What My Grandad Showed Me In a Dream
My grandfather’s name was Charles. Today, March 14th, is his birthday.
He passed away when I was 6, and for more than 30 years he existed only as a name, a flash of a few memories, and some photos. He was two-dimensional.
But in 2019, he began visiting me in dreams. At first I thought he was just a false flag, an image conjured up by my own brain. However, the longer I looked at him the more I realized he was filled-in in ways I didn’t remember, facial expressions I didn’t have in my memory bank. He was visiting me!
One dream really stands out: we went to another world on another planet or in some other dimension, a Utopian society. Charles looked at me and said, “You think a peaceful, perfect society is the best thing? Take a look at this.”
Guess what? It was SO BORING. Everyone was wearing beige and white robes, everyone’s eyes were glazed over. There was no art, no literature. Charles showed me how all the books in the library had blank pages. He and I went to a play and it was truly awful. Apparently it was the same play the citizens put on every week, because it was the only play that existed. There were no characters, it was just a bunch of people standing on stage saying, in monotone voices, “Things are good here. There is no conflict. There is peace. We like it like this. It is good. It is perfect.”
Everyone in the audience knew all the words and were mouthing along. Charles and I were sitting in the back of the auditorium just watching everyone chant along with the play.
No one had jobs because there was nothing to fix, nothing to do. There were no problems to solve, no progress to make. No one got sick or died, no babies were born — the balance was “perfect” and nothing would happen that would upset or change the balance. No one knew what feelings were, because there was nothing to inspire feelings.
I knew immediately that while we may idealize Utopia, that it would not be the ideal society we envision. A world without friction or conflict inspires no passion, no action, no art, no life. It’s a dead, stagnant world.
I’ve held onto that story for a long time but today, on Charles’ birthday, Pi Day, I wanted to share it.