In my life I have had two experiences that completely changed my outlook on everything. Both of these experiences were dreams, and both (I am sure) would leave anyone who experienced them to either (in regards to the first experience) entertain the idea of destiny, or the notion of an Omniscient Being, and (in regards to the second experience) accept the reality of Jesus Christ as Lord of all. It is the first of these two experiences that I wish to talk about in this post, and I will warn you that there is talk of drug use and sex, so if you have any issues with either of these topics being mentioned, please refrain from reading.
Everyone dreams, OK, almost everyone dreams (I’ve heard people claim to never dream) and when I say dream, I mean the experience during sleep, not lofty ambitions. A lot of people I talk to tell me that upon waking up they often forget what they had dreamt, usually only managing to retain sparse images or, in the case of nightmares, the most frightening ones. I’m no different. Sometimes I retain what I ‘saw’, but for the most part it is gone only a few hours after having started my day.
There are different types of dreams too, like nightmares or reoccurring dreams; it is the reoccurring type I wish to talk about now. Maybe you have had a reoccurring dream in your life, maybe not, but I am sure you know someone who has. My first experience came in the form of a reoccurring dream, and as it would turn out, my dream would go from being something that I experienced as I slept, into something that I would experience in reality. You didn’t read that wrong, yes, my dream came true and sometimes I wish it hadn’t.
The dream itself was very strange, appearing not to make any sense, more of a series of events lacking any kind of chronological sequence. It seemed to be skipping from one place and event to another and the reality of it all was very distorted, which I found terrifying during the dream itself and after I woke up. If you are having trouble understanding what I am talking about, allow me to relate it to something you may have experienced yourself. Have you ever watched a DVD that was scratched and it jumps from one scene to the next? So the movie, of course, would make no sense, just as my dream made no sense to me. No plot, no getting to know the characters, just a bunch of scenes that appeared to have no chronological order, just aimlessly skipping around, but it always ended the same way, with me looking down at a face, and then I would wake up. Each time I had the dream it would seem a little clearer, but I still couldn’t make any sense of it and I had no idea who the person was that I was always looking down at. This happened over and over again, up until I was eighteen.
See, I come from a broken home and had moved out when I was still in high school. By the time I was eighteen, I had left the small town I grew up in and was living thousands of miles away in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I was hurting and didn’t know how to cope with the painful memories, both recent and past, so I did what most do; I tried to drink and drug them away. One night I was drinking with a group of friends when a guy I knew asked me if I wanted to drop some acid. I had never done it before and even though I was apprehensive at first, I was really down for anything. He had four ‘hits’, he took two and I took two. Bad idea.
I remember when the acid really started to kick in, we were in a field and it was pitch black. I got the impression I was invincible, like some sort of super hero, and I turned my shirt into a cape and started running around this field in the middle of the night. I was yelling out, “I feel great! I feel so alive!” and then my run turned into a full sprint which, then, turned into a dead stop. I had ran, full tilt, into a picnic-table which stopped me in my tracks. It didn’t hurt much when it happened (I was too high for pain) but it was kind of allegorical of how my night would go.
That 30-40 minutes of euphoria I felt at first, however, changed dramatically all in one moment. I can remember looking at this steam coming off of this hotel where I was living, like it always had, but when you are on acid everything seems to grab your attention that much more. As I was looking at this steam I noticed it had stopped, I started looking around and I thought the cars on the road had stopped moving too (looking back now I think it was just parked cars). I started panicking, and started thinking the worst thing anyone could ever think when they are on a heavy dose of hallucinogenics: I thought that I was dead. I kept saying to myself, “I can’t believe I died tripping out on acid” and “How could I go out like this.” I was distraught, having a horrible trip and to make matters worse, I was getting higher by the second.
I can remember doing things like trying to climb shadows, thinking they were stairs and running around the woods completely tweaking. I tried to keep the guy who I took the acid with around me because I thought he was the only person left, like he was some kind of a guardian helping to usher me around in the next life (yup, acid folks, stay away from it). Things started to get better once we got around some people, I was still tripping hard, but I wavered from the “I think I died” to the “maybe I’m not dead” entering myself into an unsure phase. This however is where things got even more messed up.
When I finally became as high as I could get (I think), reality it seemed was skipping in time (sounds familiar huh?). I was blacking out, yet still conscious, moving around and interacting with various groups of people as I was blacked out and each time I would emerge from one of these “blackouts” I would be confused how I got there and was becoming more scared. I had lost my ‘usher of the afterlife’ (the guy who I took the acid with) and was on my own at this point. I also went from thinking that I might be dead, to thinking I was dreaming. I was living the dream I had so many times before, but I didn’t realize it (yet). What I have come to conclude, is that the periods of time that I was missing in reality were the periods of time that I dreamt about and the periods of time that were missing in my dream, were the periods of time that I was cognisant for in reality.
It is a dangerous thing to think you are dreaming when in reality you are not, and by the grace of God I survived this night. I can remember walking down the hallway of my apartment building having an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ kind of experience. The hallway appeared to be getting smaller, and larger and the doors were all different shapes and sizes. I can remember sitting on my bed and my roommate was rolling joints and I started seeing ashes on my mattress. I tried to wipe them off but they kept reappearing. I also started a fight with one of my room mate’s friends because he was smiling at me. I remember lots of things from the night and I could go on and on but what I remember the most and what was most important about and the reason for me writing this blog entry, was how my foray in hallucinogenics came to an end.
I was thousands of miles from where I had grown up, but there was a girl from my home town there who I had once taken to the movies. After our date she didn’t want more anything to do with me and rightly so I guess; I wasn’t popular and she was a beautiful girl who could do a lot better than me. But in this town where we were both living at now, I had been here for a while and the tables had turned; I was the popular one now. I can remember being in her apartment hanging out and the next thing I knew we were outside my apartment door. I will never forget as we stood there and I said to her, “I know what you want and you know what I want.” She smiled and playfully asked, “what’s that?” as she walked through my apartment door. Now understand this, I was NOT good at talking to girls, I’m still not, nor would I ever of had the guts to say this to her, but I was as high as a kite and at this point in the night thought I was dreaming! This is the only reason why I said what I said and why I was so bold. I think it is also important to note that I was also a virgin.
Now the whole night had been getting crazier and crazier. Between the blackouts, thinking I had died, then not being sure if I was dead, which lead to me thinking I was dreaming even though I still wasn’t sure if I was dead or not; I was a mess. After her and I went into my apartment I can remember it for the most part (I will spare you the details) but to make a long story, I wasn’t a virgin any more.
It was during intercourse however that this tale reaches it’s climax (get your mind out of the gutter). As I lay on top of her I looked down and suddenly it all came together; I realized that I was looking at the same face I had seen all those years previous and suddenly, like a lightbulb going off ,everything just clicked at once. I realized that what I had experienced that night was the dream I had experienced so many times before and that this was the face that could never put a name to. I started to think (probably out loud) “This is my dream! This is it!” I realized, this time I wasn’t dreaming, and with this I suddenly found myself snapped back into reality and out of the effects of the drugs I was on (well for a moment). Enthusiastically, and very naked, I leaped to my feet and began to run around my apartment shouting,”I’m alive! I’m alive!” I woke up my room mate, yelling in his face as he was trying to sleep. There was a guy staying on our couch and I remember grabbing him by his cheeks and yelling the same thing. He was so confused and probably a little scared, having a 230 pound butt-naked dude, who was high as a kite, screaming at him at four in the morning that he was alive.
The next morning I woke up and couldn’t remember anything until I asked the guy on my couch, whose face I had yelled in, what had happened. He started to tell me some of things I had done and it all came back in a wave of embarrassment. I was ashamed, especially having thrown away my virginity which I had managed to hold onto for 18 years (I wanted it to be with someone special). I also felt embarrassed for how I had acted towards the girl I was with. I went down to see her at her apartment, and although we talked, I could only imagine the embarrassment she must of felt. We hung out a few times after that, but once she left at the end of the summer, I only ever saw her once more and I was completely wasted at the time. I should of said I was sorry, but I was too young and too stupid to know what sorry was.
Now as I am sure you can imagine I was blown away by this experience. I reflected on it for days and apart from there being some sort of plan (destiny I guess) for us all, and perhaps Something that knew everything, I couldn’t explain it. This wasn’t some drawn out case of deja vu, this was something I dreamt my whole life that actually came true and to top it off I was on drugs when it happened. Think about it. My mind was in a state that my brain had never known, in a time period of the future. Not only that, but every person who was there, from different parts of not only the country but the world (the town I was living in was an international tourist and expat trap) and all of the choices they made that brought them to that moment had to happen in order for my dream to come true. Even the small details like what they wore, to what they drank. So, yeah, I had suddenly become open to the idea of destiny and that maybe an omniscient Being actually existed.
I wasn’t searching for God at this point in my life, as a matter of fact I would tell people I didn’t believe in Him. I wouldn’t of called myself an atheist because I had no idea what an atheist was, or care enough to define my beliefs. I was quite happy getting in fights, getting high and drunk and now that I had found the joys of sex outside of marriage, let me tell you, addiction number four.
This experience really set in motion a series of events that ended in me taking a knee for Jesus and admitting that He was my Lord and Master. It was a dream from my youth that became reality that started my eventual conversion to Christianity, and, strangely enough, it was another dream from my youth that became reality that would convince me that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be, my Lord and my Saviour, but I’ll have to tell that story another time.