A Sitting In The Lake

swan-on-a-lake

By Douglas McElheny

On Easter Sunday this year I woke up feeling like I’d actually rested during the night, which is abnormal for me since I usually wake up feeling quite the opposite to varying degrees. I also felt clear and still on the inside for lack of better words, and with a little bit of enthusiasm and positivity for the day. That clear feeling stayed with me for the rest of the day, though it got covered up at times when I would get absorbed in doing this or that. It was pretty slight to begin with, and was even more slight throughout the day, but it stayed until the evening if I remember correctly, maybe even up until I went to bed, but I can’t recall for sure. I think the experience is connected to this dream I had Easter morning:

I’m driving down Montvale Road in Maryville, TN to Briarcliff Circle, where my family used to live.  I’m with Trent and at least one other person. I know my family and I are staying as guests at the Bailey’s, and I joke with Trent asking him if he wants to go and see my dad (in waking life my dad did not like Trent). I turn into Briarcliff, but don’t get far before I turn the car around and go back out on Montvale Road towards town. Now we’re on foot though, and on the other side of Montvale Road is a large lake with pretty light blue water (in waking life there is a large expanse of farmland there). I’m saying to the others: “Why weren’t we coming to the lake and swimming every day when we were kids?” I just can’t believe we weren’t doing that. We all get in the water and are sitting in it next to the shore. The bottom has soft mud though, and I don’t like the feel of it so I get out and am now sitting on the road. A man and a little boy are here now with a big rectangular chocolate birthday cake. I tell them today is my birthday also, which, in the dream, it is. It says Happy Birthday Jennifer on the cake, and I assume that’s the boy’s mother. Then Jennifer, who is Latina, shows up and isn’t very friendly. So my friends and I go on the other side of the road to a small house that seems to be just one big room that has a garage door on it which is open. The family comes in too, and I find out that Jennifer is from Bolivia and start speaking to her in Spanish, telling her I went all over Bolivia over a period of about 10 months. As we talk she starts to warm up a little bit. My friends and I decide to go, but we have to get our car out of this room so we start moving the furniture and things that are in the way of the car. I move some small items, not wanting to hurt my back. There is no car now though, just a big bed, but that is what we’re planning to move out once we clear the other furniture out of the way.

 In his Letters on Yoga Aurobindo states that ‘water is the symbol of a state of consciousness or a plane’.Now when I told Donny about the dream he pointed out that in his experience a lake with its expansive yet bounded condition (as opposed to say the ocean which is limitless and would represent an even higher condition) represents the state of mental silence and loss of ego denoted by terms such as realization, enlightenment, silent mind or in the case of the integral yoga ‘the spiritual consciousness’.  The fact that the water was a pretty blue supports this idea since Aurobindo says the levels of the spiritual consciousness can be symbolized by the that color.2

I will say though that for me the real proof of the meaning of this blue lake is ‘in the pudding’ as they say. For millennia sages have testified to the peace and stillness of the spiritual consciousness and that was what spilled over into my waking life albeit in a very diminished form. So what I think happened here is I must have had a unrecalled brush with the spiritual consciousness in some way during sleep that was transcribed by the dream and also produced an effect on the waking consciousness. In a sense it was a very strong effect since it remained for the whole day even though the actual change in consciousness was very slight.

Looking at other elements in the dream, the appearance of the birthday cake is something that gives weight to this theory since, as Donny pointed out, it could be a symbol for a permanent transition from ego consciousness to the spiritual consciousness. That transition seems to be such a radical reversal it can be likened to dying and being reborn. The cake was also rectangular, and in his letters Sri Aurobindo also says that in visions a rectangle “indicates something partial and preliminary”3as opposed to a square which “indicates that the creation is to be complete in itself.”4I imagine squares and rectangles could have the same significance in dreams, and Aurobindo’s interpretation makes sense here since it appears all that may have happened was a fleeting immersion in the spiritual consciousness. There was no permanent change of station to that level.

I’m not sure what the muddy bottom of the lake might mean. Perhaps it’s some obstacle coming between me and the spiritual consciousness or maybe something that was difficult or disorienting about the encounter with the state. Apparently a lot of people require some time to adjust when they enter the spiritual consciousness permanently. It’s certainly worth noting though that I had a vision later on that morning after the dream where I was being encouraged to swim in that blue water.

Most of the rest of the symbols in the dream are hard for me to interpret. I don’t really know what to make of the room at the end of the dream and trying to get my ‘car’, that had turned into a bed, out of it.  The fact that the dream took place in Briarcliff Circle where I used to live is interesting though because two days before Easter I received news that the Bailey’s, who are mentioned in the dream and who are close family friends, had suffered a very devastating loss. So Maryville and the Bailey’s had been on my mind, and in a manner of speaking I really had ‘been in Maryville’ on the level of thought and emotion in the days preceding the dream.

So is the fact that I was giving the Baileys a lot of thought the reason Maryville was the setting of my dream, and it was a more or less reflexive element woven in with other more obviously symbolic and meaningful elements? Or is there something more significant going on? I honestly can’t say. Perhaps the birthday woman from Bolivia who was in the glum mood represents the Bailey’s since there was Latino blood on Mrs. Bailey’s side. It would seem though that it would have something personally to do with me too, with the tendency for glumness in my vital which was being represented by this woman.

Having finished my attempt to analyze this dream, there is still one interesting question left to address. And that is: did my dream and experience have anything to do with it being Easter?  I have to admit that, while I’ve had experience with the effects of things like solstices and full moons, if I’ve ever had a dream or experience like this on Easter, I can’t remember it. As it turns out Easter was on April 1 this year, and the night of March 31stwas the night of the full moon. For me the full moon alone would be enough to account for my dream and subsequent experience, but perhaps Easter, even though the date moves around every year, is a day with spiritual power in the same way the darshans of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram are for myself and many others.5

Now in conclusion, while the potential impact of things like full moons and days like Easter on sleep experience is no doubt interesting, what I feel is most important here is the idea that experiences that happen in sleep, even when we don’t remember them, can give rise to a dream transcribing the event as well as have a noticeable effect on our waking consciousness. It’s fair to point out too that, in my experience, you can experience and remember an altered state of consciousness in a dream that leaves no effect whatsoever on the waking consciousness like a number of dreams I’ve had over the years where I smoked marijuana and got high in the dream, but woke up feeling completely normal.  Donny also recently recounted a dream to me where he was feeling a blissful ecstatic bhakti from which he woke up directly, and yet nothing of the experience carried over. I’m sure there are reasons for all this, but I could only guess at the moment what they are, so I’ll refrain from doing so. I’ll just leave all this as food for thought.

Notes and References

  1. Sri Aurobindo, Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Vol. 30: Letters on Yoga III, pgs 150.
  2. Sri Aurobindo, Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Vol. 30: Letters on Yoga III, pgs 127-28.
  3. Sri Aurobindo, Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo Vol. 30: Letters on Yoga III, pg 102.
  4. The spiritual effect of the darshan days here at the ashram was the subject of my last post for those who are interested.

The Shuttle Has Landed

By Douglas McElheny

In this post, I have a dream I want to share mainly because of a strong synchronicity between it and an outer event that happened the morning after the dream. I think it provides a good example of how these meetings between the inner and the outer can happen even though I’m not sure what it all means. Here is the dream:

 I’m watching the space shuttle come in for a landing on TV, but then I notice I can hear the sound of its engines coming in the window from outside. I figure Cape Canaveral must be close enough that I can hear it coming in. When I look outside however, I can see the shuttle has actually landed here on the runway of the airport in Pondicherry. It’s nighttime and it’s trying to turn around to go to the terminal. I try to walk closer to it to get a better look, but I don’t get much closer before someone’s is yelling at me about not getting too close.

The morning after this dream I noticed our Harm’s End Facebook page had a notification, so I clicked to see what it was. It turns out it was a ‘like’ for a post Donny did on someone else’s facebook page nearly fourteen months before. The post contains a long poem and a video clip of the space shuttle Atlantislanding after a mission. Donny and I were both impressed by the synchronicity, but what might the wholething mean?

Going up into space via the space shuttle or otherwise would seem to indicate a very high spiritual flight and the space shuttle landing would indicate coming down from that. As it turns out this dream happened on December 1, 2017 right in the middle of three darshan dayshere in Pondicherry. These are special days here at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, when people are allowed to pass through either Sri Aurobindo’s room or the Mother’s or sometimes both.  Most of these darshan days were celebrated when Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were still alive, and were noteworthy because they were days when the sadhaks were able to appear in front of Sri Aurobindo (who spent the rest of the year secluded in his room) and the Mother together for a silent blessing. People however were not permitted to speak to him.

Over the years I’ve noticed perceptible effects on myself on the darshan days, though often nothing noteworthy happens, or I’m too clouded to receive anything. Usually if something noticeable occurs it’s some peace or detachment, though I have also had some powerful and obviously significant dreams on these days as well. The other thing I’ve noticed, unfortunately, is that difficulties tend to increase both inwardly and outwardly in the days leading up to a darshan. That doesn’t always happen though, but I’m guessing that when it does happen it’s because of a combination of hostile forces trying to throw me off track so I’m not receptive on the darshan days as well as blocks and resistances in me.

Donny has noticed these effects as well of the darshan days, both the good and the bad, and I’m sure there are many other people, who are either sadhaks or devotees of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, that have also. As far as the time period around the dream goes, I do recall feeling inwardly quiet and settled throughout the entire day on one of those three darshans, and it may have been the one on December 5th.  I seem to remember it was. And if it was, then the dream could be showing the coming down from that experience the next day on the 6th. Regardless though of when it happened, that experience didn’t seem to me at first to be powerful enough to fit with the symbolism of going into space. Donny disagreed though saying he thought experiences of peace like that are more significant than I might be giving them credit for. After some thought, I can see his point especially when you consider the experience lasted throughout an entire day. Hopefully with more experience I’ll be able to say for sure if something like this could be symbolized by going into space.

But as I said in my introductory paragraph, what is really noteworthy about this dream is the synchronicity with the ‘like’ on Donny’s Facebook post. That would put some emphasis on the whole thing I would think. What’s interesting though is the emphasis is on the shuttle landing, not the shuttle going up into space. Why the emphasis would be placed on that, on coming down from a spiritual height, I don’t know. There was also nothing I recorded in my dream journal before or after this particular dream of going up into space. There was however a dream I recorded on November 26th where my best friend from college, Nick, (who’s deceased) was flying in an X-Wing fighter and blew up the Death Star. Perhaps the two dreams are related.

An interesting thing Donny pointed out is that my inability to get close to the space shuttle in my dream is metaphorically speaking a lot like the way I’ve had to approach this article. I haven’t been able to ‘get close’ in the sense of being able to draw any definite conclusions about what all this means, just put out some ideas and possibilities. I will say, however, that the simple occurrence of any really strong or blatant synchronicity can still have beneficial effects even if you can’t draw any conclusions from it.  Having grown used to synchronicities over the years I often just shrug my shoulders at them, but this one impressed me, and Donny as well. It evoked, the way synchronicities can, a sense of a something wonderful and meaningful, of a guiding hand behind the seemingly mechanical workings of the universe.

One thing I’ve considered, and will throw out here as some food for thought, is the possibility that the dream isn’t referring just to me personally, but referring to what was going on in the atmosphere of Pondicherry itself with the triple darshan. Perhaps the dream was showing or also showing how the general vibration in the area would be coming down from that heightened state afterwards. I’ve noticed darshan effects even when living in Florida and also at the Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham ashram in Lodi, CA., so it doesn’t seem implausible that my dream is referring not just to me, but also to the general atmosphere of Pondy which was uplifted by the three darshans. It makes sense that here in Pondy the effect would be stronger than anywhere else.

There is one more thing that happened as part of all this which is worth mentioning as I close. While putting the finishing touches on my last article I was thinking about what I would write next. This article was one I was considering for my next one, though I seem to remember I was leaning more towards another. In the midst of that, and roughly two months after the dream/Facebook synchronicity occurred, we got another notification on Harm’s End of a ‘like’. This ‘like’ was also for Donny’s poem with the clip of the Atlantislanding, though it was another posting on a different Facebook page.So I took this as a nudge from the universe, which prompted me to write this particular article in lieu of some others that I was considering.

Notes and References

  1. These three darshans are on November 17th, November 24th and December 5th. November 17th is the day the Mother died and December 5th is the day Sri Aurobindo died. November 24th is known as ‘Siddhi Day’ and marks the day that the ashram was founded.
  2. Donny posted this particular poem and clip on a number of Facebook pages all having to do with debunking conspiracy theories. There were no other ‘likes’ received on any of these space shuttle Atlantis posts in the time between the two mentioned in this article.

Dream Experience With Franklin Merrell-Wolff?

Tuttle Creek Ashram
The Tuttle Creek Ashram

Image Source

By Douglas McElheny

About a year ago I had a series of dreams in the same night with the deceased American spiritual teacher Franklin Merrell-Wolff. I wanted to share these dreams for a couple of reasons, one of which is simply to get his name out there on the internet for someone who might be interested in him and his work, which has the obvious stamp of someone who attained a spiritual realization or ‘recognition’ as he preferred to call it. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea because of his strong intellectual bent, but if you have the kind of mind that can get into his writings, I think you’ll find him as rewarding to read as anyone in contemporary spiritual literature.

The second reason I want to share is because I feel these dreams might be indicating an actual contact with Merrell-Wolff during sleep on another supraphysical plane, and I wanted to use these dreams as a means to explore the possibility of such encounters. In a letter to one of his sadhaks, Sri Aurobindo calls this sort of dream a ‘dream experience’, which he defines as a “record direct or symbolic of what happens to us or around us there (on other supraphysical planes).”1 Now I honestly don’t know how to infallibly distinguish when a dream is a dream experience according to this definition. I wracked my brain trying to see if I could come up with some kind of criteria, but realized I’m just not at the place yet where I have that kind of knowledge and discernment. So this article is going to be more hypothetical than most that I write, and more about presenting possibilities than answers.

I think however we can still expand our horizons through exploring the possibility that this was indeed a dream experience with Merrell-Wolff , while at the same time being honest that I don’t know for sure. To give this idea some plausibility however, and not just build a house of cards, I will support it with some relevant quotes from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Let me also say that I feel that if these dreams were indeed of the dream experience variety, they were a symbolic record and not a direct one. Overall there was nothing really remarkable about the dream environment or the dream substance that would lead me to believe I was bringing back a direct record from something that occurred on another plane. And while there was one beautiful scene in the first dream, it wasn’t the kind of breathtaking beauty I’ve seen in dream environments that I suspect are peering into the subtle physical.2 I have to admit though, that there are many, many things I still don’t know or understand about dreams, so I may be wrong, but since Sri Aurobindo makes the distinction in his definition, I thought I needed to give my opinion on the matter for the sake of clarity throughout the rest of this article.

So with all this in mind I’ll now share the dreams.

Dream 1
I’m with Franklin Merrell-Wolff in a truck in the front seat and he’s driving. There’s also if I remember correctly another passenger and I’m sitting in the middle. We’re driving through some low rolling green mountains. There really isn’t a road though, and at one point the car is almost sideways driving along the side of one of the mountains. I know we’re going to reach a point where we’ll have to go more or less straight up and I’m nervous about this. We stop first though at Merrell-Wolff’s house. I join with a group of people and he’s giving us a tour. At one point we reach a place where there’s a staircase going up, and a staircase going down, and a room can be seen at the end of each staircase. One by one we have to go to the staircases and choose which way we want to go, and some people choose to go up and others choose to go down. When it’s my turn I can see that downstairs there are some chairs and the people there are watching a video presentation. I don’t now recall what was going on upstairs. My first inclination is to go upstairs, but then I change my mind and go downstairs, because I think that’s where Merrell-Wolff is. He’s not there though, and I realize he’s off somewhere else outside with a few other people and that I didn’t get to go. I find my way outside and can see a wide desert plain below that has some rock formations in the distance like something you’d see in the badlands in South Dakota. It’s a very beautiful scene. After that I find myself in a bigger room like a theater watching something on TV. I don’t remember now what it was about.

 Dream 2
I’m with Merrell-Wolff in a truck again and he’s driving. We’re talking about spiritual realization, and how you get there. Something in our conversation (I don’t remember what) prompts me to say, “Well maybe I’m a weak person.” But he tells me that on the contrary I’m a very strong person, and he tells me why, but I can’t remember now what he said. Also during the conversation I asked him if surrender was the most important thing for gaining spiritual realization, and I seem to remember he answered in the affirmative. I also asked him if it’s just a matter of letting go, and I don’t remember now how he responded.

Dream 3
We’re back at Merrell-Wolff’s house in the mountains, and an airport taxi has come to pick me up though it looks like a trolley. Merrell-Wolff comes to say goodbye, and I’m feeling emotional because I don’t want to leave him. For our parting he reaches out to shake my hand while I try to give him a hug, which results in a kind of awkward embrace. He gives me a kiss on the cheek, and then he points his index and middle fingers of one hand at my eyes, but not directly, as his hand is a little bit on the left side of my head. He says reassuringly something like “You’re gonna get it. You’re gonna figure it out” or I may have just understood that that was what he meant by the gesture and he didn’t actually say it. I can’t recall for sure. I’m feeling very emotional because I figure I’ll never see him again.

Franklin Merrell-Wolff died in 1985. In a video interview I saw of him that took place near the end of his life, Merrell-Wolff states his belief that it’s possible to make the transition to death consciously and without falling into a swoon from which one would have to regain consciousness later. He also voiced his desire to accomplish this during his death.3 I have to admit I don’t have any idea what would be the benefits of entering death without losing continuity of consciousness, but I will say that I feel a realized being has a lot more control over what happens to them in death than your average joe, though I obviously can’t prove that.

merrell-wolff headshot
Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Being familiar with Merrell-Wolff’s writings and having a sense of the stature of the man, I would guess he was developed enough to achieve his goal of entering death consciously. Developed enough also I would guess, to still be active on the other side guiding and helping the living, especially those people who are directly under his spiritual care—assuming of course that sort of thing is possible, and in my case I assume that it is. And if it is possible and this dream is transcribing an encounter with Merrell-Wolff, and if it’s a fairly accurate transcription in its basic details, then perhaps I actually went to his abode on the other side, his inner ashram you might say, somewhere where he meets and mixes with others. Now I don’t know where his abode might be on the other side, but the Mother said more than once after he died that Sri Aurobindo was dwelling in the subtle physical plane and that “you can meet him when you sleep, if you know how to go there.”4 She also made reference to a world on the subtle physical plane she visited during sleep “where the living and the dead intermingle without feeling any difference.”5

If you’ve read a lot of other blog posts of mine you know that I focus mainly on trying to show how dreams connect to actual occurrences in waking reality. So one could ask: what makes me think this dream isn’t just showing what was manifesting in my waking life at the time? Maybe, you might argue, it was showing a day or span of days that I was ‘up in the mountains’ spiritually so to speak, maybe feeling some peace or detachment. Unfortunately, I don’t recollect now what my waking life was like at the time, so I can’t refute that possibility by saying I was struggling with something then, but even if I had been uplifted at that time that wouldn’t necessarily invalidate for me the idea that this was a contact with Merrell-Wolff. That encounter might have been the thing that helped me to get clear. I should also point out that dreams have a depth and multi-dimensionality that’s hard for our waking consciousness to fathom, and this dream could very well have been showing both a personal uplift in waking consciousness and a contact with Merrell-Wolff at the same time.

One of the things that leads me to believe that this was a contact with Merrill-Wolff is years of dreams of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and my strong conviction that they’re my teachers, and that they are consciously active and guiding people from the other side.6 And while I don’t know of any examples with Merrell-Wolff, there are scores of stories of people encountering Sri Aurobindo and/or the Mother in their dreams (both while Aurobindo and the Mother were still alive as well as after their deaths) and receiving help or guidance from them. In one of his letters, Sri Aurobindo pointed out to a sadhak that encountering the Mother on the vital plane is an experience “all the sadhaks have in their sleep and dreams, if they are a little conscious there. Even those who are not sadhaks or others who do not know her come, but they are not aware of it.”7

Another question the reader might ask, and which I asked myself, is: could Merrell-Wolff be representing someone or something else I encountered in sleep and the dream just used him as a symbol because its one I would know and recognize? I recently came across an instance in Questions and Answers where a child tells the Mother a dream she had where “you took me in your arms and embraced me for quite some time.”8 The Mother then tells her that during sleep the child had entered into contact with Forces “which are full of love and tenderness, which help and welcome all those who come,”9 and “when you woke up, this was translated through images you know, that is, that you come to see me, receive blessings, and then as there was a new feeling —that of contact with this Force which envelops and helps— this gave you the impression that I was taking you in my arms and embracing you. It was translated in this way. The fact is there; the translation is that of your brain.”10 Based on this it certainly seems quite possible that Merrell-Wolff could have been a symbol for a Force like the Mother describes here, but it also seems possible to me that the dream does indeed record a contact with Merrell-Wolff.

While he’s not my primary teacher, and he admittedly doesn’t enter my dreams often,11 I have a tremendous admiration for Franklin Merrell-Wolff and his incredible mind, as well as a great enthusiasm for his written works, which I regard as some of my most prized possessions. That by itself seems to me would be enough to open up the possibility of a contact during sleep, but I’ve also reached out to him to a small extent over the years, asked him for his help. It’s only been in small spurts whereas I’m reaching out to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on a daily basis, but when I think of him it sometimes drums up a little bit of bhakti along with the enthusiasm I feel for his books. So I think there’s enough here for there to be an inner connection between he and I, and I think a spiritually realized man like Merrell Wolff is going to give his help to anyone who sincerely asks, even if its just in a small way, and even if for the most part he leaves that person to the care of the people directly in charge of his or her sadhana. I think also that the element of Merrell-Wolff giving me guidance in the dream as well as my desire to be with him and the emotions I felt at our parting could indicate that this was indeed a contact with him, and that the bhakti and enthusiasm I feel for him in my waking life are perhaps the outcome of a deeper inner connection. How you distinguish infallibly though between a dream experience that shows an actual encounter with someone like Merrell-Wolff or Sri Aurobindo, and one that uses them as symbols for helping Forces or other beings, is something I don’t know, and I have to wonder which of my many dreams of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother over the years were actually showing a contact with them and not just using them as a symbol.

I think after having hashed all that out, it’s appropriate now to briefly look at some of the movements in the dreams in the context of a dream experience and under the assumption that this was in fact a contact with Merrell-Wolff. Now as I said previously, I think that if this was a dream experience, it’s a symbolic recording and not a direct one. Given that, going up into the mountains might just be symbolic of rising up through the planes and in the scale of consciousness to Merrell-Wolff’s abode. According to Sri Aurobindo’s descriptions of other planes in his epic poem Savitri however, other supraphysical planes can have features like mountains, lakes etc.12 So it wouldn’t seem to me to be impossible that Merrell-Wolff, who loved the mountains and even built a small ashram in the Eastern Sierra Nevada during his lifetime,13 would set up his abode in a mountainous setting. This however is admittedly pure speculation.

Moving on, I have to say I have no idea what the choice between going up and going down in the first dream might mean, but the TV screen that was in the room downstairs and also the one at the end of the first dream perhaps indicate being given information or knowledge. It’s interesting I wasn’t included with the group that went outside with Merrell-Wolff. I don’t know what that represented, but for whatever reason I wasn’t invited. Maybe that’s because I’m not fully his student or maybe it was something for the more spiritually advanced people. I seem to recall that in the dream I understood that I wasn’t spiritually advanced enough to go, but since I didn’t record that in the dream’s description in my dream journal I can’t rule out that that’s a false recollection my mind has tacked on to the memory of the dream.

Looking at the guidance given in the dream, it’s of course nice to be told by someone like Merrell-Wolff in a dream that you’re a strong person, and that you’re going to figure it out. That gave me a little confidence boost after the dream that I can still recall, and one I must have needed though, as I’ve said, I can’t remember what my general state was at the time. The fact that I asked Merrell-Wolff if surrender was the most important thing for spiritual realization was prompted I feel by the memory of one particular part in his work Introceptualism that discusses the importance of self-giving to the sacred. That particular passage really resonated with me and has stuck with me more strongly than anything else I’ve gleaned from Merrell-Wolff’s books.14

 So in conclusion, though this is all hypothetical, my feeling on the matter is that this was indeed a dream experience with Franklin Merrell-Wolff. Of course, that’s admittedly what I want to believe, but if you’re willing to take Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as authorities, I think I’ve presented a plausible argument that this was a dream experience, and that these sorts of supraphysical encounters with other people, be they dead or alive, are possible in sleep. But then there’s still the question of whether or not I actually encountered Merrell-Wolff in sleep that night or if my dream was just using him as a symbol for someone or something else I encountered. Regarding this I must be honest and admit once more that this is a question I can’t answer at this time, and one that almost got me to shelve this article before it was finished hoping that at some point in my life I’d have the knowledge and discernment to answer the question one way or another. It makes sense though that it really was Merrell-Wolff for the reasons I’ve stated previously, and I think my belief that it was indeed him can be presented as a reasonable, even probable possibility by the reader if you’re willing to admit the existence of such dream encounters with a spiritual teacher with whom you have an inner connection. It was this, along with Donny’s encouragement that convinced me to carry on with the endeavor and finish the article. Dreams are still a largely unexplored frontier, and some amount of hypothetical speculation is inevitable as we attempt to map this territory, or re-map it perhaps since past civilizations may not have been as in the dark about dreams and other occult phenomenon as we are. So if this inquiry has broadened anyone’s ideas of what’s possible in sleep and dreams and done it in a credible manner, that I feel is sufficient, and it’s served a useful purpose. And if it further prompts a reader or two to take a closer look at their own dreams for evidence of such dream experiences or even for just a deeper understanding of their dreams in general, so much the better.

Notes and References

  1. Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Vol 30: Letters on Yoga III, pg 260.
  2. The subtle physical is Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s term for another world of physical matter like ours, but one of incredible beauty in comparison to the gross physical world we inhabit in waking consciousness.
  3. Those interested can watch the interview here https://youtu.be/39kZf72LlE4
  4. The Mother, CWM Vol 13: Words of the Mother I, pg 12.
  5. The Mother, CWM Vol 10: On Thoughts and Aphorisms, pg 147.
  6. For what I think is a good clear example of a dream experience with the Mother, please read this article on my old blog The Chipmunk Press. Scroll down to where it says ‘From First, From Within’ to find the article.
  7. Sri Aurobindo, CWSA Vol 32: The Mother With Letters On The Mother, pg 290.
  8. The Mother, CWM Vol 6: Questions and Answers 1954, pg 143.
  9. pg 147-148.
  10. pg 148.
  11. In my dream journals, which I’ve got on Word docs back to the beginning of 2013, Merrell-Wolff’s name only comes up twice, and in both dreams I was reading something he’d written and wasn’t actually with him. I have a vague recollection of another dream where I was actually with him, but that could be a false memory.
  12. Please refer to Book II Canto II and Book XI Canto I in Sri Aurobindo’s
  13. Merrell-Wolff built the ashram in Tuttle Creek Canyon near Lone Pine, CA with the help of a group he and his wife Sherifa founded called the ‘Assembly of Man’. This building still stands and is known as the ‘Tuttle Creek Ashram’ by the U.S. Forest Service.
  14. Here is the quote for those who are interested:
    ‘Sacredness implies self-giving, while secularity implies self-withholding. In the transformation process, everything else is incidental to the attainment of the pure self-giving attitude. For the most part, one attains this attitude only after a desperately painful crisis, but if the individual can accept it without waiting for the crisis, he or she simply avoids a great deal of discomfort.’
    Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Transformations in Consciousness, pg 150

 

 

 

Dad Dyes His Hair

By Douglas McElheny

It’s possible there are exceptions to the rule, but I would wager that 99.9% of people who have an active dream life dream often of the person or persons who were their primary caretakers growing up. For most people that will be a person or persons labeled ‘parent’. And for most of us growing up with a two-parent situation, one parent was more likely the authority figure while the other was more maternal and indulgent. If you were raised in a traditional family it was probably dad who was more the authority figure, and thus he could represent, among other things1, the authoritarian part of oneself. I think that’s case with me and in that context I wanted to share and then discuss this dream.

 I’m with my Dad and he’s dyed his hair black to cover up the grey. I tell him, “You finally decided to do it huh?” His mustache has been shaved off too and he looks a lot younger. I open the freezer and there’s some kind of cake inside but it’s flat like it collapsed while cooking in the oven. It has little light brown chocolate chips on it. Dad tells me, “Why don’t you pick the fruit off?” I tell him, “No I’m just looking at it.”

For the first few years of my life my dad was clean-shaven and that’s how he appears in pictures from that time of my life. Then when I was about four or five he grew a mustache that he’s had ever since. My mother told me when I was still a child (but old enough to understand these things) that for the first few years of my life, my father was warm and indulgent with his sons, but there reached a point where a shift occurred and he became more distant, controlling and authoritarian. The trend increased the older my brother and I got. She said it was something she found baffling and never could understand why it happened. I’m not going to postulate about why it happened, just state that it did.

Now here at our house I’m more the authority figure and always have been. The youths we have with us now were not with us in their most formative years, but if they were to dream of Donny and I in the context of parents there’s no doubt I would appear in their dreams as the authoritarian part of themselves and Donny as the more nurturing and indulgent part. At the time of the dream though I was experiencing a noticeable lessening of the authoritarian part of my nature, which in some ways was also a letting go, particularly about things regarding money, because one thing that’s difficult for me is our charges are almost completely bereft of any practicality or sense of sacrifice. They are for the most part only interested in wringing as much pleasure out of life as they can with the minimum amount of effort. That’s par for the course for people in their age group, but I feel it’s exacerbated in them by the stamp they got from the poor village environment in which they spent their earliest years.

When I had the dream I thought it was reflecting this lessening of my authoritarian streak that I was experiencing, since it depicted my Dad going back physically to what he looked like at the time in my life when he was more indulgent. I was noticing at the time that it was like something heavy was gone from me, and I felt a clearness and a lightness inside as well as a heightened sense of goodwill. For me this is proof that my authoritarian streak is exaggerated to the point of being a painful manifestation of egoism which, I suppose when you get down to the foundation of it, is a desire to control and impose what I feel is the right way to live on others. It goes beyond money to other areas but as far as money goes there’s also an attachment to it, a clinging to it. I will say however that I don’t think the attachment to money and where it’s going would be so hard if I was living with and supporting a houseful of people who were spiritual aspirants or at the very least interested in some kind of self development or improvement. That’s not the case here with anyone other than Donny.

So this clearing in the vital lasted a couple of weeks. Then something one of our charges did or wanted provoked a reaction. I don’t remember exactly what now, but I seem to recall it was Mugu wanting money for something. I’d had a dream the night before where I’d found myself lying on my side in bed, probably in the cataleptic state, looking at a small picture hanging on the wall in front of me. I had at least one other dream after this one before awakening, so I can’t clearly recall anything about it other than it was showing a pretty and colorful outdoor scene, but one that, if I remember correctly, had a lot of autumn like colors such as yellow, orange and red. There was also at least one building in the dream as I recall. The dream ended with a line which was something to the tune of “I knew at some point my dad would enter the picture.” I feel that line was addressing the fact that this authoritarian dad part of myself had reseated itself in me with that reaction, and I haven’t felt clear of it since to the same degree that I did for those couple of weeks after the first dream. During that time it was much easier to let go of these reactions if they arose at all. Perhaps the picture in the dream was showing my emotional state at the time, which was something pretty, but also perhaps near the end of its span because of the autumn like colors.

Regarding the deflated cake in the freezer, that would suggest to me some kind of vital indulgence that had been ‘put on ice’ so to speak at the time. Perhaps it’s not necessarily some kind of material indulgence like eating a lot of sweets or smoking cigarettes or sexual desire, but rather the lower vital feelings that get indulged when I’m in authoritarian mode, such as anger, obsessive control etc. which give the vital a perverse pleasure. I don’t know if that’s the case, and perhaps it did have to do with some more material indulgence. I’m just throwing this out there as an idea.

In closing, if I had to take a guess as to what was going on during those clear weeks, I would postulate that my psychic being was able to exert an influence over the vital throughout that time. It was temporary of course, but like many other experiences that come and go, it’s a promise of something that can become stable with the right development.

Notes and References

  1. It seems to me your dad in a dream could potentially represent any strong trait or tendency you picked up from him that manifests often in your life, as well as the big authority figure in your life.

Modern Mythos

Skipper and Professor
The Skipper and the Professor of ‘Gilligan’s Island’.

By Douglas McElheny

Recently, after I posted my latest blog, I was thinking about what my next post might be. I had two ideas and started writing a little bit for each one. Then one night as I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I heard a voice say loud and clear, “Modern mythos.”

This is a theme I’ve touched on over the years in my writings, how all the different characters we’re exposed to in modern media serve as a modern mythos for our dreams to draw on for symbols. And since there can be a lot of variation in the characters we’re exposed to, because of what part of the world and what generation we grew up in, the modern mythos can be quite customized you might say per individual. When I grew up I was steeped in not just movies and television, but was also an avid comic book collector and know a lot of comic book characters, particularly Marvel comic book characters my dreams can use to show what’s going on with me the same way Greek and Roman gods and heroes would have been used by the dreams of people in those times.

Since the line ‘Modern mythos’ seemed like guidance I decided to write a blog post sharing and exploring a couple of these types of dreams. There was nothing really recent though in my dream journal that I could use, so it seemed possible to me that perhaps the dreams for this new post were yet to come. That proved to be the case, and two nights later I remembered two suitable dreams, both of which I will share as an examples of this type of dream. I’ll start with this one:

I’m with Darth Vader, but he’s actually my ally and we’re going to attack the Emperor. I’ve done something that has gotten the Emperor on the ground face down, and he seems to be unconscious. I want to stab him through the heart and kill him, but I have to leave for a moment to get someone to do something for me. When I come back the Emperor is awake. I stab him in different places with my lightsaber, but I can’t get him in the heart, and my attacks don’t seem to be doing anything. But then the Emperor changes into something like a big piece of plywood, and I’m smashing it with a hammer and telling people to take the pieces and burn them. While this is going on someone is organizing all the comic books that are here in the room in order to store them somewhere. The only one of the comic books I remember seeing was an issue of Daredevil, who’s on the cover dressed in a suit as his alter ego Matt Murdock. He’s with a woman who’s his girlfriend and who has stretching powers like Mister Fantastic.

The main part of this dream I think could be viewed as showing something universal in the sense that it demonstrates the plight of anyone struggling with their nature, shows how the spiritual warrior is dogged by hostile opposition in the process of purifying and converting all the parts of himself. The Emperor would seem to be some kind of hostile or anti-divine force opposing the spiritual endeavor or maybe the vital part or parts of us that are subject to that influence or perhaps all of those things. Darth Vader, in this dream at least1, would stand for a part or parts of one’s being that are in darkness, but are turning toward the light, a part that is being converted. That makes sense because Vader turns back to the light before he dies. Then there’s the character I play, the hero in the sense of the spiritual warrior, fighting the battle against one’s own nature and the forces of darkness that oppose.

Since this first part of the dream does seem to show a universal situation you can see how the three main characters could be swapped out with others. For example someone who was growing up in the first part of this century when Harry Potter was all the rage could have this same dream using Severus Snape in place of Darth Vader, and Lord Voldemort in place of the Emperor. The dreamer might also regard himself as Harry Potter or perhaps just play himself like I did in my dream: I didn’t regard myself as Luke Skywalker. And of course in the Harry Potter scenario the hero would be wielding a magic wand rather than a lightsaber. Here though we’ve reached a point where my dream steps outside the Star Wars mythos and starts using more mundane objects for symbols. My lightsaber, with which I was fighting ineffectively, becomes an ordinary hammer and the Emperor becomes something like plywood. Now what could that mean?

Donny feels that wood in a dream often represents something vital. That certainly fits here and would confirm that the Emperor is showing something in my vital that is under the influence of or has its buttons pushed by hostile forces. I’m not sure what a hammer might represent as opposed to a lightsaber, but a hammer is usually used to do work so maybe it signifies a labor I have to undertake. It’s also a very blunt instrument and certain types of hammers are used to break and destroy things. In this dream I used it to destroy the plywood, and then the pieces are taken to be burned. Donny said this movement suggested to him the idea of destroying something utterly, of burning it down to ashes, and that that could represent thoroughly rejecting whatever the Emperor/plywood represented, of giving it no quarter. Fire might also represent the fire of spiritual aspiration and tapas being used to burn up this particular wrong movement.

It’s interesting that the Emperor was vulnerable and seemingly unconscious at the beginning of my dream. Maybe whatever he represents could have been completely defeated at that time in my life, but the opportunity was missed. I wouldn’t bet on it though. It’s not easy to get rid of these things.

So now let’s examine the last piece of this dream: the comic book cover. Daredevil’s epithet is the ‘The Man Without Fear’, and rightly so since he literally has no fear and can resist fear toxins used by super villains. The other thing that makes Daredevil cool is he’s blind, but has enhanced senses including an additional radar sense he can use to negotiate the world. Given this Daredevil could perhaps represent occult powers or senses that can perceive beyond our normal five senses. I could see how a dream might highlight that feature of the character, but in this dream we find him as his alter ego Matt Murdock whose profession is a trial lawyer. This seems to me to be the key to interpreting the symbol at least as far as this dream goes.

Now a lawyer’s weapon is his mind and not his fists, and Donny also pointed out that a lawyer is an advocate, someone acting on your behalf for your wellbeing. Now at the time of this dream I was having a particularly rough go of it with the chronic pain I’m afflicted with in both my lower back and my knees. One problem I have regarding the chronic pain is the fear about it and the gloom and doom thoughts and feelings that can come up in reference to it, especially during a difficult period. So perhaps the dream is urging me to be ‘The Man Without Fear’ in the sense of being my own advocate and combating the fear, not just by rejecting it, but also by using my mind to reason with the vital and calm it down the same way a lawyer uses reason to present his arguments and win a trial. Or maybe the dream was showing me that some helpful force or entity was acting on my behalf to bring me courage, an intervention that might have been represented in the dream of an ancient Greek as the goddess Athena or perhaps by a hero like Perseus. I don’t think though that these two ideas are mutually exclusive, if you’re being guided to do something that would indicate the power or capacity would be there to help you do it.

So with that idea in mind we can take a look at the character of the girlfriend with the same elastic stretching powers as Mister Fantastic. This could simply be showing the capacity of being flexible, and since this character was a woman maybe it’s in the vital that I need more flexibility. What that might mean though in terms of some kind of action or effort on my part I’m not really sure. Maybe it has something to do with not resisting the fact that there’s chronic pain since resistance is something inflexible and unyielding that just creates more misery. That’s admittedly just a guess though, but not one that seems totally ludicrous. I’d add that fear and resistance do go hand in hand a lot of the time.

*****

The second modern mythos dream I had that night features the iconic American television show Gilligan’s Island. This was a show that was getting a lot of airtime in reruns when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s and one I would watch frequently. Here is the dream.

I’m with the Skipper and we’re on Gilligan’s Island. We’ve managed to get a hold of a working radio and have called for help and are talking to someone. Just as we’re about the give our coordinates, we lose the connection, and we figure we’ll have to try again later. The radio has changed into a book now, and we want to put it in the Professor’s hut for safekeeping because we know there’s one castaway that’s a bit crazy and doesn’t want to leave the island and who will try to sabotage our efforts. I’m trying to put the book in between some other books under the Professor’s desk. The Professor doesn’t seem too concerned about this crazy castaway, but I am.

This dream also seems to me to depict something universal about the human condition, and that is that we’re all basically marooned consciousness-wise in a small, cramped, miserable type of existence. And while we may have the aspiration to get out of it, there are still parts of us that don’t want to change and are sabotaging our aspiration at every step.

So from this outlook the radio suggests to me the idea of one’s call or aspiration to the divine as well as one’s receptivity to the divine power and influence, but it’s not easy to keep that call and that receptivity going all the time. The crazy castaway seems to be illustrating the fact that we’ve all got parts of us that sabotage our efforts whether consciously or unconsciously. The Professor would seem to represent the mind or something mental and perhaps is showing in the dream how we can be unconscious of these things that are sabotaging us. I’m not sure what the Skipper might represent, but he’s to some extent the de facto leader of the group as well as a good-hearted mama bear who takes the care and safety of the other castaways very seriously. Given this, could he represent the higher vital, or as Donny suggested, due to the fact that he’s the leader, the ego? It’s hard to say.

The fact that the radio turns into a book is interesting. Perhaps as Donny suggested it simply has to do with my daily reading of spiritual literature, which for the most part is the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and the effect that has on the consciousness. At the time of the dream I was noting how reading Aurobindo’s The Life Divine would sometimes noticeably raise my consciousness and elevate my thinking for short periods of time.

One question I have, since I had both these dreams in the same night, is do Darth Vader and the crazy castaway represent the same thing or part of me? If that’s the case that would show how this part is still pretty mixed up, still stuck in a middle ground between conversion and following its lower bent. I often see swings in my dreams regarding Darth Vader where sometimes he’s my enemy and sometimes my ally. In fact while writing this article I had a dream where Anakin Skywalker was fighting with Yoda and other jedi masters. So because of this and also because I had these two dreams on the same night it seems logical to me the two symbols could be connected. And I think together these two dreams compliment each other in terms of painting a complete picture of where I was at and what I was facing at the time.

Before I wrap up here I’d like to point out that like with my Star Wars dream you can see the potential with this Gilligan’s Island dream to swap the main characters with different ones from other tv shows or movies and the dream would still carry the same message. For example, if you were a fan of the show Lost, that aired in the first part of the century and which also featured a group of people marooned on an island, your dreams could use those characters. The same essential scenario could also be shown using the storyline and appropriate characters from shows like Lost in Space or Star Trek: Voyager since the characters in those two shows are lost and trying to find their way home.

Now in closing I’ll admit there isn’t really anything earth shattering or unusually revelatory in these dreams, but they are good examples of modern mythos dreams and show how our dreams can take these cultural figures and use them to communicate with us. I hope to have more to say on this fascinating subject in the future.

Notes and References

  1. I think it’s possible Darth Vader might just represent a hostile influence in some cases, such as the dream I shared on my post ‘The Emperor Has A Scheme’.

It’s So Easy To Forget

By Douglas McElheny

It’s so easy to get irked with people about the same faults we have or have had in the past, so easy to forget what we were like when we were young when dealing with young people and the difficulties their immaturity presents. It’s a blind spot that seems to afflict a lot of us when we become adults, this lack of tolerance and understanding for the young, like they should somehow not have the same faults we had at their age. I needed a dream recently to remind me of this. Let me share.

As I’ve pointed out in other posts we have an ‘extended family’ of people we are still involved with in addition to the young adults that reside here with us in our house. One of these young men is homeless, we’ll call him H. for short. H. shows up every once in awhile and wants to stay couple of days, would like to live here actually, but we’re not taking anybody else on at the moment. We have a general guideline that we let people stay two nights per visit, but since H. claimed he had both lost his job and had a fight with his mother we let him stay for four. After those four days both Donny and I, especially Donny, were glad that he left. H. usually keeps to himself when he’s here, but on this particular occasion he was frequently going into Donny’s room and wanting to hang out there. Both Donny and I like our privacy and don’t really want anyone else just hanging out in our rooms so that was bothersome for him as H. couldn’t take the hint. H. was also coming to my room to ask for money and the keys to the moped to go get this or that indulgence for himself, a soda or a snack etc. I’m used to our residents showing that kind of boldness when they want something, but the repeated coming for money on H.’s part got kind of annoying. I think it’s like the saying goes that “the fish had started to stink.” Anyone that we’re not accustomed to being around gets on our nerves eventually. I will say that something seemed to be bothering H., but we never figured out what that was.

A day or so after H. left I had this dream:

I’ve been staying at Billie’s house for a few days, but I’ve decided I’m definitely going to leave tomorrow. I’m pondering how I should spend my last day, and I think it would be nice if Billie and I went somewhere that we could hike. So I go upstairs to find Billie. I tell him my idea and he angrily tells me no he doesn’t want to go hiking. I’m taken aback by this and ask him if this is just because the fish have started to stink. I say “Maybe four days here was too much and two would have been enough. Please be honest if this is the reason so I will know if I ever come to visit again.” In a huff he admits it. I go downstairs and tell his mom Mary Margaret what happened. She says that she herself hasn’t been bothered by my being there, but that “it’s his daughter.” By this she means that my being there is getting in the way of Billie spending time with his daughter.

 Back in 1999 I had gone to a Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania. When it was over I managed to catch a ride out of there with a group that was headed to Bloomington Indiana, so I figured I would get off at Richmond Indiana where I had gone to high school and see some old friends. The first place I stopped was the home of a mother of a friend of mine, Dave who wasn’t there, but actually living in Colorado. Karen let me stay a couple of days before she drove to Colorado to see Dave, and she made it clear I wasn’t invited though I wanted to go. Next I went to my friend Max’s house and slept on their couch for a few days before his wife told Max to show me the door. So I ended up at Billie’s where I stayed maybe a week, before I took a bus to New Jersey to stay with my brother for a few days before I got on a plane to Europe to go and see the total solar eclipse in Hungary.

Now at the time I was kind of baffled as to why Karen hadn’t wanted to take me to Colorado with her, and also why Max’s wife had wanted me to leave, because I couldn’t see what a mooch and a parasite I was being. Billie was more accommodating probably because he was my hands down best friend from high school. He didn’t say anything, but I surely wore out my welcome there too, eating his food and not contributing much except for buying all the marijuana we were smoking. I’m not sure how annoyed Billie got with the whole thing, but probably more than he let on, though I think he did enjoy having me there. I’m quite sure though that his girlfriend (with whom he was living along with their four kids) got annoyed by my presence.

So when I was looking at this dream it made me take a look at the way I was acting back then, how I’d made people feel the same feelings that came up in me towards H.. There’s part of me that realizes just on general principle that I need to get to the place where I don’t get annoyed by things like this, but the dream also brought the point home that I’ve acted the same way and really have no justification for getting annoyed with people who are still immature in the same way that I was back then. We have a number of people from our ‘extended family’ who come over here just to indulge their vitals and eat our food and don’t give nary a thing back, and if they’re asked to do something they’ll get in a huff about it or do a half-assed job. Our residents aren’t much different. That’s hard for my ego to take, but it’s largely immaturity on their part and I was the same way. The other big factor however is boys in this culture are waited on hand and foot their entire lives as they’re growing up, and feel like they shouldn’t have to do anything even when they’re a guest in somebody else’s home.

This wasn’t the end of the lesson though because a day or so after the dream another young man, we’ll call him Fred as in Right Said Fred showed up. Now Fred isn’t part of the extended family, but a nineteenth cousin or something of three of our residents. Fred is young, and extremely conceited, thinks he’s a big somebody because he’s a fashion photographer and has over 3,500 facebook friends following his personal page. He doesn’t get paid as far as I know for his photographs, just takes a lot of pictures of himself and his friends dressed up with sunglasses, and showing off their six packs if they have them. It’s the sort of thing young Tamils would like, glitzy and shallow, but I will admit that he has talent and thus he’s built his small following. Fred also has an amplified vital and wants a big party whenever he’s here. Usually he comes on a Friday and leaves on Sunday, but on this particular visit he came on Sunday and wanted to stay four days. It basically threw off our whole schedule as far as satsung goes, since our boys (who worship Fred) were running around with him taking pictures. They also bought beer and were drinking which is something Donny and I allow occasionally, but we want to be informed about it, and in this case, as is often the case when Fred is here, we were not.

Fred and I got off on the wrong foot from the get go after I first got back to India when he brought three extra people with him when he came for New Year’s Eve and then proceeded to tell me they were staying for two days when I told him to get them up and out of here on New Year’s Day. He’s just one of those personalities that will push things as much as he can, and the alpha in me doesn’t like being defied by someone trying to come into our house and do whatever he wants. Neither am I impressed with Fred’s 3,500 facebook friends, and find him mainly a disturbance who makes the house harder to manage while he’s here. During his visit this time though I realized my dream about Billie related to him too, and that he was just acting the same way I was back in 1999. Given this it’s interesting that both he and H. stayed for four days just as in my dream I was at Billie’s for four days. Maybe there’s some reaping of what I sowed going on here too. The other thing I tried to recognize is that, although I find Fred’s visits unpleasant, it’s a vital treat for the young men here who feed off his amplified vital energy and ‘let’s party’ atmosphere and who think he’s basically living the dream with his 3,500 facebook friends. I also found myself feeling a little bit sorry for Fred too, since he is good looking and with his swagger he’d do well with the ladies in a more liberal country, but here in India with this traditional culture it’s not so easy carry on a relationship. I guess that may be kind of silly on my part, but empathy is still empathy I suppose. I will say though that in general I feel sadness for the plight of young people here because of all the sexual repression and the archaic system of arranged marriages, but I digress.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t react to Fred’s antics during this particular visit, but there is a sort of epilogue to all this. A month later I came out of my apartment and heard a very loud voice downstairs that I recognized as Fred and was irked since he hadn’t called to ask if it was all right to come, something we’ve asked him to do as a courtesy. That night I had this dream:

I’m reading an account of something that happened at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, but at times it shifts visually to snapshots or short clips of what’s being recounted. There’s a group of people outside the ashram doing something with the Mother, and an obnoxious jogger passes by and yells “Byyyyyyyyeeee!” as he goes by. Then he stops and gets on the phone at a telephone booth. Everyone is just gawking at him until the Mother comes and tells us to get back to work and stop paying attention to the guy, that he has no importance.

 The first conclusion I came to about the dream is that the obnoxious jogger who got on the pay phone represented Fred, who is both physically fit and also always on his smartphone. I took it that the message for me was to not get aggravated by him, see him for the thing of no importance that he is and carry on with my work. Now I think that’s true, but I think at the same time, and more importantly, the obnoxious jogger represents this part of me that reacts to Fred and creates an inner disturbance, because the real problem isn’t Fred or H. or whoever or whatever else I’m reacting too. The problem is my reactions.

I don’t know if I’m cured or not as far as reacting to Fred, but this dream really helped me, and I wasn’t bothered by him much when he was here this time and even felt some good will for him. The thing is though sometimes you have to lay down the law when you run a house like this, but the problem with me is the alpha male part of me overreacts and wants to bring the hammer down hard on challenges to its authority. It’s a continuing issue because if Donny and I didn’t assert ourselves at times our house would be overrun. What I need to do though, I feel, is work on getting a handle on myself in these situation and dealing with things firmly but with understanding, and not let my ego turn things into a pissing contest. Alas, yet another thing to work on and another thing it seems can only be completely solved by a change in consciousness since the human ego self, this way of knowing in which all these outer persons and events appear as something separate and distinct from ‘me’, is a thing of reactions and resistances. I don’t have the feeling though that if you shift to a higher way of knowing that lives in the oneness and unity of existence, that you turn into a passive candy ass. But I do think that there wouldn’t be any ill will or animal aggressiveness when you assert yourself, but rather a sincere compassion even when you’re acting in a heavy-handed way or with severity. Other people might still react to you as if there are still those baser feelings at play in you, but that won’t be the truth, just their reaction and misinterpretation. So I guess the final word is that living in a higher consciousness won’t save you from offending people. In fact, you might offend more people than you would otherwise, but you won’t be acting from ego and that’s what counts.

 

To View the Hunting Design of Mourning

Stay away from the incomplete parts of Islam through ISIS.
That dreaming ISIS.
There are no dreaming years.

He told me that a harsh character
found the credit for character
within their character.

I have a lethal weapon.
ISIS too has integers.
Heatblast
leave a notebook.
They put a bomb in this kid’s mouth.
That so formula.

The following is an excerpt from an article in Dabiq[i], the first official magazine of Islamic State. It quotes three dreams of the suicide bomber of the Brussels metro in 2016, dreams he had in the  months before he died:

“Khālid al-Bakrāwī (Abū Walīd al-Baljīkī) Metro Station Istishhādī

A man of strong character, a natural leader, Khālid was guided while in prison after having a vivid, life-changing dream. He saw that he was alongside the Prophet fighting the disbelievers. Narrating his dream, he said, “It was a vision. After hearing the last verse of al-Fath[ii] recited in a loud voice, I saw the Prophet on a horse in battle, a distance away. The vision took me beyond the battlefield. I saw myself as an archer shooting arrows at the enemy. I would shoot, take cover, then shoot again.” He narrated other details of the dream and said, “I then woke up, back in my prison cell.”

After leaving prison, full of conviction and steadfastness, he started giving da’wah in his neighborhood, calling the youth to make hijrah to Shām. He also wrote a few articles on the crusades of the era fought by the West against the Muslims. All preparations for the raids in Paris and Brussels started with him and his older brother Ibrāhīm. These two brothers gathered the weapons and the explosives. After the blessed raid in Paris, he saw another dream, which motivated him to carry out an istishhādī operation. He narrated, “The second dream was three months ago. It was a vision that took place from fajr[iii] until dhuhr[iv]. I arose to a high place, as if I was in space, surrounded by stars; but the sky was like the blue of night.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he was created only to worship Allah and ordering him to fight for His cause and make His word supreme. He then woke up.

Abū Walīd then narrated a third dream: “I had a vision that also took place from fajr until dhuhr, but ended at night. I saw myself on a boat along with Abū Sulaymān and another brother. Each of us had a Turkish soldier as a hostage. I had a pistol and Abū Sulaymān had a belt. I told him to give me his belt, as I would feel better having it. So he gave me the belt and I gave him my pistol. I then quickly advanced with the Turkish hostage in order to close in on other soldiers, two of whom were in front of us. I detonated my belt, killing the soldiers. My head then descended to the ground. One of the brothers working on the operation and Shaykh al-‘Adnānī took my head and said, ‘Check to see if he is smiling or not.’ I then saw my soul and those of the three soldiers. All of a sudden, the soldiers’ souls burned and vanished and, suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly. My soul then became full of light.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he had achieved deliverance. Abū Walīd continued, “I prostrated quickly and repeatedly pronounced the takbīr[v]. I then awoke to find my heart beating fast, and I was taking quick breaths.”

One would expect the leader of ISIS, al-baghdadi, whom they claim to be the Caliph of Islam, to be the dreamer they are reporting here, not some corporal who’s only going to kill himself after having such ‘inspiring’ dreams. This is the first time Dabiq, their English medium magazine, has included a dream account that aims at showing Allah inspired a suicide attack[vi], and it’s interesting that it comes a month after I posted a comment on Internet Archive where a copy of the previous issue of Dabiq was made available. That comment included a link to a poem video[vii] I’d been sending out for the previous month trying to get the video to ISIS. In the video, among other things, I ask why someone with the spiritual stature al-baghdadi’s supposed to have doesn’t guide by his dreams and implied that their decisions as a group do not come from dreams and visions but from things like Google maps, the need for men and supplies, the lust for power, and the like.

I can only speculate whether this dream account and the claim that “both IS leaders and members strongly relate to their nightly dreams”[viii] and a rumor circulating that al-baghdadi used a dream to make a military decision in 2014, are a result of ISIS seeing the video and trying to prove me wrong. I can, however, be reasonably sure they’ve seen it by now, will probably read this article, and so I want to take this opportunity given me to examine this dream account in the light my experience with dreaming. In my opinion, much of the supposed guidance in these dreams is a mixture of Khalid’s dispositions and desires as well as a hostile influence pushing him toward the act of destruction he carried out in Belgium, dreams which are being reported by ISIS for propaganda purposes. In my analysis of these dreams, it’s my intention to try and expose these corrupting elements, as well as the misunderstanding and misinterpretation by Khalid of some genuine symbolic elements in these dreams in order to suit his lethal intentions.

Encountering it has made me realize it’s not wise to call for a society-wide wholesale opening to dream and vision. That would be, as Douglas said when I told him these dreams, a disaster. Neither is it a good idea to encourage people to guide by their dreams without first warning them dreams can deceive as much if not more than they can help, and that, long before they can be a good source of guidance, you have to have cultivated an integral understanding of their nature and purpose in the course of working with your dreams over a long period of time. You have to explore dream, not simply have them and remember them. The inner revolution I’ve been talking about won’t come from simply opening to our dreams but from learning to use them to go deeper within ourselves to discover who and what in truth we are. It seems fairly obvious Khālid didn’t use his dreams to discover truth, was not an inner explorer. He sees himself in them and believes whatever he sees.

To take a dream or vision at face value, as if it’s an oracle of truth because it comes from inside us, can lead to tragedy, what these dreams led Khālid to. He didn’t understand that dreams, more often than not, show us what’s going on with us, what we want to do, not what we should do, what we fear will happen, not what will happen, what we think the truth is, not what it is, and he didn’t know that they are constantly tampered with by the hostile powers, the field of dreams being their stomping ground, they being the non-physical creatures that they are. Between us Douglas and I have over 50 years of daily experience working with our dreams, oftentimes with the dreams of others, and although they’ve become for us a source of guidance, because we’ve developed dreaming to the degree we have, we have to be constantly on our guard so as not to be fooled, and I still get fooled sometimes.

That brings in the other corrupting element of these dreams I want to expose, one that’s made examining them a challenge, and that’s the fact that they have clearly been doctored to spout ideology and are being used as tools of propaganda. It’s not possible to separate with complete certainty what Khālid actually dreamed and what both he and Dabiq added to and subtracted from his dream accounts, and most certainly such has been done to these dreams. They bear the mark of the spin doctor. As my muse puts it, “added literature, fake literature, fake news from Allah.” To one degree or another, it’s a factor to consider in any dream account you hear second hand, but with one from ISIS, a religious/socio/political group of extremists that have taken propaganda to new levels of deception and style, it’s the major consideration.

To simply pass these dreams off as propaganda, however, and therefore not worth the trouble to examine, would be foolish. They’re being used by ISIS to convince others to carry out suicide attacks, and, however much they were misinterpreted and misrepresented by Khālid and doctored and construed by Dabiq, these dreams, in their raw form, were a factor in convincing him to kill himself and as many unsuspecting everyday people as he could in the process and to aid others to do the same, which he does as obediently as a house dog.

Not being able to see these dreams as he really had them but doctored as they are, I’m unable to say how much they were just showing him what was cooking with him and how much they have been tampered with by the hostile powers. It’s an influence on us in dream and vision, as Douglas has been showing in his two latest articles. How big an influence depends on the individual and their opening to the beast in themselves. That such an influence is acting upon ISIS I have no doubt, not only by the depravity of their brutality, but also by coming into contact with it as I was making the above mentioned video, the physical effects of which I talk about in the introduction to the video on this blog.[ix]

To one degree or another, each one of us are under the influence of the hostile powers, even people considered good, and when we learn this it will greatly change the way we understand and deal with human evil, since we’ll see an outside will acting upon us that can become stronger than our own. In the case of ISIS as a group, however, that influence has taken over, and it’s as though they have fallen into a hole they cannot now climb out of. They let it in with their diabolical violence, no doubt as a means to gain quick attention, but I’m sure they didn’t understand that it’s not a door they can close once it’s open, unless they renounce and repent being ISIS, and even then it’s mark will be upon them the rest of their lives, a stealthy persistent influence awaiting re-entry.

The process known as radicalization, whether that be done face to face by an inman or whoever or indirectly through social media, is insufficient to account for why someone such as Khālid, a native of the city he blew such a monstrous hole into, would so willingly annihilate himself and as many others as he could, the worst thing in his power to do, something that aims at destroying the very idea of what it means to be a human being. That lethal idea got ahold of him when he opened to ISIS, probably even before he contacted them, as it’s done and is doing to many today, and it’s conscious and non-human, anti-divine, and human suffering is its food. This phenomenon, to go off and kill as many people as you can however you can, is a conscious formation working within the collective field of human consciousness that in ISIS has found a home, but it’s worked it’s dire spell on anyone who goes on a killing rampage, which, in our times, has become something almost panhuman.

A person opens the door to that lethal idea when they hate, be that a hatred of society itself or some group within it, and even if they themselves don’t carry it out or even consciously consider it, their hate is a will acting on anyone who does, aiding and abetting the hostile formation. Since we live in a collective field of consciousness, our hate accumulates and becomes a force that seeks action, which manifests in individuals such as Khālid and anyone else whose action annihilates. In other words, we are all partly to blame for such tragedies. It’s not possible at this time to directly fight the hostile formation, but we can work to stop the hatred among ourselves so at least our collective will isn’t helping it to manifest its hell.

Whatever ISIS may say, the driving force behind them isn’t a passionate love for God but a murderous hatred of whom they feel are either non-believers or bad believers, which is anyone who isn’t a member or supporter of ISIS or anyone who is they decide isn’t living up to their idea of Islam. In such a narrow hateful environment it’s no wonder the hostile formation pushing for annihilation is given such free play, seems to seize people who want to join ISIS, be the idea many if not most have in their minds as what they must do as ISIS members, is what ISIS itself uses as its major weapon, is something so characteristic of and central to its existence.

“A force demoniac lurking in man’s depths
That heaves suppressed by the heart’s human law,
Awed by the calm and sovereign eyes of Thought,
Can in a fire and earthquake of the soul
Arise and, calling to its native night,
Overthrow the reason, occupy the life
And stamp its hoof on Nature’s shaking ground.”

from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo[x]

It’s so telling that, when ISIS begins to publish personal dream accounts of their members, they choose this one from a suicide bomber and construe the whole account to lead up to a justification of his actions, wanting us to believe God himself, through whatever divine intermediaries, not only willed him to do it but gave him the mission to. But the propagandists in Dabiq do not know enough about dream and vision to pull it off, about human nature either, and they do not know that when you are claiming to embody the one and only truth upon earth, and you use lies to spread that truth, you reveal that you’re not embodying it.

One can dream anything, and dreams can help us heal ourselves and others (the more so the more conscious soul contact we have), which is what Douglas and I have been focusing on this blog, the helpful nature of dreams, but they can also trick us into hurting and killing people, the latter depending on how much influence there is from the hostile powers and how much we want to hurt and kill, an aspect of dream we have neglected to give the emphasis it needs, since dreams and visions are so often a factor when one of us harms (not only bodily) or kills others. I cannot emphasize enough that any dream or vision that’s telling you directly or indirectly to do something must be ardently questioned and not automatically obeyed, even when they’re telling you to preach what you feel is the truth, most especially when they’re telling you to harm yourself and others or bring yourself glory, regardless of whatever divine clothes the mission may be wearing to give it authority and a look of righteousness.

Dreams and visions are most trustworthy as guides when they’re suggesting or telling you not to do something that would violate others or harm yourself or aggrandize your ego. Khālid doesn’t even bat an eye when a voice in dream tells him that he’s achieved deliverance by carrying out a suicide bombing. He falls to his knees and blesses God over and over, and then simply goes out into the waking world and carries it out, believing by that mournful deed he’ll be liberated from sin and death.

Or so Dabiq would have us believe. That he willingly carried out his attack is something that doesn’t seem to be in question. The question is, of course, how much is Dabiq putting those words of divine mission into his dreams’ mouth?

As I suggested but didn’t explain in the beginning, dreams of this stature, ascending upon high to receive a divine word and mission, seeing your soul transfigure and hearing another god-word telling you you’ve been liberated, among other things, are characteristic of a prophet, seer, or significant religious figure, not some fall guy about to blow himself up no different from the all the rest doing that. Either Dabiq or the hostile powers added these seer elements, the former to fool us and the latter to fool Khālid, and it’s a tossup as to who did the most fooling.

The dream account begins with a quote from the Quran. Although Khālid was in the restricted environment of prison and perhaps hearing or reciting that verse often, it’s unusual to hear something of such length and clarity in dream all in one go, but not impossible. It’s more probable he heard a portion of it and reported he heard the entire verse. Although it’s saying to be harsh to unbelievers and merciful to believers, it’s not a call to arms and seems to suggest Christians and Jews are believers too, though in the one God not in Mohammed, as other verses in the Quran suggest. If you were a jihadist and were adding material to this dream, you’d pick a less ambiguous verse for your cause, one reason this dream seems to me to be more genuine, another being that it’s a common feature of dreams, if you’re devoted to a religion as Khālid was, to dream of the prominent religious figures of it, especially in the sort of monastery prison can be if you are religiously devout. Add to that he was most likely being indoctrinated in the jihadist interpretation of Islam and therefore when he sees such a figure, it’s not surprising it’s on a battlefield. It’s significant that Mohammed is nowhere in sight when he’s shooting arrows at the enemy, a symbol they interpret to mean he’s to conduct jihad, but in my experience with this symbol, it has more to do with pointed messages you send to people than actual fighting, what we see him doing when he gets out of prison and is writing articles about jihad. Whatever the case, if the verse was added or embellished or if it’s a truthfully told dream, both Khālid and Dabiq interpret this dream to mean much more than it does in itself. It’s interpreted as his first call to arms in jihad, where he will end up indiscriminately killing anybody in the Brussels Metro near him in the near future, be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, or whomever.

Dabiq frames these dreams, as I’m showing, to lead up to Allah ordaining his suicide mission, through whatever channels of dream and divinity. Dabiq tells us that in this first dream he’s fighting alongside the Prophet, a framing technique that puts Khālid and his actions on equal footing with the battles Mohammed fought, In the dream, however, he’s some distance away, and in dream that’s quite significant, the distance we are from someone a symbolic representation of our actual proximity to them in terms of our intimacy with their person. When it’s a religious figure, it shows how close we are to their ideal, not only their person. Here, he’s not close but some distance away, and we aren’t told Mohammed’s looking at him or even aware of him, probably because he wasn’t, and that would put a lot more distance between he and Mohammed and would suggest he has little or no part in Mohammed’s battles, and so Dabiq embellishes greatly by saying he’s beside Mohammed. A dream shift occurs, and we see him shooting arrows at an enemy fighting wherever beyond the battlefield is. It’s not alongside Mohammed. The further details of the dream we aren’t given, and you have to wonder if that’s because it would detract from the impression they want to give. Since dreams are symbolic, the more details you have the better you can interpret the meaning of a dream. Dabiq describes this as a life-changing dream, what put Khālid on the path that would ultimately lead him to carry out his suicide mission.

The second and third dreams are framed within the call to prayer, beginning at the dawn prayer and ending at the noon one, and it’s not unusual for dream to initiate on an outer sound and end on one, especially end, if the sound wakes us up. What’s odd here is the length of the dreams. Several hours is a long time for a single dream. In fact, neither Douglas nor I have heard of a continuous dream lasting that long, and these dreams are not full of dream shifts, one of the most noticeable characteristics of dream, where the individual elements and scenario are changing constantly, and the longer the dream the more shifting there is. They are presented as having the continuity of waking life experience, one scenario that plays itself out in dreams that we are told lasts several hours. That’s just not characteristic of dream,  as I’ve said. It makes me hold framing the two dreams within the call to prayer under suspicion, something either Khālid or Dabiq embellished slightly or greatly to suggest his dreams were participating directly with Islam.

I cannot say much more about the second dream other than dreams do give people missions, as any study of dreaming down through the ages will show, and such dreams usually involve spreading a religion, and so he could’ve had this dream as it’s related, whatever’s askew about its length, but it’s too by the numbers for me not to question it, too literal. Besides, Khālid’s contemplating murderous suicide by this time, and you wouldn’t imagine the heaven of Islam here leading him further along that path, but you would the hostile powers. I’ll also say that, when examining the truth value of a dream account you hear secondhand, just being given a summary of what the voice of dream said and not the exact words, you have to be suspicious either a lot’s been lost in the summary or it’s been made to mean what the people reporting it want it to.

The third dream ties the dream account specifically to suicide bombing, what it’s been leading up to since the beginning: showing it was willed by heaven and was a blessed and sacred act. It’s also the most over the top dream in terms of divine fireworks, and therefore the most, I feel, tampered with by Dabiq. The first part of the dream is quite normal as far as dream goes and shows in symbolic terms his growing desire to kill himself and others, what he’s been thinking about in regards to it, which seems to be how brave and daring he’ll be, not should he do it. (He is by this time convinced that he should and is aiding others to do that and planning attacks.) Is he smiling or not represents the question of his bravado, and it’s interesting that it’s not answered. Instead, a remarkable thing happens: he sees his soul.

Seeing a representation of the soul in dream isn’t all that uncommon. While this may have been what he dreamed, it’s a little suspicious to me in light of the video I mentioned where I question ISIS about dreaming. The video, in its essence, is about the soul, and in it I say that they are not in contact with their soul nor have knowledge of it. It’s the biggest challenge I make in the video. Did Dabiq add this to his dream so to prove me wrong, or was it indeed a part of it? We have no way of knowing without further information, but because from here on out the dreams ceases to be symbolic and becomes more literal, the whole nature of the dream changing from a vital one to a religious and spiritual one, I think it’s a legitimate question.

If you were adding such things of course you’d show that the souls of the enemy, who are also Muslim we can reasonably assume, are inferior, their souls being gray insignificant things and just burning up while Khālid’s undergoes a transfiguration, but not before this happens: “suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly.” Why the commentary here? Why doesn’t he just say the flag of ISIS? Because they want to say that the flag of Islam and ISIS are one and the same and therefore that ISIS is the true Islam. Because they are not truthfully reporting a dream account but are spouting propaganda.

Once his soul transfigures and becomes full of light, Dabiq calls him Abū Walīd and not Khālid, the name change in the account is significant no doubt, coming as it does after his transfiguration and after he’d detonated his belt. He’s now the son of his father, the son of Islam being the implication here I feel. In any event, now he’s somebody.

Once he saw his soul it appears he became the observer in the dream and not a participant, a common characteristic of dream, switching back and forth from observing to participating, but wouldn’t he be his soul and not his mortal self once his soul transfigures, seeing how he’s again a participant prostrating himself and blessing Allah and is no longer the observer? I ask this question based on what I know about coming into contact with your immortal soul. You wouldn’t wake up from a dream of being your transfigured soul excited like a little kid You’d have a brush with eternity and be filled with the calm and peace such contact brings. Neither, by the way, would you be liberated from sin and death by such a murderous suicidal action, and if the voice of dream did actually say that, and again we hear a summary and not the exact words, it’s not the soul’s voice or the divine’s. It’s the hostile powers’ or a manifestation of Khālid’s intense desire to carry out such a tragic act.

It seems they’re trying to make this out as a religious experience and not just a dream, what Khālid seems to feel all three dreams are, why he calls them visions no doubt. It’s clear he’s not using the word vision in the sense I do, as dreams you have or voices you hear when awake but in a slight trance or in twilight, between waking and sleeping, usually much less immersive and shorter than sleeping dreams. Dabiq sticks to the term dream throughout, and I can’t help but wonder at the discrepancy. Would it have anything to do with my challenge to them in regards to dream? If they too called them visions, the account wouldn’t get the tag it needed to go out into the world as proof they are into their dreams and guide by them. It’s a no accident the discrepancy is there, since this is propaganda, and every word is purposefully placed. Whatever the case, this third dream is too incongruent for me to accept either as a truthfully reported dream or a religious experience. It’s a carefully construed piece of propaganda of the most potent kind, like the other two dreams, having just enough truth in them so as not to be able to clearly see the lies. Here with this dream, however, they are so bent on spouting ideology they show their hand.

To get any real picture of what was going on with Khālid’s dreams, we’d  have to see an unedited dream journal that tried to include as many of the thousands of dreams he had in the months before he died, not only the ones that seem to be telling him to become a suicide bomber. Since he was calling on God, focused on Islam, and no sincere call goes unanswered no matter how seemingly unfit the vessel, he would’ve had dreams that questioned the dire action that had taken hold of his mind, dreams that tried to warn him and that contradicted ISIS, and I say this based on being myself an unfit vessel but still calling on God, not as one righteous pointing the finger at Khālid. I have gotten so much help from dream and vision. We all get help to one degree or another, and no doubt Khālid did too, since dreams aren’t just random firings of the subconscious regurgitating our lives but meaningful insights into ourselves and our world, however much they can be tampered with by hostile powers or people with bad intentions or by our own, but we have to be able to see the true from the false in dream and cling to the true, and towards this end I submit my article.

“Injustice justified by firm decrees
The sovereign weights of Error’s legalised trade,
But all the weights were false and none the same;
Ever she watched with her balance and a sword,
Lest any sacrilegious word expose
The sanctified formulas of her old misrule.
In high professions wrapped self-will walked wide
And licence stalked prating of order and right:
There was no altar raised to Liberty;
True freedom was abhorred and hunted down:
Harmony and tolerance nowhere could be seen
Each group proclaimed its dire and naked Law.
A frame of ethics knobbed with scriptural rules
Or a theory passionately believed in a praised
A table seemed of high Heaven’s sacred code.
A formal practice mailed and iron-shod
Gave to a rude and ruthless warrior kind
Drawn from the savage bowels of the earth
A proud stern poise of harsh nobility,
A civic posture rigid and formidable.
But all their private acts belied the pose:
Power and utility were their Truth and Right,
An eagle rapacity clawed its coveted good,
Beaks pecked and talons tore all weaker prey.
In their sweet secrecy of pleasant sins
Nature they obeyed and not a moralist God.
Inconscient traders in bundles of contraries,
They did what in others they would persecute;
When their eyes looked upon their fellow’s vice,
An indignation flamed, a virtuous wrath;
Oblivious of their own deep-hid offence,
Mob-like they stoned a neighbor caught in sin.”

from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

 

 

[i] https://clarionproject.org/docs/Dabiq-Issue-14.pdf

[ii] Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those who are with him are harsh against the unbelievers but merciful to one another. You see them bow and prostrate themselves seeking the bounty and pleasure of Allah. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel, as the seed which puts forth its shoot and strengthens it, so that it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, delighting the sowers, and through them He enrages the unbelievers. Allah has promised those of them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a great wage.

[iii] Dawn prayer.

[iv] Noon Prayer.

[v] “God is great.”

[vi] https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016/09/08/islamic-state-and-dream-warfare/ “These issues are the first times Dabiq has contained personal dream reports of significant IS members intending to demonstrate the glorious Allah inspired sacrifice of their martyrs.” I should also credit Iain R. Edgar, a dream researcher at Durham University, who published the above article and others about the dreams of ISIS on the web, what alerted me to their existence.

[vii] https://youtu.be/6txLpFBa7Wc

[viii] https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016/09/08/islamic-state-and-dream-warfare/

[ix] https://harms-end.com/2016/02/17/rainbow-as-a-radical-with-islamic-state/

[x] Savitri quotes courtesy of The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. The last quote is a description of the population of one of the hell worlds.