Monday, July 16, 2018

The Pilgrim's Forest: An Allegorical Dream of Fallenness

Despair, yes, ruin... and self destruction. These are things common to our world.  Something inside of us, an impulse draws us toward the wrong, even when we know the right.  Something inside, it's not even a decision, but an impulse takes us away.  It causes us to sabotage that perfect relationship.  It causes us to leave that great job.  It sends us back to the bottle after years sober.  It's an impulse, that of self-destruction.  

This cancer permeates reality. Yet reality persists.  It's laced through the rotting stump, in the forest of this world.  It cuts through in the wild fire triggered by the lightning strike.  It leaves ashes.  But life persists, somehow.  

After all, don't we exist in a temporary reality, a broken, fallen place?  I can see the straps and trappings and duct work, I can see all the equations and temporal realities and time space phenomenon that hold it all together just begging to come crashing down.  I see it when a storm rushes across the horizon.  I see it when lightning cuts through the dark clouds.  I feel it when the ground shakes beneath me during an earthquake.  The clock is ticking on this entire universe.  It is destined to be burned, and remade. 

Long ago, I fled into a shimmering sphere, a beautiful mysterious expanse in the woods outside the door of my life as it was. I had dreams about it, I wrote about it, but I'm not sure I ever really understood what it was, until now.  It was the mirage world, the alternate universe hidden all around us, the world of self-ruination. I finally understand what it was, that world I entered twenty years ago.  One day, I went into that deep dark woods, with shimmering lights within it.  

It was so beautiful. Yet so foreboding.  I felt the fascination, and also the terror. That majestic woods, the lanterns and golden lights hanging from the trees, the bizarre mysteries I encountered there.  I recall it so clearly now.  And of course the dangers, the deadly nature of the forest, and all that I encountered there...

It was a labyrinth of extremes, beautiful and hideous. It was safe and warm, yet cold and treacherous.  A reality that consumed my life, like a virus.  It was growing, and growing.  

It was a complex metaphor, appearing in my dreams, in my stream-of-consciousness writing, and in my mind's eye as I'd look off into the backyard.  

I was inexorably drawn to it, and I was convinced it was a positive good.  I was certain, that the journey through the forest, to the center of the reality, this vortex, would lead to paradise and salvation for my soul.

I recall an episode of Star Trek Voyager, where the crew thought they had encountered a wormhole back home, but they realized that there was some kind of deception taking place.  But as they got closer, they all fell victim to the seductive appearance and the belief that might finally make it home.  As they sailed into the wormhole, they didn't realize, they were sailing into the belly of a giant monster seeking to devour them and their ship.

The mystic forest, was a bait and switch, a trap door reality.  And beyond the gentle flickers of light and beautiful scenery there was great danger.  It was a trap.  And monsters would soon seethe through the doors of the reality to attack and kill me.  

That's where I went.  And I knew that I had to get to the meadow at the center.  I'd seen it in my dreams.  So I went deeper and deeper into this forest. I chased a mysterious owl through the forest, as well as a beautiful butterfly that kept appearing here and there.

I think I finally realize what this forest was... the great vortex of self destruction.  I recently viewed a movie called Annihilation, a rather gruesome, dark movie.  In this movie, there is an expanding sphere called the shimmer. Many went inside, and were lost in it. It was expanding, threatening to destroy the entire world.  So they sent a last team inside of it, five of them, and they discovered a beautiful reality, yet also deadly, and dangerous.  And the story bounces between the self-destruction of the main characters and the saga of their journey into the shimmer. I don't recommend watching this movie, it's very dark, even demonic, with brutal, disgusting scenes of murder and death within the shimmer, as well as adultery and demented sex scenes.  But it did help me understand something from my past...

I recall in my dream, the story of the forest, there were tornadoes ripping through fields, and terrifying sojourners along their way.  The tornadoes were vortexes perhaps, vortexes to hell, that I only nearly escaped.  But after that I went underground, to a place of crystal miners.  And they were mining the crystals surrounding the center of the forest, which had broken to bear broken fields.

I went deeper, and deeper.  I had been chasing an owl through the forest all that ways.  And then something terrible happened... I encountered myself, a dark version of myself.  It was almost like A Wrinkle in Time, and the dark version of Charles Wallace.  And I wrestled with the evil twin of myself, and defeated the evil twin.  The owl turned evil, and attacked the butterfly.  But the butterfly though crushed, appeared once again, and the owl was defeated.  And then the woods broke, and the forest disappeared, and the meadow came into view.

I realize what happened... the forest was the matrix of self-destruction, death, and brokenness in my soul.  The boy journeying through the forest was me.  At the center of the forest was the consummation of self-destruction, death.  The various encounters in the forest were delusions and hallucinations and false realities of the broken-state, mirroring and distorting true reality.  The monsters attacking me in the forest were Satan and the evil ones.

Yet something was frightfully necessary about the journey inward.  If I had fled from it, it would've invaded the real world and destroyed my life.  But by turning and going bravely into the depths of it, I was able to face it, fight it, and defeat the true enemy deep within this vortex: The brokenness in my soul, and the old self, the old man, the man of sin, within each of us, that must be put to death, for us to be reborn, and drawn into the new kingdom of Christ.  We must each face the darkness, and defeat it.  If we run from it, it consumes our waking states, if we turn and face it, and march on it's black gates, we have a chance, to defeat the evil in ourselves, in Christ, and crucify the old self, and become entirely new.   

I recall in the dream, in the vision of the forest, the underground cavern... where I saw the great figure standing above the waters... and the butterfly that kept appearing, and leading me away from danger... and the vision of counting the stars and the dialogues with the little boy named Luz, these were encounters and protection provided by God, as He came to me, protected me, and guided me toward the black darkness of caverns, where He would bring me to the point of ruin, and teach me to cry out to His son Jesus for salvation.  

At that moment, the fallen forest was destroyed, the false self was put to death, and the new self was born.  Do you know what's interesting?  The story doesn't end there.  What happens next, in the next two books I wrote, is that the boy became a man, was given a new name, fell from a city of delusions, and woke up in a broken world under siege by a dark kingdom.  Just a dream?  Another delusion? Or a metaphor to waking up in a real world in the midst of a fierce spiritual war? 

Related Posts: 
  1. Journey of the Christian through the Forest called Earth
  2. What is the matrix?
  3. Living in the Suburban Sprawl (Mountains beyond Mountains)
  4. Ancient Doorways in the Brickhouse: Fields of Green in your Dreams
  5. Depression & Meaninglessness: Where is God in the depths of sorrow?
  6. The Awe of Dreams & the Surreal
  7. Big Picture: The Solution to all the Problems of Earth
  8. What is the meaning of Life?
  9. You Oh Lord are my Strength: The Manifold Provision of God
  10. Daybreak: Examining the Problem of Pain