In Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the ‘missing’ diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. There are some estimates that Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. He mentioned is dreams often, but they were rarely as coherent as those I give him.
03 May 1918
Dreamed I had found out the reason for dreams.
I was not to reveal the secret, so I was being pursued. I imagined they were the dream police, and I wondered which was the worst punishment they could give. From their point of view, would it be worse to make me wake up, or worse to keep me asleep. At times, even I would not like to choose.
As I attempted to elude them, I wondered how I threatened anything by revealing the secret of dreams. It was indeed very simple, for the truth I discovered was that we are all having the same dream. When we went to sleep, we all entered the same place. The same land. The confusion arose because we were only in a small part of this dream world at any given time. And it was so vast, that we could never see it all, even if we slept straight through fifty lifetimes.
When I was having my dream in my little section, no one else could use it. The people in my dreams – if they were sleeping – were dreaming of somewhere else. In my own dream, they were awake, and so didn’t remember any of the things they were doing as a dream. When I awoke, someone else could use the place I had just left. It was all concise and simple, and gave me a great feeling of comfort. And – so I thought – would please any one who found out. So I was anxious to wake up and tell everyone, particularly – for some reason – my uncle in Madrid.
I had underestimated how cunning the dream police could really be. I had expected that all the obstacles, all the signs which said `stop’, all the attempts to grab at my coattails, would occur within the dream itself. But, after awhile, I realized their pursuit was not an attempt to apprehend me. It was the very contrary. They had no intention of laying hands upon me. Instead, they were chasing me away. I was being forced to flee, and it was only as I was at the entrance of wakefulness that I realized what was happening. My eyes were about to open when I managed to ask `why’. And the voice – if voice it was, nestled somewhere firmly inside my ear – replied too late for me to hear.