By Douglas McElheny
For anyone who might be new to this blog, I regard myself as the chela or disciple of Sri Aurobindo and have been reading his works for over 20 years. A month or so ago I was finishing up reading Sri Aurobindo’s The Life Divine, and had decided I would read his Essays Divine and Human next. I was looking forward to reading this particular book since I have never read it before. Then I had this dream as I was working my way through the last few pages of The Life Divine.
I’m in a shop, which has lots of different little items for sale. Donny is behind a counter, and next to him on a table is a huge copy of Aurobindo’s Letters on Yoga. It’s lying flat, but it’s something like four feet in height, and it has a dark red cover. I know Donny can get into a storeroom where other huge copies like this are. I tell him he should get a copy of this large-sized Letters on Yoga for himself. He mentions another book they have in the storeroom, which I seem to remember he called Philosophy of Yoga or something along those lines. The lower half of the huge Letters on Yoga is now covered with a blanket that has a price tag on it of $9.70. I figure that price must be for the blanket and not the book. I can’t recall what color the blanket was.
My first reaction to this dream was partly one of aversion since it seemed to be giving me the message to read Letters on Yogaand not Essays Divine and Human. For a couple of years recently, when I was living in Florida, Parts 3 and 4 of the Letters were basically my bible and I read them a number of times. I’d also recently read Parts 1 and 2 within the last year or so while here in India. So I kind of felt like ‘been there, done that’ and was more into reading something new.
But in the end, I decided to follow the dream and started to read Part 4 of the Letters. This Part 4, however, is from an expanded version of the Letters that is organized differently and has new material.1 So to some extent, it’s like reading a new book. I’ve been finding it quite helpful and am glad so far that I followed the suggestion proffered by the dream.
Looking at some of the other elements in the dream, the blanket would seem to me to represent warmth or comfort, while the dark red color of the book might have something to do with the physical since that’s what red often seems to mean in my dreams. Then there’s the price tag of $9.70 on the blanket. According to a list given by the Mother, 9 means ‘gestation or birth ‘and 7 means ‘realization’.2 So these symbols would all be indications of the positive purpose reading the Letters will serve in my life, something that will give me support and help towards the birth of spiritual realization.
Donny however pointed out something else a blanket could symbolize and that would be covering something up. He suggested this might mean there are things in the Letters I’ve yet to completely grasp, things that are still ‘covered’. That seems possible, since a book like this is one you can keep re-reading and always learn something new. In addition, since I chose to read a new expanded version of the Letters, perhaps the blanket is also indicating new things to uncover in the book. Donny further pointed out that the price tag might indicate some kind of price I have to pay in terms of effort, mental or otherwise, to gain the fruits of reading the book.
I think it’s worth pointing out that a dream giving such a blatant and obvious hint as this is a rare occurrence in my dreaming life. So did I perhaps interpret this dream too literally? From the way I’ve been jiving with reading the Letters I would say not. I do find it interesting though that in contrast to this obvious and spelled out guidance, we have the unseen book in the dream, which I seemed to remember was called Philosophy of Yoga, and which isn’t the actual title of any of Sri Aurobindo’s books. Perhaps it’s an indicator or a hint about something I might read in the future, or as Donny suggested, it might mean something more general, something about philosophy and yoga I still have to learn, and which is still ‘in the storeroom’ so to speak.
To end this article, it seems appropriate to mention that Donny decided to follow my suggestion in the dream that he get himself a copy of the huge Letters. So he went and bought himself Part 3 of the new expanded version. It bears mentioning that Donny also got a line from his muse that he interpreted as guidance to read the Letters, but he said that my dream was the big factor in making the decision. In fact, the line came after he had edited the first draft of this article, and we had discussed it. That line is the title of this article, “You Have to Read Between the Letters”.
Notes and References
- This new version is from a more recent version of Sri Aurobindo’s works called the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo. All the versions of the Letters I had read previously were from the first version of Aurobindo’s collected works called the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library.
- Sujata Nahar, Mother’s Chronicles Book 3: Mirra The Occultist, pg 150.