Thursday, May 26, 2016

Joe Omundson


The dream began with my own death. Several people, including a member of my immediate family, gave me a pill to take, insisting it was my time, though I did not understand why. With a sense of helplessness I took the pill. I began to die, and my perspective changed so that I was observing life as a 2D timeline, looking down from above. I saw the events of my death unfolding, represented by icon-like versions of people superimposed on the axis of the timeline, with numbers marking the days and years. As I died, people grasped on to the image of my body and it was pulled farther down the timeline, away from their reach. It represented the grieving process as people struggled with my death and then were forced to let go and move on. Next to the axis of earth-years, my own perceived years had their own axis, and the scale began to stretch out as I transcended mortality.

 After this, I knew I was dead, and I wasn’t sure what would happen to my consciousness. There was a woman the same age as myself who had also died; I did not know who she was but I knew we had been placed together to provide a reference for each other’s experience. We were going through it together, though we had no contact initially. I remember having the sense that I was half-reclining in a shallow riverbed, as ethereal water maybe a foot deep rushed past me, and in a way it represented time. I waited there for my end, thinking I had no alternative. I seemed to be existing in a new dimension, since the time-space continuum I had lived my life in was now contained in two dimensions, yet I continued to experience a 3-dimensional spatial reality. It was somehow unbounded and undefined, as though the river in which I reclined was superimposed on outer space.

 I had something of an eternal presence and when I raised myself above the level of the water to look down on it, I realized I could move through the timeline, which was aligned with the river. I waded upstream and viewed the time of my death, and I could see what my loved ones were doing. I was surprised that I still had this level of awareness and motility, because I had expected to disappear quickly. But I seemed to be an autonomous entity who could truly perceive all of time.

 I longed for my life, and I felt lonely in my separation from it. But I knew it was impossible to go back or make contact, and the living humans were entirely unaware of this extra dimension I inhabited. The river kept flowing around me.

 Then the woman was with me, and I think we both sensed that though we were alone, and though this afterlife would not last forever, we had each other. We said nothing but seemed to think, “Shall we connect? It seems possible for us to do. Let’s live in what we have now and let go of the past.” Upstream, the water was flowing out of a room-sized opening in a building.  She made her way toward it, and I saw her stumble once or twice into the water, and she flickered as though losing her permanence; it indicated the beginning of our process of decay into nothingness. We couldn’t know how much longer we had.

 But it didn’t matter. We had now. I followed her. I knew that just inside the building was a set of stairs to the right, and a bedroom at the top of those. She began to take off her clothes and I saw her naked breast as she rounded the corner. We were of the same mind, and as I followed her inside, I woke up.


As I lay on my mattress inside my car, camped out by myself at 7,200’, I reflected on what I had just experienced and thought about my life. I recognized that I have a deep yearning for connection and intimacy, and that I am keenly aware of the shortness of life. So are my choices in line with that? If I only had one day to live and my desire was connection, how would I do it differently? Would I walk up to people and gaze into their eyes, unafraid of the consequences? The dream made me want to live my life, now, the same way my dream self might have lived it given the chance to return to his mortal life. He would have been unafraid of embarrassment because he had experienced eternity. I don’t want to wait until I’m dead to realize “I have the people around me, and I can choose to be with them.”

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :