My wife Becky remembers her dreams; mostly I don’t. Perhaps it’s because dreams are so often random if not totally wako. Some years ago I wrote an essay about dreams concluding that no one knows why these nocturnal visions are necessary for our health. Sleep deprivation – and consequently dream deprivation – is used to coerce terrorists to divulge their secrets.
Perhaps dreaming is a way for the brain to sort out and then file events of the day. Possibly the brain rebalances or remodels itself during dreaming which occurs every ninety minutes during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Occasionally, I try to recall my dreams, though admittedly I haven’t been very successful, perhaps because dreams seem so illogical to me and more often seem like some surrealistic Salvador Dali painting. The ancients believed enlightenment came in dreams. Recently, I awakened from a dream where I was writing about happier topics. But that was before the war.
Democrats now dream of destroying the Trump Presidency. You should realize that the leadership of the Democrat Party are actually liberal-progressives and only masquerade as Democrats like FDR. I know many fine people who are more liberal than me and may vote Democrat as I once did. However, the leadership of the Democrat Party is as alien to me as some extraterrestrial. They live in La La Land like the Holly-weird’s who botched their own academy awards while telling us they know what’s best. All the while, the utterly odious filmmaker, Michael Moore, malignes Carryn Owens, the wife of fallen US Navy SEAL, Ryan Owens.
The latest Democrat attack is on Jeff Sessions and again revolves around the Russians whom they see under every rock. In December 2016, Barack Obama said his administration’s investigation showed “no vote tampering” in the November 2016 election and the purported Russian operative attacks on Republican and Democrat websites were “no different than activities going back to Soviet days.”
I frequently dream of a united America, but realize that the level of divide is comparable to that of the American Civil War and will not end until one side wins. Just as the southern states who seceded eventually returned to the Union, it took total war and their defeat to bring them back. Mercy can be extended only after the vanquished recognize and acknowledge defeat.
The Democrat party operates from the perspective of total war. And even in their defeat they continue the struggle, seeing their defeat as engineered by foreigners rather than poor candidates and failed policies. Rodney King once lamented, “Can’t we all just get along?” Perhaps Republicans feel similarly, but if so they ignore history. In war, there must be an acknowledged winner or we end up with a nuclear North Korea and the standoff at the DMZ. The Japanese and the Germans are now our allies, but only after their total defeat.
Some historians are critical of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. With the approval of President Lincoln and General Ulysses S Grant, Sherman unleashed total war across the south to destroy the infrastructure which was enabling the Confederate armies to continue fighting. Sherman is quoted as saying, “War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” Total war has been used in other many conflicts down through the ages, notably the Hebrew conquest of Canaan as chronicled in the Bible, the Peloponnesian War and World War II. These days Americans are not shooting bullets at each other, but all out war in the political polis (city-state) is none the less operative.
War has always been cruel, even if fought with words. Our war with each other is now straining friendships. Man has even conjured up the notion of a “just war” to define the morality of going to war and its conduct. Christian notables such as Augustine (5th century) argued that war can be fought to protect peace and punish wickedness. Thomas Aquinas (13th century) held that war must be waged by proper governmental authority, for good reason and with peace as a motive. Finally, the philosophical School of Salamanca (16th century) held that war must be a last resort, and when necessary to prevent a greater evil.
These days, I often desire an escape and daydream of other places – in addition to other times in history. My wife, Becky, finds it odd that I dream of visiting other worlds like those recently discovered circling Trappist-1, a star forty light years from Earth. In recent years, scientists have found more than 3,400 exoplanets circling distant stars. It appears that the universe is full of planets circling trillions of stars. Even our closest neighbor, Alpha Centauri, has a planet circling its companion star B Centauri. What is exciting is that the planets of Trappist-1 are rocky and earth-like in size, rather than large gas planets such as Jupiter. And three of the seven planets in the Trappist system are in the “Goldilock” or habitable zone, where proximity to their sun might allow water and enable life as we know it. However, I’ll only be able to dream about alien vistas because traveling on the fastest space ship humans currently possess would take 70,000 years to travel just four light years to Alpha Centauri.
Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet. She never traveled far from her home in Amherst, Massachusetts. However, she dreamed large. Her poems imagined life, love, immortality and “distant shores.” I’ll leave you with two of my favorites for reflection and your own dreams.
I NEVER saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet I know how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in Heaven
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.
As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea
And that – a further – and the Three
But a presumption be –
Of Periods of Seas –
Unvisited of Shores –
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be –
Eternity – is Those –