I had a weird dream. This isn’t uncommon; what was weird was that this one left off at a point where I was about to make a decision, and then I was back in the dream again.
Someone has turned my dreams into a ‘choose your own adventure’ story.
In my dream, I was rock climbing, and I was literally clinging to the great, jagged cliff-side of a canyon. Everything was fine, although the rocks were sharp. I had my gear.
Unfortunately, the world started to move. The plates of the earth shifted, and the canyon started to close, the other cliff-side shutting in on me.
To my left, there was a big sharp rock sticking out. To my right, there was a small cave. There was no getting up to the lip of the canyon before the earth closed.
When I woke up I actually thought about my options. I could
A. Stay where I was and see what happened
B. Cut my safety line and fall to the bottom of the canyon
C. Move my body over the sharp rock, ensuring a swift death when the two ledges smashed together, or
D. Crawl into the small cave on the small chance that there would be some way out, some rescue, some hope of getting out of the mess, but thus risking a slow and fearful death trapped in total darkness by myself.
When I fell back asleep the dream came back. I must have made my choice sub-consciously, because I was curled in a small, dark space, waiting for the world to stop moving, and hoping that it wouldn’t stop moving because then my fate would be sealed. It was very black, a black that presses in on you. It felt like a night when I was taking a bath and the power went out.
I’ve heard you can’t die in dreams, because the subconscious has no experience of death, so it always finds another option. I’ve also heard that if you hit the ground in a falling dream, you’ll actually die. That’s bogus though, often you just wake up. Particularly if you’ve fallen out of bed.
What I’m wondering now is this… if you were a person with faith in God, which of these options would be faithful?
If you really believe in life after death, then you display that faith when you choose a swift death over a small possibility of life, right? But if you believe in God’s mercy, you would choose the slightest hope. Then again, to stay where you are communicates the most faith in God’s will. Would it be cowardly to choose the sharp rock so that death wasn’t prolonged by suffering? I don’t know. If death is a foregone conclusion, this wouldn’t constitute suicide, right?
But death is always a foregone conclusion. So we have strange rules about not ending it of your own free will.
Still, I can’t see myself letting go and falling, though I think the most frightening thing would be to die slowly in the cave, becoming nothing more than a miserable awareness, with no relief for the body, no stretching, no touching, no sounds, no sight. Only the smell of your body, and the taste of death. I think this would be the worst thing: To be buried alive.
What do you think?