Dreaming by the Numbers

Charles de Beer

Originally printed in the NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2007 issue of Quest magazine. 
Citation: de Beer, Charles. "Dreaming by the Numbers." Quest  95.6 (NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2007): 228-230.

In January 2002, I received an email from a woman named Robyn, which read as follows:

I believe Ronel has been in touch with you regarding dreams. Ronel is a close friend of mine and we work together. Ronel and I have discussed various topics, different religions, life after death, etc., and she suggested I contact you with regards to a dream I had last week.

Just to give you a bit of background, in case it means anything to you: My parents passed away quite a few years ago, at different times, and for about two years after their deaths, I constantly dreamt about them. Unfortunately, the dreams were nightmares. My mother-in-law is a spiritualist and took me off to a medium, and somehow after that, I didn't have any further dreams or nightmares about my parents. (This is the one and only time I have been to a medium.) Now, approximately eleven years later, I had such a vivid dream that I actually woke up and wrote the details down.

My parents and I were at a holiday home at the sea; there seemed to be other people in the house, but I cannot recall who they were. It was a very happy atmosphere, (as though they were on holiday). If I remember correctly, we were sitting chatting in the lounge of this house and my mom told me to phone this number: 668 1058, extension 20. Two names were very distinct in this dream, Penny and Michelle.

I woke up with such a start and immediately wrote the details on a piece of paper. The dream seemed to be so real. Of course, the next morning I phoned that telephone number—[using both the] Johannesburg and Durban code—and it does not exist. I do not know any persons by the name of Penny or Michelle, (family or friends).
Have you any ideas? 

Quite often, someone comes to know that there is a Charles de Beer who interprets dreams, and then this someone has a dream he or she feels compelled to submit to me for interpretation. In this instance, Robyn, the dreamer, knew that her friend and colleague, Ronel, was in correspondence with me about her dreams. When Robyn had her "telephone number" dream, it followed naturally that, not knowing what to make of this dream, she sent it on to me.

The extraordinary fact about this sequence of events is that the essence of my reading, as hereunder detailed, could hardly have been imparted by to Robyn by anyone else in this manner. This implies that the "powers-that-be" who imprinted the dream on the dreamer's mind (and "we are such stuff as dreams are made on" as Shakespeare reminds us in The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1) knew that the dream had to be sent to me, and would be sent to me, for interpretation.

I always stress in my dream readings that they are merely my interpretation; that there may be other explanations, and that the dreamer is always in the best position to analyze his or her dream. Unfortunately, few people have much knowledge of myths, parables, archetypes, general symbology, and so often are at a disadvantage to try and explain their dreams. But in this instance, I am quite sure that there was no other way to go in helping the dreamer to an insight into the message of her dream. Even so, whatever lesson she has to draw from this message remains totally up to her discretion, and is not for me to interpret or preempt.

The dreamer dreams that she is with her parents (both deceased) in a holiday home, happy atmosphere, (as if on holiday) near the sea. I would interpret this as meaning that the dreamer is in the spiritual realm ("holy day" home), and in touch with her Higher Self (the mother-father-God-within) that binds her to the Universal Totality (the sea). She is then given that number "668 1058 ext.20" to phone and, upon waking, also remembers two names, Michelle and Penny, as being very significant in the dream.

I had this dream on my desk for a few days without making any progress, although I tried to connect the numbers using what I know of numerology. Then, one morning I woke, wondering whether those numbers might have anything to do with page numbers in one of the books on the shelves in my study (all, in one form or another, related to philosophic scriptures).

I looked at various books, the Bible, the Qur'an, among others, but struck gold when I took out my copy of H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine. This is the fourth edition, published in 1947 by the Theosophical University Press, Covina, California, which combines both, Volume 1, Cosmogenesis, and Volume 2, Anthropogenesis.

Volume 1, 676 pages, covers HPB's views of the history and evolution of the universe, while Volume 2, containing 798 pages, addresses the history and evolution of humankind. Now, it so happens that the author starts her resume of the first book on page 668, in which she refers to the conflict between intellectual, scientific investigation, and philosophic faith.

In both volumes, produced late in the nineteenth century, she quotes from many sources, and each such quote has a reference number. On page 670 (that is, two pages beyond 668, or extension 02), there is a long quotation from a French preacher and scientist, Du Bois-Raymond. This quotation is numbered 1058 and in it he, too, holds forth that: "Science, in despair, has to admit: 'We do not know.'"

It seemed, therefore, absolutely clear to me that the "number" the dreamer was counseled to telephone, or to contact, was hidden in the pages of The Secret Doctrine; a book that forms the basis for the creation of the Theosophical Society.

Rather stunned by this wonderful synchronicity between the dreamer's dream and this volume on the shelves of my study, I turned my attention to the two names the dreamer had so clearly in mind on waking: Michelle and Penny. I found one on the last page of Volume 1, page 676, when the author quotes a French historian, Michelet, who, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was one of France's first and greatest nationalist and romantic historians of the nineteenth century, writing the massive History of France.

The connection with the name Penny was more elusive; however, I found it in Volume 2 of The Secret Doctrine, where Blavatsky quotes the name Panini several times. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Panini, during the fifth century BC, was the author of the oldest known grammar of Sanskrit, probably the oldest extant grammar in the world.

Both these names, therefore, referred to authors mentioned by HPB in her book, and may have been intentionally impressed on the dreamer's mind solely as further landmarks to confirm that The Secret Doctrine was the book containing the message the dreamer had to get and ponder: the possibility that an intellectual approach to life's mysteries has to be replaced by surrendering as an act of faith to whatever guides our destiny.

There is also the fact that annotation 1058 quotes from a French historian Du Bois-Reymond. As she subsequently revealed, the dreamer, in her youth, knew and was friendly with a young man called Raymond du Bois. Is this another amazing coincidence? My answer is no. I believe, rather, it is synchronicity at work in its wondrous ways. The lesson Robyn seems to have to draw from this dream is that scientific investigation, or a scientific approach to the mystery of life cannot alone yield satisfactory results, and that a life based on faith, love, and compassion is the main way to achieve inner at-one-ment. I emailed Robyn with this reading in March 2002, wondering what her reaction would be.

Her reply was as follows:
I am quite astounded at your reading. Firstly, I have never heard of the book, or the author you mention. We were brought up in a very Catholic family; obviously the subject of evolution/science was not a factor even to be considered. God was the creator—no question about it.

When I was a young teenager, the subject of evolution and the like was brought up at school, and I queried various subjects with both my parents. Well, as mentioned above, I was basically told people/scientists believe this theory, but it's not the case, and when we pass over to the other side, it would all be quite apparent that God was certainly the creator.

During this same period in my life, I had an acquaintance/friend by the name of Raymond du Bois (as mentioned above, a name very similar to the one of the French scientist Madame Blavatsky quotes in her book). He was Jewish, and this concerned my parents as he was a non-Catholic, and they did not want me getting romantically involved with him. (No romance between us ever took place.)
My mom passed away from cancer. The time from the onset of the cancer to her passing on was just under a year. We all knew it was terminal and the end would come. We had a very open relationship and often joked about what she would find at the other side. I mentioned that if it is not what we all expect/believe, we are all in for a big shock. My mom, in reply, said that if there was anyway to get a message down to me, she'd certainly try. Well, a good eleven years later, it seems I have got my answer.

So this dream that Robyn was "given" to dream by her Higher Self, was meant to be sent to me, as evidently Robyn's Higher Self knew that I had this particular copy of The Secret Doctrine on my shelves, and that I would be able—and inspired—to find that the "telephone number" was in fact a reference to this book.

This whole episode shows again that each individual's Higher Self is a part of the Universal Deity that rules and guides mankind on its way back to at-one-ment with the source from whence it emanates. Indeed, as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5: "There are more things in Heaven and Earth. . . than are dreamt of in your philosophy!"

Charles De Beer, now in his nineties, was elected predsident of the Johannesburg lodge of the Theosophical Society in South Africa in 1980. His passionate research in the spirtual symbolism to be found in dreams spans a period of well over sixty years and he has published two books containing dreams and their interpretations. He can be contacted at dreams1@telkomsa.net.

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