“Dreams are a Bridge
between the pristine Truth
of the Inner Realm
that brings Light
to the illusory
Modern man has lost the ability of being in touch with his dreams, and therefore the chaos of his life. This may sound a simple statement, however is a true one, civilized men had lost the ability to be aware of his dreams, in many cases he consider them as mumbo jumbo, or totally nonsense!
Just because he lacks the ability of interpreting Symbols, Images, and Visions, he is lost in the assurance of his own superior knowledge of a civilized, modern, and practical man, with no need of obscure, hocus pocus, so named occult pseudo-knowledge, anyway discredited by Science as fraudulent. The importance of the Symbolic Image, it is little understood in our contemporary World, despite many years since Sigmund Freud, and above all Carl Jung pointed the way to it’s importance. The Symbolic Image is the key to the Realization of a Spiritual Life.
In truth a man not only needs sensibility, and a fine tuned awareness of Life, and his surroundings, to be able to connect the dots to a Spiritual Realization, but a deep knowledge of Sciences discarded to the dustbin of History, by contemporary men, more busy in material, practical pursuits, like discovering if there is life, or water on remote Mars, than to solve the subjective, but more pressing riddle of what life it is all about!
Contemporary man it is passively content to live poorly, in the thin crust of the surface of the Earth, his skin, leaving unexplored the deep, but rich core of his Being.
Years ago, when I was taken in the process of discovering my inner Self, I dreamed that I dived in an underground water cave below the house of my Grandparents in a remote town where they belonged, the water was clear, however the darkness of the cave was illuminated, by the splendorous light of the treasure luster that a big sphere made out of gold emitted, sphere that I drew from the bottom of the river to the surface!
Dreams are a bridge between the pristine Inner Realm of Spirit and it brings Light to the Illusory every day reality of our transient outer dimension, and they should serve us as guide, to transform our outer consciousness in to a vision of Inner Spirituality, a blue print for Alchemical Transformation.
As to why is this? It is because Man it is not a mere biological machine, but a Spiritual Being, and as such he is the reflection of the only Reality. The Spanish Muslim Mystic Ibn Arabi (1165-1240) in the first chapter of his famous Fusus al-Hikam (Bezels, or Seals of Wisdom) explain it this way:
“When Allah – glory be to Him! – willed that the source of His most Beautiful Names – which are beyond enumeration – be seen (or you can equally say that He willed His source to be seen), He willed that they be seen in a microcosmic being which contained the entire matter, endowed with existence, and through which His secret was manifested to Him. For how a thing sees itself through itself is not the same as how it sees itself in something else which acts as a mirror for it. So He manifests Himself to Himself in a form which is provided by the place in which He is seen. He would not appear thus without the existence of this place and His manifestation (tajalli) to Himself in it.
Allah brought the entire universe into existence through the existence of a form fashioned without a spirit (rûh), like an unpolished mirror. Part of the divine decree is that He does not fashion a locus without it receiving a divine spirit, which is described as being “blown” into it. This is nothing other than the result of the predisposition of that fashioned form to receive the overflowing perpetual tajalli which has never ceased and which will never cease.
Then we must speak of the container (qâbil). The container comes from nothing other than His most sacredly pure Overflowing. So the whole affair has its beginning from Him, and its end is to Him, and “the whole affair will be returned to Him” (11:123) as it began from Him. Thus the command decreed the polishing of the mirror of the universe. Adam was the very polishing of that mirror and the spirit of that form.”
Men, being that mirrored vision of the Real, has as his core the Spirit (Ruh) of the Divine and therefore is inner self reflects that pure Light when the ego (outer form) is sleep, as a pure stream of refreshing water, but due to the Nature of the Image, it needs to be understood by a different language, of Symbolic understanding, that is Archetypal in every Human, but particular to specific Mythological values, in accordance with the individual in question, since Mankind is divided in a multitude of Nations, Tribes, Creeds, etc. Sufi Masters say that God reveals to his servant in accordance with the readiness and capacity of his Heart, He takes on the form of his servant Heart, as water takes in the shape, and color of the glass containing it.
Everything that lies within the law of reflection, can also be applied analogue to the Spiritual process. However it is important to consider that the reflected image it is inverted with respect of the object it reflects, right is left, and left is right, Eternity but a glimpse, the Real as a fantastic ephemeral dream, the mirror of the Heart it is analogous with the Moon that according to it’s position reflects the light of the Sun, therefore the Soul represents the Moon (nafs) which is illuminated by Spirit (Ruh) but being bound by to a temporal vehicle it’s receptivity suffers change(Talwin)
Chinese Ch’an Buddhism express this mirror analogy:
“Just as it is in the nature of a mirror to shine, so all beings at their origin possess spiritual illumination. When, however, passions obscure the mirror, it becomes covered over, as with dust. When false thoughts, under the direction of the master [the inner god], are overcome and destroyed, they cease to proclaim themselves. Then is the intellect illumined, in accordance with its nature, and nothing remains unknown. It is like the polishing of a mirror .”
Christian mystic Meister Eckhart spoke in the same terms: “The soul contemplates itself in the mirror of Divinity. God himself is the mirror, which he conceals from whom he will, and uncovers to whom he will . . . The more the soul is able to transcend all words, the more it approaches the mirror. In this mirror union occurs as pure undivided likeness.”
This symbolic images during the dream, like in a mirror , reflect the image in a coded, or distorted fashion, particular to the individual according to his state, background, and needs, at the moment of the dream, it also depends on the subject to act, or not on the dream in question.
The Science of interpreting dreams is known as Oneiromancy, and it is as old as Men himself, scientist now days believe warm blood animas dream also, of course they can’t totally prove it, but animals experience REM sleep. The Oinerocritica was written by Artemidorus in the second century A.D. The Bible it is also full of dream interpretation, like Joseph:
“We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”
Ancient Egyptians, possessed the Ramesside Dream book, some fragments are left. The Arabs have the Sacred Qur’an and a whole science of interpretation derives from it, like Ibn Sirin Great Book of Interpretation of Dreams, in the Muslim world dream interpretation it is mainly done by Theologians, and Saints.
Sigmund Freud comes to mind when talking about dreams, however his theory of dreams, that the motivation of all dream content is wish-fulfillment, and that the instigation of a dream is often to be found in the events of the day preceding the dream, which he called the “day residue.” In the case of very young children, Freud claimed, this can be easily seen, as small children dream quite straightforwardly of the fulfillment of wishes that were aroused in them the previous day (the “dream day”). In adults, however, the situation is more complicated—since in Freud’s submission, the dreams of adults have been subjected to distortion, with the dream’s so-called “manifest content” being a heavily disguised derivative of the “latent” dream-thoughts present in the unconscious. As a result of this distortion and disguise, the dream’s real significance is concealed: dreamers are no more capable of recognizing the actual meaning of their dreams than hysterics are able to understand the connection and significance of their neurotic symptoms.
In my view this is not satisfactory.
Carl Jung believed that archetypes such as the animus, the anima, the shadow and others manifested themselves in dreams, as dream symbols or figures. Such figures could take the form of an old man, a young maiden or a giant spider as the case may be. Each represents an unconscious attitude that is largely hidden to the conscious mind. Although an integral part of the dreamer’s psyche, these manifestations were largely autonomous and were perceived by the dreamer to be external personages. Acquaintance with the archetypes as manifested by these symbols serve to increase one’s awareness of unconscious attitudes, integrating seemingly disparate parts of the psyche and contributing to the process of holistic self understanding he considered paramount.
Jung stressed that the dream was not merely a devious puzzle invented by the unconscious to be deciphered, so that the true causal factors behind it may be elicited. Dreams were not to serve as lie detectors, with which to reveal the insincerity behind conscious thought processes. Dreams, like the unconscious, had their own language. As representations of the unconscious, dream images have their own primacy and logic.
Jung believed that dreams may contain ineluctable truths, philosophical pronouncements, illusions, wild fantasies, memories, plans, irrational experiences and even telepathic visions.Just as the psyche has a diurnal side which we experience as conscious life, it has an unconscious nocturnal side which we apprehend as dreamlike fantasy. Jung would argue that just as we do not doubt the importance of our conscious experience, then we ought not to second guess the value of our unconscious lives.
My problem with Jung is what he calls the unconscious a sort of chaotic substratum of the Human Soul, rather than a Supra-Consciousness that may seem chaotic to those whose Heart impurities like a clouded mirror, does not allows them to reflect that pure Light of the Divine, even if badly filtered most of us at particular times are able to catch a glimpse of this Supreme Reality.
However dream interpretation it is not the domain of pre-modern civilization, or Psychoanalysis, in Modern, and Postmodern times, Aboriginal cultures over the world have hold Dream, and Vision, as Sacred, a connection to Spirit, like the Australian Aboriginal who consider Dreamtime the repository of their Cosmogony, and Cosmology with a practical application to daily life.
“Imagine that there existed a drink that when consumed made you hallucinate and see vivid dreamscapes and colorful jungle images that seemed more real than what we normally call reality. Now imagine that this brew not only made you hallucinate, but it made you hallucinate the same thing as another person who was also drinking this potion. This purported phenomenon
raises the question: If two people hallucinate the same image, does that then mean the image is
real? And, if the image is not real, i.e. it does not exists in the physical realm, could it perhaps
exist in a different realm, in the realm of the collective unconscious, or the spiritual realm? “
That question is made by someone who use entheogens or psychoactive substances produce in those who ingested visions, and dreams, that put individuals in touch with their inner Self. I would not go further with this in lieu it will be a subject that would take great time and space but suffice to say it exist.
In my opinion there is little knowledge about Spiritual Knowledge and dream Interpretation due to the lack of Spiritual insight in those that purport studying dreams, many years ago I dreamed of being taken in airplane flying very low, over the surface of the Sea, the pilots couldn’t control the plane, they told me a force had taken control of the jet, and deposit us gently in to an Island, a Giant Rock on the Ocean, where a Wise Old Man waited my arrival, the dream was very luminous, and the Old Man saluting me, and pulling me by the arm took me inside his house, out of the intense heat of the desert, this man offered me a book open on top of a table to read, in it a sort of Hypnagogic geometrical patterns similar to the pictograms made by people who do not posses a writing language now defined as phosphens in dream studies. As I looked to the strange patterns in the book, the Wise Man told me:
“This is a book that only Aboriginal people, and Wise Men can understand” And warned me that the use of so many chemicals by Men were destroying life on Earth.
It took me sometime to decipher the meaning of this part of the dream, of course the dream had other elements, that are not pertinent to this post, but what I gather now is that contemporary men, with few exceptions (the wise of the dream) lack the Key to understand the connection between Spirit and dreaming, and therefore lacking a blueprint as guidance on the Spiritual Path, and this of course reflects on the dismally state of affairs in our present World, when Spiritual Knowledge it is on the hands of those almost extinct, marginalized small communities, by force outside of the sphere of influence of civilization, or those few with a genuine Spiritual vocation who are engaged in a quest for the Grail of their inner Hearts.
In order for Men too understand this language, it will be necessary to study the now almost abandoned Sciences of the past, like Astrology, Symbolism, Alchemy, Ontology, Mythology, Theology, etc. And of course a Practice of a Spiritual Nature in order to cleanse himself of the “World” and would be able to bath in clear rivers of flowing waters.
“Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah . And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” Qu’ran 2: 74
“It is He Who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: One palatable and sweet, and the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition that is forbidden to be passed.” Qu’ran 25: 53
“He released the two seas, meeting [side by side]; Between them is a barrier [so] neither of them transgresses. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? From both of them emerge pearl and coral. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? Qu’ran 55 :19-23
“And [mention] when Moses said to his servant, “I will not cease [traveling] until I reach the junction of the two seas or continue for a long period.But when they reached the junction between them, they forgot their fish, and it took its course into the sea, slipping away.So when they had passed beyond it, [Moses] said to his boy, “Bring us our morning meal. We have certainly suffered in this, our journey, [much] fatigue.”He said, “Did you see when we retired to the rock? Indeed, I forgot [there] the fish. And none made me forget it except Satan – that I should mention it. And it took its course into the sea amazingly”.[Moses] said, “That is what we were seeking.” So they returned, following their footprints.And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a [certain] knowledge. Qur’an 18: 60-65
“The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have rivers of living water flowing from his heart.” John: 7: 38
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!” Ezekiel 36: 26-32
The Myth of Enki
The cosmogony myth common in Sumeria was that of the hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine principles in the form of dualistic opposites came together as male and female to give birth to the cosmos. In the epic Enki and Ninhursag, Enki, as lord of Ab or fresh water (also the Sumerian word for semen), is living with his wife in the paradise of Dilmun where
- “The land of Dilmun is a pure place, the land of Dilmun is a clean place,
- The land of Dilmun is a clean place, the land of Dilmun is a bright place;
- He who is alone laid himself down in Dilmun,
- The place, after Enki is clean, that place is bright”
Despite being a place where “the raven uttered no cries” and “the lion killed not, the wolf snatched not the lamb, unknown was the kid-killing dog, unknown was the grain devouring boar”. Nevertheless Dilmun had no water and Enki heard the cries of its Goddess, Ninsikil, and orders the sun-God Utu to bring fresh water from the Earth for Dilmun. As a result
- “Her City Drinks the Water of Abundance,
- Dilmun Drinks the Water of Abundance,
- Her wells of bitter water, behold they are become wells of good water,
- Her fields and farms produced crops and grain,
- Her city, behold it has become the house of the banks and quays of the land.“
Enki was considered a god of life and replenishment, and was often depicted with two streams of water emanating from his shoulders, one the Tigris, the other the Euphrates. Alongside him were trees symbolizing the female and male aspects of nature, each holding the female and male aspects of the ‘Life Essence’, which he, as apparent alchemist of the gods, would masterfully mix to create several beings that would live upon the face of the earth.
Enki is also the God that protects Ecology:
“As the god of what we would call ecology, Enki explains that Enlil is unfair to punish the guiltless Atrahasis for the sins of his fellows, and secures a promise that the gods will not eliminate humankind if they practice birth control and live within the means of the natural world. The threat is made, however, that if humans do not honor their side of the covenant the gods will be free to wreak havoc once again. This is apparently the oldest surviving Middle Eastern Deluge myths.”
Enki also represents the Alchemist, and the Magi (Magician) who transmute the elements of Nature, and of course this also means Spiritual Transmutation:
“Getting back to Ancient Mesopotamia, it is in this sacred world that is starting to make sense of itself, that we should turn particularly to the charming figures of Enki and Ninhursag. To attempt to understand their mystery is no easy task for us today, because we must forget moral and rational hang-ups and penetrate in a worldview where life is a cosmic phenomenon that is realized in the flesh of all that breathes and lives, where sex is sacred, and where fundamentally the descent of generations of human beings has its equivalents in the sphere of divine beings and the forces of nature. Nature which is and reflects the gods, and nature whose workings are done by us, human beings, and carried out in the name of the gods. What I am trying to establish is the necessary background to explore a world where creation does not proceed out of nothing, but of some prima materia (the Earth, or Ninhursag-Ki) who was seeded and become through lovemaking a process of division and subdivision, in a dynamics that never ends (Leick, 1994). Later, the Earth received the love and workings of Her shaman, beloved and worshipper, who in Mesopotamia is called Enki or Ea, of Babylonian and later Assyrian glory. In historical terms, he will be known as the priest-king, the moral authority of the community, the one who rules by wisdom and faith, the spiritual foundation that gives sustenance to material power. This is why kingship came from the heavens to Eridu and later was grounded in Enlil´s main city, Nippur.
Let´s examine Enki and Ninhursag-ki more closely, because perhaps alchemy can be better understood by examining the rich, passionate and feisty relationship between these two deities described in so many myths, which shows very clearly the link between the Living Earth and Her Beloved Artisan. Enki is the god of the Sweet Waters from the Abzu, or the sacred moisture that comes from within the earth, and that is the source of life to plants and all sorts of vegetation, ponds, lakes and rivers. He is also the god of Wisdom, the Magician and Master of all Crafts.”
Enki who means “Lord of the watery deeps” how accurate correspond to the Archetype, despite millennia separating us! Notice in the images above the Astrological relationship of the signs, the Eagle (Scorpio) The Water Bearer, (Aquarius), the Fishes (Pisces) the Lion (Leo) the Goat (Capricorn). Here I put an end to this post, I could go on, and on describing different, but analogous Archetypes, but there is no point, few words to the Wise. Look for the Rivers of living water flowing from within your Heart!