By Mary Ziemer © 2014
Phony prophets stole the only light I knew,
And the darkness softly screamed.
Holy visions disappeared from my view,
But the angels come back and laugh in my dreams,
I wonder what it means.
—Judee Sill, ‘Crayon Angels‘
Now and again, ‘angels also come back to laugh in my lucid dreams‘, mostly, I believe, to show me how to have a lighter heart and mind. The dreams themselves apparently make an effort to remind me of the Biblical proverb ‘A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.’ – Proverbs 17:22 (Amplified Bible).
At times, it has felt like the dreams act as soul-medicine because they seem to know that the truth goes down easier if swallowed with a cup full of humor. It seems to me that dreams actually employ their own kind of comic—or cosmic—relief to overcome the stubbornness of my ego‘s positions. In the lucid dreams I‘ve had, the humorous ‘truth’ pills, like the dreams themselves, range from appearing rather concrete to increasingly subtle, leaving me to ponder what it all means.
For example, in one semi-lucid dream from 2008, when I said to a magical dream being who cried diamond tears, ‘How can I look on you with love and desire?’ he replied tenderly, ‘You really are brainwashed aren‘t you!’ In the dream, I didn‘t find it funny at all, but later, when I more fully understood the gift he offered, I also laughed with tenderness (and some exasperation) at the conditioning my ego had succumbed to.
In another semi-lucid dream from this time, I walk with ‘Bob Dylan’ by the sea under a starlit sky. As we walk along, he asks me what an atheist is because I‘d called him a little nihilist as I ruffled his hair. Then he asks me what a theist is, so I explain how a theist believes there is a God but that such a God doesn‘t take personal interest in human affairs. And then I ask, ‘What‘s a sophist?’ and he says, ‘An asshole!’ and we laugh. ‘There is another type,’ I say. But I can‘t think of the word though I press my hands to my temples. As I try to come up with the word, I look up at the stars—something that normally brings lucidity—but the repartee and focus on the words distracts me.
While dream beings like these may express humor verbally, I have noted that, sometimes, the dreamscape itself can set the stage for a scene full of situational irony. For instance, in the following lucid experience from 2011, when I lose contact with a more heart-centred approach to the dream, my ‘mental block’ takes on ‘concrete’ form. The dream, however, provided its own consolation:
….Very tired. Wake up around 4:00 a.m. and pray as the sun rises. Suddenly my being feels caught up on black winds and light. It comes as such a blissful feeling that I only think about the bliss and no sacred song arises. After some distance, my being screeches to a halt a fraction of an inch in front of an obsidian-like wall that extends beyond my vision in either direction. My being slides down the wall like a cartoon character. I find myself with a dream body on the ‘floor’ looking up at the endless, black immensity.
Sadness comes over me as I realise I‘ve not been able to continue because my heart doesn‘t seem in the right place. Then as I turn away from the wall, I find myself in a garden lying down near a lovely, large pink flower. I feel tired so I say to the flower, ‘Please come to me.’ To my surprise, it does so, walking on its roots. Then it leans over, caressing me with one of its petals. With this, it feels as if it infuses me with the sweetness and gentleness of its being….
From time to time, sweetly comic figures have appeared in the lucid dreams acting as guides, as in this 2013 dream:
Just before waking, I find myself very sleepy in a dream and realize that the people around me wouldn‘t be there if I really slept. This awareness brings lucidity. I feel very happy and somewhat apprehensive because of my personal state. The dreamscape falls away and my being simply remains static on the black light. I feel unsure of what to do, and then a little green, Jiminy Cricket-type figure comes up to me.
He puts his arms over his head, palms together, demonstrating what I need to do. I smile inwardly feeling both charmed and curious about this little being…I do as he mimics and the black winds seize me. The ecstasy hits very hard and feels hard to contain…. Eventually, the black opens up to immense white rings of light against the black like intensely brilliant clouds with black centres.
I get distracted pondering these lights until the little Jiminy Cricket fellow appears again and beckons me on with his little green arm and large, white-gloved hand, pulling, or rather, willing me along. After some time on the black, the scene opens up to a vast space…..
And I felt quite fond of the little guide who gave its all for me in this next 2013 dream:
Wake up around 4:00 a.m. and pray asking for guidance in my waking life. In a dream scene, find myself thinking, ‘Now you know this is a dream,’ and so become lucid. But feel some apprehension because I feel exposed, not covered by the ‘Christ of my Being’ and so vulnerable. My being feels carried through a field of pulsating white light reminding me of smoke rings alive with light…. These lead into a steep descent, directly vertical and intensely rapid, on and on and on…
End up deposited in a dream scene next to a little bird that appears very tired with its wings hanging down listlessly. I realize it seems tired from carrying me, so I say, ‘Thank you holy bird for carrying me.’ With this the bird revives and hops about bringing my attention to what appears before us. We seem positioned in a kind of viewing terrace or box at the opera…below a scene plays out in response to my request for guidance….
Other times, dream entities—who can see the humor of a situation far better than I can—have gently teased me, as in this lucid dream from 2012:
Go to bed asking again for guidance. After praying, suddenly find myself in a dance class. I feel a man approach me from behind and wrap his arms lovingly around me. He wears a red flannel shirt…. He turns me right to face a wall-sized mirror. I wonder if I’ll be able to see who holds me, but the man has tucked his head down behind my own….
Looking into the mirror, I become lucid and enter the mirror with the dream figure who yet embraces me…..Invisible, the two of us travel on the winds and black light passing whirling forms of spiraling sheaths of light that look like multidimensional reflections on water‘s rippling surface….
All the while I rest in the other being’s embrace, but after some time, I feel my being hovering on the black alone. I think the presence seems to have left me. For a moment, I feel bereft, but then what feels like a forefinger takes my own in the blackness. At first I feel afraid and pull away but immediately feel the inappropriateness of this and communicate, ‘I‘m sorry holy being.’
Again the finger links with my own. My finger seems to say, “Where shall we go?” but I feel surprised because the other finger communicates playfully, “Where would you like?” This takes me by surprise too. We seem to hover there on the black until suddenly I feel my being set down in an immense bedroom suite of peacock colors….
Occasionally, when I have heard angelic laughter, it has flowed over me like the gentlest kind of dramatic, cosmic humor reminding me of a line from a poem by the mystic poet Kabir: ‘The fish in the water who is thirsty is in need of some serious psychological counselling!’ Here you have one such example I call ‘The Sands of Time’ from 2012:
Wake up in the night and feel the prayers. It has been so long since the last time, tears spring up….There comes a shift and I see bright intense colors in the images before me and realise I dream….the black winds seize my being and oh how lovely it feels. Then, though, the descent through a vortex becomes very intense….Eventually the speed slows and I become aware of my feet as can happen when my being gets ‘set down’….I feel the familiar touch of the cool, delightful ‘sands’ on the ‘soles’ or really ‘souls’ of my ‘feet’ as my feet become a conduit for all the goodness and beauty of the glittering ‘sands’ of this soft and Holy ground.
For some time, ‘Nothing’ happens except this transmission of feeling and then suddenly my being feels carried backwards to the right in a circle low to the ‘ground’ in such a way that if I lean over, my fingers play delightfully in the sands like a rake making lines in a Zen rock garden. We go round and round faster and faster. The winds whip around me playfully yet powerfully further stirring up the sands as my fingertips make deeper furrows. ‘What can this be for?’ I wonder.
I have the strange feeling that something takes shape within this motion like cream being whipped up. And then again, suddenly, my being pops out of this space and views what I at first think must be the throne of God—it looks like a white edifice studded with colors that I take to be jewels. But as I move further away, I see that jewel-like rooms or halls richly decorated and furnished in deep red, blue, green, purple and gold have emerged out of the white edifice.
Where the structure ends, I cannot tell. It seems to contain all knowledge like a massive library and all love in the beautiful way the beings there relate. The thought that this form has been made by the whirling motion and the movement of my fingers in the sands flashes across my consciousness and hits me hard. ‘No,’ I think, ‘that can‘t be!’
And then I hear the soft, tinkling laughter I have heard before in the dreams and a chorus of angelic, female voices calls out with bemusement – and some amusement – (using my nickname from childhood), ‘What do we have to do for Mindy to change?’ as if no matter what they conjure up I/Mindy remain impervious to it, but, like a patient lover, they await the beloved‘s response….
Such gently, comic commentary generally has the tinkling quality of bells or cymbals. I reckon this sound seems similar to the laughter of Judee Sill‘s ‘Crayon Angels’. I heard this sound echoed in another lucid dream:
Wake up and fall into prayer. Find my being on the black winds….Suddenly my being feels deposited in the centre of a courtyard in front of a grand structure that I can‘t quite make out. Colorful banners fly in the wind. Now with a dreambody, I sit on the grass in the massive courtyard. Women and men walk gracefully around the courtyard wearing colorful, flowing gowns and capes.
A fairy-like woman kneels down and pours out a handful of capsules into the palm of her hand and then onto the grass. I have no doubt I should take these, so I take one that looks half blue and half black and try to swallow it but can‘t manage to do so as it catches in my throat and begins to dissolve. I fear I‘ll choke and hope the capsule‘s effect won‘t be diluted as it dissolves in my throat.
Try and tell myself that‘s just a fear my mind has and think how much I would love a glass of water and one appears in my hand, but I know it isn‘t ‘real’ so when I drink it, it doesn‘t seem to work. Feel frustrated because I become aware the capsules have a medicinal quality and seem meant for me. My mind gets worked up and the woman disappears.
Find myself again on the black winds carried for some time and then re-deposited in the centre of the courtyard. Immediately fall to my knees to search for the capsules. When I find one, it turns into a silver ring with a large aquamarine or topaz stone…. Then I recall the other capsules and begin to search for them.
But, how will I find them amidst the blades of grass? Then, four similar rings appear, all silver with large, sky blue crystal stones, only each with a slightly different cut. The capsules have all changed to rings, five altogether, one for each finger of my left hand….
Then my being feels suddenly lifted up and pulled out of the courtyard ‘head’ first on my ‘back’. As I look back, I see that gates of solid gold have opened to release my being onto the black winds. They have towering, clean lines and curving tops with wondrous, filigree designs from top to bottom.
Behind the immense gates towers a fantastical silvery castle shining out from against the black backdrop. I feel preoccupied with thinking how I will possibly describe its beauty when I hear pleasant, tinkling laughter and then a lovely, light feminine voice calls out, ‘Remember where you come from.’ Travel a long way on the black before my being feels poured back into my body….
Based on dream experiences like these, I have the sense that dream humor can lovingly help us to ‘Remember where we come from’ and to realize that ‘reality is not what it seems‘. Sometimes, the ‘truth pill’, as in the last dream, may get stuck going down, but in the end, it feels as if the soul-medicine of dreams dissolves into us, thanks, in great part, to a light draught of lucid love and laughter.