The dream began with me employed as a debt counselor. I had been hired by a wealthy landlord to counsel poor tenement dwellers about how they could manage their finances better, to help them pay the extremely high rents they owed. I witnessed this landlord and her bodyguard bullying a poor lesbian couple because of their inability to pay rent. When I realized what kind of a person the landlord was, I also realized that the problem was not that people living in the tenements didn't know how to manage their finances, it was that the rents were too high. I quit my job and started to help the renters to organize a union to demand fairer rent.
In the second part of my dream, as I was leaving a gathering of renters, I was approached by a handsome young man wearing a suit and tie. This man was trying to seduce me. He brought me to a public restroom in a park and told me he wanted to have sex with me. I found him very attractive, and his offer tempting. But despite his increasingly bold attempts to have his way with me, I resisted and told him I could not have sex with him because I had made a commitment to my partner Göran.
In the third part of my dream, after I had rejected the advances of this attractive young man, I was crossing a bridge. As I crossed the bridge, I looked at my hands. They looked dead, like the hands of a zombie. But then I realized that the deadness was just a shell. I peeled the shell off. Now my hands looked diaphanous, like the hands of a ghost. Once again, I realized that the ghostliness of my hands was just a shell. I peeled that shell off as well. Now I saw that I was wearing very delicate, lacy gloves, like the gloves that a bride might wear to her wedding. I had three sets of wedding gloves on.
Another attractive young man wearing a suit and tie approached me, and asked me to follow him. I did and he led me to a luxuriously appointed apartment in a beautiful building. He told me to undress, and pointed me to a shower where I was supposed to bath. As I undressed and removed the three sets of gloves, I saw a beautiful ring on my left hand. It was made of gold, and had an elaborate setting on it in the shape of a fleur-de-lis type crown. I learned that the ring was an engagement ring, and that I was to be married to the crown prince of the realm. In the shower, there was a bottle of oil that I bathed myself in, and then rinsed in the water.
A woman arrived, young, blond and attractive. I overheard her speaking to her servants while I was in the shower. She was a wealthy princess, and she was indignant that the crown prince was marrying me instead of her. I came out of the shower, and I felt bad. I was getting ready to give her my engagement ring, and I was going to tell her that she should marry the prince. I had no business taking her rightful place. But the crown prince himself then arrived. He told me I had no right to give the ring to the princess. It was his to give, and he had given it to me. I was to finish my shower, and then get dressed and prepare for the royal wedding.
This dream was about loyalty. The first test of loyalty involved learning that my employer -- the one I thought I was supposed to be serving -- didn't actually deserve my loyalty, and that my loyalties needed to be redirected, and I needed to align myself with the poor, against the powerful who were exploiting them.
The second test involved learning about the depth of my personal commitment. It wasn't just about sexual fidelity (though it could certainly also be about that). In dreams, sex is rarely actually just about sex. In this case, the question was whether I could resist the allure of short-term satisfaction that would undermine the more fundamental, more important commitments in my life.
The crossing of the bridge, I think, symbolized the passage from the realm of mortality to the realm of eternity. The symbolism of the gloves was fascinating. The "dead" zombie gloves symbolize merely fleshly, material concerns, things of mortality or of this world. The "diaphanous" ghost gloves symbolize the realm of spirit. But interestingly, the spirit separated from body offers no "substance," no reality in and of itself either. Where we really begin to find the substance and beauty is the three sets of "wedding gloves" underneath. There are multiple layers of symbolism in the wedding gloves: the conjoining of body and spirit, but also our entry into the eternal realm, literally our wedding or union with God.
It occurred to me later that the gloves actually correspond to the Mormon conception of heaven. The dead zombie gloves correspond to the telestial realm -- to which are consigned those in this life who never manage to see beyond the purely physical realm enough to transcend lust and hate (liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers, etc.). The diaphanous ghost gloves correspond to the terrestrial realm -- the realm reserved for those who have some spiritual awareness, but who have insufficient depth of spiritual awareness to transcend legalism and successfully apply spiritual principles in a living way to the world we live in. The three-tiered wedding gloves correspond to the three-tiered celestial kingdom, where spirit and body, time and eternity are successfully united -- the dwelling place in God's presence of those who understand and are valiant in their loyalty to that understanding.
I find intriguing that the young man who attempts to seduce me is very similar to the young man who leads me to the crown prince's apartment. It suggests that my would-be seducer was not actually seducing me, but rather testing me to see if I was a worthy companion for his Lord.
The arrival of the indignant princess symbolized -- I think -- the problem that gender poses for gay Mormons in Mormon theology. The implication of the dream seems to be that faithfulness and loyalty to God matters more in any equation involving celestial marriage than does physical gender.
I'm not sure what was the significance of the fact that the oppressive landlord in the dream was a woman (with a male body guard). In the Book of Revelation, the oppressive economic and political systems of this world are also symbolized by a woman ("the whore of Babylon"). This certainly doesn't reflect how I see women in the real world. Of course in the real world, women are not the masters of global wealth and power. The lesbian couple in my dream were closer to my conscious perception of the actual social status that women occupy "in the world." The lesbian couple were standing up for the poor, and bore the brunt of the hostility directed by the powers that be toward anyone who challenges injustice. It was when I witnessed the way these women were being abused, that I made the realization in my dream of how I needed to realign my loyalties.
I suppose the significance of the gender of the landlord character (and the indignant princess) emphasize the world as "rival suitor." Certainly as a gay man, they would seem to symbolize the assertion made against me -- on the basis of my gender -- that I cannot be a candidate for exaltation because of the gender of the person I love and remain fiercely committed to.