This is not a book review. I skim through this book after dreams or nightmares. Like, today, I pass by it on my bookshelf and pick it up and open to a random page. I have not read the introduction by The Dalai Lama. I have not read it from cover to cover. I am not sure I would want to.
Today my random opening was to pg. 160: "Examination of the Signs of Death which Occur in Dreams." It says that dreams that occur in late evening or midnight are unreliable. Great. I think most of my dreams are in the early morning or afternoon. But then what I later read is not so great, because it means my dreams are reliable.
Dreams, dreams, dreams. A dream can be a metaphor. A dream can be a longing or a fear. But in many religious texts and this ancient text, dreams are prophetic. I have recorded my dreams off and on for years. More often than not they cryptically foretold future events in my life. I am sure I am not the only one that pays attention to their dreams or nightmares.
Here's an excerpt from The Tibetan Book of the Dead, pg. 161-162:
Examination of the Signs of Death which Occur in Dreams
"First, one should know that those dreams which occur in the late evening or around midnight are unreliable,
But if one dreams between dawn and daybreak that:
One is riding a cat or a white monkey with a red face,
While moving further and further towards the east,
It is said that this is a sign of death caused by king spirits.
If one dreams of riding a tiger, fox, or corpse,
Or of riding a buffalo, pig, camel, or donkey,
While moving further and further towards the south,
This is a sign of death indicating that one has fallen into the hands of Yama.
Furthermore, if one dreams of eating feces,
Of wearing black clothes of yak hair, while plunging downwards,
Of being trapped in a wicker-basket or snare,
Of being bound with iron chains,
Or of copulating repeatedly with a black figure or animal,
These are also signs which are indicative of death.
If one dreams of being disemboweled by a fierce..."
I started writing this post yesterday and came back to work on it tonight but have lost all my steam. Anyway, the above segment from The Tibetan Book of The Dead continues on and on with more violent and gruesome details that you do no want in your dreams. Speaking of eating feces, I was listening to The Lights Out podcast the other day and it was about this serial killer I never heard of before named Albert Fish, who ate his own shit and other horrible things. I had to stop listening because it just kept getting more gross and violent. I have to stop listening to morbid podcasts while I cook dinner. The narrator of the podcast has such a soothing voice which made the subject matter even more disturbing.
Last night I stayed up until 5:00 a.m., researching where I was going to travel next year when all this misery has passed. I kept my husband up too and got him imagining about traveling. Eventually we decided on Tennessee. It isn't too far away if mask wearing is still required on the plane, so my inevitable panic attack will be shorter. Nashville and Memphis. I have always wanted to see Graceland. Then I started obsessively calculating how to add up my points or miles on travel cards for said vacation. That is eventually what tired me out. Calculating credit card points to miles is better than counting sheep. After being stuck at home for so long, sometimes it is an adventure just to walk to the mailbox. I don't like winter, so I'm usually a hermit until spring. Last night it was so windy it was an arctic tundra. I wanted to be anywhere but Vermont. It has been too cold to even think about spring cleaning. Although to be honest I still don't know what spring cleaning actually entails. I suppose I will wash the walls and clean out my closet.