Animals play important roles in our lives and in our dreams. There are even those who are convinced that their deceased pets have come back to them in the dream state to deliver messages. That may be true, but if so, what language is the returning pet communicating in? Is its appearance to be taken at face value, or is there something else going on?
A good example is the following dream told by an distraught dreamer who woke up crying, convinced that her deceased dog, “Sebastian,” was still suffering.
In my dream, I’m walking—hiking, really—along some kind of desert outcropping. There are boulders and stones of various sizes that I have to negotiate my way past. I’m with a male friend, although I am not sure who it is. We hike up a rise and, at the top, I see Sebastian. I know it’s him even though his coloring is different. He is all black. He communicates with me telepathically, telling me that he is terribly thirsty. Alarmed, I tell him that he can’t find water here; his bowl is back at our house. I pick him up and take him in my arms, the same way I did when he was dying and I was on my way to the vet. But when I get home, I realize that his water bowl is at my friend, Katherine’s, house. We go there, but there is still no water bowl to be found. I now think that the water is at a kind of club/gathering place that is pretty sleazy and uninviting. As I begin to go there, I don’t feel in danger, but I am really not happy about having to walk inside. That’s when I wake up.
Animals in life and in dreams
Animals play a unique and indispensable role in our lives. Whether or not we are pet owners, or have a particular affinity for them, they serve as message bringers whenever they are needed. Because they are not as absorbed in their own mental processes as we humans are, they have a clearer understanding of the interplay between life and death. As such, they are far less afraid of dying, and are perfectly willing to sacrifice their lives in order to serve as our food, to intervene on our behalf in times of danger, to educate us or bring us enlightenment. Those who are aware of animals serving in this capacity try to stay ever vigilant to the messages that are being brought via this extraordinary courier service. Native Americans and the whole concept of the totem represent one of the best examples of this interaction. An animal that gives itself for this purpose does so almost completely selflessly. It asks only a minimum in return: It wants the message to be understood, and it wants its gift to be acknowledged.
We’ll see this whole phenomenon at work with Sebastian. Even though he appeared in a dream, the message-bringer principle holds true.
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