Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ultra Vivid Dream

I walk towards a tall (around 30 story) office building, with an exact one next to it. They stand in a park-like area, alone. I am somewhat dressed up. Taking elevators and stairs all the way to the top floor I come into a large, well-lit, window encased circle where the elevators and stairs are basically a central column to the room. It's decadent, old men dressed in nice clothes are milling about. I walk towards and open a door but unexpectedly interrupt a meeting of more old men at a dark wood conference table. They look up at me as I apologize and quickly shut the door. Embarrassed I walk around to the other side of this floor and go towards an open office. It is the only office on this floor and as I walk in I am greeted by another old man who welcomes me. Our conversation seems congenial and insignificant, and very short. I leave, but with some measure of anxiety.
Fast forward and I am in the same office building but barricaded in a lower floor room. The floor's layout is the same. Wrapping around the central column elevators and stairs. Our men are fighting their way to the top where we plan to assassinate the old men in nice clothes upstairs. As fighting breaks out up and around the hallway ahead, I go back to our operations room on this floor to discuss the situation. Someone breaks through, looking for the leaders. As they near our room we hide, but not for long. I realize that my opportunity is now, especially as our forces are being pushed back, obviously defeated. I take the stairway and hide as others come down. Up on the top floor there is a party just ending. Stragglers are drinking the last of the alcohol and mill about. All of them old and well-dressed. I feel very out of place in my operative clothes. The same office door is open and I find my way to it, quickly, but not running. The old man is there and in a short conversation explains our situation. My forces have all been captured or eliminated, I have the opportunity now to destroy the man before me, but whatever it is he stands at the head of, will go on. It is more than just him.
Broken, defeated, I am left with my freedom to leave. Except, there is an understanding that I will be sought after, either killed, or imprisoned.
Chaos in the settlements. Everyone from our town has been rounded up and imprisoned, or killed. I don't know where any of them are. I am struggling with the possibility that my whole family has been executed for my mistakes. No one is home, except the few newcomers who are taking our homes. In grief, the only option it seems is to take my own life, before they do. It's a cold day, with snow on the ground, where my family's home was. So I go inside and put on many pairs of socks. Through tears flowing I find more warm clothes to wear as the plan becomes more clear. With no gun, I will take my car into the mountains and, after numbing myself in the snow, cut my wrists and die. I go outside only to find that more of the old man's men are here. One is a large and burly man who, with no apparent worries, talks calmly to me, unaware of what I planned. That is, I hope he was unaware. He talks of the success they enjoyed, of my own success in coming as far as I did. Referring to my skills, he then proposes another option to me. An opportunity to work and train in the organization of the old man. He tells me we should celebrate and suggests we do so separately. I agree and then go to find alcohol for myself. In a pantry among one of the houses I find a collection of liquor and take with me two large, but previously opened, bottles of clear liquor.
The old man is at one of the houses (which takes the appearance and layout of my parent's home in Alaska). After drinking some, and planning to take my life in the downstairs bathroom, this man comes down asking after me. I go out and stand next to him as he stairs out of a downstairs window. He explains to me the situation of his organization, what they are trying to accomplish, and what I can contribute to his goal. He speaks of various people they meet, skilled people. They serve their purpose for a time and eventually their one-track skill set proves them unreliable for long-term service. Referring to me, he then describes people with a rounded ability that act as leaders in his organization. I am shown a recent mission where two leaders stand behind a woman, seemingly crazed by her power, taunts the fallen adversary of a rebel force. She is then killed by the opposing man, who is then overwhelmed by the organization forces. Standing behind these forces I recognize the large and burly man that I had met earlier.
Even though I am somewhat buzzed, I understand the situation I am in.
Fast-forward. I am walking with Zach through what seems to be a warehouse, like Costco. As we walk and talk I describe the hopelessness I feel about having lost my family and nearly everyone that I knew. He seems annoyed, saying that he is still here, and his friend Tyrone is still here (emphasizing the fact with a jab of a finger in my chest).
Fast-forward. Later that day I am back in the large building where the old man has an office at the top floor. On an upper floor I am acquainted with a few other operatives, younger than me. It appears that they don't share my conflict with the situation of the organization. I feel like an outsider. I ask them about their lives and where they are from. Their home towns sound nothing like that I am used to. As we prepare to go to bed I am invited to talk with the old man. He asks about what I expect to happen, I tell him it seems like it will be hard. He refers to my university education, and the hard work I put into that. Then, slower and more deliberately, he explains that I do not know what hard work is, yet.
I go to bed.
The next morning I go to the common area (surrounded by windows to the outside) and a lady is teaching this girl about air operations that involve jumping out of planes. I join the conversation and learn what I can. The burly man comes and informs me that I need to go with another operative to a train that currently houses a target. We go, I am nervous. After finding our way into the carriage where the target is, we break in and find a young father, Asian descent, holding a young girl. The carriage is of poor quality, but something the rebels would apparently think as high-class. My companion and I remark on how this man deserves better. He is noticeably scared while the little girl is confused. I console her and reassure her safety.
In the office building I am talking with the old man again. I ask him about the situation and what has happened. There is a gap in my knowledge of what happened between where I was and where I am now.
The earth was on its way to chaos and a breaking down of society. His company, Selving, anticipating this collapse, engineered a massive 'ark' in space that would carry the best of society away and return when the earth was ready. This massive sphere would have its own gravity and various peoples would inhabit the interior levels in different climates that reflect the variety of earth. Rebellions come and go and we must keep the order. I ask about the situation on earth and he says that it has no doubt already fallen to chaos.
I have up to this point found that my depression and desire to take my own life had reigned as the primary driver of my days. After this revelation about where I am and what is happening, I found motivation in the thought of bringing down this centralization of power and abuse therein. Wanting to hide my intentions I decided it would be the intensity and dedication to my training that would assure them of my loyalty. One day I would bring it down from the inside.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Relationships, Religion, and Radicals

The significant conversations we are not having right now about whether or not we trust refugees coming into our country has consistently flashed across my Facebook and Imgur; another of my favorite time wasting activities. I'm assuming it's the same on Twitter, Tumblr, and maybe a few Myspace accounts. Regardless of where we see it, the same words and same arguments are being thrown back and forth. For the States, liberal  loony left is being anti-american screaming to open all of our borders, the righteous right believes all Muslims, especially those escaping war as refugees, are coming secretly as terrorists. I'll acknowledge everyone else whose voices echo quietly beside the constant reposts and sharing of extreme examples on either side. These quieter voices, I fear, are not being heard. But I'm not writing now in hope that you are going to listen to them. No. I am writing because my knowledge is better than your ignorance (Isaac Asimov).

Where are these terrorists coming from? The Middle East. Specifically? Radical Islam. But so many different people over there are considered radical! What about Saudi Arabia and their Wahhabi Islam? It's definitely not mainstream and so much does not jive with our Western ideals. It's definitely not mainstream Islam. Well the radicals are there in Syria, in Iraq, they're being funded and supported by this person and that group.
Our next big question is how did they happen? Why are they still here? Why are people following them?! If we want to believe that humans are humans are humans (I suggest you follow Humans of New York, Humans of Bombay, Humans of Tehran, Humans of....etc), then we want to believe that (or blatantly and stubbornly choose not to believe) these Syrians and Iraqi people are rational. That's likely the only belief that has kept the EU and many other countries open to refugees.
So who are these crazy people that stand behind Daesh and their absolutely batshit crazy ideas?!?! None of us ever want to meet a single one of them, unless that encounter found a nice gun in our hands and nothing in theirs.
I will say that these followers, the battle fodder, the ones being sent out to die, are people in need, or at least they were.
When we are alone, at the end of our rope, depressed, angry at life, enraged at God or Allah or whatever decided our place in life, we want something. That something is meaning. We want to feel important, that we are worth it, and that someone likes us, EVEN loves us.
Now consider Syria and Iraq, the Middle East. Power struggles, dictators, being tossed around by European imperialism during WW2 and after, having world powers play nuclear chess in their backyards. How many orphans have there been? How many family members lost? Jobs lost? Education lost? Hope.......lost?
These hopeless people, human beings, are left with nothing. An amount of nothing that few of us on Facebook right now will ever know or comprehend. It's not just a lack of home or clothes. It's a lack of future, no vision and no expectation that anything good will come.
Then comes a crusade. The warriors of their disenchanted religion come with promises of valor and glory. Sacrificing all will give you happiness after you find escape from this hell called life. Attractive and definitely appealing to the men, whose tribal (NOT religious) culture prizes manhood and pride above nearly everything.
For the men who lost brothers, sons, friends, companions, this community promised them connection and brotherhood. Promises of restored glory are not unfamiliar, think of Nazi Germany.
I'm close to losing you at this point, just as I'm starting to lose my insomniatic drive.
What I hoped to communicate is that these human problems will forever be more complex than we will ever understand with just one or two short videos or readings.
We are all human beings, and the strongest form of communication any one of us will ever know is the communication of love, of attachment, of closeness, of love.