This time of year, between Christmas and New Year, always feels like a limbo-land to me, a not-one-thing-or-the-other time when you don’t have to do anything specific, and be busy like the rest of the year. It was while I was idly riffling through some old files that I found an exercise book containing notes from a course I attended in 1995, 18 years ago. (It was an interesting course, called ‘Traditions in Transit’.)
Anyway, in the exercise book I came across a dream of which I had no recollection at all. I usually remember my ”big’ significant dreams, but not this one. I wondered if maybe it was not mine, but why, then, did I write it down? If it had belonged to someone else, I would surely have noted that. Here is the dream, and, if it is yours, not mine, forgive me for printing it here.
A storm is breaking over a city, with lightning flashes and terrible vehement cracks of thunder. I am watching this with some awe when the scene switches: I am aware of a being, a presence with no physical attributes, and, at the same time there comes an image of a cave with boulders at its mouth and the being says “if you were able to take these away, the earth would spin twice as fast and you could find the Holy City”.
I move some of the smaller boulders and peer over them. I see into a cave, wet, luminescent red and yellow on the walls. This is a scary place. There’s something here I don’t like – I want to put the boulders back but I shan’t.
The trickle of water turns into a torrent. I feel both excited and afraid. I wonder what it is I’ve done – have I done right? Should I have moved all of the boulders, or none at all? The voice of the being: “drink the water!”. I drink. The voice: “greater strength is required.” I think: maybe I need a dragon.
Next I’m in a high place, trapped on a ledge – it’s a place where great forces meet and clash. I can see dragons flying but they do not see me and I don’t know how to call them. Then I feel the hot breath of one red, fiery dragon passing close by and I leap onto his back. He is my dragon and we know each other well. I hang onto his big, red pulsing neck and he speaks to me.
“I am the dragon. There’s a part of me I didn’t know. It’s ineffectual. I fly and I fly with this ‘thing’ on my back.”
“Dragon, dragon, do you remember the beginning of the world?”
“I remember a place of old time. There was a city of great men. It’s whereabouts have been forgotten. But it exists within the dragon world.”
“Do you want to go there, dragon? Do you know the way?”
“The way is by your desire.”
“Then we will fly there on the wings of my desire. I will go there now.”
That was the dream. Looking back, I can say that quite a lot of it has come to pass, if we take the boulders as a kind of kundabuffer (see Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub), the water a symbol for kundalini or chi, and the dragon as ….well as a source of power and transportation through the worlds. And today, as water pours off the hill at Brechfa, I remember last year when the water was spilling over the road and into my gate (as in photo above), and I was terrified of being flooded. I would stand at the window watching the rain and cry, wishing desperately for it to stop.
We are all scared of being flooded, and it is true that if you practice meditation or other related activities the boulders willl begin to shift and the ‘waters’ to surge and flow. Maybe you have jumps of perception, or moments when you see nothingness, or the world disappears. Maybe you have a sense of the great men and women of the Holy City (something much bigger than just a Judaeo-Christian thing, by the way). Maybe you have a glimpse of what is behind the mask of reality, behind the sound of the running water or the swooping birds or the sales shoppers returning fagged-out on the tube. And maybe it is very scary indeed, to have all you know swept away in an instant. It doesn’t happen normally because we don’t truly see, we just flash up photographs of what we have seen before. We just repeat our old patterns, so that no insight, no illumination or revelation can break through.
Which is why this year, for my one New Year’s resolution, I have decided to follow the advice of a wise Welshman who once said to me: “you’re not living, you’re repeating!” I’ve been pondering what he meant for years and now I think I know, so from tomorrow: I will live and not repeat!