If it is possible to break the space/time continuum in our consciousness, it can only happen in dreams (or maybe with psychedelic drugs).
There is this documentary film I’ve always liked (calling it a documentary might be a little too generous – a very romanticized type of anthropology), The Dream Wanderers of Borneo. It is the final film in a series made by Lorne and Lawrence Blair, The Ring of Fire, films about their travels in Indonesia.
The Dream Wanderers of Borneo tells of the Blairs’ encounter with the Punan Dyaks, a nomadic tribe in Borneo. The Punans believe, according to the film, that the human spirit is most active in dreams, and that the lives we lead in dreams is just as meaningful, if not more so, than what we experience in waking life. In dreams, the spirit can wander freely.
I had two dreams in college that seemed especially important to me. In one of them, I went to see a production of the Edward Albee play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Before the play started, I saw James Joyce sitting in the audience. I was stunned, and didn’t want to miss the chance to meet someone I admired so deeply. I knew such an opportunity would never happen again (given that he’s dead). I approached him, and we both left the play. We spent the might walking the city streets, and he explained to me how he wrote Ulysses.
In the second of these dreams, I went horseback riding with Friedrich Nietzsche. In the dream, the two of us were riding, and came to a large stretch of road covered in large boulders, and thus rendered impassable. After a debate, I found a way around the boulders, something he said we couldn’t do. It wasn’t until after the dream that I learned about the role of a horse in the demise of Nietzche’s life.
Once, my first serious girlfriend and I had the same dream (or at least very, very similar dreams) on the same night. And while in different cities.
I always felt these dreams had a mystical quality, that my spirit was able to connect with the spirit of another person, perhaps even traveling across time and space. I had all three of these dreams around the same time in my life, or at least within a couple of years. At that time, I was really interested in the occult and mysticism. I remember reading once back then that when you dream of someone, that person is really with you. This idea meant a lot to me when dreaming of literary heroes.
I had another dream like these last night. Perhaps not as epic or heroic as the dreams about writers I admired, but that felt clearly and honestly like another person was participating, was communicating with me through the dream.
In this dream, I saw someone very dear to me whom I haven’t seen in way too long. We were at a party together, it was obvious she was avoiding me. Despite that, however, we kept making eye contact. When our eyes met, I could see her emotions, and knew that her avoidance didn’t speak to all of her feelings. I could tell that she was torn, and regardless of our lack of communication, he still shared a deep connection.