Dream Diary, 2/24/15: God

blake god
I dreamed that Ingrid and I were hanging out with God. God looked pretty much exactly like the Western cliche of the Christian god: Caucasian, white hair and beard, golden light radiating from his head. The only thing that was different was he was sitting in an armchair. Some other people were hanging out with us, too, although I don’t remember exactly who: some friends of ours, and I think also some characters from “Parks and Recreation.” (I actually had this dream a couple of days ago, and didn’t write it down right away, so some of the details have faded.) It was very clear, in that dream-logic way, that this was not a hallucination or any kind of illusion: it was clear that this was a real interaction with the real Christian God, because dream-reasons.

I was really embarrassed at having been so certain that God didn’t exist, and at first was very apologetic to him about it. But he was cool with it. In fact, he insisted very firmly that even though he existed, it was important that I remain an atheist — and not just an atheist but an atheist activist. It wasn’t at all clear why, though. Dream-reasons.

I woke up at first still feeling embarrassed about how wrong I’d been, and feeling very confused about why God wanted me to be an atheist. Once I started realizing it was a dream, I was mostly baffled at my dream-logic, and was still trying to figure out why my dream-God wanted me to be an atheist.

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Coming Out Atheist
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Greta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

Dream Diary, 2/24/15: God
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12 thoughts on “Dream Diary, 2/24/15: God

  1. 1

    Probably you were telling yourself that even if you are wrong about god’s existence, you are still right about most other things. The advice in your books, for example, is still worth having (whether god exists or not).

  2. 2

    You know, I feel quite sure that if believers in my family dreamt this, they’d be certain they’d actually encountered God – or more likely, Satan masquerading as God and trying to tempt them out of faith.

  3. 3

    I remember waking up for the first day of a new term in my 10th year of school, thinking that it was actually the first day of year 12. It took me most of the morning bus ride to figure out that I hadn’t skipped a year without any memory of having done so.

  4. 4

    In fact, he insisted very firmly that even though he existed, it was important that I remain an atheist — and not just an atheist but an atheist activist.

    Well, that’s some pretty rational dreaming there — you’re pretty much supported some conclusions I’ve been mulling over for the past few years.

    Why would God want you to keep on being an atheist? Probably because he wants you to actually use that gift he gave you, the ability to reason and learn.

    Why would he want you to be an activist? Probably because he needs a robust atheist movement to keep his more unhinged followers (and the vile con-artists who exploit them) in line.

    And why would he be cool with you not believing in him? Probably for the same reason a wise parent is cool with his kids starting to think for themselves, instead of constantly running to him for answers.

  5. 5

    It sounds like your subconscious just gave you the perfect response the next time someone tells you about a “vision” they’ve had of some god telling them something stupid –

    “Why, I had a vision of the Christian God as well! It was quite moving, and he told me to continue being an Atheist activist! What, you think I’m wrong? I suppose we’ll have to decide with facts and evidence, instead of simply relying on unprovable ‘visions’, won’t we?”

  6. 6

    Reminds me of the dream I had where I met the Christian God, though in mine he was trying (but failing) to kill me, as I kept thwarting him via science (for example he sent a poisonous gas cloud towards me, but I was able to find a gas mask and put it on just in time).

    As for one possible reason God might actually want atheist activists, Richard Carrier touches on this in his superb refutation of Pascal’s Wager:



  7. 7

    Congratulations, Christina, you now have the stamp of approval from the highest authority there is….your dream self (in the guise of an old white god) (That’s my notion which of course you should ignore, only your own count) I don’t know if you play with your dreams much but I think it can be a lot of fun if you treat them gently, allow them space to meander without trying too hard to interpret….nobody likes to be interrogated while telling a story. But they do want an interested listener As you may know they are usually very considerate of your time and will condense a number of thoughts/feelings in a few scenes and allow you to pay as much or little attention as you please.

    May I suggest when you go to bed tonight you ask Ingrid to listen to your dream again. In a relaxed retelling, some forgotten parts may reappear and additional feelings arise. Play with the images and thoughts that puzzled you, the armchair, the other guests, god’s insistence,, your embarrassment at having been wrong,, follow any paths that come to mind no matter how seemingly unrelated. You might wonder how events of the day previous to the dream found expression.

    Be a gracious host to your dreamer, remember she has to get along with only a few minutes of your attention.

  8. 8

    Was it coincidence or cleverness that you picked, to illustrate this, William Blake’s Urizen, who, although a patriarchal controlling figure, also represents, in Blake’s mythology, reason?

  9. 9

    This is a whole new approach to the “What if you’re wrong” scenario. Next time an apologist asks the question, we can reply: “Hopefully He’ll be as cool as He was in Greta’s dream!”

  10. 10

    Somebody once said more or less “When someone claims that God spoke to them in a dream, to me it means only that they dreamed that God spoke to them.”

    Have you seen Rubin Bolling’s Godman comics, an occasional feature of his Tom The Dancing Bug strip? Fan page and index archive here:

    Possibly the God-figure in your dream approves of your being an atheist activist because he values honesty above conformity. Thomas Jefferson once wrote in a letter to a younger relative, something to this effect: ” Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. “

  11. 11

    Possibly the God-figure in your dream approves of your being an atheist activist because he values honesty above conformity.

    Or, he might approve because he knew he was just a figure in her dream…

  12. 12

    Hi. Came here straight from your 99 Things book. Good on ya, and now I have three more books to put on my “to read” list.

    The deity in your dream was obviously seeing the writing on the wall, and had gotten to the point of being relaxed about his upcoming retirement.

    He had obviously recently sampled some good cannabis or some kava-kava, which explains why he wasn’t in his Old Testament “Cranky Tyrant” persona, and instead was … chillin ‘

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