Raging dragons
Werner Zurfluh
First published in: The fairy-tale-magazine (Die Märchenzeitschrift) Nr.5/1993 - 2nd ed. 1996 in HTML-format
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Dragons with different characteristics

There are - to say simplified - quite good and rather bad dragons. The good dragons prevent in a playful fight the breaking apart of the opposites and preserve the unity. The others force with impetuous power a heroic quest, that leads to salvation. Benign as well as vicious dragons are and remain strange and fascinating! Flying and rustling they roar through the airs. They break unexpectedly through the quiet surface of the ocean as leviathans, hoard as snakes of darkness in caves immeasurable treasures, and spit fiery glows to uninvited invaders.

The modern man seems incapable to a conscious, awake, and direct confrontation with the dragon - because of his through and through rational way of thinking. The confrontation with the mighty dinosaur from old times and unpredictable areas is an irrational and unimaginable event. Have dragons been extincted - only because they live in worlds beyond everyday-experience? Or can't we see the other-world creatures simply because - as Gampopa, who died 1153, said: without sufficient preparation «he would not know what to look for, and he would fail to recognize it even when it stands right before him» (1).

We live in a fully mechanized and rationalized world and don't try consciously to arrange us with dragons. Why? Because they are (seemingly) so far away from each civilization? But it could be very important to find the strange, impetuous, violent and primeval natures and to give serious thoughts to them, because there is possibly a relationship between us and the dragons - and the (nature -) catastrophes. Unfortunately dragons are usually interpreted school-conforming - if they appear in dreams despite all defense mechanisms and repressions. As could elementary-events be reinsured! In fact, this way strange creatures fit somehow and somewhere, what seems to be very calming especially for psychologists and patients. Nature and dragons do not talk anymore to humans in a world of duality and interpretation. They avoid the offices of our usual world and have vanished.

Totally neglected beings can develop sooner or later to furious, raging beasts, that everything destroy - if they don't prefer to sink in apathy, resignation and total isolation - and finally waste. The cause for it is not the natural but quite alone the civilized human nature! He himself has brutally pushed away and banished the so-called instincts and nature-powers - and with it slammed and bolted the door to the other-world. Moreover, he takes advantage of the other-natures according to his own demands. He thinks only ego-centered and not in (horizontal and vertical) relationships, and distributes cleverly verdicts of guilty, which attribute the other-world as well as the unconscious a destructive or at least an ambivalent character. It is consciously (?) overlooked, that a balance of powers rules the world since the beginning of times. Man considers himself as the crown of the creation, displaces the harmony with an inflationary affected behavior after own discretion, calls the other-world - rather in a derogatory way - 'the unconscious', and hinders himself at staying conscious when falling asleep and 'going over'. In this case, a harmonic combination and unification is impossible and - instead of this - irreconcilable contrasts rip open (sometimes in a theoretical veiling).

Man has unbalanced the equilibrium in his rational hubris and technocratic greed of power. Now it must be restored somehow - if necessary by means of catastrophes and under the aid of ranting dragons. Therefore it would be more clever to ask, how it came to the fatal splitting of the opposites. To a gaping, that is in no way the prerequisite to become conscious, but only destroys our planet and threatens to ruin life and nature.

In the present-day situation it is hardly meaningful, to point out the polar strengths specifically. The playful fight of the Chinese dragons around the unity has become a tough and enraged competition - it's pretty sad! It is accepted, that the ball bursts apart into irreconcilable parts. The situation looks dismally! But, nevertheless - very much to my joy - I met some friendly dragons at night! However, peaceful meetings are the exception, because dragons are broadly considered as embodiment of regressive attitudes and as dangerous representatives of the collective unconscious and the 'spirit of nature'. Dragons and (Kundalini -) snakes are pushed in dualistic systems into the role of chthonic, light-hostile, and evil demons (usually with a female nature). Whoever makes this approach to his own, overlooks, that a form-principle of quite another type lights up in these creatures. Because of learned views, a direct and conscious confrontation during the actual dream-event is neglected. And that is not especially favorable neither for dragons nor for any other non-worldly creatures - and not at all for the human being. (contents)

Journey into a world of dreadful dragons

In the night to January 3, 1981, I stand in the middle of a street of a bigger village - and here begins the memory of the nightly event. The area is completely unknown to me and I don't succeed in guessing the size of the agglomeration. Besides, I have no time for judging the extent of the village, because I look stunned and fascinated like many others up to the heaven, from where a wood-boat hovers down, which has a length of approximately 4-5 meters. After a while, it lands softly on the meadow beside the dusty street.

The people immediately hurry to this unknown vehicle without personnel, which seems to be a messenger of alien origin, a kind of UFO. Everybody wants to fly with it! Two men climb in and begin to turn around two cross-shaped wood-pieces, which are attached to the bow. Then the boat takes off.

But the trajectory is very unstable and sluggish. The boat has obviously made a too far trip in order to work still normally after that long journey. It is difficult to navigate - like an bulky wood-boat on the stormy sea. Especially the curves can hardly be taken. Therefore the two men land again quickly and call an experienced (motor -) boatswain.

Since it lasts a while, until the expert comes, I myself climb into the flight-boat and try to fly with it. In fact it succeeds somewhat better than before with the two men, however, the vehicle is weak and exhausted and no longer able to ascend. I feel internally a connection with the wood-boat and sense therefore, that it's alive but soon will die. That is sad, because I wished gladly to retrace the tracks of the heavenly messenger. So I let land the whacked ship after hardly a minute and climb overboard. Then I go away - sad and sorrowful.

As I look back, I see the boatswain climb on board and ascend with the ship. He takes the curves technically better, but otherwise he can not do much with the structure. Neither he nor the others seem to have a relationship to this strange thing from the universe. It is bare curiosity, that leads them, not a sympathizing or even a cordial sympathy. It is sensationalism and not a considerate or even a religious attitude. (contents)

As time passes, the boat is forgotten. One day - at the border of the way near a house - I see a strange plant with dark-green leaves and dark-red-violet blossoms. Oviously the plant is a descendant of the boat! Somebody has searched her and taken out the small, about 30 centimeters high plant, and finally put her up at home. Indeed the friendly person (maybe an old lady, who knows to handle with plants) had difficulties with the strangeness of this herb. Primarily it may have disconcerted her, that the creature is of alien origin. - No matter, what it is, now nobody takes care of the plant! Secluded and abandoned she stands on a stairway at the edge of the veranda.

I step to the plant, look at her and test exactly the moisture-degree of the earth with my fingers. The leaves seem to be deseased. The earth is wet, because the superfluous water had not flowed away properly out of the vessel. The question is, whether the plant doesn't need essentially more and above all fresh water, because with the stale moisture she can not cope. So I talk to the plant and say:
«Do you need water?»
The vegetable being doesn't react on my question, but somehow I know, that she could answer directly in her way. Only she herself seems not to know, how to do it in this strange world. Therefore I propose, she should try to lift side-branches and leaves. For me, that would look like an inhalation. And this on the other hand means for me, that she would agree to receive water. - The little plant answers to my question and lifts her small branches together with the few leaves. As she would sigh profoundly.

Quickly I get some water and pour it into the pot. Almost momentarily the plant begins to grow! The leaves grow and lose their weak color, and the blossoms light up and multiply. - Obviously and because of the visible growth, the green creature needs more mineral-materials. I think, the plant is additionally in want of this or that growth-promoting stuff, and could probably sprout even more strongly and become essentially more powerful. Surely, it will not be a scarceness of carbon dioxide - this gas is abundant in the air. Therefore - in my opinion - it must be the minerals. This green creature possibly has a much higher demand of mineral-materials as earthly plants. And she answers on my relating question positively. I go and prepare a type of pap, in which I give a mixture of minerals. This forms a dry mass of white color and granulated consistency, which I give into the pot spoon by spoon. It sinks into the earth and is immediately resorbed by the plant, because she virtually begins to sprout in a crazy speed - and doesn't want to stop growing!

Then to my great astonishment the basis of the trunk widens suddenly and forms a slim boat of some meters with a width of barely one meter. The whole crown is converted to a pole with one or several sails! Afterwards the ship-like structure takes off and hovers in the air on the spot.

Now I realize, what happened. The alien plant has grown to a new heaven-vehicle - and waits, that I get in and let carry me into the unknown. Full of joy I accept the invitation, climb in and try the somewhat else built control, that - I quickly notice - works fine.

Soon we have left the earth behind and cross the wideness of the black, starry space. It is a beautiful and very impressive trip! The speed is extremely high. Next, I notice, that we have landed on a strange planet. Maybe I had fallen asleep and therefore cannot judge the time between departure and landing .

The boat has grown and is essentially bigger than before - like a mighty ship with high masts and heavy rig. Now more than a dozen are on board. I am not the captain - and nobody else is the leader of the ship. It is simply this one, who has 'discovered' the ship and therefore has the narrowest relationship to the vehicle. And this role simply is mine. It seems to me however, that I am only a small part of the ship, while she is the essential part of me. Anyway, we are connected in a deep friendship. (contents)

Little by little it becomes clear, that we have landed on a very strange world. It is somehow dim, sinister, and eerie and makes the impression of most extreme mechanization. Even from our berth in a distance of approximately 200 meters from the dock on the sea there can only be seen industry-installations. Gigantic factory-buildings tower, mighty high voltage-wires cross the area up to the horizon, and high chimneys sting into the heaven, giving off clouds of smoke - so far as we can see. An inert, gray mist weighs over all. The water is more black than blue, polluted with petroleum and dead. A odd atmosphere hangs over the scenery - as would the people of this world completely be harnessed into the work process and with it forced into a way of life, that is exclusively industrial and mechanized.

Somehow our presence on this world is only tolerated. Otherwise it would be impossible to anchor here undisturbed. But this acceptance is on the other hand of a purely technical type. In fact, we are no enemies, but we are looked at as trouble-makers, that have to vanish as soon as possible. They want to get rid of us quickly - for not to be obliged to deal with that, what we are and represent. I am not able to evaluate, if meanwhile a type of change to our disfavors has happened. But this can be suspected. No matter, how it is, we got a big bundle of (parting -) gifts. As if we were strangers from the universe, who must absolutely be kept in a good temper, because they have to go as quickly as possible. But - why are we feared? (contents)

Suddenly the sea begins to boil about 300 meters away! Gray sprays splash shrilling up and a nasty dragon-head bursts out of the depths. It is a really gigantic skull, that lurks at us with original strength, lifted up by a scaly cylindrical snake-body, whose dimensions are hardly to be suspected. The eyes of the beast are huge, shine in a red-orange, and stare at us viciously. Undoubtedly the ghastly dragon will attack the ship and shred it. Then the way to the docks is free and the shore-zone will be stomped and pounded. I recognize with horror, that this dragon of the ocean is purely destructive. A real product of hell has emerged the floods! Such a being (definitely there are others in this black sea) is the product of a totally mechanized world, that the nature contaminates thoughtlessly and makes the creation of positive dragons impossible.

The boat also has seen, that a monster threatens us, but keeps back and waits. However in the present situation we simply have no other chance, as to let destroy the dragon, because the sea-serpent endangers us directly! So, I allow the ship the annihilation of the brute!

Two bright light-bundles break out from the mast-area of the ship and unite after few meters to a single ray, that heads directly to the head of the monster, hit it, and transform it into a blazing fireball. Under the pressure of the light, the dragon-head bursts and splashes apart. Glowing pieces dash through the air and slap hissing and steaming into the stirred sea. The terrific drama lasts only few seconds. Then the black waves gargle over the sinking remains of the killed dragon and clap smacking together. For a last time the water-surface wrinkles, then it smooths again to a part of the dark sea.

I beg the ship to stay alert despite the silence and to lookout for further dragon-monsters. After all the boat hovers some meters over the water. No part remains under the waterline, that could be attacked. It would be easy therefore, to avoid a surprise-attack. (contents)

Because this raging dragon - and also the way of life on this world, that lets grow up such natures, - doesn't please me, I give the sign to takeoff. All are on board! The boat follows my request and begins to rise up. But after a few meters the ship tips forward and falls back. She tries to start once more - but the same happens. And then the incomprehensible occurs again.
«No, try no longer!» I call and let the ship hover in the air. Then I attempt to find out, why the boat can not take off. Soon the cause is discovered. On the underside of the hull are quite a lot of quadrilateral compartments, that are downward open. They are about one cubic meter big, filled with gifts, and can not fall, because they are attracted by the hull. But they are too heavy in their totality.

There are quite a lot of billiard-balls consisting of an especial precious material (not ivory!), that are used on this world as payment. (Obviously the unity is disintegrated here into many single parts. It is dissociated and only serves as payment, what is an alienation and devaluation - and an expression of the smugness of this world.) The balls are differently big and colored, and they have a value of 10, 20, or 50. The 10-bullet is worth somewhat more than 1000 dollars. Besides the balls there is a large quantity of pills and powders in all colors, which are psychoactive and other drugs. - It is unbelievable! Here, all feelings apparently are evoked and regulated by chemical substances! Not until now, after looking at the packets, I recognize the tragedy of this planet. This completely industrialized world necessitates a continuously mechanized and technological oriented society without any spontaneous feelings. Feelings are only generated by taking drugs - steered, regulated and controlled by corresponding substances.

Now the drugs burden our ship and prevent her to rise and to depart. We must get rid of that stuff as quickly as possible! It can not be thought of ascending because of the additional load, so I steer the ship horizontally toward the harbor-industry-complex, to find a place between the gigantic installations, where the superfluous load could be unloaded. To avoid counter-reactions this must happen completely inconspicuous. If it would be discovered, that we refuse the achievements of this society, then an attack would happen inevitably!

The boat moves to the pointed direction only with a most considerable effort. We cannot flee on the open sea, because the loaded ship is not able to hover sufficiently high. She could be easily attacked by dragon-monsters. Moreover, it has become very stormily and very dark, what makes the situation even more dangerous! We can simply do nothing else than trying to come to the shore. After all, that's possible because of the hovering. To our luck, nobody is watching us. All think, that we have flown away. So we succeed and glide unseen between the big factories into a very narrow alley, which is human-empty.

The boat can not brake sufficiently quickly because of the heavy load. So the ship pierces a wall, into a fabrication-hall for locomotives and clashes almost with a gigantic loco, that is just brought in. Only on my urgent advice, to strain additionally, the boat succeeds in stopping previously. Despite the fact, that - how I notice now - the wall was not perforated and destroyed but only was penetrated, the risk to collide with the heavy locomotive seems too considerable. The ship was able to transform the vibration-mode - together with all passengers - and penetrate the wall without destroying it! But it is doubtfully, whether the difference of the materialization can be upheld furthermore and suffices to penetrate also the essentially more compact locomotive. That is not guaranteed. A minimal change of the vibration-mode suffices for a stronger materialization and there will be a catastrophe. - The boat stops a few centimeters before the loco! And no one of the few workers notices anything, because we are invisible for them. Puh!

Slowly we float behind the wall and back into the alley, where we can finally think - after an adjustment of the vibration-state to that of this sphere - to remove all the ballast under the hull. That is not so simple! However, we find an empty storeroom nearby, that seems no longer to be used. We throw the balls, the pills, and the powder in it - everything on a heap. For the people of this world, this mountain of items has an immeasurable value. Therefore it is enormously important for us, to keep an eye on it, that nobody can see the treasure, at least not until we have cleaned the hull totally and have departed.

Little by little we pick and scrape off most of the stuff. Suddenly two dark figures appear in the alley. Quickly we pause the work and do so, as we would clean the hull and side-walls of the flight-boat. Since it is very dark, the two notice nothing! Moreover the men stand under the effect of drugs and are not in the situation therefore, to determine, what happens here. So, they are not at all interested. Besides, the fellows receive two or three billiard-balls of middle value. Now they are happy and pleased - and walk away quickly - evidently with the intention to convert immediately the unexpected present to drugs. Now the alley is empty again and we go on quietly with the actual work.

Later another person appears! The strange figure comes nearer and turns out to be a young woman. She is also an inhabitant of this world, who - in contrast to the two men - immediately notices, what happens here. She isn't affected by drugs and is - that becomes plainly clear in the course of the developing conversation - an outsider! She is one of those quite few people, who don't come to terms with that, what happens in this world. For us, this is very advantageous, because the woman shows us, how we can cleanse the last rest of the gifts! Later she refers to a tiny small store in which illegal drugs are dealt. Here, we get to know the unofficial side of this planet.

The hidden store is managed by an awesome 'old Jew'. Kindly the old man is ready - after a conversation and for a 50-billiard-pellet - to hand us two quite special drugs. These two substances offer the possibility of pychomimetic experiences in contrast to the legitimate and legal drugs of this world. Exactly therefore they are absolutely prohibited! As the old man wants to give back 'money', I tell him, that he could keep it. Furthermore I advert him to the small room - with the request, to remove the valuable objects. We would then be save for suspicion and could depart easily, while he and his friends would be rewarded bountifully for their effort. The old man agrees. We go back quickly to to the boat and enter. The young woman comes along! And then the journey starts! The ship, free from the load, can rise vertically again. We are rescued! (contents)

The furious bellow of the dragons

Not only heroin or cocaine belong to the addictive drugs but also nicotine, alcohol, anti-depressants, sedatives, and soporifics - to name a few. Whoever wants to get free of a drug can experience a bad surprise, because the withdrawal-symptoms are serious.

But there are drugs, that neither lead to addiction nor tarnish the consciousness. They are employed by some shamans and medicine-men in order to travel into other-world spheres. The use of such drugs requires necessarily the corresponding social surroundings, a supremely religious attitude, and a stable, not in the least inflated I. None of this qualifications is fulfilled in a mechanized world that is adjusted to the consumption! Our society doesn't know how to handle these experiences, that are caused by drugs like for example LSD - and so it is completely meaningless to take substances, that open the gate to the other-world. Whoever forces a breakthrough with sensation-seeking tendencies does this on the basis of missing modesty, lacking awe and insufficient knowledge. Once over there, the violent intruders should not be surprised, when they meet terrifying and extremely raging dragons, who are pounding and shattering the reality of the worlds, destroying and disfiguring all - until it is unrecognizable. Finally the other-world will vanish from the field of experience, the gates will be sealed - and the officially approved reality of the materialism becomes accepted as the only one.

We should urgently learn to meet the dragon (that is mostly already held by the virgin with a rope) respectfully and reservedly. Mounted knights, who gallop on steed with extended lance towards the creature, that is high-stylized to a brute, finally pierce it and knock off the head of the seemingly adversary with the sword - and triumphantly hoist it like a flag - are not heroically but brainless, stupid, and fatuous. It would be far better for them to look more exactly, and to restrain and redeem also this creatures, instead of striving blindly for profane fame and transient honor. In the Chinese fairy-tale «The Disowned Princess» is said:

«The dragons are great through the power of water. The people are great through the power of fire ... Fire and water fight together ... Therefore our master consults the priest, in order to find a way, how fire and water can complete.»

Can complete! No, dragons are not light-opposing demons but a manifestation of the creative vitality and the preciousness of the other-world. They connect the above-below with the below-above and bring - even if sometimes abysmal - the cycle to unification. They only turn destructive, if the I claims to obtain dishonestly those treasures, that neither befit nor pertain to the Ego. If such an egocentric I invades thoughtlessly the other-world and ignores - and even deceives - their inhabitants, the dragons break off with insurmountable ferocity and engulfing, animalistic-demonic power. Why should they let discover and tame themselves, when self-nominated heroes carry only death and annihilation into their world? Yet, throughout they would be ready, to encounter peacefully, and they are even willing to reconcile with the human being!

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1: Rao 1979:95.
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Rao, S. K. Ramachandra. Tibetan Meditation. New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, 1979.
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