I always understood the word banter to mean light-hearted mutual ribbing (repartee), and it's strange for me to see how it's used here. Anyway, the thread I'm starting is serious enough, even though I feel that it must be put under such a heading. It's about dreams that have arisen over the years, from childhood onwards. They have puzzled (and sometimes worried me). The worry has passed, but I do sometimes wonder what they meant (I'm certain that they did have a meaning). Some of them certainly seemed to have a bearing upon my spiritual path (such as it has been) in general. If anyone can offer some light upon any of these dreams (and, even better, all of them), I should be very grateful. I really and truly don't mind if, in any comments upon a dream or dreams, the respondent shows that he or she thinks that any dream (or indeed, all of them) reflects badly on me. Do feel free to say what you think. Here goes, then:
DREAM 1. When I was about the age of six, there was a very strange dream. Now, though it must have been deeply significant, I do not know what it signified. Many are the times that I have wondered what its meaning could have been. The dream was as follows: I was in a very green park — one that I used to frequent as a child. In this park were children’s rides and other amusements. There were also large expanses of greensward. On one of the stretches of grass, and at some distance away, were about a dozen young girls, all in lacy white dresses. They may have been nymphs, but it seems more likely that they were girls of about fourteen years of age. They were dancing on the grass. Suddenly, they all disappeared, and I felt a sense of great loneliness. (In much later years, the similarity of the white dresses, worn by the girls, to May blossom, has been noted; also the contrast of this blossom with its green background.) The scene then changed, and the view was of the amusement rides in another section of the park. One of these roundabouts was called (because of its shape) the ‘wedding-cake’. As I watched this roundabout, with my gaze fixed mainly upon the big, iron globe that, turning, turning, turning, sat atop the centre, I awoke. Even though I was so young, it seemed to be no ordinary dream. Upon waking, I lay still, and wondered at its strange, haunting and rather sad atmosphere.
DREAM 2.The most striking dream was when I was about thirty years of age. Probably, this was around the time that I started reading books about Buddhism. It was certainly after my abandonment of Christian belief. What the outward events in my life were at the time is not certain, but as regards my intellectual life, there would certainly be a keen interest in religion and philosophy. In the dream, two Roman Catholic priests were pursuing me along a dirt track. In order to hide from them, I went into a Catholic Church, which stood at the end of this track. While I was hiding behind one of the pews, great quantities of Catholic-type stone imagery were seen. These images were the kind that may be seen in graveyards and in Catholic churches. They were all on a conveyor belt, which took them up the central aisle (the nave) to the altar. There were angels, crosses, saints etc., all in masonry, and, via this belt, proceeding to the altar, there to be tipped off the belt and deposited on or behind the altar, smashing as they fell. As I watched, a voice spoke ‘from Heaven’. It spoke in an unknown language. The voice was very authoritative and awesome (numinous). Then, I awoke.
DREAM 3. A dream, which gave much food for thought, came when I was a regular attender at a meditation group under the direction of a very able and powerful teacher: I was walking along a road that, seemingly without end, led over desolate, moonlit moors. I did not want to travel any further, and decided to rest. I left the road, and, completely naked (as I then found myself to be), lay down on the grass to rest, and looked at the lonely, moonlit road, which, for mile after mile, stretched over the moors. From a reading of some of C.G. Jung’s writings, it may be understood that dreams of a lonely journey indicate a journey of development or self-discovery. Therefore, this dream would not seem to be auspicious, for in it, after leaving the road in order to rest, there was no evidence of any desire to continue my journey.
DREAM 4 One dream, which did not seem to be particularly auspicious, occurred after a meditation practice. In it, a dark lake was seen. Out of the lake, the figure of a woman arose. It was not any particular woman, but universalised, be-robed Woman — the archetype of all women (a bit like the statuesque female that Paramount Pictures used to show when a film was about to start). On seeing this, I awoke in a state of great fear.
DREAM 5 This dream came when, for personal reasons that will remain private, I had ceased attending a meditation group that I had attended for several years, during which (thanks to the influence of the teacher, I am sure), many realisations arose. It was not my own dream but one that came to my wife. She dreamt that together, she and I were climbing a hill. I turned around, and started to go down to the bottom of this hill. An infants’ school stood at the foot of the hill, and children were thronging about in the playground. In this dream, someone said to my wife, “Well, he had his chance.” Of course, this dream could have meant anything (that is, if it meant anything whatsoever). However, if this really was authentic commentary on my spiritual life, then it did not augur well. This was at a time when all the former realisations had ceased, and I was feeling that I had wasted a very valuable opportunity offered by the meditation teacher that I knew. Now, I am aware that even to think that someone else’s dream may have some reference to oneself would seem to be very egocentric, but even so, it did seem to fit, and fit rather well, with what has happened in real life. Also, by that time, I had experienced enough strange mental phenomena for me to think that my perception might be reasonable. Besides, it seems conceivable that such a dream, experienced by my wife, might reflect a deep perception on her part that a significant fact needed to be pointed out to me.
Feel free, anyone, to comment as you please if you feel that you understand something in these dreams or in any one of them. I should be very grateful for any input, and I thank any respondents in advance.