I had a dream of Valhalla. Valhalla is where Heroes go when they die; equivalent, as a state of mind, to the Christian concept of Heaven. In Norse myth, Heroes who perish in battle are revived by Valkyries, who take their Spirits to Valhalla, where they are resurrected among Heroes as equals. In Valhalla they are all einherjer. Odin, the masculine aspect of the same concept of the Christian God, takes half to this place of Valhalla, which is better known; less known is that Freya, the feminine aspect of God, takes half to Fólkvangr. All Heroes, without identities as einherjer equals, are those who undertake the battle for their soul in this material life through living their truth, taking the Hero’s Journey. No Heroes are greater than any other, in Valhalla, though Odin, God, rules over all.
Thinking symbolically, Valhalla is surely a metaphorical place we reach by actualizing creativity, releasing desires of the flesh and material world, and pursuing that which is personally meaningful, to us. By following our own path through life, we can each reach Valhalla; both a state of mind and a place we humans go to rest until passing back into the great beyond of consciousness.
Yet, I dreamt that Valhalla was a real place, not just a metaphor. In this dream, someone with enough money to buy lots of land created a real Valhalla; a place where Heroes–representing us as artists, creators, farmers, hunters, archaic humans–live free the bounds of the material world, free from the rat race of modern existence. In Valhalla, these Heroes were crafters, leatherworkers, smiths, brewers, bakers, huntsman and trappers, weavers, bowyers, fishers, farmers, women and men. This Valhalla was a self-sufficient community, a kind of commune. I knew, in my dream, that a community, communities, for Heroes like Valhalla, would be places desperately needed.
Valhalla: Where Heroes Rest
Valhalla seemed a kind of retirement home for Heroes. Yet it was not merely old Heroes in my dream of Valhalla, but also the young, the strong and infirm, the meek and meager and industrious. In my manifested dream, Valhalla was a place guided by an ethos of self-improvement, a detachment from ego, an egalitarian tribe of people, an artist’s haven, of homeless finding a home among outcasts of this bizarre modern life. Perhaps this place is where those who seem mentally ill, the people who strive to live their truths in a world desperately trying to suppress such individuals, find true homes.
In my dream, Valhalla had one giant hall, where Heroes met and spent most of their time together, crafting, socializing, sharing merry times and telling stories of daily triumphs against the world’s many distractions and monsters. At the end of each night, Heroes retired to their kingdoms, living in close harmony and unity as a small tribe, passing through life together. I don’t know where this real life Valhalla was, or if it will ever exist, but the dream seemed a happy one, a far cry from the nightmarish projections I normally put onto the world.
Perhaps the future world, free from material cares, might look like a series of Valhallas, differently named, where Heroes take on new names, becoming legends in their own time. Not all would be called Valhalla; some would be Hobbiton, a Guildhall of Adventurers and noble Heroes, Undermountain, King Arthur’s Court; a series of communities where humans live in peaceful harmony. Perhaps they might be a new North American Cahokia or Mesa Verde.
No longer obsessed with material possession, with desires of passing on wealth as a form of egocentrism, and neither with authoritarian structures. I dream these places will one day exist, where humans can live out peacefully free of relative concern or care. If Valhalla is true, if the prophecy does come to fruition, it will coincide with Ragnarok, the end of the world.
Communities of the Future
In some sense I envision a future in which those isolated, in cities or rural areas but seeking a tribe, will be able to find such tribes throughout the United States again. In some tribes people could build hobbit-style homes in the hills, living out a bucolic lifestyle smoking pipe weed and eating sweet cakes. In taking a spiritual path, the Hero’s Journey, someone starts to lose their desire for material possession, and such communities offer an alternative for the future in which people engage in their own artistic projects in a shared setting. Although idealistic, I believe these communities can function if they are removed from a monetary system and are based on people’s individual creative and life pursuits.
Where I live, in the Western United States, the remaining land is being churned up into individual giant, isolated homes. Increasingly, homeless fill the streets, as well. Communities of any kind, off the grid, might offer a ecologically sound alternative to the devastation being wreaked by humans. With all of their needs taken care of, production of food, and meaningful pursuits through art, writing, crafts, passions, or undertaking personal Grail Quests or adventuring as part of some new Fellowship of the Ring, anyone can find a way to heal the many mental maladies caused by people’s disconnection from their Spirits.
Free from Technology
My dream is that the future has some remaining places free of technology. These would be places where people who choose could live entirely free of technology. As well, anyone who wanted to visit and take part in the life of the 21st century hobbits or whatever community theme envisioned, could also be free from technology for a time. In some sense, these communes would be like places of Zion from the Matrix. In the Matrix, Zion is city deep within the Earth, where the last free humans remain, not yet fully enslaved by the Matrix. In some sense, with our world turning increasingly into the technology Matrix, perhaps Zion, Zions, will be the last places to preserve some older sense of what humanity was before technology took over.