Dream Gates

Dream Gates

God dreams a world

posted by Robert Moss

Vishnu on Shesha Naga.jpgFor many peoples, our existence on the planet is itself the product of the dream of a creator god. 

In the mind of India, Vishnu is dreaming this world, which will continue until he ends the dream and disperses his dream characters – including ourselves. The god with skin the color of rain-filled clouds sleeps on the great serpent Shesha Naga, who may be depicted with five heads, or seven or a hundred.. The serpent drifts on the great Milky Ocean. For those raised on the Bible, through the exotic garb the threefold, undulating movement of the dreaming god, the serpent and the ocean, may evoke the flow of the second verse of Genesis where “the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
While Vishnu sleeps, his mind generates dreams, and this is the stuff we and our world are made of. 
Another version of a god dreaming up a world comes from the Guajiro, a forest people of South America. For the Guajiro, the universe is born when the creator, Maleiwa, becomes aware that he is dreaming. He does not come to this awareness unassisted. His helper is an intriguing being called Apusanai, whose function is to set up the matrix within which dream experiences take place. Apusanai performs this operation not only for the creator, but for every human. [1] So whenever we go dreaming, it is possible that – on our own scale – we may enter into the manifesting power of the first conscious dreamer, the creator god. 
In the cosmogony of the Makiritare, a shamanic people of Venezuela, the high god Wanadi created his own mother, through dreaming. First he projected a double that entered the physical world. The double “just sat there in silence, thinking, dreaming, dreaming. He dreamed that a woman was born….He made his own mother.” Then he entered her body in the form he had dreamed. [2]
That story may provoke us into thinking more deeply about what is really going on in divine conception dreams like the famous dream of Queen Maya that heralded the coming of her son Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. In approaching Maya, we don’t want to miss the fact that in Sanskrit her name means “illusion”, not merely in the negative sense but in that of the play of images that brings things – even worlds – into manifestation. 
Maya dreamed of a six-tusked elephant, “white as the snow-capped mountains”, that entered her body by the side. Priests were summoned to interpret the dream, and predicted that she would give birth to a spiritual being that would change the world. On the night of conception, according to some early texts, she slept apart from her husband. Though the queen was not a virgin, up to this point she had been childless, and the birth of Siddhartha was certainly an extraordinary event. He is sometimes described as exiting his mother’s body through the side, without surgery and without harming her. Some versions suggest that the six-tusked elephant not only represents the spiritual power of the Buddha but is also the spiritual begetter of the coming Buddha. [3]
1. Lawrence C. Watson, “Dreaming as World View and Action in Guajiro Culture,” Journal of Latin American Lore 7, no.2 (1981): 239-254, 
2. Marc de Civrieux, Watunna: An Orinoco Creation Cycle, trans. David M. Guss (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1980) p.23
3. Serinity Young, Courtesans and Tantric Escorts: Sexualities in Buddhist Narrative, Iconography and Ritual (London: Routledge, 2004),pp. 67-72.

Vishnu dreams on Sesha Naga, while Lakshmi rubs his feet (18th century)

Previous Posts

Bringing our lost children out of the glass bubble
I am out in the woods in the middle of the night, on Cortes Island. I notice other figures, animal and human and hybrid, moving among the trees, taking form then fading back into the shadows. I find three clear and reliable travel companions. Red-tailed hawk scouts ahead, gray wolf flanks me on th

posted 9:15:37am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Dream groups as models for a new community
Community, as Peter Block defines it in a provocative  book, is about the experience of belonging. To belong is to feel at home, to know you are among family or friends. When something belongs

posted 5:12:19am Apr. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives
In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.” He also described a practice for “drilling” the memory in order to catch more dreams and use them t

posted 9:27:42am Mar. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus tells me he's an Ace up my sleeve
Our spiritual guides take forms adjusted to our understanding. “I saw him in the way I was able to perceive him,” runs a line on this subject in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas. In the Western Mystery tradition, the term “contact picture” is used to describe a form a being from the larger reality

posted 5:54:06am Mar. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Three coincidence games for any day
Navigating by synchronicity is the dreamer's way of operating 24/7. We all know what it feels like when the world around us gives us a sign or a symbol. Coincidence is when the universe gets personal. It can feel like a secret handshake, or a wink, or a tickle - or like an unseen hand slamming a doo

posted 5:38:54am Mar. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.