My name is Frank Whitfield. Born 27 years ago in 2060, I recently began working as a psychologist in Paris, France. Although more and more of my time is devoted to the psychological concerns of my clients, I still nurture my love of dreams, and continue to explore the vast treasure of dreams bequeathed to the world by Steven Collier when he died in 2048 at the age of 95. My interest in Collier began many years ago in the small town of Portsmouth, Ohio where I was born, and which Collier called home for much of his life.
In the last few years, I have composed several collections of Collier's dreams. Each collection has focused on a particular element which occured in each of the dreams in that collection. Once again, I here collect a few of Collier's dreams which contain a particular element. This time, I concentrate on: tornados.
When I began examining Collier's dreams about tornadoes, I had no fixed idea what kind of story a collection of such dreams might tell, but I began my exploration with the desire to interpret the tornados as a symbol for a single concept which repeated itself in dream after dream.
Thus I assembled the following
collection and added my commentaries. The dreams, titles, pictures, and
haikus, however, are unchanged and are exactly as Collier bequeathed them to the
world those many years ago.
Dream of:29 August 1989 "We All Love God"
if symbols in dreams
are designed by god then the
stories are divine
A man was driving a car in whicha woman was riding in the front passenger seat, and in which I was sitting in the back seat. Since I knew that the driver was on the verge of graduating from law school and that he would soon be seeking employment, I was considering the possibility of hiring him to work for me. Since I was contemplating moving to a small town to start up a law practice, I thought he might be able to help me. The more we talked, however, the more I realized he would probably want too much money. Besides, he said something about just working for a year and then returning to law school for a master's degree. Apparently he seemed to think if he worked for someone for a year, the person would afterwards be obligated to pay for his education. I definitely would not be interested in that. I also thought my style of law practice would be so different from anyone else's, working with someone else would be difficult for me.
As we continued our journey and passed through what appeared to be a small college town, the woman in the front seat suddenly blurted out something about feeling a hurricane. I was unsure what she meant, but it looked as if she had felt a blast of wind through the open window next to her. Almost in the next instant, the car began to shake until it was suddenly picked up in the air.
Instantly I realized that we had been hit by a tornado or hurricane and that we had been hoisted into the air by the powerful wind. I figured we would quickly drop back down to the earth, and since we did not yet appear to be far off the ground, I hoped no one would be seriously injured by the fall. However, I knew it was possible that someone could be badly hurt.
Instead of falling, however, we continued our giddy rise with the car turning round and round, over and over. I held onto the back seat, almost floating at times. I tried to remain as calm as I could, attempting to determine on which side the car would land when it hit the ground, and where would be the safest place for me to be inside the car. I also tried to look out the window to determine our altitude, and whether other cars were also being blown around by the wind, but the constant churning and turning of the car made it too difficult to discern what was happening outside. At times I could only catch fleeting glimpses of the world far below. Clearly we were in an extremely dangerous situation; we might even die.
If we were going to die, I wanted to think of God in my last moments. I also wanted the other two to contemplate God and in order to plant the thought of veneration in their minds, I called out, "We all love God."
As we continued to be carried by the wind, it occurred to me that perhaps we were already dead, and that this was what it was like after death. Thinking that this existence might not be so bad, I wondered if it were possible to climb outside the car. The woman in the front seat - who appeared to be thinking the same thing - either opened the door, or slipped through the window to the outside. I instantly became alarmed because I was afraid we might lose her while she was outside - I definitely did not want that to happen. When she finally floated around outside to the back window, she looked in at me and said that it was wet outside, and then, before my startled eyes, she eased straight through the window into the back seat, as if the window were made of water. The sight of her passing through the window was truly amazing.
By now I thought indeed we had all been killed in the hurricane and that we were now experiencing life after death. I tried to recall the exact instant when we had been killed, but I could not; I thought the transition from life to death must have been very smooth. I had little remorse about having died. I was mostly concerned aboutmy father and my mother, because I hoped they would not grieve for me. I wished I had some way to tell them not to mourn, but I also realized that the matter was of no great concern.
Since I was still curious about the world outside, the woman and I soon slipped together out of the car which now seemed to be floating atop a billowy cloud like a ship on the sea. The woman told me that the cloudy substance felt like water, and she seemed to suggest that we could hold onto the rear of the car like skiers and ski along behind it.
I liked the idea, but I was beginning to have one regret about dying: I realized I had never finished writing any books while I had been alive, and if I were now dead, I would never be able to sate my need to write. It seemed as if writing the books had been the one task I had needed to finish before dying.
Only now did I notice that I was carrying a small, portable typewriter with me. I knew I needed to hold onto the typewriter if I ever wanted to have any hope of writing, but somehow I released the typewriter, allowing it to drift away from me on the cloud. Then, however, with what appeared to be a life of its own, the typewriter began skittering along behind the car until it caught up with me. I grabbed the typewriter and held on to it tightly.
When the car finally seemed to come to a stop, the woman stood next to me in the cloud. She was about 20 years old, with black hair and bright red lips, quite beautiful. She seemed somehow related to me, almost as if she were my sister (not my actual sister), yet she also seemed to be my lover. I felt close to her and I also felt fortunate to have her with me. I certainly did not want to lose her. I thought if I could simply have her and the typewriter, there was little else in life which I needed.
Noticing a rock wall next to us, I set the typewriter on it. I thought I could just sit right here at the typewriter and work on my book. Somehow I did not think it was too late to write my book, but if I were going to do it, I definitely needed to work on it.
Being here was truly pleasurable. And in the background I seemed to hear singing. As I concentrated on the song, trying to hear the lyrics, it seemed as if I myself were composing the song. The tune was about the woman who was with me, and although I was enjoying the song, I knew it was rather amateurish. I heard in a strong, robust voice the words, "Oh baby won't you light up the skies, let the sun shine through your eyes, and keep me tonight."
Assuming that the elments in dreams are symbols for something else is a daunting task. In reality, I think most people would agree that a tornado is, by definition, a "destructive force of nature." Thus it is tempting to look at tornados in dreams as a "negative force" and as something to be avoided. Indeed, I originally viewed tornado-dreams as warning-dreams which were meant to give notice to the dreamer of something which needed to be changed in the dreamer's life before it was too late.
Dream of:28 December 1993 "More Real Than A Dream"
the meaning of life
may be found in dreams said the
wise man to the fool
I was driving through a town in Ohio which vaguely seemed both like New Boston and Columbus. As I watched something in the sky ahead of me, I slowly became aware that I was looking at a funnel cloud, and I immediately became alarmed. I was particularly surprised by the cloud because I had recently had several dreams about funnel clouds. This particular funnel cloud, however, was much more vivid and real than anything I had seen in my dreams. The cloud was long and slender and seemed about three kilometers away.
Contemplating the best way to escape, I decided to try to outrun the cloud, turned the car away and drove as fast as I could. When I finally looked back at the cloud, it had changed direction and was moving away from me. After I stopped the car, climbed out and looked toward the funnel cloud, I could see traces in the sky of several other funnel clouds which had apparently been there in the sky earlier.
Only gradually did I become aware that my surroundings were in complete disarray. Obviously a tornado had already hit the area where I was. Cars were strewn about and some were crushed under fallen overpasses. The area reminded me of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.
I was especially aware of the stillness of the scene. I concluded that the tornado must have just hit the area a few minutes ago, and that the shocked people were still not moving. I quickly decided I must try to help anybody injured or trapped. As I walked toward the cars, I realized that I was under an overpass and that I needed to be careful, because something might fall on me, but I also needed to try to help.
The belief that elements in dreams are symbols for something else is akin to a religious belief in something which cannot be proven. Indeed, maybe a tornado in a dream is simply a tornado and not a symbol for anything. To actually prove that symbols exist in dreams would be a monumental accomplishment. Just as I have never seen absolute proof of the existence of God, so have I never seen absolute proof of the existence of symbols in dreams. To accept that symbols exist in dreams, is therefore, similar to accepting that God exists. Believing in dream-symbols is just that: believing.
Dream of:25 November 1995 "God Using Tornadoes"
if god appears to
us in dreams then why would god
not appear in life
Three other fellows and I were sitting around a table and playing a game in the kitchen of the Gallia County Farmhouse (southeastern Ohio). As part of the game, each of us took turns making up a dream to relate to the others. Whoever invented the best dream would win the game.
One of the fellows asked if he could drink a beer while we played the game. Noticing my step-grandfather Clarence standing at the kitchen sink and washing dishes, I told the fellow that this was not my house, but Clarence's. If Clarence did not mind, it was all right with me.
When the game began, I was supposed to be the first one to tell a dream, but after I had sat and thought for a while, nothing came to mind. Finally in frustration, I told the others that I passed, that I needed more time to think.
After passing my turn, I concentrated more deeply until I sank into a meditative state. A clear image of two small tornadoes, each about a meter tall, appeared in my mind. I watched the little tornadoes whisk through the front door of the Farmhouse and into the living room. Both tornadoes had black whirling lines, almost like something drawn in a cartoon. I recalled that in the past – when I had dreamed of tornadoes – I had concluded that God had appeared to me in the tornadoes, that God used the tornadoes as a means of disguise.
As I continued trying to maintain the image and fabricate a dream, I suddenly recognized a problem: I could not consciously reproduce the feeling of a dream. No matter how intensely I tried, the images which I was imagining still did not seem like a dream, because I knew the images were not real. Conversely, I knew if I were actually having a dream, no matter how illogical the events, I would believe the events to be real. I concluded that the dream state was one which I simply could not duplicate when I was awake.
Once one makes the leap of faith and believes that symbols exist in dreams, the central question becomes: how are symbols created? It seems unavoidable to me that one must assume that symbols are created by some form of intelligence, just as it seems unavoidable to me to assume that the universe itself was created by some form of intelligence. Just as the nature of the intelligence behind the creation of the universe remains a mystery, so does the nature of the intelligence behind the creation of symbols. Yet for symbols to have any meaning, the existence of an intelligence which creates the symbols should be assumed.
Dream of: 27 March 1997 "A Funnel Cloud of Books"
in dreams may form connections
with the living god
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). It was immediately manifest that he was the being here with the power; and he wasted no time in displaying it. He announced that by now it should be completely obvious to all of us who the chosen one was, 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 Salvador Dalí, 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."
My central dream axiom is this: dreams contain messages for the dreamer. Dreams are a means of communication from the intelligent creator of symbols to the dreamer. Far from being a mass of chaos, dreams are meaningful and are meant to guide and warn us in our daily lives. Although the meanings of dreams may not be readily understood, each dream represents a communication from a form of intelligence to us. The language of this communication is comprised of symbols. Thus tornados in Collier's dreams are indeed symbols for something in particular which is part of the messages being conveyed to Collier.
Dream of: 17 October 1999 "Tornadoes"
control and power
are necessary to keep
the universe still
Several members of my family and I were having a cookout for my father in the backyard of the House in Patriot, Ohio (the home of my maternal grandparents when I was a child). We planned to prepare fajitas. I was working on lighting the fire, but try as I may, I simply could not seem to start the fire. Finally, Mrs. Swiver, the neighbor who lived across the street, walked over to me and worked on the fire. In short order she had a big fire going, embarrassing me because I had proven so inept.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a large funnel cloud from a tornado swooped toward us. The cloud whirled past us, barely missing us. I then saw yet another funnel cloud headed straight toward us. My mother, my sister, and I ran to a small red car and jumped in, and with me driving, we raced off as fast as we could. Now I could see other funnel clouds around us, and I debated what we should do. Thinking we could possibly stop and run into one of the houses we were passing, I wondered which would be best – brick or frame. It seemed to me that a brick house would be better, but I reflected that if we were hiding in the basement, and the brick fell down on us, we would be more likely to be crushed than if we were in a frame house. I could not make up mind.
Fortunately, the skies began to clear, and the clouds disappeared. I thought maybe we had managed to escape unharmed, but up ahead of us I saw an ominous black cloud in the sky. Then I began to see several funnels slowly descending from the cloud – an eerie and scary sight. The funnels dropped from the black cloud so quickly, I barely had time to think before I saw one funnel cloud upon us. After I braked the car to a stop, my sister jumped out, but my mother and I stayed inside. I watched my sister and was astounded by what she did. Sitting close to us was an old car with the front left side jacked up in the air. The tire had been taken off the rim. I could not believe my eyes as I watched my sister crawl under the car, and lie directly beneath the tireless rim of the car.
Just as the funnel cloud was about to smash into us, my mother and I dove into the floorboard of our car. As we felt the funnel blast us, I wondered what would happen if we were lifted into the air and thrust about, but almost as quickly as the tornado had hit us, it passed, and my mother and I raised ourselves back up into the seats.
Immediately I looked over at the car under which my sister had lain. The car was still there raised up on the jack – but my sister had disappeared. Clearly she must have been swept away and killed. I stepped out of our car, almost in a state of shock, thinking my sister was dead, but suddenly I noticed something. Right behind the car stood an old garage with its wide garage doors open. Inside, lying on top of a pile of covers, was my sister. Her eyes were closed, and I feared the worst, that she had been killed, but when I called out her name, she opened her eyes. I was so happy. I thought God must have had something to do with my sister's survival, and I thanked God that she was still alive.
I raced over to the garage and climbed up to the covers to where my sister was lying. Just as I reached her, a woman dressed in white, like a nurse, appeared behind my sister. The woman immediately informed me that she (the woman) had already cleaned my sister's underwear. I said, "Already?" I understood the woman was saying my sister had dirtied her pants when the tornado had struck her, but I was surprised the woman had reached my sister and cleaned her so quickly. The woman said everyone who had been hit by the tornado had dirtied their pants. The woman had simply been doing her job by cleaning them.
As humans, we live in two worlds: our real lives and our dream lives. What may be impossible in our real lives becomes feasible in our dreams. Having control of a tornado, for example, while impossible in reality, becomes a possibilty in dreams. The accepted meaning of a tornado in real life - "a destructive force of nature" - might not apply in dreams in the same way as it applies in reality. Assuming that a tornado does indeed represent a "destructive force of nature" in reality, it is easy to imagine tornados in Collier's dreams as symbolizing "negative habits or tendancies" which impacted his life. This negative aspect of tornados, however, would not account for certain positive aspects of tornados which sometimes appeared in Collier's dreams.
Dream of:12 February 2000 "Changed By The Power"
true power derives
from god source of all power
in the universe
My father and I were standing on the wooden deck on the outside of the second floor of the Gallia County Farmhouse. As we looked out toward the hills in the west, we spotted an alarming sight: tornadoes. Not just one, but several funnel clouds of varying sizes had appeared on the horizon. The funnels were still far enough away so they did not present immediate danger, but I knew that if the tornadoes continued in our direction, the result could be devastating.
Other people had obviously also spotted the funnels because dozens of cars were speeding along the road in front of the Farmhouse, headed east away from the clouds. The cars, however, were having difficulty because the road was covered with ice and snow, and several cars skidded out of control as they turned the curve in front of the Farmhouse. I realized that if one of the cars had a serious accident, I might have to go down and help whoever was in the car, but I really did not have time to help anyone else right now because I first needed to make sure everyone in my family who was in the Farmhouse was safe. My mother, my paternal grandmother Mabel, and my paternal step-grandfather Clarence were somewhere around the Farmhouse, and I figured that they probably were not yet aware of the tornadoes. Intending to alert them of the danger, I headed down the back outside steps from the deck, hollering out that a tornado was coming.
Even though I ran all about the Farmhouse, inside and out, blaring out the warning, I never actually encountered anyone. When I finally walked back up to the deck, even my father had disappeared. I could only hope everyone had found safety.
One cloud approaching from the distance was particularly huge, dark and oppressive. It looked as if it might be a half kilometer wide and obviously presented the most danger. Other clouds were smaller, even graceful. One cloud formed right before my eyes, as if from nothing. The cloud just seemed to grow from high in the sky as the funnel fell closer and closer to the earth until it touched down.
Most clouds were still fairly far away; suddenly, however, one funnel was almost upon me. As it sped toward me, I still had time to run down to the basement to escape, but I did not. Instead, I looked more closely at the cloud, almost all green, filled with green leaves pulled from trees. The funnel was fairly small, perhaps a meter in diameter, and by the time it was close to me, it was only about as tall as I. I realized that if I did not move, the funnel would obviously hit me. I had no way to be sure of its power – perhaps it would kill me. I recalled having once thought it might be possible to catch a tornado, and in a flash I made my decision: I decided to stand still and let the funnel hit me.
As the swirl of leaves struck, I could feel the power of the tornado enter my body. In that instant, I felt myself absorb the power, and the power became part of me. This funnel was small, and its power faint in comparison to the monster tornado in the distance, but the transference of power from this small tornado to me was firmly palpable, and I felt myself changed.
Nevertheless, I did not intend to stay on the deck any longer and take a chance with a stronger funnel cloud. Once again I ran down the back stairs, and this time I continued to the basement. At the rear of the basement, I found my grandmother, sitting against the wall. No other members of my family were present, however, and I feared for their safety. I sat down near my grandmother and waited for a stronger tornado to hit the Farmhouse. I did not like being here. The basement was damp, and when I touched some of the sandstone on the basement's walls, I could feel the moisture in the stone. An acrid odor also filled the air. Since I knew that my grandmother used to store jars of canned food in the basement, I thought perhaps some of the food had spoiled and was causing the odor.
I wanted to get out of here, but I stayed. I sat still and thought to myself that sometimes, like now, I just needed to have patience – to sit and wait.
Upon reflection, I conclude that at its core, tornados in Collier's dreams represented the power of art. Although pummeled by various negative influences throughout his life, Collier ultimately gained some control of this power and indeed created some art.
Dream of: 25 June 2000 "Buddha And The Tornado"
the power of man
is a derivative of
the power of god
I had joined the military. Although I was not completely certain to which branch of the armed services I now belonged, I believed I was in the navy. This belief was supported by my present location the deck of a huge navy vessel.
About 50 other soldiers were also on deck, dressed in khaki uniforms. Suddenly they all began lining up in four different lines. Sensing that I should join in, I also stepped into a line, but I quickly felt uncertain of the line I had chosen, because only one other man was in my line - in front of me - while each of the other three lines contained at least a dozen men.
I was just about to change lines, when the commanding officer a tall, thin man (about 50 years old) stepped on deck. Someone then began walking along each line and handing a piece of bologna to each soldier. When I was handed my piece, I felt somewhat disgusted. Although I sometimes ate meat, I felt that doing so was wrong, and I especially did not want to eat this coarse piece of bologna.
Feeling confused, I sat down for a moment and tried to catch my thoughts. How could it be possible that I had joined the military? I tried to reflect, but my mind seemed groggy. I seemed to recall having had several shots of alcohol with other soldiers just before we had begun lining up, but beyond that, I drew a blank. My reasons for joining the military were completely absent. I only knew I would probably have to remain a soldier for around seven years. Incredible! How old would I be when I was released from this duty? I still had some life in me, but seven years would certainly rob me of a good hunk of it.
Suddenly, as fast as a bolt of lightening, I knew what I needed to do: I needed to create a collage. I had created many collages in my life from pictures which I had cut and collected from magazines, but I had not made any collages for a long time. Now, clearly, I thought I must make one. The image for the collage began forming in my mind.
A threatening, black tornado would descend from the upper left corner of the collage. I reflected that I had been having many tornado dreams lately, and I had not understood why. Now, the tornado dreams seemed to make sense to me. Inside the tornado I would place pictures of various objects which in some way represented threats to me. One of those objects would be a picture which had recently been associated with one of my dreams a poster from the army with a picture of Uncle Sam which read "I want you for the United States Army." I reflected that this poster was another dream element which I had not understood, but which now made sense in the context of the tornado.
The focus of the collage, however, would be on the lower right corner where I would paste a picture of a sitting Buddha. I saw in my mind a picture which I thought I had seen in one of the copies of National Geographic which I had accumulated. I would have to search for the picture, but I believed I could find it. The Buddha would be sitting serenely in the foreground, while the menacing tornado, with its debris, raced from the background toward the Buddha.
Now, I only needed to decide whether I would make an actual collage of paper and paste, or whether I would scan the pictures onto my computer and make a digital collage. I could see advantages to both ways. I might not even use a picture for the tornado, but draw it instead. If I did so, I could draw the furious black lines of the tornado on a piece of paper, and then scan the drawing onto the computer. Or I might simply draw the tornado on the computer. Whichever method I chose, I needed to start.
To have seen his destiny as a writer of dreams must have been both alarming and exhilerating for Collier. Alarming because no one had ever artistically created stories based on dreams the way Collier had in mind. Exhilerating because Collier was an explorer of a new art style which explored the beauty of fictional stories based upon real dreams. Controling the tornadoes in Collier's dreams came to mirror Collier's creation in reality of beauty from dreams.
Dream of: 23 November 2000 "Human-Headed Funnel Clouds"
death has no power
yet fear of death drains us of
the power to live
In a green field, a movie crew was filming a movie in which I had a small part as one of the actors. This was my first movie role, and my lines fit onto a single sheet of paper. Notwithstanding my small role, I was surprised by how much I was enjoying myself, and I thought I might even pursue a career in acting. However, I was nervous, because even though my part was small, I still had not memorized my lines; I was not even sure where I had stuck the paper which contained my lines. I hoped my part was not scheduled to be filmed today because I certainly was unprepared.
When I saw the director standing near me, I decided to have a short conference with him to make sure I still had time to memorize my lines. He was a slender, black-haired man, probably only about 30 years old. We began talking and he was quite friendly. I began to feel better, believing I still had time to learn my lines.
Suddenly, I was shocked to see that three or four funnel clouds had formed in the distance, behind the director, almost a kilometer away. The other people working on the film also became aware of the funnel clouds and everyone began running in all directions. I looked for cover, but I saw no place to hide. When I noticed a yellow motor vehicle, something like a golf cart, coming in my direction, I ran toward it and jumped on board. The cart had three rows of seats with enough room for two people in each seat. Four people were already in the cart, which was being driven by a woman; I made the fifth person.
Just as I jumped on board, one of the funnel clouds pushed toward us and passed right next to us. The cloud was small, perhaps only a meter wide, and when it brushed past me, I had the feeling that it was not strong enough to actually harm me. I began thinking maybe I was not in danger after all; I even thought maybe I should put myself in the path of one of the clouds and let it hit me, but I was still unsure that being hit by the funnel cloud would be a good idea.
By now, funnel clouds seemed to be popping up and falling from the sky all around us. The driver stopped the cart and I stepped off to get a better look. One cloud hit an old barn nearby, went inside the barn and seemed to disappear without doing damage to the barn. Once again another cloud passed by me, almost hitting me, thrilling me with its closeness.
When I again looked up at the sky, I became mesmerized by what I saw. A wide section of the sky was covered with multi-colored clouds, filled with grooves which looked like the surface of a large brain. The sight was spectacular - I had rarely seen anything so beautiful. Then, from the sky over my head, fell three white funnel clouds. Less than 20 meters from me, the lower tips of the clouds took on the forms of human heads of god-like men with white flowing hair and cheeks distended as they blew air from their mouths. I was too awe-struck by the beauty of the sight to be much frightened. However, I still did not want to get too close to these beautiful but disturbing clouds.
Harnessing the power of art in reality is similar to harnessing the power of a tornado in a dream. When harnessing a tornado in a dream, anxiety is replaced by exhileration, and fear of death is replaced by the hope of eternal life. So is it when one creates beautiful art: anxiety is replaced by exhileration, and the fear of death is replaced with the hope of eternal life - at least for Collier.
Dream of:28 May 2001 "Funnel Cloud In The Church"
true religion will
always and ever withstand
the power of art
I was standing beside a white church which appeared to have been built atop a small hill; from my vantage point I could look out over a town at the bottom of the hill, but I was unprepared for what I saw: plowing through the town was a huge black tornado! I excitedly pointed out the tornado to a woman and her child standing near me, and I exclaimed that I had never seen anything like it! The tornado was not the long thin type, but the thick barrel type.
I knew that we were in a dangerous situation and that we should seek shelter, but since I had my digital camera with me, I decided to try to snap a few pictures first, so I pointed the camera at the tornado and began snapping. As I did so, the funnel cloud began to shrink, and even as it approached us, the cloud grew smaller and smaller until it finally disappeared.
We were still not out of danger, though: the sky was forebodingly dark, still filled with black clouds. I thought if another funnel cloud formed, I would probably head into the church. Although I could see that the front door to the church was open, I was more interested in a door on the side which could be reached by descending some steps on the exterior of the church. Apparently the door at the bottom of the steps led to a basement room which would clearly be more safe than the upstairs. I was also concerned that the woman and her child should also seek shelter in the church.
Again I scanned the surrounding area, and again I was astounded by what I saw: atop a neighboring hill, which towered far above my lower hill, was a second church. A new funnel cloud the long thin type – had fallen from the sky and had blown the steeple off the second church. Although the second church was still standing, the tip of the long black funnel cloud had descended perfectly into the hole where the steeple had been so that the funnel cloud was sucking out the innards of the church! Mesmerized, I stared up in amazement at the church, the missing steeple, and the black funnel cloud spinning in the steeple-hole of the steeple-less church.
Regaining my senses, I once again began taking pictures. I had to act quickly, lest the funnel cloud fall from the higher church to the lower church where I was. Finally I thought that taking pictures was too dangerous. I stopped taking the pictures and headed for the lower side door of the white church, intending to seek refuge.
For Collier, the power of art was locked in something akin to a tornado - a destructive force of nature. The destructive forces in Collier's life were his various vices which hindered his creative abilities. In the tornados in Collier's dreams, this force of nature represents the destructive force of evil. Collier's tornado dreams tell the story of a man who tried to harness the power of art to overcome the power of evil.
Dream of: 21 August 2003 "Man In The Funnel Cloud"
beauty is bequeathed
to those in control of their
Twenty-five to thirty people were variously seated in the middle of a residential street, waiting to be given a lesson by a man standing in the middle of them. I likewise took a seat on the ground, crossed my legs in a lotus position, and straightened my back, hoping my erect stature would enhance my figure.
I looked at the man, but I could not clearly see his face. He was enveloped by a ring of dust, like a small circular funnel cloud. Who was he? Maybe 40 years old, his features were barely visible.
One person sitting on the ground was suddenly blown rolling down the street. Apparently he had not been sitting properly. Another person – a woman – holding a long-stemmed, red rose in her hand walked up to the man in the funnel cloud and held the rose out to him. The gesture seemed appreciated. The funnel cloud began moving down the street in the direction of the man who had been blown away. The rest of the assemblage began following. I also stood and fell in step, somewhat mesmerized by what I was witnessing.
Creating beauty in a chaotic world may be facilitated by trusting in a divine power which communicates with us. Collier believed that divine communications occured in his dreams, and he gradually came to conclude that his destiny was to describe the beauty of God by focusing his art on those communications. His creation of beauty, therefore, became focused on understanding the messages which God was conveying to him in his dreams.
Dream of:10 July 2005 "Fallen Church"
have faith in your art
when your spiritual beliefs
lie crumbled and dead
I was in the basement of a small house when I realized a tornado was approaching. I hollered out to my mother, who was upstairs, even though I knew it was too late for her, because the tornado was already on top of us. I was worried about her safety, but I could not ascend to her - the force of the wind would not have allowed me to climb up the stairs.
Fortunately, the tornado passed without hitting the house. I quickly climbed upstairs, found my mother, and brought her back down to the basement. I felt a bit deflated - the tornado had been so exciting. When all seemed safe, I went back upstairs and walked outside. The house was located in a metropolitan area, and off in the distance, I could see another gigantic swirling tornado coming right toward us. I watched a red brick building, five or six stories tall, topple to the ground. Only after the building had fallen did I realize it had been a church.
With the tornado bearing down on us, I turned to go back into the house. I had ventured out a little too far, and I was now worried that I could not reach the house before the tornado hit. And the tornado was so big, I did not even know if we would be safe in the basement. If the tornado hit the house, the house might collapse on top of us and kill us. At least the basement was the safest place right now. I wanted to get back to the basement and tell my mother how the big red church had been knocked over by the tornado. I was so amazed that the church had fallen.
Collier believed that the power which his vices held over him could be converted into the power to create beauty as long as he adhered to the correct spiritual belief. For Collier, the correct spiritual belief centered upon the idea that God communicated directly to men. Collier believed that communications from God were beautiful experiences which enhanced one's ability to create beauty.
Dream of:30 March 2012 "Living Funnel Cloud"
one's destiny relieves the
pain of past mistakes
As my mother (around 60 years old) and my ex-wife Carolina (about 20 years old) were riding with me in a car which I was driving through Texas, I suddenly spotted not one, but several funnel clouds. I started looking for a place to seek shelter and spotted a few houses in the sparsely populated area. I thought we would hurry into one of the houses if one of the funnel clouds came close to us. Although most of the houses were ranch-style without basements, I saw a couple large houses which definitely appeared to have basements.
When one of the funnel clouds moved closer, I pulled up to a big, two-story, modern house, stepped out of the car and walked to the basement door, which appeared to be held shut by a flimsy, dirty, white shoestring. I thought I could simply pull the door open if I wanted. I pulled it open slightly, looked through the crack and saw a woman standing inside at the top of the basement stairs. I asked her if we could come in and she indicated that we could. My mother (who seemed somewhat demented), Carolina, and I walked into the basement. I knew I needed to keep an eye on my mother so that she would not wander off.
Several people - mostly elderly - were in the house, most of them upstairs. I was concerned that they needed to descend into the basement. I kept looking outside and observing the funnel clouds. One large black one was drawing close. I thought we needed to crouch down against a wall on the side of the house where the tornado would hit, not on the opposite side where the debris would be blown toward us.
I began vividly imagining what would happen upon the tornado's impact and I could even imagine the awful sight of some of the people in the house being swept away.
I looked out again and saw a gigantic black funnel cloud with various white objects swirling around in it. The woman whom I had originally seen at the top of the stairs had descended to the basement and was now standing beside me. I told her to look outside at one of the black funnel clouds which was only a block away. As we watched, the cloud hit a large house and completely demolished it. The house simply vanished inside the funnel cloud.
The woman gave me an uncertain look as if she wanted to say something to me but as if she were unsure whether she should say it. Finally she told me that the tornadoes were after me because I had "run away with" Carolina. She was indicating that I should have never married Carolina. I did not think she knew what she was talking about. However, I began noticing something quite strange about one particular, thin, black funnel cloud which I was watching. At first the funnel was zigzagging around, then suddenly it simply stopped in one spot only about 100 meters away. As I looked straight at the funnel cloud, it almost seemed as if it had a living spirit and as if it were searching for the next house to hit. It was a frightful sight. It almost seemed to have a face at the bottom and it almost seemed to be looking for me. I definitely thought I could sense something alive in the funnel cloud. I did not want it to see me, lest it come for me.
The final moral which I seem to derive from Collier's tornado dreams may be "Use art to overcome evil." The destructive nature of a tornado represents "evil," whereas the actual power of a tornado represents the "power of art." Harnessing the power of a tornado in a dream for Collier was essentially a sign that he was harnessing the power of art in his life.
Dream of: 13 June 2013 "Dream Story"
sometimes require a life-
time of creation
I have gathered together several dreams, which I have dreamed over the years, in which the same subject appears. I know that I often assemble groups of dreams which contain the same word somewhere in the dream. The dreams in this group, however, do not contain the same word, but do contain a similar element common to all the dreams. As I read the dreams in a series, they begin to flow together and make sense. Toward the end of the series, I finally reach a dream which contains a picture of the sky which looks like a gigantic funnel cloud which covers the entire sky like a giant whirlpool. Right in the center of the circularly moving clouds is a large clear area like the eye of a tornado through which the stars in the heaven above can be seen.
This dream seems to fit in well with the others and to cap off the story which is being told in this particular set of dreams.
In his 60s, Collier discovered that he could overcome the evil in his life by creating art. He had passed much of his life running from his many vices, just as he had often tried to hide in basements from the tornados in his dreams. I feel sure that Collier himself at some point theorized that the power of tornados in his dreams had become a metaphor for the tremendous power which he needed in order to create art in his waking life. Fortunately, by the time of this discovery, Collier had written thousands of dreams which he was now able to use as the foundation of his new-found art: composing stories - he liked to call his compositions "dream-epics" - based on particular elements found in various dreams. Following Collier's teachings, I have myself attempted to create a story from this little collection of Collier's dreams based on tornados, and to point out the distinct possibility that the destructive nature of tornados in Collier's dreams represented evil vices in Collier's life, but that the innate power of the tornadoes represented the power which Collier needed to create his dream-epics in his waking life.
Dream of: 25 April 2016 "Dissipated Tornado"
on one's goal in life
I'm in a car driven by my young friend Michelle. At least two other members of my family are also in the car. We are leaving Gallipolis, Ohio. After we have travelled for a while, I realize that I do not recognize the road which we are travelling until I finally recognize that Michelle is heading toward Portsmouth on the river-road which runs along the Ohio River between Gallipolis and Portsmouth. The road, however, still seems unfamiliar to me. Through the shrubbery I can catch glimpses of the river which seems smaller and muddier than it should be.
Michelle is driving like a complete maniac. Once, while she is looking at me, she swerves into the left lane. I scream and she swerves back into our lane, just barely missing another vehicle. When we reach a bend in the road, she continues straight and we fly off the road. Nevertheless, we manage to land back on the road since it curves back around in front of us.
I ask Michelle to stop and she finally does. We are now high above the river which I can see far below. I step out of the car, unsure of our exact location up on this ridge above the river. I'm also unsure if there is a ledge with a straight drop-off right here in front of me.
I lie down in front of a police car which is also sitting up here. Some boxes and some bottles of liquor are lying here on the ground. I have not drunk any alcohol, but I figure that I probably look drunk. I'm just so tired. After lying here for a minute, I look off into the distance from this lofty height and I can see a gigantic tornado forming in the distance and headed in our direction. I immediately think that being up on a mountain like this is the worst place to be when a tornado is approaching.
Since some little houses and a little store are here atop the ridge, I think maybe someone has a basement where we can go and I start asking some people standing nearby if that is possible. The people, however, do not seem to want to help us.
I continue to watch the tornado until it seems to be lost in the trees and I loose track of it. When I finally see the tornado again, it has dissipated into what appears to be dark smoke hanging in the air where the tornado had been. I think that at least we have escaped the tornado.
Collier believed that dreams are communications from God. Without this belief, I doubt that Collier could have created his dream-epics. Collier needed to believe that his dreams had meaning, and he was unable to discover that meaning without a belief that God created his dreams. It thus goes without saying that Collier believed that the tornados in his dreams were created by God. My interpretation is that these tornado-dreams were warnings: harness the power of your art or be destroyed by your vices.
Dream of: 28 July 2016 "Force Of Nature"
dreams may explore god's
vision of the life we are
commanded to live
I'm on an upper floor of a tall building - probably somewhere between the tenth and fifteenth floors. Looking out a window I can clearly see that the building is in the middle of a city, but that the other surrounding buildings are low and all look like houses. I can see a tornado perhaps a couple kilometers away. The funnel cloud is straight up and down, and is simply whirling there in the distance under dark clouds. From where I am, I cannot tell how much damage the tornado is inflicting.
Quite a few other people are here in this capacious room with me. Although no one else is paying attention to the tornado, I keep my eye on it.
After a couple women finally walk up to me and start talking to me, I point out to them that a second, smaller tornado has now appeared and that it is whirling toward us. I'm not particularly concerned about the second tornado because it looks more like regular clouds than a funnel cloud. Nevertheless, as the second tornado approaches the building, I tell the two women to prepare for impact. When the second tornado strikes the building, I think I feel a slight vibration, but the feeling is practically nothing and barely noticeable.
Concerned that the big tornado might suddenly pick up speed and come at us the same way the small one did, I decide to descend to the basement.
Once in the basement, I seem to be in a regular house. As I look around I notice that the walls and concrete floor of the basement seem to have been newly painted with gray paint. I'm unsure whether I previously employed someone to paint the basement like that. I look for a place where I can shelter myself if the tornado hits. I find a concrete bench near the bottom of the stairs and I lie down there.
While lying on the bench, I make use of some water and start cleaning my penis. Lying here on my back in front of the stairs, I look up the stairs and see two girls standing there at the top of the stairs. I quickly pull up my pants. I hope they did not think I was doing something nasty down here since I know that I was only cleaning up.
Without saying anything, the two girls come down the stairs. I start showing them around the basement and pointing out places where we could hide if the tornado hits.
The central questions which seem to pervade Collier's dream-epics are whether God exists, whether God communicates with humans, and specifically whether God communicates with humans in dreams. I believe that Collier believed that God was warning him in his tornado dreams that he must give up his vices, or his power to create art would be destroyed. Only by controling his vices could Collier harness the power to create beauty, and only by creating beauty could Collier live in harmony with the power of God.
Dream of: 26 March 2017 "Simulated Tornado"
the creation of
beauty is the goal toward which
true artists must strive
I walk into an auditorium which is filling up with people and which is almost full. After I sit down, I see my black-haired, high school, true love, Birdie (probably in her late 30s), walk in and sit down two or three rows away from me in a seat on my left where I can see the front of her body. I notice that her soft, plump breasts - probably twice the size that I remember them - are hanging out and are fully exposed even though she is wearing a top which covers her waist.
On Birdie's left sits a woman whose ample breasts are also exposed. When I look around the auditorium, I discern that several other women are sporting uncovered breasts and I wonder if a breast-exposing event is taking place so that women are walking around today with their breasts hanging out.
I observe Birdie for a while, thinking I should stand, walk to her and tell her that her breasts are exposed, but even though she is not far from me, I do not go to her. When she finally stands, I think that she is going to walk over to me, but instead she walks to an aisle over to the side where I seem to hear her talking rather loudly as she strolls around.
It seems as if the event is about to begin, part of which I think involves a tornado, since I have heard a rumor that a tornado is going to take place at this event. I do not know exactly what that means, but I think that somehow a tornado is going to be simulated here in the auditorium.
An older woman is sitting on my left, while an ancient, white-haired woman sits down on my right, even though I had originally thought that Birdie was going to sit in the seat on my right. I think of telling the ancient woman that my wife was going to sit in that seat, but I do not say anything.
When five or six people in the seats right in front of me suddenly stand and leave, I motion to Birdie to come and sit in one of those empty seats, but when I lean over the seats, I see that people have left possessions in the seats as an indication that they are going to return. Birdie, nevertheless, sits down in one of the seats. I, however, do not move to her.
Our seats are located in the rear of the auditorium. On my left at the far end of the auditorium is a big movie screen where a bit of mist seems to be gathering in anticipation of the tornado.
Straight across from me on the other side of the auditorium is a wide door which seems to lead to a dirt-floored arena which I can vaguely see on the other side. Some commotion in the arena seems to indicate that the tornado is preparing to enter the auditorium from the arena.
But now it looks as if a tornado is appearing on the screen at the front of the auditorium on my left. I had originally thought that an actual tornado was going to enter the room, not simply one on a screen.
At some point, an image of the tornado in the Wizard of Oz enters my mind.
It's beginning to look as if an actual tornado is not going to enter the room - only one on the screen.
Through Collier's dreams - Collier came to believe - God intended to communicate to the world. Maybe God chose such a vice-afflicted human as Collier for a reason, for surely God could have found many more virtuous men through which to communicate his messages. For whatever reason, Collier believed that he had been chosen to propound a new art form which derived from a lifetime of recorded dreams in which he believed God had been communicating messages to him. Like a tornado, God had entered into Collier's life and demanded Collier's attention. Collier paid attention, and created his dream-epics.
Dream of: 29 March 2017 "Survival"
the power of god
enables artists to wield
the power of art
I'm lying down and sleeping in the front seat of a car outside the Gallia Street House (where my father lived atop a high hill overlooking Portsmouth, Ohio from 2004 until his death in 2016). I suddenly feel a tornado hit the car and the House. I cannot see the tornado because it is dark outside, but everything around me shakes during the violent event.
When the sky begins to lighten, I sit up and look out over Portsmouth in the distance in the west, and I see two, thick, dark funnel clouds over the hills on the other side of Portsmouth. I figure the tornados must have passed through Portsmouth and I wonder what kind of damage they may have done. I think that my mother (1931-2015) is in Portsmouth and that the tornados may have hit her.
I want to turn on the radio in the car - I wish I had a television so I could see the Weather Channel - but I first need to find my keys which are in my pants in the back seat where my brother Chris (1957-1974) is lying. When I'm unable to see my pants, I realize that Chris is lying on them.
I open the front door and step outside. I then open the door to the back seat, reach inside the car, and feel the keys in my pants as Chris - afflicted with muscular dystrophy - lies there and looks at me. He finally says, "Are you going to hug me?"
When I tell him there has been a tornado, he asks me if I'm going to carry him inside the House. I say, "I can't right now. I'm too weak at the moment."
I know that I actually could carry him inside if I tried, even though I do feel weak.
I had thought that the House might have been blown away, but it's still standing. I think my father is inside.
The central question in the study of dreams is whether they are created by God. The answer to this question remains as elusive as whether God created the universe, or whether God even exists. That God placed tornados in Collier's dreams with a specific purpose in mind remains unproven. Yet the truth that collections of dreams could be compiled into compelling stories has been proven by Collier's audacious collections of dreams. Those collections certainly point to a hidden intelligence at work in the creation of the dreams, and Collier identified that intelligence as God.
Dream of: 30 March 2017 "Tornado-Book"
creating a work
of art may be one of life's
most divine pleasures
I have been working on writing my dreams and have told someone that I have been writing books of dreams. Although I have written quite a number of books, not many people yet know about them, even though a few people have become aware. When the person whom I have told about my writing approaches me and asks me how many dreams I have written, I reply, "Seventy-four hundred."
The person looks astonished that I have written so many dreams and asks me if I have translated the dreams. Reflecting that my style is to write the dreams like short stories, I tell the person that most of the dreams "are written like little short stories."
When the person then asks me what my next book will be about, I respond, "Tornados."
At the moment I'm apparently in southern Iraq. Since I believe that I need to go right now to a place in northern Iraq to write the book, I start flying. I fly faster and faster like Superman until I seem to be flying faster than I have ever flown before. I am cognizant that my concentration on the speed at which I am flying is similar to my concentration when I'm writing my book. As I fly over the brown desert below me to reach the location where I need to write the book, I become lucid and realize that I am dreaming. I remain, however, within the context of my mission in the dream which is to reach the place in northern Iraq where I can sit down and write my book. I fly extremely fast.
I am still lucid when I suddenly land at the rear of a cottage where I have previously been. I walk inside the cottage and discover that I left the heat on in the cottage when I was last here, perhaps yesterday. I remark to the other person, "I left the heat on."
I know that I should have turned the heat off when I left since I still have to pay the bills, but I do not let the heat bill distract me because I want to keep my mind concentrated on what has just happened so I can write it down. I look around for a place where I can sit and write the events which have just occured and which I think will become part of my book.
An artist who does not harness the power of his or her art may be destroyed by that power.
by Frank Whitfield
02 May 2087