I recently had a dream whose vivid imagery continues to linger in my mind. In the dream I and a few other people are witnessing an extraordinary phenomenon.
A huge spider web is being lifted up like a cloth by numerous butterflies of many colors and varieties. The web is composed of a multiplicity of hexagons, like a honeycomb, and inside each, made of the same filament as the rest of the web, is the outline of a burning candle. The web is breathtakingly beautiful and all of us know how amazing it is to be present to witness it.
The phenomenon we’re witnessing, I realize, has to do with the evolution of consciousness on the planet, a sign that it has reached a new level, and I find that I am now able to levitate, though I know it has nothing to do with me personally but is part of this cosmic unfolding.
Soon the splendor of the web fades and the butterflies vanish.
There is an adult forum about to take place where I hope to explain to others what is happening. The people filter in and out of the room, never quite managing to assemble, and eventually they disperse altogether before I have an opportunity to tell them.
Interpreting the Dream
Working with my dreams has been one of the most fruitful practices of my spiritual life, and whenever I have a dream with such a numinous quality as this one I understand that it is not a dream intended for me alone, but for all of us.
In this case, the most obvious message of the dream is that consciousness is evolving and reaching a new level on Earth. This is one of the most amazing occurrences taking place on the planet even though we may be largely oblivious to it and even though we’ll never see it reported on in the headlines.
Headlines not withstanding, those of us who have committed ourselves to exploring the spiritual dimension often perceive things that are not apparent to the mainstream culture and we understand that there is a larger narrative playing out than our ordinary consciousness is able to comprehend.
We get glimpses of a Reality that takes our breath away, like that web in its splendor, and when we do we know that we are not solitary creatures laboring away in our solitary lives. We are part of an unfolding cosmic phenomenon far more vast, intricate, beautiful and loving than we can ever know.
We also know that, just like the web that faded in the dream, those moments of awareness tend to be fleeting, and one of our challenges is to trust what we have seen even when that numinous Reality is not apparent and even though we don’t get external confirmation of it from our mainstream culture.
Just as in the dream my attempts to share what I had seen were thwarted, those of us who “walk between the worlds” also have to accept the fact that we may have a difficult time sharing what we have seen with those who may never have perceived it.
The web, shaped like a bee honeycomb, suggests that this emerging consciousness is connective and communal. There is no part of the web that is separate from all the others, and within each part burns equally an inner Light, the Light of awakening.
The web is being lifted up by butterflies, creatures who carry the within themselves all that they need for their transformation. Beginning their lives as earthbound caterpillars they undergo complete dissolution of their former selves and emerge as beings able to fly.
Humanity is undergoing a similar dissolution as the structures and institutions created in a former era, the era of ego, begin to crumble. On one level it is terrifying, but on another it is exhilarating because, as this dream suggests, we are emerging into a new level of being.
For butterflies, transformation is not something they have to try to do. It is encoded deep within them, and we too can trust this process we are in. Letting go of our striving and our attachments to what has been, we can simply open ourselves to what is emerging and delight in what we are becoming.
This is a communal web where we depend on one another, and you may notice things in the dream that I haven’t. I so I’d love to hear your thoughts. If this were your dream, what stands out to you and what wisdom might it be bringing?
[If you are interested in learning how to work with your dreams and if you live in the Philadelphia area, you may want to take part in a three week class on dream work I’ll be co-leading in December.]