It is the dream that first inspired the waking world.It is a reality which is veiled hidden by the confines of a dimensional barrier… a wall that holds in the potential of all who would express it. Life is a fight through the endless limitations of physicality and time… and death is the only reality. 

We fell captive to this life, ensnared by what we percieved as boundaries; Laws and instinct, logic and truth. It forced us to exist in nothing, and so nothing existed. Or so we were told. We were told that the body was witness of the mind; that if we seperated what wasn’t the true essence of being, then we could be free… and we believed them.

Like children we thought to make our reality free of limits, free of sorrows and free of death. We funded their experiments, we listened to their great swelling words, and one day… they delivered.

I don’t know how long it’s been.

How long isn’t an issue in a world without boundaries of the mind. In fact, there are no constants except that of perception. I percieve and therefore it is.

It took me only a lifetime to realize evidence of the freeness;friends growing old, but never dying. Fears coming true and taking no effect on anyone but the dreamer. It wasn’t long before I realized that people were accepting this reality as if they were awake. Their every thought; their  free mind consuming life. They created everything; a utopia of the psyche, beautiful anarchy mixed with no boundaries… until it happened.

The corporate dream was existence.

People lived life according to what they percieved to be the ideal and everyone agreed. This was life. This was reality. It wasn’t a dream, it was being truly awake… free. 

Someone disagreed with the corporate dream. This one person stood alone against the machine, but the machine was so strong that few people listened to the one man against the night. For this prophet of reality, a cell was created; a prison to hold this man and his few followers who knew that no walls existed. They were banished, to live in quiet and peace focusing on the truth.

Time passed without knowing it.

Sanity derailed perception. The passing of time led to anger, and maddening frustration, “Who were they to think they could cage us?” These resolved to end the insanity of the dream and they furthered their exploitation of no limits. Some developed godlike abilities capable of everything but nothing.

They became products of their own perceptions, 

And some percieved that they were in fact gods. These decided that instead of destroying the dream, or simply living in it, they would shape it. Like an artist molds his clay. And so, they became deity, in a world of their own creation; imprisoning the weak who had chosen their own imprisonment by accepting this reality. 

They were ironically imprisoned by their own freedom.

I was seventeen when I entered the dream and all I know is time has passed…

I am one of few who still perceive the dream to its fullest. There is only one other like me and I cannot see his involvement any longer. My Grandfather is said to have passed a year ago… but I know of no physical boundaries as death or time… and so I simply put him out of my current frame of thought… This is what he taught me.

That I can will anything in or out of existence by acknowledging its truth in reality… and so there is only one truth… this is a dream… a state of limbo where I exist until I am aweake, and I must never believe otherwise lest I fall prey to my own imprisonment of the pyche. Like those who are called Lucid, or the ones they control.

Day and night I labor to keep myself aware, waiting for the dreams end. I have been focused on this task since my inception. The day will come when it ends, and I will not have lost my godlike abilities, or my hordes of slaves, or my life… I will have had a good rest with nothing lost.

I want that.

I live every moment of present in anticipation of living… of having consequences and boundaries, and of knowing it is all outside of my control. 

One day, I decided to wait no longer.

“If perception is reality, than what is, is what I perceive…” This was another one of my Grandfather’s lines of logic I had memorized. With this in mind, I began to practice seeing what is there, or rather making what I see appear… and that is when I saw it.

In the dream I had a normal life in the utopia. I was a schoolboy in my senior year of highschool. I had an after school job, and a girlfriend, and a car. The dream had me.

Everyday that I can remember, I taught myself to be aware, to live this life with lucidness. That day after school was no different. I trudged through the sterile environment of a placid suburban home. Transforming my books into a mass of jumbled words on the floor, I practiced the same daily routine. I would practice the realization techniques my Grandfather taught me. “Stare at the half empty glass, and realize it to be half full. Hold in your hand a red ball and conceptualize that it is the red ball holding your hand.” To some this is pointless and completely illogical. It is like a holy man, or a magician of old, and for a long period time I was deceived by that deception. It was a specific practice that changed all that, and solidified myth into reason. 

“Believe that the window pane does not exist. Feel the air flow through its passage. See the other side. Know that the space between is not segregated by the realm of the physical.”

I had heard this speech a thousand times in our practice together, but my grandfather to this point had never participated in the activities. He merely instructed. That day was different. There was something about him that was urgent and rushed. His eyes gave away his impatience with me, and for the first and only time ever, he acted on his own teaching before my very eyes. The exercise involved placing my hand on the window pane, feeling its cool touch. I was to pay attention to the vibrations of sound, to try to witness its tangibility. Then I was to take those observations and to force them into the recesses of my mind; to hide them where you would put perversions and grotesque secrets that could never be told. Eventually, I was supposed to lose touch with these observations, and I would no longer feel the window pane. Despite this conditioning, I felt the window everytime.

Patiently, my grandfather would encourage me that the window is not the truth. This time, his breathing increased and his tone changed, and as he repeated his familiar mantra, “The window is not the truth,” He thrust his hand passed mine into the blue sky behind the window pane. The look on my face must’ve been amazingly blatant because he immediately withdrew his hand passed mine which was still touching the solid glass pane, and he sighed. “The window is not the truth.”

In the space of a second, forever went by as I stared at the blue sky. For a split second, I ventured to believe what I had just seen. And as I extended my mind to the truth, my hand extended to touch the sky. The familiar touch of cool glass shattered this epiphany instantly. I am knew what I had seen, but the truth of the experience was something that could not yet know me.

Despite my inability to follow through, this day, in my contemporary house and stale room, I saw for the first time what I knew. I had just finished the exercises to no avail and I was enjoying my favorite television show when I noticed it.

My reflection was hidden in the glow from the television screen.

In the colored, flashing images streaming from the screen was a duplicate of me, exact in every detail but one. His eyes were closed. The curiousness of the image grasped my attention just enough for me to catch it before I blinked. When my eyes reopened, they were greeted with a return look of curiousity. The sleeping doppleganger had been replaced with a now exact reflection of my image, baffled stare and all. The normalcy of my reflection brought me back to lucidness being a concept, but for the first time, I had personally experienced its reality taking hold.

What I saw could best be described as a waking dream, the type in which you wake up to see yourself do something strand and bizarre. Perhaps I was simply tired or had eaten something that didn’t agree with my psyche, and so I decided that rather than hallucinate about sleep, I would make it a reality. I hadn’t slept much since my Grandfather showed me the truth of his faith. I was sure now that many years had gone by without tasting the subconscious realm that is R.E.M., but my grandfather had instilled in me the idea that we were already within a state of rapid eye movement, and so therefore we simply needed to uncage the conscious by bringing the unconscious out into the dream world. 

Seeing what I saw did the opposite of what it was apparently accomplishing in me. I became emotionally tired and did what came naturally to me. I slept. It was a deep sleep like no reality I had ever experienced before and within the sleep I dreamt. I dreamt of horrible and wondrousw things. Things which are unimaginable and unexplainable. Things that the tounge cannot utter. When I awoke from these dreams, it was a cold sweat. And as I awoke in a cold sweat and shaking from the intensity, four words loomed over my bed.

“just a bad dream.”

I wandered from my bed to the tiny bathroom adjacent to the room and placed both hands upon the sink. I could feel the cold porcelain mass against my palms. This was tangible. It was something I could feel. It was perceivable, and I turned the knob towards the red with one hand as the other splashed water through my hair. I looked up past the water in my eyes to the mirror and what it had to show me. 

“I am not asleep!”

I yelled at the piece of reflective glass,  but It knew better and it let me know. Withing the mirror on the medicine cabinet stood me asleep. My eyes were fluttering violently in full R.E.M., and as I stepped backward away from the truth, I watched my body fall backward into the wall behind. As he fell, his eyes opened mocking my every expression. His body shadowed my movement. Wasn’t I still dreaming?

The pressure of the blow to my head proved otherwise as I landed on the floor. I stood up and shot the mirror a quick glance, but it did not look back. The man in the mirror stood asleep and I pushed away from him. Stumbling through the bathroom doorway and into the bedroom. I flung the door open and went for the stairs. I ran for the door, my sleeping double haunting me in every pane of glass, and every mirror, my reality was screaming a blood curdling wake up call.

What I knew as being mythical in nature now would no longer allow me to see it that way. There is a grave difference between knowing something and experiencing it. For some the transition is intended by them. This was thrust upon me by the dream itself. My mind couldn’t take the truth. My reality as I knew it was shutting down, and so my brain followed suit. I collapsed at the bottom of the stairs just in front of the door. I lay at the welcome mat like a child about to be born, no longer innocent of the world around him and vulnerable to all of its hidden agendas.

Time Passed. With time, shock and disbelief faded as well. I raised my head and searched for the nearest mirror, a shiny object, anything that would carry my reflection; that would show me the true picture of something to say to me tha this epiphany wasn’t real and only a dream. Evidence that I was wrong was everywhere. It was in the bathroom mirror and the crystal surface in the water of my sink. It was on clean window panes and in the bottom of my  coffee mug. They all told me that I could sleep no longer.

Do you know what it is like to be consumed with truth? It is a force so great that you cannot hold it, or contain it behind the veil of your mind. Like a dam, you attempt to filter its essence out and release the pressure while its deluge is drowning your soul. You cannot. It is uncontrollable and unfathomable and you are left but no choice than to succumb as the floods of its honesty rush over you.

And so they did.

Tell the world what you know. Make them awake

I stormed the nearest place I could think of, an environment filled with those who were the most in need of a lucid revolution. The economic  center of the city… The circle square projects. This was everything that the corporate dream had idealized. It was perfection. Even in metaphor, it carried Vitruvius’ theory of humanity embodying perfection, and all who spent their time dreaming in its halls and corridors spent out their dream seeking its name sake. They wanted to make themselves the perfect beings living in the perfect environments… and environment that was nothing more than a dream.

I was naïve to try to destroy their glass menagerie, but I tried nonetheless. I dawned my goth attire complete from head to toe in black as a remider that I was not one of them. I wanted them to look at me differently, to ask the question of, “What is his problem?” and let the floods come pouring down on the world as I watch them safe in my ark.

I picked my first target. I’m not sure why, but her eyes caught my gaze. They were aware and wanting, yet they were still searching. She looked at me, and I saw a reminder of my true state in the reflection that her stare returned to me. Was it possible that she might understand the madness that was tearing through the chasms of our souls.

 I sat directly across from her and planned my descent into madness when she spoke to me.

“You’re the one who’s asleep.” She didn’t make eye contact. “You’ve been asleep for close to a hundred years.” I wasn’t planning on taking such a direct approach but apparently she was. “Or maybe you’ve only blinked.” As she looked up at me to smile, I could feel her looking into my soul. It was a curious smile that did not suit her pale complexion. Her flat dark hair streamed down the sides of her face, gracing the curvature of her high cheek bones like a dark waterfall on a dangerous yet pristine mountain face. The smile lit up her entire essence as if the sun had just risen, but her beautiful green eyes showed none of its warmth. Instead they were aware, and anxious… and almost suggestive of a hidden agenda, but then her tone gave that away as well. The Cheshire smile broke into a laugh.

“I was wondering when you’d get here.” This was familiar. She was familiar, and her eyes, they knew me. “You’re suppose to finish the code.” She wasn’t laughing anymore, her green eyes were probing me, looking for a familiar response. “Damn it Christian!”

 I hadn’t told her my name. 

“This isn’t a game…. Say the code Damn it!”

‘What code?’ I thought it, but I didn’t say it, instead I said the furthest thing from my mind. “Row, your boat.” What the hell was that? As unfamiliar as it was to me, it sparked something in her. A look of recognition lit up her face along with her beautifully odd smile.

“Good to know that your lucid coding is still working Christian.” She followed that odd statement up nonchalantly with a devious stare into my eyes. “Let’s get one thing straight… It’s important that you remember who you are… You’re Christian, the leader of a group of individuals who are charged with the protection of the dream state.”

I pushed the table backward and stood up. Her look was not one of disagreement, but rather annoyance. She reached across the table and grabbed my hand. This was familiar as well, it was almost comforting and almost real, I had felt this touch before; it was like the wind was kissing the sail of an ancient sea vessel. This touch had been an inspiration to me before. It was both gentle and forceful, and in action and sentiment it forced me to sit back down and stay.

“I was worried that you might forget… We formed a group Christian… the Lucid.” Her grasp was light and her hand rested on mine. I thought about this for what seemed like an eternity. “Damn it Christian! Do you even know who I am?” Once again the smile had faded. 

“I’m sorry, I guess I don’t… I’m just a little confused… I mean I recognize you, but I don’t want to lie… I mean…” I stopped, and she stopped. I was following her gaze, and it was following something else. When her gaze returned to my eyes, I was staring back at the same face, but a different person.

“My name is Saylor. It doesn’t matter that you remember my name or even what I mean to you except to know that our missions in the corporate dream are kindred.”

Her eyes gave away more than her words betrayed, but I gathered that was for my sake. She, or apparently we, had some sort of agenda to complete and she obviously felt that personal revelations at this time might complicate that. 

“Christian, you are lucid. Capable of practically everything and anything, and the rebellion wants you gone because you are capable of stopping them.” Her tone was determined. “This is a corporate dream controlled by a single dreamer with more power in his lucid stated than a god. If you could remove God, than wouldn’t his world collapse? Christian, five minutes ago…. You asked me that very question, and now you truly don’t remember any of this?”

My head started spinning as I tried to look into the depths of her soul. I swear that I walked over here and sat down next to a complete stranger less than two minutes ago.

“We’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes drinking tea and eating Chinese food, and you keep forgetting who I am Christian!”  she was getting angry.

“No! I walked in here only two or three minutes ago…” The spinning turned into aching, something was about to give. 

“If that’s true Christian, and we’re complete strangers, than why did you know the confirmation code? Why do I know your name? Why do you have a half eaten plate of chow mein in front of you and a fork in your hand?” Her words were mind numbing.

The questions being posed turned the aching into throbbing. Their was a fork in my hand, a bit of underchewed noodle stuck between my teeth. Her look changed again from frustration to one searching for something. 

“Why did you sit back down when I touched your hand?” My world had just been rearranged from underneath me. I don’t know what had happened, but she was right. In this reality I was a member of the most elite of this corporate dream, and the rebels wanted me dead.  If everything I stood for in my mind moments ago, was to keep me from becoming a member of this corporate dream, than why would I be one of its leaders? I came into this mall with the opposite intentions in mind, and now I have no intentions but to know the truth. I looked to my apparent ally for an answer.

“Was my life all a dream then? I was taught that when dreaming fades into reality, the veil of the subconscious is slowly removed, but both this reality and that one not only felt real, but feel real. My Grandfather taught me that there is no reality but that of what you perceive… was he even real?” She seemed to hear my frustrations through my silent stare.

“No Christian, your grandfather is not real, he is the product of a dream within a dream.” She had a look of concern over her revelation.

“But this is a dream!” I countered in defiance.

“Yes Christian, one that we are going to save. Christian you taught me how to be like you, and then you asked for my help to protect the corporate dream. You made me learn conditioning and created the code so that I would know if you could still remember your loyalties.” Her tone changed. “You need to focus!” She touched my hand again gentler than before, but my gaze was watching something else. Someone else had grabbed it.

“Christian, you bastard! How’re you doing?” A large man dressed in black stood out in the ever flowing crowds of dreamers. Her grip tightened and she whispered at me frantically.

“He’s not one of us Christian! He’s an enemy. We have to leave.” She pulled me back from the table, and the man’s demeanor changed.

“Christian! You can’t hide from the Lucid… We watch everything!” I thought Saylor had said that I was Lucid? 

“You said I am Lucid, Saylor.” I questioned her with as much intensity as I could muster with the increasing throbbing in my head. 

“Christian, you’re doing it again!” Saylor’s grip became as frustrating as her tone.

“What’s going on?!!!” I asked, looking to both parties for an answer.

“Christian, we have to leave now!” she commanded.

“No, I need to think this through.” She remained in her seat opposite me and her eyes furrowed in disgust. For some reason that I could not fathom, the man who moments ago had been harassing us had now disappeared into the sea of dreamers. The words that came out next made me nausceous.

“Christian, Katharos is trying to kill you… his men are everywhere… that was one of them… they want you to go with them so you’ll be alone and vulnerable… Trust me, and I and the other Lucid will protect you.”

“You said that I lead the Lucid earlier, and then you called him Lucid… What does that mean?” I needed facts, there was to much concept and not enough formula. How can I perceive with no picture?

Her eyes gave way to a coming revelation. She was choosing her words. “A man named Katharos caused a rebellion among the Lucid inside the corporate dream. The Lucid divided into two factions of Lucid, you were the leader of the unified Lucid before Katharos’ time. When he came, his forces tried to eradicate you, us, the true Lucid.” She took a deep breath and managed a small awkward smile. “I don’t know why you thought you had a grandfather or what that is about, possibly a mechanism to keep you safe from whatever Katharos’ men have done to you, but be assured Christian… You don’t have a grandfather, but his message is the same as reality… You have to stop the Lucid rebellion.” 

I stared hard into her jade eyes. “I’m a little confused so you’ll have to bare with me, but I think it’s coming back to me.” This was of course a bold faced lie. The truth was that I didn’t remember Katharos, or fighting against an uprising. I could be certain of nothing except what I could currently perceive in this woman in front of me. In her voice was a desperation that plead with my fears for her trust. The desperation had such a violent tone in it that the slightest disrespect, or leanings toward the wrong decisions could clearly cost me my life.

“Tell me what the rebellion did to me.” I demanded.

“ I’m not sure Christian, I can guess…” That sounded like a question, and so I nodded my head in approval.

“ You told me before you disappeared that you were going deep into Katharos’ operation and that you would use Lucid cuing to bring you back to this place… the circle square, at this time. You made me promise not to be late. When you first sat down, it was like you were in a daze, it took about half an hour to snap you out of it. If I had to guess… I would say in the year you’ve been gone, they brainwashed you somehow. Your Lucid cuing was to strong though. At the right time, you came back to me, naturally. You’re probably just disoriented because your still coming out of that daze.” This made sense, but I still had questions.

“The man in black?”

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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