When I was very young, I had a recurring dream. I guess I was around 5 years old when I first remember having the dream. The dream was that I could “fly”. It wasn’t real flight. It was more like the “Flying Nun” type of flight. I had this dream about three years before the show came on the air, so I don’t think the dream was influenced by it.
Generally, I would be walking about (in the dream) and a breeze would move me. I would feel a bit of fear because the light breeze could so easily move me. But, I’d keep walking. Then, the breeze would pick me up, a little at first. My initial fear would turn into excitement and anticipation. Then, the breeze would take me high up, above the town. I would discover a bit of control, the breeze would move and turn me at my will. And I could see for miles. I recognized the town, it was my home.
Every so often, the breeze would stop blowing and I would begin to fall, and to fear. But then, the breeze would again pick me up. Then, I would wake up.
It was a wonderful dream and I remember that I was very happy when I had it.
When I was older, the dream changed. When I was around 8. And it never changed back to the original. This dream didn’t always start out the same. Sometimes it started out peacefully, like the original. And I would begin to fly in the same way, with a breeze that took me up. Then, when I was high up, I would see a dot in the distance. And I would begin to feel fear. I recognized that it was coming for me. And, I would exert my control and begin to fly away from it. But it would gain on me and at the point that it was upon me, I would wake up.
It was a very frightening nightmare and I hated it.
Sometimes, the dream would start differently, it would start out with me running from something. Something which I couldn’t see but which I knew to be evil and deadly. I would run and run until I came to a barrier, a wall or a fence, but I was so scared that I wouldn’t stop. I would jump and clear the barrier. When I jumped, I didn’t come back to earth. I would keep flying at a high rate of speed. But the thing which I couldn’t see, I could feel was getting closer. And when it was upon me, I would wake up.
This was also a very frightening dream, the fear was palpable and remained with me a long time after I woke up. Naturally, I hated this dream.
What was I afraid of?
It was Satan. I didn’t see him. But I knew what was chasing me. I had a very good chum, back then. And we would talk about all kinds of stuff. One of the things which fascinated us was the strangeness of dreams. And I’m pretty sure I remember telling him, that in this dream, it was Satan who was after me.
Then the dreams stopped. I was about 13 or 14 when I had the dream for the last time. I was already a very strong atheist by that time. The dream started out with my running. I wasn’t running from anything. I was just enjoying my speed and agility. Then, suddenly, I got the feeling that something was chasing me. I looked back and I saw that dot. I ran faster. The thing got closer. I ran even faster. The thing got closer. I jumped and began to fly. The thing jumped also and kept getting closer.
Suddenly, I said, “Enough!” And I stopped. I turned around and knocked Satan to the ground. And then I pinned him down and proceeded to whale upon him a rain of blows. My grandmother, who was sleeping next to me on the ground, woke me up.
(Hm? I’m glad I remembered that detail. Because that would make me about 11 or 12, because we hadn’t moved to the big house, yet. Unless, it was one of those hot nights when the “swamp” cooler didn’t work very well and we all crowded around the open door because our beds were too hot. I don’t remember. In that case, though, I would be 13 or 14.) Anyway….
I immediately went back to sleep. But when I woke up, I felt really proud and happy with myself. I never had the dream again.
But I did think about it. Something which I deduced from the dream, is that I had defeated Satan. And, if I had defeated Satan, then I didn’t need God. And if I didn’t need God, then God did not exist. And if God did not exist, then Satan did not exist either.
Many years later, after my conversion back to the Church, I learned that this is one of Satan’s classic tricks. He wants us to believe that he doesn’t exist.
And the trick worked on me. Because it helped convince me that God did not exist.
Never fear though. I did come back. Many years later. But thanks be to God, He brought me back!