If I had to fall back on accepted logic, I’d say that what happened last week, in terms of dreaming and waking experience and the link between the two, is impossible.
Fortunately, I don’t.
‘There are more things…in heaven and earth…’ And in my philosophy, they are dreamt of.
I’ve written before about some of the odd, precognitive dreams I have from time to time. Last week, in the latest, I was given a salutary lesson on why I should never ignore them.
Each of us is at a unique place in our journey. We have read books, had conversations, listened to the wise and received guidance in myriad ways, all of which places us at a certain level of awareness of those ‘more things’ Hamlet was speaking of. Once we have accrued this level of knowing, we try to move back into comfortable oblivion at our peril. We simply can’t un-know our knowledge. That is what this dream experience taught me.
So what happened?
First, some background:
Several times a year, I need to traverse England, from my home in the south-west to be with family living out near the east coast. I don’t drive and the public transport infrastructure here is expensive and poor. After much experimentation, I’ve found a slow but steady and inexpensive method. It involves catching a very early coach (there is only one a day) from my town to Heathrow Airport, where I have time for lunch and a rest, before catching a second coach to my destination. It takes around 8 hours all told, but it’s comfortable and I can read en route.
Three nights before I was due to embark on one of these journeys last week, I had a dream.
I’m with a woman. We are travelling together and although we are companions and get along on very familiar terms, she is the guiding figure, in some way. We have luggage. We have made careful plans. We are sitting on a bench and nothing particular is happening around us, but suddenly she turns to me with an expression of shock and says, “We’ve missed the coach!”
We stare at each other with a mixture of disbelief and horror.
I could FEEL these emotions at a very deep and conscious level. I heard her voice and tone with absolute clarity. These are the aspects that separate this type of dream – the precogs – from normal everynight dreaming. I woke knowing I’d had a precognition and I felt rattled.
A brief word about precognition and the future, before I continue to the (almost) inevitable conclusion:
There are, as my wise friend and teacher William has taught me, an infinite number of possible futures for any event. They range from the virtually impossible to the virtually inescapable and cover all points in between. A precognition is a foretaste of what is – at that moment in time – the most likely outcome. It is not written in tablets of stone. It is still possible to make changes and alter the future event, given sufficient intention and effort.
What I should have done, then, was to check and re-check my travel plans until I found the glitch that could result in missing the coach. The guide-lady in my dream was providing me with an opportunity to do this and to avert the problems which would follow. Instead, I merely thought through my plans and convinced myself that as I had only to rely on an alarm clock and a half-mile walk to the coach stop, I had no reason to worry.
So on the day of my journey I got up in plenty of time, prepared myself for travelling, put my folded ticket into the top of my bag and walked the short trip to the coach stop. I arrived at 6:20, congratulated myself on being ten minutes early and sat on the bench to wait. At 6:25, I casually took out the ticket and unfolded it, to check what time I’d be arriving at Heathrow. That was when I saw it:
Coach departs opp. town hall 6:15
Exactly that feeling of disbelief and horror from my dream swept over me. As in the dream, nothing changed around me, but I knew I now had a huge problem. I’d been so sure of the 6:30 departure time, I hadn’t bothered to check. My dreamtime companion wasn’t there in body, of course, but I suspect at some level she was watching to see how I’d get myself out of my self-inflicted problem.
I won’t bore you with all the details of my ensuing journey. Suffice it to say that every connection (bus, walk, train, second train, race across the length of Heathrow terminal 3) was made with minutes or sometimes seconds to spare. The mobile website I bought my train ticket on went down just after I’d paid so that I was almost refused entry to the platform and I finally reached the bus interchange at Heathrow seven minutes before my second coach left.
The oddest thing was that all the time I was engaged in this nightmarish journey, it felt as if it was playing out in these very specific ways to teach me a lesson.
“Yes,” I thought ruefully, as I stood squashed against poker-faced commuters on the train out of Bristol, “I needed to learn this lesson. I will make my connection, but none of it is going to be easy.”
Somewhere, in a dimension I couldn’t see, but could just about sense, the guide-lady from my dream watched and smiled, not unkindly, and nodded.
The guides may not be as accessible as they were once, but they are still here, always checking that I have held on to all they taught me, and chiding me gently if I try to put their wisdom aside.
As William told me, when he was just 12, “What’s important is the journeys – all the changes and where we go through and the different trains are the main thing. You know that really.”