“Toward the High Tower” (short story) by Michel Jeury
English Publication History: Travelling Towards Epsilon (New English Library, 1977)
Original: French (Vers la haute tour), 1974
Translated by Beth Blish, 1976
Synopsis: Teri experiences a seperation from reality as he awakens on the shores of the mysterious Oraduk Ocean with a beautiful, cherubic woman professing her love above above him. Her reverence for Hi-Wang and the precepts for following immortality govern her actions and her care for Teri. As the High Tower calls to the cherubic Lorleim, she awaits the judgment of acceptance into immortality from the Tower’s daimons. Teri soon learns that he, too, may be accepted in to this mystery. 11 pages
Analysis: The mind is such a creature of habit that even while in dream-state, people will act as they usually would in real life. Rarely do dreams live up to their fantastic potential, and rarely do people live up to their potential in dreams—living their dreams in their dreams. Common everyday routine holds our minds back from exploring their ethereal potential in dream-state.
Back in humdrum reality, sometimes find ourselves in extraordinary circumstances—let’s call it a favorable circumstance where we’re swept up in a series of remarkable events—yet we tend to follow an all-too-common path of the passive observer, the watcher rather than the participator. Even in wonderfully unique experiences, the shackles of personal and social routine still bind our actions to the habit of our everyday routine.
Now, imagine a grand spectacle in the surrealism of a dream yet completely mindful of your every action without the impediment of routine or norms. Rather than be skeptical of your new environment or cast doubt upon your fortune, you embrace your new reality like a pragmatic child but through the experienced eyes of the adult you are. What impossibilities could you conceive? In which unthought-of pleasures could you indulge yourself? And.., would you want to return to your true reality?