Editor’s Notebook: March 2012

February 29, 2012

Greta Belanger deJong

Higher math dreams.

I went to bed late and was awakened from a sound sleep by a ringing phone at 9 a.m. Time to get up anyway, except that it brought to an end one of the more interesting dreams of my life. (Aren’t you glad you’re not the one who called?)

In the dream I was being shown the building blocks of “reality.” It had a “eureka!” quality to it—as when something you’ve struggled to understand suddenly makes sense. My omniscient dream teacher told me our world is made up of thoughts and emotions (which are also thoughts) that have been repeated until they have become calcified, or crystalline.

This information arrived in simple free-floating symbols, a few at a time, black on a luminous background, maybe something one would see in an algebra textbook—the pretty symbols, such as pi, or the golden ratio—but in 3D. The experience had the air of a cheerful math class, with that bonus pleasure of my actually understanding the materials.

This is the information these symbols somehow conveyed: That the basic tenets of reality-building are to relax the body—to be “in” what appears as the present—and to always gravitate toward the most positive outcome of any thought presented, no matter how it may fly in the face of the reality you’d predict. In the dream, this was easy to understand. I was offered exercises, as if the dream were a tutorial. I got to work things out and receive immediate feedback. This was one intriguing math teacher.

Actually, it felt like a good game of pool—you know the kind, in which seemingly impossible shots land again and again—or like those rarified life situations when, against all odds, the dream comes true. Sort of like a feel-good Hollywood movie. Only not; not at all.

My dream evaporated at the ring of the phone. I could keep writing about this, imagining what else the dream teacher might show me. I would be making it all up.

But maybe that’s what the dream was trying to convey, anyway—the creativity offered up in every moment.

I am laughing, now, as I contemplate this dream simultaneously with preparing to send the March CATALYST off to press: The raw materials of every concept in the dream are to be found in stories this issue of CATALYST. Is life reflecting dreams reflecting life (or, at least, literature?) Read this issue, and (well, except for the math symbols), you’ll see what I mean. Sweet dreams to you, too!