High-fantasy svithe


Something peculiar happened during my nap this afternoon: I dreamed in high fantasy. I've never done this before, best I can recall A sorceress, the priestess of a pagan cult, served as the most frightening villain. The heroes had infiltrated a city glowing like embers at midnights to ... who knows what. But it was a risky business they were up to. Once in the city, its glowiness dissipated and it looked quite normal. One of the heroes was peeved because his contractor culture could have easily built this city for them at half the price.

I have no idea what the point of this dream was, or even if it had one while I was dreaming it. Is the average dream only given plot and structure as we remember it? Discuss.

But for all its pointlessness, it had some marvelous images and set pieces. Like a really crappy movie with awesome effects.

But nothing in this dream, best I can recall, was borrowed from real art or real life. It was all new, cut from whole cloth. And I did it without even trying. Which magic all people do all the time.

The creative potential of the Children of God is staggering.

Let's not waste our gifts.

The city is burning, the sorceress is stalking, the time is far spent.

And tomorrow we die.

Carpe diem is a religious principle.

last week's svithe


  1. Most mornings I wake with little or no memory of any dreams I might have had during the night. In fact, when memories of a dream persist beyond regaining consciousness, I rarely hold onto them longer than it takes to pour myself a bowl of Capt'n Crunch. My own experience would seem to be more skeptical of most people gaining anything of significant value from their dreams.

    Contrary to what it might seem, I do believe we could all gain a lot if we could harness and fully comprehend those things we observe in our dreams. The dreams I can recall are seldom presented in cinematic detail. Instead, I am presented with disjointed pictures (some motion, some static) and sound. While some of the dreams I recall were silent black and white pictures, others have been 360° panoramic monstrosities complete with surround sound.

    Deciphering meaning from these dreams is seldom easy. I remember waking from a dream while I was living in Japan. This dream was one of the more vivid. The dream depicted a moment in time just before a tsunami was to make landfall. It was not a normal tsunami. The spectacle of the event was drawing crowds of monumental size. I found myself running from person to person trying to warn them to leave the beach, decrying the foolishness of giving into their human yet morbid nature of curiosity.

    I succeeded in convincing just a few would be spectators to seek higher ground. Leaving the terrible yet awe striking sight for safety, I turned my back on those that would not heed my call.

    I woke from the dream in confusion. This dream was too vivid. In fact, 25 years later, I still remember the dream as if I had just had it. I could not parse its meaning or even if it had one. However, the pattern of forgetfulness did not repeat itself with this dream. Not only did it persist through my morning shower, I remembered it long enough to record it the next day. Yes, I took the time to actually record this dream in my journal.

    I could not tell if the dream held any special properties beyond my ability to recall it. Years later after returning home, the dream seemed to hold some value beyond the vividness with which it was presented.

    I dreamed the dream in the first months of my mission. I was blessed on my mission. The average missionary would return home after two years, only witnessing two baptisms. An article in the Los Angeles Times reported Japan as being the "Mount Everest of Missionary work". I felt the joy of meeting many times the average converts for a two year mission. Still, I felt as though I was struggling against severe odds. I felt an urgency that I had problems relating to those with whom I would speak.

    I returned home feeling that my efforts were nearly in vain. A young mother and her children met me at the train station on my way to Tokyo. She expressed deep appreciation for my choosing to serve a mission. Although I've always contended that had I not been there someone else would have, she would not believe me. She knew it was only because I brought them the spirit that she learned of the truth. I could not convince her otherwise.

    Years later, I was reading through my journal when I came upon the entry which contained the dream. It was only then that I realized this dream was a metaphor. My mission was very much like my experience on that beach. Millions of people had to be warned; only a few heeded that warning.

    Do all dreams have such vivid interpretations? I do not think they do. Do all dreams have something to tell us? Maybe. Maybe not. We're told dreams are just visions of the work our brains are doing at night while we are sleeping - a logical description of a dream.

    Your dream of a marvelous city seems to be one to inspire some kind of awe. Whether there is another reason for the dream may not become obvious for years to come. It is fun to think about these things though.

  2. .

    It is, it is.

    I've had two dreams which I consider to be Messages, but most dreams, as I said above, I think are mostly evidence of the marvelous creative gift we all are given. We are children of a creator; shouldn't we expect to have part of that heritage?

  3. I can't say that I've had any others. I certainly do not remember them.

    I'd agree that most dreams are simply fine examples of our creative heritage.

  4. I'm a big believer in the significance of dreams, though not all dreams, as you say. Few things frustrate me more in fiction than the dream that would save the hero that the hero can't remember the next morning because a sign of a meaningful dream for me is my ability to remember having had one, even if I can't remember all the details. I occasionally see future events in dream, and I've developed (through long practices) the ability to recognize these while or just before they are happening - even change them if I feel the desire to. For example, I may have a dream of myself in a place I've never been with someone I've never met. I recognize in the dream certain mistakes I've made that lead to undesirable consequences. Six months later, perhaps, I may actually find myself in that place with that person - I know it is the same "owing to the distinctness of the vision," as Joseph Smith said (don't read too much into that comparison :) ). When I recognize the situation, I remember what happened in the dream and, with great mental exertion, choose a course contrary to that in the dream, which averts the bad results.

    Other times, I don't want to change the events or they're so short that there's nothing to change (the first one I recall was myself looking at my foot in a strange car - it lasted about half a second). Those are usually associated with good (or at least benign) feelings and I take them as markers of a path that I'm supposed to be on.

    When it comes to fantasy dreams, I have those periodically and love them. I once dreamed about an epic migration of a group of people from a civilization on the brink of destruction. They were protected by a mystical force that was housed in a glowing dome in the middle of the city, but when the city was overrun with palpable darkness (invited by the evil actions of the inhabitants), a few fled and reestablished their shining city. I lived the entire history of that civilization as a sort of nearly-immortal prince who watched his people flourish under the protection of their light, then turn to darkness once more. The dream ended with me looking over the ruins of the new city, which was destroyed in a great conflict which only I and one other person survived. This has obvious Book of Mormon undertones and the characters all had the faces of people I knew. The relationships in the dream were similar to those in real life.

    I have had others, less derived from real life than the one I described.

    In answer to your question, I remember definite plot and structure in my dreams while I experienced them, but then, I'm only remembering them, so it's hard to say. :)

    The most interesting part of your dream to me is the peeved contractor. This would be meaningful to me if it were my dream, but then that's only on the basis of what I know about myself.

    I love your comment about being children of a creator. I consider creation to be the highest of all purposes - no, the purpose for which we are sent here. I think every act of obedience to God, every worthy work, is an act of creation, if only in the sense that it creates opportunities for further progression.

    Thanks for this post. Sorry if I got carried away commenting.

  5. .

    Not at all. I'm delighted to read these long responses.