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Thursday, March 3, 2011: Lucid Dream: Groundhog Day Zombies

         Man, what a strange night: the same dream over and over, Groundhog Day-style (except Bill Murray wasn’t in this version). Always the same hotel, the same group of people gathered in adjoining suites, the same sequence of events unfolding.  Even lucid dreams have their illogical elements: I noticed in passing the oddity of being on an upper floor with a screened-in cabin-style balcony that overlooked and connected to a nature reserve far---and I mean far---below.

        The first dream began when my friend G. and I opened the hotel room’s private door and stepped onto the balcony. To our surprise and shock we encountered a mother bear and her cub. Curiosity, hunger, or habit had led them to the screened-in room and they considered us the unwelcome visitors, the mother bear instantly going into attack mode. I struggled to grab my friend out of the clutches of the bear and get us both back behind the door to the safety of our room. The bear kept trying to pull G. into the screened-porch area. With a last desperate burst of effort I finally pulled G. far enough away from the bear to get him through the door, to get the bear’s claws away from the door, and with the help of other friends who had heard my screams, to eventually get the door closed.

        My friend was badly wounded by the bear. However, the threat came not from the bloody gashes but from the odd infection which rapidly set in. We watched in horror and disbelief as G.’s features began transforming into that of a zombie, a zombie who soon became intent on attacking the rest of our group. Time to wake up.

        Strange dream I thought, and fell back to sleep, only to have the same dream start up all over again. This time, in the struggle to wrestle G. free of the bear and get the door closed, I remembered the earlier dream sequence and the upcoming danger.  I gave up that last desperate attempt to rescue the mauled G., convincing other group members that G. was beyond help and would soon become a danger to the rest of us. The mother bear settled down once the door was shut, departing with her cub and leaving a bloodied George on the other side of the door.

        G., after desperate pleas, realized he would not be allowed back into our room and wandered down toward hotel lawn just this side of the woods. We all watched from the window as G. finished his transformation. We watched him turn back to the hotel where he began “infecting” other hotel guests. Our horror grew as more and more hotel guests became changed into zombies. In no time G. had organized his newly-recruited zombie friends to attack the room of his “old friends.” Zombies were soon trying to break through the door. Time to wake up.

         I went back to sleep after putting on a CD of the Gayatri Mantra (Hindu chant of protection and devotion), hoping to change the strange pattern of what now seemed to be a persistent lucid dream. Dreams from this point began after the bear attack (perhaps to keep me from aborting the lesson by staying off the porch).

           In the third dream, with a memory of the previous dreams, I knew we had to set up a better defense system.  After our group watched G.’s final transformation, I convinced them to run to the stairwells and lock or barricade all the doors. Delaying the zombies seemed our only chance, and while it took them longer to break through the stairwell doors, while our efforts bought us some more time, a few of the zombie-horde figured out the elevator system. Once again they were breaking down the door to our room, well before daylight might have sent them creeping back to the shadows. Time to wake up.

        Back to sleep the fourth time, I rallied the group this time to lock stairwell doors for four or five floors below us, to leave the elevator doors stuck open on our floor, all in desperate hope of delaying the zombie advance until daylight. If we could just get through the night safely, there was hope for escape to a safer environment. 

        Somehow, a back stairwell was unnoticed and therefore left unlocked. It did not take the zombies that much longer to gain entrance to the floor. The adults willingly followed my orders to stay within the safety of the room, but now I was shocked by a little girl of seven who brought her three-year-old sister to me, explaining that her little sister had wandered off and been bitten.

        Had it been an adult who ignored my warnings, I would have shoved him outside, left him to turn zombie on the other side of the door.  I’ve watched enough zombie movies to be realistic on this issue. Knowing the dangers to the rest of our group, I looked down on this sweet little child, the epitome of innocence. We could not keep her inside the room. I could not turn her out with the zombies. Time to wake up.

        By now I was getting leery of even trying to fall asleep. I tried to focus more fully on the Gayatri Mantra as I returned to sleep, only to find myself back into the same dream. This time I made sure to leave someone in charge of watching the children. Though zombies eventually reached our floor, I felt more secure that our final defenses would hold until daylight. 

        To my horror, one of our group removed a section of side barricade and stuck out his arm, allowing himself to be bitten. Stunned, we watched him dash back to his room. He returned moments later with a dispenser of lotion, some concoction he’d been working on in a back bedroom. He was already showing the first signs of turning. Yet rubbing some of the lotion on his own face, we watched as the application began rapidly transforming his features back to normal. Our surprise was so great we stood motionless, unable to stop him as he removed more of the barrier. He dabbed lotion on the zombies in the front, and they began to slowly melt back into their normal human features.  Seeing the transformation, zombies came forward more peacefully to receive their treatment. This time I awoke because the dream had resolved itself.

       My dream problem was solved not by my efforts to doggedly protect what remained of the good and normal but by watching someone else transform the negative back to its proper and sane condition. I had a pretty good idea what the lesson was all about (I’ve been in a fighting mood lately over politics) but I plan to sit with it for a while to clarify how the symbols fall in place with my everyday life.

 

Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 09:05AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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