|CHRISTOPHER N. GEARY
||PROFILE OF A MARTIAL ARTS MASTER
Some people remember their dreams and others do not, but everybody dreams. I believe that dreams contain messages about who we are and what is important to us. From time to time, I have had dreams that are easy to remember because they are full of vivid images and details. In general, though, most of my dreams tend to be pretty short. Nine times out of ten I dream that it’s nighttime and I’m being chased in some way or someone is trying to harm me, but in every single dream I get away. In these dreams I’m not afraid, and it’s more like a game than anything else. This started when I was a child and I dreamed about being chased by King Kong. He always found me, but he could never catch or hurt me. In this chapter, I’ll describe some of my longer and more vivid dreams.
A dream I had on June 5, 2004:
I dreamed that I had a terminal illness. Just before I died, I gave myself an injection of a drug that would revive me. I was told by a doctor or some other expert that to stay alive I would need to give myself a shot in my neck at precisely the same time each day. If my timing was off even a little, the drug would no longer work and I would die.
After the first couple of days the timing of my injection was off and I slowly began to die permanently. I remember walking around inside an old barn while all of my students and Shawn Steiner (my vice president) watched as they were having class. They seemed very uneasy and uncomfortable in my presence. My face was ghostly white with hints of blue. I felt out of place, caught between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It was apparent that I was hanging on to life unnaturally because I was afraid to let go.
Shawn Steiner appeared to be embarrassed by my presence but still respectful to the walking dead Founder. I observed every movement that he made, taking in the smallest details so I could envision how he would run my schools when I was no longer living.
Reflecting on this dream, I am struck by the importance of letting go. Hanging on to life would have meant building my whole existence around the impossible task of getting my shot at exactly the same moment each day (to the second). To be truly free, I had to find a way to let go of this life and move on to the next. I had to have faith that my schools could continue without me.
A dream that I had on April 21, 2005:
I had a dream about Ben Gray dying in a hospital bed because something was wrong with his legs. To give you some background, Ben Gray enrolled his two daughters at my 30th & Harney Street school years ago. He was working for KETV Channel 7 at the time, and he was the producer and host of “Kaleidoscope,” a weekly half-hour program that highlighted a range of subjects of interest to the community. I was on his show a couple of times.
In my dream, I spent most of the time talking to Ben’s wife in the hospital cafeteria about Ben’s show and his life. I remember seeing a television set mounted on the wall next to her. I talked with his wife about how he got sick, and she explained it this way: “It happened because men do not use their legs as much as women do.” One of the examples that she used to explain her theory was that women became pregnant and still used their legs, but men sat around and waited for the baby to be born. I remember that when I was talking to Ben’s wife I was focused on the fact that she was black with pretty, smooth skin.
In the dream, I kept thinking while I was talking to her that we all die and we must always be ready to take a new form. In my dream, I thought, “It doesn’t matter when I die, because there will always be people who will die after me. When I go, it will be my time and I will fade into it in my own way. I will take on a new form at death. It’s okay because everyone dies and there is no reason to be afraid.”
From a dream that I had on October 23, 2005:
In my dream, a time machine had taken me back to 1887. I remember walking around and trying to take in my surroundings. The dream seemed to be in a kind of slow motion throughout, possibly because my subconscious was telling me that it was unnatural for me to be there. Everything smelled just a little like the change of seasons. I remember seeing Shawn Steiner in my parents’ garage standing by for communication and contact during my trip to the past. He was happy, clean, safe, and confident. During this journey of mine, which took place in a single afternoon, I changed in and out of my martial arts uniform at will throughout.
I remember three things that I was thinking about constantly during this dream. One was that I was frantically looking to find something really nice while I was there so I could take advantage of getting a good deal. I knew that whatever I brought back with me would be an antique (more than a hundred years old) when I returned to my own time, but I just couldn’t find anything. Second, I got the feeling that people knew that I was from the future. I kept telling myself, “I should just keep a low profile and not tell anyone that I’m from the future” (because it might mess things up), but it seemed like people were focusing on me throughout my visit and knew that I was a time traveler. Third, I noticed that 1887 wasn’t as different from the present as I had expected. Looking around, I thought that I was seeing the root and base of everything but today it is just a little more modernized.
These are the events that I remember from my dream:
The black women
I was in a house that I’m sure I had been in before (I think that it may have been a house where I taught martial arts many years ago, but changed around just a little). I walked into a kitchen where a group of older black women were sitting around cooking and drinking or something. They were fascinated by the way that I shook their hands when I met them, not just brushing the tips of their fingers with my hand but giving a full, meaningful handshake. I knew for some reason in the dream without being told that white people did not touch black people in that era, let alone shake their hands. If they did make contact, it was only to tap the tips of their fingers with their hand.
I remember walking a number of shops with wooden floors, trying to find something nice to take back with me. I might sell it as soon as I got back, because it would be over a hundred years old. I remember seeing a sweater hanging on a rack that cost $26.00 and thinking that in the future it would cost hundreds of dollars if it had been made the same way.
I remember walking past an apartment building that was made of red and white brick, just like many of the buildings that are here today. I was walking up a hill and seeing the building down at the base of the hill to my left. I started thinking to myself, “These apartments are pretty nice for something being built in this era, but I’m sure that the only people who could ever afford them would be people who were in the military.”
The two martial arts masters
I was in a basement of some kind, and there were two martial artists in two rooms. One was of Asian descent. He was in the room to the left and he saw my uniform/black belt that I was wearing and said “Shaolin—you wear the name of Shaolin” (I believe that it was from something that was written on my belt). “How could you?” He was very disgusted, but I answered all of his tricky questions correctly, being very respectful and saying things like “You are the master and I am the student.” The other instructor was a black man in the room to the right. For some reason he knew that I was from the future. He seemed to feel kind of uneasy around me but respected me and felt a bit jealous of my freedom to do what I wanted with my abilities. I remember kneeling down and watching him teach a class. I was very respectful and interested in what he was doing. I remember that I was very calm and relaxed around the two martial artists.
The five computer kids
As I walked down a dirt road, I saw five children playing in the road near a house that was on the right side of the road. I remember thinking that these children would someday be computer geniuses and become billionaires. In my dream they told me about their ideas about the Internet, although they used different terminology. It was as if they thought of the Internet as a game, like the game where kids talk into tin cans connected by a string. I knew that one of these children (the youngest) was going to die before the rest at a young age. I told the mother of one of the other children that this child would die young. She then began to spoil that child, going out of her way to be extra nice to him and to bake him cookies.
Just for fun, I thought I would include a list of events that happened in 1887:
January 20: The United States Senate allows the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.
January 28: In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA, the largest snowflakes on record are reported. They are 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.
February 2: In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed.
March 3: Anne Sullivan begins teaching Helen Keller.
April 10: President Abraham Lincoln is re-buried with his wife in Springfield, IL.
April 26: The Huntsville Electric Co. was formed to sell electricity.
May 9: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opens in London.
June 21: Britain celebrates the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.
July 7: Marc Chagall, Russian-born painter, is born.
August 17: Marcus Garvey, founder of the back-to-Africa movement among U.S. blacks, is born.
August 31: Inventor Thomas A. Edison receives a patent for his Kinetoscope, a device that produces moving pictures.
November 8: Doc Holliday, American gambler and gunfighter, dies.
From a dream that I had in September 2006:
The dream was mainly about others and myself being police officers. We were under cover in an insane asylum or something of that nature. What we were trying to do was to get Hannibal Lecter to talk about a guy named Steve. We thought that he was faking being mentally ill, so we were trying to get him revved up by saying "Steve" over and over again and taunting him with the name, just as if someone were to take a stick and poke at a dog with it waiting for him to strike. We were trying to get him to talk, but it wasn't working.
I remember seeing a couch and next to it on my right side in my dream was a set of banisters, like on a stairway. As soon as I began again saying the name Steve repeatedly, right then Hannibal Lecter came up behind the banister poles with his mouth wide open coming right at my face. (Real world) I was sleeping on my right side as he came at my face in the dream. In just about a second or two, I turned, flipping counter clockwise where he was in dream and where my nightstand was on my left (real world) and made a tiger claw with my right hand and struck his face, which was my nightstand. (Real world) My watch, phone, ashtray, everything went flying up against the wall that was behind it, leaving scratches on my nightstand where everything had been rubbed when I struck everything. Then right as I was breathing in to strike again after hitting everything and while waking up, in the exact moment as I was waking up, I breathed in hard about a teaspoon of ashes that had fallen from the ashtray and scattered all over, burning my eyes and getting ashes in my hair, bed, and all over the floor.
A dream I had on October 14, 2006:
I believe that the beginning of my dream took place in the lobby of a very nice hotel. I was sitting around talking with a group of people, and I remember that the hotel lobby desk was to the right of us. These people were from the same law firm as my attorney. They were pretty high up or close to her with their jobs, but I didn't seem to realize what they did in my dream. These people were very intrigued by me and inspired by my accomplishments as a martial artist. As it turned out, the law firm had rooms in this very fancy and exclusive hotel that it would buy permanently or lease for long periods of time, such as a couple of years or more. As I talked with this group of attorneys, I turned the conversation to my favor and narrowed it to one individual. I asked him if he could give me the pass-code to my attorney's room. I knew that if my attorney had out-of-town clients that needed to stay in her room or if she wanted to use the room personally, the pass-code would provide access to the room at any time. In the dream, I was thinking that if I had the pass-code I could just walk in the room whenever I wanted to, even if my attorney or anyone else happened to be using the room at that time.
The guy from the law firm gave me the pass-code very willingly when we met up in the lobby what seemed like a couple of days later. Then I decided that I didn't really want the pass-code but kept it anyway. Next, I found myself getting into my car and driving away from the hotel. At first I thought that I was being paranoid because I thought that there was something crawling on top of my car-something that looked like a black ghost. So I kept driving and shook the image from my mind. Then I began to hear a thumping sound on the top of my car that gradually got louder. I knew then that I wasn't imagining things. This black ghost, which may have been acting as my conscience, was hanging on and trying to get through to me from the top of my car. Now, I was driving the same car in my dream that I drive in real life, a convertible with a soft top (not a retractable hardtop), and I was afraid that this thing was going to punch its way right through the roof if I couldn't get it off my car. So I kept swerving my car back and forth, spinning it into circles, trying to do whatever it took to get this thing off my car. But the faster I drove and the harder I swerved-jerking my car back and forth, going left to right, spinning in circles-the tighter its grip became. Then I awoke.