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Defence of the Colonized in “M.Butterfly” and “Death of the King’s Horseman”

Note: I wrote this essay for one of my undergraduate English courses at the University of Toronto.

Soyinka’s “Death and the King’s Horseman” and Hwang’s “M. Butterfly” are both postcolonial prose. Contrary to Hwang, Soyinka forbids the readers from reading the text as representation of “clash of cultures”. However, a closer analysis of the play suggests that it is in fact about clash of culture as well as about gaining an understanding of the idea of transition and its importance to the Yaruban culture. Both “Death and the King’s Horseman” and “M.Butterfly” are an attempt to conserve the importance and validity of the indigenous cultures. The texts achieve this purpose in two steps: 1) representation of the oppression of the indigenous culture; and 2) defence of the indigenous culture.  Whereas, “M.Butterfly” presents a bold defence of the Oriental culture, “Death and the King’s Horseman” presents a passive defence of the Yoruba culture. In this essay I’ll prove the above claim as follows: The endogenous race/culture is shown as oppressed through recurring themes of ethnocentricity, orientalism, alterity and colonial mimicry. Finally, the defence of the endogenous culture is presented directly and indirectly through dialogue and structure.

The theme of Orientalism is persistent throughout both of these texts. Orientalism refers to Western/White-centered belief that establishes racial “Others” as sexually exhausted, passive, feminine, and in need of civilization. This belief in the inferiority of the racial “Others” was used as an excuse by the European and English nations to colonize other regions. The colonists are represented as persistent in disciplining the indigenous culture. This persistent practice stems from the fact that they regard the natives as comparatively ignorant and in need of civilization and guidance: “You think you’ve stamped it all…lurking under the surface somewhere (pg.26)”. It is obvious that the colonizers consider it their responsibility to clean up the act of the Yoruban natives. Simon Pilkings, the district officer from “Death and the King’s Horseman”, shows no respect for their rituals and does not try to understand the significance of these rituals for the Yoruba people. He stubbornly tries to enforce British law on an African culture. Thus, the freedom of the natives is compromised under the colonial rule. As in “Death and the King’s Horseman”, Orientalism is evident in M. Butterfly as well. Haedicke has established the following translation of gender differences into political language: Male=West and Female=East (Ma, RuiQi, 1996). Madame Butterfly is Gallimard’s fantasy of a perfect woman who is submissive and feminine. Butterfly excites Gallimard because she gives him a false sense of security by allowing him to have power over her: “Song:…I have already given you my shame (pg.35).” It is obvious that Gallimard doesn’t really love Song but his fantasy, Madame Butterfly. He is excited by the idea of exercising power over his Butterfly: “Gallimard: ..writhe on a needle (pg.31-32).” Here, Hwang is metaphorically stating that West loves to exercise power over the East since this satisfies its fantasy of the passive East. The West loves the idea of power over weak nations and not strong ones because it gives it a false sense of security. This is obvious during Gallimard’s dialogue with the girl in Act 5. She deliberately removes her clothes in front of Gallimard. This terrifies him because such boldness challenges his power and authority over the female sex.: “Girl: Then slowly, I lift off my …Gallimard: No. She’s-why is she naked? (pg.11).”

Both of the plays allude to the political position of the East. However, they adopt different strategies. Soyinka directly represents the power of the colonists by allowing the readers to observe the relationship of Amusa and Joseph with Picklings and Simon’s attitude towards tribal rituals. Simon Picklings is shown to exert full influence over the natives. In contrast, Hwang employs extended metaphors to convey the same message. Song’s character is marginalized. We rarely come in contact with the real Song. Most of the time, its Madame Butterfly who demands our attention. Thus, Hwang is alluding to marginalization and subordination of females (East) in a patriarchal society ruled by men (West). Females are regarded as blank pages on which men can freely write the things they want such as submission and femininity (Ma, RuiQi, 1996). Thus, Hwang is alluding to how powerful imperialists set out to colonize relatively poorer nations, draw borders, and establish colonies wherever they will. Butterfly is played by a man disguised as a woman. A real female protagonist is missing, which reinforces the idea of marginalization of the female gender in a patriarchal society. In addition, Song enters the courtroom dressed as a male; and, thus the voice of females is completely removed from the courtroom arena (Ma, RuiQi, 1996). These extended metaphors reinforce the idea that Orient’s position in World Politics is considered to be weaker than that of the English. Thus, the theme of Orientalism is persistent throughout both texts on literal and metaphoric levels.

Additionally, both plays analyze how ethnocentric beliefs of the exogenous culture lead to oppression of the endogenous culture. Ethnocentricity refers to the practise of viewing other cultures and ethnicity in terms of one’s own. In “Death and the King’s Horseman”, Elesin is captured by Simon Picklings because he plans to commit ritual suicide. Elesin’s downfall is mainly due to two reasons: 1) his love for material life (he delayed his ritual suicide since he preferred to be with his newly-wed wife during his last hours); and 2) Simon’s ethnocentric belief that suicide is wrong. If Simon would not have interfered, the ritual would have continued after the terms of marriage were fulfilled. Simon’s interference played a vital role in causing this Yaruban tragedy and thus lead to the oppression of the Yaruban natives. Similarly, in “M. Butterfly”, Gallimard’s downfall occurs because of his ethnocentric belief that his Butterfly is a modest and inexperienced Oriental maiden. The roots of his fantasy lie in the Western culture of that time as well as his weak sexual ego. During that time the Orientalist beliefs about Oriental men and women prevailed in the West. Thus, he, like many other Westerners, view Madame Butterfly as a passive and self-sacrificing female who is his “perfect woman”: “She is outwardly…It is the Oriental in her at war with her Western education (pg.27).”  He imposes conditions of passivity and inferiority on her. Song uses his ethnocentric beliefs to trick him into believing that she is exactly what he thinks she is, a submissive Oriental woman: “Gallimard:…She feels inferior to them-and to me (pg.31).” Hwang is again referring to how the West tends to impose conditions of passivity onto the East.

Ethnocentric views prevail because people usually perceive other cultures and nations through a cultural lens. They use a set of preconceptions to become familiar with the foreign culture. Ultimately when they come in contact with the foreign culture, these preconceptions may act as a barrier which prevents them from truly understanding the foreign culture. Ethnocentric views also persist because of alterity. Alterity is a term that describes the possibility that the beliefs, priorities, and actions of one person, group, and culture may not be understandable to an observer no matter how hard one tries. Thus, alterity alludes to the possibility that there will always be some gaps in the understanding between two unique individuals or cultures. Dialogical alterity is a type of alterity that affirm the “Otherness” of others, insofar as the other entails different histories, traditions, and range of experiences (Bouchard, L.D, 1990). Dialogical alterity is visible in both of the plays. In “Death and the King’s Horseman”, Olunde engages in a conversation with Jane merely on the basis that he has received Western education and thus partially if not completely removed the distance between himself and the Westerners. Jane and Olunde are unable to understand each other fully because of dialogical alterity. Thus, they utter ethnocentric statements. Jane considers him to be a heartless person because he seems so cold about his father’s death. Olunde is very sarcastic about the ball since its taking place in the middle of a war: “Olunde: Others would call it decadence (pg.53).” It is obvious that British ways offend Olunde; but he doesn’t voice his thoughts clearly and instead chooses to ask sarcastic questions. He is adapting to the Western culture but is still sarcastic towards it; and, he tends to keep his Yaruban identity separate and distinct from his Western identity. Here, dialogical alterity does not classify Olunde as “Other” because he has been Westernized. He is adopting the ways of the British and this makes him one of them. In contrast, his father is jailed because he completely refuses to abide by British rules. Here, again dialogical alterity leads to oppression of the natives. Similarly, in “M.Butterfly”, dialogical alterity is responsible for Song’s oppression by Gallimard. His fantasy of Madame Butterfly is a result of dialogical alterity. Gallimard believes that Song is submissive. Thus in Scene 13, he forces her to admit that she is his Butterfly. It is clear that Song does not want to be called his Butterfly. She/he hesitates to admit that she/he is Gallimard’s fantasy. It should be noted that this scene is placed next to the one in which Gallimard gets promoted. By juxtapositioning Gallimards’s promotion with Song’s submission, the author is alluding to the fact that just because West is powerful it thinks that East should be submissive to it and obey it just like Song obeys Gallimard. Here dialogical alterity at the political level is presented metaphorically. Gallimard (West) is unable to understand Song/Butterfly (East). All he understands about her is how he sees her as his fantasy. Thus, real Song (East) is already established as “Other” and hence oppressed due to dialogical alterity. The West is following its set of preconceptions about East and is looking at it through a cultural lens. West falsely believes that East is powerless before it and no matter how hard East and West try to understand each other there will always be a gap between them. Thus, Song and Gallimard are unable to interact on a realistic level because of dialogical alterity. In Scene 7, Gallimard calls Chinese arrogant while talking to Helga. However, in front of Song/Butterfly, he hides his true feelings towards Chinese people. This could be because he does not want to hurt his Butterfly or because he thinks that Butterfly will not be able to understand why he feels like this towards Chinese people.

Furthermore, these plays present oppression of the endogenous culture in the form of colonial mimicry. Colonial Mimicry is defined as the desire for a reformed, recognizable “Other”, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite (Cheng, Annie-Anlin, 1997). This means that the dominant group is mimicked by the oppressed group: “The colonized subject must be disguised, mimed, as almost the same, but not quite. His/her incomplete imitation in turn serves as a sign…of the failure of authenticity (Cheng, Annie-Anlin, 1997).”  Thus, the colonized will always be viewed as the “Other” because his/her “reformation” can never be complete; i.e., he/she will always hold some of his/her own cultural views dear to heart despite assimilation into the dominant culture. Colonial mimicry thus is a result of oppression of the colonized. The colonized mimics the dominant exogenous culture, willingly or unwillingly, to ensure his/her safety. In “Death and the King’s Horseman”, colonial mimicry is evident when the African servants are seen dressed in English clothes; e.g., in Act 3, Amusa is seen wearing knickers like English do. As Amusa and Joseph become subservient to the colonizers, they embody the traits of docility and intellectual confusion (Olakunle, George, 1999). This is obvious as we contrast Iyaloja’s and Elesin’s eloquent speeches with those of Amusa and Joseph. Speeches of Amusa and Joseph do not contain any beautiful metaphors and are not eloquent at all. Amusa, the sergeant, speaks least eloquently: “Amusa (commencing his retreat): We dey..we no warn you (pg.39).” The author seems to be pointing to the fact that the further a native gets from his culture, more docile he/she becomes. However, Olunde does not become docile by distancing himself from his culture. This is because he never really leaves his culture like Amusa and Joseph did. Unlike Amusa and Joseph, he intends to participate in Yaruban rituals. Moreover, Olunde doesn’t blindly mimic Westerners but rather tries to understand them in order to be one of them. Olunde, Joseph, and Amusa are hybrids (Olakunle, George, 1999). They have integrated Western ways into their life, but they still respect Yaruban rituals. Amusa is horrified when he sees the Picklings wearing egungun because he takes the value of the mask at the metaphysical level. In contrast, Olunde is not at all shocked to see Jane wearing the mask at the ball. This difference is due to Olunde’s Western education. His education allows him to understand that Jane would never wear the mask like natives do (Olakunle, George, 1999). Like Amusa and Joseph, Olunde is a hybrid because despite his Western education he still plans to follow the Yaruban traditions and rituals: “Olunde:…I would like to touch his body while it is still warm (pg. 56).”  Hybridity leads to disintegration of the self:

“By hybridity, I do not mean a condition where two discrete entities coexist or intersect in the same agent while at the same time retaining their distinct shapes and self-efficiency…I mean a situation where the two entities or identities are incommensurable and can therefore be entangled in the same subject…such hybridity functions ultimately as a result of deformation. (Olakunle, George, 1999)”

Since no one in their right mind would like to have a disintegrated/split self, hybridity and thus colonial mimicry are a result of oppression. Similarly, in “M.Butterfly”, Song represents colonial mimicry as an effect of oppression when he appears in the court wearing a suit. The only way to be recognized and respected by the French court is to appear like a Westerner and not a Chinese: “Song does not come to power in the end nor assume the success of his political critique by acquiring some authentic Chinese male identity…he does so by donning an Armani suit (Olakunle, George, 1999).”

Lastly, both of the plays present a defence of the indigenous culture. In “Death and the King’s Horseman”, the Picklings are introduced while they were wearing the egungan. Metaphorically, this implies that Picklings, representative of English bureaucracy, are in reality not any different from the Yaruban natives. Thus, deep within the English are the same as Yaruban in that they have the potential to be equally savage. Simon is shown as a person who has no respect for his own religion.  Thus, the traits of hybridity (disintegrated self) are superimposed onto him. In Author’s note, Soyinka asks his readers not to interpret the novel as “clash of cultures”. In accordance with the author’s note, several critics are of the view that this novel is not about cultural clash. These critics maintain that Elesin’s failure to commit suicide was due to his longing of the material world and not because of Simon’s interference. However one cannot ignore the fact that if Yaruba was not colonized, then this ritual would have continued after the rights of marriage were fulfilled. Thus, this novel is essentially about “clash of cultures”. Then why state the opposite in author’s note? Soyinka’s strategy is to make the readers more focused onto the Yaruban culture and less on British ways and discourse. He prepares the readers to do so by inviting them to look at the play’s “threnodic essence” and not to think of it as “clash of cultures”. (Soyinka, 1975) He also foregrounds Yaruban myths, metaphors, and people. Only fragments of the Western lifestyle are shown, and the West is essentially set in the background: “Olunde (waves his hand towards the background). The PRINCE is dancing…give to that (Pg.53)”. Thus, this writing style allows a passive defence of the Yaruban culture and heritage. In contrast, Hwang defends the Orientals very boldly on literal and metaphoric level. On literal level, Hwang uses Song to voice his thoughts about Western Orientalist mentality: “The West…can’t think for herself (pg. 83).” Furthermore, Hwang metaphorically reverses the “gendering of ethnicity”. (Lye, Colleen,1995)  Song switches gender at a “real” level. However, Gallimard switches gender on a figurative level as he wears Butterfly’s kimono. His gender switching is a result of “ambiguous sexuality”. (Lye, Colleen, 1995)  Thus, Gallimard’s feminization serves as an extended metaphor to present the feminization of the West.

In conclusion, a thorough comparison of “M. Butterfly” and “Death and the King’s Horseman” leads one to conclude that these postcolonial proses serve as a voice of the indigenous culture. The authors successfully depict the oppression of the indigenous culture by depicting events that can be analyzed in terms of orientalism, ethnocentricity, alterity, and colonial mimicry. Both authors attempt to conserve the validity of the indigenous cultures by imposing negative qualities, which were originally directed towards the colonized cultures, onto the colonizers. Hwang’s gender switching metaphor and Soyinka’s foregrounding technique are good examples of how the authors manage to redirect the negative qualities onto imperialists. At the end of these plays, the readers realize that there is actually no real difference between West and East. Thus the readers view them at equal levels and identify the victims of oppression. Finally, the readers come to appreciate the beauty of the indigenous culture and the courage of the natives.


  1. Bouchard, L.D. (1990). Integrity and alterity: Death and the King’s Horseman in the theater of understanding. Morphologies of faith: essays in religion and culture in honor of Nathan A. Scott, Jr.  Scholars Press. Atlanta. pp. 217–43
  2. Cheng, Annie-Anlin (1997). The Melancholy of Race. The Kenyon Review. (19:1)  pp. 49–61
  3. Hwang, H. D. (1989). M.Butterfly Penguin Books USA Inc. New York, USA
  4. Lye, Colleen (1995). M. Butterfly and the Rhetoric of Antiessentialism: Minority discourse in an international frame. London: Minnesota UP
  5. Ma,RuiQi (1996). The Ideology of Cultural and Gender Misunderstanding in D.H. Hwang’s M.Butterfly. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. (23: 4) pp. 1053–63.
  6. Olakunle, George. (1999). Cultural Criticism in Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman. Representations. (67). pp. 67–91
  7. Soyinka, Wole (1975) Death and the King’s Horseman. W.W.Norton and Company New York. USA

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Persuasion by Racism: “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad and Canadian Ghettos

Note: I wrote this essay while finishing my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. Before you read this essay, become familiar with the YouTube video “Science of Persuasion.” Science of Persuasion includes six elements: Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking, and Consensus. Reciprocity occurs when people are obliged to give back what they have received first; Scarcity is when people want what they are told they may have less of; Authority refers to the fact that people follow credible experts and resources; Consistency refers to requesting small initial commitments that might lead to bigger ones; Liking principle indicates that we like similar people, those who pay us complements, and those who work with us towards mutual goals; Consensus occurs when people look at the actions and behaviour of others to determine their own. 

Racism that takes places inside Canada, such as creation of Ghettos, is based on these principles. Coloured people who are clustered inside Ghettos cannot reciprocate due to poverty and less connections; White people are scarce and thus considered “superior” and “more intelligent”; its easier to find White authorities owing to their White privilege and thus easy to assume that colored people are “dumber” in nature; colored people like working with each other and thus may appear “close” towards the Whites because they pay each other more complements or understand each other’s issues more; networks and process of integration break easily in the ghettos because the Consistency principle indicates that small initial commitments to help out would dissappear when someone else’s better party invite leads to stronger and more consistent commitment levels; and, needs of coloured people are neglected as a lot of employers consense to hiring and retaining White people more than colored people

Since coloured people are left struggling with lower wages and seclusion from the White majority, there are less educated coloured representatives found in authoritative positions. Thus, they appear less productive and are more prone to being defamed, blackmailed, and abused. 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad has been classified as a “thoroughgoing racist novel” by critics such as Achebe (3). A close analysis of the novel proves that even though it is a racist novel, there are certain instances of non-racial behavior depicted in it. The dehumanization of the Africans, their classification as “others”, endowment of rudimentary speech, justification of European’s lack of communication with the natives, and setting of Africa and its natives in the background all serve as evidence in establishing this novel as racist literature directed at the Africans. However, at the end of the novel, there are certain non-racist events that lead one to conclude that the author believes that if the Europeans had tried to understand Africans, they would have realized that just like themselves they are only human. Even though the text exhibits racist attitude towards the Belgians, it also emphasizes that they are responsible for carrying out violent acts against natives under imperialistic rule. This novel is racist in the sense that it approves of Imperialism even though it condemns torture of natives.

Oxford English Dictionary defines dehumanization as deprivation of human qualities. Throughout this novel, the native Africans are dehumanized. African natives are likened to beasts, savages, ants, and instruments. “A slight clinking behind me…rhythmically clinking (para. 35, sec.I, 2).” In this paragraph, the author describes how the native Africans “appear” to him. He doesn’t narrate their emotions or their feelings at all. The natives are merely considered as “parts of machinery” by the Europeans. In accordance with Achebe’s conclusions, Jan Mohammad also describes dehumanization as an act of racism (1). Jan Mohammad provides a deeper explanation as to why such a literary technique was employed by the author. He defines the novella as an “imaginary” text. The “imaginary” is a developmental stage where the child (6-18 months old) identifies himself with his image. The child situates rivalry and aggressivity within the distance that lies between himself and his reflection. According to Jan Mohammad, the native African functions as an image/reflection of the imperialist (4). Conrad tends to project all the despised attributes of the European imperialists onto the “Other” (4). Thus when Marlow calls the natives criminals and savages, he is in fact projecting the guilt, which he felt because of European attitude towards the natives, onto the natives. By referring to them as savage, he is regarding the brutal enslavement of the natives as a very savage act. This serves as evidence that Conrad doesn’t approve of the method of the Belgian imperial government. However, the fact that the author actually projects these negative opinions about Europeans onto African natives depicts racism. It seems that Conrad considers the natives inferior enough to subject them to dehumanization via” projection of opinion”.

Dehumanization can also be explained in terms of the “Manichean allegory” that refers to the conversion of “racial differences” into “moral and metaphysical differences” (4). “They were called criminals, and the outraged law, like the bursting shells…over the sea (para. 35, sec. I,2).” Thus the author assumes that the natives are criminals because he thinks that they should obey the imperialists since they are morally and intellectually inferior to them. This assumption of the inferiority of the African race and then its translation into the immorality of their character depicts racism. “And between whiles I had to look…hind legs (para. 9, sec. II,2).” This again is an example of the Manichean allegory and is also considered racist content. The native is called an “improved specimen” and is compared to a dog. The protagonist is shown to take care of the fireman as if he is a little child with a lower intellect level (6). It is thus obvious that the author considers the natives intellectually inferior to the Whites. He thinks that educating them will improve them so that they can be used as pawns by the White imperialists.

The African natives are granted rudimentary speech. When they do speak, their speech only shows their inferiority and savagery (5). “Catch ‘im…Eat ‘im (para. 15, sec.I).” Thus the natives on the ship only speak to emphasize their savage nature. When the cannibal natives choose not to eat the pilgrims and Marlow while on board despite the fact that they outnumbered them, Marlow gets really puzzled. His contemplation upon this act of theirs leads him to conclude that these natives know no restraint. “Restraint! I would as soon have expected restraint from a hyena prowling amongst the corpses of a battlefield (para.15, sec.II, 2).” It is obvious that Marlow regards these individuals as lacking in morality and goodness. This is a racist assumption. Furthermore, the author calls African language as a form of babbling. “A violent babble of uncouth…planks (para. 44, sec I, 2).” Thus the author attempts to absolve Europeans for not trying to understand Africans by implying that their language is beyond human comprehension (6). In addition, their savage nature is mentioned to establish them as “Other” and this behavior is regarded as justification for European’s withdrawal from communicating with African natives other than for economic purpose. This separation of races on basis of cultural differences is considered racism.

As the novel progresses, Marlow’s racist attitude is replaced by a non-racist one (8). When one of the crew members, the helmsman dies, Marlow remembers and misses him. He affirms his feelings towards the helmsman by saying: “I am not prepared to affirm…getting to him (para.29, sec I, 2).”  The fact that Marlow values helmsman’s life more than his search indicates his affection for the native. Ridley notes a similarity between Helmsman and Kurtz. Both succumbed to the evil methods of the foreign cultures, by performing rituals and by shooting natives with a rifle respectively. Thus, both were detribalized; i.e., they were not considered a part of their own culture anymore. Conrad condemns both of them to death (7). The killing of the helsman does not count towards racism at all. It serves as an allusion to the fact that a human being morally degrades as he associates with the evil within. At the very end of the story, Marlow saves the natives from getting shot by the Europeans who were abroad the ship that was returning home from Congo. This unselfish act again depicts Marlow’s newly developed care and affection for the natives, which is seen only in the later parts of his journey. Overall, the protagonist’s attitude towards the Africans changes as the story progresses. As he spends more time in Congo, more easily he recognizes the natives as humans.

In this novella, Africa and its people are set in the background and are only brought in the foreground (allowed to participate in the story by speaking) to exhibit their savagery or evil. (6)  “A nigger was being beaten…went out and the wilderness without a sound took him into its bosom again (para. 35, sec.I,2). The native remains in the background and never speaks out against his mistreatment. Thus, Conrad doesn’t consider the natives important enough to make them active participants in the story; i.e., he doesn’t allow them to mold and change it. This is another evidence of racism.

The author thinks that British are better imperialists than Belgians. Hence, he adopts a racist tone towards the Belgians. “There was a vast amount of red…yellow (para.22, sec.I, 2).” Here the author is pointing out the efficiency of the British imperialist empire. In contrast, he establishes Belgians as an inefficient imperialist government. “A heavy…work going on (para. 34, sec.I,2).” This theme “futility of work” is associated with the inefficiency of the Belgians. Conrad thinks that the Belgians are not doing any worthwhile work in civilizing the Africans. Analysis of the text leads one to conclude that the author is against the violence committed by the Belgian government in Africa. However, he does support Imperialism.“She had a distaste for the work…apple-pie order (para. 40, sec. I,2).” Thus, the author approves of the fact that the chief accountant taught the native lady how to do his laundry even though she didn’t want to learn this craft. In the 19th century, Darwin’s theory of evolution was highly supported by the scientific community and the Western societies. This theory supports the notion that White race is superior to other races. This is how belief in Darwinism led to the implementation of imperialism (5). Author supports imperialism because he believes in Darwinism. However, he despises violence to which the Africans were subjected by the Belgian government. He projects his hatred of the violent acts committed by the imperialist Belgian government onto average Belgian citizens. “I found myself…their insignificant and silly dreams (para.86, sec.III,2).” He regards their ambitions as silly and considers them all as greedy individuals who hasten to earn money. He even considers their food unwholesome. This is again evidence of racism against Belgians.

In conclusion, Heart of Darkness depicts racism towards Africans only in the beginning and not at the end of the novel. Protagonist’s views are changed as he spends more time in Africa and reflects upon the cruelty of the Belgians.


  1. Bender, T.K. (2000)  Imagological considerations in Conrad’s vision of Africa. CLIO 29 (4): 441-447.
  2. Conrad, J. (1996) Heart of Darkness. Project Gutenberg. URL []. Access Date:2003-11-25
  3. Firchow, P.E. (1937).  Envisioning Africa-Racim and Imperialism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. University Press of Kentucky: U.S.A.
  4. Kaplan, C.M (1997). Colonizers, Cannibals, and the Horror of Good Intentions in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.  Studies in Short Fiction 34 (3):323-332
  5. Nicol, A. Representation of race and gender in Heart of Darkness. URL[] Access Date: 2003-11-25
  6. Okafor, C.A. (2003).  Joseph Conrad and Chinua Achebe:Two Antipodal Portraits of Africa.  Journal of Black Studies 19(1): 17-28.
  7. Ridley, F.H. (2003).  The Ultimate meaning of “Heart of Darkness”. Nineteenth century fiction. 18(1):43-53
  8. Racism in the Heart of Darkness URL [] Access date: 2003-11-25

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Heaps of Snow

This lucid dream showed 3 D, real-life-like scenes that spanned an entire day of the dreamworld. In this dream, I spent all day with my friends inside a university. In the first scene, I was sitting on a large sofa with some other girls. They were listening to my concerns and nodding. One of them noticed that I was a bit stressed so she bought some Booster Juice for me. We sat in the lounge and chatted till sunset.

I looked outside the window and saw the orange sky. This part of the building was built on higher ground, and I could see the steps that lead to the street below. Suddenly, the guy who was sitting at the front desk announced something in a cheery manner. All the ladies turned to him; and I stood up, walked over, and asked him the details of this announcement. He said that there is going to be class here, and I might be interested in it. I peaked through one of the corridors and found out that some people had gathered in the corridor. One of the men shouted from the room and announced the names of the speakers who were going to deliver a free seminar. Everyone got excited after they heard this news. I got excited too, but then I just shrugged this off as a common occurrence.

It got dark rather quickly afterwards; and, thus I decided to leave the building. Outside, there were mountains and mountains of snow. “Who can walk on these streets that are now laden with thick blankets of snow?”, I thought as I looked at the horizon to see if any cars were approaching. Then I noticed that there was a young man ahead of me. He was faster and more athletic than me. I quietly looked at him and envied his physical abilities; the sky felt surreal and peaceful as if souls of all the dream characters were somehow merging.

I struggled through the first heap of snow that was covering the first street. I looked up and saw him run over the small hill that was built in between the two streets. My legs were tired now, but I had to climb the hill. All of a sudden, my legs gave up; and I fell down. My books fell out of my hands and cluttered all around me. I was out for several minutes; and, God knows how this man just turned and noticed me. I wasn’t even screaming and just lying there frightened thinking whether I will ever stand up again and face this world. Quietly, he walked towards me and gently picked me up. He didn’t address me because he seemed reserved. I examined his well-built face and started feeling shy because this situation was so awkward. I thanked him slowly and felt odd that he was looking at me. He laughed in a friendly manner, and hinted that he will keep noticing me to keep me safe. He seemed in a hurry; but, he had looked at me just like I have always dreamt that he would.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Fifth Pentacle of Mars and Scorpion Dream Signal

For some unknown reason, I have always felt that the Key of Solomon ties into the world of Lucid Dreaming. I haven’t fully investigated this yet; and, I am slowly working on this during my spare time. Today, I reviewed some of the Pentacles found inside the Key of SolomonFigure 29 from the Key of Solomon shows a Scorpion that’s sitting inside a circle. I remember that once I had a dream during which I saw my mother open the flour container. Then, I saw a large, dark black scorpion sitting there fully alert. It felt alive and extremely watchful somehow. My mom took some flour out; and, it didn’t bite her or move away from its assigned position. I remember being slightly frightened of it for some reason. And, I remember waking up after watching all this. The similarity between my dream and the Fifth Pentacle of Mars is that in both cases a Scorpion is captured inside a container. Another similarity is that the Scorpion from my dream was sitting in a very similar position; it was facing one side of the container just like this Scorpion is facing one portion of the circle. Thus, it is easy to conclude that this was an ambient dream where some parts of the environment are slightly altered but the rest is same.

(added Dec 11, 2018)

I read on the site “Carolina Conjure” that the Fifth Pentacle of Mars is used to control demons and make them come under the influence of the possessor of the seal. I know that Lucid Dreaming is used to control things like Depression, Anxiety, fears, or PTSD. Just like demons do, these issues can cause you to lose control of your life. Lucid Dreaming adds the control back. Is it what the appearance of Fifth Seal of Solomon actually means?

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Dancing feels Ecstatic

I started dancing at weddings as a child─I am Rajputian so it is easy for me to learn dancing. Ever since then, my body has been learning on its own by listening to different types of music. I have learned mostly on my own after being taught a little bit in high school. Right now, I know a bit of Bollywood Dancing, Tap Dancing, Couple Dancing, and Indian Stick Dancing. Pretending that I am dancing with someone is very easy for me; and, I definitely plan to dance with my husband after getting married. Only my close friends; relatives; guests of family weddings; and, my entire (Pakistani) high school has seen me dance so far. Dancing is fun because I feel very elated, defined, and blessed after dancing. Dancers like me are genetically different! If they aren’t dancing, then their brains might die due to lack of movement, elegance, and teasing─right now, I am dancing on “Hum Tum Instrumental“.


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Understanding the Two Selves

I have been thinking about all the buildings I have viewed and visited during my lucid dreams. Once, I visited a building and later found a very similar one in the city of Ottawa. My lucid dream showed me stunning images of a building near which a bus station is located. The buses went in a semi-circular path that later became straight. It rained while I boarded one of the buses as the night fell. During this lucid experience, I could see myself meet someone inside an office, walk through corridors, walk out on the concrete road, cross the stop sign, and then end up on the other side where the bus station was. In another lucid dream, I lived inside a palace that was built on top of a very gigantic mountain. It had spiral stairs that were made out of very large stones. I saw myself living in this palace and communicating with its inhabitants. In one scene, one of the residents came back with food and I ran from one room to the other until I got to the balcony. From the balcony, I gazed down only to be bewildered by the height of the mountain and the dimensions of this palace.

There were several other such dreams where I experienced a separate existence inside buildings and areas I have never seen before. These buildings are filled with life, people, stories, furniture…and even weather changes occur there. I have sketched some portions of these dreams, which are actually far more massive and detailed than my preliminary sketches. I am running into recall issues while I work on these ones simply because there are far too many details to catch, such as the geometry or blue prints of the palace.

Furthermore, I know that some of this data is imagined but the rest is real; i.e. sometimes, I am really collecting data about buildings that exist now, had existed in the past, or exist in the future. I know this sounds very confusing but that’s the nature of these fractal dreams.

The dream dimension allows me to have a second existence where I can experience things ahead of time or things that I am not meant to experience in this dimension. I so want to sing to the world: There are two Arzoos, such is the definition of her creativity. One is from now. The other is from there, then, and somewhere. Verily E=Mc^2.

I am slowly learning how to not get overwhelmed by such dreams and visit these buildings over time. Repeat exposure will work.

Signed: Fractal


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Sword of Theseus

Note: I have been learning the art of making sense out of invisible data on my own through lucid dreaming. I feel there is so much more I can learn and apply here.

As a lucid dreamer, I have felt very fascinated by the unknown like the supernatural, death, angels, future, and whatever is hidden. When I go on my lucid dreaming adventures, I usually cue my subconscious to glance into the future as much as possible. I still have to learn how to cue my subconscious professionally, and so far I have been just working spontaneously. Whatever I have felt and understood during those lucid moments is actually beyond my comprehension, but I am going to attempt to explain my current understanding here.

Once, I dreamt of a golden elephant that stood next to my bed, saluted me, and then disappeared as I started feeling uncomfortable. I also dreamt of a very tall man who was lit as if decorated by fireflies and sitting near my window. As soon as he understood that I had become aware of him, he smiled at me and attempted to communicate with me. This dream figure resembled a writer whose work I had been reading. I woke up feeling puzzled about these dreams and for a really long while I was unable to interpret them.

As my lucidity matured, I realized that these lit points were actually the Reiki points that can be manipulated through yoga, meditations, and Reiki to open the gates of lucid dreamscape. Over time, I have come to a startling revelation: some of the points that I accidentally opened during my lucid dreams have started to open during the day. For example, I can sometimes tell which humans from within my circle of friends or colleagues are capable of becoming lucid during sleep. Another intriguing thing that I found out is that there are some zoos in the area, California of United States, where this writer works. The elephant that appeared when I dreamt of this writer is a signal that there is a zoo or some zoos in the area. Wow!

Furthermore, I have fully realized that the writing code is actually a scientific or mathematical code or fractal that has its own laws of Physics. For example, just last night I dreamt of a very tall dark entity being brought to my room. It was being held by invisible beings and was emitting a force field around it. The man was brought into a closed square room that was flooded and his body soon absorbed all of the water. I literally saw water waves rush towards this tall entity, which I initially mistook as a jinn of some sort.

The tall entity is perhaps a supernatural being or a magnetic bar, I am not so sure. The water waves are moving towards the entity and get absorbed by it.

I thought about this dream and realized that I was looking at force fields of some sort. Thus, I researched some Physics textbooks today and found out that the bar magnet releases a force field that looks similar to the one found around Earth. See the diagram here.

This dream tells me that man, substances, and heavenly bodies are releasing force fields. The YouTube video “Gravity – From Newton to Einstein – The Elegant Universe” shows that if sun disappears, then this gravitational disturbance will create a wave that will travel in space.

In case of humans, these force fields are psychic in nature as well. For instance, in one dream I saw that a group of women had tied a rope around my neck and were trying to push me into a room. Meanwhile, I was resisting with all of my might; I was applying the opposite force with great force. This mean that humans can easily read some psychic anagrams; read other anagrams with difficulty; and are unable to read the rest of the psychic anagrams no matter how hard they try? I saw some part of a bigger picture; since I resisted, I could not see the rest of the story. This dream also tells you that humans are designed to be psychic collisions of energy and thoughts. Why else do you feel vibes around humans or are able to channel with their help?

I am still in the process of opening the code slowly. I am interested in self-improvement and writing; and, some of the scientific code is designed to open along with this rest.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

How to Talk to Dream Characters?

I have not learned how to talk to dream characters by working with a professional lucid dreamer, and it is something I am learning slowly on my own by activating lucidity.

The only things I do to connect with my dream characters is demonstrate curiosity; attempt to communicate with dream characters and spirit guides; switch between dreams when dream characters are not responding properly; increase focus through meditations, Yoga, or Tai Chi; and take plenty of rest.

I did not had time to learn all of these techniques since I had a very busy lifestyle. Even though I already know how to interact with my dream characters to some extent, these videos are still very helpful reminders. Please keep in mind that the dream characters are an essential part of your psyche and should be treated with care and respect.

How to Talk to Dream Characters 101
Lucid Dreaming: How to find a Spirit Guide
Interacting With Dream Characters
Speaking to Your Subconscious


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

3000 Things I have Done During Lucid Dreams

Originally Published On Oct 8, 2016

I am the first Muslim Woman from a very vast circle of acquaintances, friends, and family members who can create so many of these vivid, 3D dreams. The following list does not include all the details because I am saving the details for my short stories, poems, or novels.

I will be expanding this list over time—I am referring to my memory and “Dream Log” as I write this. As you read this, remember that lucid dreams are at a different level from normal dreams. These are 3-D dreams where feelings, emotions, sensations, thoughts, time, and higher realm are present. Lucid dreaming is the key to higher intelligence, and I know this because I have experienced and documented these dreams. Oh! this list does not include a whole lot of other stuff that I have experienced.


  1. Joined a dance party
  2. Rode a carriage led by and carrying only British women. The carriage took us through a horse-racing raceway that was way too convulated.
  3. Drove a bicycle through very narrow roads
  4. Switched places with an actress
  5. Changed my form into that of my friend’s form
  6. Completed an activity together, like board games, with someone I like
  7. Met my favorite actresses
  8. Enjoyed sexual relationships with several male spirit guides
  9. Traveled through time and space
  10. Met the jinns
  11. Rode a flying horse
  12. Dashed through the sky
  13. Got lifted in air by Black Wind or perhaps the jinns
  14. Caught crime in action and reported to the correct authorities while awake
  15. Swam in an ocean or a very large water body
  16. Saw invisible lines that somehow connect two scenes
  17. Splashed through a water ride
  18. Flew in a balloon-plane type of contraption
  19. Saw a very tall man with golden stars on his entire body who wanted to be my date
  20. Saw a golden elephant standing next to my bed
  21. Fell on a bed filled with roses
  22. Saw some of Iraq and some Iraqis being vaporized with bombs (got scared afterwards)
  23. Watched an angel remove something vital from someone’s body
  24. Heard music while I dated a male spirit guide
  25. Saw my best friend and her husband play piano for me while I slept
  26. Fought with a very strong martial artist shadow figure and got injured
  27. Communicated with a Black shadow figure and reached another country where I saw buildings burning
  28. Observed couples dancing
  29. Slept in a couch where like-minds had been sitting
  30. Played games with children
  31. Healed my mind after the accident and from the nightmares
  32. Healed my body’s pain including menstrual cramps
  33. Changed into a dragon
  34. Met a boy-dragon creature who read me stories in his library
  35. Fought a dragon with the help another dragon
  36. Walked with one of my favorite writers
  37. Saw a man eating a cat
  38. Combined literary devices like similies and metaphors
  39. Watched a man do his laundry, but he had a round glass-digital type of thing on his tummy. Later, watched “The Martian” and realized that the man from my dream was wearing a space suit of some sort.
  40. Watched lots of boats sailing on water
  41. Played with a bulldog
  42. Experienced a dream within a dream
  43. Changed into an actress and stood on a cliff while the waves of the sea splashed against it
  44. Traveled in a train that took me across the time
  45. Traveled in a train whose tracks were woven through the mountains
  46. Saw a dancing squid
  47. Fell inside a cartoon movie and acted like one of the characters
  48. Saw words being translated from English into Arabic
  49. Visited a shop and ordered food after hassling all the servers
  50. Visited a shoe shop and allowed the server to help me wear a shoe
  51. Saw an angel sitting on my chest
  52. Saw two black figures, one male and another female standing near me
  53. Got attacked by the female black figure who tried going into my mind and then I fought this thing back
  54. Saw a mini-cyclone
  55. Saw a man sitting on a patio while it was raining
  56. Trained myself to handle trauma
  57. Dug the earth with the help of a younger kid
  58. Saw one of my friends dating his wife after his marriage
  59. Saw one of my uncles sleeping with his wife. Did not really understand it all because I was too young. This is why everything was hidden through blankets although I somehow understood what was going on.
  60. Rode a black horse that dashed out of one of my older houses
  61. Visited two of my relatives’ houses that are overseas
  62. Saw a really tall and black entity that pulled water towards it
  63. Saw a very gigantic entity guarding my bed
  64. Exchanged psychic signals with some of my close friends
  65. Rode a motorcycle
  66. Sat inside an enormous tea cup that spun and spun while my uncle sat right next to me
  67. Met the souls of my dead grandma and uncles
  68. Saw a black figure sing some sort of tune next to my window while I slept
  69. Enjoyed a fast ride on a flying carpet
  70. Saw my heart change into black light of some sort while I slept
  71. Spoke with my subconscious
  72. Rode a ship filled with Sikhs
  73. Saw a very strong and eloquent speaker perform on stage
  74. Saw an innocent male imprisoned and in chains
  75. Saw a civil war erupting in some country
  76. Sank with the rest of the young people who were on a ship
  77. Saw processions of people moving from one region to another as they looked for a new home
  78. Enjoyed the vibrance of a poetry slam and saw poets perform
  79. Saw fire pits up close
  80. Flew to the top of a volcano
  81. Saw a volcano burst
  82. Received two rings that were made from volcano ash from someone or something
  83. Joined several food parties
  84. Swam in the deepest oceans and saw enormous rocks
  85. Saw a red horned figure standing in my mirror
  86. Flew through a window after opening it
  87. Played the Alchemy principle of coniunctio oppositorum
  88. Picked and ate strawberries
  89. Lived in a mansion that was built on mountains
  90. Used Socratic method of analyzing objects to move out of my body
  91. Visited an office building that was situated right next to a train station
  92. Used corridors that went in any given direction
  93. Saw a man show me a hidden chest of some sort
  94. Saw a blue round object─perhaps, it was a jellyfish─that just vibrated, glowed, and jumped
  95. Saw a dust storm or was it a snow storm
  96. Saw myself dressed as a bride and talking to one of my teachers
  97. Saw a man bleeding near a pool while I was dressed in white
  98. Dreamt in colors and realized that colors alter based on stress levels
  99. Saw an angel that looked like a tiger and indicated to me that it was angel
  100. Saw a man sharpen and lubricate arrows
  101. Saw one of my classmates dressed like Hercules and holding a sword while he pointed at a building from the heavens
  102. Walked with a group of students inside a large park near a university or dorm while it was raining
  103. Came out from the bushes, which is an unpredictable and cool thing to do
  104. Walked in snow with a date of mine
  105. Saw a dream character of mine change into one of my favorite animals. I like jinns so the idea of transforming the human bodies into animals is from their end.
  106. Saw a place filled with mountains and stone buildings
  107. Witnessed a basement sink due to an earthquake
  108. Ran through roads while holding the hands of my best friends. Got so hypnotized by the rhythm of feet and the warm bonds offered by my friends as I watched out for vehicles and crossed safely.
  109. Watched several physically strong people, perhaps they were Caucasians, slowly break a wooden structure made out of wood. The structure was very huge and looked like a tower of some sort; I think that it was part of an Art Gallery.
  110. Saw a well-built male beggar lying on the street
  111. Got pulled by a rope inside a house by some women
  112. Saw a Black woman with incredibly long and twisted nails
  113. Saw a scorpion sitting inside flour
  114. Saw a sky that had different colors than what is in this world
  115. Fought bat-like creatures with guns
  116. Saw two men with whom I held a polite conversation inside a massive ship. The voice told me that the two men aren’t fully trustworthy, and thus I decided to leave. I wandered in a different corridor and saw another woman who showed me a murder taking place in a different room.
  117. Saw a very large store where prices were always going down
  118. Saw a school that had so many corridors inside it
  119. Walked in the corridors of a school and puzzled dream characters by chatting to them
  120. Visited one of the round Russian rooms, the type you see in the movie “Anna Karenina”
  121. Met a very popular actress from the movie “Xena” who told me that she was a women abuse advocate
  122. Held a male child whose hair were too wavy and curly
  123. Saw children running towards me as bombs were being thrown at them
  124. Saw one of my favorite writers fall in a sinkhole
  125. Spoke to a telepathic boogeyman when I was just a child
  126. Saw my mom at a party with several Caucasian women
  127. Saw a scam like a cartoon where people are told they will be given something grand when they reach the top building. But, everyone who enters it is stuffed and tied to something. Some dream characters tried making them escape and they succeeded at the cost of getting caught, frightened, and abused.
  128. Spoke with a very nice male entity who gave me and my siblings candies through closed fenced doors of our house.
  129. Rubbed the rings made from volcanic ash to create an orgasm
  130. Was driven to a gold-bricked building by a young boy who took his sports equipment with him
  131. Played hide and seek with two dream characters who looked like the two White kids I used to babysit
  132. Watched one of the characters from “Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” get lost in woods and then attempting to find her way back. She looked younger like she was in the first movie.
  133. Swam in a water body to retrieve some ancient books that were thrown away and were going to get lost
  134. Saw an airport where my uncle or one of my favorite writers were bidding me farewell
  135. Went inside a martial arts centre that held a gigantic electronic book where all the inscriptions would move
  136. Watched a male spirit guide play with an enormous ball that was filled with several artifacts and entities
  137. Saw alive heads with antennas on top play around
  138. Used a broken elevator
  139. Went inside two “Breakfast and Brunch” restaurants and saw people order and eat all sorts of donuts
  140. Wrote a test
  141. Played games with my brother’s younger version inside restaurants as well as when my other siblings were present
  142. Saw dream characters (mostly men) enter a large ship where a man and woman were sleeping. The woman was holding a child in her womb and she woke up with the child fell down. One of the dream characters tried picking up the child but both of the parents had awakened by that time.
  143. Saw several hippies standing inside a large garden
  144. Rode a train who tracks were designed through a garden-like place
  145. Met a young man who was lost inside an enormous garden that had so many different kinds of plants
  146. Watched a family buy movie tickets
  147. Joined a tea party where cake was being served to a family. The grandma was not being offered any cake for some reason. I went to the other room, opened a drawer, and took two types of nachos. I ate both of them and enjoyed their taste; but I did not touch the cake.
  148. Saw a Royal couple dancing during their wedding night inside a large room of a palace. Saw them move towards the window and look outside curiously. My friends got married some months afterwards.
  149. Flew in a chair perhaps. Then, made an appointment with a dentist. I was wearing some sort of silver plate on several of my teeth. The dentist gave me the entire silver plate for only 12 bucks. Then, the dentist said 7+7=12. That’s how I knew it was just a dream.
  150. Saw an African man and his girlfriend saw run away from someone who attacked them. I ran with them and they closed the door second I entered the safety of their room.
  151. Completed a Maths problem involving Cartesian Plane Coordinates with the help of a dream character.
  152. Visited the library to borrow some books.
  153. Saw gas-like entities come out of doors that looked like portals. Saw a woman holding some stuff that’s used in exorcism. Saw people getting confused due to the gas-like entities. Were these the jinns?
  154. Sparred with a martial arts partner and managed to injure his groin. I have heard that this move is psychologically difficult to make so I practiced during my dream.
  155. Saw a spacious house with a family inside it. The man and woman were leaving. I was roaming around in the upper floor. When the garage was opened, a woman could be seen shouting about someone getting shot. People in the house were screaming that the police came to the other house and not their house.
  156. I was inside a store and playing with all the clothes that were hanging there. I could see all the details and their sizes and colors. I picked one of my story books that was written by Barbara Cartland from one of the shelf. Then, I went inside a small room that was on the side. It looked like a pantry, and it held all sorts of boxes.
  157. A young boy decided to stand on the rails that were at the rear of the bus. He starts roller skating as the bus sped up. He holds on tight to the rail because he needs to make sure that he is following everyone who is inside the bus. The driver actually tries to move the bar by using a button of some sort. A girl who is sitting next to the driver starts protesting and thus he stops. The rail stops moving, and the man is able to stick to the rail for safety. The bus then stops but the man keeps roller skating at a very high speed, and finally he collides into a police car. Passengers got off and disappeared somewhere. I went near the bushes and saw a large hole. There were moving things inside them and you could only see some eyes staring at you. There were lots of green Tim Horton’s thermoses there and I thought of touching one. Then, I felt scared and withdrew. I thought I was looking at spirits that were moving inside the hole. Thus, I ran away from that area.
  158. My sister and I had to take a flight. We took the elevator a little late and were worried that maybe we will somehow miss out. When we were halfway away from the plane, I realized that we did not had our tickets with us. I ran back while my sister ran towards the plane. I found the tickets, which were taken by some man by mistake. Then I took an elevator to get back. That’s when I saw my sister stuck just outside the plane. The door in front of her as well as the one at the back were closed and she was sitting inside a tight and unsafe space. I screamed for help and a centaur came running. He was holding a gun, and he claimed that a security alarm had just rung. He pressed a button that was installed near the door and said something to the stewardess. Suddenly, both of the doors opened and my sister walked out unharmed. I became aware of the fact that I was dreaming the second I saw the centaur and my missing tickets.
  159. Visited an art gallery
  160. Saw a room where two spirits that looked like smoke flew. They went over a table and dots appeared on the table. Dots started moving as the spirits looked at them.
  161. Saw a concert. Two people were dancing on stage. One of them was a very famous actor. Shouts, songs, excitement, etc.

Signed: Fractal

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Knights of the Flying Carpet

Originally Published On: 14/04/2016

Note: This is one of my older lucid dreams. I got this one when I did not knew much about signs of women abuse. The voices I heard at the end of this dream were a prophecy of some future events. I have actually received multiple dreams about this woman; thus, I have tried my best to prevent her from being abused. However, in this case, only the first dream would have been sufficient because the process of connecting with her started after this. The other dreams actually took place after I got to know her a bit; but, they most certainly helped me say the right things to find out what was going on. I must declare that I am not a prophet although I sometimes get visions because I am lucid. I feel prophets are way bigger than dreamers.

The woman from this dream is in the hands of responsible authority figures; and, I am still in touch with her. Over years, I had multiple dreams about her, which occurred after this one. These dreams gradually created the images of her real story in my mind. This experience is only one reason why I believe in the power of dreams.

The men on the flying carpet zoomed through the dark night like knights. The carpet flew as if it had a will of its own while the men fought some invisible creatures with their swords. They knew where they were taking me, and I felt comfortable flying with them. I tried to peek below us and was surprised to find folds and folds of deep and penetrating darkness. I could feel myself screaming with surprise, thrill, pleasure, and fear as the carpet flew to its unknown destination. I turned towards the men to communicate my feelings about this flight, but I could not see their faces or bodies anymore although I was acutely aware of their presence. The carpet flew unabated across time, space, and dark matter.

Then, the flying carpet stayed suspended for a bit on top of a partially broken and desolate house. A voice said, “The woman in the house has fled somewhere. You will have to save her.” I pondered really hard at this command, and then I dissolved through the carpet into the house. The house smelled of sword fights, domestic quarrels, and the need to escape. Fear crept up my spine as I experienced the invisible vibes of that house. “Where is she? I don’t want to get hurt here,” I inquired the voice, which seemed to have an independent existence, a form that was somehow visible to me in this realm. “Look for her,” the voice beckoned as I woke up.

A year or so afterwards, I found out that a friend of mine was suffering from domestic abuse. Before I became her friend, I got to know her briefly through an acquaintance of mine. Her children loved playing games including toy swords, and she was always very busy taking care of them. Her need for escape became obvious to me when she started trusting me so that it became easier for her to share information about some domestic disputes that had occurred in the past. That’s when I realized what the voice meant when it stated: “Look for her.” I believe it was asking me to reinforce her sense of identity and confidence.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.