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Monkey Dreams - 1_bibliophiliac
1_bibliophiliac
1_bibliophiliac
Monkey Dreams
MONKEY DREAMS

Since I was seven years old I've been having dreams involving monkeys. In many of these I am a monkey. They have come with decreasing frequency and intensity, but I still dream them occasionally. I've been trying to determine their origin for at least a year, and I think I may have discovered their source.

When I was seven:

1. My mother began taking my brother and I to the zoo, where we spent most of our time in the primate house.
2. My brother obtained a painting of an orangutan which he hung on his wall – it stayed there prominently displayed for several years
3. We lived in a community near several universities, and to make a bit of extra money folks in our neighborhood rented out rooms to graduate students, many of whom were from other nations. One of these lived on our block, and, as a parting gift, he gave me a picture book in which the main character was a sort of monkey. In retrospect this gent was from India, and the story in the picture book was an English translation of a traditional myth involving the half man half monkey demigod Hanuman, “The big blue guy” (an avatar of Vishnu?), possibly several other figures from the extensive Hindu pantheon and a giant talking bird. Due to the vivid illustrations and the exotic subject matter, this was one of my favorite books that year.

Last fall I read an English translation of The Mahabharata. While large portions of that excellent work were previously unknown to me, certain passages seemed vaguely familiar due to that little illustrated book which I read and re-read when I was seven. I didn't put all of the pieces together until about a week ago when I was reading a book recommended to me by a friend, Autobiography of a Yogi.

So, as a result of going to the zoo, a painting of an orangutan and a children's book, I've been dreaming about monkeys for over thirty years. The subconscious is a wild and wonderful place.

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