John: The thing we have to look at in life is a need to realize that we’re playing with a level of magic. And to reach that magic we need to learn how to let go of things without causing too great an indulgence.
An indulgence can come in many ways. It can be nothing more than a tone, or a mannerism, that we take on, as if we’re entitled to take it on. Or it can involve the rising up, in our nature, of anything other than the qualities of attentiveness and compassion. And an indulgence can involve our automated reactions to our life experiences.
My dream is set in medieval times – there are castles and everything. I find myself, and the group I’m with, being overrun by invading forces who have swept through the land and taken over.
Instead of running or retreating, however, our teacher keeps us pressing on into the territory that’s just been taken from us. It’s like we’re ignoring what’s happened and we’re heading right into the enemy’s reinforcements.
The enemy has decimated our position and left us powerless. We don’t even have weapons to defend ourselves. Still, rather than give up, or retreat, or regroup, the teacher has us proceeding along, as if he knows something the invaders don’t.
I can sense that the enemy closely monitors every move we make. They see us out in the open, instead of being wise and pulling back. The teacher seems fully aware of what he’s doing – he even says that we’re getting very close to where we may be subject to an ambush.
I complain about not having any weapons to defend an attack, which seems imminent. The teacher agrees. Our movements are like a display of deep inner faith, because nothing about our circumstances indicates that these are the actions we should take.
Then the dream shifts, and I notice that there’s a veil that separates us from the invading forces. A moment earlier it felt like we were surrounded and our every move was observed. Now it feels like we’re not as helpless as I thought. With this shift, I can see a barrier separating us from the enemy.
I also had an earlier image where I saw a dog lunge forward to take food right out of my hand.
The meaning of these dreams is that there’s a place deep inside in which trust defies the limitations of the outer. They show that, first and foremost, I must trust and abide in my inner connections. If I get too enamored at what I have externally, or I think that I’m holding a particular space (symbolized by territory or food) that’s important, something can come at any moment and take it away from me.
In other words, if my attachments are too heavily based in the physical realms rather than the spiritual realms, then the “invaders” can swoop in and take it. Even the dog, which is a symbol of friendship, will snatch what I hold onto right out of my hand.
However, if I can follow my inner guidance and ignore outer appearances, I can thread myself through any obstacle. It’s when I react to what outer appearances imply or suggest, and let them guide my actions – like retreating in fear – I throw away my inner connection and my trust. Then I can only live in constant fear of losing myself or, I live in a fear in which I do lose myself.
The forces in outer life will always be bigger than I am, because what is hidden actually yields to them, or stays dormant in the presence of them. It is only by me trusting in what is hidden, trusting that I’m in good hands, can I help bring what is hidden out into the open – into life.
Next I have an image that adds information to these dreams. I mean, I could say that something’s missing from the first image because the kind of trust that’s being asked for, few people in their right mind would be able to muster, unless they had “heard” some guidance.
It’s like the story in the Quran where Moses meets the “Servant of God,” later identified as Khidr. Moses asks to accompany him in order to learn, and is told that he has to abide by whatever Khidr does and not question him. Moses agrees, yet each time Khidr takes an action, Moses, shocked by what he sees, always questions what has been done.
It’s not until Moses has broken his promise for the last time and the two must part that Khidr reveals the true compassion behind his actions, a compassion that was hidden from Moses because of his limited viewpoint.
So, in this dream I’m shown a force that has four levels to it. I’m told that the last person to approach this force inadvertently awoke a lion ferocity that had been asleep therein.
As fearful as I feel, I can’t help but notice that the roaring ferocity of the lion is only active on the first level, but that there are three other levels that are still dormant. My sense is that these three levels can only come into being (be awakened) when one has stilled the first level.
In other words, what’s required to pass the first level is to not react to the ferocity of the lion. The law of the lion who is rudely awakened is that he controls the appearance of the present.
In other words, as in the prior image where the invaders seemed to have every visible advantage, there’s still more to consider than what’s immediately discernible. If we react to the most obvious – our external reality, the invaders, a ferocious lion – it becomes the only level we see and experience. In a sense, the strength of our reaction (the ferocity of the lion) confirms it as our reality. Yet that’s a very limited viewpoint that cuts us off from deeper levels of knowing and inner guidance.