Friday, October 12, 2007

My Shadow-Self Dream

Last Sunday night I dreamt that a dark figure - my Shadow-Self - led me through the streets of an unknown city to a ramshackle structure on the edge of town. At the base of the structure was an opening that led into a crawlspace – an underground chamber. My Shadow-Self encouraged me to lower myself into the dark below. I didn’t even hesitate. I climbed through the opening and lowered myself down. My feet didn’t reach the floor. I couldn’t see the floor below. It was so dark. I let go of the opening and fell several more feet to the ground below. I looked up at the rectangle of light above, waiting for my Shadow-Self to accompany me. He didn’t. He promptly covered the opening with a piece of wood of equal size. The light was extinguished like a spent match. I could hear my Shadow-Self heaping shovels full of dirt against the opening. My eyes suddenly felt too large for my head as I strained for any remnant of light. I waved my hand furiously in front of my face barely missing my nose. I could feel the moving air but otherwise, I was blind. Darkness tightened around me like a Boa Constrictor.

“I’m going to die" was all I could think. It was impossible to search for a way out due to the darkness. The chamber was filled with junk. Every effort to move caused something heavy to fall. My hands found what felt like a tabletop or a desk. It was clear of debris, so I sat down on top of it. My heart pounded inside my chest like a drum. My lips and fingertips went numb from hyperventilating. "I'm going to die!"

I wondered how death would come. Would I die of thirst? Hunger? Was one better than the other? How long do these things take? "Oh my God! I'm going to die in here." It seemed as though I pondered my fate for a very long time. I struggled in my mind for a solution and groped the darkness for an answer. Several times I cried. I sobbed. Finally, I was quiet in the darkness, and began the long process of waiting for death to come. I don't know how much time passed. Was it seconds, hours or days? At some point, I stopped fighting in my mind – planning solutions. I accepted my impending death . . . and I surrendered.

Almost instantly, a tiny dot of light appeared far off and away. The dot offered no illumination, it just was . . . there . . . hovering. Less than the head of a pin if that's possible. I'm on my feet and moving towards it. For all I know, its a hundred miles away. As I approach, it grows larger. Still not giving off any light, just shining in and of itself. Finally I am at its source. It’s just higher than my head and in front of me. I swipe at it with my hand, which connects with debris knocking it aside. More light appears. My heart is pounding again! I claw at the light again and again, until I've cleared an area roughly the same size as the hole I used to enter this place. The junk I've been moving was simply blocking the light. The opening was apparently there all the time – just blocked from view, but not at all sealed or closed to me in any way. Light is flooding into the room now, like air. The hole is clear and I can get out if I can only reach it.

Suddenly a small boy's face appears in the window. He reaches his hand in towards me and effortlessly pulls me through the opening. We're standing together now in an ancient city. I don't recognize this place but I'm struck with the feeling that this place is holy. We walk through the city and come to a door that's ajar. He pushes it open and invites me in. Several candles dimly light the room. A small fire burns in an arched hearth. A family I do not know is taking a meal together at a plain wood table. They are wearing ceremonial robes of white linen tied at the waist. Sandals on their feet. The surroundings are very simple, but inviting, nonetheless. A place is set for me and I join them. The dream ends.

[Surrender is a glorious feeling. I learn this over and over again in both my wakeful life and in my dreams. Surrender is the moment when suddenly, you can breathe under water, you can fly without falling, and the crushing press of darkness is unveiled by a torch on the horizon.]


poet with a day job said...

That's an awesome dream, especially since you got to surrender in it, and find some joy. I wish my dreams were as clear as that. Alas...

Dennis said...

Dreams are gifts from the subconscious. Dreams like this are a rare treat and usually not as clear. Surrendering is something I have to practice every day. I love this dream.