“Look into the light”, cave mouth, obstacle, God’s Country dream.

Posted 23 Jan 2015

Cave and boulder dream metaphor 980x706px col
Meta4 Picture: Cave and boulder dream

Close-up of boulder details: woman & ladder rungs.

Close-up of light rays from outside cave mouth.

This is a blog entry detailing the contents of a fascinating dream I had on New Year’s Eve 2014, followed by some thoughts & interpretations about that dream.

To read the original Dec 2014 Blog article which precedes this one (written on 31/December/2014)
“Look into the light”

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Meta4 Picture: Cave and boulder dream

The story content of my dream.
In my dream I was with a lot of other people. We were all inside a large, dark cave. The cave mouth was in front of me, with a large ill-fitting boulder/obstacle blocking the way. Strong white light was coming from the far side of the boulder/obstacle, which shone in bright beams through gaps between the top of the boulder & the underside of the cave roof, & between the left hand sides of the bolder & cave wall (see illustration above). I instinctively knew (as you do in dreams!) that the light was coming from God; from “God’s Country” (the phrase I knew or “heard” in my dream), in other words, from Heaven. I somehow knew that God was encouraging me/us to climb over the obstacle & move towards Him.

Two men stood before me, next to the bolder/obstacle. I knew (somehow!) that it was their “turn” to try to get around the obstacle & get into God’s light. After their attempt I knew it would be my “turn”, then the “turn” of those people behind me. We were in a rough queue of people, each waiting his or her turn.

The two men clambered up the boulder/obstacle & managed to just squeeze through some of the gaps between the boulder & the cave walls. The men managed to push the boulder a little, to make room for them to get through. I moved closer to the huge bolder, as they were climbing up it, sensing that it was my “turn” next & keen to get climbing myself. The men gave a mighty heave, on the far side of the boulder, pushing off from its surface in order to get themselves into the light. The effect was to push the boulder back towards me & make the gaps between the obstacle/boulder & the cave mouth small again. I was incensed by that (apparently) selfish action. “That’s not very considerate (or Christian)!” I fumed!

Then it was my “turn” to clamber up the boulder/obstacle that was blocking most of the light in the cave mouth & for me to try to squeeze through the gaps. I was very keen to climb & get “into the light”. There was strong sense of good things awaiting me on the side of the boulder.

As I looked at the boulder I could see shapes in it: a woman; rungs like a ladder; various ill-defined shapes all over the surface. The “boulder/obstacle” appeared to be made of some slightly reflective silver metal, like silver-blue steel. I found that I could climb up the dark, shiny surface (using the rungs of the ladder) & got to the top fairly easily. There was a very narrow gap between the boulder’s top & the cave roof. I tried to squeeze through, but I couldn’t make it.

Then I realised that I had armour on (like a medieval knight’s armour) & that it was preventing me from getting through the gap. I quickly removed it & threw it away. Then I was able to just squeeze through.

I was now on the light-side of the boulder/obstacle, but facing the cave mouth. The intense, bright light was behind me & I really wanted to turn around & look into it. But something was preventing me from doing so. In some way, the boulder/obstacle was adhering to my skin & I struggled to pull myself free from it. With a huge wrench I managed to tear myself free from the boulder/obstacle, pushing off its surface with a mighty heave. I was then free to turn around & face into the light.

I realised in an instant that my manouevre was what the two men before me had also done. In order to push away from the boulder/obstacle, everyone had to push with all their might, & only that effort was enough to break from its strange, sticky grasp.
I also realised at that instant, that I would have pushed the boulder/obstacle back into place within the cave mouth… & no doubt the people behind me were also fuming at ME, for having been (apparently) so “un-Christian” to have done such a thing! Only now, that I had conducted the manouevre myself, did I smile (in my dream), realising that the two men before me (& myself) had had no choice; the boulder/obstacle-cave mouth system was somehow designed like that; that was almost its purpose – everyone who ever wanted to climb over the boulder/obstacle & crawl their way through the gaps into God’s Country, had to CHOOSE to do so. They had to choose to climb, squeeze through & finally push off the boulder/obstacle – that was the way everyone had to do it; that was the way it was DESIGNED to be overcome.

The final part of the dream: His eyes!
As I wrote earlier, the final part of the dream involved me pushing off the boulder/obstacle & finally being free enough to turn around. What did I see?
I saw an intensely bright light. At first I couldn’t make out any details at all, but gradually I became aware of two very large eyes, looking at me. I knew instantly that these were God’s eyes – WOW!
I had made it; I had managed to get into “God’s Country”.
At that point I woke up!

Comments: interpretations, ideas, what does it mean?!
This was an astonishing dream. The more I think about it, the more I am realising about it. Even as I type this (Fri 22/January/2015) I am amazed & delighted by this dream.
Quite a few of my dreams are “story” dreams; there is a narrative to them. I guess that’s true for most people. So it’s not unusual for me to have dreams like this one, where a particular narrative unfolds as time goes by. Sometimes dreams “jump” suddenly, from one scene to another, seemingly unrelated scene – those ones can be a bit confusing or bizarre! But what was interesting about this particular dream was that it’s narrative “flowed properly”, like a novel or film: the various component scenes all related to each other logically, & the story had a definite beginning, middle & end, just like a story should!

There was also the fascinating & delightful “discovery” element of the various scenes in the dream. The beginning had mystery: why was I in a cave? Who were all these other people? What was going on?
I “knew” in the dream that the light was from “God’s Country”, & that I wanted to get into that light; to get to Him.

As the dream progressed I came to know more of the reasons behind why things had occurred; this was more of that wonderful realization or the story unfolding before me, as I progressed through the dream. For instance I realised, when I first noticed the various ill-defined shapes in the boulder/obstacle, that each person faced their own, unique boulder/obstacle. Although the obstacle occupied the same space (in the cave mouth) WHAT IT WAS COMPOSED OF was unique. So each person not only had to arrive at the point of making a DECISION: whether or not to face the challenge of attempting to climb over the boulder/obstacle; but that each person’s boulder/obstacle was uniquely shaped, or else composed of certain, unique things. I don’t know why “my boulder/obstacle” had the composition of steel-like metal, with the form of a woman & rungs like a ladder in it. That has remained a bit of a mystery to me! (see comment below)

Another important dream realisation was that moment when I “knew” that we ALL had to push hard against the boulder/obstacle in order to escape it; there was NOTHING ELSE we could do. And yet I “knew” that this very action “re-set” the boulder/obstacle, so that no-one behind us (still in the cave) could benefit from our decision to overcome the obstacle(s) in our life. There was no chance of someone behind us benefitting from our struggle to climb over our obstacle/boulder. Everyone who came to their particular boulder/obstacle, had to overcome it by their own decision to do so: no-one was able to simply walk past the boulder/obstacle, all had to decide to face it & to climb over it.

Various comments.
The shapes in the obstacle/boulder.

I interpret the boulder/obstacle itself as representative of something “in the way”; something which is preventing me/us from getting to where we want to go. Therefore the boulder/obstacle is not an asset, but a hazard, or something preventing me/us from getting to our goal. In my case, my goal was clearly getting into “God’s Country.”

I realised when I woke up that the objects in the boulder were of a particular type or form. I could only make out two shapes in “my” boulder/obstacle: the shape of a woman & rungs of a ladder. I wonder if these “images” or forms represent distractions or difficulties? Perhaps they are distractions to my Christian faith? I’m sorry I have drawn the woman as semi-naked, but that is how she appeared in my dream, & I think (in this case) it is important to accurately represent what I “saw” in the dream. No offence is intended. I have added dark “modesty” shadows in the appropriate places! In my dream, as I drew closer to her, I saw that she had fang-like metal teeth in a wide open grimacing mouth. Who knows what that all means!

Their remains the mystery of the “rungs of the ladder”! Clearly they actively assisted me in getting over the boulder/obstacle, so that hardly represents a “distraction”! – very mysterious! Perhaps the “rungs” were put there by God Himself? That might then represent His ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT in my/our overcoming the various obstacles that seem to prevent us from reaching Him. And my understanding of the Lord God is that He is FAR MORE INVOLVED in “calling” us to Himself, than we realise. In fact, the faith I/we have is a gift from Him; Jesus dying on the cross is God’s active involvement in saving us; even the life we have in our bodies (& our bodies themselves, for that matter!) are a gift from God. So my interpretation is that EVERYTHING WE HAVE is actually from God in the first place.
Bearing that all in mind, it is consistent (in my dream) that the Lord God WOULD provide “rungs on the ladder”, in order to help me to climb up the boulder/obstacle. That is exactly the sort of thing God WOULD do!

It is also interesting to note that, in my dream, I hadn’t SEEN or NOTICED the “rungs on the ladder” UNTIL I had decided to climb over the boulder/obstacle. Before that decision, the boulder/obstacle appeared to be simply huge, but rather rough & featureless. Only AFTER I decided to climb over it did I then notice the dull, reflective nature of the boulder/obstacle, & the features or shapes that composed it’s surface. perhaps that is like “real life”, in that, once we have decided to do a particular thing, only then do it’s dimensions, “shapes”, difficulties & challenges actually present themselves, or become clearer to us.

The armour I was wearing. Connections: Armour, Percival & the film “Excalibur”.
I think the armour represents something that I have long carried: but rather than a physical thing, I believe it refers to attitudes, opinions or ways of thinking, which protect me, but also perhaps negatively affect me; slowing me down, or in this case, HOLDING ME BACK from reaching my ultimate goal: God Himself.

After waking up I was struck by the close similarity between my dream experience & a scene from the 1981 film “Excalibur”. In that film a peasant boy named Percival achieves his life-long ambition to become a knight. When he goes on the quest for the Holy Grail, he is thrown into a river (by the guilt-ridden Lancelot) & it seems as if he will drown. But Percival kicks & struggles out of his armour & swims to the water’s surface. His armour is seen sinking slowly to the river bed. Suddenly Percival is in Camelot’s moat & being asked a riddle by a mysterious voice. Percival answers the riddle correctly, realising that Arthur and the land are one, thus gaining the Grail and immediately is beside to stricken Arthur, who drinks from it and is revitalised, as is the land, shown by grasses & trees springing into bloom.

My point is, there is great SIMILARITY between the scene of Percival shaking off his armour in the “Excalibur” film in order to gain the water’s surface, & my own realisation that I had to remove my armour (in my own dream) in order to squeeze through the crack between the boulder & cave mouth.

Percival’s life long ambition had been to become a knight. The armour of a knight is an obvious external symbol of his internal values, position in life & achievement. In terms of values, a knight’s armour could represent his self-sacrifice to a noble cause, & to the chivalry becoming of a knight. The armour was a symbol of his achievements, self-image, & the highest values of knightly behaviour: in essence, the “best” part of himself.
Yet, in drowning in the river, Percival realised that his good, knightly values (symbolised by his steel armour) were now DRAGGING HIM DOWN to his death with their clumsy weight. In order to complete his quest for the Holy Grail, Percival would have to relinquish & throw away the very part of himself which he valued the most; the armour which represented his knightly values. That sacrifice must have been very hard, but was necessary. In shaking off his armour, Percival was “freed” from the last vestiges of his own will & desire; free to fully pursue the Holy Grail; free from any lingering self-image & clinging desire to actually BE a knight. He sacrificed all that he was, in order to bring the Grail to Arthur: thus he was, at last, self-sacrificial enough to actually GAIN the Holy Grail. Percival’s self-sacrifice for his king’s welfare was TRULY the noblest & most courageous of acts on his part, which then qualified him to receive the Holy Grain.

Now I’m not saying that any of that was going through my head whilst I was dreaming my own story! Only after I woke up & was pondering the dream-story narrative did I suddenly remember the scene of Percival in the river from “Excalibur”, as outlined above. I certainly hadn’t been thinking about the film, not for months or years, yet, suddenly, that connection seemed “right” to me. I instantly knew that my imagination had supplied me (in my dream) with the same idea, of having to remove my armour, in order to get through the gap between the boulder/obstacle & the cave mouth.

The more I think about this dream the more amazed I am by it!

I think the story within this dream is definitely applicable to me, but I wonder if it has a much wider application & interpretation as well. In the broadest terms this dream seems to represent the universal situation of 1) coming to realise that there IS a God; that He exists, & then 2) the human struggle of overcoming obstacles & difficulties whilst in pursuit of a relationship with that God. Followed by the realisation 3) that “our struggle” to reach God is, in fact, SHARED by that God; that He has “called” us, & that He has provided us with every opportunity to encounter Him, all the way through our lives. It is, in that sense, FAR MORE His initiative & activity (to encounter us) than it is ours to meet Him! That is my interpretation of the relationship of the boulder/obstacle & it’s position within the cave mouth: it prevents us from easily walking out of the cave (which represents all of our lives), yet it moves to allow us access (albeit difficult to come by!) & then always settles back into place, thus presenting the SAME LEVEL OF CHALLENGE to everyone else who comes after us. As a Christian I can see the truth of such a situation; this is as life seems to be, to me. Everyone has ample opportunity to encounter the Lord God; indeed, He calls to us all (via Christians we encounter, TV programs we see, the Bible, & countless other things) & we all have equal chance of hearing about Him & moving towards Him. But I can also see that we have things blocking our path: obstacles & “boulders” in our way (possibly of our own devising!) which must be overcome: climbed over, in order to fully encounter the Lord. Those people who reject God are the people who do not wish to climb. Those people who do want to encounter God HAVE to climb the boulder. Yet they find (as I did in my dream) that there are UNEXPECTED HELPS, on that journey – like the “rungs of the ladder” that I encountered once I had made a firm decision to start to climb over the boulder/obstacle.
To be sure, God is Himself UTTERLY dedicated to all of us reaching Him, provided that is a goal that we CHOOSE for ourselves. He does not force any of us to have to climb the boulder/obstacle! But if that is our goal (analogous to becoming a Christian in the first place) then we find assistance, & in the end, we “see” (realized) that the Lord God has been helping us all of our lives, to encounter Him, all we had to do was to decide for ourselves that THAT was what we wanted.

Could or does God “speak” to us using dreams &/or visions?
I suppose I have been assuming all through this blog entry, that God does indeed “speak” to me, via the vehicle of dreams. I know some other Christians also believe that this is possible. If you are doubtful, then I suggest you ask God yourself. It may be profitable to read about dreams & visions as a means in which God communicate with various people in the Holy Bible too. Some notable occurrences when God communicated through Dreams or Visions (Waking dreams) with people in the Bible are presented below:

Old Testament Dreams and Visions
Abraham (Genesis 15:1), Abimelech (Genesis 20:1-7), Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17), Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11) – one of the most famous dreamers, and one of the most famous dream-interpreters, in the Bible. Pharaoh (Genesis 41), Samuel (1 Samuel 3), The Midianite and Amalekite armies (Judges 7:12-15), Solomon (1 Kings 3:5), Daniel (Daniel 2; 4)

New Testament Dreams and Visions
Zacharias (Luke 1:5-23), Joseph (Matthew 1:20; 2:13), Pilate’s wife (a Gentile) (Matthew 27:19), Ananias (Acts 9:10), Cornelius (Acts 10:1-6), Peter (Acts 10:9-15), Paul had several visions in his missionary career (Acts 16:9-10), (Acts 18:9-11), (2 Corinthians 12:1-6). John (Revelation): Nearly the entire book of Revelation is a vision John had while exiled on the island of Patmos.

(This list comes from GotQuestions Christian website, under the title: “How did God use dreams and visions in the Bible?”
http://www.gotquestions.org/dreams-visions-Bible.html )

Clearly the Lord God has, on a number of occasions, communicated to Biblical characters using dreams &/or visions. I see no reason to doubt that God would be willing to use the same means to communicate to us in the 21st century. At the very least my dreams intensify my interest in what the Lord may be drawing my attention to.

What the Lord God has left in me.
I know this is a long blog post – if you’ve read this far then congratulations!

My final point is the realisation that when I woke up, & started to think about this dream, the phrase “Look into the light” was very central to my musings. I believe that phrase is what the Lord God wanted me to take away from the dream. My personal interpretation is that “Look into the light” is at the core of the dream. Certainly that was at the beginning of it, as illustrated in my picture above. But it was that desire to “Look into the light”, & to VISIT THE LIGHT, which kept me climbing the obstacle/boulder, & also which helped me to set my will & physical efforts against that boulder, when I was on the other side of it & it was “sticky” & wouldn’t let me go. It was the presence of the light, & my desire to “Look into the light”, which provided me with the ever-present urgency & desire to overcome all the obstacles & every difficulty, & to “get to God”.

That is why the phrase “Look into the light” has become a sort of personal motto for me, certainly for 2015, but perhaps it will be applicable for far longer than that. Let’s wait & see!


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