the subtle prison

This is a recap of a dream I had the night of June 20, 2007.

Before I go into the dream let me describe the town where this takes place.  The town square was the perfect setting for a movie set like that of The Lottery.  The feeling I had standing there was one of caution and reluctance.  Everything was too perfect and it was obvious there was a disparity between the two groups of people in my dream.  Some were dressed in white who were the ones in charge and in control of the entire town.  There were no modes of transportation except for walking and a few bicycles.  The weather was always perfect and the air always crisp.  Yet the sense in my spirit was very uneasy and curious.  Now the dream…


I was standing in the middle of a town square when a man dressed in all white approached me.  He ordered me to retrieve an important file for him from an office down the street.  I went to the big building and made my way through the maze of hallways.  Arriving at my destination I asked the lady at the desk to please pull a file on someone for the doctor. (I can’t remember the name of the person on the file or that of the doctor).  The lady asked me to have a seat in the waiting room and enjoy the view outside the window.

My gaze quickly moved to the beautiful lawn with well groomed oak and maple trees, and waist high bushes.  There was a nice stream flowing in the far distance, while the sky was amazingly clear with fluffy clouds and perfect sunshine.  As I looked to the distance I could see the view was a bit different from the view that was closer to me.  It was almost like a painting or a projection on a screen. (Kind of like the movie Truman Show).  As my mind started to ponder the possibility of something not being right in the distance the lady walked in to explain that the file was not in her records room.  She would need to go down the street for about 20 minutes to check out the file from another building.  My instructions were to remain in the waiting room until she returned.  She then walked out and smiled as the door closed behind her.

At that point I clutched my hands and said to myself, “I have to find out what is out there.  I have to know if there is more to this town.  There has to be more to this life than the perfect little town we live in.”

I had to devise a plan to get to the bushes on the other side of the stream.  I looked around the office and found an outfit just like the doctor’s.  It was all white with a name embroidered over the left pocket. (I don’t remember the name).  I then crawled out the window and walked toward the stream when someone came around the row of trees and asked how I was doing.  My response was quick and simple.  I said, “All is well.  I’m just taking a break from the long day.”  The gentleman said, “I understand.  The Simples can wear you out with all their questions and whining over their chores to keep this town in perfect condition.”  It then struck me that this town we were in was a prison…a subtle prison.  We were being held against our will, but we didn’t know it.

The man walked toward the building and I continued to walk toward the stream.  Again, my curiosity got the best of me.  I then crossed the stream and hid behind the bushes to gather my thoughts and to control my racing heart.  In the distance I could see what looked like a white sheet or projection screen.  I cut a slit at the bottom, and to my surprise there was an entire world on the other side.  (Yes, this is too much like Truman Show).  On the other side was a tall iron fence that stood at least 20 feet high and stretched for miles in each direction.  I stepped to the place between the fence and the wall to see if there was a way to the other side, but couldn’t find it.  My senses went wild when I stepped over.  Imagine smelling, for the first time, the odor of car exhaust, the truest smells of nature and the spicy scents of Mexican food.  Imagine it being the first time you hear the sound of a car or motorcycle.  Imagine hearing the sound of kids playing in a park with all the other noise around you, all for the first time.  On the other side was a man waving for me to come to him.  His eyes looked hollow and his face was flushed of color.  I wanted to go, but I knew I couldn’t do it without my family and friends.  I asked myself, “Who is that man?”

I went back to the office and waited in the room.  Of course, like a movie I only had a few minutes to spare before the lady came back.  Whew!  It was close, but I made it back.  She handed me the folder and as I walked out she commented, “Isn’t it a perfectly beautiful day outside?”  I nodded and quickly departed the office.

That evening I spoke to Paige, my wife, about my little adventure and all she could say was, “Honey, you are too much of a dreamer.  Let’s rein this in and talk about your idea that there is more to this town than what we have here.  Are you not happy living in such a perfect place?”  I continued to plead with her to go with me to the place behind the big building.  She agreed and we told our boys not to tell anyone we were out.  Why was that important?  Because the town had a lights out policy of 9pm and no one was to be out unless they were part of the emergency team.  Yes, very interesting and scary.

Paige and I snuck out and hid in the shadows until we got to the big building.  Somehow I found a way into the building and we made it to the office.  We crawled out the window into the darkness and made our way to the stream.  Paige was amazed at the coolness of the stream because she hadn’t walked in one before.  We finally crossed over and I prepared her for what was on the other side.  She had doubt on her face and rightly so because I truly am a big dreamer.  She put her hand out and touched the wall that felt like a cloth.  She paused and asked me if this was real.  I said, “This is nothing wait until you see what is on the other side.”  Again she paused to gather herself.  We then stepped to the other side her face said it all.  I could see the amazement on her face as the street light shone on her face.  She began to cry and asked, “Are we prisoners of our own desire for perfection?  Who are the people living on the other side of this wall of iron?  Where is it that we live?”

I tried to calm her down so we could find a way out past the iron fence.  We followed the iron wall to our right and saw the stream flowing under it and the wall.  She jumped in the water and discovered a hole under the water in the fence.  It was wide enough for a body to fit through.  We quickly returned home and explained to the boys that we would be escaping the next evening.  The boys looked confused, but they trusted us to take care of them.  We also told them to tell the others in the town what we had discovered, but to not discuss it with those in the white clothing.  They needed to tell everyone to meet us for the weekly town square meeting at 5pm.

The following day there were hundreds of people gathered in the town square waiting for me to address them.  I told everyone I was honored to represent them before the council.  I asked them if there was anything I could take to the council as a concern.  There were the simple complaints of the air conditioner not working well in their home, or there not being enough food in the general store.  While I had the people’s attention there were notes being passed through the crowd explaining what would happen at 7pm for those who wanted to escape.  Those who didn’t want to escape were to remain at home and not say a word.  The rest were to make their way to the big building.

It was 6:45pm and my family and I were taking a walk in the town like we did everyday, but this time we walked toward the big building.  As we approached the building, there were several people in white standing in front of the doors.  They asked how we were and we politely replied, “We are all well.  We are just taking a walk through the town before turning in.”  They then walked away from the building and waved goodbye at us.  That in itself was unusual because in my dream the people in white rarely showed any emotion.

Once the people in white turned the corner, my family and I walked toward the front doors.  They were unlocked and the lights were dimmed with enough light to help us make our way to the back offices.  As we got closer to the back office we could hear the whispering of the people waiting on us.  Once we arrived I instructed everyone to open the windows and make their way to the bushes in the distance.  With swiftness everyone moved toward the bushes and someone behind us yelled for us to get back to the town.  I yelled for everyone to run.  My family and I ran for our lives when my son, Aaron, tripped and fell.  I ran back to pick him up.  We turned to start running again when a shot rang out and I fell to the ground.  Aaron stopped and looked at me with fear.  I yelled at him to run.  With tears he kept running toward Paige.  Everyone made it to the bushes and crossed over to the other side.  I could see the man on the other side and his face was no longer flushed, and his eyes were filled with life.

I laid there face down with a bullet in my right leg trying to drag myself to the stream.  Then a voice said, “Stop.  You won’t make it.”  I rolled over and it was the doctor.  He stood over me with a look of anger and disappointment on his face.  He then said, “I’m disappointed in you.  I had great dreams for you.  You were the one chosen to lead this entire town of Simples.  You have disrupted the perfection of this town and all that we believe.  You decided not to do things our way and for that you must die.”  At that moment someone came up from behind the doctor and took him down with one blow.  The man who struck the doctor picked me up and I woke up from this strange dream.


Can you interpret this dream for me?  What do you think it means?


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