I have pondered the following event for many years now, and it is only recently that my dream has been able to extrapolate further from the experience and reveal more about the forms and relationships that bind me, and so I naturally assume, bind us all. It is in the spirit of a common thread, a common place and a common relationship, that I now share this in the clearest and most open way I know how, in the hopes that it may assist to illuminate a path somewhere. It should be noted that everything described hence, happened over a relatively longer time frame than is inferred to by the few paragraphs of words presented.
It was a long time ago, on my own wayward path when I intentionally took one night out of my life's railroaded schedule to sit with myself and the world and seek its aid in acquiring the one still yearning desire of my heart. It was obvious to me at the time, as it is now and perhaps will be forever, that in each moment there exists the chance, the opportunity to engage the tremendum of cosmic reality and sentient life in communication and introspection. This was the goal of this night, as it is the goal of every night that I am able to dedicate to sincerity. It may or may not help to know that I had spent that wet summer day walking in nearby fields, as ethnobotany was one of my many hobbies at the time.
So it came to pass that I sat in quiet meditation on the floor of my bedroom. Meditation was to me, not a waiting as much as it was a waking, to the rhythms and evolutions of time and space. As I accepted my place among the stars and enjoyed the simple passes of flittering light against shadow that seemed to mark the oceanic waves of both mind and universe, I felt I was happily safe, alone and in the dark. It was soon after this that I closed my eyes momentarily to gorge on the delight of fluidic space against my senses. I smiled as the waves pulsed away from my position in self awareness, and towards the endless 'other' that lay beyond my conscious reach. I was still smiling when I felt something else in the mix, like an echo of my joy appearing at some indistinguishable distance; a destination of some type perhaps? I followed the hues of light with my mind as they fell away from my attention and found that there appeared amongst the backdrop of darkness, something moving with a definable form, and it seemed to be coming closer.
As I tried to focus my attention, I could clearly make out that there was a figure with arms, legs, torso and a head with dark hair like a man, but its form was entirely a shade of deep sky blue. After a while I could make out some type of bracelets or rings on both the wrists of its hands and the ankles of its feet, and also a type of undergarment covering the lower torso that looked something like a child’s nappy of cloth. As it moved it danced distinctly and I felt a strong dreamy urge to follow its gracefulness, like a snake being charmed into a trance. The more I did so, the more joy I felt from the experience. Once my senses really came together and I found myself a more conscious spectator of this unimaginable manifestation, I instinctively let out a loud laugh. This curiosity was so unexpected that laughter seemed the only natural reaction. As I bellowed out at my vision and also at the giddiness of my situation, the figure's head turned to face me and nodded as if in acknowledgement. Suddenly my laughter stopped. I became more intensively aware of where I was and what I was doing. This was no longer a normal illusion, or in as much as I could cognise, not a rationally relatable occurrence. I was in the presence of a form that was somehow independently aware of my awareness of it, as it was of its self. I tried to think what this could be. I tried to recall how this might have happened, but all I could remember at the time was my purpose; that of seeking knowledge and enlightenment. With my eyes still closed, I told myself I was dreaming even though I knew full well that I was very wide awake.
As time passed and I cycled through my mind the different types of madness that could have befallen me, I noted that the figure kept proving its existence by not disappearing into dream or dissolution. If anything it slowly became larger and became so real that it seemed to be now with me in the room. Something urged me to search the figure's gestures and I realised that it had been reacting to my every emotion and thought. It had some type of connection to me and was communicating through its movement as it danced. As I wondered how this could be possible, the figure answered me by standing on one leg and placing an index finger from one hand under its chin whilst looking upwards. This was to me, the physical expression of a quirky answer to a quirky question. As I asked myself what this figure could want with me, it wrapped its arms around its chest, and this was to me the physical expression of contentment. Then I asked myself who this figure could possibly be, and there was a short silence before a pulsating echo began to fill my mind. S H I V A. Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva.
The name echoed through my head as if my skull was filled with thousands of individuals and each was whispering the name to another, who then whispered it to another, and then another and so forth, except that the whispering became the roar of a crowd at its peak. As the word filled the void, the figure bowed, and I was left more silenced than before. I felt completely overwhelmed to be in the presence of myth made manifest. Through all my astoundment the figure kept dancing and moving so gracefully through space that somehow it helped to settle me back into the moment. I felt certain that I could not be creating this as this was not something I would want created, or seek to create, or even then know how to do so.
As I sat in awe struggling with my own disbelief, the figure tilted its head as if asking a question, and I felt myself answer that I was seeking something, and that this something was the most difficult thing I could imagine. The figure smiled as it turned on a single leg. At the same time, it moved to hide one hand behind its back as the other hand moved towards me and opened. On the palm of this blue hand appeared a golden flower of such subtle delicateness that it seemed almost to be on fire, or to be made of fire. It moved or pulsed like a flame but was made of many single strands of something incredibly subtle and delicate.The ease and grace with which this was presented to me was enough to make my eyes teary, but then as I focused longer on the beautiful detail of the objects' construction, I received the ghastly indication that this flower was that which I was seeking. This was somehow more than knowledge. This was infinite understanding. This was exactly what I had been pondering over for years, and this blue figure was offering it to me, seemingly on a plate, with no further work required. I felt that I had finally arrived at my destiny.
Almost forgetting the irrational nature of the scenario, my mind began to race inside my sphere. Here I was with my heart's desire and I immediately wanted to sing the most joyous praise to all the universe, but I found that no expression came from me. It occurred to me that I would be the happiest man on the planet from that moment onwards, but I realised that I could no longer imagine what happiness was. As much as the scene filled my senses with beauty and reverence, I realised that there was something missing in me; something I had valued all of my life, but was now gone from me. I could not feel anything. Even as I tried, I felt no joy, no happiness, nothing. As this circumstance became certain and I began to panic at my loss, the figure gracefully closed and retracted the blue hand away from me, and from behind it’s back returned the other hand that had previously been hidden. Almost at once I felt familiar happiness and the other intense emotions returning to my being and with it, the undeniable realisation of what the figure had wanted to impart to me. I studied the moving language carefully and confirmed its meaning to be “Be careful what you wish for, as everything has a price."
Although I now had the oceanic waves of flowing emotions such as love and the sense of freedom and wonder as part of my earthly experience once more, I also sensed that I was also once again a novice fool; back where I had begun. A myriad of images flashed before my mind reminding me of my intentions and my attempts to understand the universe and my place in it. At the same time I also noted all the sacrifices, and all the things that I had left behind in order to reach this moment. Arriving at this opportunity was surely my purpose, I thought; there was no doubt in my mind. This was what I had worked towards and I had finally arrived, but yet I could not take another step. The figures' movements caught my attention and I interpreted thusly; “You can have the gift you seek, but know that the two cannot exist together." As I pondered this, the feeling in my chest became tight and nervous, almost begging me not to leave, and the dawning consequence of the bargain was revealed.
I don’t remember how long I stayed motionless but I remember being frozen, unable and unwilling to make an impulsive or irrational move in case by moving, I accidentally communicated a decision and betrayed my feeling. Slowly however, it became obvious that as much as I wanted what had been presented to me, I could not in good conscience choose such a path as was being offered. I was not ready. For now at least, I knew I would remain as I was. With the decision having been made and accepted, the blue dancing figure slowly faded back into the shadows still wonderfully communicating beauty and grace through its dance. As its form shrunk and lost all notable cohesion, the name rang in reverence quietly but consistently through my skull; “Shiva, Shiva, Shiva".
When I finally opened my eyes some hours later, it was only to close them again to pray in gratitude for the lesson and the marvel of the cosmos. I stayed awake for hours that night, refusing to give into sleep, trying to imprint deeply the experience of apparent magic I had been witness to. With eyes full of tears I gave thanks for all that I knew and all that I did not know, since it was obvious that both of these were vast and numerous luminosities. And although I still find it difficult to explain how my limited mind could have conjured an illusion of such beauty, meaning and clarity as I did touch on this night, I still wake every day as a grateful and happy fool.