By Mary Ziemer © 2013
Trinity: I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
Neo: What is the Matrix?
Trinity: The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
—From The Matrix
‘You really are brainwashed aren‘t you?’ A dream being that sounded like a character from The Matrix said this to me when I turned down his invitation to ‘love and desire’ him because of my marriage vows. His words woke me up to a new way of thinking about invitations from dream entities and dreams that seem to possess Transpersonal archetypal qualities.1
By Transpersonal qualities, I refer to characteristics generally associated with spiritual attributes such as wisdom, beauty, truth, harmony, might, mercy, mystery, magic, love and compassion.
In this case, the dream being appeared in the guise of a striking Native American Indian who cried diamond tears—a magical detail signaling the presence of the Transpersonal. If I had received his invitation, this encounter might have potentially knocked me out of my waking-world, consensus morality into a deeper understanding of my own heart.
Since this dream, I have sought a more receptive position towards the requests of such Transpersonal dream figures, realizing that they seek to open our hearts and minds, not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of others as well. As a result, I have learned that they may know far more about the mysteries and magic beyond the dreamscape‘s matrix2 –and about me—than I do.
Reflecting back on the Transpersonal dreams that have come to me, it feels as if they have both invited and instructed me to become a ‘consenting adult’, if you will, to enter into a more intimate and, thus, unitive relationship with the dream experiences and, in turn, with waking life. When both the dreamer and the dream say, ‘I do!’, it can feel like a Transpersonal reality supporting both says, ‘You may kiss the bride!’ Alchemists refer to such an experience as a ‘royal wedding,’ the union of soul— the essence of the individual—and Spirit, a union of lunar and solar qualities.
Archetypally, Kabbalists describe this union as the mystic marriage, Christians, as the marriage of the lamb, and, in Greco-Roman culture, the marriage of the gods, or hierosgamos. What aspects of our being ‘marries’ in our psyches? To paraphrase an idea from Carl Jung‘s own dream experiences, ‘At the bottom it is our very selves: We are the marriage. And our beatitude is that of a blissful wedding.‘3 But, sometimes, the dreams may have to court us for a long time before we may feel ready to let go of our waking-world, Matrix-limited views to say, ‘Yes’ wholeheartedly to the consensual relationship and knowing offered to us.
From a Transpersonal or Spiritual perspective on dreams, dreams can serve as mirrors helping us to ‘see’ into our psychological state as well as our essential nature. Through lucidity, as we become more aware of the mental attitudes and concepts shaping our consensus reality, we can learn to move aside the ‘veil of our minds’ in our dreams. As a result, a Guiding principle or Spirit may more clearly emerge through our dreams, helping us to move ‘beyond the matrix’.4
The dream ‘Magic Butterflies’ from 2010 illustrates the emergence of this awareness in lucidity and suggests the lengths this guiding principle may go to coax us into a more soulful relationship:
In a dream, I enter an unfamiliar building. With this recognition, I become lucid. Great joy fills me. The Holy black winds carry me inwards to a place of stillness. Far off in the distance, moving shapes of color approach my being. I feel wonderfully surprised to ‘see’ that they look like massive, magical butterflies of deep blues, greens, purples, yellows, and reds outlined in black. The colored spots on their wings shine like jewels. They surround me and, with their wings, caress me. Their touch feels full of grace, beauty, and intelligence. They lead my being into a large hall that appears decorated in colors echoing their peacock-coloured wings.
An exquisitely beautiful woman gets up to greet me. We communicate without words. She shows me the treasures in the room as if to introduce me to what already feels mine. Then she picks up a finely wrought, wreath-shaped crown of delicate leaves with four slim golden bands crossing at the top.
As she moves to set it upon my ‘head,’ my being retracts, as I feel aware I am no ‘king’ or ‘queen’, yet at the same time, I feel full of wonder at the crown‘s shining beauty and delicate power. As she lowers it onto my head, she says, ‘This is the Holy Spirit.’ Hearing this, I become more able to accept the gift. When the crown touches my head, a shower of powerful emotion overcomes me, washes down through me, and pulls me again into the blackness that gently lifts me to waking consciousness. I notice it seems 4:00 am.
My movement to ‘retract’ from this dream illustrates how our own consensus-reality position toward ourselves—our self-limiting views, feelings of unworthiness or shame or even arrogance and pride—may keep us from accepting the gifts both dreams and life offer us. Happily, in this case, the beauty and gentleness of the dream character reassured me, enabling me to overcome my own self-doubts.
But, in lucidity, when my own narrow view of consensus reality dominates in a lucid dream, causing me to act ‘brainwashed’, I can simultaneously become aware of this limitation, and so learn something new even so. From such experiences, I have come to trust that even when we find it difficult to surrender to the Transpersonal, to respond to an invitation, or follow openings into as yet unknown levels of reality and ourselves, we can at least become more conscious of what the Transpersonal archetypal realm can open up to us. As an illustration of such an invitation, consider this scene from the lucid dream ‘The Blue Lips’:
….After crossing a vast black expanse of light and abstract forms in which my dreambody seems ‘invisible’ I find myself with a dreambody spinning round in the centre of a vast fantastically coloured hall. I see the walls and sloping ceilings covered with paintings that look alive with moving pictures that tell a story to a couple that sits viewing them. My entrance obviously startles the couple. The woman gets up and approaches me. She looks very fine and moves like a graceful sprite. Her luminous skin shines a deep blue and her lips radiate a bluish, white, laser light, capturing my attention.
With a delicate determination, she says to me, ‘What part of my dream are you?’ The implications of her question amaze and frighten me. Rather than responding thoughtfully, I say rather flippantly the first thing that comes to mind: ‘Your blue lips.’ I sense some sarcasm in my words and I wonder if she is demonic, even though I am the one who is behaving badly. My attitude clearly hurts the woman. I ask her in turn, ‘And what part of my dream are you?’ She responds sarcastically as well…. ‘Ouch!’ I think, ‘I guess I deserved that.’
Then the intense colors and strange beauty of the scene begin to feel oppressive to me and I wonder if I can get out of this place at will or not or if perhaps I‘ll be ‘stuck’ here and go mad. With this, I open my eyes wondering how it will feel to come back so suddenly to waking reality. I feel surprised to find myself in my bed, feeling rather dismayed at my behaviour and fears. My heart sends the blue lady a heartfelt apology in my thoughts with the hope that I may one day meet her again. I sense that she also probably feels unhappy about how our encounter turned out.
If I‘d had more composure, the blue-light being and I might have had an interesting talk about consensus reality or even the non-consensus reality of what appears ‘non-rational’ to us in dreams. Although, in this case, I didn‘t respond in a way that could deepen our encounter, it does strike me as interesting that she and I both agreed we found ourselves in a realm known through dreams. Although I haven‘t as yet encountered this dream figure again, I‘d like to think she may have appeared in other guises.
Most of the consensus reality checks in the dreams come when, through what I call ‘Lucid Surrender’5 , I have left my dreambody behind, or rather, have had it stripped away. In such lucid dreams, my being feels carried across a vast expanse of black light6. Eventually, it may get drawn into a ‘tunnel’ or light form that acts as a gateway into what appears as another dream dimension where a new dreambody emerges.
While I generally assume my new dreambody looks similar to my physical body, I haven‘t ever had a verification of this apart from when I‘ve seen light take the form of what would seem the outline of my physical body. In these new dream dimensions, the dream entities respond to me in such a way that makes it clear I seem a curiosity of sorts and that they would like to enter into relationship with me.
For example, one time, after crossing the black, my being tumbles into what I experience as an enormous space colony. I somersault onto a hexagonal platform. What looks like a young boy comes out, and, seeing me, he calls out to his father, ‘Hey dad, come look at this!’ as if he doesn‘t seem quite sure of what to call me or where I have come from. That makes me wonder how I look. Usually, in new dream dimensions, the Transpersonal beings (usually larger-than-life, angelic figures), peer at me so intently it feels as if they both give me information and receive it from me in this way.
In another dream, after my being gets pulled into a dream-mirror, carried across the black light, and into a geometric light form, I pop into a dreamscape that looks vaguely similar to a setting from my childhood. There, women who appear both earthy and angelic come out and stroke my new dreambody with their hands as if they receive some knowledge through me. Although I felt aware of receiving some kind of blessing through the women‘s hands, it nonetheless felt like they also received something from me.
In the lucid space of black light, I notice that the ‘void’ can apparently read my thoughts. Most of the time, a ‘voice’ or ‘thought-form’ attempts to reassure me and bring me round to a new way of being. For instance, if I feel afraid to enter a light form, a voice might say, ‘Come into my being.’ Or if I feel unsafe, I may hear a reassuring, ‘You are safe.’ Once, when I felt about to lose myself in the ecstatic sensation of the black light, a clear voice said, ‘It‘s not this’ reminding me to keep my focus for the next part of the journey.
In such cases, it feels as if the dreams will me to behave more like a consenting adult in a ‘consensual reality’, responding to a greater ‘Transpersonal Will’, rather than behaving like a fearful or obstinate child or adolescent.7 For example, sometimes, out of the blackness, an invisible ‘hand’ may emerge to direct my own gently pushing my own ‘hands’ together in prayer, a position that accelerates my journey on the black winds, or the invisible hand may gently stop me from undertaking an action as in the following dream:
With lucidity, I feel the pull on my being but it feels hard to release my being to the blackness. Finally I call out, ‘Take me to you God!’ With this the release comes and my being feels lifted onto the powerful winds. The blackness feels less deep than usual because it seems lit up with the light of a white beam that comes out across the blackness and loops once around my neck with an intense power. The force at the base of my throat feels so great at one point I raise my ‘hand’ to loosen it, but then I feel my ‘hand’ pushed down lightly and so allow the force to have its way, accepting it as a kind of opening…
Sometimes, when I have acted overly ego-driven or grasping in lucid dreams, the dreams have apparently worked to move me towards a more humble and balanced position, as in this encounter with a patient dream being:
Have been unwell with flu. Wake up in the night and pray. The whirring comes. Against the backdrop of blackness appears a beautiful full moon. The image looks so beautiful it makes me weep. My being feels lifted through this scene and then dives into the blackness with great joy. The winds bring delight and at some point I ‘see’ the radiance from the being of light that carries me like a rod or beam of light running down my midriff, but I feel so taken with the delight, my mind thinks of letting go of this beam of light and plunging into the blackness. As I abruptly move to do so, I feel the being pull me back by my ‘ankle’ and immediately realise my error.
The dignity of this light entity hits me hard. I bow my ‘head’ and say or think, ‘Forgive me holy being,’ and I ‘hear’, ‘You are forgiven.’ With this, we lift off again and soar like a bird high on the edge of the winds. A deep ecstasy runs through me. Even so, I cannot somehow surrender in a deeper way and the dream notches down so it seems to me I levitate around the bed… Finally I awake surprised to find myself under the covers.
Other times, when I have overstepped an apparent ego-boundary, the dreamscape itself appears to give a form of instruction as in this dream:
Wake up in the night and pray. Go to a nearby window and open it. Feeling rather empty inside, I dive out in an off-handed and cold manner thinking that it seems a dream in any case. Don‘t try to fly. Instead, I wait rather imperiously for the Spirit to come for me.
After falling what seems an unusually precipitous and long way into the black, I start to recall Jesus‘ retort to Satan when Satan tempted him to leap off a cliff so that God‘s angels would come to save him: ‘Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.’ ‘Well,’ I think, ‘I didn‘t mean it quite that way God.’ Then suddenly the black winds and light take hold of my being and carry me into the black light.
The blackness has a very intense quality and has a slightly different texture, like black velvet. Feel carried such a long way I begin to have doubts about the experience, but suddenly we break through the black into an intense field of blinding blue light. It‘s almost like breaking through the surface of a very deep sea into blue-sky light. ‘The blue,’ I think, feeling reassured. But, although the blue in other dreams has been breathtaking, this blue seems by far the most dazzling, appearing almost diamond white to my eyes. My being feels seared by the light. Crossing the light takes some time. Sense it as a kind of cleansing. Then again there comes a descent into the black. I begin to wonder what this is all about and try to bring my focus to a sacred song.
At that moment I ‘look’ up and find my being once again in the black whirlwind. But as with the black and blue light, the quality of the whirlwind differs from before. This time the texture of the whirlwind looks like that of veils upon veils of black lace with moonlight shining through it. My being simply knows that it is at the very centre of things, in God‘s embrace.
The lacy forms in the whirlwind look amazingly intricate and exquisite, yet simple and beautiful. Their beauty feels irresistible and I lift my right ‘hand’ to touch the patterns. Doing so fills me with great joy, an unbounded trust, and a deep knowing. The lacy pattern reads like a hieroglyph for life as much as any DNA particle, rhizome or protein or like a secret text in Braille. For some time, I feel shrouded in a wonderful mysterious love….
Over time, I have learned that aligning my will with that of the dreams from a heart-centered position opens up far more than I could have ever imagined.
All the same, dream beings have made it clear to me that I generally have a choice about how I behave in a dreamscape and that this choice will shape the Transpersonal ramifications of the dream as illustrated in ‘The Ruby Implant’:
….In the dream, when I go outside of a classroom, a massive black dog comes up to greet me. He has wonderful thick black curls, and as I realize no such dog exists in waking life, I become lucid. It has been some weeks since the last lucid dream, so it takes me by surprise. I know in waking life that I‘ve been very stressed and my prayers unfocussed, so I don‘t feel ready to receive a lucid dream. But then I bow my head and all falls away into blackness. The ecstasy literally grips me. Somehow, my being moves through this and repeats ‘O Holy One.’
….I feel carried some distance on the black winds into a vast hall with high open windows through which the sunlight and a gentle breeze enter, billowing through the white curtains. Women in Edwardian dresses with high waists sing beautiful hymns to God. They wear velvet dresses of solid red, green, yellow, or blue lined with gold brocade. As they sing they walk meditatively round the hall.
I get carried to a far corner where a small door opens and a man‘s face and hands appear. He looks similar to the same handsome dark haired man that has appeared in other dreams. He holds a thin rod made of braided silver. On the end sits a fine ruby. I feel he wants to insert this into my left ‘nostril’ up into the space between my eyes. The thought repels and frightens me until one of the women says, ‘You have a choice.’ And I know I can wake up and leave the experience or stay in it.
Because the scene, music, rod, and ruby look so beautiful, I decide not to be afraid and to receive what feels like a strange kind of implant, though a part of me remains somewhat apprehensive and thinks about stories of Martian beings that take over humans. I recognize this as my mind‘s way of trying to understand the experience. Yet, on a deeper level, I know something much more profound has taken place.
This part of me just keeps repeating ‘Oh Holy One.’ After that, my being feels carried back a great distance through the blackness into a dream in which I think I stand awake bent over on my bed trying to finish off the ecstatic pleasure of the dream. A dream figure similar to my then partner says with great surprise, ‘What has happened to you?’ It feels impossible to explain, but I find it significant that he has intuited a change in me. Then I actually do wake up.
Conversely, a dream character has also suggested to me that the choice in a dream may not rest entirely within my own lucid awareness as in the excerpt from the dream ‘Soul Saving Surgery’:
When the descent on the black ends, I find myself with a ‘body’ standing erect facing a lovely woman who holds each of my hands in her own. Wrapped around her body and head, she wears a satiny blue veil with an embroidered gold trim. Apart from her stunning, dark eyes, a diaphanous white veil with a woman‘s face painted on it covers her own. The depiction reminds me of me. I say to her, ‘So you are my guide this time.’
She takes me into a white room that opens from the black. The room has a kind of surgical table in it. And she tells me, ‘I‘m here to stop your soul from dying or at least to make sure that your soul re-incarnates.’ My mind wants to ask what she means about my dying. Does she mean now or later? But a pang rises up in my heart: Though I don‘t recall a single detail of my earthy life, its sorrows and joys hit me hard and I think aloud, ‘I‘m not so sure I want to re-incarnate, even if it‘s possible.’ But she smiles and says, ‘Given what your soul knows, it may have to do so’….
Although, in this dream, I felt able to do the procedure the dream character requested of me, I nonetheless felt like crawling back into the ‘rabbit hole’ when I woke up from the dream. Sometimes, after dreams such as this one, I get the feeling that the dreams would say to us what Morpheus says to Neo: ‘I‘m trying to free your mind…but I can only show you the door. You‘re the one that has to walk through it.‘
Having said that, though, my own lucid dream experiences have also made it clear to me that we don‘t have to walk through the door completely alone because we are known and loved—in the Transpersonal dreams that have emerged within lucidity, this love feels like the central consensus position. And, in our response to this love, the dreams await our wholehearted ‘Yes!’
1 See The Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education, London, www.ccpe.org.uk for more on the connection between the Transpersonal approach and dreams.
2 To learn more about the matrix of dreams and waking physical reality see Ed Kellogg‘s Lucid Dream Challenge: Exploring the Bizarre Physics of Dreamspace Part 4: “The Dream Matrix and the Phenomenological Epoché” the September 2006 issue of the Lucid Dream Exchange. in http://www.dreaminglucid.com/challenges/ldechallenge8.pdf
3 Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. By Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Random House, 1965), 294.
4 See http://www.driccpe.org.uk/portfolio-view/the-spiritual-perspective-on-dreams-nigel-hamilton for more on a Transpersonal/Spiritual perspective on dreams by Dr Nigel Hamilton. The archive at the Dream Research Institute, London, also includes a selection of papers on the topic.
5 For more on Lucid Surrender see the Dreamspeak Interview in the March 2013 Issue of the Lucid Dream Experience http://www.dreaminglucid.com/lde/lde1_4.pdf and http://www.luciddreamalchemy.com/page/resources.
6 For more on the black light see: http://www.driccpe.org.uk/portfolio-view/thealchemy-archetype-of-black-light-in-lucidsurrender