Dreams or cosmic messages
Are dreams simply a part of the human physiological machinery, or are they a way for humanity to connect with the great cosmic consciousness? Marlie wanted to believe the latter; but whichever the case, there was still so much to learn about both fronts.
Majoring in English Literature and Comparative Religion with dabbles in Psychology, Marlie’s fascination had been with the subject of dreams for many years. One of the most intriguing stories she came upon was the “Epic of Gilgamesh” from Mesopotamia written in poem form in about the 13th century BCE. This is the earliest surviving work of literature and contains one of the first dream interpretations ‒ foretelling of Gilgamesh’s eventual friendship with Enkidu. In the story, it is Gilgamesh’s mother who interprets the meaning of his dream.
Closer to our own tradition, Marlie remembered Joseph’s dreams in the Ancient Testament which foretold of his power over his brothers. Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice captured the story in their rendition called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”. Joseph’s haughty interpretation initially became his downfall, but then in Egypt his dream was realized; he became the seer and an important political figure who forewarned the Pharaoh about the need to prepare for the famine which would be coming.
In ancient society, dreaming was considered a supernatural communication or a means of divine intervention, whose message could be unraveled by people with certain powers. In modern times, various schools of psychology have offered theories about the meaning of dreams. While research has not demonstrated a purpose for dreams, many experts believe that they do have meaning. From the first compendium of dream-omens by Iskar Zaqiqu, books about dream interpretations continue to be published.
Sigmund Freud suggested that the content of dreams is related to wish fulfillment. He believed that the imagery or events of a dream served to disguise the latent content, or the unconscious wishes of the dreamer. And as is well known, Freud’s analysis was steeped in sexuality issues. While Carl Jung also believed in the existence of the unconscious, he didn’t view it as instinctual, or sexual, rather he saw it as more spiritual. This is no surprise as Jung was a devotee of the Eastern mystical teachings.
Jung considered that dreams are a window to one’s unconscious. They guide the waking self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to a problem being faced in one’s waking life. Archetypal dreams or ‘mythic dreams’, occur at transitional periods in one’s life. They may leave a sense of awe or that something important has been learned about one’s self. Such dreams have a cosmic quality. They can remain potent over a long period time.
Some thirty years ago Marlie had a dream that she still remembered vividly. Two couples were sitting in two small boats, on a river: they were friends Scott and Sam, and Marlie with her husband Owen. Scott and Owen were clothed in white, Marlie and Sam were in black. Along the far side of the river was a village of small white adobe houses. There was no other colour in the dream, except for the distinct white and black. The dream reconnected for her one summer when Owen was teaching theology at McGill University. While visiting him, Marlie attended the worship service at the McGill Chapel; her mind immediately sensed the boat scene of her dream. She was surrounded by the newly acquired white adobe-like structures that served as the Communion table, the lectern and other items. A few years later, Scott died and much later her own husband. It wasn’t until after Owen’s death that Marlie intuitively understood what that long-ago dream meant for her. It had been foretelling these momentous mystical events she would come to experience.
Marlie recalled other significant dreams over the years. Recently she had one that had again stayed with her. She was in a large department store and saw very distinctly someone whom she recognized, a bit off in the distance. It was a lovely, regal lady with deep brown eyes. Marlie approached her and heard herself clearly saying:
“For all the years I’ve thought of you, we’ve never run into each other while shopping”.
The figure smiled sweetly at Marlie, touched her face and replied:
“I am always with you. Write your stories. We need to know them.”
A few days later, sitting at her keyboard, Marlie understood. The person in her dream had been Grace, whom she had incorporated into her latest story-line. But she wasn’t certain; could it have been her own mother. Or was it after all her own self, feeling insecure and needing to be validated? Or was there still a deeper more cosmic message she needed to consider?
From my third book: Echoes of Footsteps