Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Daily Life: I Dreamt of Execution

I dreamt that I was being executed and that I was helping my executioners with advice. I recognized the overall framework of the dream - it was, in some ways, a recreation of the scene in HBO's "Rome" where Titus Pullo executes Cicero in his garden.

I was on my knees and there were two men standing near me - one was the executioner and the other was the witness. The execution method was to stab me through the heart with a spear, but it was obvious to me that the executioner was unsure of how to best do it. So, I was telling them how it was done.

The best approach I told them was to hold my left arm up above my head, for the witness to hold it tightly and to brace my body against his thighs, so that I wouldn't try to pull away from the spear. Then the executioner was to take the spear and thrust it in through my armpit at a slight downward angle.

If he made sure the spear blade was horizontal to the ground, it would slip in between the ribs and make a clean wound, severing the brachial artery on the way to the heart (which in itself is quickly fatal). I assured them that it would be relatively painless for me if he thrust quickly.

It was vivid dream - and I thought two things were interesting in the dream. First, I was not afraid or apprehensive about being executed, but rather I was concerned with the form of it, I was concerned that it be done correctly and efficiently. There was no sense of injustice. I obviously felt that, whatever the cause of my being executed was, it was a just cause. Second of course, I did not actually dream I was being executed, I dreamt I was about to be executed.

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