Yesterday, my friend Delmar reminded me of a pretty disturbing dream that I had back in college. I dreamed that I was at church, taking Communion, but olive juice was substituted for the usual grape. Even stranger, there were strippers in the dream. As agnostic as I felt in college, it was pretty creepy stuff.
I shared this bizarre dream with a handful of friends and relatives the next morning, and arrived at a few possible interpretations. Among them: that it was allegorical of hypocrisy within the church; that it represented my own guilt over my lack of faith; that it was a reminder that Jesus himself hung out with tax gatherers and sinners; that I ate some bad pizza that night.
I don't usually remember my dreams, but here, for your consideration, are a couple of other strange ones that I've had:
1. Right after my mom died, I dreamed that I heard a hissing noise coming from the bathroom. I looked under the sink to discover that the pipes were leaking water. Suddenly, the pipes jumped out from under the sink (I don't know how else to describe it) and started writhing like possessed snakes, spraying water everywhere. I ran screaming into the living room, where my mom was asleep on the couch. Then I remember she was dead...and she vanished before my eyes...and I woke up.
2. I had a nightmare last summer that two people I cared about very deeply were planning to commit suicide. Everyone knew somehow, but I was the only one who cared. The two people were busy during most of the dream tying up loose ends -- making phone calls, giving away personal possessions - -as casually as one might go about performing daily errands. One of them fastened a necklace around my neck at one point, causing me to scream in the dream, but not in real life.
I've always wondered if dreams always have a purpose, if they're always meant to be interpreted. If so, does it take a special spiritual gift (like Joseph had) or earthly knowledge (like Freud had)? Are some dreams from God, and others from the Enemy? Or is it all just a bunch of randomly firing neurons and subconscious shenanigans?