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THE DREAM JOURNAL
OF L. CARUANA


DO NOT FEAR THE DEAD
Malta, October 29th, 1992

       At the time of this dream, I was living in Malta, and engaged to M., a girl in Holland. Our relationship was very intense, passionate, and unstable. This dream is directly related to her, even though she doesn’t appear in it (or rather, she does, but disguised).
      October 29th, 1992, I had a terrible night; I couldn’t sleep. I rose and read Eliade until half past three. An hour later, I rose again to chase a moth out of the room. Finally, I slept, only to to experience the most horrible nightmare, filled with anxiety mounting to overwhelming fear.

       I was in a very old Maltese house, not dissimilar to the one where I was now living in Melieha. It felt old, ancient, and very Maltese. For the whole of the dream, I floated through this house, propelled by whatever feeling I was having that moment.
       At the beginning of the dream, I was on the balcony of a room from the upper storey. Strangely aware of my own levity, I began to wonder if I was going to float upwards or downwards. To my surprise, I began to float upwards in a slow ascent. I felt somewhat unbalanced, and feared falling over. But, as it was, I made a slow and gentle ascent to the roof of the house.
      At that moment, I felt fortunate, because it seemed I was rising in my life rather than falling. But then I thought of M., and how she seemed to be falling ever further. I remembered the promise we’d made to each other, to confront our innermost fears. And so I realized that I musn’t be afraid to make the descent. (I was not lucid in the dream, but possessed an unusual clarity in regard to my own feelings).
      And so, I began to float downward through the stairwells of the house, until I arrived in the cellars. These were dark underground passages hewn from the rock, not unlike the Phœnician tombs and Christian catacombs one finds in Malta. But there was also a sense of the cellars and crematory ovens of Auschwitz (which I had visited once in Poland). A terrible fear and anxiety came over me as I saw dead bodies laid out on top of each other in rows, reposing in the cradle-cut rock tombs / sliding crematory oven drawers. The corpses were somehow the Christian dead that hadn’t yet awoken, or dying
Häftlinge that hadn’t yet died. I thought to myself: these are the ancestors of the house, kept here below in the cellars. My fear began mounting as I hovered closer to them – so close that one could reach out and seize me if it fully awoke. And I was convinced that one – bordering between life and death – would awaken.
      This conviction and its accompanying anxiety became so overwhelming that I started to depart from this place. I floated into another room in the cellars, where I saw a few old objects stored away – jugs, bowls, furniture, tools. I figured I could return later and take these things, as the old owners of the house no longer needed them.
       But, in response to this thought, a figure suddenly flew toward me from the cellar I’d just exited. The figure was slender, with fair skin and blond hair – much like M. But it was a man, approximately my own age – and
he was one of the awakened dead. In fear, I flew out of the room. He began following me, chasing me. Like me, he was able to float through the house. I quickly flew up the stairwells, through the upper rooms, until I came to the roof. I landed on the edge of the roof and – for the first time in the dream – I felt the weight of my existence on my feet.
       I thought to myself, the only way I can escape from this figure is
not to fear death. Therefore, I willingly jumped from the edge of the roof to my own death. As I fell, I knew the fall would carry me down to my death. But there was also a feeling that I could alter the fall, should I wish it, by floating. This would then arc my descent into a circle, passing me through the cellars, then up again. Instead, the fall ended with my awakening.

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