The introduction to this dream was an awake reflection, which I have posted on the icecrawler instead, uncertain how narrowly to interpret the dream geographical focus of this site... So go there for an introduction. The dream went as follows:
Midnight in the suburb where I live, I am trying to intervene in people's lives with supposedly scandalous revelations, for example shouting that someone's red car is actually red. But I also have far to walk along the edge of the residential area towards the forested hill. Only a small fence keeps me from walking in the forest instead (a normal "hällmarkstallskog" semi-open lingonberry-lichen granite bedrock scots pine forest), so I cross it, and soon reach a beautiful vantage point by dawn.
(Next step is in a student corridor not far from where I grew up, I am breaking up with an old girlfriend in a sleepingbag on the kitchen floor. She is less angry than I expected, she is talking about how much time she will now have to rehearse with a theatre group. I fear this theatre is going to keep haunting me for the rest of my life.)
On the actual street where I grew up, I see a lot of old entomologists, and the reason is that there is a conference in our old apartment. I join them on the way up, but some jokers bend up the floor of the elevator, so we are all looking down into the shaft. I am afraid of heights, and I yell at them furiously. They don't care, but somehow I manage to save myself into the attic. The attic is a huge hidden place in certain horror movies, in a haunting light of dawn. It is divided into two parts. The northern one is like one of the attics at the natural history museum, and I particularly remember a stuffed sea turtle lying on top of a cabinet. It takes me some time to find the passage to the southern one, where the sea of pillows is, and I throw myself jumping in there with the children.
But someone's calling me, I am wanted down in the apartment. Unwillingly I comply. It is now a big apartment from the upperclass city parts. An ex-friend, apparently living there, says he wanted me to meet someone who came on an unexpected visit, namely the comicbook character Olle Ångest (≈ Ollie Angst). The apartment is huge but horse-shoe-shaped and rather narrow, there are doors leading out and to different staircases in every single room. But the whole apartment is furnished to be a surrealist apartment, meaning that it looks like a cramped old antique shop, with musical instruments, anatomical models, and old clocks stacked everywhere. My ex-friend, and his ex-girlfriend now chambermaid, have had to move around a lot of stuff to open the door where I came in, and the door where Olle Ångest was knocking. But the apartment is full of people, mostly teenagers, some in their underwear (like me) but most in ugly suits, looking like 60s mods from a documentary, and like in a documentary they explain to me: "We modern youth like to do the new thing. We want to surprise you. For example, we come on social visits early in the morning!" Can one of these people actually be the real Olle Ångest? None of them look angst-ridden.
Dreams of the afterlife, heaven, hell, rebirth, are the most profound dream-experiences I´ve had. Sometimes we wake up in fright when we die, but in some cases we can keep on dreaming to see what comes next. Sometimes we dream of a place we know is the afterlife, or maybe before life.
Some years ago I had a dream I was walking along a river in a neighborhood where I grew up. By the river I met a girl from my school and her parents and sister. It was dark and the company was illuminated by a hovering lamp-post. I asked if they wanted to join me for a walk, but they said: "We can´t speak to you, we are dead." I figured that I had to die too and asked how. They looked at me with strange eyes and said nothing.
I started walking around the neighborhood. I found all the houses deserted and a grey mist was in the air. In one house was a radio I could remember from another dream but I just walked by, to the back of the house. I stood in front of a window through which I could see the backyard. I jumped right through the glass and when I fell into the grass outside I sunk into the ground. I woke up in the underground, inside a long and damp tunnel made of green cloth.
It was very tight and the only way to move was to crawl. Outside the tunnel I could hear the sound of washing-machines. At the end of the tunnel everything went black and I woke up by the river without any wounds from jumping through the glass.
I walked over to my friend and her family again and told them that I now had seen what the afterlife is like. They looked at me with sad eyes and said: "That´s not the real afterlife" and walked away with the lamp-post hovering above them.
In another dream I found myself standing before a stairway somewhere in space. I could see a light at the the top of the stair and when I got there I could see a 20 meter high statue with its arms pointing straight out the sides. The statue consisted of yellow and red gems. I couldn't´ see the face of the statue because of a strong white light that covered the head. (I was reminded of the dream when I visited the Louvre, walking up the stairway to the Nike-statue). Some nights later I visited space again. This time I saw all the planets and everything in the universe as pieces in a jigsaw-puzzle and god a squirrel looking at it.
Recently a friend of mine died. I didn't dream for a week after I heard about his death. The first dream I had was about him. We were somewhere in the wilderness surrounded by yellow grass. The place was very peaceful and all my emotions were in a strangely perfect balance, faded in a comfortable way. We talked for a while like we had just met yesterday.
But I was curious and told him I was writing about dreams of the afterlife, and asked if he could tell me something about the other side. Right then, someone called him on his cell phone. He answered the call and talked for a while. When he hung up we chatted some more until I asked again. He smiled and told me he had to go but gave me some vague instructions how to write this text.
Are there any ways to prepare oneself to get to the other side while awake?
Are there any common symbols, apart from what we have learned or experienced, in dreams of the afterlife?