In the dream, a group of coworkers came to visit me at my house. They saw that the flooring was of tile instead of wood or carpet, which was easier to clean. They then thought that is what they expected of me: simple and practical. But hidden within the house there were other treasures, or things they were not able to see. From the outside it looked like a simple house, but inside it was bigger than they thought, but one had to go exploring within the house in order to see it. One man was able to see the value, who was blonde and possibly of Russian ancestry. Inside the house, there was a large golden statue of a Buddha, and a small golden statue of a cat. The two items were gifts from someone, and the golden statue of the Buddha represented me, and the cat represented another woman. The woman was upset that someone thought she represented a cat. She did not see the value in either item, but when someone tried to take them, she realized they had value and decided to keep them.
So out of curiosity, I decided to look up "golden Buddha" to figure out if it had any special meaning. And indeed it does: there is this large golden statue known as the Golden Buddha of Wat Traimit in Thailand. It was made out of 5.5 tons of gold in the 13th -14th centuries. In order to hide its value, it was plastered over in stucco. And so it remained hidden for several centuries, at one time residing under a simple tin roof. And then it was moved in 1955, when the ropes dropped it and cracked the plaster, revealing the gold underneath. The statue, long forgotten, was rediscovered. Here is a picture of it:
The article on this statue can be found here: Golden Buddha. And that is why the dream is clairvoyant: it reveals facts unknown to the dreamer, presented as people thinking the house was small and ordinary but in fact it was quite big, but requiring exploration. The part I found interesting was this portion:
The Buddha is represented in the traditional pose of Bhumisparsha Mudra (touching the earth with the right hand to witness Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment at Bodh Gaya). The original statues of Sukhothai sit on a common pedestal form. The flame that crowns the ushnisha is an innovation of Sukhothai that symbolises the splendour of spiritual energy.
This would represent how Swedenborg's vision was opened to reveal the hidden secrets of Christianity, revealing the spiritual sense of scripture which is the fulfillment of the Second Coming. Here is a closer view of the head of the statue:
In symbolic visions, gold represents the highest form of Divine love, loving others for the sake of God and to make others happy. The plaster covering the gold represents the lowest level of truth, which is the literal sense of scripture. But hidden behind it there a higher spiritual truths. There are three levels of scripture - the literal or natural level, the spiritual level, and then the celestial level which is that of love represented by gold. These spiritual truths are kept hidden in order to protect it from the evil who would desire to pervert or profane them, and are revealed only to those who approach the Lord for enlightenment.
Buddhism has many similarities to Christianity. Now what is really bizarre, is unknown to the dreamer is that a Zen scholar named D.T. Suzuki compared the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg to Buddhism. The theology as revealed in visions to Swedenborg has been a life long study for me. He wrote a work called Buddha of the North:
In addition to this, there is this online essay that compares Swedenborg to Buddha:
Swedenborg: A Modern Buddha?
Like the statue which was plastered in the 18th century around the time of Swedenborg, the article states that Swedenborg is little known to the world:
Swedenborg fell into obscurity, and today he receives relatively little attention from scholars of religion, particularly American religion. (He fares better among scholars of modern European literature and Western esotericism.)
The article discusses those who explored the relationship between Swedenborg and Buddhism. One was Albert J. Edmunds who made this interesting observation:
Edmunds also claimed that Swedenborg had predicted the early twentieth-century discovery of the massive cache of Buddhist texts at Dunhuang. In two books, Swedenborg said he had spoken with spirits from “Great Tartary,” a region that in his time was understood to encompass the entire East Asian continent. These spirits, Swedenborg said, carefully preserved and guarded ancient scriptures and religious practices predating the Hebrew Bible. This so-called “Ancient Word” provided the basis for later Judaism and Christianity. Edmunds argued that Swedenborg had actually conflated two separate visions: one concerning discoveries of ancient Hebrew texts, and one concerning future discoveries of Buddhist texts. Thus, the pre-Israelite “Ancient Word” to which Swedenborg’s vision referred was actually esoteric Buddhism.
Whether I agree with that assessment I don't know, my view is that the spirits of Great Tartary are the Jews of the Khazar kingdom, who would later preserve the ancient book of Jasher in the form of a Hebrew midrash (see The Lost Book of Jasher, the Exodus, and Emanuel Swedenborg). The article also discusses Suzuki's observations between Swedenborg and Buddhism:
In the Eastern Buddhist, Suzuki drew several parallels between Swedenborgian and Buddhist teachings. For example, Swedenborg’s most famous doctrine is that phenomena in the material world correspond to phenomena in the spiritual world, and one who can “read” this world correctly can discern corresponding divine truths. Suzuki likened this correspondence to the Mahayana teaching of emptiness, in which the world of samsara, correctly perceived, is nirvana. He also compared it to the Shingon practice of mudras, in which one identifies with the qualities of various Buddhas by visualizing them and adopting their characteristic gestures. Suzuki compared Swedenborg’s notion of innocence with the Pure Land teaching that one must utterly relinquish self-power
The author concludes that the comparison between Swedenborg's revelations and Buddhism remains "largely unexplored" and that further studies would reveal other connections providing a broader spiritual understanding to both groups.
So a remarkable dream, exploring a hidden area of the revelations given to Emanuel Swedenborg related to Buddhism. Here is a youtube video for those of you wishing to dive in deeper into this matter, and hopefully if any Buddhists read this they can help shed more light on this subject.
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