Really really OT: Recurring dreams
- It happens almost every night.
I dream that I'm back in college. It's the last day of Final Exams.
For some reason, I feel inspired to look at my roster, which I haven't glanced at since registering for classes. Omigosh! There's a course, the Political History of Ancient China, that I signed up for, but somehow totally forgot about.
Now, it's decision time. Should I just ignore the fact that I've missed the entire semester, and therefore my taking the final exam would just be a total waste of time, or should I just bite the bullet and go out like a hero?
When I reach the classroom, I notice all the kids are wearing preppy designer clothes, while I'm wearing the "hey mon" outfits I've become accustomed to as a post-collegiate Liberal Arts graduate: baggy khakis, a solid green baseball cap, and a 3100 mile Self-Transcendence Race shirt. I reflect that my chances on successfully completing that race are about equivalent to the likelihood that I'll actually pass this exam!
When I receive the exam question, I'm always mildly surprised that it's actually in Chinese. As I hear the cheerful click-clacking of pencils all around me, from the happy, well-prepared students who actually attended the class and studied assiduously throughout the entire semester, I turn the paper sideways, then upside-down, hoping I'll acquire a knowledge of imprerial Mandarin through osmosis.
Soon after that I'll wake up, bathed in a cold sweat, only to find Priyadarshan standing over me holding a platter of chocolate hors d'oeuvres.
"Tra la la! Time to *test* your threshold for sugar shock!"
"NOOOOOO!" I scream, realizing that the real nightmare is just beginning!
- Today it materialised again. After your "OT OT New York West" piece, while mumbling something like "one more unwilling victim to the Chicago-pizza-chimera belief", I was reading the next story, and there it was, that phantasmic "priyadarshan", showing up all of a sudden. I was so startled by your humorous touch that I began hollering in laughter, so much that my uncle came to check on me with an alarmed look. So many memories, Mahiruha. You are a wonderful dramaturge.
Your story may be a partial fantasy or all reality just from the dream world, but strangely enough I have had that same recurring dream over the years, perhaps once every five years or so. But it is so vivid in the emotion of knowing I am finally at the final exam of a course which I did not study for or even attend the classes. It was almost as if I forgot to attend the classes but I had to take the exam anyway.
I thought that this might perhaps have a spiritual symbolism to it, like a sign that I should be more disciplined in my spiritual practices. Even though the Supreme, or the highest Guru, is not really trying to scare us by testing us on what we have learned or not learned spiritually so far, there are probably warning signs, perhaps like this strange dream, telling us that we should be learning more or assimilating more by being more vigilant and receptive in our consciousness.
Although it may not be as frequent or as nightmarish as you described, the exam aspect of the dream could also represent what we may feel like when it's our time to go to the other world(die), and we do not have much to show for it. Not to infer that you nor I is spiritual enough to pass through the 'Pearly Gates', but that our inner being, or perhaps our subconscious 'conscience' is trying to inspire us to be 'better students'.
This all may sound too serious after such an amusing story that brought laughter tears to Priyadarshan's eyes. But it is another perspective from which to analyze this 'recurring dream' that seems to have so much 'reality' in it, although I like your humorous description more.
What do you think about that?
- Dear Arpan,
From what I know about my own sadhana, your interpretation of my dream makes sense. Indeed, I am sure all of us could tighten and strengthen our spiritual disciplines to make faster and more convincing progress.
Here's an inspiring question and answer with Sri Chinmoy, which I feel is relevant:
Question: Is the physical plane a Dream of God?
Sri Chinmoy: God's Dream is the divine Dream which is the precursor of reality. The second we see God's Dream we see that it is immediately transformed into Reality. When you become one with God, you see that God's Dream embodies Reality itself. There is a great difference between human dreams and God's divine Dream. Human dreams are only mental fantasies. They are all pensive thoughts, ideas and fabrications. Sometimes we become victims of hostile forces which make us dream all kinds of horrible things. Again, sometimes we create our own fantasies which come in the form of dreams during the day.
In God's case, His Dream is just like a cover or lid on a box. You just lift the lid and there inside is the wealth: gold and diamonds.
(Found on Sri Chinmoy Library: http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/public/0326/3/11)
By the way, Arpan, thank you for your interesting and detailed description on the origins of the book, Beyond Within. I like the concept of the final exam: Sri Chinmoy came and meditated with the class, blessed each student individually, and handed out roses. What a difference from my non-existent Chinese literature course!
Your blogging, shlogging* running friend,
*For those of you not fluent in racespeak, "to shlog" is to run very slowly; it's between a walk and a jog. Shlogging might not be very glamorous, but it does get you where you need to go.