My experience begins in an ordinary dream state. I sit cross-legged, as a child, in the front yard of a childhood home. Before me, hovering a few inches above the ground, is a thick pane of glass extending forever to the sides and to the sky.

My hands are stretched under the glass, playing with a small board, a grid of some sort – a chess board, a crossword, a Sudoku perhaps. Presently I become aware of a small rhinoceros, no taller than a large dog, a few metres to my right. It approaches in a spirit of friendship. It stoops beside me and nuzzles its face into my side. I can feel, as if real, its weight pressing against my flesh.

At this moment the dream transitions smoothly into total lucidity and a non-ordinary space. A state of this nature typically involves a complex division of my awareness. I am at once a rational observer, my mind behaving as if in full waking consciousness, and a wholly embedded participant in a fantastical alternate realm, experiencing with hyper-realistic fidelity a sprawling inner landscape of deeply non-ordinary, mystical sensations, thoughts, perceptions and emotions.

I find myself lying on my bed, in my room, facing the ceiling, momentarily feeling entirely awake and seemingly open-eyed. Everything is exactly as in the waking world, except that the rhinoceros, rendered in translucent, shimmering energetic contours, is now perched in mid air at the ceiling, a mirror to my own body.

As I behold the moment in awe, the physics and phenomenology of this space transition into strange new territory. My rhinoceros companion begins gradually to descend towards me. My own body mirrors his descent, levitating from the bed and inching upwards. Slowly we edge closer to each other, my regular mind watching on in astonishment. It knows I am in a dream, all the while experiencing this place and this movement as more real than real.

As I feel myself rising, towards my companion’s descent, I wonder, soberly, behind my astonishment, where this might lead. We are bound to meet in the middle. And then what?

The impossible answer soon makes itself felt. Our bodies meet, but their physicality is dissolving. There is little resistance to our onward movement. I continue up, he continues down, our viscous flesh and bones – and the substance of our spirit, now free to suffuse the whole – blending through each other until we are fully integrated into a coherent, yet dual-faceted, being.

We lie suspended in air. We begin to spin, along our long axis, as if on a spit, slowly at first, and then, accelerating. I feel with deep fidelity the rotation of my body in space and its mounting speed. I feel the union of these two creatures, this newly minted identity. I feel and hear my hands grazing the bedspread at each pass. I wonder to myself why my brain would allocate energy to render this particular detail, or would even consider it.

The acceleration keeps on, rising exponentially, beyond possibility, and now, further beyond, birthing a state unutterably divine. In amongst the maelstrom of sensation and emotion and bewilderment, I now fully recognise this as the irrepressible energetic crescendo commonly featured in these dreams, the heights that finally explode your mind and body and deliver you some place very slow, often tranquil. A cocoon swells around me, holding the storm at bay. I am surrendered to the heart of this place, my body still and moving, inhabiting these layered states and realms at once. The space, the space itself, is undeniably conscious. And feminine. She makes music. It gently pans into range and builds. Music from the Gods.

And she speaks. Dream dialogue rarely remains remembered on waking, but on this occasion I recall the gist of her message. She impresses upon me the imperative that I write, that my writing has significance. There’s no overt sense of grandeur in these pronouncements. Simply that, even if on a purely personal level, it is important that I write.

These profound and bewildering words, this music, the intoxicating tone of her voice, blanket out across the roiling ocean around me, finally to the limit of my capacity. A vast, glowing white plane extending out in all directions along infinite dimensions, silent and screeching at once.

My body tilts diagonally, feet towards the ceiling, and then… Breakthrough.

I find myself in another childhood front yard in England. I wander along the street and into the woods, still both awake and away. I spot a band of mystical animals, part-equine part-canine, grey and boney, with rainbow manes. Drawing closer, I notice that they are not wild. They are saddled, carrying a gang of elfin men.

14 February 2017