I had an interesting dream last week. In the beginning a group of us, friends and gurubhais, were strolling in a crowded street with many people milling around. Then, in front of us, there was a commotion, and we saw a military-type vehicle backing up toward us. With all the people around me, I was unable to get out of the way and was struck by the jeep and dragged underneath it.
The scene then shifted to some months or years later. I was among a group of people looking at an odd fellow, obviously a homeless street person. He had a little encampment in a woody area near a street, with a collection of odds and ends and a small tarp to keep out the sun and rain. The fellow himself was unkempt, with long, matted hair, a beard, and raggedy clothes.
But he seemed happy, and he was surrounded by birds and animals. He was sharing the little food he had and was petting and helping them. The viewers were amazed, and a little frightened, to see an injured mountain lion beside him being petted and soothed. Dozens of birds were chirping happily and landing not only near him, but on him, obviously completely comfortable in his presence. Finally, a shy little snake slithered out of a hole and onto his lap wanting to be petted. Passersby were either bemused by the odd scene or angry and mocking him, but he seemed oblivious to them and their criticism. He was clearly quite content to be sitting under a tree with his animal friends.
Suddenly this strange fellow remembered who he was and started laughing and laughing. It was one of those laughs that went on and on until tears stream down your face. The laughter was joyful and infectious and all the onlookers started laughing too. I suddenly realized that this stranger was me, and that I had just awakened from amnesia caused by the accident.
As I recounted this dream to Devi the next morning I was surprised to find myself choking up with emotion. Only then did I realize its spiritual significance. From the perspective of our soul, we all have spiritual amnesia. We are all lost and homeless, surrounded by a few raggedy possessions, and doing the best we can to get by.
I was also touched remembering the animals in the dream. Let this be my wish: If sometime in the future I get amnesia—if my name, possessions, occupation, and very identity are all stripped away—then, like the character in my dream, let only love remain.
And when I wake from my amnesia, let there be blissful laughter that touches and awakens joy in everyone.