In the last two days I’ve had some peaceful days of avoiding media and political discussions. However, last night I had an interesting dream that I can’t help think relates to this project.
One of the issues I’m most bothered by is that of the university protests and the seemingly large number of young people so willing to give up their rights to freedom of speech and expression. Or rather, they’d want to take away those rights from others, but don’t realize it will also me the loss of their own rights.
Anyway, in my dream I was on a university campus. No particular one, although I’ve lived and worked on a number of them in my life. But I had the distinct impression this was just ‘a university campus’. Albeit a well-funded one. The dream began with me wandering around campus, attending lectures, etc. A regular student life. But around the mid-point, the entire university began collapsing. It was like a meteor-strike meets an earthquak, with huge chunks of building falling, and asphalt fro the roadways being thrust into the air. Suspended causeways crumpled, turning into a rain of death for those below. it was a hellish scenario and those of us not killed, were desperately trying to weave our way through the maze of death.
That’s it. There was no ending. No resolution. It just left off with me and a few others running through raining chunks of street and building larger than our bodies as we desperately tried to find a way out of the horror.
The meaning of the dream seems self-evident enough. It’s a metaphor of my fear for the fate of the modern western university, which is being destroyed by a variety of forces, many of which are within. This bothers me not only because I think universities should be bastions of freedom and centres for the quest for truth and enlightenment, but also because I will, at some point in the not-so-distant future, have to consider whether to send my child to one.
While I had an amazing time at the universities I attended, their nature has changed dramatically in the last five years. Safespaces, trigger warnings, and the injustice of ‘social justice’ all prevents students from growing and exploring new ideas. Instead, most get locked into echo chambers and force-fed ill-conceived ideologies until they come to believe 2 + 2 = 5. Only then does Big Sister let them out spread the word to the rest of their Western world (ironically, in a twist of the soft racism of low expectations, such social justic warriors rarely turn their new-found zeolotry on parts of the world that could actually benefit from them).
But I digress.
With luck, such dreams represent my subconscious processing the thoughts and emotions as part of my purge, so that, when I return to fuller immersion in the crazy world we live in, I can do so with a more level head.
Be the change we seek to see. That is all any of us can, or should, reasonably do.