Dreams: Psychic and Transforming

The Phoenix Rising
Flight 191 May 25, 1979

Written August 17, 1997

Only a few times in one’s life does an event come that forces him to see something differently—or even to see something at all. An event like this came to me in May of 1979, just about two weeks after my 23rd birthday.

It started with a dream. In the middle of a normal night’s series of vague, fleeting images and feelings came a moment so clear. It was as if a light had been turned on. I was at the front window of a house I’d lived in, when someone at my side said, "Look at that." Then time itself seemed to stand still as I looked out at the intense scene unfolding. To the north, about a half mile away, I could see a large airliner diving nose-down to the ground; and then a great cloud of black smoke billowed up. But like the phoenix bird rising from its own ashes, a great rocket ship rose out of the black clouds and up into the sky.

I awoke with a feeling of certainty that this event was going to happen. Days went by and the feeling didn’t go away. It just got stronger. About a week and a half later, I had another dream. I was standing in the front yard of the same house. A jet flew low over head, heading north, but something seemed wrong. To someone standing next to me I said, "Look at that plane. It’s flying too low". Then, as we watched, it exploded in mid-air. Now, the feeling of an impending event was undeniable. I told friends and my parents what I’d dreamt—and then I waited.

On May 25, three days after the second dream, the news came: "Chicago—A DC-10 wide-body jet, filled to capacity for a holiday weekend flight to Los Angeles, lost an engine on takeoff and disintegrated in a flaming holocaust just north of the world’s busiest airport Friday. All 271 people aboard the plane and two motorists were killed...It was the nation’s worst air disaster, etc."

So it really had happened...I had so many feelings and questions. I felt a very personal grief for all those people. I wondered why I had been shown this tragic scene and drawn into this human drama in such a strange way. I even felt a little angry because it seemed that I’d almost been forced to see this awful event.

It was clear to me that events like this could, at some point before their occurrence, somehow become a "done deal". And if that were true, could the people involved be unconsciously participating in the drama? The one real ray of hope was the symbol of the rocket ship. To me, it meant that instead of no one surviving the accident, everyone had. The picture of this mighty ship roaring away seemed to say that the souls of those people—the soul of man—is a great and eternal thing.

Now, eighteen years later, the picture of that stricken plane turning on its side still makes me shudder, but then I think of that rocket—and Death seems not to be the victor that many others see it as. My heart does not dwell on the wreckage, but rises up with the survivors. All 273 of them.

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A Memorable Dream

May you be the camel

That broke the straw's back.

- Kenjai -

About 27 years ago I had a dream in which I was being bullied by several guys. In the next scene I was sitting on the floor, talking to what appeared to be a Buddhist monk. I was complaining about the previous dream scene when I realized that I was dreaming. I pointed out my observation to the monk and he seemed to confirm it. I then asked his name, determined to bring something of this unusual dream back to waking reality. He replied, "Kenjai".

I then started to wake up and the dream started to fade. But I clearly heard him say, "May you be the camel that broke the straw's back." He had turned around the saying: "The straw that broke the camel's back". Through the years since that dream I've often reflected on that wonderful saying. It's reminded me not to take things so seriously, and not to feel like a victim.

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