I was sitting at an old oak table reading a book.
I don't know why, but the fact that the oak table was very old and had lots of marks and scars seemed very important at the time.
The book I was reading was huge - one of those big, old fashioned books with the heavy tooled-leather cover and metal clasps to hold it shut - so big that I couldn't hold it comfortably but had to place it flat on the table in order to read it.
The edges of each of the pages was guilded with some sort of gold dust that left a powdery residue on my fingers as I turned the pages, and they were some very unusual pages.
Each page of the book had a drawing taking up the top third of the page and text that filled up the bottom two thirds.
But neither the drawings nor the words were static. On each page the picture was continuously being drawn, figures moving and changing, scrolling left to right as if it was unfolding while I watched - not like animation or a movie of some sort, but as if someone or something were drawing the pictures right in front of my eyes.
This ad goes away when you register.
As to the text, it was as if I was reading it from a computer screen, as I would come to the bottom of each page, the text would scroll up, giving me more to read until the story for that page was complete.
Each page was a seperate story and the "theme" of each story was a skill that had been learned told in the "lifetime" of that person.
Some of the skills I remember seeing/reading about were: various types of weapons training (about four different pages), strategy skills, exploration, Druidism, storytelling, religion (specifically Catholocism), reformation (???), philosophy, mathematics, physics, wood crafting, martial arts (about six different pages worth), herbology, medicine, meditation, tantra, music (about a dozen different pages, each with a different instrument), dance (about six different pages with different styles), painting, writing, patience (eh?), travel...I could go on and on.
There were dozens - maybe hundreds more, but those were the ones that stuck out in my mind.
The point being, I was sitting there at that old gnarled table in a room that seemed very much full of shelves containing similar books, and I had finished reading and turned to the last page which had drawings full of chaotic looking scenes - things that kept changing; morphing from one thing to another, shifting and spreading and becoming something else, and in each shift of scene I could catch glimpses of things I had read/seen in the previous pages. Just glimpses, but enough to let me know that this last chapter was a sort of culmination of everything that had gone before. And the text was unreadable. There was text, and it was printed out clearly, but none of the words made any sort of sense.
And when I finally looked up from the book, there were forms all around me, at least six or eight forms, maybe as many as a dozen. All of them indistinct - just person-shapes through which I could see the spines of the books on the shelves, but they all seemed intent on the last page that was still open in front of me, as if they couldn't tear their eyes away from it.
And then I woke up.