I recently had a dream that was clearly prevision and is worth sharing just from that standpoint. What’s perhaps more interesting though is the way the dream portrayed what was going to happen, because, even though there was a correlation, the events in the dream were much more dramatic and momentous than what happened waking life. Because of this, it’s a good example of the way dreams do things.
Here is the dream:
I’m working at the Mermaid Grill as a server. Alex also works there. We find ourselves out in the entryway to the restaurant and start kissing and fooling around. Stefanie is sitting there at a desk and tells us in so many words to get a room. There was more in between I don’t recall clearly, but then later on (or in a different dream of that night following the same scenario) it’s six months later, and Alex and I have broken up after being in a relationship during that time. She has shown up with her new boyfriend at the Mermaid Grill to have dinner while I am working in order to rub my nose in it.
The two women in the dream, Alex and Stefanie, both work for an advertising company that has been a long time partner with my employer as the publisher of our visitors guide. The first thing I should mention is that I find Alex very attractive. She wasn’t someone I saw or interacted with very often however, so the attraction wasn’t something that came up much. You could definitely say though that I fancied her a little bit. Then, almost a year after I relocated to India, my employer expanded our partnership with her company, and they designed a new website for us and also took over handling all advertising sales for the site. I was instructed to pass any referrals for advertising on to Alex. So about once a month or so I needed to email her about something related to website advertising or the visitors guide.
The day following the dream I got an email from Alex. In it she told me that her coworker Kate would be handling all the advertising from here on out, and to refer everything to her. Looking at Alex’s signature I saw that her title had changed from Account Executive to General Manager, and I realized that was the reason. Then I noticed that the vital was a little bit deflated by this news. It realized I wouldn’t be emailing with Alex anymore, or at least not nearly as often, and experienced some disappointment because of that. Seeing this, I realized how the vital had taken pleasure in corresponding with her simply because of my attraction. And even though our emails were all business, it was still a little pop for the vital to get an email from her or to send her one. There was a thrill in that little contact.
This is the first time I can ever remember dreaming of Alex, and I think the prevision is obvious, though as I’ve found with prevision in my dreams at least, there isn’t an exact correlation. According to Sri Aurobindo, in this regard I’m the rule and not the exception. Aurobindo states in his Letters on Yoga that the power to have dreams with exact physical prevision “is comparatively rare, for ordinarily such previsions come in inner vision but not in sleep. In dreams vital or mental formations often take shape which sometimes fulfill themselves in essence, but not with this accuracy of detail.”1
I think we can see how this applies here, because this wasn’t anything like a romantic split in waking life. Nor was Alex’s email anything but congenial, and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be. I’m pretty sure she likes me as a person, and it was, after all, just business. And the truth is my vital wasn’t really that upset about the whole thing, just a little disappointed. The disappointment though was because of the attraction, and that seems to me to be why the dream portrayed what happened as a romance and a breakup. While writing this article I read something the Mother said which supports this idea as a reasonable explanation. She was talking about visions in the subtle physical plane, but I think the same mechanism would apply to dreams. In her words:
If you have a power of vision that is objective and sincere, you see the thing accurately; if you add your own feelings and impressions to it, it is coloured by them. So accuracy in the subtle physical depends exclusively on the instrument, that is to say, on the one who sees.2
To conclude the analysis of the dream, I’d like to take a look at the fact that this dream took place at the Mermaid Grill. As Donny once pointed out, a restaurant is a logical symbol for somewhere people are exchanging life force. That would fit in this case since I feel that actually occurs when you’re corresponding with someone or, as I pointed out in a recent post, during things like social media interactions. I honestly hadn’t ever given much thought to what a mermaid might symbolize. Nor can I remember ever having a dream of an actual mermaid, though that may have happened. I wasn’t sure what to make of it so I ran it by Donny, who said that to him, in the case of this dream, it suggested a desire that was still somewhat subconscious and unformed, still ‘under the water’ to some extent. That idea makes sense since my attraction to Alex has been more of a fancy, and not something that has really taken a hold of my mind or my vital the way an actual infatuation with someone would. It could perhaps be compared with having a celebrity crush. Unless you’re deluded or it’s an obsession, you don’t really take it that seriously, though it’s fun to think about, and you might go see every movie that person is in in order to bask in their on screen presence. In the same way, I’ve been basking in these kinds of feelings in my emailing with Alex. And like my celebrity crush example here, I’ve also had some fun along the way thinking about what it would be like to be the center of her universe.
Now compared to the way people living a normal life indulge these kinds of fancies, I’m not indulging them all that much. As a sadhak, however, I have to keep setting the bar higher and higher, and the goal of the yoga I follow is not to indulge these things at all. That’s been my goal for a long time, but I haven’t reached it yet due I think to a combination of excusing it, but also by being carried away in the groove of a habit I indulged for many years. One thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes you can catch these things when they enter the mind and in that moment you can make the choice to push them away, while there are other times where they get in and start having their play for a while before you wake up and objectively realize what’s happening. So I think the best thing I can do is to take the writing and posting of this article as a call to make the most definitive push I can to stop entertaining these things whether it’s right at the moment they enter the mind or once I become aware they’re having their play due to the groove of habit. As far as Alex goes, this isn’t just for me and my attempts at purification, but for her too, because if I’m basking in my attraction while emailing with her, that vibe still colors the exchange and has an adverse effect on her, however small, even if I never drop the slightest hint in my emails that I have these feelings.
So in conclusion, my main point here was to draw attention to the larger than life element of dreams and also to the possibility of distortion by the dreamer. There’s certainly more to be said though on this subject of prevision in dreams, and I have another recent occurrence of dream prevision I want to share in an upcoming post that involved myself, and our dog, Lucy. This example takes things a bit farther, however, because there were prevision dreams both before the occurrence, as well as dreams afterwards that shed more light on what happened.
- Sri Aurobindo, Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Volume 31: Letters On Yoga IV, page 457
- The Mother, Collected Works of The Mother Volume 10: On Thoughts and Aphorisms, page 124