Dream of: 10 December 1996 "The Temple"

I was exploring an ancient temple which had lain undiscovered in a remote area of the world. The interior of the temple consisted of large cavernous rooms, constructed from huge ponderous stones. I was looking down into a square pit – about a half meter on each side – which was sunk into the stone floor of the room in which I was standing. I was somewhat baffled, because I thought I had earlier discovered a stone statue of a god, about a half meter tall, at the bottom of this shaft. However, I now couldn't remember if I had taken the statue out of the pit and put it somewhere else, or if it was still at the bottom of the hole.

The whereabouts of the statue wasn't the only source of my alarm. Although I had known the temple actually belonged to some primitive people who lived in the area – an area which I envisioned as a jungle and the people as scantily-clad jungle dwellers – I hadn't thought the local natives actually still actively used the temple as a home for their gods. Now, however, I was suddenly beginning to realize that I had been wrong about the natives' interest in the temple.

Several companions had come with me to the temple and had helped me work on the interior. Although none of my companions were now in sight, I knew they were still somewhere inside the temple. I was beginning to realize I had made a terrible mistake by bringing anyone else into the temple with me because my companions had decided not only to examine the temple, but to renovate it. All around me were piles of debris from where the walls and ceilings had been stripped of the stone plasterboard-like material which had covered the interior. The place was a mess. Apparently my companions had intended to tear off the old material from the walls and ceilings, and completely replace it with new material. However, there was one major problem with this: the natives outside the temple had discovered what was going on inside – and the natives were angry.

The natives were so rankled, they intended to kill us. I wasn't yet sure how the natives hoped to accomplish this task; but I felt that as part of the plan, the entrances of the temple had been sealed off so that my companions and I couldn't escape.

As I starred down into the square hole in front of me, I thought the statue which I had seen in the hole was of critical importance. I had the feeling that natives revered this statue, and that if I could just find this indispensable object of their mystique, I might still have a chance of appeasing them. But to my chagrin, I finally realized the statue was no longer in the hole.

I was feeling more and more anxious. I had the unsettling presentiment that the natives would be entering the temple at any moment, and that if I didn't find some way to escape, they would surely kill me, especially if they saw the mutilated condition of the temple. I took off running down the stone corridors, searching for some way to escape. Several times I ran down steps, only to discover I had reached a dead-end in some tiny room. I was beginning to think the steps and the rooms had been constructed this way on purpose, like a labyrinth, to confound anyone trying to find the way out.

Finally, however, I entered a large room, a room which somehow seemed like the center of the temple. I sensed that the natives were close at hand and that at any second they might burst through the large doors at the end of the room. But I also sensed something else. It was a strange feeling – as if the temple itself were imbued with life. And then I saw something which made me stop in my tracks: high on the wall at the end of the room, on a mantle which looked almost like part of a large altar, stood the small statue for which I had been searching.

The statue – about a half meter high – was made of white stone, almost like sandstone. The features of the statue had been effaced so determining exactly what it was supposed to represent was impossible, but clearly the statue had the general form of a human being. However it wasn't the statue itself which now most demanded my attention, but what was behind the statue.

Transfixed, I watched what was happening on the wall behind the statue. It seemed as if the entire wall were moving, as if the wall were alive. And right behind the statue, an indistinct figure began to rise up, as if from a slot behind the mantel. As the figure rose, it appeared to be a flat piece of bronze, about two meters tall, in the shape of a stylized human being. However, although the figure was made of metal, clearly the flat figure was alive, and it must be the god which inhabited this temple.

I also realized something else: although I didn't turn around to look behind me, I sensed that the natives had all entered the room, and were likewise standing or kneeling, and looking in amazed disbelief at the white stone statue, and the flat bronze figure rising up behind it. Even they had never witnessed this manifestation of the god before, and I wondered if somehow, in my own clumsy way, I had been responsible for causing the god to reveal itself.

I also realized something else: with the natives mesmerized by the sight of the god, it was possible for me to quietly sneak past them and escape. And that was exactly what I intended to do.

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