While sitting on a rock in the middle of a stream one day, I had this shamanistic ‘journey’ dream.
“I felt the presence of the ‘father’ before me. Soon this presence turned into an image. I then reached out to hug him but someone tried to prevent me. I made a statement, ” . . . but I want to hug him before he dies”. It seemed as if he was going to be killed or executed. Then I heard what I thought was a noise behind me and I opened my eyes.”
This stunned me . . . the ‘father’ is going to die?! How can the ‘father in life’ die?
I tried to ‘reconnect’ with the dream, to see if I could see more, but couldn’t. I sat bewildered. Eventually, I began to just sit there quietly again, listening to the stream.
After some time, for some reason, I gave a start and, out of my mouth said, “I already know the story behind the death of the ‘father’. When the ‘father’ made creation he had to ‘kill’ himself to do it.” I then went on and said, “contemplation is nothing but the ‘resurrection’ of the ‘father’, of making him live again.”
All this came from nowhere. Even when I gave a start it was not as a result of any thought . . . it just happened . . . and the words came out of my mouth. There was no reflection or thought about it. This shows, I think, how there is a deeper “wordless” understanding within us, for it originated without words or any thought . . . I just ‘knew’. Once it was there I ‘formulated’ it into words.
This ‘myth’ I understood completely. Where it came from I don’t know as I don’t ever recall reading or hearing anything similar to it.
The basic premise of this ‘father creation/death myth’ that appeared to me is that before creation there was only the ‘father’, the ‘all’, where everything was one. And then, one day, he decided to make creation. In doing this, he had to kill himself, that is, sacrifice himself. In order to do this, he had to ‘pull himself apart’, so to speak, in order to create everything . . . the sky, mountains, trees, fish, etc. This killed him. What creation did is create a world where things are separated and removed from each other. Being this way, everything is, in a way, trying to reunite again as if to go back to the ‘fathers’ pre-creation self.
What was also interesting is that I seem to ‘know’ this already. It seemed like a ‘self-evident’ fact.
This shows a ‘personal mythology’ that seems to develop naturally in the inner life. This mythology is a representation of certain themes and facts in life portrayed through story form. It portrays certain facts of life as if it were people and beings as it did in this case. It is “personal” because it came to me and does not necessarily reflect anything from the culture.
I also made an interesting statement, that the purpose of contemplation is to ‘resurrect’ the ‘father’. That is, to put him in his pre-creation state. This, to me, seems to make sense. Contemplation, really, is trying to ‘see’ the ‘father’ in a more holistic state, and not fragmented as is seen in “created” life. In other words, in contemplation we seek to see the ‘father’ in the pre-creation state: pure. It makes me think of ‘The Triads’ by Gregory Palamas in which he says that the Hesychasts seek the ‘uncreated light’.
After I reflected on all this, I became quiet again, listening to the stream, for some time. Closing my eyes I felt myself as if pulled upward and had this dream:
“I seemed to rise above myself. There was someone there with me. I began to fly toward the north where there was a rock face. I saw a cave in the rock face which had this incredibly deep blackness inside it . . . it was ‘blacker than black’. I heard the person I was with say something to this effect, “the answers to everything are in that cave”. I felt I shouldn’t go in there but, for some reason, something compelled me to fly in. As I went in the cave it was incredibly dark and I seemed to hear a voice say, “for all who come in here you must be torn apart” and then the darkness seemed to as if ‘grab’ all parts of me and pull me apart in all directions. It was as if every particle in me was dissipated into the blackness. I could feel, though, that my ‘mind’ was intact in the blackness and I felt that this was not right, that my ‘mind’ should also be torn apart. I then seemed to wake up and open my eyes.”
As I reflected on this dream I felt it was a continuation, really, of the earlier dream. The difference is that it was ‘me’ who was needing to die. In a way, I was seeking to be ‘uncreated’. That is to say, I was going back to the pre-creation state. In the first dream the ‘father’ died to make creation. In the second dream I have to die to go back to the pre-creation state. In other words, its like an ‘undoing’ of creation, a returning to the ‘father’. That makes it, really, like a death and dying.
It said that in this cave was the answers to everything was there. This would suggest that it is saying that the answer to everything is the pre-creation state of the ‘father’. It suggests that there is some ‘power’ or ‘truth’ in this state.
Looking at all this, these dreams reflect that contemplation has these traits:
- The ‘resurrect of the father’.
- To see the father in a pre-creation state.
- To become uncreated or undo creation.
- This state is where all the “answers” are.
This dream, in a way, describes a dilemma in life, a dilemma of “creation versus pre-creation” or “the all versus the parts”. This dilemma, really, is what makes up ‘life’ and what constitutes life. It states that in life we are ‘removed’, pulled apart from life. This is the condition of existence. We are separate entities in a very large whole. But a part of us yearns for the pre-creation state, of the whole, the ‘all’. We are all wanting and seeking it. This is the cause of the ‘yearning’ we all have, which is of something we can never achieve. It cannot be achieved because, in existence, we will always remain part of the whole. It shows that the ‘yearning’ is, by nature, futile and unable to be satisfied while in existence . . . life’s dilemma.
I seem to association this pre-creation state with death. In fact, I seem to think that when we die we actually return to the pre-creation state, of the ‘all’, the ‘whole’, that we all seek. This would mean that, really, what we are all seeking in life is actually death. Only in death is the ‘all’ achieved.
A point to be said is that all this came out, not in the dreaming, but in the reflection that followed. This shows that the ‘fruits’ of ‘journeying’ is not necessarily during ‘journeying’ but afterwords, on reflection of the dream.