Cook’s institute was a sleek low building. The vibe of the university’s brutalism gave way to a sort of giddy futuristic minimalism. It was not a key that operated the sliding glass doors. It was a card.
“Fancy.” Chuck quipped as we passed into the blessed hum of central air.
A plain middle-aged woman greeted us in Portuguese. Cook grinned broadly and returned her welcome. But he did not pause. We all filed past in quick purposeful procession.
The keycard apparently unlocked many doors. First, there was one inset within the confines of a glass wall that hinted at the hallway beyond. Then a slightly heavier metal door that led to a flight of stairs.
From the placards on the wall, I could see that most of the building was underground.
We eventually found our way to a windowless conference room with an oval table. We were instructed to make ourselves comfortable on the ergonomic mesh swivel chairs as Leo and the Doctor positioned themselves in front of a projector.
“What are your opinions on dreams?” Cook inquired with a deadpan expression.
I chuckled internally. ‘Didn’t know I was in for new age psychotherapy.’
Sensing our less than serious appraisal of the question he reiterated it with emphasis as he added. “Tell us, all of you, from left to right.
We all gave various versions of I don’t know, biological aftereffect, maybe it has something to do with spirituality, etc…
Cook nodded. “That’s about what I’d expect. It’s not too different from my own original opinion. To be honest it’s not too different from my present opinion. However, I’ve made some amendments to that conception. There are many tribes in the Amazon. Many tribes with many cultures and yet they all more or less share one constant. In that, they place enormous emphasis on the importance of dreams. Many of the natives treat the world that lies beyond the veil of sleep more seriously than the waking world.”
“Kind of like the aborigines in Australia?” Sam queried.
“Very similar yes.”
We all waited for an exposition that never came. Maybe they were waiting for us to ask more questions. They were former professors after all. But none of us knew where exactly to go.
“Hmmm…” Leo said bemusedly breaking the spell. “I’d have thought you’d be a touch more effusive. Given your line of work. You basically tear down the walls with your chemical hammers. Or do you really favor the so-called materialist position? I’d have thought otherwise from my briefings with your superior.”
Again we didn’t really know how to respond.
It was true that a big part of PLATO entailed the use of psychedelics to explore the manifestation of Jungian archetypes. Such studies along with yielding a plethora of weaponized narcotics also gave those who considered themselves to be stewards of the earth a subtler toolset. The qualia of the sort of primordial drives and thought forms were profoundly useful for the peculiar sort of political science that Thornton et al. specialized in.
As I’ve said before. I don’t hold a strictly materialist position. However, our work seemed up to the very recent events at Luckadoo’s and the Genevive to be pretty straightforward analysis, of how neurochemistry coupled with suggestion would produce uncannily consistent results. So despite there being some surprisingly solid ‘proof of concept’ for Jung’s theories in our studies, there was nothing terribly outre. So the team and I sat on the same fence between relativistic mysticism and reductionist philosophy as the rest of the industrialized world.
I put my thoughts into words. “Well, we’ve seen some wonky stuff. Though I’m not sure if it’s not part of Thornton’s little experiment. I mean we’re the scientists and the guinea pigs ya dig? Has to be that way so it really is very uncertain. And I mean what do you expect? A dream is such a variable ridden thing. So much depends on so much. As you’ve said our work is sort of along these lines. And our work has brought us here. So why don’t you fill us in on your own understandings Doctor?”
There was a long pause.
Cook chuckled. “Well, my own understanding is equally difficult to get across. I was just curious to see if what I cannot express in words would match up with your ideas. When words fail pantomime is in order. And the sort of pantomime that is in order to relay what it is that I think I’ve found out, something that’s made almost certain by Senhor Hoyt’s possession of that map, is to go and find the dreamers in the wood.”
Part I – Kentucky Door
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Part II – The Wizard’s Nod
Help a Hipster