Last night I had a scary dream. I had found these new eyes. In the dream, I held them in my hands, and they kept trying to fly into my eye sockets to replace my old eyes.
I was afraid to let them do this because I knew it would be very painful. Most of the dream consisted of me trying to hold these eyes in my hand as they struggled to get out, and replace my eyes.
The only way I discovered to prevent them from doing this was to force myself awake. But I kept falling back asleep into the same dream with those determined new eyes.
As is often the case with dreams, I couldn't remember in the morning how the dream was resolved, or even if it was resolved. Did I get the new eyes? Did I keep them away? I don't remember.
In the morning, I kept thinking about the dream. I've been through enough psychoanalysis to know that dreams are rarely, if ever, random. They are metaphorical representations of inner struggle, based on real things from life. This is how I interpreted the dream:
The new eyes represented a new way of looking at the world. They represented the struggle and fear of seeing things from another perspective. This makes sense because lately, I've had conversations both in my classes and in my day-to-day life that had to do with politics and America. I am pretty liberal. I tend to fear capitalism and large corporations. I believe in social programs. But I've had arguments lately with conservatives who argued that capitalism is important, that corporations provide jobs, that our system basically works. I didn't totally agree, but I lately I've found myself in a state of confusion.
This semester, I'm teaching my students about critical thinking and arguments, and I am beginning to learn how to see, to really see, the perspectives of people with whom I disagree. This can be, at times, scary and uncomfortable, as it requires that I hold my convictions loosely, that I constantly question my own views and motives.
Also, I've been reading an amazing book called Xenocide, by Orson Scott Card, which is a science fiction novel about different species, on the eve of war, trying to keep peace through discussion, argument, and mutual understanding. The real war takes place before any weapons are fired, in the minds and hearts of those involved. The book constantly switches perspectives and you, as a reader, are forced to see the conflict from all sides. It is disorienting, but also tremendously fascinating.
There is a character in the story named Olhado, who has artificial eyes. He is not blind, but he sees the world differenty from everyone else. Ironically, it is Olhado who discovers that there are invisible threads/connections between all the species. It is Olhado (the "blind one") who becomes the only hope of preventing war.
I think my dream of the new eyes, and the fear of them, had to do with this inner struggle within myself to really try to see the world and myself from the perspective of those with whom I tend to disagree.