The Cave of Damāvand: The Gift of a Vision

3t Vakil (Miss Tree)
3 min readApr 23

In my early 20s, I had a vision. It was a dream-like experience, surreal and unsettling. In this vision, I was standing outside a mountain, not at the base or at the top. The air was thin and chilly; I was unable to sense the earth.

Image by 3t Vakil

As I watched this mountain, I noticed a cave entrance nestled high up on its rocky face. No arduous ascent, no thinking, no struggle to maintain my balance or grip on the rocky terrain, and before long I was there, at the cave entrance.

The cave was cozy and well-lit; groups of people were sitting together, their faces animated by the flickering shadows of the crackling fires, flames glowing and hot, spontaneously spitting sparks. Speaking softly, their voices formed the walls of the cave. They seemed to be contemplating something of profound importance, and a discovery that they had made.

They had discovered something so terrible and so good that people would only ever rebel against it.

At the time, I couldn’t make out the name of the mountain. When I recalled the vision later, it sounded and looked like, ‘Dumbavad’. It was shown and murmured to me in the wildness of the cave.

I later discovered that it was Mount Damāvand, which did not surprise me, as I am a Zoroastrian and this mountain has always been part of Persian mythology and legend. However, I have never been to Iran in this life-time yet.

In that cave, my mind wrestled to understand what seemed to be a grand riddle. Then there was a deep silence that suffocated me with its intensity. I could feel all over my body and inside the sensations of astonishment, wonder, and horror—that this discovery was too much for humanity to bear.

What was it that they had found that was so terrible and so good that people would only ever rebel against it?

The memory of that cave and the secret it held, together with that enigmatic vision, have stuck with me ever since. I am still looking for an answer, and the closest I’ve gotten is learning that perhaps truth is both beautiful and terrible and that people will always fight against

3t Vakil (Miss Tree)

Performance Scientist Research Artist -trees, botany, plants, conservation in Puerto Rico