Up until that point in time, I had always gleaned valuable insights about myself from my dreams — especially since my first prescient dream in 1982 (at the age of 21). As a result, not only had I become quite good at remembering my dreams, but I had also become quite efficient at identifying the dreams that were important as opposed to wasting energy on the ones that weren’t — that is, the ones that only rehashed or reviewed the decisions, choices or experiences of the preceding days or weeks.
And I did.
However, the very next morning, as I stood under a hot shower, the dream suddenly came back. Only, contrary to the feelings I had experienced upon waking from the dream a day earlier, I no longer found it troubling to think about. In fact, I suddenly found myself with a crystal clear understanding that wasn’t previously there.
Where did this understanding come from?
Of course, I have no way of knowing for sure other than to tell you that I have had many occasions where, upon waking, I have experienced an odd deja-vu-like sensation like I had just been in the company of angels (having some sort of discussion or review). As a result, I have woken up with a sudden understanding of things I have never thought about or understood before.
So, for lack of a better explanation, that seems to be what occurred in this instance.
And, well, now that I’ve given you all of this background, I would now like to describe the dream and the understanding that followed.
In the dream, I am visiting a seaside community of whitewashed clapboard houses that are small, weathered, unkempt, and old. The houses are situated about a hundred feet away from a beach, all lined up in a row facing the water, one next to the other. The surf is rough and the clarity of the water murky. However, there I am, wading in the shallows, doing something I love to do, which is to squat down in the water and feel around the sandy bottom for seashells.
After a few moments of searching, I pull a beautiful shell out from the water. In fact, it is the most exquisite shell I have ever seen –- about 10 inches in diameter, with perfectly formed spokes coming out from all around the perimeter of the shell. Carefully holding this treasure in my hand, I continue to search the sandy bottom with my free hand until moments later, I pull another beautiful shell from the water — this time a conch shell, about 7 inches long. I transfer the shell to the hand that is holding the first treasure, and once again continue to sweep the sandy bottom. A few moments later, out comes my third and final treasure, a sweet little cone shell, about 4 inches long.
Having as much as I can now hold, I leave the water and immediately bring the shells to my house. Only, I can’t remember entering the house and staying. In fact, the next thing I remember I am returning to my house after being away for what seems like a very long time.
As I enter the house, my wife is there, and she hands me the three shells. But none of them are the way I remember them.
The first shell, the exquisite one with the spokes, is now a plastic imitation that easily comes apart in my hands like a cheap toy.
The second is definitely the conch, but the top of the shell is missing, and where there is now a hole, partially smoked cigarettes and cigarette butts have been stuffed inside. (As soon as I saw this, I suddenly recognized this shell as belonging to one of my dream-world neighbors; suddenly remembering it hanging outside his door for guests to use as an ashtray before they entered his house. And for a brief moment, I wondered how it had ended up in the water for me to find it.)
The third shell is indeed the same little cone shell, however, when I take a closer look, it no longer is opaque but translucent. And, within the shell, I can see creepy looking snakes and serpents writhing throughout the structure of the shell which causes me to feel instantly repulsed and disturbed. Of course, I am also extremely disappointed to discover that all three shells are now flawed and no longer worth keeping.
Standing under the hot shower, not only did I remember all of this, but I would now like to share the understanding that I was given:
The three shells were gifts that were given by the water (which I suddenly understood as gifts from the Source of Life; God). I had been overjoyed to receive these gifts (and I looked forward to looking after them and sharing them with others), however, I went away somewhere (into the world of duality as I understood it) and in my absence (or, really, in my unconsciousness or through my lack of awareness), my gifts had been taken for granted, misused and abused.
For instance, the first shell had become a cheap plastic imitation –- as I understood it, a symbol of mankind’s collective state of mind — treating everything as disposable, seeking instant gratification, allowing unconscious desires to rule our thoughts, words and behaviors — hardly representative of the best that a human mind can achieve.
The second shell, now an ashtray –- as I understood, a symbol of mankind’s collective attitude towards the human body –- taking it for granted, mindlessly filling it with toxins and poisons — hardly representative of the reverence and care one should have for the body.
The third shell, corrupted by snakes and serpents — as I understood, a symbol of mankind’s lack of belief in the sheer magnificence and genius of the human spirit –- feeling generally powerless, victimized, and unworthy — hardly representative of the beauty, greatness, and true potential of the human spirit.
Interestingly, as soon as I saw that my gifts had been ruined, I believed they no longer had value. And, that was the flaw in my thinking; the very thing that had caused me to feel so deeply disturbed, I wanted to forget the dream. Because, truth be told, our gifts are eternal, and can never be ruined to the point of worthlessness.
We may intentionally or unintentionally allow our gifts to waste and wither, and become corrupted, distorted and sullied, however, with correct thinking, action, and divine healing, they can always be restored to their original splendor. I call this restorative process of healing “cleansing” or “purification” — and this is precisely what this dream was telling me. My mind, body and spirit had become corrupted, distorted and sullied by living unconsciously for a long period of time. And, it was now time to wake up, live with conscious intent, and in so doing, return back into alignment with my original splendor, beauty, and true nature. The moment I was blessed to receive this sudden understanding, although I had no idea what exactly my true nature was, I was determined to open myself up to the process of cleansing and purification.
For one thing, I knew the life I had been living had barely scratched the surface of my potential. I could feel this. I just didn’t know how to free myself from my negative cellular memories, false beliefs, and the hurt and negative conditioning from my past. But I knew this was my mission. And, as I stood there under the hot shower, and suddenly remembered and understood my dream, I felt a sudden passion and determination to find my way home to my true Divine self.