It is 10th February 2024 - Chinese New Year and the year of the Dragon. As was my birth year too. In recognition of this I would like to share this blog, "The dragon lies sleeping below." I hope that you enjoy this little flight of fancy......
The Dragon lies sleeping below
We are in a cave. The morning rays of daylight are reaching like bony fingers into it. Not through some small dwarfish opening in a corner but across the entire roof of the cavern. The ceiling is like glass or clear crystal, at least from beneath, from there is it like we are standing at the base of a giant sink hole, some deep chasm. Yet from above, on the surface, it is quite simply not even there; very literally it is a sun trap, the light enters but it can never be released.
This is a place without time. A place that does not exist, or more precisely, it is a place that only can only exist if we chose to believe; if we are open to it. Like some forgotten deity, lost in the heavens without anymore experiencing the warmth that is born of recognition and worship.
Even in the sun, life here is something of a twilight shadow. This cave is a footnote to some new age fantasy tale, an ambiguous cross-reference to some neglected myth: in practice, simply overlooked.
The beams of rising sunlight create playful rainbow patterns around the cave, the crystal ceiling acting like prisms breaking the light into its spiritual components, its own path of enlightenment flickers within. The colours play across the rock cave floor, yet some areas given the impression of something akin to illuminated life, rather than bare rock. And that life heaves almost imperceptibly, drawing a faint hint of breath. This life has scales, and those scales become a living kaleidoscope as they gently rise and fall in the rainbow light.
The roof of the cave is a like a sketch of the world above, an etching on the outside surface of this great glass done. There is a horse in the landscape above. A horse etched into the rock, stylised, beak faced. It’s elongated form stretches across the heavens from within.
The horse keeps its watch – it’s westerly eye regards with parental concern that which sleeps within, as well as searching without – scanning the sun that sets on the horizon each night, scanning for some portent of hope, looking some suggestion of release for its hibernating charge. The horse has kept sentinel for an unmeasured and undocumented millennia. It knows not when this began, nor when it is to end.
This sun trap however is no shelter. No paradise retreat. Myth might have it as a physical prison or grave, the price of defeat – buried by Uther or slain by George, name your preferred hero of early Christian times, an era founded in the blood of the son of God, spread through scars rent and blood ,spilled by millions in the name of salvation. How many slaughtered in HIS name.
But what of the dragon conquest, what if there was never the battle, what if they just kept saying the dragons were gone. Some necessary enactment of their own need for faith. Say it long enough it will have to be true. Get the papers to publish it, it must then be true! What if a whole world ceases to believe in you. Period.
Like that poor child, constantly chided that the ghosts they meet in their dreams do not exist, they wake up one morning without that belief, or at least it is suppressed for now – what happens to those spirits previously observed, even if only imagined, still manifest, where do they go now. What happens to the dragons when the Saints George and Michael tell the world they slain them all. People just stop seeing them because they are no longer looking for them, like the famous Gorilla in the Basketball video.
And so it was for the dragons. The heroes of the cross proclaimed victory through the persecution of the pagan and the gnostic. In time, the people stopped believing. Like little Jackie Paper in the 1960’s pop song.
So what if the dragons are not slain, nor defeated: Merely forgotten. They are lost in a deep hibernation of neglect, closed down by a long winter of disbelief. But still like this morning in the glass cave, the sun does rise again. It is not night forever; the winter passes.
Theirs is a different consciousness, their harmonic vibration is much (much) slower than ours…..
Hold on, let’s make this easier. Pick a plant or a tree. We know that they are alive, and it is now widely recognised that there is a “plant consciousness” – but that consciousness is “slower” than the human one. More tied to the cycle of the days, within the cycle of the seasons, within the cycle of year etc. To connect we need to visualise or feel our way into that cycle, more the right brain felt-sense of existence, rather than left brain focus and action.
Existence steps us out of the time-focused drivers of most of our waking day.
If we can step out of our time and into this flora-based measure, then we can step out and into the geologic. And that is where we find the dragons. A persisting energetic being, given form by human consciousness, in fact a common form all around the world. Written clear in the myth and folk-lore, and often much more benevolent than the western vision of the same, and where they often persist undefeated.
So what might happen if I dare to acknowledge this different consciousness. Is that not in itself an experiential opening and as real as any gospel. More real, this is in the first person.
There is an increasing recognition of the experiential roots of religion or faith, call it as you will. That have been stolen from us by autocrats in cassocks. What if we open ourselves again, as the Hindu’s say, the divine in me respects the divine in you.
Our acknowledged experience sets us free.
So, let us step forward together. Travel with me…..
I take my place upon the barren rocks where common folklore would have your blood rendering the land infertile. I allow myself to meditate on you in this place of your reported slaughter. I close my eyes and you are real again. Majestic. A creation of benevolent power, no monster painted with the false violence of contemporary post pagan faith.
Belief proves not just to be the key to life but also the key to access. In acknowledging you, your realm opens itself to me. I sink into your glass cavern which now rises above me like a Victorian palm house, and above me I see the horse, galloping across the heavens. Now I am as much a part of this landscape, as his own chalky form. From below he is alive, an ever-vigilant guardian. Watching the world go past ignorant of the truth within.
On the rocks before me a great dragon lies coiled in the sunlight, it’s great head resting on its own tail, its wings carefully packaged in recumbent folds alongside its horny spine. I know it knows I am here. It knows I know. Yet it retains a pretence of sleep. Is it offering me some fairy tale ending, the knight kisses his princess and she awakes? Surely not.
And so I approach cautiously, but confident that I have been allowed this far. I do ask myself if he is going to be hungry though, and wonder why I never checked out about what they ate – virgins was it not so the faery tales said, Wink! I should be ok then. Wink! Wink! I am standing by the great head. I can feel it’s gentle breathe breeze past me. I lay a tentative, flat hand on a warm and scaly shoulder. Even in the depths of this long sleep there is strength, physical but also an electricity, a pure life force. I feel the instant connection to another sentient being. I know I am welcome. With a gentle ripple throughout I sense beneath my touch a slight loosening within his coils.
I place my hand upon his forehead. His eyes snap open. Immediately focussed. Recognizing me without introduction.
Suddenly I flooded with visions and emotions – it is quite literally everything there is. In that moment there is every past and every future.
I feel his life. I understand the pain of being forgotten, of ceasing to have value when no longer believed in. A once great beast rendered invisible. I feel the elation he feels at being recognised, at reborn. I feel his anticipation of flight, his desire to journey, to discover anew, to see what life and time have made of his home.
I wonder how one being can know so much. I wonder how one can feel so much. I can but return with an offer of my love.
The great red eyes blink, the membrane still slightly sticking as it draws across the eye. So many years clamped shut. The eyes refocus, somehow softer. A great uncoiling begins before me inside the crystal cave. We are in this together now. Whatever this might be. Partners.
Above us, it is almost as if the horse’s beak bares the slightest smile.
(I do not own the featured image - source: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/dragons/images/26034522/title/awesome-dragon-photo)