Last night I had a dream. I can’t remember most of the details, but the basic theme was that some clever unseen vandals had torn apart an apartment building where I was living.
One moment all the apartments were normal. The next moment, all of the identifying room numbers had been switched around; all of the doors had been torn off their hinges and left lying next to the now-unclosable openings to the rooms; and all of the contents of the apartments—furniture, appliances, books, clothes, and so on—had been scattered randomly among the rooms.
So the residents, including me, were wandering around wondering “Where is the place I used to live?” You couldn’t tell. With no numbers next to the doors, and no doors to keep people out of a place, and no identifiable personal belongings in any room, every apartment seemed the same: chaotic. We kept asking each other, “Who did this? How was it possible that this could happen?”
I don’t usually try to figure out dreams. But I thought some about the dream this morning. My first intuitive aha! was that it pretty much reflected how my spiritual evolution (or, some would say, devolution) has been going: from having neatly organized beliefs to a much less tidy unknowing and unsureness about where truth really lies.
I’ve been meaning to share an email message that Aaron Buss, a regular Church of the Churchless visitor, shared with me a few weeks ago. This is a good time to do so. Aaron wrote about a roughly similar dream that he had. Who knows? Maybe my dream was influenced by a memory of Aaron’s dream.
In addition, Aaron speaks about some waking mystical experiences. He wrote me on the day I posted “I reveal my mystical experiences," so I have to assume that this is the “stuff” he refers to at the beginning of his message.
Aaron, like me, is a Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) initiate. The “Baba Ji” he refers to is the current RSSB guru, Gurinder Singh Dhillon. Baba Ji is an Indian term of affectionate respect for a elevated spiritual person; I don’t know the exact meaning, though this definition gives a sense of how “Baba Ji” is used.
Here’s Aaron’s message:
Brian, wow. So some days I feel like I am sitting here in front of the computer reading your stuff and it's like I wrote it myself (well, except for the complex syntax and big words).
You're writing down exactly what I'm feeling. Even though I was initiated in 1984, some time after you, the exact same thing is happening to me at this same moment in time. Coincidence that I found your blog and things are going along this way with at least two of us feeling this way? I would imagine there must be many more satsangis [RSSB initiates] having this same experience.
I had a dream the other night that seemed strangely like a premonition:
I was in a condo building kind of like where I used to live. Something had happened. When I looked down at the floor, I could see the cracks in the foundation, even through the carpeting. It freaked me out so I went outside to inspect the outside of the building, and when I got around to the other side of the building, it turned out that the whole other side had been demolished and everyone had moved out.
But it was in the process of being rebuilt and remodeled because it had grown old and worn out. Strangely, during my dream I wasn't upset by this at all. I only wondered to myself "gosh, why didn't anyone tell me this remodeling was going on?" And I went back into my apartment and just kind of sat there staring at the cracked foundation and wondering if anyone was ever going to tell me about what was happening.
Then I woke up and didn't think much about this dream again until now. At first I thought, maybe the fact that I started drinking beer was the crack in my foundation (guilt). And then I thought "no, I think some kind of renovation is underway, and it will all be put back together somehow, only it will be better than before."
There was one other time when I had a dream that I remembered and thought about for a long time. It was 1982.
I dreamt I was swimming around in a river and I could breathe under water just fine. I came upon a muddy bank. There was a hole in the bank that I could see something inside of. I grabbed this wrapped up bag - some kind of burlap or something, and pulled it toward me. It had a knot around it and when I opened it up this bright light came up and in my hand was a big ruby and other gems. Around that time a friend of mine said she had a dream about me and that she couldn't explain it but something really great was going to happen.
That's when I met some satsangis and was fascinated by them because I had never met a vegetarian before. They gave me a book to read about the path, and when I flipped open the book, the very first line I read was "Everyone hath rubies in his bundle, O Bhika, but how to untie the knot he doth not know." (or whatever that oft-read quote is).
So from that time on I was hooked on everything I read. It was like absolute magic reading about reincarnation and karma and worlds of creation and all that (even Mormons believe in this kind of thing I hear). But as I wrote on your site once, I went through years of conflict over being gay. Somehow I just have never believed that God could give a shit. I mean, it seems to me that if you're a good person and you're not hurting anyone, who cares?
Then in 1995 when I was visiting Baba Ji, I'll tell you I saw something, or at least thought I did. Maybe it was delirium from the train ride, who knows. But I felt these waves of energy coming from something that was not a human being but something that was white with masses of color; all the colors of the rainbow floating around in a white ethereal pulsating light. It was like something you would have seen on an episode of Star Trek.
But out of this light came something I could only describe as waves of love. It didn't have cares or worries, it was only "an ocean of peace and bliss." And I couldn't say whether this thing I saw, or thought I saw, appeared to me because I mentally associated God with the guru, or whether the guru was actually somehow connected to it and channeling it. But I know that I had seen this thing before somewhere. Because when I saw it, it was familiar to me.
Once as a child I woke up in the middle of the night to a glowing form. My brother was sleeping in the same bed but wouldn't wake up even though I shook him. This thing spoke to me without any words being spoken out loud. All I remember is that it communicated with me about my life. I don't know what it said but I know it wasn't anything bad; it was like "everything's cool, you'll be okay" kind of like that. And I never saw it again until twenty years later.
So those are my experiences. There's not much for twenty years of meditating but it seems like, what choice do I have? Like a lot of people do, I want to know whatever it is that created all this and merge back into that great link, and when I do I know none of this will matter, but that somehow it was an important part of my own soul's evolution.
I like to think that I really understand how you are feeling. There is some kind of renovation going on, I just don't know where it's leading to. That's always a little scary. But I don't think it's taking us to a bad place. I think it's taking us to a better place.