July 12, 2023

 As I was thinking over today’s experience I could have sworn I’ve had a similar experience in the Imaginal Bardo before. I looked through these entries, though, and didn’t see anything. I must be imagining things.. 

I know there are risks to trying to read too much into these experiences; they’re symbolic, after all, and only point toward the reality. They are never meant to be taken literally. Given this, I take only the bare bones of today’s experience and distill this out of them: A wife and a husband buried in the same general vicinity. Perhaps the wife was Buddhist or even Hindu. The husband seemed to be Sikh or possibly Muslim. They didn’t have a close relationship but it must have been close enough for them to still be connected after death. Additionally, they appear to have shared the same male lover.

At first I saw a red godlike being, either Buddhist or Hindu. It took me a minute to realize that it was only symbolic; i.e., it was a statue and this statue was standing in a very large chamber. There were also yellow and blue statues beside it. On the floor of the chamber stood a tiny figure, perhaps only a few inches tall. Soon, I understood that the figure wasn’t tiny but my perspective was huge. The statues were towering and the figure on the floor before them was actually a few feet tall. The figure appeared to be a humanlike monkey. It was dressed in black ceremonial robes and wore a tall, black, rectangular hat on its head.

When I realized the monkey was only diminutive due to my perspective, my perspective shifted and I was standing before the monkey. It was holding something in its paws. The object was a square, jet black tablet with gold writing. As soon as I saw its blackness, I recognized the Absolute and was transported into darkness, eventually landing on my feet inside another chamber. This chamber was similar to the first but quite dark. Before me was an upright, golden sarcophagus. There was a statue of a woman’s idealized figure carved into the lid of the sarcophagus, her face covered by a golden veil. There was a beautifully jeweled lotus flower on the forehead of the figure. 

I stepped forward and opened the lid. A very desiccated and decomposed corpse slid out as I did so and I caught it in my arms, gently laying it on the floor in front of the open sarcophagus. I leaned over the body, realizing it belonged to a small woman, who seemed smaller due to the shrunken nature of her corpse. There was an air of tragedy around her and I cried for her, although I didn’t know exactly why she was so sad.

As I cried, the lotus flower on the brow of the carved figure of the sarcophagus floated down from the lid and landed on the woman’s forehead. It glowed soft white and gold. Soon, the flesh on the woman’s body returned, growing full and healthy and alive before my eyes. She blinked and opened her eyes, looking at me with both wonder and confusion.

I helped her to her feet, realizing that she was quite short, perhaps only five feet tall. She was wearing a rich, red dress ornamented with gold thread and jewelry. She was quite beautiful but also hesitant to the point of meekness.

The chamber was glowing with our combined light; the aura surrounding the woman and me was white-gold. Around us were the immense, empty bases upon which the red, blue and yellow statues had stood in the previous chamber. We stepped forward and had only taken a few steps before we encountered another tomb. This one was constructed of white marble with gold lettering covering the sides. It was beautiful but also stark, almost modern. It was the opposite of the intricacy of the woman’s sarcophagus.

What to do but push off the lid of the sarcophagus? I did so and inside was the body of a corpulent, bearded man wearing a white turban and a rich, white robe with golden threading. Unlike the woman, his body wasn’t decomposed and he opened his kohl-lined eyes as soon as the lid slid past his face. While it was clear that, in life, he had been married to the woman beside me, neither of them seemed particularly delighted to see each other. There wasn’t animosity between them, though; it felt more like a truce. Like they had figured out a mutually beneficial relationship, despite the fact that they felt nothing for each other other than possibly a grudging respect.

The man, it’s fair to say, was quite flamboyantly gay and definitely a diva. (Divo?) The way he emerged from his coffin was nothing short of theatrical. In contrast, the woman was quite reserved and hung back. I still can’t quite figure her out. I felt more connected to her than to the man and couldn’t stop wondering about her story. Who was she? What had happened to her? Where would her path lead? Even though I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, I have a strong feeling that her path would soon diverge from her husband’s and she was on perhaps an even more important mission than I could even guess at.

The three of us continued our trek through the dark cavern and it wasn’t long before we encountered a third member of the team. This guy was quite handsome and masculine and dressed in traditional Hindu (I think) clothing. While his clothing was rich, it wasn’t quite as rich as the woman’s or her husbands which indicated to me that he had probably been one of their servants.

The big gay man instantly threw himself upon the man and the way they came together made it clear that the two had shared a secret sexual relationship. Or maybe not so secret? There was something about the woman, something connecting her to this handsome man as well. She still hung back and didn’t react to the pair; nonetheless, I felt that she had also been the man’s lover. Maybe she wasn’t quite as smitten with him as her husband and maybe she had already moved on? It’s hard to tell.

We walked on, eventually coming to the mouth of the chamber that at first seemed to open onto a city of temples made of white marble. This was obviously a sacred city and it seemed like the chamber we just exited was part of the temple complex. However, as we gazed down upon the white temples, they shifted as if they had merely been a mirage and in their place stood crude burial mounds. Instead of a white, paved road, the path was of broken stone and mud. 

The flamboyant man was clearly disappointed by this transformation and complained bitterly that he didn’t want to get his feet dirty. Nonetheless, what choice did he have? The other two didn’t seem to mind and set off on the rutted path that wound past the burial mounds and  into a humid jungle. When the flamboyant man continued to balk, the stud–as I refer to the handsome guy–turned back and took the man by the elbow, leading him down the steps of the temple and out onto the road.

The rocky path became quickly overgrown. Mist descended upon us and a white wolf stepped out of the fog. I realized that we had entered the Crossroads, although this Crossroads, being tropical and humid, was quite different from the one I’m more familiar with. Still, it was clearly the same place. I saw that the white wolf–which caused the flamboyant man to recoil in terror–was in fact the Woman in White. 

The wolf was there to lead the trio on the next step of their journey. When they joined her–the flamboyant man cowering in fear behind the stud–I realized that there were dynamics going on here that were beyond my ken. The small, reserved woman in the ornate red dress was the biggest mystery and I watched her leave, extremely curious about where she was heading.

As the three were led away down the road by the wolf, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t alone. There was another present, someone like me. This person, a woman probably, was most likely the one who had helped the studly guy through the blackness of the Absolute. She appeared as little more than a green shadow in the jungle but, even so, I knew that she and I were cut from the same cloth, so to speak. She didn’t seem terribly interested in me, however, and disappeared almost as soon as I spotted her. My meditation bell sounded right then, bringing me out of this latest trip into the Imaginal.


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