21 November 2011

Strange Dream: Interpretation

By the time my friends sent me their interpretations, I'd pretty much figured the meaning of the dream out on my own. There was remarkable consensus among the interpretations. For the record, I'd like include the interpretation here:
>>I'm trying to get home. I'm on foot, out in some suburban location. There are multiple entrances to the subway, and I know if I take the wrong one, I'll end up at the wrong tracks.
The point is, I'm not lost in the sense that I don't know where I am; I simply don't know how to proceed from that point. I'm not feeling despair, but frustration, and need to find out how to go forward.
>>Emerging from yet another wrong subway entrance to the overcast day, I find myself at a bus stop surrounded by a park-like space.
The day is overcast, but not gloomy. Again, it mirrors frustration, not despair.
>>Someone has left a Qur'an on a bench. It's a nice, heavy, black-covered paperback edition. I realize that it was left there in a Muslim equivalent of the Christian evangelist technique of leaving religious material in public spaces for random passerby to pick up and read. A young white, well-dressed, hipster-type man, with a full beard, picks up the Qur'an, and looks at it. He then throws it away, into the grassy area. It falls heavily and is damaged. I yell, "Why did you do that?!" and run to pick it up. He laughs and says that it was just a bunch of religious material, and not important. I scream at him, "It's a BOOK!" and I hit him on the head with it.
The hipster is the part of my ego that is smug in his belief in the adequacy of his current store of knowledge. For that aspect of myself, rejection of religion and even spirituality in favor of a purely materialistic worldview gives me a sense of superiority over the "superstitious masses", etc. The Qur'an symbolizes the things I do not yet know about life, reality, spirituality, Truth, etc. The smug ego throws it away, but I ultimately have the better sense to pick it up and keep it. In fact, I'm very irate at my own smugness.

Furthermore, while I keep the book, it is damaged. This means that I will follow any path only to the degree I can, i.e., imperfectly. But that imperfect following will work for me. Keeping the damaged Qur'an may also mean retaining faith in the face of my own skepticism. However, it is not a symbol of Islam, per se, since it's cover more resembles Bibles or Tanakhs that I have seen.
>>Then, I walk away quickly, to get away from him, still carrying the damaged Qur'an. I step into a large-ish, Victorian-style house which sits next to the bus stop area. It's co-ed housing for a bunch of college students. They're all very friendly and mellow. There are several cats around, including cute kittens. I tell them my predicament, and they tell me the correct subway entrance I need to go into to get home. I thank them and leave, still carrying the damaged Qur'an.
The co-ed housing represents a place of relaxed scholarship and the exploration of life that should be inherent in the experience of college. In other words, it is a place that fosters learning, but not in a harsh, competitive way. The scholars are friendly and mellow. Furthermore, they care for cats. They are nurturing people. Also, cats—especially kittens—are the embodiment of curiosity. And cats are fun. It is in this kind of mental space that my psyche is telling me I will be able to get the knowledge I need to move forward. It's this bundle of attitudes and actions that will help me now.

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