Monday, March 6, 2017

Two Symbols of the Afterlife in One?

I read in a book that a rainbow is a symbol of life after death, and people are comforted if they see a rainbow on the day of their relative's funeral. I also read that a butterfly is a symbol of life after death, because a butterfly rises up into the sky after undergoing an astonishing transformation from a death-like state. It seems that when people see butterflies at funerals or on their windowsills soon after someone's death, they are consoled.

A few days ago my wife's father died. This morning I had a dream that seemed to fuse together the symbol of the rainbow and the symbol of the butterfly. In my dream I saw a big butterfly in my apartment, one with a rainbow-like set of colors (I can never recall noticing colors so clearly in a dream). In my dream I simply opened the window of my apartment, and the butterfly flew out. I then awoke. It's the only dream I've ever had of a butterfly.

The symbolism of the dream seems striking: the rainbow theme, the butterfly theme, and the "escaping from the prison" theme of the butterfly flying out of the apartment window. A metaphor for the soul escaping the prison of the body?

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