Foreword: A Bit of Context
It has been nearly six years since I had this dream, but I can still recall the general storyline and some of the events in detail. I am not the man I was when I had this dream. For starters, I have stopped considering myself a Christian.
I have heard it said that dreams are sometimes a subconscious reflection of events in our real lives, and this dream would seem to corroborate that theory. I had it shortly after finishing reading The Inferno by Dante for a school paper. The correlation between the book and the dream are unmistakable.
Every man is said to have his own personal Hell, and I am no exception. Though what I consider ‘evil’ has changed over the years, and since I have taken to praying to God in different forms, perhaps a glimpse at where I’ve been can help me to determine where to go from here.
Part I: Sent
Having been raised a Christian, I believed in my youth in the inherent sinfulness of humans and in the need for redemption. This dream came to me at a time when my perception was starting to change from believing that I needed to be saved by another into thinking that it was possible to earn forgiveness from wrong by one’s own power. In this dream, I was sent on such a journey of redemption.
In a wooded place of no great significance, I was walking down a gravel road with a woman clad in military camouflage. I did not ever see her face, but I believe I knew her. She spoke not in words that I can recall, but with impressions and she imparted to me the need to go on a journey into the depths of Hell for the redemption of my soul. She would not be with me, she was needed elsewhere, and I would have no guide with me. I could not stray from my purpose, or I would become forever lost in damnation. She left me to my journey.
Part II: An Eventful Journey
I never saw exactly how I came to be in Hell, but perhaps it is better that way. The first place in which I found myself greatly resembled a contemporary dance club. Uncountable numbers of people were loosely gathered or tightly packed around the inside of a massive building, barely lit, and filled with loud music. A huge television screen filled the only interior wall distinguishable in the darkness. I recalled that I had been instructed not to look at the screen or I would become hypnotized by it. I could still hear it, though. A male figure was giving orders to the multitudes in a loud voice. I do not recall his words, but the masses seemed entranced by what he was saying to them. I threaded my way through the crowd and eventually left the massive chamber.
The next incident I recall with clarity was brief, but no less poignant. I had passed out of the massive dark room and found myself in a wasteland walking along the edge of a cliff. There I encountered the likeness of a young man I went to school with tempting me into acts of depravity. The conversation was brief. He eventually set himself on a rock at the top of a chute carved into the cliff face and slid down to the base, calling all the while for me to join him. I turned away and resumed my journey down.
There may have been other trials that I faced, but time has buried my memories of them. The final stage of the journey took me to a place which, strangely enough, resembled my neighbor’s basement, except that it was larger and more sinister-looking. Within this place were the likenesses of people that I knew, possibly even some of my relations, engaged in acts of torture and other evils. I slunk from room to room avoiding direct contact with them before coming to what I somehow knew was the reason I had been sent here.
Part III: A Confrontation
In my neighbor’s basement, standing in for the depths of Hell, I entered a small, dark room which contained only a table holding a smallish wooden crate. I approached the crate, somehow knowing instinctively that what it contained was pure evil. Inside, set on a bed of straw, was a small wooden figurine of roughly human likeness. The figure spoke to me in words I could not understand, and as it spoke our location changed to that of a grassy meadow under bright sunshine. I believe, in retrospect, that it may have been meant to be the Devil tempting me with a vision of tranquility and beauty.
Unfortunately, before this encounter could progress any further, my alarm clock rang and I was awakened to go to class. This dream has not returned to me in part or in whole at any time since. At times when I recall this dream, I will sometimes wonder how I would have fared in my confrontation with this manifestation of evil.