“The earthly sounds of all atomic motion, including the sounds of the body—the heart, lungs, circulation, cellular activity—come from the cosmic sound of the creative vibratory activity of Aum. The sounds of the nine octaves perceptible to the human ear, as well as all cosmic low or high vibrations that cannot be registered by the human ear, have their origin in Aum.”
~ from the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda


There is something I am learning about in the alchemy of the dream which has to do with vibrational sound. When one is still, suspended, it is easier to hear the sounds which lie beneath the world.

In the dream…
I follow the Anima into the water. I see broken people held by some kind of organic tentacles. The silty water is diffusely lit. There is no other distraction down here. This is the amniotic fluid of alchemy. The white tentacles wrap the flesh of torsos and arms and legs, piercing the skin in places. Everyone appears to be asleep. I am traveling through the water at a high  rate of speed. I see adults and babies yanked up, out of sight, presumably to the surface. Perhaps some of these souls are being born too soon, not fully healed. Do they awaken in  the terror of alchemy, creating a shudder that catapults them world-side in a gush of fear and oblivion? I see a woman whose body is separated at the waist, there is blood, but not in  the water. Her hair floats like vapor. She is held, white tentacles pierce her skin, wrap her, hold her, contain her.

My work, my prayer, my practice is to stay down; to be this broken woman whose severed parts are held in disassembled suspended animation. Dissolution is a precursor to spiritual alchemy. To know the fractured parts of me opens me to the possibility of wholeness. But the wholeness cannot be willed. Instead I must allow the dream to work me. Down here in the alchemy everything in me becomes energy, pulsing, vibrating, humming energy. I am being worked on. There is music in this energy. I can hear it! It is some kind of cosmic sound, a heightened awareness that can only be found in the silence. In silence there is sound.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2

The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water. Is this the cosmic vibration set in motion? The Christian creation story begins with the vibration of waves, sound, movement. Even before there was light, there was this sound. All matter, every creature is imbued with this cosmic vibrational energy that can be “heard”.

In the quiet of the alchemy, suspended in the water, I feel a vibrational energy in my body. When I place my attention there, it translates to sound. The sound is in me and it extends beyond me. All is in motion and in motion there is sound.

Even as a child, I knew of this sound, the cosmic vibration…a hum and a song, music, the call of a spiritual bird, ghostly, yet close by, near, whispering, sighing, calling to me from the ocean, from the mountain peaks, from deep within the earth.

There is tremendous feeling in sound. Our human body is filled with sound. From the vibration of the atoms at a cellular level, to the rush of blood in our veins, breath rises and falls like ocean waves. All of this sound translates into visceral feeling. The electromagnetic field of the human body hums as it interfaces with the cosmos.

Can you hear it? Can you hear the blood rushing in the holy grail that is you? Do you hear the flowers unfolding to the sun or bowing their heads to the stars? Is there sound that rises up in you from the distant crash of ocean waves on the sea floor? How could there not be a great roar of sound from the roots of the world’s plants pushing into the soil, suckling water, expiring their life-giving oxygen? What rumble is there in molten lava? In the snap of fire and wind? Every creature manifests a sound. The sun sends forth its energetic flares, stars collapse and explode. How is it that we don’t hear the cacophonous symphony of the universe?

Where does the sound carry me?

Dream: I am with a man in a hot tub. I feel desire. He holds up his hand and shows me his palm. He has a wound on the palm of his hand like a stigmata. There is a fresh bandage on it that I can see is slowly slipping off. I can see blood at the center of his palm. I feel anguish and also desire in my body.

I feel how this pain/desire is what he wants to show me. The blood rising from the heart and flowing out through the wound is about the sanguine passion rising in me, born of the alchemy. I must know my own wound for what it is, the place where passion flows from.

Ecstatic feeling is like sound; sensuality travels in a wave. The sound it creates in my body is desire. It is the blood rising, the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters and I am moving with this Spirit, transformed.

Laura Smith-Riva is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner from the mysterious Green Mountains of Vermont.  You can read more about her work at archetypaldreamworks.com or on our About Us page.

This essay was first published on Laura’s dream blog In Search of Puella.