Dreams can tell us a lot about who we are, our personalities; they can also tell us something about our future, precognitive or prophetic dreams.
Some of my dreams tell me a lot about who I am and about my future. In this essay, I will examine some of my dreams that I believe told me something about my personality and those that told me something about my future.
The earliest dream that I remember occurred the year that I began kindergarten and that would make me five years old. In the dream I was crawling in the middle of the road in front of our house. A truck was coming towards me. I felt that the truck would run me over and kill me but instead of crawling away from the middle of the street before it got to me I stayed right there crying, asking for adults to come rescue me. Nobody came to rescue me and I kept crying but before the truck reached me I woke up.
This dream was so dramatic that it has stuck with me all my life and every once in a while I revisit it and ask what it means for me.
The individual's dreams mean something for him but not necessarily for other people (however, other persons could benefit from their interpretation). So what does this particular dream mean for me? It tells me something about my personality. It says that when danger or serious life issues come close to me instead of me trying to solve them by myself I sit around complaining about them and seeking other people, God and Jesus Christ to help me out, to rescue me.
In the dream, no person, no Jesus and no God rescued me. But before the danger overwhelms me (before the truck runs over me) somehow the danger is averted but not solved. I have not made the necessary personality changes that the dream is asking me to make.
The dream is telling me that I am dependent in personality structure and, as such, expect other human beings, God and Jesus to rescue me and that they would not come to my rescue.
Some children who are very sickly tend to develop dependent personality structures. A sickly child feels weak and powerless and expects his parents to do for him what he ought to be doing for his self. In adulthood he tends to expect other adults to do for him what most adults do for themselves. He may add manipulative aspects to his personality, such as please other people hoping that in pleasing them, doing what they want him to do, that they would help him out. He tends not to be a leader; he tends to be a follower doing what leaders ask him to do. He tends to be a fearful person.
Dependent, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive and passive aggressive personalities tend to approach everything with fear and anxiety; they have free floating anxiety in them (they have what psychoanalysts call anxiety neurosis; they are group C of what the American Psychiatric Association, in its DSM, calls personality disorders).).
I inherited a mitochondria disorder, Cytochrome C oxidase deficiency and spondylolysis and those gave me, and still give me, pain. As a child I was almost always at the gate of death. My mother, therefore, took extra care of me; I grew up pampered, expecting her to do for me what I ought to be doing for me. Alfred Adler would say that I was a spoilt child hence a depowered child, a neurotic child.
The dream is teaching me that other people and God will not rescue me; there are no heroes on white horses out there coming to help me; only me can help me; I can help me when I change my personality and solve my problems without asking for others to help me; I must crawl away from the truck barging towards me and not stay in the middle of the road crying for others to help me.
The dream asks me to make radical changes in my personality, to become independent and not look to outside agents' to-do for me that I got to do to live on planet earth.
I inherited a vulnerable body that made me very sickly; I developed a dependent and avoidant approach to life and wanted other people to take care of me. The dream is telling me that despite my physical vulnerabilities only I can solve my problems.
By generalization, only each individual can help and rescue himself; there are no gods, Jesus and people out there to help the individual to do what only he must do to successfully adapt to the impersonal and tough exigencies of life on planet earth.
Many years ago I applied for a professorial job at a small American college. I was obviously well qualified for it (I had taught part time for the school). I was called for interview; the five members of the interviewing committee highly recommended me to the dean to be hired. As is the norm, they also recommended another person, for two people are usually sent to the dean and he re-interviews them and hires one; generally, he hires the top candidate that the interviewing committee recommends.
The dean interviewed me and the other guy. A week later he called and said that he wanted to talk to me some more. I went to see him in his spacious office. Instead of asking me about the subject that I am trained in, and was interviewed for, he asked me if I could teach some additional classes such as statistics and mathematics. Although I could teach some of them I told him that those are not my specialty and was not what was advertised that I applied for.
I left the interview feeling that the white man is about to play his known racist game on me; they always do some shit like that and use it as a ruse to deny black folks jobs. I was livid.
That night I had a dream. In the dream I was at my undergraduate school, University of Oregon. I used to have a post office mail box in the students' union building, EMU. I was trying to climb the stairs to get to the students union building. I stood by the bottom of the stairs; the stairs where divided into right and left: folks went up on one side and came down on the other side; there was a rail dividing the two parts; I noticed that ropes were tired across the rails on the part of the stairs that I was supposed to climb to go up, preventing me from climbing up. I looked on the other side of the stairs and people were coming down on it so I decided that I ought to go try to climb up from that side. I moved towards it but instead of being by the stairs I was now trying to enter the campus from Kincaid Avenue so as to get to my department (which was located at Campbell Hall). I tried to step into the campus and noticed that ropes were laid across the entrance to the campus. I had to either crawl under the ropes to enter the campus or do some jumping. I stood there contemplating what is going on and woke up.
The dream seemed important enough for me to write it down. I have a habit of having a writing pad by my side as I sleep and if I wake up remembering a dream I write it down and during the day try to interpret it.
The following day I got a call from the Dean telling me that he had hired the other chap, a white man, of course. I did not say anything to him. I kept quiet and he did his speaking and hung up.
A few days later, one of the faculty members that had interviewed us called me and apologized for how things turned out (he was sufficiently angry at his dean's apparent racism that in a little while he left the school and went to another college in Colorado).
The next day the dean called me (apparently some of the interviewers had registered their disappointment to him) and said that he would like to hire me on a term basis but not the tenured track position that I had interviewed for. I told him no, thank you.
I am a very proud man and if my pride is hurt, as he obviously hurt my pride, I do not want to see you, not for as long as I live. I did not want to see the man for as long as I live; to me he was less than garbage.
For some dumb reasons white racists seem to believe that discriminating against black folks somehow makes black folks see them as godlike; no, those they discriminate against see them as feces. These folks are literally stupid.
The study of history shows that oppressed people invariably inherit the empire of their oppressors. Those that the Romans abused, Germans dispossessed the Romans. You do not have to be particularly sagacious to realize that America is on its last legs and that, sooner or later, the black and brown people it oppressed will take it over. In a couple hundred years brown people (a mix of Africans, Native Americans and whites) will rule America.
The theme of this essay is precognitive dreams, not racism so let us move on. My dream had told me that I was not going to be able to enter a college campus, meaning that obstacles were placed on my path and I was not going to be hired by the university.
I did some thinking and realized that similar events happened in the past. Right after writing my dissertation at UCLA I was interviewed by a couple universities. In each case the hiring dean would add an additional subject to be taught and of course I did not get offered those jobs.
Like most black folks I had attributed my situation to racism. But given the present case and its precognitive dream I began thinking about things a bit differently; I came to the conclusion that something at a deeper part of me is telling me that I am not meant to be hired by American colleges.
I recall when I was in graduate school how I used to pity professors; I used to say that they sold their minds to the devil; they kind of reminded me of Goethe's Dr. Faust who sold his soul to Mephistopheles, a man who to have a job does what his employer, the demon asks him to do.
Many professors write what they believe that their peers would approve, and what the funders of their schools would approve, and, ultimately, what the gatekeepers of the American establishment would approve. I saw the typical American university professor as an ass kisser hence a contemptible coward who did not articulate the truth as he knows it to be but tweaked his writing to conform to what his society's system maintainers would approve; I had no respect for him.
That is to say that a deeper part of me did not want to be a professor at an American university. My attitude to life is that one ought to always speak the truth as one understands it to be. I would rather die than tell lies.
I am rather good at writing grants and applications for submissions to governments' for approval. A lady approached me and wanted me to help her write an application for her to submit to start a government funded business. I agreed to do so and did as she told me to do. She later asked me if I would like to be a partner in her business. She and her husband run assisted living homes for the elderly; they have several such houses where they take care of elderly folks. I got to know them when occasionally they would ask me to take a look at their accounting books and make sure that they conformed to generally accepted accounting principles (in case they are audited by their funders).
Apparently, she wanted to expand her business to providing respite care services for elderly folks. She told me about the financial possibilities of the new venture. She said that she would like me to go into that business with her.
I was not sure if that is the sort of thing that I ought to be doing. In the meantime, I helped her with the application and provided all the supporting documents required by the state for approval.
Upon submitting the paper works I had a dream. In the dream I was at a government office applying for something and they kept giving me the run around and I felt frustrated and gave up.
A few weeks later the lady called and said that the state had asked her to submit all sorts of additional materials, including evidence of insurance and so on. I remembered the dream and realized that the dream is telling me that if I joined her in that partnership she would not get approved so I told her that I am not interested in being a partner in her business. She proceeded with the application without me.
This dream tells me that a part of me, a deeper part of me, if you like, the subconscious part of my mind does not want me to do something (be in business partnership with a lady).
A deeper part of each of us knows what the individual really, really likes to do and would prevent one from doing what one does not want to do.
I had no respect for college professors, nor do I have respect for business folks. I see me as a free thinker; a deep part of me wants me to be in a situation where I can think freely without having to kiss any ones ass to be employed.
As I reflect on my dreams, I said to me: okay, they give me negative feedback on what not to do but do they have a positive feedback for me on what I ought to be doing? It is one thing being told not to waste ones time being an American professor or business man but what is the positive alternative to them? Can my dreams actually tell me what to do, instead of what not to do?
The answer is yes. I once had what folks call vision; that vision told me what to do. I had read a book called A course in miracles. It took me many years before finally I understood it. When finally I understood it I was furious at its supposed author, Jesus Christ. I said: why did you write this book in a convoluted, hifalutin language that needs many years before one grasps the simple message it is trying to teach. If I, a supposedly sophisticated person, could not easily understand what the book is saying and had to have other people explain it to me before I understood it, what did Jesus expect ordinary persons to do, not understand it and if so why did he bother writing it?
A cottage industry has already sprung up with folks telling us what the book is trying to teach us. Why didn't Jesus write his book in simple prose that even secondary school students can understand?
Jesus allegedly came to the world two thousand years ago and taught in parables and very few understood what he was teaching; people have different interpretations of his parables; some go to wars trying to prove that their interpretations of what Jesus said are the correct ones. So, why didn't Jesus say whatever the hell he is saying in plain language that even I could understand?
So, throughout that day, at work, I was really, really furious at Jesus and called him a confusionist, a man who brings the sword and wars to the world by giving people stupid messages for them to fight over instead of stating whatever truth he is teaching in simple language that all people can understand.
IS IT A DREAM OR A VISION?
I got home from work still mad at Jesus. As is my habit I went to my home computer to check my email. I sat before the computer, looking outside from my windows. It was around 6PM Seattle summer time so it was bright outside. Suddenly, my room became pitch dark. I could not even see the computer in front of me. I got up to go switch on the electric light. I took a step and was in the middle of the room when my attention shifted.
Now, I was at Venice Beach, California. I was carrying my son, Kelechi on my back and we were gamboling on the beach. The Beach was totally deserted except for the two of us. We kept running around, happy. Then I looked and there was a single man sitting by a beach table, with a book on the table. He wore catholic priests white attire, robe. His appearance seemed strange. He looked as white as light; you could see through his body. Curious, I went closer to check him out. As I got closer to him I knew who he was, it was the old boy himself, Jesus Christ.
He was bent over a book and I looked and it was A course in miracles. The anger that I had felt towards him during the day came rushing back into my mind but I checked myself and decided to be polite. I said: I see that you are reading A course in miracles, I have read it. He ignored me and kept reading. I made another attempt to engage him in a friendly conversation and he ignored me.
Visualize the scene in the bible when the Jews brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus and asked him what to do to her, to stone her to death (laws of Moses, Old Testament) or forgive her (laws of Jesus, New Testament) and he ignored them, instead, writing on the ground. The man simply ignored me, reading his book. He seemed angry at me (this was probably my own anger projected to him)?
At that point I got annoyed at him. Generally, I am very proud and do not like to be ignored, not even by the so-called savior of mankind. I muted to myself, not loudly: who the fuck do you think that you are ignoring me; you are a fucking Jew and I am an Igbo high priest (I am the high priest of Amadioha); no human being has a right to ignore me. I felt totally irritated and decided to leave him alone.
I took a step backwards and he looked up and said: this book is going to be useful for many people, including you; you have read and understood it; there are many paths to our father; you are here to write about a path to our father; go write it and do not fight with this book.
The vision ended and I resumed awareness that I am in the middle of my room and light had returned to it.
I went to my computer and typed the vision. Naturally, I talked about the dream or vision or whatever you might call it to friends.
As a skeptic I interpreted it to be the product of my subconscious mind. I did not believe that there is a Jesus Christ that saved the world; I said that a part of my deep self-produced the dream and through a so-called religious authority called Jesus Christ told me to go write my own books. In other words, my mind produced the entire vision (just as it does all my dreams).
Moreover, the Jesus character in the dream looked like a Catholic priest; he was clad in catholic priests white robes; since I was raised as a catholic I told me that my idea of Jesus is that he is like a catholic priest. That is to say that my past experience and my deep mind produced the vision and there was no external Jesus talking to me in the vision.
Nevertheless, I had a nagging question: how exactly do our minds produce our dreams? I have loads of dreams. How does my three pounds brain, a bunch of elements, mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphor, iron, zinc, copper and so on produce dreams?
Are dreams only the product of the dance of electrons in our brains and how do electrons write the elaborate dream plays and people them with actors? Could dreams emanate from outside our brains and our brains merely influence them? I do not get it.
Regardless of whether there is Jesus or not what the Jesus dream/vision told me is for me not to waste my time seeking salvation from other people and for me to go seek my own salvation by my efforts. Like the dream that I had at age five, it is telling me that Jesus, God and other people are not there to save me and that only I can save me. The goal is for me to help me, for me to rescue me and not expect external others to rescue me.
My college dream told me that I am not supposed to waste my time teaching at American universities; the business partnership dream told me not to waste my time doing silly businesses to make money.
I am not supposed to save other people by being a therapist (which I had done); it is not for me to save the mentally ill (which is virtually all human beings).
My only calling is to save me. How do I do it? It is by understanding me and writing about it and sharing my writing with other people and, hopefully, my writing would help those who want to understand themselves and save themselves.
It is not for me to save other people but I can write and sell my books and those who read them can glean information from them and use those to save themselves.
My dreams help me to understand that whereas other people contribute to my life, and I to them, that in the final analysis my life is in my hands. A deep part of me knows what I want to do and in my dreams tell me to go do it and to not do what I am not here to do.
Dreams are presented in symbols, in metaphors needing interpretation. From interpreting my dreams I no longer see myself as a victim that other people did bad things to. For example, in the past I used to feel discriminated against by white folks who denied me jobs but now I see a higher part of me directing me to doing the type of job that I am here to do.
I am here to understand me and use that information to help other people to understand themselves.
Clearly, we live in a general system where all of us do affect all of us so I am not exonerating racists for discriminating against black folks; I am simply saying that within our evil world each of us plays a part in it.
It would be nice if we loved each other but I am not here to preach some platitude that no one obeys.
My dreams have given me information on my personality, on what not to do and what to do; they have given me both negative and positive feedback on what to do with my life.
My dreams tell me that I am here to write articles and books that save me and help save those who want to be saved. We are saved when we understand our ego personalities and make necessary changes in them.
For example, I had a dependent and avoidant personality structure (with obsessive-compulsive features). I have understood my personality and done something about it.
I am, in effect, saved from the negative aspects of my ego; I live a pretty independent existence doing what I want to do. If you do not like what I am doing with my life that is your problem, not mine. I am not here to do what you like me to do but what I perceive to be the truth and you are not here to do what pleases me or other people ( I am paraphrasing Fred Perl's' Gestalt Therapy, Verbatim).
Only the individual can save his self but all of us contribute to him doing so by giving him useful information.
In sum, our dreams tell us a lot about our personalities and give us useful information on our future; our dreams can be precognitive and prophetic for us.
Our dreams can help us to understand the fear that holds us down (the fear and dependency that prevented me from crawling away from the middle of the road) and help us learn that only us, the individual, can do what he needs to do to live a full existence.
*Whereas I teach at a university, I consider my life's mission to write about how to transform the human ego from self-centered ego to ego of love; this mission includes looking at scientific and non-scientific materials such as dreams and spirituality.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
March 9, 2017