Champlain Islands, Vermont
I did not want to get out of bed this morning, though the lake and sun and wind were calling, and my body was asking to go to the bathroom. Multiple awakenings, and striped light from the windows falling over my face, were no interruption to the adventures that kept me fully engaged in other landscapes while my body lay dormant. Rather, they helped me to remain fully conscious through hours of lucid dreaming that was - to my certain knowledge - more than the phrase conveys. I traveled in and out of parallel worlds, and stepped in and out of bodies in each of them.
We live other lives, beyond the life of the present body, and sometimes our dreams are memories of continuous lives we are living else where. Last night I experimented with various ways of shifting in and out of separate lives in different realities. Quite interesting and successful was what I shall call the Button Loop Maneuver. I twisted my second body to go through a kind of loop, as you might lift and turn a button to insert it in a button loop. When I accomplished this maneuver, I came out in a splendid reality of mythic quality to enter the play of mythic creatures.
In another episode, I saw a woman who is dear to me trying to open a door on the far side of a space like a sphere. The sphere had solid walls, but I could see through them with my dream sight. I realized that the interior of the sphere was a place where I could meet this woman - and perhaps other invited friends - outside time and space. I turned the handle of a door on my side, sending her the mental suggestion to turn the handle of her door the same way, so we could enter the sphere at the same moment. She could not see or hear me but the thought was received; we came together inside the sphere, which could be furnished according to our tastes and was larger inside than it seemed to be from outside.
In another scene, I am with a woman who cares for injured raptors. There is a beautiful bald eagle in the room. He jumps up onto my shoulder, and I enjoy the plushy feel of his feathers against the skin of my cheek and neck. I will help to shelter and nurture him until he flies high again.
In other episodes, I am deeply engaged in a life with a woman I loved and lost. We are living as we might have done had we made different choices, traveling together to many places. When I look at her in profile, I see she has aged with the years, as I have done, but is still beautiful. I leave this parallel life with some nostalgia and tristesse, but find that I do not regret the choices I have made.
In yet another episode, I am living in a house I sold many years ago. Huge repairs and renovations are required and when I return from a trip, I find that several rooms on the ground level have been stripped to the base boards. I am not happy at all as I calculate the probable cost of the work that will now be required. I exit this scene very glad that I made the decision - in my current default reality - to sell that house, which had already proven to be a money pit during the period we lived in it.
All these experiences are rich in symbolism, and could be looked at from many angles. But to reduce any of them to symbolic interpretation would be to miss the key element. Dreams can be symbolic or literal (glimpses of things that are happening or will happen in the physical world) and in both these modes, they can be tremendously helpful and guiding. They hold up a magic mirror to our everyday attitudes and actions, offering needed course correction and restoring witness perspective. They show us challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our physical lives.
Yet the most interesting dreams, for me, belong to a third mode. Dreams may be experiences of other realities. Dreaming, we travel the Many Worlds (of scientific hypothesis) and walk many roads. We find ourselves living in past times, future times and parallel times in versions of this world. We also travel in other worlds, including the realms where the dead are alive and at home, and where the inhabitants may be other than terrestrial. By gathering travel reports from these excursions, we grow a personal geography of the multiverse and we accumulate data on the reality of parallel worlds.
We may rise to a very creative discovery: that we are leading many lives in many realities, right now, and that we can reach to our parallel selves and share gifts, lessons and skills. When we awaken to this, we can also stop losing ourselves in regrets over lives we might be living now had we made different choices and stayed with that former partner, or risked giving up that steady job, or moved to another country, or learned to play the flute or go hang-gliding. Want to know more? Dream on it. You'll find plenty of navigational guidance, and some alluring itineraries for dream travel, in Dreamgates, my book for frequent flyers.
Photo: North Hero sunrise (c) Robert Moss