I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DREAM WORLD

By jacob hoerger & jebediah quickquack

I: A-Kind-of-God

“And the serpent said to the woman. ’For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked.”

Promised to be like Gods, the woman and the man uncovered their own nakedness. “The man has now become like one of us,” says God. The Gods, then, too — naked?

Not the omnipotent God who leveled Gomorrah, nor the not-God of medieval sages’ apophatic imaginations, or the God of righteous fury towards instruments of oppression, against all of whom the skeptic’s scoff “what difference will it make to my life if God exists or not?” stakes its claim.

But a God like a child who sticked together a world without knowing what it was building, or an elderly body sickened by the shame of having caused so much pain when it only ever wanted to do what was right.

For the naked God our shows of chilly indifference are besides the point — we never had anything to gain. Just give our love to it and say that it’s going to be all right, that we’re going to be alright, humanity, the animals, the plants, the angels, the universe and everything else within it — we’re going to be alright.

On the occasions you feel capable of being moved only by the categories of interesting and boring, the naked God presents itself perhaps as most interesting. Interesting (which is not to say true or just) that we are like divine, and God — all too human.


II: Doors

It was a beautiful dream, an impossible dream: I dreamt that none of my dreams came true.

It went like this:

Stumbling around the grand old cosmic dream-space like most other nights, I discover now I’m surrounded entirely by the low purr of distant cats. The various cats are all stacked behind various doors of all colors, and I trot over to one and put my chilly hand on its handle. But there I realize I know that if I open this door the cat might be dead or worse. The muffled purr is the closest I can approach it. And so I back away carefully, but the doors are closer and more numerous than I imagine, and I see I’ve already knocked over more than several on the jaunt. Behind one already-smashed threshold I glimpse an orange cat that’s not yet dead but dying. I will take care of this one, I think, and scoop it into my arms, and it booms strangely “I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOU THE DREAM WORLD” which I understand means nothing means anything except the purr of that cat, and all that’s real are the dreams and deaths of other animals.

I try to retrace your steps so as to disturb nothing else in the universe. But just when I think I’ve managed to backtrack carefully enough, undoing the trace of each false footprint, I hear an enormous crack and realize someone else is opening up my own door! The feline leaps out of my hands back toward its now-distant door.

Kitty, come back for me! I will, I will, it says, only follow me this way, and you realize it can talk in strange tongues, and not only that but your kitty’s a birdie. You chase the birdie and it hops along saying this way, this way. Hop hop it’s a funny game. We laughed the whole time. Let’s play the hungry hippos now, you said, I want to chomp chomp. Pass out the red and blue candied bits, my gargantuan teeth will surely taste the largest portion! With cruelty and with zeal, you smile. No no, come back, my birdie. The game was but a jest. That is until I had none else to play with.


III: The Heart is a Muscle

How do you prevent the dream clouds from dripping acid on your daily march?

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

How did you make yesterday look different from today?

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

How long should you sit on this bench in this shade on this pleasant day?

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

It’s funny the dreams you remember.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

(The playground, the tire toy, Melissa Burroughs, and the NFL football championship).

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS

And which continue to drip.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

(I just was hoping to live each day as if it were enchanted).

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Now you drink coffee.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Equip yourself with quotations.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

(“Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s the day-to-day living that wears you out.’’)

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

(“The strength of a man’s virtue must not be measured by his efforts, but by his ordinary life.”)

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

(“The heart is alive.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And its pumping blood.”)

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And that isn’t work.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And this isn’t working.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And you’re not yourself.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And you don’t have a life.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

And cry if you think it’ll help you.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Or take a break.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Take a drug.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Get laid.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Give a hug.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Know that it will never be enough.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Know you’re all right

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Now you’re all right.

WORK SO HARD YOU HAVE NO DREAMS.

Now you’re all ready.


IV: The Secret of the Dream World

It’s this simple, says Kafka: suppose that life is meaninglessness, which is to say that suffering is meaningless. Then, the only way to live is to draw enchanted stories and pretend the world of the story is the only world you live in.

–But isn’t that itself a story created merely to trick you into believing the world has meaning?

–Certainly, which means you have succeeded!

–Wait, but only in this story.

–No, the story was predicated on the fact that life is meaninglessness, so the fact that you’re capable of living this lie means the story is false and you are a failure in it. But your ordinary life is a success!