The Lost Holy Books, and The Bear-Whale Prophesy

“On the 7th Day, it is said, God Rested…

What naiveté

of the unawakened human mind

made us think

God was done ?”

A third set of holy books

And, what if we have not two, but three sets of holy books? The first set of sacred books, from nearly every part of the world, lets us fall through the pages into the Creation story, into the generative, then next into sagas of life conduct; an inquiry into human nature, heroics, the diabolical, tracking the rights and wrongs of God’s humans and angels.

Followers of Christ have a second set of holy books detailing the never-ending story of The Word literally arrived fully on earth, hiding and sheltering that precious Life during siege. Next, come all the miracle memes, all prophetic, horrific, upbracing matters drenched in Divinity.

What if comes then a third set of holy books? The set of sacred volumes comprised of Nature and the Cosmos: its flowers, songbirds and animals being the words; its forests, stars, oceans and tides being the sentences; the smallest creatures and all the planetary glitter dusts being the commas, ampersands, ellipses. What if we were the avid students? What if nature was an avid teacher of God’s ways?

What if wherever we opened the third set of holy books, out spilled night fragrances, sounds of rushing water, the small “choom” sound of stars moving at moon tide and sun rising. All these being the voice of Creation revolving and renewing, and all of us being not in merely mute admiration, but in full conversation based on all the charisms and senses given us?

What if we were granted the ability to perceive Nature as an ever-theatre, a place where the telling of thousands of wonder stories takes place? What if all of the Cosmos was given to us in order that we be asked, told, prevailed upon to press closer to the mysterious Creator? What if the third set of sacred books has been lost for a long time, and what if now, they are found again, and with the certainty that this part of God is not held away from all other parts of God, as before?

The doomsday clock

Then, what time would it be on the Doomsday Clock? Would it still be, as some say these past many years, 11:59:59 o’clock, just one second from midnight?

Or, from peering between the worlds, would we be able to venture that there is another timepiece entirely, one we can rely on? It is a spiritual clock, whose face is numbered 1 through 1 at all twelve points. That clock is perpetually going toward or just leaving 1 a.m. I think -- for many are just learning the sanctity of earth en masse for the very first time -- there is an ending of an era of unconsciousness. There is also an incandescent beginning as we speak.

Despite dire warnings to the contrary, my deepest sense is that though “the patient” is critical, it is not yet too late. Patience, from the Latin patientia, means to suffer. We can suffer that the world is slow and has been slower yet to react. What we cannot suffer is that the small but many tribes of souls worldwide who are turning the earth nearer to its ease, be prevented from doing so.

A wound to the earth is a wound to the soul

This new beginning for earth and us, comes most especially as we cease to destroy, pollute, overbuild, strip-mine ourselves and our truest hearts and ideas, and instead investigate ourselves, mend ourselves, our thoughts, our actions. Then, one by one, we heal one jot and then another of the ecosystem of the earth also.

How so? It is not a surprise that the destructions of parts of the earth’s eco systems coincide with destructions of the interior spiritual ecology in ourselves.

Often enough wherever the land and creatures are disturbed or wounded, there is a corresponding wound to the thinking and life conduct of humans as well. And visa versa. Whether they be the fights over burning and razing the Philippine forests, or those of Siberia; whether a dearth of crops of “the mother maize” and rice in Asia, or death from water dense in cadmium from a factory spill into the only river through a Central American village, these deteriorations and destructions affect the psyche, not only in those who are proximate, but also in those who even hear of them, see images of them, or sense them through non-rational faculties.

Children’s dreams may act as canaries in the mines

I offer one example of changes in psyche as a result of assault to/on environs. As a psychoanalyst and artist in the schools, I’ve had occasion to listen to many children’s dreams over the decades. As bears, wolves and lions have literally become los desaparicidos, the disappeared, from the earth, the dreams of children, in which those creatures once figured as both scary teaching monsters and as heroic protectors, have changed.

A preponderance of antagonists in many children’s dreams now are not from the natural world, but from the mechanistic world. The children more often now seem to dream of strapping, bristling, metal monsters, which shatter and coalesce at will.

This appears not merely an effect of retailing video games and films of “monsters” to children. There has always been “the creature from the black lagoon” in childhood lore, whether in story around the fire, or in digital forms. It’s more than that.

It is, I believe, the wound to the environs and creatures showing up in dreams that begins to change the iconography of the dream world. We cannot be or know what we cannot imagine. The loss of imagines of the natural world in dreams would in some way seem to place out of our reach the beautiful stories of the holy books of Nature and Cosmos, which were given to us precisely to learn from and be awed by a Source Greater.

The bear-whale prophesy of a child

One little girl recently told me a dream, relating that she’d dreamt about a chrome-encrusted bear-whale. She said it was very sad, for the chrome bear-whale washed up on the beach, and though it lived when they knocked off all the chrome, all its babies inside had died.

Truly, as the child understood in the dream, as well as awake, it is a very sad dream. According to the child’s associations, the trouble was the chroming of the creature; the unnatural substance that overlay it, a thick film that could not breathe with the creature.

Dreams can be understood as a photograph sent from the soul about the conditions in the psyche. In this case, the child’s soul saw what she was being shown in the outer culture at every level: a dream of a world ever more devoid of living harmonies, large and small, but rather becoming overloaded and overlaid with the manufactured, engineered, the non-permeable.

The little dreamer felt sad in the dream, and in reality associated to the idea of being able to “bear wailing,” being able to stand the burden of lamentation -- a pun on the dream creature, the “bear-whale.”

The child’s soul seems to be giving a clear directive to mourn. And in the language of dreams and all the holy books, what is being mourned most of all, is loss of respect for natural life, for its beauty and cycles, and thus for loss of touch with the Creator.

Although a ball-bearing is definitely a thing of beauty and has its place often in aiding life, it cannot take the place of water flowing, which can leap into the air and make its rainbows at will.

Yet, there is also a hopeful aspect to the dream. Though this generation of new creatures, the bear-whale babies, was lost, the mother lives. The psyche offers a directive that one will be able to bring new life again. The dream infers the sad ending of an era, and a solution, rather than signaling that all is lost.

Prophetic dreams and the lost books

Perhaps you too have had prophetic dreams like this little child in recent years. Any alert adult -- or child -- who has eyes to see and ears to hear the realities of our times could have had such a dream. Or anyone who has had in “busyness” overdrive and therefore has been dreaming compensatorily, or anyone has been overwhelmed by the fact that a mere 20 years ago, the world was 200 times simpler -- and seemingly more sane -- could have had such a dream.

Anyone who is “a sensitive,” anyone who has been thrown into grieving prayer by seeing, watching or hearing of the destruction of creatures, lands and peoples, could have had such a dream -- a horrible dream of pure love, one that shows the bewildered self everything it needs to know and strengthen.

As I look over the dream landscape of the thousands of dreams I’ve seen in my 38 years of clinical practice, I sense that prophetic dreams show more than the average dream of parts and pieces and storyline. A prophetic dream attempts to show the dreamer the denouement of his or her times, which might be about both interior and external environs.

A prophetic dream often shows the exact trouble, the lamentation needed, the removal of obstacles, the new attitude for the future, the remembrance of fertile capacity, the hope to be carried forward. And this dream letter is sent in an envelope from None Other. This is clear by the dream’s striking quality and succinctness, by the universality of human concern it chooses to comment on, and often, the sensation felt both in and after the dream. Its source is a great force of love far beyond the human.

Again, if Nature and the Cosmos are a set of sacred books given to Earth’s people to read, to learn, to live, to love as souls “not apart from Creation,” but as souls who are “a sacred part of Creation” then surely we cannot throw those pages to the fire.

People of God most often have to leave the collective traps which too often only encourage more and more ego -- and chrome -- and less and less soul. We have more useful power when we knock the unbreathable away. This leave-taking of the collective dementia allows each soul to be a clear protector of those most precious cycles, creatures, places and atmospheres that -- by serious charge from the Creator -- we as the only descendents of First Man and First Woman, cannot allow to vanish from this earth.

For now, until we meet again, may I please bless your imagination with this:

Father Earth

There’s a two-million year old man

no one knows.

They cut into his rivers,

peeled wide pieces of hide

from his legs,

left scorch marks

on his buttocks.

He did not cry out.

no matter what they did,

he held firm.

Now, he raises his stabbed hands,

and whispers we can heal him yet.

We begin the bandages,

the rolls of gauze,

the unguents, the gut,

the needle, the grafts.

We slowly, carefully, turn his body

face up,

and under him,

his lifelong lover, the old woman,

is perfect and unmarked.

He has laid upon

his two-million year old woman

all this time,

protecting her

with his old back, his old scarred back.

And the soil beneath her

is black with her tears.


The word “psych” in “psychology” derives from the Greek prushke, meaning “soul.” Psychology is not only the modern study of social behavior and the unconscious, ego and superego, but also I take the words “psyche” and “psychology” as a literal study of the journey of the soul throughout all of life, from nascent life to elder life, following the trajectories of souls down all the venerable pathways and through all the trailblazing required, which in changing times like ours, are often many.

  • Poem excerpt “On the 7th Day, it is said...” from Mirable, The Watchable, by C.P. Estés, ©1990, 2008, All Rights Reserved.

  • “Father Earth” poem, by C. P. Estés, © 1991, 2008, All Rights Reserved

  • “The Lost Holy Books, and The Bear-Whale Prophesy” ©2008, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, All Rights Reserved. For permissions:

  • Join the Conversation

    Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here