Advertisement

Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Angry ghosts of Vietnam

Food offering for hungry ghosts

At night, Sam shakes so violently in the bed that his girlfriend is thrown out. He screams in a language not his own, “Give it back, give it back, give it back, motherfucker, or I’ll eat your mother’s soul.” He isn’t willing to believe what he becomes in his sleep until his girlfriend tapes one of these screaming nights. He listens to another man’s voice coming from his vocal chords. He knows the stranger’s language only slightly, but he has a notion what this is about.

Advertisement

Back in 1968, he was a combat G.I. in Vietnam. After a firefight in which he lost an arm, he was flown out of Khe San. As he was carried onto the plane, one of his buddies pressed a souvenir into his remaining hand. It was the blood-spattered ID card of a Vietcong fighter, retrieved after he was gunned down at the perimeter of an American base; the name has been scratched off.-

For decades after the war, Sam holds onto this grim memento. through the nightmare years when he is thrown back, night after night, into the hot savagery of the war and is tormented by the searing pain of a phantom limb that – strangely – is not his missing arm but what feels like an extra leg. He takes the Vietcong ID card with him when he returns to Vietnam as a tourist in the mid-1990s, falls in love with a Vietnamese girl and decides to settle in Hanoi with her and work as an electrician. In Hanoi, his nightmares are no longer inside him; they are spilling over into the waking life of his bedmate.-

Advertisement

Her culture has prepared her to recognize this kind of problem. Her Texas boyfriend is bi benh ta, “made ill by a ghost.” There is a name for this type of ghost in Vietnam. It is called con ma or “angry ghost”. There are a lot of them. Five million Vietnamese died in the several phases of war in Indochina, and a further 300,000 are missing. Many of the war dead were never buried, let alone accorded the traditional funeral rites and food and honor at family altars. There are bodies that were literally obliterated by B-52 carpet bombing. The result is many restless, raging souls that envy the living and take out their frustrations in ways that cause illness, depression, crazy behavior and temporary possession.-

Next: the remedy for ghost sickness

 

 

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Connie Myslik-McFadden

    Hello Robert – I have just begun reading a novel, “Matterhorn”, about the Vietnam war, which has had extraordinary reviews and, in the few pages I’ve read so far, lives up to its reputation.
    I think you would resonate with it …
    Blessings –
    Connie

Previous Posts

In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways
The British visionary artist Chesca Potter says that when she moved to London, she had a vision of an immense goddess figure, dressed in green and gold, over the church of  St Pancras. This is the oldest church,  in the city, founded ...

posted 8:15:05am Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

The only dream expert is YOU
You are the final authority on your dreams, and you should never give the power of your dreams away by handing them over to other people to interpret. Yes, our dreams can be confusing and opaque, and we gain greatly from other people's insights, ...

posted 11:00:05am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Dreaming is practice for immortality
There is a people of the South Pacific who say that there are as many afterlife situations as there are human imaginations. They may be right. What we encounter on the Other Side is conditioned by our desires, our courage and our imagination (or ...

posted 5:05:33pm Jun. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side
Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ...

posted 1:22:38pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A short history of soul flight
In many human cultures the most profound insights into the nature of the divine and the fate of the soul after physical death ...

posted 12:09:30pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.