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Post-BITT Dream

By Reuven Kotleras on October 8, 2023



Reuven Kotleras is a profoundly gifted ex-child and polymath. He has published professionally on European political history, Eurasian economic development, epistemology of science, and mathematical logic, among other topics. His skills include decision analysis, organizational design, and strategic foresight. He also is a poet, pianist, runner, and dog-lover.


Post-BITT Dream


So, I had this amazing dream, on the basis of the follow-up to the amazing BITT session that Patty held yesterday afternoon. In the BITT, I recounted my gifted journey, which I will perhaps come back to momentarily; but the dream was an expression of my rebirth in the first decade of the 21st century, which I recounted, among other things, in my remarks to Patty’s group.


In the dream, I was in this dark old house that I had to leave. There was someone who was assisting me to leave, not in a subordinate way, but overlooking me and helping me at the same time, because it was inevitable that I had to leave. The house was a wooden-colored house on the inside, rather like a number of other houses in a number of other dreams in past years that I have recorded elsewhere.


One of the questions was whether I could or should take anything with me from the house which, as I looked at it, did not have a great deal in it, except for being constructed of some actually rather warm-colored wood. The figure accompanying me, who may or may not have been a doppelgänger, was indicating that I really had to leave.


I asked myself, “Well, if I have to leave, should I just leave?” and answered myself, “Well, no. I could do that, but I need to take something with me.” So, I went into the closet where the clothes were—or I found the clothes—and I took four different suits or four items that were hanging on hangers, perhaps a suit and a shirt, etc. Then as an afterthought, I also took some underwear, which I think it was also on some hangers, perhaps a fifth hanger. These clothes were representations of my overexcitabilities, a topic that had been a significant theme during the discussion in Patty’s BITT yesterday afternoon.


With those clothes, carrying them on their hangers, I found myself in the corridor of a train, an old-style European train with compartments instead of a central aisle down the middle with seats on each side. [I omit here a detailed description of a train I once took resembling this, where I had an encounter with a young woman who must have been a Red Army Faction (“Baader-Meinhof Gang”) sympathizer or perhaps even peripheral member (for interesting anecdotal reasons too involved to describe here), and later with a loudmouth boor whom I succeeded in putting out of the compartment into the corridor by threatening him that I had a ticket imprinted with the number of the seat that was occupying whereas he did not—and I would just wait for the conductor to show up—and he should vacant his for another young woman who equally had a ticket imprinted with the seat number that he was occupying, and the fact that he had gotten on the train before I did, was irrelevant.]


This train was a reference to the train in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Emergence" (one of my favorites), which itself was also very dreamlike and symbolic, in some ways Dali-esque. As I told the BITT, the Figure 1 in my 2007 article on workplace mobbing was shaped like female reproductive organs. Then I realized that this was an allusion to the fact that I was undergoing rebirth. The Star Trek episode is also about birth or the creation in miniature, by the Starship Enterprise, of an entity of intelligence that subsequently then launched into the universe at large.


This train brought me to a conference in the suburbs of Philadelphia where I met this younger guy, who seemed to be about 22 (coincidentally or not, the age at which I entered my Ph.D. program) and who, according to his résumé that I saw, had already a lot of accomplishments.


He seems to have been someone with whom I had been in touch before. He seems to have been working for a bunch of different foundations in New York, organizing conferences for them, which were listed on the résumé. I looked at it and told him that I was very impressed that he had done all of these things in such different substantive spheres of activity.


I also told him that, moreover, I was very impressed that as he was soliciting, for each of many conferences, different papers and proposals, that he must have systematic means to evaluate all the different proposals in all the different areas, implying wide and deep expertise across the substantive areas. He laughed a little, as if this were true (but not really), and he said at this particular conference, "We're looking for good proposals," which of course I took to be an invitation to submit one.


After the train arrived at the conference—or in the transition from the train to the scene of the conference by which time I had already somehow run into him—I had some uncertainty about whether I would be, as it were, admitted to the conference. However, it seems [and this is only a guess because I am not certain that I recall it happening in the dream itself] that with the clothes that I had taken from the old house, there was not a problem.


Let me be clear that this was not an issue of “impostor syndrome”, but rather a genuine question whether I would be accepted as someone who could join the conference. [There is a longer excursus here that is not directly relevant to the dream, but which flashes to my participation in a very high-level conference in Geneva with George Steiner, François Furet, Dusan Sidjanski, Denis de Rougemont, and others.] There was a process of verification that invitees or prospective attendees had to go through, in order to arrive in the conference hall itself. In my clothes that I had taken from the house, I had two pieces of paper with me. I just acted as if I belonged there and did not stop at any of the preliminary stations for verification for entrance.


The guy I mentioned was in some fashion with me, assuring me that there would be no problem. So then I came up to what seemed like the last checkpoint, just a table behind which was a blonde woman sitting, not blocking the way but on the side. I showed her the two pieces of paper to present my bona fides and, without looking up, she nodded me on.


So, I went to the conference hall and there was a lot of activity. I suppose I found the place where presentations were being made. I did not have a presentation, but then I realized that the purpose of the conference was to meet and greet. That was where I ran into that guy again, the one whose résumé I had seen: he was tall and robustly built, energetic, with wiry black hair and an olive complexion. He had organized this conference and also organized the other ones, where I may have previously run into him. We talked together intensely and established a definite connection. Then, after he had basically solicited the conference proposal from me, as we were walking away, I had this feeling of being very appreciative of the unexpected attention and invitation that he had just given me.


It was clearly suburban Philadelphia, because there was another member of the conference—and it must have been getting late—who needed to get somewhere. And the administrator-organizer guy told him, “You could take the bus. It's one block from the hotel. You could take the bus to the R5.” Then the other guy turned away like he did not like or accept it. Then I said, “Yes, well, you can take the R6 [train] into Thirtieth Street [Station], and then take the R5 [train] back out.” The dream seemed to end there; I believe that that is when I woke up.


I lay in bed thinking this over because the house, the process of the train, the arriving at the conference, all represent, like the clothes represented the overexcitabilities that I took with me when my former personality collapsed, during and following the workplace mobbing, as I described in the BITT. I used to use the word “destroyed” but it wasn’t destroyed: I think this word “collapsed,” which just came to me, is better; for there remained this structure of the overexcitabilities that became, in a way, the foundation (and perhaps the ground floor) for the reconstruction of my personality.

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