Friday, April 12, 2024

Dream Bruises and Other Bleedthroughs


What if in your dream you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower and what if when you awoke you had that flower in your hand?

Coleridge's famous question is not a hypothetical to active and conscious dreamers, who notice various types of bleedthrough between different dimensions of reality and experience.
    A nurse who took part in one of my early dream classes later told me she had dreamed of a visitation from a being that was half woman, half deer. Waking in her second floor apartment, she found deer scat on her floor. Trying to make sense of this (nurses are no-nonsense, practical people) she recognized that a deer might have wandered onto the grounds of her apartment complex. But she was quite certain there was no way it could have gotten up her stairs or through her window! She was content to accept the unlikely deer poop as a sign from the deeper universe that her visitation had been absolutely for real. She later found the deer-woman turning up as a guide when she was caring for patients, especially the dying who needed help to prepare for their journeys beyond this world.
    In his account of his personal dreams in The Crystal and the Way of Light, Dzogchen master Nakhai Norbu gives a memoriable example of something being transferred from a dream into the hand of the dramer. 
One of his uncles was renowned as a tertön, a "treasure revealer" of hidden texts that sometimes appeared as tiny scrolls in unusual places, apparently transmitted across generations by ancient masters. While staying with his uncle in a remote area, Namkhai Nprbu dreamed he was visited by a dakini.
     She gave him a small scroll of paper containing a sacred text. She said this was very important and that on waking he should give it to his uncle. In the dream he knew he was dreaming. He gripped the scroll tightly in one fist and wrapped the other around it. It was not permitted to disturb his uncle until after his morning rituals, so he drifted off still with his fists clamped together. Waking at dawn, he opened his hand and found there really was tiny scroll within it. He was too excited to wait. He woke up his uncle and presented the scroll. His uncle took it and said “Thank you, I expecting this” as if nothing had happened.  
     On a land of marvels and siddhis, a report of this kind would have drawn respect and keen interest rather than incredulity.  
     One of the most common bleedthroughs from the realm of dream or astral experience into the world of the body is astral repercussion, to use a term favored by Dion Fortune and her peers. This is what happens when what is experienced in the astral body during its excursions outside the physical body leave physical marks when it returns.
    While Fortune described cases where this kind of thing can be seriously depleting, even life-threatening, to the experiencer, astral repercussion may be a routine side effect of getting out and about in a subtle energy body, sometimes wholly benign and even entertaining. In the first letter from Lady Valerie D'Arcy in my novel Fire Along the Sky, she protests that an amorous visit from her lover in the form of a leopard-man left her with bite marks on her body; this fictional scene was drawn from experience!
    Let me give an example from my dream life a few summers ago. I was enjoying a rather lazy week's vacation on a lake, swimming and reading a lot, spending a lot more time in bed overnight than is my typical pattern. My body's peace and ease over those summer days was balanced by the nocturnal adventures of my dream self. In a dream thriller that could easily be filmed in the style of The Bourne Identity, I went on a wild ride through the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. We have to dodge road-blocks and predatory packs that are out to stop cars and rob their drivers and passengers, or worse. The predators use all sorts of stratagems to get drivers to stop, sometimes pushing children in front of the cars. When they do that to us, I grab control of the steering wheel from my driver, managing to avoid hitting a child being used as bait, so we escape the trap. I hurt my arm making this maneuver, but pay little attention because soon I am caught up in a big-stakes international intrigue.
    I wake happy and excited. I felt like I had stepped into a movie to play an Action Man hero, and this was really enjoyable. But - uh, oh - how did that bruise come to appear on the underside of my left upper arm? There really was no physical cause I could locate. On the other hand, there was all that action in the dream, and the pain I experienced during the car chase. Someone had jabbed something at me through the window of the car, in that mad ride through the Bois de Boulogne.
   Inter-dimensional bleedthroughs bring us awake to the fact that we are engaged in more than one order of reality, and that what happens beyond our default (physical) reality may not only be no less real, but sometimes more so. If the dream gave me the bruise, then which was more real: my night escapade in Paris, or my lazy day by a lake in Vermont?
    We are also drawn to reflect on our lager anatomy. We have more than one vehicle of consciousness. Beyond the physical body, we have an etheric, or dense energy, vehicle, and an astral body in which we travel in dreams, and higher vehicles given different names in different tarditiosn. When we go dreaming, we often travel beyind the physical body and we rarely go as a disembodied thought form. We travel in the astral body, sometmes carrying a significant amount of denser etheric energy. Take too much with you, and you return depleted - and you are vulnerable to  significant etheric reopercussion on your physical body.
      In modern Western society, we are not told much about the subtle body, but understanding its reality and its requitrements is essential to or psychic wellbeing and to safe and rewarding adventures beyond the physical. 

Drawing: "Autoscopy" by Robert Moss

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