Sunday, July 7, 2013

Surviving the Crash

I had a very peculiar dream last night that Göran and I were in a plane crash. Our plane hit an unexpected storm shortly after it had taken off from MSP International Aiport, and went down somewhere in western Wisconsin.

In my dream, I was watching (from outside my body) paramedics place my body in an ambulance and take it to a hospital. I was very aware that if I (my consciousness/my spirit?) were not quickly reattached to my body, my body would die.

I stayed very close to the paramedics, and I kept saying, "When are you going to reattach me to my body?" But the paramedics didn't seem to be paying much attention to me or even noticing me. I figured they were busy.

After we reached the hospital, they laid my body on some kind of cart in a big room. I went over to it to look at it, and it looked to me as if it were "wilting," the way flowers wilt after you cut them, if you don't put them in water. I was particularly studying my hands, seeing how crumpled up and small they looked, and I thought, "It's probably already too late to save my hands. There's probably too much neurological damage."

I gradually realized that I was probably actually dead, and it was time to go find Göran and move on.


I was struck by how weirdly similar this dream was to pop cultural portrayals of the after death experience in movies and TV, like, say, the movie The Sixth Sense. About a year ago, I shared my review of James Hillman's book, The Dream and the Underworld, in which Hillman argues that Greco-Roman underworld mythology was actually the product of dreams. Are our pop culture portrayals of after-death experiences also a product of dreams? Or was my dream the product of pop cultural portrayals? Another one of the many mysterious questions I'm filing away for future reference.

I told this dream to my husband this morning, and he was actually pretty appalled. I said, "I had a strange dream last night." And after I described it, he said, "That wasn't a dream that was a nightmare!" But oddly, I did not experience it as a scary dream. I felt quite calm and at peace throughout. The feeling I experienced upon discovering I was dead was more one of surprise than fear or anger or regret.

I woke up thinking, basically, "Oh, I guess I can survive a plane crash, even if I die in it."

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