This summer actually made a difference. It came just after Middlesex University sent this letter to all its professors (See letter below). Many of us were spared summary redundancy. Yes I know its hard times in the UK public sector yet again but could there have been a marginally less alienating way of handling this? So I staggered into the summer with low morale and panic attacks (and a newly bought coffee grinder which is temporally laid off so to speak). I emerged having read Dharma Bums and Siddhartha and determined to give up work at the soonest opportunity and scale down my Cambridge terraced house for an isolated shack in Norfolk or Suffolk where I can live the life of solitude, more building projects and contemplation. The (re)discovery of [tag]Buddhism[/tag] for me came as a kind of answer to a prayer for some waft of spirituality and meaning in a degenerating life. So today I am back and what has three weeks of meditation and seeking refuge brought: my first row with a colleague in my working life. I am pleased. At last I am behaving differently.
A series of interconnected dreams: I am working in an office, showing two men something when my phone rings. Its my elderly mother and all of us can hear her trembling voice. She is saying ‘Have I heard what Captain Scarlet has been saying?’. She is worried about something but the men burst out laughing. ‘Captain Scarlet says I shouldn’t accept the parcel’. In a desperate voice she repeats ‘What is happening to me?’. I hang up.
Then I am on a train journey back to London or somewhere I live. It is a small train that snakes through a curving and hilly track. My phone rings again and it is either my mother or my dead father talking to me about her. I miss my stop, searching frantically for my rucksack with my computer in it.
I end up having to stay in a hotel, after considering joining the young people sleeping in the open. I wake up in the night and can see the reflection of a woman’s face in the air directly above me. Its rather frightening even though I am trying to think of rational explanations. I close my eyes and am awoken by a skinny woman sitting on my bed. She says ‘I am really interested in toilets but you look attractive’. She is keen to have sex with me. I get up out of bed saying ‘I think not’. I lead her to my hotel room door where there is a man dressed in a female nursing sister’s dark blue uniform. I give the woman to him. He is a psychiatric nurse and she has escaped. I wonder around the neighbourhood. It is about 5 in the morning and just getting light. I watch youg girls in corset shops practising putting corsets on shop dummies.
The sauna is in the back of my villa that I started building in 2003, at the end of my garden here in Cambridge. Details of its construction are on my other website.
I was travelling with a few others in Poland, not really Poland but a country with an oppressive regime and secret police. One local warned me that small groups of secret police roam the streets and expect total silence when they approach. If anyone fails to comply they are forced to eat rotten meat. A little later I am talking merrily in the street and realise that everyone around me has become tense and silent. I notice, out of the corner of my eye 4 or 5 men standing around me looking more like monkeys in light grey suits and light grey faces. One comes up to me and first hangs a piece of rotten meat over my face then commands me to eat it. He has a gun pointed to my head. He indicates particularly rotten and bright red pieces for me to eat. I notice that it doesn’t really taste that bad. Then he offers me a can of some liquid which I assume is urine to wash this down with. I realise that I am not terrified but key into the humiliation of the event.
After an evening at Geoff’s I had two vivid and somehow interconnected dreams:
I was the leader of an alternative house church. The house in question was very small (like my own only smaller) and lemon yellow and a turquoisey-green were strong colours that predominated. I had a partner or wife and she had a gift for spiritual discernment. She looked steadily into people in the church’s eyes. She herself was small, incredibly white and unhealthy looking – in fact quite frightening.
Then I was in a room with two other men (o no – I’ve just realised the Jesus being crucified implications of this) and we were sentenced to death and being prepared for death by lethal injection the next day. I was still sort of the same person from the earlier dream. I asked the doctor or guard for a shot of IV valium to calm me and produced my arm with protruding white tube like veins telling him how easy my veins are to inject as they are so prominent. I get a shot which I watch go into my white vein but it makes no difference.
Then the 3 of us are in a hotel for the night. I am quite resigned to the lethal injection tomorrow but in the end decide to get out and run off, maybe climb out of the window. In the end I go to the basement where there is some kind of rave going on and graffitti on the walls (it reminds me of Berlin which I have recently visited).
The dream ended there.