1st dream: I'm watching a field of plants. I'm disappointed because they're not growing. A solution I think of is giving them more room above them. 2nd dream: I'm driving a police car. There's a cop colleague sitting in the passenger seat besides me. The car is in a certain "mode" that gives it a boost (sort of like the batmobile turbo boost). The guy next to me is telling me that I don't need to give the car a boost right now. I finish his sentence by saying that it's only necessary for emergencies.
I'm with my brother. I'm preparing for a trip with my parents. I'm packing my stuff. I have two suitcases and a backpack. Suddenly, I see my parents leave without me by car. They have forgotten me. I tell my brother that they did a Freudian slip by doing this. I try to interpret it. I venture to my brother, with childlike joy and hope, that they left me behind because they're going away to reunite. My brother says no, that the meaning is that they are going through conflict, and they are sorting it out amongst themselves. Interpretation: My parents divorced when I was 7. What tainted my relationship with women was a desire to reunite my parents by proxy. My brother is saying that its their conflict. I have no responsibility in it. It never was my burden to resolve it. Other layer of interpretation: I never totally overcame their divorce. I feel it was an abandonment. They might as well have left me behind. I was left behind emotionally. I feel I have some level of responsibility, since I believe I can repair their relationship. I'm beginning to understand it's not my job. It reminds me: I was fascinated by war during most of my childhood. Tanks, machine guns, uniforms, arsenals of destruction. I think it was because I was born during a time of war. There was a dictatorship in their country, Chile. There was war between them. My grandfather, in my mother's side, crafted thousands of small military figurines, from all kinds of eras, countries etc. I feel like the war exploded in me. Like a leftover landmine.
I started to listen again to "No need to argue", by The Cranberries. I listened to it for the first time when I was around 15. It was a significant contact with something gentle. The first melody she sings in the album, "do-dodo-do..." Unconsciously I must have been: "Whoa, this sort of things exists. There's another side to life." A year or so after, I lost the tape. Gentleness went dormant for at least ten years. Imposed on myself a very harsh way of living. It took me a while to re-indulge in music with very soft female voices. There is probably something cold too in these voices. Ethereal. Almost other-worldly. Paradoxically, adding a level of familiarity. An encounter with the soothing, healing, delicate, sensitive.
Right now, not having a career feels like an itch I can't scratch. It bugs me, and creates insecurity. Or perhaps it feeds on insecurity. From time to time, I get a health scare. I think for a while I have an incurable illness,. Or that I've developed an incurable pain somewhere. For example I'll strain my back and feel a continuous discomfort, and I'll be like: "That's it, I have chronic pain". After this, for a while I feel dread, I think my life will be completely altered from now on, things won't be the same, I wish a genie would make the issue disappear. That I would give anything for a miracle to happen. After a while, eventually it turns out it was nothing, it resolves itself. And I don't feel joy or relief. I remember the time when I was in anguish and wishing for relief, yet now that the problem has been solved, I'm not relieved. Because new problems have appeared on the horizon. A new itch manifested itself, and I'm in the same position of begging the universe for a scratch. The problem might be some underlying anxiety. An anxiety that changes shape. It latches on to something, and that something gives me nightmares. Scratching the itch won't rid me of anxiety. It's foolish to think that getting a career will bring me any sort of relief. I still think it would be a good thing, but on a practical level. It won't rid me of the anxiety. Who knows, it might even create episodes when it will worsen it. Every job comes with stressful moments. I've made a lot of progress anxiety-wise. I dated a guy the other day and he mentioned how relaxed I seemed, which I was. I'm so much calmer, mellower. Even during a recent job interview I felt totally relaxed. Living in the present. I acknowledge this itch is present. It's there. I can observe it. Just like when I meditate and observe a physical discomfort I'm having.
We live carelessly, while we aim nuclear missiles towards all the other state capitals of the world. The same culture that produced Katy Perry and Tool, killed 4 million Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. Culture (music, paintings, movies, etc...) is aimed at making us forget that absolute evil exists within us. I don't claim to be better than others. Somehow, as soon as we win power, we might as well sign a pact with the devil.
Dream: 1st part: I was attending a conference by a celebrity called Guy A. Lepage. He was saying that because young people thought that he had it all, they would ignore him. And he was saying this as if it was hurting him. 2nd part: I was at the theatre to watch a play. During the play, a couple (a man and a woman) next to me started having sex. They didn't make any noise to not catch attention. The woman had her back turn towards me. I could see her naked ass, and the rest was covered. The man had dark skin. After the play, there was a period of questions to the makers of the play. The lady asked a question, as if she had paid attention to the play. It made me angry and I called out on her that she and her boyfriend had sex during the play and so did not pay attention. I stormed out. Outside there were celebrities patrolling, and they were trying to catch me for what I had done.
Whenever I look at women, 99.9% of the time, I see contempt, scorn, with a tinge of anger directed me. I wonder if it's not actually my reflection. Do I see my mother in them, and does that make me scornful and angry? Once in a while, a woman looks at me with interest. Each time, it makes me feel uneasy, tense, on guard. I feel an obligation to perform. I feel that whatever I do, I will lose, which turns to frustration. Perhaps it's because I'm not interested. When I look at a beautiful woman and it turns me on, is it because I am attracted, or because I envy her femininity? When a man looks at me, I generally see kindness, or harmless indifference. The other day, I walked past a guy on the street, and he looked at me with interest in his eyes, and it made me feel good. I'm starting to realize that a relationship with a man would bring me a lot more than with a woman.
I had gotten a job (finally). I was working for HP, the computer maker, doing a technical job. I was trying to understand what I was supposed to do, but I couldn't. I didn't panic or get anxious. I just pretended I knew what I was doing. No one noticed. There were other people around. They were nice. The atmosphere was good. Interpretation: In real life, my HP laptop started having problems recently, so I took it to the repairman. Since the dream has to do with work, it might mean that my career is at the repairshop. I'm handling joblessness OK and I'm well surrounded, although I have a bit of trouble figuring out what I have to do.
I was in the primary school that was right next to the one I attended when I was a child, in its courtyard. There were other people around. My dog was there, and I encouraged him to run around which he did. Next someone threw a football and it flew above the fence, to my old school's courtyard. So a friend of mine and I went to my primary school to fetch the football. As we went there, I told him how it would be a great idea to have a movie like "Falling down", but in a school. We retrieved the football and left. Interpretation: I think the school I was in at the beginning, which I never attended, might represent life beyond my childhood/teen experiences. It might represent my present situation, what I'm doing right now, where I have more fun, as represented by the football, and my animal side can express itself. Sometimes though, I get thrown back to the time before that. Some things lead me to regress, or threaten to make me regress. The friend who I went along with to retrieve the football can be harsh in real life sometimes. I think when someone treats me harshly, it awakens old wounds. But in the dream I did not get stuck in my old school. We found the football quickly and left right away, which indicates that I have better strategies when dealing with harshness. I think the dream is related to an incident that happened to me recently. My father told me sunday, out of nowhere, in an aggressive tone: "Yesterday you spent an hour in the balcony. It didn't even cross your mind to pass the broom!?". It was the first time since last summer that one of us had used the balcony. I was sipping an ale in the front yard. I responded: "No, it did not cross my mind". I recognized immediately his attitude as typical of him, very rude and harsh. It occurred to me very quickly that the reason it didn't cross my mind is because it's only my second spring living there, whereas he's spent 20 years there. I wasn't phased. Later I fetched a second brew. It was sunny, I stayed very relaxed. Only after that did I do some chores to clean up the house. Later I told my father that I didn't like to be spoken to aggressively. He replied that I should have thought spontaneously about passing the broom, which is an impossible demand. You can't blame someone for not having thought spontaneously about something. If the person has not thought about it, it's because of lack of habit. I told him that he had developed the habit during the 20 years he's lived there. He then told me that he was actually stressed out about an important issue at his job. So basically, he had uncomfortable feelings that he could not accept, which led him to aggressiveness.
I saw "The secret live of a manic depressive" today, a BBC documentary with Stephen Fry. I was surprised to see that religious delusions of grandeur are so common with people with bpd. I don't have bpd, yet I suffered from them during a period. In 2006, after the onset of depression, I spent many months alone in an apartment. I had become more and more religious during the past years. After the beginning of depression this tendency continued. Across the next months, I constructed and believed a scenario where I was Jesus coming for the second time. First, I would in the near future become the greatest physicist ever, who would unite all the laws of physics. After that, an asteroid would hit the earth, covering the globe with a shroud of dust for an unknown amount of time, threatening to erase humanity. I would rise to the occasion, use the media to give people hope, and lastly, perform a miracle. Like Moses who separated the sea, I would through the power of God create a rip in the dust cloud, which would eventually stretch and overcome the shroud. Hence I would save humanity. During the period while I had this delusion, I thought God was talking to me. Sometimes I would think about a question, and I'd open a book at a random page and find an answer. During a night I did that for multiple hours, that way having a sort of conversation with God as far as I knew. Whenever a situation happened when I'd need reassurance, sometimes I'd turn my head and read something on a poster or ad, and in my head it was a response from God. Sometimes, I thought that dead people were visiting me. I would feel a presence, and communicate with the dead person in my head. Saint-Augustine, Ste-Thérèse, Jim Morrison and Arthur Rimbaud to name a few. At one point I visited another city with a friend. I was convinced that there I would meet the woman of my life, and I knew her first name in advance: Elisabeth. I expected to meet her until the last minutes of my trip, but to my disappointment there was no encounter. The most intense period was during the fall of 2006. At the beginning of 2007, the depression got worse and my mood plummeted. Yet I continued having these experiences frequently until November when I started taking anti-depressants. They dampened the delusions greatly, but not completely. I continued to believe I was Jesus until 2009-2010, when I started doing psychotherapy. I shared these thoughts with my therapist, and he put them in an alternate framework. He suggested that I was indeed playing the role of my own saviour while I was battling depression. The asteroid that I thought would hit the earth was actually depression itself. It occurred to me later that the dream about uniting all the laws of physics had probably more to do with creating unity within myself. The woman who I was suppose to meet, Elisabeth, her name is actually an almost complete anagram of my first name. She probably symbolized an aspect of myself I needed to reunite with. Perhaps related to femininity. When I "met" Arthur Rimbaud in my head, I was at the same time having my first full blown homosexual fantasies, and soon after I had my first experiences. So in a way it helped me deal with these thoughts, since I was aware that Rimbaud had been bisexual during his life. I think the pretty extreme isolation I was going through during 2006-2007 also contributed. The brain is a powerful thing. Like Maupassant said in La Chevelure: "Man's mind is capable of anything".
Dream: The singer Michel Louvain was the center of attention within a group of people. In real life he is gay and a crooner appealing mostly to elderly women. He decided to invite James Maynard Keenan, during his long hair phase, just to see what would happen. Maynard appeared. He would disappear regularly later on, like magic. Story: All his life, he spent as a war. Every conversation was a battle. Every word, a missile. Every dialogue, a duel. Every sign of interest, a provocation. One time, during a party, he tripped and fell on the floor. He laid there. He crawled like a soldier avoiding machine gun fire. His friends went: "What are you doing, man?" He rose as if ordered to and marched on.
Dream 1: I was swimming in the sea, far off the coast. There were metal containers floating around. Some were piled on top of each other. I wanted to reach the shore desperately. I tried to swim in its direction, but a huge wave came from there and pushed me in the other direction. I approached a container, and there was the comedian Louis CK. Later I encountered the dictator Kin Jung Un. He threatened me, but I reacted by showing him that I was an even bigger dictator. Dream 2: It was during a television talk show with Larry Sanders as the host. The guest was a black man. He was saying that sometimes during conversations he would drift into another world, and start talking as if he was talking to the people from that other imaginary world. Then still as part of the interview, they spoke on the phone. The black man said it would help him heal from that condition, that it would allow him to close the circle Interpretation: Dream 1: I can't get away from my unconscious so easily. There are things I have to deal with, that have surfaced like those containers. I could be more carefree and less hard on myself. Dream 2: There is something I'd like to express publicly. To talk about to people face-to-face. Perhaps my bisexuality.
Thoughts on religion from an atheist viewpoint: - I'd like to go beyond the old debates and try to open a dialogue with religions. I think a basis for such a dialogue would be what meanings we give to events. - I think something good about Christianity, and probably other religions, is that it opened new ways of being. It allowed new types of heroes. Someone like Joan of Arc would not have been possible in Ancient Greece. - Christianity is the encounter between Ancient Greece, particularly Stoicism and Plato, and Judaism. It was probably more than just the addition of those two worlds, something like a creative synthesis. - Islam is the encounter between Judaism, Christianity and the Arab and Persian civilizations. So in that regard it is necessarily new. It can't be just a copy of the other religions. - If we go even further back, Judaism was probably the encounter between a number of different worlds. What were they? - If we go even earlier, we get simpler and simpler religions. The first religion might have looked something like only burying the dead with their possessions. - Will there be new civilizations? Or just the homogenization we are experiencing? Will it be necessary to colonize other planets in order for new civilizations to emerge? The distance between solar systems would give the necessary isolation for differentiation to become possible. ------------------------ When the unthinkable becomes thinkable: - In my life it occurred at least twice for me to experience this. First time was when I began to explore sexuality with men at 25, after a life of being certain I was straight. The second time was when I became an atheist, after being a Christian for 25 years. - Recently a new mini-revolution has occurred. A few years ago I had a long term relationship with a man, but I always saw it as temporary. We met abroad, and since we are from different countries and we'd have to go back someday and therefore be separated. I had never considered the possibility of spending my life with a man. I used to see my taste for men as something minor, on the side. During the past weeks, I let go of that. I realized it had more to do with the pressures of society. On my dating web site profile, I kept bisexual as sexual orientation, but deleted any indication of preference for women. I'm open now to whatever happens.
Sometimes I'm just glad to be able to experience things and share them, even if they are painful. I think difficulties have brought me closer to others and myself. I was always sensitive, but now it has become a strength. "Today I see the world with the eyes of the Heart I'm more sensitive to the invisible To everything that's within." ~ Gerry Boulet
Dream 1: I was in the high school I attended as a teenager. I was there because I had to do six occult rituals at different locations of the school. The situation was tense. Some people were after me. At one point, in one of the corridors, a fat lady started pursuing me. I fled, passed a door that led to the escalator, and I frantically tried to close and lock the door behind me, which I managed to do with the help of two unknown people. I reached one the locations. There I met a bunch of other people that were there to do the same thing. We knew each other, we were a group. We started moving towards the location. I took a wrong turn and lost sight of them. I stepped back and I found them, and we started the ritual. Interpretation: The ritual indicates that there is a habit that I need to break. Some waking pattern is repeating itself, resulting in a viscous cycle. The cycle might be of staying and always going back to school. I don't feel secure doing something if there aren't other people doing the same thing. Dream 2: I was skiing. At one point I was in a little used trail, and skied off a cliff and flew into the air, hundreds of meter above the ground. I had a parachute. I opened it and started flying in the air. I was approaching a neighbouring mountain. I spotted two landing spots: one was a big trail used by many skiers, the other was small and almost unused. I hesitated between the two. The latter was lower, so I had more chances to reach it. My intuition told me to land in it, so I did. When I landed, I was in snow up to my chest. I had trouble moving. I met a guy who was nice to me. Interpretation: A part of me would like to fit in more, and join the mainstream. I would like to leave the small trails to join the big ones. Yet, I manage to have fun and do interesting stuff, as indicated by the flying with the parachute. The parachute probably means that I feel safe. The multiple feet of snow probably represent my unconscious. There is work to be done deep inside me. Flying away from a mountain might mean that I overcame a major challenge. The second mountain might represent a new one.
There was a young man. His dream was to become the best chef in the world. He attended the best cooking school in the country. During the summer he did internships with the best chefs in the world. Sometimes, he would be walking on the street, thinking about his dream, he would then look up at a billboard and see the Marlboro man smiling at him, and he'd feel validated. Once in a time he'd get a panic attack. He'd swallow a bunch of Rivotrils and things would become OK again. On television, he would listen to participants of talent shows speaking about never giving up, and it would dissipate doubts he had. He heard a radio show where a business man was praising a young entrepreneur, and the young man listened to this as if the business man was talking directly to him. He wondered What happens if you give up? Are you condemned to suicide? Many years later, he gave up his dream. He felt his breathing becoming easier. A weight on his chest lifting. A knot in his stomach untying. He found out it didn't make him feel suicidal. The Earth didn't stop turning. Sell us your vitality and we'll send you a ticket to the promised land. You'll be "It". You'll get the love you deserve. You'll be free. Isn't vitality a small price to pay in comparison to what you'll receive in exchange? It's better to be ill in Heaven than healthy in Hell.
Nietzsche: when we are faced with two competing values, we should pick the one which gives us a feeling of power, health, vitality. It could be summed up by the title of one of Alice Miller's books, "The body never lies". There is a sort of affinity with Darwinism. I don't think Darwinism is something bad. After all, roses are the product of Darwinism. But can Darwinism indicate values? No, because you can't know in advance if a value will give an advantage. What Darwinism says is: if all values and all combinations of values are practiced by billions of people, after a while most systems of values will disappear due to competition. I can't help to notice that that is pretty much what has been going on since the dawn of times. The number of systems of values that have existed is astonishing. If a system of values is possible to practice and is discovered, then at least one person will start practicing it. When I read the newspaper, what I find is that if something is possible and has not been tried, then someone will do it. It seems that we are irrational. We do everything that is doable. Something either brings an advantage or not. If it does bring an advantage it is repeated ad nauseam by others until it becomes part of culture, and then after awhile it is replaced by something else and disappears. What we call reason is simply conforming to culture. We call reason what has been working so far. It doesn't mean that as individuals we should conform to culture. Culture is always temporary. Parts of it are being torn apart at the same time as new parts are being added. When I look at my past, many of my actions I did because I just could. The actions I didn't allow myself to do were the ones that have been experimented countless times by other people and have led to failure. They're the actions we call immoral. But in the instances when I was facing a new situation, I did what I could. In the face of new territory, reason breaks down, culture breaks down. Only experiencing can speak. It's better to do a new mistake than to repeat someone else's. Sometimes, something that was deemed immoral becomes acceptable. These actions were being done regardless of acceptability, in the dark, away from sight. After a while these actions were allowed to come out of the dark. The time came when society was able to "work" despite these actions being accepted by the majority. If you take something like homosexuality, why would the middle age kingdoms not function with it being acceptable? Because if you introduce homosexuality, you don't have the middle ages anymore, you get something completely different. You can't just introduce one single new idea. If you want to introduce it, you have to introduce a whole set of other ones too, and change a bunch of other pre-existing ones. So the reason why something immoral can become acceptable is the result of millions of changes to the culture brought by millions of new experiences.
The Bible: the Hebrews were a small people, almost irrelevant in the geopolitical sphere. In the Bible they put themselves at the centre of a grand narrative of cosmic (biblical) scale. In their eyes, they were great even in their smallness. During many years this narrative helped me. I was basically identifying with the Hebrews. Their periods of slavery were my set backs and illness, their liberation was my goal. It made sense of what I was going through. Ultimately I let go of that narrative. Living in a world of spirits, in a haunted house in a sense, was heavy. The supernatural assertions did not pass the test of my truth standards. Furthermore, it condemns you to be a character in a story. Every event, every action is "meant to be", has a purpose, like the events in a classic novel. Jeremy by Pearl Jam (music video): A teen commits suicide. The video goes on to tell the story of a boy whose parents "wouldn't wear him" and who was picked on at school. A short sequence shows his classmates doing the Nazi salute during the pledge of allegiance. Then again, what do we know about that boy (who really existed)? It's just another narrative that suits us because it serves as an excuse to complain about our parents and society. We know almost nothing about this boy. By making his death about society's ills, we're just instrumentalizing him for our own causes. Reminds me of the movie Heathers with Winona Ryder. There's a series of ******s disguised as suicides in a High School. After each suicide, the media, the school, the priest, use the story as a launching pad to blame society. At one point, two student athletes are ******** and the m***** is disguised as a suicide pact between two gay lovers. Right after, the media start interpreting the event as the result of society stigmatizing gays, when in fact, they weren't even gay. There is no concern for the truth, only the story, only an agenda. Do such stories really help? Alice Miller: in her theory, the story is that my parents have traumatized me through their neglect, which caused a disconnect between me and my true self, which lead me to depression. To me it's the story that's helped me the most. It made sense of my past. It ordered it. It guided me to make corrections. It helped me tremendously. Again shows the power of a good story. The flaw: her narrative was very good during a sort of teen angst period in my life where I threw away a lot of garbage, but it's less useful now that I want to construct a life beyond the sphere of my family. Ayn Rand: it's the story of the self-made man, unwavering, setting his own standards and following them through, a producer who doesn't believe in depending on others without their accord or in compulsory contribution to welfare. This story helped me appreciate the work-world, entrepreneurship, business, making money, which my education had lead me to not value. It also played an important role in distancing myself from the Christian narrative. Now: I still think stories can be useful, but I want to free myself from them somewhat. I want to live without referring to a narrative all the time. When I do something or when something significant happens, I don't want to ask myself everytime: "In what chapter of my life am I in?". I don't see anything wrong with using narratives from time to time. They can help. Now I see them more as a tool than something fundamental.
Dropping out of those two courses last fall was the worst decision of my life. The only result will be that I'll have to study even more and longer. I feel like I'm in some sort of hell where damnation means studying and writing papers forever. Just when you think you're done and are ready to get a job, someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you're missing another diploma. I don't know how I'll be able to deal with that. I just hate the idea so much. I don't know what to do. I think my body is in state of alert because I have to make a decision about the offer I received from another program. I applied for admission last January. It sounded like a good idea at the time. It comforted me to know I had this back-up. Now I'm confused. I don't know if it was a good idea or not. I'm just sitting on the fence. Afraid of making another "worst decision of my life". Update: I decided to defer the offer of the second program. I'll finish the one I'm doing, continue working on the side, and after that we'll see. I feel better now.
He arrived at the station 4 minutes late for his train. He decided to come back tomorrow, since it was the only departure for the day. Next morning, he arrived 2 minutes late. He was angry at himself, but there was nothing he could do. The next day, he arrived 1 minute late. He took comfort in knowing he was getting closer. The following day he missed the train by 30 seconds. He tried day after day. After a while he was arriving late by less than a second. Then less than a millisecond. The doors would close on his nose, and almost pinch it. His jaw would drop, his mouth open wide and move in spasms as if he wanted to say something but was out of air. His shoulders would sag, his arms hang, palms opened and turned towards the departing train, dropping a suitcase on the ground. His eyes would look with astonishment and grief at the parade of passengers. After months of unsuccessful attempts, he registered to a class on time management that was given close to his house. He got 59% at the final exam and failed. Then someone told him that he should listen to his gut instinct more. He started meditating and reading spirituality books. Everytime he had to make a decision, he would listen to his gut. He got better and better at listening to his gut, but there was always a small remaining misunderstanding, and it was enough to make him miss the train. One day he figured that perhaps he wasn't that interested in taking that train in the first place. So he stopped going to the train station. From then on, whenever he would miss a rendez-vous, he would tell himself that he was on time for where he was at that moment. So although he missed many appointments, he never was late again. The end. Alternate version: He arrived at the station 4 minutes late for his train. He decided to come back tomorrow, since it was the only departure for the day. Next morning, he arrived 2 minutes late. He was angry at himself, but there was nothing he could do. The next day, he arrived 1 minute late. He took comfort in knowing he was getting closer. The following day he missed the train by 30 seconds. He tried day after day. After a while he was arriving late by less than a second. Then less than a millisecond. The doors would close on his nose, and almost pinch it. His jaw would drop, his mouth open wide and move in spasms as if he wanted to say something but was out of air. His shoulders would sag, his arms hang, palms opened and turned towards the departing train, dropping a suitcase on the ground. His eyes would look with astonishment and grief at the parade of passengers. After years of unsuccessful attempts, he reached the point where he didn't need to take the train anymore, so he stopped going there. He was moved to a retirement home. All day he would sit by the window and look at the trains passing on a nearby track. One day, from the same spot, he saw a train stop and heard it blow its horn. It was inviting him to embark he thought. He stood up and went for the exit. Just as he started pushing the door two nurses grabbed him. They had to struggle to pull him back. He was screaming and trying to break free. His eyes fixed on the immobile train. The end.
I don't want my life to be summed up by a few sentences. I think animality and randomness play a huge role in shaping me, and I want them to do so. When I write music, I enjoy making randomness and instinct play a role. I combine them with my knowledge of the theory of music. At the end, meaning emerges. It's a beautiful thing to experience. I think one way to find meaning is by stumbling upon, falling into. Meaning has two sides. On one side there is planned meaning, on the other there is emergent meaning.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the story we make out of our lives. The narrative. I read a comic book version of The Stranger by Camus recently. I had read it in high school. In the first part of the novel we watch the main character Meursault doing things without any particular purpose, being guided purely by the context and his physical state. At one point he kills an Arab because of the Sun blinding him. In the second half of the novel, he is judged in a tribunal. Two narratives compete, one from the attorney and the other from his lawyer. They both take the facts and build a story around them. Meursault never changes until the end, and rejects any attempt to have a narrative imposed upon him. At one point he talks very harshly and kicks out of his jail cell a priest attempting to make him atone for his actions. The novel seems to be saying that we are not a story, that we can choose to create or accept one, or not. And that our physical state, stimuli and events out of our control play a huge role. Religions all have a narrative. The story of Job in the old testament is the narrative for Christians and Jews who suffer. Stories can help one cope with suffering. For example, the other day I was looking in a pile of clothes for a missing sock (I really like the pair). At one point I became desperate, so I began seeing the whole ordeal as an allegory for my search for a job, and that I could put the same level of perseverance. I could use this event to train myself to persevere for the job search. And this encouraged me. Why is it important to not identify with a story completely? Perhaps because it's possible that at one point you become the bad guy of that story. Isn't it what happens when we start feeling evil? We've become the bad guy of our story. Could it be that some people injure themselves because of this? If I feel evil or like a loser or nobody, I have to remember that it's only the case within a particular storyline. I'm not a character in a novel. I can change the narrative if I want. Or detach myself from narratives in general, through mindfulness. That's one thing I like about mindfulness, it's stepping out of narrative mode, stepping out of my character. It probably helps assessing the narrative I adopted, critic it, judge it's strengths and weaknesses, and bring changes to it. I think my only problem with someone like Ste-Thérèse is the lack of meta-cognition. The total, uncritical investment in a narrative. Maybe there is a beauty to it too. Perhaps I'm saying that from another narrative. Yet, some narratives seem more like prisons than others. In the religious case, doubt is considered a bad thing, a challenge. Everything is recuperated by the story and helps fuel it even more. The idea that metacognition is important is within the humanistic paradigm. Perhaps I'm speaking about her like a lawyer. There is no judgment outside of narratives.
1st part: I climbed stairs and arrived at an arena. People were fighting with bolas, so I grabbed ones. I saw a guy, his back was turned towards me. I threw the bolas at his legs, and he fell immediately. A guy came to me and was angry because he was dueling the other guy. Turns out they were both black. So he said he wanted to duel me. At first he suggested the winner would be the one with most wins out of 5 rounds, then out of 500. Suddenly everyone's attention was turned to an old man, struggling on the floor, apparently dying. I felt related to him, like he was some sort of father figure. He was looking puny, old and weak. At the same time some person was trying to make him drink something. Then I received an e-mail from one of my university professors, telling me that what the old man wanted me to keep is the idea that beyond our usual 4 spacetime dimensions there is a fifth one. It immediately struck me as an idea of spiritual significance. Beside me was a younger, smaller brother who was assisting me (I don't have a younger brother). Then I met my older real life brother. He told me he didn't believe in God. In real life he never told me such a thing. Later I was in a car, looking out the window to my right. I passed by a sort of temple for a small religion. The head of a spaceship, like a cockpit, was protruding out. There were a few members sitting in the porch, smiling and relaxing. Further down the road, I passed by another temple, with another cockpit protruding out. 2nd part: My class and I were heading home from a field trip. I had the choice between a bus with a bed in it and to be with a guy I've had a love relationship with in real life, but I chose another one without any bed, only seats. I was sitting in that bus. I wasn't physically comfortable, and started regretting my decision. I looked at the other people around me. All young people, boys and girls. I started conversing with a young woman next to me. I was smiling and laughing but inside I was bored to death. Interpretation: 1st part: The 4 dimensions could refer to the fact that there are 4 members in my family. My brother, my parents and me. The fifth dimension may refer to the community. The arena might represent the fact that I often see society as a battleground where everyone is a threat, and every relationship is a duel. The cockpit protruding out may refer to the need to extend myself beyond myself and my family, be a member of society, have more social conscience. The two temples might represent the fact that society is divided into many factions, each with its own set of beliefs and values (the Left and the Right for example). I have difficulty choosing, each faction looks the same to me, and appears cultish. Might additionally point to a difficulty committing to anything. The two temples were on the same street, close to each other, so they were neighbors, which shows they coexisted peacefully. So choosing a faction might not mean to be at war with others. 2nd part: Even though I'm bisexual, I tend to look more to the side of women, and might lose opportunities on the other side. By missing opportunities, I end up in a harder, more uncomfortable path than I could be in.
1st part: I was in a library. I became aware that my favorite guitarist was at the same time a fiction writer, and I could see his books on the shelves. Later, as he was in town for a book tour, there was a concert, but it wasn't him playing. He hadn't really released a completely new book. One of his books had been reedited with a single new short story added. 2nd part: I was walking and talking to a woman by my side. I found her attractive, but didn't feel any desire. Then I "switched on" my desire and started wanting her, but it didn't translate into action. 3rd part: I was getting married. It was a religious ceremony, perhaps Christian. My future wife was present, and there was a bunch of monks and nuns. We were in a clearing in a forest. As part of the ceremony, my wife and I started lighting candle sticks one by one. There were two rows of candles. Interpretation: 1st part: Has to do with creativity. I always saw music as my main creative outlet, but I'm starting to appreciate writing more and more. Maybe because of this blog. 2nd part: Sometimes I'll feel attracted to some women, but it's an internal desire, the desire itself doesn't push me to action. To act I must decide rationally and force myself, which is a bit contradictory to what a burning desire should be. Maybe burning desires exist only in movies. 3rd part: I'm becoming committed to certain things. The teaching career. Values.