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The Toki Ponist on the Mountain
Chapter 10: About dreams

You are reading a chapter of the novel The Toki Ponist on the Mountain. The novel is part of a larger universe, explore the rest here. You can also read this story on WattPad

September 2020

TODO: make it into a discussion with a friend about dreams and aphantasia; add Ilan’s story about not seeing=remembering. Imagine that you are showing Elsbeth around places you visit, and that you have similar feelings in your dreams. Partner explains this could be your anima. Let Joakim recall his trips to faraway places, but with new knowledge of aphantasia in mind. Let friend be someone from work. Let them talk about dream-job and then shift focus to real dreams.

“So you don’t have a mind’s eye, you say?” Desmond says, signalling for another two beer.

I am spending the early evening in Desmond’s favorite bar. It is called the Drømmedrik Café and is both the only and best Danish bar in town and maybe the whole country. I nod.

“So no sexual fantasies then.”

I shrug while Desmond takes a tug and then ponders the ramifications of his own statement.

“No wonder you get so depressed at work, you can’t even imagine yourself elsewhere. And in dreams, do you get the visuals then?”

“Yes, there I do,” I respond. “From what I’ve read thusfar, I can’t conjure images on my own but involuntary mental images like in dreams are no problem.”

“Have you tried ‘shrooms?”

I shake my head. Desmond is lost in thoughts again, now either reminiscing on an eventful night or anticipating one containing halucigens.

I have never been someone who was interested in dreams. Most of mine are either nasty or depressing, but mostly not very scary. Most of the time I meet people that I know in real life, but they usually are not really friendly to me at all. Often I am either dying, or saying goodbye forever. It is just sad. For a very good time, I never really dreamt at all. That is to say, I do not remember all those dreams.

“I have amazing dreams,” Desmond continues on his own track of thoughts, “where I am some kind of superhero. My special power is usually shooting fish. I know it’s weird, but if anyone were to make a computer game about shooting stuff to crap with fish I would buy it. And I’m fighting with snake demons, rabid monkeys and packs of ferocious zombie mules.”

While Desmonds draws another blank stare into his drink, I say: “Mine are obviously very dull. I am basically myself in slightly different dreary situations than I am now.”

“You don’t even have nightmares about Elsbeth’s accident? I would relive that shit endlessly in my dreams. And also work on my lap times.” He smirks and I give him the evil eye.

“No, not even nightmares about that,” I say. “I do feel her presence still though. But I had that before the accident. When I would be someplace nice, a garden or park or musueum and I was all alone, I imagine telling her about the place and showing her around. Then it feels like she is there, snarky comments included. I did it a lot during all my travels to the Americas, China, Finland.”

“Makes you feel less alone,” Desmond says.

“I suppose.” I sip my lukewarm beer and realize I am probably three rounds behind Desmond.

One day I was in another crisis and considered the existence of deities and what spirituality really means. I do like the laws of physics. They seem to work rather well for most if not all things, and the scientific method seems to work out really well to explain away most of what people would call spirituality or spiritual experiences. But next to the physical reality we can have a reality in our imagination. Anything we can think of is possible in this imaginary world. This world is not real you might say, and that is true in a sense, whatever I imagine in this world I cannot do in the physical world, even though I am the same person.

But then I thought, when I am dreaming, there is a new me. I know it is me in the dream because there is something that experiences the dream world and I do identify with it. But I act and feel differently than in the physical reality. In the dream world, everything is possible too, and it is the dream-me that experiences it. Since the dream world is almost completely disconnected from the physical world, including the observer, nothing is standing in the way of saying that the dreamworld is just as much a reality as the physical world. The rules of physics do not apply, and so we have a whole new way of allowing for spirituality and spiritual experiences that are a hundred percent real, just not physical.

To get to this world, I need to travel. I need to let the darkness come over me. That part of me that witnesses the physical world is my eye. We see because light enters our pupil and excites the tissue behind it. In essence, it is a hole, made of nothing, in the center or our eye that allows us to see. When darkness comes, our eyes strain to perceive as much as we can. First, the colors go out. Then the contours and then it is just pitch black. I close my eyes. I physically disconnect the observer from the physical world. I go inward, to my center, and the outer darkness goes within. My awareness is gone for a moment during the travel inside, but once I am in the dream I am just there, there is no opening of the eyes, not a birth, a portal or growing up. Bang in the middle!

“Sometimes I have that feeling also in my dreams,” I say.

Desmond slowly pulls himself away from watching a Danish sports channel on the television above the bar. “What?” he finally says.

“Often, I have a friend in my dreams. I usually don’t see this person, it is just there and gives me the feeling that I am not alone. Even when things get tough, this friend is present and gives my dream self enough courage to stay in the dream.”

“Do you think this is Elsbeth too?”

“I don’t get her vibes, you know. This dream friend is soothing, accepting. I can imagine some people referring to it as a guardian angel, a friendly spirit or a spiritual guide.”

“And you?”

Since a while, I have become more connected with this friend. He is definitely male, and I call him the Toki Ponist on the Mountain. I don’t see him in my dreams, but he is there. When he is there, I always encounter particular symbols. I see a mountain in the distance that I have to climb and a path going towards it. In my dream, I tend to make a fuss of it, and the Toki Ponist then mocks me, but in a friendly way. He uses words that only sound familiar, words like toki and pona. See, I hope now the name Toki Ponist on the Mountain makes sense.

After I wake up, I forget everything. I will forget everything about a Toki Ponist or a mountain or the words he said to me in the dream. However, since I started thinking about dreams in a new light, I noticed that from that moment on the number of dreams that retained until after I woke up increased a lot. A lot a lot. Four out of five nights I wake up not from darkness, but from the remnants of the other reality. Still, it only takes about a few minutes until those remnants get cleaned up, and only the stain of remembrance is left for me to ponder on.

It is then that I started to jot down my thoughts immediately after waking up. Most of it is gibberish or at least does not make a lot of sense anymore after an hour or sometimes after a few minutes.

There was I time that I tried to analyze the dreams the Jungian way. I treated every character I met as a manifestation of a part of my self that either wanted to be known or that I was trying to evade in my physical self. This interests me a lot but keeping that practice up is a lot of work. It takes hours per day to analyze a dream and then I still did not really know what I have to do with it.

Sometimes a symbol is a symbol though, they seem to be able to travel across boundaries. I fell asleep on the bus after meeting the old Mayan lady. The circle that represents the long cycle in the long count calendar shows up in my dream like a donut. It seemed to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Right in the middle, I saw people walking up and down. My companion, the Toki Ponist urged me to take a closer look. I saw right in the center, the Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tse, Pythagoras discussing something is their own language. We are now at the beginning of the fifth cycle or world. Halfway the fourth, there was a spiritual peak in viewing the world. Right now we live in a time of innovation in the physical world. And maybe that is why I am drawn back towards the center. It is a counterbalance to keep the circle moving around. I woke up again with another world that I jotted down: sike, cycle.

Read the next chapter when it appears, soon.