By Douglas McElheny
Recently I had a dream that I feel foreshadowed an interaction that took place on facebook two days after the dream. The dream and the facebook event both revolve around my friend Angelo with whom I lived for nearly a year twelve years ago when I was residing at Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham a.k.a. the Lodi Ashram near Lodi California. Angelo and I haven’t communicated with any kind of regularity over the years, but he’s a frequent figure in my dreams, often in regards to the Lodi Ashram, but also in regards to Auroville of which he recently became a member. This dream had the flavor of Auroville though it didn’t take place there and is a excerpt of a longer dream. Here it is:
Donny and I are in a busy part of a city, and there is at least one other guy with us. We stop in front of a counter that is selling pieces of cake, and the guy with us wants me to buy him a piece. Some other people show up who are trying to get me to buy them things too. Donny and I go into a restaurant to get away from them. Inside is a table with 8-10 people sitting at it, and Angelo is sitting at the head of the table. Most of the people have the look of Aurovillians (permanent residents of Auroville). I call out to him and run over and give him a hug. Donny and the others head to another part of the restaurant to find a table and leave me to talk to Angelo. We talk for a few minutes, and then I tell him I’ll let him get back to his party. There is a girl there with dyed purple hair. In the dream we’ve met online but never in person, and she tells me it’s nice to finally meet me in person. I tell her I feel the same.
This dream took place on the morning of August 26, 2017. On August 27th Angelo updated his profile picture on Facebook, and a number of people including me liked the post. Many of them were people involved with Auroville and also the wider community of those connected to Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. Angelo doesn’t post frequently on Facebook, but I clicked through to his timeline to see what I may have missed if anything. I didn’t see any posts I’d missed, but one of the people he was friends with caught my eye because of the name she used, which obviously wasn’t her real name. We’ll call her Barbara. So I clicked through to Barbara’s timeline and when I got a better look at her I was pretty sure she was someone I had briefly met before, first in Auroville eleven years ago and then not long after that at a retreat center near Tiruvannamalai. I wasn’t 100% sure though since back then she had long hair.
So, a few hours passed and I went back to look at Angelo’s post to see who had liked it etc., and I saw that Barbara had left a comment on the post. Then, in one of those sweeping ‘aha!’ moments, I remembered the girl in my dream with the purple hair, and it struck me she might represent Barbara, and that the dream was representing this Facebook interaction on Angelo’s post. As I thought about it, it made a lot of sense. Angelo was at the head of the table like the guest of honor, and all these people had gathered for him in the restaurant just like all of us gathered together around him on his Facebook post. And many of the people who liked the post were Aurovillians, just like many of the people at the tables in the dream were Aurovillians. I can see the logic too of why the Facebook interaction was represented by being in a restaurant and also perhaps by the cake at the beginning of the dream. Restaurants are places for social interaction as well as eating, and looking at things on Facebook is sort of like having a meal for the vital. It’s something the vital can sink its teeth into for a moment’s or hour’s diversion, something that scratches the itch of desire. But also something that gives a very real social interaction by way of the comments, likes etc. and thus entails an exchange of vital forces the same way a conversation at a party does despite the fact that the person or people aren’t right there in front of you.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a Facebook phenomenon could be forecast in a dream, but I guess since things on Facebook occur online they seem somehow less real than a party or gathering you actually to go to physically. So as a result I was initially ‘wowed’ by this realization. Now that I’m awake to the possibility, perhaps I’ll find more examples in the future to share.