The oldest known dream is from the epic story of the king Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC). He had a prophetic dream of a star being that fell from the sky, landed at his feet, and then he had to fight it. The gods sent Enkidu to challenge Gilgamesh, because the king was a trouble maker. His subjects were frustrated by his meddling behavior and had prayed to the gods to intervene. Enkidu was their response.
I love the title of an ancient version of this story, which is called, “He who Saw the Deep.” The modern translation is “He who Sees the Unknown,” either of which is compelling.
Like Gilgamesh, from over four thousand years ago, we all dream. Even if we don’t remember, we wander while we sleep. All of our experiences, day and night, are like dreams. What’s the point you may wonder?
Well, that is a good question and one I have been pondering for quite some time. I began following my dreams 23 years ago. I have boxes filled with notebooks of dreams and musings about them.
I find them compelling and fascinating to say the least. My own, Gilgamesh’s, and the dreams of others. Why? They contain something that is hidden from sight. Gilgamesh went to his mother, the goddess Ninsun, to interpret his dream. She knew the dream language and understood its meaning.
After all these years, I believe there is a guiding force in the universe. Are we all being pulled toward the great deep black hole? I don’t know for sure, but I do know something is, well, let’s say, unfolding. It’s as though dreams are showing us the way, but we don’t quite know where we are headed. Of course there are theories…
Jung believed we were on a path he called individuation and the journey was to wholeness. I can totally see that, since the symbols of wholeness are present in dreams. And yet, the understanding I received through dreams, was that we are already whole.
There isn’t anything to add or take away. There isn’t a journey, say, from here to there, and there is wholeness. It’s as though we have merely forgotten that we are already whole and the dreams are trying to remind us.
Like they are trying to redirect Gilgamesh toward the truth and what really matters.
He was distracted, preoccupied with the mundane trivialities of his subject’s lives, and caused trouble. His dream, and the star being Enkidu, were sent to get him back on track. To move him from his physical orientation to a more spiritual one. The point is not to reject the physical, but to embrace everything. To live from the inside out and not the outside in.
Life and dreams helped Gilgamesh, and assist us, in remembering who we are, what really matters, and to reveal the true nature of reality. They add meaning, richness, and enchantment to life. They point to the things we believe that aren’t true and ways we are caught in the past. We are evolving and the dreams are guiding us.
Gilgamesh peered into the inner unknown, the depths within, and there he discovered the truth, or no self, which is who he really is. It is who we really are. We can also see into the deep. All that is required is to look beyond what we are conditioned to believe is true.