Friday, October 19, 2007

Sorry for your service interruption

Sorry there was no post last night. The wife and I had guests until late. I did dream that I was blogging about Jean-Paul Satre still being alive and being a secret Harry Potter fan.

Speaking of HP, I found it amusing that the most recent issue of Books and Culture insisted (in separate reviews) that Harry Potter isn't a Christ figure, but Harry Crick from Stranger than Fiction is. (Yes, I know the character is called Harold in the movie; I did that intentionally to draw the two into comparison. BC, are you reading?)

Since no one seems to be able to say exactly what a Christ figure is, I would say that both characters are Christ-follower figures. Even if they don't match up point-by-point to Jesus, they both follow in the footsteps of Christ by "becoming obedient unto death--and, more significantly, they are both restored to life because of their obedience (not to give the plot away). I found both Harrys very moving presentations of this story, which Paul argues is the normative story for all Christians (Phil 2:1-11).

How often do you think about your death? I've been trying to think about my own more often--or rather, think about it in the right way. In the past, I would sometimes get preoccupied imagining elaborate scenarios in which I was about to be killed. These fits of morbid imagination were always depressing--I wanted to fantasize that I could fight back like the hero in a movie, but for some reason, I knew that doing so would be foolish. I'm no extraordinary fighter; odds are if someone wanted to kill me, they could. Encountering these characters (particularly Harry Potter) who walk to death with calmness, with resolution, has changed the course of these imaginings.

I have always understood cognitively that I have nothing to fear from death. I think it is instructive, however, that it took these works of imagination to convince a part of me that was true. It says something about the value of art as an aid to spiritual growth.


Pirate Jimmy said...

I've died in a dream before. It was fucked up.

Chaka said...

Care to elaborate?

Pirate Jimmy said...

I wrote down the account to the best of my abilities the morning after the dream, but it's only part of a larger dream that I remembered:

The first thing i can remember happening is I was running through the downstairs level of my church. There were other people, specifically someone I knew. I was talking to them when zombies exactly like the ones out of the movie “28 Days Later” come out of rooms and spill into the hallway. Me and the person i know run up the stairs and out the glass door right there and around the left to the front. All of a sudden there's this large Wal-Mart type store (not specifically Wal-Mart, but a large department store). The entire bottom half of the front is glass. 2 layers of glass doors mixed with large glass windows. I see zombies in between the two layers of glass doors but decide to run in with my friend anyway to try and beat them through the second set of doors. We don't make it in time and we are attacked by zombies and infected, but we get inside the 2nd set of doors. I remember closing my eyes and thinking to myself that i should have first sent in the guy i was with (who at this time no longer seemed like I knew him) and it seems as if I almost willed that to happen, but then in my dream I open my eyes and realize that i can't change the past. The guy i was with is no longer there and in the dream I do not notice he is no longer there. There are also no zombies inside the 2nd layer and no worries of zombies coming. There are a lot of frantic people sitting in benches alongside the left wall and all around the lobby. Specifically a large red-headed woman and her little kids. Most of the people in the background (not the woman or her kids) seem contaminated as well. The floor is tile and the walls and floor and ceiling are kind of beige colored I think. In my dream I realize I'm infected because my vision flashes red every few seconds. In the dream I remember that it takes a little bit for my blood to be completely contaminated and once I am contaminated it will be very very very painful. So in my dream i decide to kill myself. Luckily just a few feet away is a man in a brown suit carrying a suitcase in one hand. His other hand has a revolver pointed to his head. He shoots and dies. In my dream I ask god for forgiveness for my sins as I walk over and pick up his dropped revolver. In my dream I remember its a sin to commit suicide but the red keeps flashing in my eyes so I still know I am infected. I can't take the thought of ending my life with a sin so I turn around and there is a woman (not the one with the kids) who does not look to be infected. she was facing me and digging through her purse. I ask her to kill me as I hand her the gun. While handing her the gun I also turn to the side so my right side is facing her and I am facing the glass doors. She accepts the gun, saying “Sure.” I start to say “thanks” but immediately as she accepts the gun she cocks the gun, aims it at my head, and fires twice. My vision goes out with the first shot but i clearly hear and feel both bullets hit my head (the second one more dulled in both sound and feeling). The feel of the bullets being shot in my head is not the same feeling as pain. I realize i am dead as I see nothing (complete blackness). I think “oh my, so this is what it is like to be dead. a dark nothing, a void.” (not in those exact words but lose). a sense of dread or pity too. Time isn't really prevalent and darkness probably lasts around 30 seconds total but it seems like 3 minutes or so (darkness lasted from the first bullet, through the second bullet, through me realizing I'm dead, and through my thoughts on being dead is being nothing, which could not have been too long, but it seemed longer than it was.) Then out of the darkness i start to see something appear. slowly, i see an image fade in. after a little bit i realize the image is my face. Soon my face is totally visible. Then I wake up.

Chaka said...

I've never had a suicide dream, as far as I remember. Usually if there's a death theme, I'm going to be executed.

China Doll said...

In a side tangent to the entire Harry Potter issue, Rolling has further created cause for her books to be hated and banned.

While I would typically argue that there's no difference between the 'wizzard' worlds of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and therefore Christian groups are being illogical when they ban one and support another, I have no comments for the recent outing of Dumbledore.

What do you think about this?

China Doll said...

Pirate Jimmy said...

I find that article to be ignorant.

Pirate Jimmy said...

Let me rephrase that, "ignorant" is a little harsh. I feel the article is poorly constructed.