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The Dream And The Underworld

Performing these tasks (in no particular order, because grief is unique and cyclical rather than linear) has proved vital for many in the healing of grief. Many of these tasks are amplified in our dreams, especially when we are visited by the loved one who died.

The Dream and the Underworld

Many people have reported healing effects from a visitation dream, especially when they were in need of comfort and/or had been questioning their faith. This type of dream is a universal phenomenon that has been reported over centuries and around the world. When you know how to work with these dreams, they may have the potential to heal grief and restore hope.

When working with grief dreams, especially visitation dreams, it is imperative to trust in the process. There have been many controversies regarding the importance of whether or not these visitations dreams or lucid visions are real. I take the view that it is not an issue of what is real but an issue of what has been transformed by the experience. What remains constant, regardless through what lens or belief system a person holds to, is that these dreams and visions have brought transformation, as courage, calm, and even excitement, in the face of the biggest mystery of all: our own mortality.

"Caliban's Dream" was performed for the first time on 27 July 2012 at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in London, as the Olympic cauldron was lit by the seven young athletes. The title refers to Caliban in The Tempest by William Shakespeare, whose 'Be not afeard' speech Sir Kenneth Branagh, as 19th Century engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, had recited earlier in the ceremony - a speech from the play's Act 3, Scene 2, in which Caliban refers to his dreams:

Underworld Dreams is a side quest in Infernax. Michael has a quite peculiar case of demon-induced insomnia and you will need to cure his ailment the only way you know how: getting into his dreams (with the help of an Elixir) and beating up all the demons inside.

The dream itself is shaped much like a dungeon, with pathways consisting of purple tendrils and growths and a sea of lava at the bottom. You will need to go through a set of rooms with somewhat simple platforming before reaching the boss room. The only enemy you will encounter here is the Nightmare; make sure you can kill them in one hit.

The gates of horn and ivory are a literary image used to distinguish true dreams (corresponding to factual occurrences) from false. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfill" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive". On the basis of that play on words, true dreams are spoken of as coming through the gates of horn, false dreams as coming through those of ivory.[1]

In his Cupid Crucified (line 103, the last line of the poem), 4th century AD Latin poet Ausonius says that Cupid escapes through the gate of ivory (portaque evadit eburna), thus implying that the whole scene of the crucifixion of Cupid was a false dream.

"Having seen that, they turn towards the astounding temple of Fame, a temple enormous and imposing in size and shape, whose door on its left side is white from ivory steps with shining horn on the other half. Disturbing nightmares are conveyed by false rumour on the vain gates of ivory, while true dreams of horn are sent by trustworthy rumours. The gate of horn shows the Spaniards defeated on the Tyrrhenian shore [i.e. Sigismondo's victory over Alfonso V's troops at Piombino in 1448]. On the ivory steps Sigismondo turns toward the sea, and is swimming after his ship is destroyed [on his way to the island where he is to undertake his trip to the underworld]. There Theseus and also Hercules made their way: there brave and victorious Ulysses went to the gloomy homes of the Cimmerians; there faithful Aeneas took to the Stygian lake Avernus."[15]

THE ONEIROI were the dark-winged spirits (daimones) of dreams which emerged each night like a flock of bats from their cavernous home in Erebos--the land of eternal darkness beyond the rising sun. The Oneiroi passed through one of two gates (pylai). The first of these, made of horn, was the source of the prophetic god-sent dreams, while the other, constructed of ivory, was the source of dreams which were false and without meaning. The term for nightmare was melas oneiros (black dream).

ONEIROS (Oneiros), a personification of dream, and in the plural of dreams. According to Homer Dreams dwell on the dark shores of the western Oceanus (Od. xxiv. 12 ), and the deceitful dreams come through an ivory gate, while the true these ones issue from a gate made of horn. (Od. xix. 562, &c.) Hesiod (Theog. 212) calls dreams the children for the children of Night, and Ovid (Met. xi. 633), who calls them children of Sleep, mentions tree of them by name, viz. Morpheus, Icelus or Phobetor, and Phantasus. Euripides called them sons of Gaea, and conceived them as genii with black wings.

Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 523 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :"It was because she [Klytaimestra (Clytemnestra)] was shaken by dreams (oneiroi) and wandering terrors of the night (deima nyktiplanktoi) that she sent these offerings [libations to the ghost of her murdered husband Agamemnon], godless woman that she is . . . She dreamed she gave birth to a serpent: that is her own account . . . She laid it to rest as if it were a child, in swaddling clothes."[I.e. Klytaimnestra dreamt that her son Orestes, would avenge his father's murder upon her.]

Aesop, Fables 529 (from Life of Aesop 33) (trans. Gibbs) (Greek fable C6th B.C.) : "Apollon, who is the leader of the Mousai (Muses), once asked Zeus to give him the power of foresight, so that he could be the best oracle. Zeus agreed, but when Apollon was then able to provoke the wonder of all mankind, he began to think that he was better than all the other gods and he treated them with even greater arrogance than before. This angered Zeus (and he was Apollon's superior, after all). Since Zeus didn't want Apollon to have so much power over people, he devised a true kind of Oneiros (Dream) that would reveal to people in their sleep what was going to happen. When Apollon realized that no one would need him for his prophecies any more, he asked Zeus to be reconciled to him, imploring Zeus not to subvert his own prophetic power. Zeus forgave Apollon and proceeded to devise yet more Oneiroi (Dreams) for mankind, so that there were now false Oneiroi (Dreams) that came to them in their sleep, in addition to the true Oneiroi (Dreams). Once the people realized that their dreams were unreliable, they had to turn once again to Apollon, the original source of prophetic divination."

Plato, Republic 383b (trans. Shorey) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :"There are many other things that we praise in Homer, this we will not applaud, the sending of the [deceptive] dream (oneiros) by Zeus to Agamemnon."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 10. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :"[In Sikyon (Sicyon) in Argolis there is] a sanctuary of Asklepios (Asclepius). On passing into the enclosure you see on the left a building with two rooms. In the outer room lies a figure of Hypnos (Sleep), of which nothing remains now except the head. The inner room is given over to the Apollon Karneios (Carneus); into it none may enter except the priests. In the portico lies a huge bone of a sea-monster, and after it an image of Oneiros (Dream) and Hypnos (Sleep), surnamed Epidotes (Bountiful), lulling to sleep a lion."[N.B. The healing-god Asklepios was believed to visit supplicants in their dreams--i.e. dream incubation--and enact or give instructions for a cure.]

Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 27 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :"[From a description of an ancient Greek painting depicting the oracle of Amphiaraos (Amphiaraus) at Oropos (Oropus) :] The painting depicts also [the town of] Oropos as a youth among bright-eyed women, Thalattai (the Seas), and it depicts also the place used by Amphiaraos for meditation, a cleft holy and divine. Aletheia (Truth) clad all in white is there and the gate of dreams (pylê oneirôn)--for those who consult the oracle must sleep--and Oneiros (the god of dreams) himself is depicted in relaxed attitude, wearing a white garment over a black one, I think representing his nocturnal and diurnal work. And in his hands he carries a horn, showing that he brings up his dreams through the gate of truth."[N.B. Oropos was a dream-oracle. The Oneiros (Dream) carries a horn because the gate of true dreams in the underworld was constructed of horn, cf. Homer, Odyssey 19.566.]

Orphic Hymn 86 to the Oneiroi (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :"To the Oneiroi (Dreams), Fumigation from Aromatics. Thee I invoke, blest power of Oneiroi (Dreams) divine, messengers of future fates, swift wings are thine. Great source of oracles to human kind, when stealing soft, and whispering to the mind, through sleep's sweet silence, and the gloom of night, thy power awakes the intellectual sight; to silent souls the will of heaven relates, and silently reveals their future fates. Forever friendly to the upright mind, sacred and pure, to holy rites inclined; for these with pleasing hope thy dreams inspire: bliss to anticipate, which all desire. Thy visions manifest of fate disclose, what methods best may mitigate our owes; reveal what rites the Gods immortal please, and what the means their anger to appease; for ever tranquil is the good man's end, whose life thy dreams admonish and defend. But from the wicked turned averse to bless, thy form unseen, the angel of distress; no means to check approaching ill they find, pensive with fears, and to the future blind. Come, blessed power, the signatures reveal which heaven's decrees mysteriously conceal, sings only present to the worthy mind, nor omens ill disclose of monstrous kind."

Statius, Silvae 5. 3. 260 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :"Thence mayst thou [the shade of a deceased parent] pass to where the better gate of horn o'ercomes the envious ivory [from the gate of horn issues true dreams and from ivory the false], and in the semblance of a dream teach me what thou wert ever wont to teach." 041b061a72


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