Sunday, September 27, 2009

Morality at the Mall (with zombies!)

I had a strange dream last night which I will try to relate, though I fear much of the coherence will have dissipated since this morning.
It began in a mall (note: I loathe malls, and I hate "going shopping" in general, unless it is for the explicit purpose of buying copious quantities of delicious, high-quality food which I intend to prepare and eat within the foreseeable future). The trip was one of mostly necessity; a stop in the clothing store for a new dress shirt, and a bottle of facial moisturizer from the local Boots (for you Americans, that's a drugstore). I returned home with my collected purchases. But sometime between then and nightfall, the mall became haunted.
I was inexplicably called back to the mall that night, a bittersweet siren song playing in my head. The evil "me" was there, in the mall, causing destruction and mayhem (actually, that sounds like fun.... but anyway). It was my nemesis who conjured ghosts and demons and animated gargoyles into hideous monsters - ok, so I lied, there weren't actually any zombies - and I had to battle my way through them all, my quest becoming more and more apparent as I fought onward. Within the Boots was a potion, and I had to attain it. It was the "antidote," so to speak. It would defeat my arch nemesis - no, make that change my arch nemesis into good instead of evil. It would make all the difference in the world, and I had to fight for it.
Like in a bad movie or a silly video game, I outwitted demons and banished ghosts, finally making my way through the darkened mall to the staff entrance of the Boots store, the only viable way inside. I was literally two steps away - my hand on the door handle, ready to burst in, grab the potion triumphantly and save the day - when I suddenly stopped. Things began to fall into place: why was this door, the only way in, not guarded? Why had I been so successful in defeating the evil minions? And suddenly I knew. It was a trap.
My nemesis would be waiting for me just inside, ready to pounce and end once and for all this facetious game of good versus evil. I would lose because she had the upper hand, and that was that. I could not go forward; it was suicide. I could not turn back; it would mean victory for evil. But then suddenly I remembered.
The potion that I needed was precisely the same as the lotion I had purchased earlier that day. I already possessed what I needed to defeat evil - all that remained was to give up what was already mine. It was that simple. If I could let go of something I rightfully "owned," I would succeed. I released the doorknob and turned to go.
As is the case in many dreams, I found myself (without the necessity of travel) back at my home, handing the bottle of moisturizer (potion - hey, I didn't say the dream was elaborate) to someone (presumably the one who called me on the "quest" to begin with), and with that simple gesture, defeating my evil nemesis.
That was it. I won.

While much of the "feel" of the dream is lost in translation, the moral of the story was crystal clear, and the sensation of righteous victory strong and pumping through my veins when I woke.
If only more nights were so productive.


  1. What a positive, wonderful dream! Sounds like your inner life is pretty much in tune. To know you have the answer within is a precious gift. You might be interested in Jung's dream book that is coming out.

  2. "And Jungians, almost by definition, tend to get enthused anytime something previously hidden reveals itself...." Ha!
    Burk, thanks for the link. The book sounds utterly fascinating!

  3. Great article! Here's a patent app. which takes a fun approach to both zombies and morality:

    Check out the Gold 45 Revolver/Ideas Have Consequences/Moral Premise videogame technologies:

    A video game method and system for creating games where ideas have consequences, incorporating branching paths that correspond to a player's choices, wherein paths correspond to decisions founded upon ideals, resulting in exalted games with deeper soul and story, enhanced characters and meanings, and exalted gameplay. The classical hero's journey may be rendered, as the journey hinges on choices pivoting on classical ideals. Ideas that are rendered in word and deed will have consequences in the gameworld. Historical events such as The American Revolution may be brought to life, as players listen to famous speeches and choose sides. As great works of literature and dramatic art center around characters rendering ideals real, both internally and externally, in word and deed, in love and war, the present invention will afford video games that exalt the classical soul, as well as the great books, classics, and epic films--past, present, and future.

    Read more:


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