dreamcontentanalysis

Dream Content Analysis:
The Twenty-Two Attributes of God Study

by Nori Muster

During the 35th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dream Studies (IASD), Dr. Shanee Stepakoff presented her religious research study, Dreams of the Divine in a Woman from Young Adulthood to Late Middle Age. The dream series consisted of fifty-eight of her own dreams, which she chose from her dream journals. She felt many of her dreams were spiritual, but included only those that used the word "God," "Jesus," or the other names for a deity or avatar.

Dr. Stepakoff identified fifty Attributes of God represented in her dreams. She then consulted Dr. Kelly Bulkeley to discuss the patterns and themes she found, and consolidated the list to Twenty-Two Attributes. The list is consistent with historical religious writings about God, but illustrated with dream metaphors. This raises the possibility that dreams have the ability to create apt metaphors of God's Attributes.

Dr. Stepakoff dreamed of rejoicing in God's beauty, majesty, and eternality. She dreamed of the powers of God, such as God's ability to impart peace of mind, guidance, and protection. She dreamed of God's way of gradual revelation, and she dreamed of the fearsome side of God. Attribute seven is greatness, majesty, and eternality, which makes us feel awe and humility. Rudolph Otto, a writer who had a great influence on Carl Jung, called this feeling "creature-consciousness." Dr. Stepakoff reports waking from once such dream "feeling shaken and scared." Attribute twelve is when God "causes us to feel frightened and overwhelmed because of its authority and power."

Following are two dreams Dr. Stepakoff shared to illustrate the first attribute: 1. an entity toward whom we direct our praise and/or our gratitude.

Dream * Dated August 2, 1989 * I embrace her, I take her in my arms, I say a prayer (a Hebrew prayer) In the embracing position—with her in my arms, crying, and me feeling gratitude to God.

Dream * Dated October 28, 2016 * A little boy . . . around age 9 . . . standing on the left side of . . . the fireplace . . . he talks to God, he says . . . "thank you God, for bringing me into this family and for helping me grow each year" . . . the mother . . . feels moved when she sees the little boy thank God.

The second attribute is: 2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are). Here is the example she gave:

Dream * Dated September 24, 1988 * (dream in which a girl is dying of AIDS) It is okay because she is with God, and she feels the presence of God.

Attribute 22. Revelation - i.e., chooses not to let us see or know all, at least not for certain periods of time, i.e., prefers gradual self-revelation, unfolding, a partial image followed, later, by a more complete image, gradual self-revealing of the divine

Dr. Stepakoff's dream of this Attribute concerns two religious paintings. She is in a place that feels like a painting by Caravaggio, a Renaissance artist. A Dutch door stands out to her and she associates it with the New Testament verse:
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." - Corinthians 13.12

The image of a Dutch door, which can open either the top or the bottom, is a brilliant metaphor of God's mystery. The second painting is the Last Supper, where she sees a numinous crown above Jesus. Here's the full dream, from her presentation at the IASD conference:

Dream * Dated July 7, 2017 * (Atmosphere of southern Italy - like a Caravaggio painting) a door that has two halves, an upper half and a lower half, each of which are on a separate set of hinges, such that if you wished to do so, you could swing open just the upper half and get one view of the room based on that, while the bottom half remained in place, or, if you wished to do so, you could swing open just the lower half, and get a different view of the room based on that, while the top half of the door remained in place. The overall impression is of a situation in which you might only end up getting a partial view of the room, i.e., based on which door you open, because both doors afford only a portion of the whole view or the whole room, and if you are only opening one part at a time, you will not be able to see the whole room in its entirety all at once. (the phrase "through a glass darkly" comes to mind.) an image of a painting of "The Last Supper" comes to mind. And I think that on the painting, the Jesus figure has a halo above his head, which has a kind of silver color to it, and is shaped like a figure 8 instead of a circular halo, a horizontal Figure 8 or a moving Figure 8 a kind of rotating non-corporeal Figure 8 silver halo above the Jesus-figure's head. the halo reminds me a little of something that is in some way related to something like a game of jacks or like the image or shape of a jack a sense of something that is kind of held in place by some sort of gravitational pull or invisible force related to a gravitational pull, i.e., something that kind of makes the halo (the energic halo) keep its shape and keep moving/rotating and keep its correct distance from (the Jesus figure's head)

The list of Twenty-Two Attributes is Appendix B of this paper; contact Dr. Stepakoff for more information.

My Dreams of God

My Dreams of God collection is 105 dreams, which I presented at the Dream Studies conference, June 19, 2018, on the panel with Dr. Steapakoff and Dr. Bulkeley. I subsequently asked Dr. Stepakoff for permission to replicate her study. We each have kept longterm dream journals covering roughly the same years, and coincidentally we each have large Dreams of God collections.

I started to keep a journal in junior high in the 1960s, but only have the notebooks from 1979 forward. For Dream Content Analysis purposes, the journal ends in 2016, the year I got into a dream study.

Facts about the collection:
Timeline: 1979-2016
38 years, 231 notebooks
My ages 23-60

This year I transcribed the first ten years of the journal. During the time, I was a full-time member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON. I joined the Hare Krishnas June 19, 1978, the day after college graduation, and lived in their West Los Angeles temple on Venice Boulevard. Ultimately I became disillusioned and left on my own terms, December 26, 1988. Following are statistics about the dream series:

Dreams from Ten Years with the Hare Krishnas
37 notebooks, transcribed January-May 2018
Total length of the transcript:
Pages 1,223
Words 283,766
Total notations:
Daytime 2,007
Dreams 1,312
First dream: February 26, 1979
Last dream: December 9, 1988

Of the 1,312 dreams, 102 (7.8%) mention God. My names for God were Krishna and Jagannatha. Krishna is a Hindu god universally regarded in the Hindu religion, and is the hero of the Mahabharata, the spiritual history of India. ISKCON had marble deities of Krishna and his consort in their temples around the world. As devotees, we worshiped them, made flower garlands, and dressed them in beaded clothing. I included dreams that refer to Krishna and his consort as "the Deities." I also included dreams with references to "Krishna Book," "chanting Hare Krishna," exclamations of "Hare Krishna," or other phrases that include and refer to the god Krishna. I did not count dreams where someone in the dream had "Krishna" in their name.

jagannatha   krishna

The Deities of Jagannatha (left) and Krishna (right).

Jagannatha is a form of Krishna worshiped in Orissa, and was also important in ISKCON. Jagannatha, a name for Krishna that means Universe (jaggat) Lord (natha). He is worshiped with his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. They come out of the temple once a year for a cart procession, known as Ratha-yatra. Because my dreams contain all these words, I have grouped them together under "Jagannatha."
As a Hare Krishna devotee living in the temple, I worked fulltime in the ISKCON PR office. I also participated in daily pre-dawn ceremonies, where we chanted, worshiped the deities, and attended scriptural readings and classes. In my spare time I restored Jagannatha deities. I found them at devotee yardsales, and people brought them to me to repair and paint.

I had dreams that refer to other incarnations and avatars of god, but I chose Krishna and Jagannatha for this study because they turned up with the highest frequency, and they are the aspects of God I identify with most closely.

Krishna - 69 dreams; 600 daytime notations
Jagannatha - 26 dreams; 164 daytime notations

In my initial study of this dream set, the first thing I did was tag and count all the main characters. Krishna was the second most prominent character in my journal. For context, I dreamed the most about my husband (289 dreams - 22.1% of all dreams) and my father (176 dreams - 13.4% of all dreams). The frequency of my dreams about my husband and father reflected their presence in my waking concerns. Of the 2,007 daytime notations, I mentioned my husband in 434 notations (#20%), and my father in 270 daytime notations (#10%).

Of the 105 dreams of God, only #nineteen (#29%) portray the Attributes of God. Further, these dreams only illustrate these two Attributes:

Attribute 2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are).

Attribute 3. hears and responds to our cries and our prayers.

These two Attributes summarize my feelings about God. My parents were agnostic and atheist, and raised me to be agnostic. In college I started to believe in God, and had always been attracted to Krishna and other aspects of Eastern religion. In ISKCON, I developed playful and loving feelings toward the deities, and felt they understood me and watched over me. This is the first Attributes dream in the series:

Dream * Dated April 20, 1982 - full dream * "I saw Lord Jagannatha and His arms were opened wide like he was trying or wanting to embrace someone."

Here's another example. I had this dream a few months after visiting India, including Puri, Orissa. As non-Hindus, we could not enter the temple, but I saw the temple from the outside.

Dream * Dated July 13, 1982 - abridged * "I went to the Jagannatha Puri temple and went to the Garuda Stambha, remembering that Lord Caitanya would go there to see the upala bhoga ceremony at noon - I knew I couldn't go in, but that maybe I could see Jagannatha from the temple gate. I looked in there and only Baladeva was on the altar and He spoke to me."

All #nineteen Attribute dreams follow a similar pattern of friendliness and playfulness. Here's another example:

Dream * Dated January 19, 1986 - dream two - abridged * "Painting a Lady Subhadra Deity yellow with a carnation and telling Prema Dutta about my past life."

Dreams of My Journey through ISKCON

Of the 105 dreams, #nineteen illustrate the Attributes of God. The other # (#71%) trace my daytime life in ISKCON. Several of these also demonstrate Attributes, but the Attributes are secondary to the daytime experience. My ISKCON experience had a beginning, middle, and end, and it's the story of a harrowing journey. I label these "journey" dreams. The first one is a dream of initiation:

Dream * Dated November 16, 1980 - abridged * "This morning I had a dream that I was going around seeing old friends and we rolled in ecstasy together, but I know I wouldn't meet them again for a long time. I gave one an amethyst to fix for me. Then I dreamed that I (in a woman's body) dressed in a dhoti and secretly went to see the Deities. Then the Deities put a magical spell over everything and danced all around the room like a fairy-waltz."

In this dream I say goodbye to my pre-ISKCON friends, then the deities cast a magical spell. It noted the end of my previous life and entrance into a new world.

My immersion in ISKCON was an uneasy one, since the organization was fundamentalist and authoritarian. I happened to meet devotees in the fall semester of 1977, and just at that time, their founding guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, died in India. Twenty years later I found out it was possible his leading disciples murdered him so they could become gurus. But whatever the true story, I witnessed the new gurus lead the organization into turmoil during the years I was a member. It took me nearly ten years to catch on, but the top ranks of ISKCON were riddled with criminals. Even though I was in denial, my dreams documented the criminal nature of temple life and my role.

Dream * Dated April 3, 1982 - 6:30 a.m. - abridged * Traveling with low class people, camping illegally in someone's attic, "Krsna, dressed as a king, came in with his entourage and was going to kill us. But I jumped up and started to pray for him to spare us if we promised to leave. So just like he was kind to Kaliya he was kind and we just left. It was next to some sort of temple and we saw the temple. Also before we met Krsna we were having a kirtan, and it kept dying out, and I would get angry and lead the chanting myself, but if I faded a little no one would follow."

That was me, especially in the early years, a martyr trying to save ISKCON. A group becomes cultish if the leaders are unqualified or abusive. My so-called guru was a college dropout from New York who was only a few years older than me, and had multiple personalities. It was not literal Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but he had three sets of clothing in his closet - guru robes, expensive suits for his life as a publishing executive, and gangster bling for his role as a drug kingpin. His management style was to yell until people did what he wanted. The leaders at the temple taught us to take it as "the guru's mercy" if he chewed us out. The following dream shows I felt I had the ability to help him.

Dream * Dated October 21, 1986 - abridged * "Repairing Jagannatha Deities and showing them to Srila Ramesvara. It was helping him."

Sometimes children feel obligated to help their parents, but it is the parents who are supposed to help the children. Role reversal is another symptom of a chaotic, non-working system.

In 1986, the PR department had to distance ISKCON when an inside dispute resulted in murder. A grand jury indicted one of the ISKCON gurus, and he was convicted and went to prison. Following is a dream I recorded during that time:

Dream * Dated October 17, 1986 * "I dreamed that people I know were deeply involved in the murder the grand jury is investigating. Name deleted killed someone and they disposed of the body, blood, guns, etc. Other close people set it up, etc. After they told me everything I had to hide it. Name deleted to help cover [for ISKCON] he became a community leader among Hare Krishnas. He would speak out about the movement and try to act like everything is normal. I would just be quiet. Name deleted was there. There were Jagannatha Deities with knots on them, according to our impurities."

One of the worst regrets of my life was staying with the organization after the murder. The victim was a friend, and I knew they killed him because he was an outspoken critic. The dream names me as one of the people responsible for the cover-up. Here's a dream that sums it up for me:

Dream * Dated February 26, 1987 - abridged * "I was an actress in a play where demons kill each other for Krsna."

Following is a dream that portrays the awkwardness, anxiety, and guilt I felt around my family because of my dedication to ISKCON:

Dream * Dated June 30, 1987 - abridged * "Talking to my mother, trying to explain why I was once crazy, I see that Paula [my cousin] broke my Jagannatha cart. I got freaked out - tried to put it together - worried I hadn't chanted my rounds."

In 1987, at a significant turning point in my daytime life, I had a big dream that gave me permission to leave ISKCON. The late founder was there and he acknowledged my sagging loyalty to ISKCON, then gave me a mandate to keep Krishna for the rest of my life if I choose. Here's our exchange:

Dream * Dated August 13, 1987 - abridged * "I saw Prabhupada sitting on a mat. I looked at him and prayed that I would pass away before him, because I didn't want to have to be here unless he was. I went behind a screen that was sagging and it fell over. It hit his foot. I crawled over the screen and asked if it hit him, he said 'yes' so I said 'What can I do to make up for my offense?' He said, 'Preach this Krishna consciousness to your countrymen as your first duty.' Then he quoted a verse, "bhaktya mam abhijanati /yavan yas casmi tattvatah" He also said other things. Also in the dream the Rolling Stones were singing a song about him; I had to look for my Bg. to find out what the verse meant. ["One can understand the Supreme Personality as he is only by devotional service." Bhagavad-gita ch. 18, v. 55]"

After this, my dreams played out scenarios of leaving. Here's an example:

Dream * Dated December 17, 1987 - abridged * "Some devotees lose their temple, so they take the Deities and hide them in an arch in the ocean and start to leave to look for a place to go. . . . The Deity looked like Radha & Krishna with Anantasesa behind them. They were secure."

My relationship with Krishna was secure, but I worried I would go back to drugs and alcohol, which were a problem in my adolescence. In the following dream I meet a woman who is trying to follow ISKCON on her own, isolated from a temple. In ISKCON we learned to offer our food to Krishna for blessings before consuming it. But she offers beer to Krishna! That would have been an offense, since devotees vow to refrain from intoxication.

Dream * Dated May 26, 1988 - abridged * "Traveling by car, I stop at a roadside refrigerator place and the lady is like a devotee. She got two books and from that learned to chant and offer food. I told her I was a devotee for 10 years. I tried to tell her a little more about Krishna and hear her story. Only problem is she would offer beer."

The last two dreams in the series show graduation and completion of the experience.

Dream * Dated November 9, 1988 - abridged * "I had a chart in my wallet telling my lineage - Having a chart was something Krishna Himself had to do too, since his mother had to have him adopted."

This dream assures me I have a lineage, roots, that will carry me forward in life. I am on firm ground, and have a chart in my wallet to prove it, somewhat like having a diploma after completing school.

Dream * Dated December 9, 1988 - dream one - abridged * "I was in a writing class and I was supposed to write about the engine of an old car that had ridden 2,000 miles back and forth 30 times - 600,000 [sic] miles on the old engine - I was supposed to write about that old engine. On the way to class I was supposed to invite these workers to come to the temple and give them $.25 for parking. I went by, but J.A. already invited them and gave them the quarter. Then she was snotty to me. I found a dime and a nickel and picked it up - also a plastic face of Krishna. I skipped all the way to class."

This dream is consistent with my studies at the UCLA Extension Writer's Program, where I was learning how to write my memoir. I found a plastic face of Krishna at the temple, which may symbolize all the things I didn't like about ISKCON. In the end, I skipped to class to write about the long experience. My book, Betrayal of the Spirit, came out ten years later, and remains the best selling critical book about ISKCON.

To summarize, my journey dreams:
Noted the beginning of the journey;
Showed me trying to honor my dishonest and lame guru;
Commented on conflict within the organization;
Showed the awkward distance between myself and my family;
Noted the turning point where I decide it would be okay to leave;
Reflected my expectations and fears about exiting the group;
Showed my, and the organization's, misconceptions of God;
Noted my graduation from the group;
Noted the conclusion of the experience.

Afterword

When I sat down to look for the Attributes of God in my dreams, I thought I would find examples for most or all of the Twenty-Two godly characteristics. Instead, my dreams spoke of sneaky, mean behavior, taking place under unfortunate circumstances. I wondered if I had a negative image of God, but then I remembered my daily life in ISKCON was riddled with negativity. Then I realized most of my God dreams traced my daytime journey, rather portraying God's Attributes.

My two types of dreams moved along parallel rails - one rail traced my journey, and the other sent me messages of God's love. The Attribute dreams were fairly evenly spread out over the years. I believe these periodic reassuring dreams helped me get through the trauma of my daytime life.

On the other hand, Dr. Stepakoff grew up in her family religion and dreams of the full range of God's qualities. I believe her dreams show she is grounded in her faith, and finds fulfillment in a multifaceted experience of God. If more dreams of God collections emerge, it will be interesting to find out if they trace the dreamer's daytime life, as my dreams do, or if they are purely dreams of God's attributes.

Appendix A
105 Dreams of Krishna and Jagannatha with Further Notes

Following are my dreams of God. I noted if the journey dreams also illustrated Attributes of God. I also added further details about the Sanskrit references.

Dream * Dated February 26, 1979 * Last night I dreamed that Dwarkadisa danced with us - Rukmini opened & closed the deity doors.

Journey Dream * Dated November 16, 1980 - abridged * "This morning I had a dream that I was going around seeing old friends and we rolled in ecstasy together, but I know I wouldn't meet them again for a long time. I gave one an amethyst to fix for me. Then I dreamed that I (in a woman's body) dressed in a dhoti and secretly went to see the Deities. Then the Deities put a magical spell over everything and danced all around the room like a fairy-waltz."
This was a big dream, which I've always remembered. It has always seemed numinous and it marked the beginning of my journey in ISKCON. I say goodbye to my old friends, giving one an amethyst to keep for me, then the Deities cast a magical spell.

Rolling in ecstasy refers to rolling in the dust of the pilgrimage places in India to show humility and get blessings. In ISKCON, women wore saris and men whore dhotis, traditional Hindu clothing. In ISKCON men were considered superior, so putting on men's clothing may be symbolic.

Dream * Dated November 30, 1980 * I dreamed that I was going to be given a really difficult test. It was an in-class 1 week essay written exam for 3/4 of the grade. The subject was: "The purpose and functioning of infinite numbers an particles. So I just dove right into it - beginning the paper, by Krsna's grace - "The primary functioning and purpose of infinite numbers occurs in mathematical equations under the following circumstances, etc." and I was writing out the whole paper. Then Bk. Cathy interrupted me and I got angry and I couldn't find anymore paper to finish writing so it got all boggled up. Then I was at Radha Kund and I was supposed to move there and MD said - Did you call Derick and I said - "No." / The part about the test makes me think of passing tests by Krsna and the part about the interruptions makes me think of my japa and the last part makes me think about calling J.D.

Dream * Dated November 26, 1981 * Last night I dreamed that Srila Ramesvara came in our office and smiled at me and I offered my obeisances. Today he asked me to go out and sell prasadam dist. then this weekend a few nights ago I dreamed about him. I had one dream that I was in Vrindavana as an archaeologist but there were lots of serpents and Krsna made me leave.

Dream * Dated January 17, 1982 * My friend and god-sister had to go to the hospital today. About a week ago I had a dream that she left her body. She is so pure. Yasodamayi said she was screaming "Nrsimhadeva!" "Hare Krsna!" The whole way to the hospital.

Dream * Dated January 30, 1982 * I had a dream Srila Visnupada was sitting next to me and everyone was talking. I said see that girl's cloud has a silver lining and he leaned toward me to see - then he leaned on me and pushed me over onto this boy next to me & I said - sorry but he's leaning on me - then he rolled into my lap and stared up at me smiling like Krsna and I got up and everyone got up and I set him up and he sat down beside me again. Also, I was trying to put tilak on Kay's nose.

Journey Dream * Dated April 3, 1982 - 6:30 a.m. - abridged * Traveling with low class people, camping illegally in someone's attic, "Krsna, dressed as a king, came in with his entourage and was going to kill us. But I jumped up and started to pray for him to spare us if we promised to leave. So just like he was kind to Kaliya he was kind and we just left. It was next to some sort of temple and we saw the temple. Also before we met Krsna we were having a kirtan, and it kept dying out, and I would get angry and lead the chanting myself, but if I faded a little no one would follow."
This dream shows I'm traveling with low class people once I'm in ISKCON, doing illegal things. I must pray to be forgiven for my sins, or be killed by God. I also pray to Krishna to forgive their sins, and try to take things into hand and fix the situation.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 7. greatness (far greater than us), majesty, eternality; an entity toward which (or toward whom) we feel a sense of awe and humility

Attributes Dream * Dated April 20, 1982 - full dream * "I saw Lord Jagannatha and His arms were opened wide like he was trying or wanting to embrace someone."
The Jagannatha deities originated in Puri, Orissa, where the story goes that a traveling deity maker required complete solitude for the entire time it would take him to carve the deities of Krishna-Jagannatha, Krishna's brother Balarama, and sister Subhadra. However, the king grew impatient and interrupted the carver's work, so the carver disappeared and left the deities incomplete. The king decided to worship them anyway, and the Jagannatha deities became the deities of the people.

To be with all the people, the Jagannatha deities come out of the temple once a year for the Ratha-yatra procession. In this annual ritual, the deities ride on towering festive carts that have been known to crush devotees under their wheels. The British coined the word "juggernaut" to indicate an overwhelming intractable force, based on their observation of the Jagannatha festival in Puri.

Attributes Dream * Dated July 13, 1982 - abridged * "I went to the Jagannatha Puri temple and went to the Garuda Stambha, remembering that Lord Caitanya would go there to see the upala bhoga ceremony at noon - I knew I couldn't go in, but that maybe I could see Jagannatha from the temple gate. I looked in there and only Baladeva was on the altar and He spoke to me."
This dream shows my mystical connection with God - he speaks to me. I visited Puri on my second trip to India, February-March 1982, and saw the Garuda Stambha, and tried to look into the temple. In India, the Jagannatha Puri temple is more strict than most about barring non-Hindus, so ISKCON devotees generally could not enter. Upala bhoga ceremony means offering the noon meal to the deities.

Dream * Dated November undated 1983 * Want to see Kerry K. When we got there she started to cook - started telling me all she'd learned / Layout - cooking - design - book production, etc. I was standing close to her as she made a salad using round curd cakes, veges, etc. I was teasing her. Then we were in a long stadium, building having the morning program. The seats were full - the Deities were inside a big building / We sang an extra verse of Nrsimha payers and I didn't know the words. The gurukula boys hummed. Then they rolled out a gigantic tulasi tree to worship. I took pictures of the bldg. Palya was there - had to clean up

Journey Dream * Dated November undated 1983 {K-KRISHNA} * I was moving and had to travel a lot. I smoked pot w/ these people. I was really intoxicated. I taught them about Krsna. Srila Bhavananda was in it.
This dream shows my hypocrisy. I break the regulative principle of no intoxication, but then I'm "preaching" about Krishna.

Dream * Dated November undated 1983 * I was trying to [run? trim?] files but someone switched off my machine. Someone else was watching it as a TV. Then I screamed - there's so many people in here - get out! Then KK came to my door followed by lots of Jag. Deities and drinking a Coke, to visit. / My other dream was that BTG put a 1/2 p. ad for the IWR

Journey Dream * Dated November undated 1983 * Droupati was explaining that Vyasadeva wasn't her real son. Narayani was explaining that Karta was separated from her husband and had become rebellious. I was in the temple and they gave petals to everyone but me to shower as the Deities went by on a palanquin. Kula priya said my sleeping bag had fleas. I asked if I could help clean.

This dream mirrors the disappointment and self-pity I often felt living in ISKCON. In a ceremony to shower the deities with flower petals, I'm the only one who doesn't get to take part.

Journey Dream * Dated December undated 1983 - abridged * "Went in a gift store - picked out pendants of Radha and Krsna for $1 and $.85."
This dream may portray ISKCON's superficial love of God. God is so cheap, his image is for sale in the temple gift store for a dollar, or less.

Dream * Dated January 13, 1986 * A dream from last night [January 13 morning]
Kerry became very favorable and receptive to Krishna consciousness. Also later - something about a man making books.

Attributes Dream * Dated January 19, 1986 - second dream - abridged * "Painting a Lady Subhadra Deity yellow with a carnation and telling Prema Dutta about my past life."
Affirmation of God's love, acceptance.

The final figure in the trio of Jagannatha deities is Subhadra, Krishna's sister. She stands between her two brothers, Krishna and Balarama. Even though the toxic culture in the organization was misogynistic, the religion itself worships goddesses, including Subhadra. ISKCON's lineage includes female gurus, and the scriptural histories celebrate female characters, along with kings and other male characters.

Dream * Dated January 29, 1986 * I went to a new college and got my dorm room. Traveling. I had a bag of food. Later - a lady from Varityper was laying in my apt. One part - Srila Ramesvara and Srila Bhaktipada being welcomed in a temple - we were singing Nrsimhadeva prayers - they were seated in Vyasasanas looking towards the Deities. I was bowing down, but then sat up to look. A girl said, "We sit up during Nrsimhadeva prayers." When I was going in to see them two dogs came out. In a cafeteria a girl said something about Hare Krsna and I preached to her. I bought grapefruit juice. Trouble w/ my dream roommates. A girl was showing me her letterhead asking me what to do about it. It looked like the last IWR cover - orange Mondrian.

Attributes Dream * Dated February 2, 1986 - first dream - full dream * "A little girl (representing Krishna) would wait by some incense and when it would fall, give it to me. It was like a game we played."
A dream of God's of love, acceptance, and playfulness.

Journey Dream * Dated February 5, 1986 - first dream - abridged * "A scientist researched this tomb (?) and found the Deities of Lord Caitanya, Nityananda, two of the Six Goswamis, and two of the other acharyas. The Deities were inside little boxes like eggcups. There was a larger Lord J. Deity, which I'd entrusted to some people. They ruined Him by some misunderstanding and I had to nurse Him back to health."
In this dream, the genuine god is defiled, "They ruined Him," and I felt it was up to me to fix things. I repaired many damaged Jagannatha deities in those years, so the dream uses my daytime experience of nursing God back to health.

Attributes Dream * Dated February 13, 1986 - first dream - abridged * A friend and I were lucky to get apartments in the temple, and behind the apartments were bulls. My father supported what was going on and even showed me tricks the bulls could do. "Krishna liked the bulls and described different ecstasies the bulls and bull-herders experience. One was jumping, twirling, and shivering in ecstasy. It looked really neat when He demonstrated."
Affirmation of God's love, which also showed my father's approval. He stayed in contact with me on behalf of the rest of the family, and defended my choice to be in ISKCON. He was the only person in the family who supported my involvement. He never criticized ISKCON, but we became disillusioned together toward the end of my time there when the leaders' crimes became obvious.

Dream * Dated February 16, 1986 - first dream * Walking down a path in the forest we were attacked by a rat, which was guarding a dead carcass. As we watched, it followed us and wanted to bite our feet. We were scare it away. In the dream I had a two-day heart-to-heart talk with my dad so he could understand what I was doing. We stopped so MG could buy something. While he was in the store someone was yelling about Krishna. We were afraid he would hurt us or hurt MG (Ud) so we waited. We got away. The people in MG's car took off. When MG came out we said, "The people in your car left." They drove, but he followed. Finally my sister pulled over so we could give a full explanation.

Journey Dream * Dated February 24, 1986 - second dream - abridged * I went to the movies with a few friends from ISKCON, and we met the players. "I was with one of the actresses and an earthquake happened - we hugged each other and prayed to Krishna to save us."
This dream shows the earthquake-like upheaval in ISKCON, and how we had to pray to Krishna and help each other get through it.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are).

Dream * Dated March 1, 1986 - first dream * Doing a story. Wanted to interview Phalini. Called the Fullerton temple. She answered. Then we lost the connection because I had to push more buttons. When I called back they said she was out. I got mad. Then I went there (something?) I talked to her and this other guy about a movie they were in w/ Mick Jagger. This guy was wearing an Indian Punjabi suit, so I asked if some friends of him taught him to dress that way. He explained the movie was about how he lived in the Mid. East and imported drugs for 3 years. So he was accustomed to dressing like that. I was at my layout table eating and Srila Ramesvara walked in. I apologized for being kind of untogether (my room was a mess and I was supposed to be fasting). He started looking at the flats and showing me places where hype was. Then I was in the temple. Vrnda told me to go get the small Balarama Deity and bring Him in the temple, so I did. His face wasn't painted on. I held Him during the announcements and then put Him in my pocket. Then I went back to the pujari room and turned Him over to Ramdas. He got kind of mad that I had the Deity out there. Then I entered the temple room w/ shoes on. I kicked them off and left them on the stairs. I was agitated that I couldn't do anything right.

Journey Dream * Dated March 12 or 13, 1986 - abridged * I encountered two crazy men and delayed them. "The authorities came and captured them and put them on a train. The train went under a tunnel then went off the track. The conductor roped it and pulled it back on. I was showing him my pictures of Krishna. He wanted to know what Krishna looked like. I didn't have an exact picture of Him, but came very close. It was the beginning of KC - when trains were just starting too."
This shows the corruption of God's image. "Crazy" men take the teachings off track. I try to show the conductor what God looks like, but I don't have an exact picture myself.

Journey Dream * Dated March 26, 1986 - abridged * My cousin and I bring a kitten to a movie, but my cousin didn't like the movie. "At the movie they say Krishna is God. A girl (Govinda) had a plate of food she was sharing with us."
This is an example of how ISKCON interfered with my relationship with non-ISKCON family. Even though my friend brings a plate of food to share, my cousin doesn't like the movie where they say Krishna is God.

Dream * Dated May 10, 1986 - second dream * Went to a health spa and sat in the pool - went in the hot tub - read. Had my phone book, started looking in it for a friend. Uddhava was in it - said sometimes I got him so fried he could cry. Ghosts attacked me but I said "Krishna" and they went away. Woke up and thought I heard neighbors fighting.

Dream * Dated May 18, 1986 * A new house - very opulent including a pool with wave machine. Took my dad there to bargain over money. Watched a balloon dance - dancers were dancing to Hare Krishna. It was some sort of Madras-style dance. I was bargaining with my dad in a restaurant. I was some valuable employee, but he wouldn't give me a big enough space. Uds and I saw one whole room being wasted on Navasi and Sangita's old clothes. I was designing a pamphlet.

Journey Dream * Dated May 18, 1986 - abridged * "I went to a movie with some fringe devotees. I thought it was wrong to go to a movie, because Krishna wasn't there."
Two months later, another dream about going to the movies. ISKCON leaders did not allow us to watch movies or TV, read books, or follow the news. They wanted us to cut ourselves off from mainstream culture. In the dream I go to a movie with fringies (fringe members), but feel guilty about it.

Dream * Dated May 22, 1986 - second dream * Fixing Jagannatha. I was at a school. Later I was in my apartment. My mother lived upstairs. I was trying to call Uddhava and a gigantic earthquake came. The water in the ocean became agitated and big waves started hitting, flooding houses along the shore. We thought it was the end and everyone started praying. I was praying with Subhananda's parents and my parents lying down on a bed. Subhananda was making fun. Next I was in the pool at my old house. All through the dream I kept trying to chant gayatri but couldn't finish. Satarupa was a mermaid who lived in the pool. She went to art school (at the school in the beginning of the dream) but dropped out to become a mermaid.

Journey Dream * Dated May 30, 1986 * Rode a motorized skateboard around the pool, wanted to go swimming. Pool too crowded, saw people I know, wanted to do rounds. Went into Laguna - saw Srila Ramesvara. Talked to him for a while and begged for mercy. He told me things about the Deities and said we were highly confidential. He said I should chant all my rounds and go to the temple and he would talk to me when he got back.

This dream is about my guru's guilt, him concealing his secrets, and my obedience to a dishonest guru.

Attributes Dream * Dated June 1, 1986 - first dream - abridged * "Saw everyone very busy - engaged in Krishna's service. I walked to the temple and everyone was working hard." The dream included details about my business at the temple - bringing garlands I made for the deities to wear, and "the Deities motioned to put them on."
A numinous dream of connection and acceptance. In waking life, I made garlands for the temple deities on a daily basis. In this dream the deities motion for me to give them the garlands

Journey Dream * Dated August 13, 1986 - first dream - abridged * We felt something strange was happening, then aliens invaded the earth. "We were lying on a blanket looking up in the sky waiting for it to happen. I was trying to fix my mind on the holy name, asking Krishna to take me."
This is a dream of fear, alienation, guilt, and praying to God to accept me.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are).

Journey Dream * Dated September 1, 1986 - first dream - abridged * "At Ratha-yatra had to take a lot of phone calls."
This dream reflects my daytime life where I had to focus on work, instead of celebrating God, at a recent Jagannatha cart festival, Ratha-yatra, in Venice Beach.

Dream * Dated September 15, 1986 * Adultery - felt sadness. I think I am criticizing Krishna's arrangements when I should be embracing and appreciating them more.

Journey Dream * Dated October 7, 1986 - abridged * I meet a visitor and bring him to my aunt's house. "Watching a videotape about a king who went to India during the advent of Lord Krishna. He became devoted and told people in his kingdom to worship Krishna."
Another dream reflecting the awkwardness with my family because of bringing strange things in and trying to preach to them about my newfound religion.

Journey Dream * Dated October 17, 1986 * "I dreamed that people I know were deeply involved in the murder the grand jury is investigating. Name deleted killed someone and they disposed of the body, blood, guns, etc. Other close people set it up, etc. After they told me everything I had to hide it. Name deleted to help cover [for ISKCON] he became a community leader among Hare Krishnas. He would speak out about the movement and try to act like everything is normal. I would just be quiet. Name deleted was there. There were Jagannatha Deities with knots on them, according to our impurities."
This dream portrays hypocrisy in the name of God. Defending murderers, our impurities show as knots in the Jagannatha deities, which were carved from wood. This dream mirrors the murder of Steven Bryant (Sulochan Das), which took place May 22, 1986, about a mile from the L.A. temple.

Journey Dream * Dated October 21, 1986 - abridged * "Repairing Jagannatha Deities and showing them to Srila Ramesvara. It was helping him."
This shows a role reversal - me thinking I can fix my faltering guru.

Dream * Dated October 24, 1986 - first dream * MG involved in drug selling. I asked his secretary how extensive it was. She explained that a lot of things were centered on the drug deals. He also had a lot of girlfriends, but she still wanted to encourage him because he worked so hard for Krishna. I was also encouraging him by overlooking his faults. Later - working on mailing lists. I ordered one, "VIPs in Colorado," and showed it to Anuttama. I began entering it on the computer.

Attributes Dream * Dated October 25, 1986 - abridged * "I was playing cards w/ Janaki and the cards turned into tarot cards. I had: A-1-2-3-4-clubs and 5-6-7-8-9-10-J spades and Jagannatha, Subhadra, Baladeva. They were cards, but also appeared as chess pieces."
A dream of connection, understanding, and acceptance. This is one of two dreams of integrating the Krishna philosophy with tarot cards, which I used to study before joining ISKCON.

Journey Dream * Dated November 5, 1986 - abridged * "Srila Ramesvara had gotten all weird, so Laksmi Priya and I had to run away. We got caught running away, but made it. We sent back a lot of Jagannatha Deities and other things so we could travel light."
A dream of guilt for trying to leave ISKCON, and fear I cannot keep God with me if I leave.

Dream * Dated November 16, 1986 * Went to a fringie Krishna temple - lots of old devotees were there. Mukunda was there. Later, typesetting corrections for classified ads.

Journey Dream * Dated November 30, 1986 - abridged * I was on a stage debating with a fanatical group that turned out to be Sahajaya, people who think they can imitate Krsna's rasa dance. "They had pictures of Krishna and chanted Hare Krishna."
This dream shows hypocrisy in the worship of God, and not understanding God.

Journey Dream * Dated December 18, 1986 * I went to S.D. to help polish brass for the Deities' Ratha-yatra. I had to move into an ashram with Kosarupa, and Amarendra also lived there. He said I had to bring money to live there, and I said I'd get it from Mukunda Maharaja. Kosharupa wanted to engage me, but I was already busy planning the Ratha-yatra. We got up really late and I was trying to get dressed. I was hungry and hadn't done any rounds, but she kept pestering me. She hid my bathroom things and I got mad. Finally I started screaming at her - "Leave me alone - Leave me alone you! I'm busy! I have to get dressed." Finally it was time for Ratha-yatra, but it began raining very hard. Amarendra said it was probably cancelled.

Dream * Dated January 13, 1987 * Backing cement mixer into Jolie's driveway - dangerous - walked to George H.'s. He wanted me to paint his Deities. Then I went to my sister Mindi's in Canoga Pk. Brush teeth in a market. Went to a hotel room, rinse mouth, sort out suitcase. One bag full of shells, stones, dust, etc., from Ganges River. I wanted to go to Van Nuys Sherman Oaks to Dale J.'s to see Kyle and show it to him. I saw cousin Don & my brother to try to get a ride. They were teasing me.

Attributes Dream * Dated January 23, 1987 - second dream - full dream * "We were going to have a party, wanted Lord Jagannatha to be there. Went to my new house on Roscomare Rd. Many people there. Vrajesvari knew my sister, Mindi. When the kirtan started I started dressing Lord Jagannatha. He became Gaur-Nitai. Tulasi was also there growing in a shallow pan on the table."
Affirmation of spiritual connection, acceptance, nostalgia.

Dream * Dated January 29, 1987 - second dream * Kdd, Terri Long, and I were going to start wearing new age clothes. Terry kept wearing her hippy clothes and got discouraged. I went downtown and saw someone's laundry. The washer was over-stuffed and a big orange towel was sticking out. MG wanted another issue by mid-April and it would review all the rock stars' songs about Krishna. He drew very close and told me of the new stories. I went up to go work and Kdd invited me to take a muffin made w/ no sugar. I had to make phone calls.

Journey Dream * Dated February 17, 1987 - abridged * "I was at my father's and some Sikhs were there. I wanted to ask them about their practices and beliefs. I . . . began asking one man Do you believe that at the time of death you will close your eyes for a flash and then wake up in the spiritual world with Krsna? He said yes. Then I said do you chant a fixed number of rounds on your beads? He said they chant but it's only to prepare them to be in the presence of the master."
This is a dream where I question the daily rituals in the temple.

Journey Dream * Dated February 20, 1987 - abridged * "Making garlands and crying because I miss Lord Dvarkadhisa. Then Krsangi asked me to make more garlands. Later stuck on top of a fence and praying to the Deities."
Another dream of leaving, and worry I will feel separation and alienation. I feel trapped, and pray to God for help.

Journey Dream * Dated February 26, 1987 - abridged * "I was an actress in a play where demons kill each other for Krsna."
This dream mirrors an unhealthy daytime environment, and a distorted concept of God.

Dream * Dated March 2, 1987 * How we could make the OCBL Krishna conscious. Ud offering arotik to Panca-tattva. Losing my notebooks, getting all frantic, finally finding them in Kosa rupa's shelf. A party, people staying over really late.

Dream * Dated March 14, 1987 - nightmare - abridged * "Staying w/ some friends. . . . A mother had carved a big Lord Nrsimhadeva plaque out of plaster. The original belonged to Agnideva and hung in his dining room. Big polished gold - very beautiful. His mother copied it. She looked at it and started chanting Hare Krishna as she looked at it. I read the Bible intensely there."

Dream * Dated March 31, 1987 - abridged * Colorful - in ND many events - openings. I was decorating the altar. People kept walking on it w/ shoes and I would tell them to take their shoes off. An old friend went on - Derick. He had become a devotee, but was fatter. We made little rose cups for the Deity. He helped decorate the altar. . . . When I was getting ready, I preached to Derick, 'Devotional service is so blissful, whatever you're doing for Krishna, even if it's just the bhoga run, etc.' He agreed. He said he knew me from HS, but I couldn't recognize him because he'd gained weight. When I let him on the altar, he said, 'Hi Deities,' and waved. I wanted to tell him not to approach Them like that. Went to a gas station before mangal arotik and put on a chanting tape - all the service men liked it. BH came up to preach to them. Then I got a ride back to the temple in his car. The gas station was at the top of the hill and I would have been very late if I hadn't gotten a ride with him.

Dream * Dated April 7, 1987 * A hotel - clearing out one room for another guest. Devotees run different facilities. There is a large football field nearby run by Jayatirtha. A room full of devotees - going around in a circle chanting and then chanting Hare Krishna. Bhayahari started it, I wanted to do it, but they wouldn't give me a turn. Making a mold for work out of manure. My car rolls out into traffic. I have to unlock it and pull back in. Keeping some things in a box for Nicole & Rich (in my carport).

Dream * Dated April 29, 1987 - second dream * A girl wants to move in here, comes to see the place. I show her my glass animals. A man listens to my answering tape. A band on TV plays Hari Krishna. I tell a new devotee what my service is: working for MG. Someone wrote an official prayer for SRS and they (Agni) made all his disciples recite it after guru-puja. I got upset because I didn't identify with it and pushed my way out, refusing to say it. "In this life you gave us devotion, now you have fallen down but we remain, all praise to you Srila Ramesvara," etc.

Dream * Dated May 17, 1987 - second dream * Some sahajayas were playing games like they're the cowherd boys and I'm Krsna - and they make me wave, etc. Later I tell my dad to send me to India the week after he dies so I can take his ashes to the holy dham. On a moving sidewalk my shoes fall off but I get them back.

Journey Dream * Dated May 31, 1987 - abridged * Trying to defend ISKCON's reputation with public relations, "Some friends came dressed in clown/animal outfits to attack me. I was happy, laughing. John H, Bhart, Jim, wanting to take & fix lots of mis-matched Jagannathas."
This dream shows my desire to leave and reunite with my pre-ISKCON friends. It makes me happy to see them, and I fix a lot of mis-matched feelings about God.

Dream * Dated June 2, 1987 - abridged * "Some devotees asked me to help prepare for a big festival, I said 'no.' Sama-priya hears me and chastises me for it, I decide to surrender. They tell me to make garlands - S.P., SB; Ruk-Dvarakanatha; and Mathaladhisa, one of the speakers. I think - "Him!?" So I make one garland. Later they ask me to finish, so I do. Class over. I have to do it during japa time. Later, a singing class. A teacher sits w/ us on the floor and teaches us to sing bhajanas. Clapping 1-2-3-4, 1 23, 12, 123, 12. Jay Krsna, Jay Krsna Jaypurna Bhaja Hare, etc. He begins another lesson and is sitting very close, hands me a Kleenex and tells me I'm doing okay. Going to M. arotik wrapped in a blanket - others also wearing blankets. I want to get dressed, so I leave. They were showing a Beatles video about Hare Krishna. I was sorry to miss it, but figured MG would have a copy."

Attributes Dream * Dated June 13, 1987 - second dream - abridged * "I was sent to Atlanta for a break. When I arrived a girl took me to see the Deity. It was very late but they opened the Deity for a few minutes. It was a beautiful, large Krsna - very real. I thought I would want to stay there."
Affirmation of acceptance, and my love of God.

Dream * Dated July 1, 1987 * Go to a party, then make films of it. Later show films to my parents. I was a child actress. I arrive at the party house and they give me a big cup with an exotic drink. A girl tries to get me to break my principles and my mother hoped I would. Later I become really drunk from the guava/strawberry juice and the place is a party. I try to crash out while the party is still going - some fat women are looking at an Alice in Wonderland book. I wake them, but they try to lie on the waterbed and sleep. I try to go to the bathroom. Cooking many pots of food w/ another lady, offering to Krishna - eating, tasting the pots. She says to throw away any guilt. Don comes home while we're cooking & offering. Traveling.

Dream * Dated July 22, 1987 * Try to buy someone tickets - get in a traffic jam. A big cat that talked, "I'm hungry." I feed him rice cakes, later someone feeds him ice cream scoops. I have to clean it up. Try to look up Aniruddha, can't find Krishna Book. Forget I'm not in school - just typesetting. Two wedding rings. Try to rest - tell MG I have his Deity house, go to an auditorium w/ waste baskets, magazine. A girl comes out to go w/ us in a car in her underwear.

Dream * Dated July 23, 1987 * Jadurani over - we were going to make a big breakfast, but no one would get up and come over. She wanted me to check out a vacant apt. for her. Cramming into a van. SRS & Bhavananda tried to get too close to me and I didn't like it - I went into an atrium (Krishna Consciousness) and tried to soak up the good vibes. A pit bull came into my room, but it wasn't mad.

Attributes Dream * Dated June 25, 1987 - full dream * "Something about healing, touching Lord Jagannatha's face."
Affirmation of connection, longing for God.

Journey Dream * Dated June 30, 1987 - abridged * "Talking to my mother, trying to explain why I was once crazy, I see that Paula broke my Jagannatha cart. I got freaked out - tried to put it together - worried I hadn't chanted my rounds."
Another dream that shows how my commitment to ISKCON caused awkwardness in my family relationships. It also mirrors my anxiety over my commitment to the daily chanting ritual.

Journey Dream * Dated July 25, 1987 - abridged * I got mad because someone took my car w/o permission. We found a car that belonged to devotees and took it for a ride. "I was praying to Krsna to help me be a devotee."
This dream shows frustration trying to be a "good devotee" in a toxic environment, praying to God for help. It mirrors my daytime life where other people in the PR department frequently used my car, and how I had to find another car to drive if someone else was using my car.

Attributes Dream * Dated July 27, 1987 - second dream - abridged * "Making lots and lots of Jagannatha houses with different designs. Ud makes the dolls to go in there. We give them all away. Thank Arnie sincerely for his help, make a special house for him."
A dream of gratitude, serving God.

Journey Dream * Dream * Dated August 7, 1987 * Driving some people home, they live on a hill near HSU campus. I wanted to go in and see their apt. I acted dumb to the guard and had to go get my ID. I went to the car and got in and I started looking at everything in it. I had a painting I did of Krishna. On the way down, I was trying to figure out how I could rent a place near campus. Bharata also lived on the hill. Lots of rounds left, late. Went to a restaurant and they bought the food for the next day - they opened it up and there was a big dead pig head - it smelled terrible and I ran out in disgust and fright. Still had rounds. Went on Hari-nama, but it was raining - went under an umbrella with a sick girl - wanted to commit suicide, so did Ud. Later driving in a red sports car, he double parked and went inside. A big Jeep came and ran over the car - somehow I lived.
A dream of how to leave ISKCON, and possibly go back to where I was in college, but a guard questions my identity. Looking for my ID in the car, all I could find was a painting I did of Krishna.

Journey Dream * Dated August 13, 1987 - abridged * "I saw Prabhupada sitting on a mat. I looked at him and prayed that I would pass away before him, because I didn't want to have to be here unless he was. I went behind a screen that was sagging and it fell over. It hit his foot. I crawled over the screen and asked if it hit him, he said 'yes' so I said 'What can I do to make up for my offense?' He said, 'Preach this Krishna consciousness to your countrymen as your first duty.' Then he quoted a verse, "bhaktya mam abhijanati /yavan yas casmi tattvatah" He also said other things. Also in the dream the Rolling Stones were singing a song about him; I had to look for my Bg. to find out what the verse meant. ["One can understand the Supreme Personality as he is only by devotional service." Bhagavad-gita ch. 18, v. 55]"
This was a big dream, and one I've always remembered and referred to hundreds of times to confirm my decision to leave ISKCON. In the dream, I knock over a sagging screen, which reminds me of my sagging loyalty to ISKCON. Also, I say I don't want to live in ISKCON if Prabhupada is not there - at least in spirit. My offense was making the screen hit his foot, which may symbolize my offense of wishing to leave the organization. Still, he gives me permission to leave, and assures me I can continue to serve Krishna outside of the organization.

Journey Dream * Dream * Dated September 18, 1987 * Going to India, afraid I'd get held up in the airport in Calcutta, but learned positive thinking techniques. I turned all the negative subtle bodies Noris out of line. I sat on the plane making garlands. Talked to a guy who was saying "go directly to the Calcutta Port Authority, it's only one mile" - but better to be stuck there - a different/better form of malaria. I agreed. I was making garlands for Radha-Krsna and talking to him and another girl. I guessed he'd traveled to India 19 times. I looked out the window and instead of being on the plane, I was coming down Longbow Drive where I used to live. There was a small fire on a hillside of ivy, but not dangerous. Water swept the pavement, carrying leaves.
A dream of returning to my previous life, including Longbow Drive.

Secondary meaning - Attribute 2. A dream of acceptance, moving forward.

Journey Dream * Dated September 25, 1987 - abridged * "Bring my dad to a gathering on Watseka Ave. Lots and lots of devotees. He is very afraid of dying and wants to know more and more about Krishna."
A dream of turning to God in the face of death. My father was fighting terminal cancer during the last several years I was in ISKCON. During that time, my father opened his mind to forgiveness and spirituality.

Secondary meaning - Attribute 9. endows us with the capacity for compassion, the ability and inclination to respond to human suffering.

Secondary meaning - Attribute 10. wants us to have love and peace in our relationships, pushes us in the direction of healing, love, and peace in relationships with other human beings.

Journey Dream * Dated October 8, 1987 * Going on events w/ my family - parties, picnics, etc. Earlier - going to Vrindavana. Leave airport with friends. Talking about spiritual things turn onto a dirt road - walk. Walk last part to the Mayapur Mandir. Followed by cute puppies. Get to our room - 6 or 10 women to a room - only one bed. Feel tired - get them to take the bed apart so I can go to sleep. Later - telling "Aunt Dassy" about a boy I went out with - how I teased him because he wasn't a devotee and I told him to take me home; all I wanted to talk about was Krishna.
A dream of wishing to reunite with my pre-ISKCON friends.

Dream * Dated October 22, 1987 * Seeing Kyle - he was friendly to me. Uddhava going to a job interview then going to a yard sale at the beach - bears and other wild animals come. One guy is teasing the bears and gets devoured by a bear. I was screaming "No! No! Hare Krishna!" It was terrible.

Dream * Dated November 8, 1987 - nightmare * Captured by some men and tied up. I was being tortured in their house. They also captured some other friends and were torturing them. It was slow death as they tightened the screws. Finally I got my hands loose and ran out screaming. I ran to a neighbor's and a girl let me in. We locked all the doors and called the police. It was a city called San Bernardino (?) The police came and my friends escaped too. The policeman looked like one of the Grateful Dead and I started telling him my story - Wake up - Run through the escape again. This time we couldn't lock him out, so I went out the back way to the next house on the block and got them to let me in. I called the police from there. Something taking me away from Krishna. I said to police, "For the last three days, I've been trying to escape from kidnappers. I want the police to help me."

Dream * Dated November 14, 1987 - first dream * I walk through a deserted school cafeteria, talk briefly w/ Madhu to explain what a dirt rag is for her crossword puzzle. I go home and try to fix something from our refrigerator. My mother wants to spray bug spray on counters and it gets on Lord J.'s clothes. I ask if it may hurt his clothes, then I clean it off for her.

Attributes Dream * Dated November 25, 1987 - abridged * "Everyone leaving town at threat of big earthquake. I stay with an apt. full of Jagannatha Deities; chant my rounds. Only had a few rounds done throughout the dream."
Affirmation of my security with God protecting me during stress.

Attributes Dream * Dated December 5, 1987 second dream - abridged * "Got some things for Jagannatha in the mail - a blanket & a shelf."
Affirmation of connection, acceptance.

Journey Dream * Dated December 17, 1987 - abridged * "Some devotees lose their temple, so they take the Deities and hide them in an arch in the ocean and start to leave to look for a place to go. . . . The Deity looked like Radha & Krishna with Anantasesa behind them. They were secure."
Another dream of leaving, especially the fear I will have to disconnect from God, at least temporarily. Anantasesa is a serpent that stabilizes the universe, upon which Vishnu reclines when he wants to relax or sleep. Usually Ananatasesa is not associated with Radha & Krishna, but is in this dream.

Journey Dream * Dated December 26, 1987 - abridged * "Go to temple to make garlands, Rama dasi says the Deities are mad at me."
Another dream of guilt and self-pity.

Dream * Dated January 7, 1988 - second dream * Going into an airport shop to pick up film. Wrong terminal/wrong shop. They don't have my film, go into a restaurant next door, order milk, they don't have it, finally get something and eat it. I tell the owner what's wrong with his restaurant - too uncoordinated. Antique chairs, western tables and lights, antique carpets, Eastern and HK decorations, and American food. I look over and he has an altar with Mahvishnu, Krishna and SP. Prabhupada turns and looks at me.

Journey Dream * Dated February 1, 1988 - abridged * At the beach I wanted to go swimming. "I wake up late - about 1 p.m. Then I look through my closet and can't find a bathing suit. There are many drawers of jewelry, other clothes, and Jagannatha masks, but no bathing suit."
A dream of not finding what I want or need.

Attributes Dream * Dated February 10, 1988 - abridged * "Making a plate of steamed veges and taking it off Krishna's plate onto mine."
Affirmation of serving and connecting with God.

Journey Dream * Dated February 18, 1988 - first dream - abridged * "I was going to take Deities to temple up the coast for people - Jagannatha for Ydd, K-B for Karta, my Gaur-Nitai, etc. A bus was leaving and I missed it. Later I learned the deities made it on the bus and everything was okay."
A dream about the fear of losing my connection - missing the bus - but assurance it will turn out okay.

Attributes Dream * Dated April 5, 1988 - abridged * Driving in a beautiful landscape with people from the PR office. "At the end is a mall and in the mall is a Catholic church. I see my dad in there and I look into the church to see the Deities."
Affirmation of my connection with God.

Dream * Dated April 13, 1988 - second dream * Went to have lunch - thought the Indians there were very fortunate - they were raised w/ the HK temple & Deities in their own city. One of the people was a doctor, so while my brother, etc., ordered lunch, I went to the doctor's place and talked to him. He got me a cup of "Casa Aroma Mio," which means the "House of Loving Prabhupada." It was like strawberry yogurt cream. He was signaling me to eat it up.

Journey Dream * Dream * Dated April 14, 1988 * I was a devotee and working with Dad's DQ docs. I was wearing two big pear rings - but I had a friend take them off my hands because they were getting scratched. I had a message from Krishna - something like, "Krishna may choose not to protect His devotees, according to how He wants to treat them." I also wanted to leave some of my steam-pots and not take them w/ me when I left for home.
Another dream of guilt and misunderstanding God's nature.

Journey Dream * Dated April 20, 1988 - abridged * I was a student and it was near the end of the semester. "I wanted to give Lord J. Deities to Larry Shinn and another person."
Another dream of preparing to leave ISKCON. I interviewed Dr. Shinn and published the interview in our newspaper, and later Dr. Shinn was my academic advisor for the University of Illinois Press, and wrote the introduction to Betrayal of the Spirit.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 10. wants us to have love and peace in our relationships, pushes us in the direction of healing, love, and peace in relationships with other human beings.

Dream * Dated April 25, 1988 - first dream * Uddhava and I were walking on the beach and kept fighting. We had to stop and talk. We were with other people and it was embarrassing. There was a big disaster in India and all the people turned to the Lord - as a result they all became Krishna conscious and Lord Chaitanya conscious. I was following it closely in my socio. class (I left the movement and went back to school.)

Journey Dream * Dream * Dated May 7, 1988 * I was at Jolie's house. While in L.A. Billy married a girl beside Michelle. Then THE BIG earthquake came and I prayed really hard to Krishna. It stopped and didn't hurt anything at her house. Later Guru Gauranga was in my dream and he was saying he could understand why I needed crystals.
A dream of praying for protection. I want to reconnect with old friends, but it's like an earthquake to leave ISKCON, so I pray everything will be okay.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are).

Secondary meaning - Attribute 7. greatness (far greater than us), majesty, eternality; an entity toward which (or toward whom) we feel a sense of awe and humility.

Dream * Dated May 9, 1988 * Getting ready to dress Lord J. - picking out ornaments, etc. Buying food. But it was early and I would just have to store everything until Friday and I couldn't think about it very well. A letter printer rewrote some copy for the decorating. Went to the morning program but felt sick and everything kept going wrong. Went home to rest. Saw a house I wanted to buy, went in the pool. Jumping otters, salmon(?) and porpoises were in the pool. Can't remember the rest.

Journey Dream * Dated May 14, 1988 - abridged * "Wanted to go out on Hari-nama, but it started raining. One of the people we were with called the temple store to see if Krishna still wanted [us] to go. The person at the other end said - 'Go and you'll have a great little adventure. You can write about it later.' The rain cleared up and we got to meet people."
A dream reflecting back on my decision to join ISKCON, "Go and you'll have a great little adventure. You can write about it later." By that time I was already writing the first draft of my memoir.

Journey Dream * Dated May 26, 1988 - abridged * "Traveling by car, I stop at a roadside refrigerator place and the lady is like a devotee. She got two books and from that learned to chant and offer food. I told her I was a devotee for 10 years. I tried to tell her a little more about Krishna and hear her story. Only problem is she would offer beer."
A dream about my fear I could go back to drugs and alcohol if I leave ISKCON.

Journey Dream * Dated May 31, 1988 - abridged * "A high dive, Lord Jagannatha's symbols switched."
This is a dream about my fear of jumping, and fear of change. When it says Jagannath's symbols are switched, it means in the dream he holds the conch shell and chakra in the opposite hands he would normally hold them in my waking world.

Journey Dream * Dated June 16, 1988 - abridged * After a college experience that involved drug abuse, my new life, "Sewing Jagannatha's turban with other people, and chanting as I sew."
A dream of nostalgia and looking back on my life before and after joining ISKCON.

Journey Dream * Dated June 21, 1988 - abridged * "go to the Bhodi Tree to buy some books about Krishna. Found one Rolodex about Him - the clerk marked it $297." Then I walk home to my father's house, having adventures along the way. "I live in a house like my dad's, but there's a barking dog and my brother's room has all the discarded Ramesvara pictures, a few pictures of Krishna, etc."
A dream about leaving ISKCON. I want to hold onto Krishna and what I learned, but discard Ramesvara and my misconceptions. It may also reflect my many visits to the Bodhi Tree Bookstore around that time, where I read outside books on spirituality, and imagined my book would someday be for sale at the Bodhi Tree. Later, the bookstore hosted my book signing.

Dream * Dated June 29, 1988 - second dream * I was in a school. I sat with some boy and discussed - then a break - then I sat w/ a different boy. The first one was puzzled. The second one was more motivated - I had to push him away and tell him "I am married." The teacher encouraged communication. We drove in a line of cars up a canyon. I stopped at a temple - there was a murti of Srila Prabhupada in water. They weren't ISKCON, but they worshipped SP by bathing the murti. I took notes in the class, but missed Krishna Consciousness. I was glad to see Srila P.

Dream * Dated July 5, 1988 - sixth dream * I also dreamed I was to give a speech. Karnapur upstaged me and I cried to Ragatmika. Later I gave the speech before a crowd at a Krishna street fair. I told about how I once saw SP give one of his books to a woman - how beautiful that was.

Attributes Dream * Dated July 8, 1988 - second dream - abridged * I was in a boring music class "and I told the teacher so. So she started writing the tarot cards on the board and pointing out all the cards with Krishna on them. She said the 3 of clubs (?) was Krishna on the chariot. There were also two cards with two kings - K & B [Krishna & Balaram]."
Affirmation of my connection and acceptance of God in my own way. This is the second dream about merging Krishna with tarot cards, which may represent my pre-ISKCON beliefs.

Attributes Dream * Dated July 22, 1988 - second dream - abridged * I was at the airport with other devotees and had rounds to chant. "There were some Indian people with us and we were taking about how rare it is to find someone who actually understands Krishna."
Affirmation of connection, acceptance.

Journey Dream * Dated August 6, 1988 - first dream - abridged * "Dressing the Deities. Billy & I fighting over which outfit/what jewelry to wear. Srila Prabhupada settled it. He said: Krishna says here is the ultimate benediction I am going to give you, and here's one more. Then he threw one more bead into a paper bag. He said, 'Brahmacari Brahmacarini - they take so much trouble for the sake of the Lord - Householder - it is much easier.' "
This is a dream of deciding what beliefs to keep or discard when I leave ISKCON.

Dream * Dated September 2, 1988 - second dream * A man in a barn tries to get me to leave my car w/ him, w/ a deposit to sell. I get mad, he tries to hurt me, I brand everything w/ Krishna and chant Hare Krishna and wake up.

Attributes Dream * Dated September 13, 1988 * A long dream. At the end I was worshiping Lord Jagannatha. I washed His clothes. I had a few things of His I didn't want to go in the dryer. Before that I was on an estate where I walked around with friends. It was a holy day. I wanted to lock up my belongings somehow so they wouldn't get stolen. I had 2 credit card wallets - one with money.
Affirmation of connection and love, taking care of spirit.

Journey Dream * Dated September 16, 1988 - second dream - abridged * A TV show starts with a cocktail party, "then it goes to a song by Donovan saying all people should become enlightened - it's in a gallery and there are pictures of Krishna. The people see the commercial and go from b/w to color - then more people are enlightened. Then they become discouraged because they try to carry out a project to start a new city around the airport and it fails. But then they woke up again."
A dream of wishing to remain connected with Krishna, but worry I may fail.

Journey Dream * Dated September 29, 1988 - abridged * I go to a wedding for an old friend and give him my gift. "But someone (Paula?) said I should have gotten a different present - something for his hair. I said 'Krishna wore ribbons in His hair.' "
A dream of wishing to hold onto my connection with Krishna, despite what relatives like my cousin may think.

Secondary meaning - Attribute: 5. imbued with perfection, beauty, significance, and spirituality (corresponds to "the numinous" or "the numen"), can be (perhaps must be) represented by a symbol (e.g., a sunflower).

Journey Dream * Dated November 9, 1988 - abridged * "I had a chart in my wallet telling my lineage - Having a chart was something Krishna Himself had to do too, since his mother had to have him adopted."
This is a dream of completion, carrying proof of the experience in my wallet. A historical note: Krishna was secretly adopted out to avoid intrigue in the palace, and grew up incognito in a nearby farming village.

Dream * Dated November 13, 1988 - first dream * I was standing w/ family - went to my grandma's place and took two bowls of sunflower seeds. Covered the bowls with plastic. When I went out to my car it wouldn't start. I rolled it down a hill, but then the brakes didn't work. Rabindranath was praying in front of the Deities and I wanted to preach to him about why he shouldn't move into a temple. I opened a book and laid it on the altar - he saw it and thought it was the answer to his prayer. I said yes, to read it. Then I had to read it (made him turn on a light) and then explain it to him. Last I was back at my old relatives - younger people were there too - Rohini, etc. She was keeping track of phone messages. There was going to be a parade/festival. My mother was going to walk in it. She would have a birthday party for kids at the parade site. To avoid having to pack, she had a baby stroller and carried the birthday cake on the stroller.

Journey Dream * Dated December 9, 1988 - first dream - abridged * "I was in a writing class and I was supposed to write about the engine of an old car that had ridden 2,000 miles back and forth 30 times - 600,000 [sic] miles on the old engine - I was supposed to write about that old engine. On the way to class I was supposed to invite these workers to come to the temple and give them $.25 for parking. I went by, but J.A. already invited them and gave them the quarter. Then she was snotty to me. I found a dime and a nickel and picked it up - also a plastic face of Krishna. I skipped all the way to class."
A final dream of completion, including acknowledgement of the false images of God ISKCON gave me, and my determination to write a memoir.


Appendix B
Twenty-Two Attributes of God in Dreams
by Dr. Shanee Stepakoff

1. an entity toward whom we direct our praise and/or our gratitude.

2. a comforting presence that's available to us, especially in times of hardship; accepting, understanding, and permissive toward us (i.e., toward human beings) (understands and accepts us as we are).

3. hears and responds to our cries and our prayers.

4. Totality, wholeness, the context for everything, the backdrop for everything, the space in which everything in the universe takes place (God as space) (reminiscent of the sand in a Zen rock garden).

5. imbued with perfection, beauty, significance, and spirituality (corresponds to "the numinous" or "the numen"), can be (perhaps must be) represented by a symbol (e.g., a sunflower).

6. mysterious, all-knowing, in possession of all the answers but whose knowledge and answers are beyond what human beings can access (reminiscent of the last part of the Book of Job).

8. holds the complete awareness and memory of our entire life's journey (our life course); pushes for the truth to emerge and be recognized, aims for Truth; also, aims to move events or situations toward completion. Also, knows who we really are, sees/is aware of/recognizes one's true nature, one's inner core, one's authentic self.

9. endows us with the capacity for compassion, the ability and inclination to respond to human suffering.

10. wants us to have love and peace in our relationships, pushes us in the direction of healing, love, and peace in relationships with other human beings.

11. An entity to which (or toward whom) we direct our yearnings and invocations for the safety and well-being of others (e.g., whose blessing we ask for on behalf of others we love or care about).

12. causes us to feel frightened and overwhelmed because of its authority and power, has its own autonomous decision-making power over our lives - a power that can direct and influence our lives, is not subjected to the control of our ego-minds inscrutable Will.

13. holds us and/or carries us forward; provides for us, fulfills our needs, takes care of us.

14. is at the innermost point, the center, and/or directs energy toward the center (mandala, labyrinth, core, Anna's "in my middle").

15. a spiritual or cosmic presence or energy, the holy spirit, toward which we feel a longing to receive, be infused with, be entered by, or to connect or commune with.

16. Cosmic Mind: has a Plan (i.e., a Divine Plan or Cosmic Plan), already knows about and has decided on all future events, the unfolding of time All-Seeing, perceives everything in the universe all at once - across vast or comprehensive space.

17. Life-Energy, Source of Endless Vitality, Eternal Archetype of Rebirth/Renewal/Regeneration life-force/renewal as an archetypal energy in the universe life-force as an energy that exists inside human beings (e.g., that directs us toward growth and expansion).

18. cares about humanity, works through other human beings for the good of humanity - sends emissaries to intervene in human affairs.

19. places opportunities in our path, chooses to cause certain events or situations to arise in our lives, decrees what will happen to us.

20. An Emanation, a non-corporeal being, experienced in a manner that defies the usual sensory modalities (e.g., discerned in an intuitive, non-rational manner).

21. has a fearsome or awe-inspiring Authority, demands sacrifice and propitiation (if we don't, we risk incurring His/Their wrath); wants to be recognized, acknowledged, appreciated.

22. Revelation - i.e., chooses not to let us see or know all, at least not for certain periods of time, i.e., prefers gradual self-revelation, unfolding, a partial image followed, later, by a more complete image, gradual self-revealing of the divine.

The Twenty-Two Attributes of God from the presentation, Dreams of the Divine in a Woman from Young Adulthood to Late Middle Age, by Shanee Stepakoff, Ph.D. The Religious Research panel took place at the 35th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dream Studies, June 19, 2018, Scottsdale, Arizona.




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