ready to make the move.

Although the mere thought that Edward de Vere might actually contact Collier in Collier's dreams might seem preposterous, such an occurence still lies within the realm of possibility. After all, the location of de Vere's spirit after the death of his mortal coil has not been revealed, and that location remains a mystery. De Vere might possibly be reading these words even now as they are typed. Or de Vere may no longer even exist in any spirtual form, but only in the memories evoked by his illustrious words.

Dream of: 03 July 2004 "Faulknerian"

dreams can be sources

of light midst an obscure and

a ponderous life

I was watching television, a play by Shakespeare, either Romeo and Juliet or Beauty and the Beast. I had watched it so many times, I easily followed the complex plot and understood the winding words. I was familiar with almost all of Shakespeare's plays; I could happily stay here for hour upon hour, watching Shakespeare.

I glanced out the window at the sun-lit sidewalk which stretched down a bright, residential street lined with two-story, frame houses. I could see all the way to the intersection of the next street, 10-15 houses away. There, on the corner, in the yard of a house, a couple pieces of paper were being blown by the wind. I concentrated on the two pieces of paper until I realized they were money: one looked like a $1 bill and the other a $5 note.

Hardly hesitating, I stood up and walked out the front door. As I began running down the sidewalk toward the bills, I took note that I was not wearing any shoes, only a pair of heavy gray socks. I thought I should probably turn around -- this was how holes were made in socks -- but I continued on, worried that someone else would find the bills before I did.

I reached the corner and chased after the large bill, allowing the $1 bill to blow away. I finally trapped the large bill in my hand, picked it up, and began walking back the way I had come. As I examined the bill, it looked more like a whole pack of bills which had small holes eaten all the way through them, obviously from insects. Although damaged, however, the bills were still good.

I reached the house, gave the pack of bills to someone inside, and immediately turned around to go back down the street. I thought perhaps more bills were out there, just blowing around, waiting to be found. I was walking now, not running. I passed a house on my left where a garage sale was taking place, but I did not stop. I hardly ever went to garage sales anymore.

As I walked, I thought about what I ought to be doing with my time. I thought  I ought to be writing, and a little story began to surface in my mind. I could write about a man named "Moro." Moro would be a fellow who went for a long walk, and the story would be about Moro's experiences during the course of his walk. I would make the story interesting by concentrating on the words I would use. I thought about William Faulkner's style of writing, his convoluted sentence-structure and obscurity. I might even invent new words. I could use the word "Faulknerian" as I described Moro's walk. The word seemed appropriate, meaning "obscure" and "ponderous," to describe Moro's mental state.

Personally disinclined to believe that the spirit of Edward de Vere ever had actual contact with Collier in Collier's dreams, I must be content with the much more prosaic conclusion that the Shakespeare-works in Collier's dreams are more akin to symbols of something. Maybe they are a symbol of "literary creation." I think that the dichotomy between the theory that actual spirits motivate dreams, versus the theory that unliving symbols motivate dreams, may parallel Collier's more poetic view with my more prosaic view of dreams.

Dream of: 16 December 2004 "Writers"

the ecstasy of

communion with artists is

sometimes found in dreams

As another person and I wandered atop a forested mountain, we noticed several elephants which were excited about something. One elephant was holding some burning sticks in its snout and I had the impression that the elephant was trying to set the forest afire. The elephant finally threw down the sticks and all the elephants raced off away from us. I especially remarked how fast one elephant was running, gracefully sprinting into the distance.

I next noticed several cheetahs grouped together in a thicket, apparently pursuing their prey. The cheetahs adroitly wound themselves through the brush.

With so much wildlife in the area, I was surprised to see a couple small houses nearby and I wondered who would live clear up here. Both houses were probably not more than one room each. After my companion and I walked up close to one house, I wondered if I might be able to stay up here sometime -- this was such a picturesque place and I would surely enjoy some time up here alone.

I walked up to one of the little houses, and finding the door open, I walked in. I was immediately greeted by a man standing in the room and I instantly knew who he was: Ernest Hemmingway. He was a tall slender lanky man (probably in his late 40s). I felt rather presumptuous being in the house of Ernest Hemingway, and I figured I would not be allowed to stay, but he was quite cordial and unassuming. We spoke and he quickly put me at ease and made me feel welcome.

A tape recorder was playing and I quickly recognized the recording as a play by William Shakespeare. I realized Hemingway and I would have something in common: apparently we both enjoyed listening to tapes of Shakespeare plays. Maybe Hemingway and I could spend time together. I did not know much about him, except that he was a writer, but I felt at ease here and I thought he and I could be friends.

I immediately thought of something we might be able to do together and I pulled out a book which contained poems by Dante Alighieri. I motioned Hemingway over to a chair and we both sat down. I opened the book to a poem and began reading. I quickly stopped however, because the Shakespeare tape in the background was interfering with my reading. I asked the other person who had accompanied me here (whom I now identified as my wife Carolina) to turn off the recorder so I could continue with my reading. She did so and I once again began reading.

Hemingway was now standing, and as I read, he seemed a bit distracted. I quickly surmised what the problem might be: I was reading the poem in English and he would probably prefer its being read in the original Italian. When I stopped reading and asked him if he would prefer Italian, he did not answer, but I felt from his looks that he was assessing me, weighing his own language abilities against mine. I still felt comfortable, but slightly disconcerted. I knew some Italian, but I did not really know the language well enough to read the poems out loud in Italian. I hoped my inadequacy would not impact upon this blossoming friendship.

De Vere was the master of English writers. Yet each man must find himself. Turning dreams into a literary calling may require audacious fiction based upon bedrock truth. The truth in this case is the dreams which Collier published. I, on the other hand, am pure fiction. My interpretations of Collier's dreams may be a bit on the fanciful side, but without me, where would he be but entombed in his isolated, unvisited world? Like Hamlet's ghost, I visit him as he existed so long ago.

Dream of: 02 March 2011 "Kings"

success is often

built upon many failures

by the diligent

 I was talking on the phone with a fellow about trying to publish one of my books. I told him I had already written three books and I told him what they were about. I said that the first book was about my friend, Michelle, that I had then written two more books and that I was now working on the fourth book. I wanted to publish the fourth book, which was going to be about kings. I was assembling the many dreams which I had had about kings into a book. At present I was gathering together germane dreams of plays by William Shakespeare in which kings had appeared. I told the fellow I had had dreams about Richard III and Richard IV. I was particularly interested in Richard IV. I asked the fellow if he knew who those kings were. I was surprised when he said he did. Obviously he must be well-read.

I was happy that my books had finally reached the point where I felt they were decent enough to be published.

I do believe in Collier's central belief: dreams contain messages from God. I also believe his corrolary belief: focused groups of dreams contain life-sustaining morals. I believe that the moral in this Shakespeare-epic of dreams is this: "However improbable, make your calling come true." 

Dream of: 18 November 2014 "The Most Beautiful Thing"

the beauty of words

allows us to communicte

the beauty of dreams 

While in a room which seems to have books on shelves similar to a library, I notice T. S. Eliot. A slender vibrant man, he's around forty years old. I almost feel like a small child in his presence and I approach him in a childlike manner. When I speak to him like a child, he accepts me, and although he's busy working on something else, he starts talking with me and he listens to what I say.

When he asks me what I've been doing, I reply that I've been reading Moby Dick. I mentally chuckle when he asks me, "Who wrote Moby Dick?" because I think he must be joking to even suggest that he does not know who wrote Moby Dick. So to inform him that I suspect that he's jesting with me, I answer wittily, "You're from St. Louis, aren't you?"

Although I know that Eliot is British, I also know that he was born in St. Louis, that he was originally an American, and that he therefore must know that the name of the author of such a monumental American novel as Moby Dick is Herman Melville. He looks at me as if he's trying to understand what I'm trying to say. He finally seems to appreciate my acuity and without actually saying anything, he concedes that he of course knows the name of the author of Moby Dick.

As we proceed to discuss Moby Dick, the point he was making, however, registers. Maybe Eliot had been saying that Moby Dick was not so monumental and that knowing the author of Moby Dick was not so important. Indeed, Eliot speaks about something in the novel being "ordinary." I reply that the America of the 1840s was indeed an ordinary place and that the novel is a grand portrayal of that ordinariness. By encapsulating the vastness of the ordinariness of America in the 1840s, the novel seems like quite an achievement to me, although Eliot has put me to pondering the importance of the novel.

At one point I approach him from behind, wrap my arms around him and wrestle with him. I say - there's one thing I really want to know, how much Latin did you really know? - I know that he emphasized the importance of Latin and that he was a great proponent of Latin. I know that I also studied Latin and I wish I could think of something to say to him in Latin right now, but I cannot think of a thing. I release him and continue talking with him.

He sits down on a couch facing me while I stand in front of him. Now I question him further about his knowledge. I want to know how well he understands Dante and The Divine Comedy. I ask him and he indicates that he understands The Divine Comedy. As I contemplate The Divine Comedy, I question the importance of so much of the poem which simply has the names of too many unimportant people in it. Does Eliot know all those names or is it even necessary to know all the names in order to understand The Divine Comedy? As an example of what I'm thinking, I say to Eliot that Dante may even give the name of an unimportant page who serves an unimportant soldier. There's just too many names in The Divine Comedy to know them all. I say, "There's just hundreds of people in there like that."

The more I think about it, the more I want to tell Eliot that some of the actual pieces of the story of The Divine Comedy are even ordinary and unimportant. Even as I speak, however, I stop and realize how ridiculous I am to be criticizing someone as great as Dante whose story has had such a profound impact on me and upon the world.

I have a momentary realization of the connection between Dante and Eliot's greatest achievement: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I know that Dante was an influence on Eliot's poem. I also know that the poem displayed influences from other sources and I foggily think of Shakespeare and Hamlet. I do not even know where to begin to ask Eliot a question about his monumental poem, but I want to ask a question which will help bring the poem more into focus for me.

Instead of the name "Prufrock," however, I'm thinking that the name begins with the letters "Pen" and I think that the syllable "pen" was derived from some source. I want Eliot to tell me why he used the syllable "pen" in the name. I know the name is fabricated and I want to know how he came up with the first syllable "pen."

I want to talk about the poem and all the sources of inspiration for the poem. I say something like, "Now that I think about it - I hadn't really thought about it before - but it was so 'Dantesque.' The way that you have these little pieces that don't mean anything in and of themselves. When woven together they have this meaning."

Most of all, however, I feel so much like Prufrock myself, that I'm almost overwhelmed by the emotion of feeling like Prufrock. I want to tell Eliot that The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was the greatest achievement of American literature. Almost in tears, I say, "It was the most beautiful thing I ever read."

Like de Vere, Collier must have lived much of his life in fantasy. Yet Collier's concept that God communicates with man in dreams was intensely serious. In fact, Collier's collections of dreams seemed more intent on affirming the belief that God communicates with man in dreams than in affirming any other belief. As to whether Collier would agree with me that the central moral to these Shakespeare-dreams is: "However improbable, make your calling come true" - I doubt it. He would probably be more inclined to say that the central moral is: "Dreams contain clues of the meaning of life." 

Dream of: 05 February 2017 "Edward De Vere" 

the beauty of truth

is often hidden in the

darkest mystery

 I'm telling someone about a book which I'm writing about the works of William Shakespeare. I tell the person that the book is actually about Edward de Vere. I emphasize to the person that Edward de Vere - not William Shakespeare - actually wrote the works of Shakespeare. I want that fact to be very clear since I have become thoroughly convinced of this proposition.

 

Both de Vere and Collier strove to create literary beauty. Thus seeing the works of Shakespeare as symbols of literay beauty in Collier's dreams is not a long stretch of the imagination. Collier's calling was to create works of literary beauty with his dreams - which he maintained contained messages from God. As improbable as that calling might have been, Collier heeded the call, just as de Vere had done several centuries earlier.

 

Dream of: 20 February 2017 "Deciphering Hamlet"   

the mystery of

death persists in haunting the

unbelieving soul 

I'm trying to teach someone a little about Shakespeare. As I try to lead the person to understand where the action of the play Hamlet took place, I'm realizing that this person has no understanding of Shakespeare at all. As I try to teach the person where in Denmark - in what area of Denmark - Hamlet was set, I gradually realize that this person is basically uneducated and probably does not even know that Hamlet took place in Denmark. To lead the person to at least understand the location of Hamlet, I tell the person to think about the title of the play, which I think is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

So look to your dreams if you would hear God speaking to you. Concentrate on the message in the belief that all dreams have messages. Look for clues to the meaning of life. Trust in the eternity of your soul.

 

Frank Whitfield

Paris, France

28 February 2087

 

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