A few years ago I had a dream in which someone was shooting at me. As you might expect, I made an effort to escape. Minor variations on this dream began to occur until I had one in which I had a gun and shot back. I wasn’t too happy about these dreams. I am not anti-gun. If other people feel the need for them, that’s their concern. Personally, I prefer to find solutions. Guns dont solve problems, they perpetuate them. But that’s another post.
Eventually I had a dream in which I succeeded in shooting at my attacker. And then I had the dream in which I succeeded in killing them. At this point, I started to wonder just what was going on. Where was this streak of violence coming from? I certainly didn’t feel it in waking life. Obviously I was trying to make a point but what was it?
After that, death in my dreams became almost routine. Sometimes I would kill them but more often, they would die from other causes. Typical dream stuff: violent attackers, monsters, assorted accidents. I wasn’t terribly bothered by it all. I didn’t like the theme but I have an understanding that dreams are a form of communication. I just couldn’t figure out what the message was. Or who it was coming from. Me? The Universe?
And then recently, I read something that seemed so obvious I wondered how it hadn’t occured to me. Someone pointed out that killing someone in a dream represents letting go of the past and moving forward.
It made perfect sense. My life is centered on personal growth. I first questioned my role in life when I was eight years old. I had no answers but I observed that each year was better than the previous. Each year I felt happier. Each year I felt I was making progress, even if I couldn’t define the nature of that progress.
Until one day as a young adult, I noticed that things weren’t getting any better. My life was beginning to stagnate. I became aware that I wasn’t in control of my own life. I felt like a victim of circumstance and circumstances were not operating in my favor. Something needed to be done about that. I knew that anwers were within me if I could only find out where they were buried.
I refocused my efforts. Gradually I began to turn things around. It took years but I began to feel connected. I wasn’t entirely satisfied. I knew I had plenty of room for improvement but I felt at peace. I felt confident that I could gain the control that had been lacking my entire life. It was around this time that the dreams began.
The pace of my life seemed to be gaining speed. Every few years I woiuld go through a personal crisis that lasted for months and required an effort of will to survive. Each crisis resulted in what I can only describe as an evolutionary jump. I felt stronger, happier, more focused. But something was still missing. A final piece of the puzzle had fallen into the cracks and eluded all effort to find it.
Then I read those words about the meaning of death in dreams. About a week later I had a Dream Academy Award Winner.
There were three “beings” in the dream. They looked human. They were self-aware. But I had the knowledge that they were “created” somehow. Even though they wanted to live, they lacked the capacity for self-preservation. This was important because I knew they had outlived the purpose for which they were created. It was time for them to go.
I’d been having all these dreams where I was finding it easier and easier to kill people. This time I couldn’t do it. These creations were not attacking me. They had done no harm. In fact, they were defenseless. They wanted to live. Was this not their right? I could do nothing to harm them.
There was one other person in the dream. She stood next to me and was growing impatient with my lack of resolve. Finally she could take it no more. She stepped forward, picking up a large cleaver as she walked. Without a heartbeat of hesitation, she stepped up to one of the beings, raised the cleaver, and drew it down the length of its body, from head to torso. Then she raised the cleaver again, this time drawing it through the torso to the legs. Each swipe of the knife cut through the being’s body almost to the backside, nearly severing it in two.
I stood there in numbed shock. What had she done?
Oddly, the bisected being remained standing. It hadn’t yet fallen but its life was over and I sensed that it was very much aware of that truth. Its assailant turned to look at me.
Her voice was calm and steady as she spoke. With a stern air of authority that nailed my feet to the floor, she said, “Do you understand now? Let. Them. Die.”
They were the three most commanding words I had ever heard spoken in my life. I knew the other two beings had to die and that they must die by my hand. It wasn’t to happen in the dream however as the force of her words drew me to wakefulness.
And I did understand. The beings were old skin that needed to be shed, grime that needed to be washed away, tattered clothing that needed to be replaced. I had undertaken a task so many years ago, as a child. I had found too many excuses to delay. It was time to finish the job once and for all. I had to let go of the anchors that kept me rooted in place and walking in circles. I had to kill me. It had to be done so I could live.
The world is in its own crisis right now. The state of the world is but a reflection of the individuals of the world. If the world is in crisis, it is because so many people are in crisis. To survive, for the world to survive, each individual must look within and recognize that which has fulfilled its role. Each individual must cleave out and discard that which is holding them back. Everything serves a purpose. But when that purpose has been served, it is time for it to go. Like the fruit that falls from the tree so that new fruit might grow.
Its time to evolve. Let them die.