Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DREAM- BENEVOLENT GOD dec 11/09(edited July 27/11)


DREAM: Three oriental persons wearing circle shaped hats were standing in a row dancing. It is not possible to tell if they are male or female. They seem to be introducing this 'water' dream.

The scene is a beautiful wooded creek. The water is clear and it is a fully forested area. I am flying down the creek just few feet above it in the air. I come to a place in the creek that has been turned into a safe swimming area. It appears that human technology has been used to pour concrete to make sides and a bottom for some distance in the creek.

Someone asks me 'who made this?' And I answer, " there is no simple answer to that question. It has been made by that which was not made."
Creek In Cherokee North Carolina
 I am now back on my feet in the creek enjoying the beauty and cleanliness of it with others. We are beginning to hike up the creek toward its source. I recall that Beverly and I had promised some friends we would rake their yard. There is now a sign in their yard saying that we had failed to do so. I felt badly and knew it had slipped my mind. I had forgotten to do it. But the time for that had passed and I knew they were very industrious and would find a way to get it done. A young male child was telling his father that the Old Man of the stream, who lives at its source, has given him word he would inherit a spot on the stream. I felt the son should get the Old Man's signature to make it certain. But the father said he was sure the Old Man could be trusted.

REFLECTION: This struck me more at first as collective and archetypal than personal. But I think many of the images reflect my personal experience of the Sacred. I think the imagery here is very rich. It is personal in that it reminds me how I have been strongly attracted to and influenced by bodies of water during my  life experience. I'll not go into how I have lived by major water sources all my life. Shoals Creek in north AL where I spent much of my teen years on the water I have often said was 'my salvation'. The sight, beauty and pleasantness of the water kept me anchored to life in a positive way helping keep hidden, for many years, the threatening depression of my mother's death.

I believe this dream is an image of the Sacred, of God. Jung stressed that water has always been an image of the unknown depths from which all that is has come. Humans are often pictured 'fishing' in waters hoping to bring some treasure or creature from its depths and sometimes they are not disappointed. The greatest gifts that humans have given to their peers, from religion, to science to literature have been through their being in touch with the 'depths', what we can now call the Collective Unconscious. This image of 'human and natural waters' is one of the human seeking to bring forth new life and advanced consciousness from the 'collective unconscious', the source from which all that is has come. The dream shows this water, this ultimate source, as now for me a place that is friendly and one offering up its beauty and pleasurable gifts to me and others. There is a safe place where humans can now fully enjoy being immersed in the water. It has been significantly humanized in the concrete pool. But this seeming 'human project' is not really the effort or plan of the human conscious mind. It cannot be easily answered as to who made this safe wonderful place. The answer is that it has been made by an ultimate Sacred, by 'that which has not been made.'

As frightening as the initial process of experiencing the Collective Unconscious, or of God is, it may eventually be a process where the raging, unbridled and wild aspects of God, of the whirling Godhead, of the Trinity( the three androgynous orientals) are tamed and benevolent. This would be an indication that the 'unconscious moral flaws and imperfection of the Godhead have been in some significant sense healed and transcended' by the mutual suffering that is always taking place with the human and the divine. The dream is suggesting that my experience of these things has moved, to some significant extent, through such changes.

The three androgynous dancing orientals with circular hats are presented as introducing me to the Sacred. The Trinity symbolism was a very significant hard-won treasure which many believe to be the single greatest gift of Christianity to humanity. Hegel's widely influential philosophy in Western thought is often described as a trinitarian one involving the change process related to "thesis, antithesis and synthesis." But the Christian Trinity it is not anymore a sufficiently total or whole way of imaging God. My dreamed 'oriental' expression of the Trinity is quite personal for me for I think the Chinese IChing book has been somewhat like a trinity experience for me. The IChing is considered the oldest product of human writing in the world. Its name can also be translated The Book Of Changes. It expresses what I describe as 'a wisdom for the moment' and knowledge(gnosis) that has been very much lost in Western experience. The best I suggest is that when used sincerely and seeking such knowledge, it assists in touching on appropriate archetypes of the psyche that apply to the specific concern. I think it opens the type of personification of wisdom described in the O.T. book of Proverbs. A wisdom that is best described by the feminine Sophia. It is not limited to cognitive head knowledge but is a whole reflecting knowledge sometimes sensed directly through burst of content from the Collective Unconscious into the consciousness of a person. Such wisdom is capable of connecting one to the depths. It is a 'whole' knowing not just an intellectual one. It 'knows' through the senses and through the body. It is Soul knowing.  This source of knowledge, I believe, is the original source of religious experience and can also be called the  direct presentation from the Collective Unconscious. There is much anecdote how this ancient IChing often seems to 'come' to a person who is in most need of its assistance. That is how it came to me, practically falling into my lap. Confucius is reported to have regretted near death that he did not give more attention to the IChing. The IChing is numerically based on the number six which is the first multiple of three that 'changes' it. This was my first, beyond by previous acceptance of the reality of the present day leading  of the Holy Spirit  from my religious tradition, more strong direct experience that the Sacred is fully present and active in the here and now of human life. It gave me the experience of God and Human being naturally connected and working mutually with each other. The IChing was still only an introduction to the Sacred, even as the Bible and the images Jesus and the Spirit  had been to me before that.

The Trinity image in the dream is healthier than orthodoxy offers for it is not so weighed to the masculine as the Christian Trinity. Neither sex is dominant in this image for the figures are androgynous. Present day Orthodoxy may not own it but the most traditional Western images of Jesus, the famous paintings and sculptures, are of a rather feminine Jesus. Jesus is pictured as very sweet, mild , tender and what to the Western mind is effeminate. More recent images of a more masculine image of Jesus have been demanded by our our masculine culture but these are very late arrivals. The long reigning  more feminine Jesus comes closer to an androgynous Jesus that , in spite of the darker skinned robust modern pictures of Jesus, still lingers in most of our imaginations.


The image of the Human and the Sacred as a hiking, taking a journey, on the creek offers also brings up a recognition of the imperfection of the human. I had forgotten to keep a promise. It was with good intentions but was an example of human weakness, forgetfulness. However such a mistake is self forgiven, confidence is not lost and no real harm is done to the relationship.

This last twist I think touches on the theme of 'afterlife' and of a kind of 'assurance' that a human can properly have. The source of the stream, the Old Man, which is perhaps one of the most common collective images of God in our culture(and throughout other cultures including Michelangelo's art.) has given the child an assurance that he has an inheritance, a reality to look forward to and it is presented as a welcoming on the Sacred stream. My first ego thought in the dream is, 'you had better get that in writing' to make it certain. My reaction may reflect my uneasiness of claiming any certainty of a personally conscious afterlife. I simply see it as an unknown and likely to remain that way until we die and find out. Perhaps this dream suggests that I reconsider. Then a friend of mine , the father of the child, has already come to know that ultimately the Sacred voice can be trusted. Or as the Biblical theme stresses, God's covenant to the human will be kept. The sacred will not disappoint the simple trust of a child. The Sacred as raging Power (and emphasized in the book of Job) as arrogant, non-mutual, dogmatic demands in Eden eventually becomes humane, and the Sacred is able to offer up its more disciplined, tamed, caring and more morally clear self which is the reason the Sacred is motivated to become Human in the first place. Jim

No comments: