The Tiger has my full attention as she prowls slowly, keeping her dark green eyes focused on me and as she watches my every move. There in the background of our circular space is a beautiful, exotic woman, seemingly in her own dance of contemplation. It is both a frightening scene and, at the same time a compelling one.
My energy in this scene is focused on staying as still as I can possibly be so as not to trigger an attack by the Tiger. My senses are heightened to the max, and yet, I am strangely calm, not anxious at all. Tension in every muscle gives me a feeling of being completely alive in this moment, and this moment alone. Is the Tiger, in her beauty and ferocity, friend or foe? I have no idea.
I believe that, in terms of dream interpretation, I have no inherent right to appropriate or colonize as my own the energy of the Tiger or the woman in this dream — to reduce these images to some aspect of my psyche, as some interpreters might encourage me to do. The images are clearly not mine, for they are wholly and gracefully given to me — I did not create them! I can, however, appropriate in my attitudes and in my daily living the intimate relationship which I experience with these images. We have a deep connection — the Tiger and I. A connection that, while unconscious, nevertheless is as real and as meaningful as the connections I experience in my conscious relationships. At least, this is my belief.
Where, for example, in my life do I need to come to “full stop” in order to behold the present moment and nothing more? Where in my life am I both frightened and mesmerized by an unfolding drama that is not mine to possess, but nevertheless needs a witness, an acknowledgment, a reverent gaze, or a silent prayer? Can’t I turn off the iPhone, the computer, the incessant mental comment and chatter and simply tune in to the experience of being that is ever present before my eyes?
A dream image like the Tiger and the exotic lady may be what the Divine Self gives to us in order to simply remind us that, in the midst of all of our efforts to grasp meaning from life and also from dreams, there is a wonderful, powerful, beautiful Mystery unfolding in our midst. Stop and behold!
When Moses asked God in the burning bush on Mt. Sinai to reveal the name of the most Holy, God simply told Moses, “My name is Yahweh — ‘I am that I am’ .”
Can we ever get any closer to the nature of divinity itself than when we are present to this moment? Really present, alert, and alive.