Sunday, August 21, 2011


The scene was a dark, dirty yard of trucks and equipment. It was rather like a 'junk yard' environment. Muddy ground. It was all in brown tone color. The people working there were speaking a foreign language. They were not Caucasian. A child had been killed, maybe murdered. The whole community was in mourning. I was unsure how I fit into it all. One man was the obvious leader. He could be very tough, gruff and intimidating. They were into a quasi memorial service for the child with him saying some words. Then he turned to me asking for a prayer. I was surprised to be asked. I put my heart into the prayer calling the child’s name, thanking God for him and asking for comfort for the bereaved. My prayer effort  seemed well received.
Being 'Other' Than White Caucasian Remains An American Issue
A while later the leader came to me with some cash as payment for my services. I accepted the $25 dollars knowing it would come in very handy. Then later he brought me a fistful of cash. There were large bills in it, some hundreds even. At first I thought wow, how generous of these people. I handed him $30 for I knew he was going to much trouble to serve the family. Later he addressed the whole group emotionally promising that this child would not be forgotten and that he would not rest until anyone responsible for the death was held accountable. I began to think of this pile of money. I knew I could put it to good use. But it was not appropriate. The people somehow were placing far to much and inappropriate meaning into my office, perhaps even unconsciously seeking some blessing through their gifts to me.(This dynamic still seems to be the bottom line of much of our culture's religiosity. God is catered to in order to get a blessing. I heard a person recently say, " If prayer is not about getting God to do something then why pray?") I asked the leader to please give the cash to the family who were poor.
In The 1930's Some Two Millions Mexican-Americans Were Deported.

BLESSING: Sometimes what the dream source asks you to consider is very irritating because it seems so far removed from what you feel your actual concerns are. In this way it can totally shift, in an unpleasant way, your conscious focus. Jung's central idea of a dream's purpose is just that, to change the conscious outer present orientation and attitude in some way. This dream asks me to consider a scene and topic that are farthest from my conscious images and thoughts. And is in this case a very unpleasant shift of conscious focus.

The dream is shadowy due to the dark, muddy, junk yard atmosphere. Also the people were very 'other', speaking a different language and having community that was very different than mine. 'Otherness' is something that humans seem deeply ingrained to be repulsed by. We tend to unconsciously experience all of our own negatives, fears and repulsions toward living in the 'other'. This accounts for the perpetual hostilities, unappreciativeness and outright resentments that color human history as a whole. We never get away from it. It is what the news is generally about in the paper and on T.V. Humans are somewhat fascinated by the 'other', but usually in a negative , condescending, judgmental and only curious way. The dream is a warning about my very real capacity to experience the 'other.' in such very unenlightened ways.
LGBT Families Seek To Not Be An American 'Other.'

In the dream I am rather delightfully surprised that the 'other' here is more accepting of me than I assume they are. I was 'projecting' my negative attitude onto them, assuming they did not welcome my presence any more than I would have welcomed them. While I was placing a 'negative' value on any good they were toward me they were placing a positive one on me. This was revealed when the gruff leader asked for my prayer. This is an awareness that should make one feel 'ashamed.' I recall an expression in my family when one of us had erred , 'You should be ashamed of yourself.' With all of my experiences of 'enlightenment and growth, and hard won belief changes' regarding the positive value of the 'other', the importance of inclusiveness etc.; the dream reminds me that it remains a struggle for me to keep an enlightened attitude regarding the unexpected appearance of the 'other.'

Here I'm shown falling back into that negative mentality. I was for reasons beyond my own choosing present in this 'other' community and so was somewhat forced to find a place and receive and give reactions with them. This is how my life has often been these past 25 years. I’ve moved in my work from one community and family  to another and I have experienced totally 'other' church  and family groups. Without fail I have been more received and welcomed than I may have been if the situation had been reversed. The dream documents that personal reality. Also I consider myself to have been led into these new situations by the guidance of the 'third', the 'Self', the 'Holy Spirit' or the Sacred. It was not primarily the work  or planning of my conscious ego that guided my life changes and ' adventures' involving the 'other.'

In my pastoral work I have received many gifts following funerals. I have generally gratefully received gifts of appropriate amounts, sometimes up a $100. There have been times when I have passed the gift on to the suggested charity of the family etc. I especially do this if I feel there is any kink in my relationship with the family or any sense that the gift is given out of obligation rather than desire to benefit me. I'm glad the dream shows me recognizing that this gift is out of bounds and that I turn most of it toward the family. I'm also glad that I recognized the service the informal leader was giving this community and rewarded him.

I ask myself , why am I being asked to take good time to reflect on such a theme? I am reminded that I tend to be slow to spend and give money that has come to my care.... that I can be tight-fisted and live from an attitude of scarcity rather than abundance. This is not spiritually healthy. So that must be the key reason I am asked to reflect on such a dream. How considerate for the source to present me in nearly a totally positive light while pointing out clearly my sin. Only a God worthy of my attention and service could treat me so gently while kicking my ass. She even makes me laugh as she keeps everything so in the open that there is no place and certainly no need to hide. In fact I am nearly bursting into tears of laughter right now. There is absolutely no fear of the loss of divine support and love in this process of reprimand. I find it amazing and cannot help but be more generous for it. I will now go out of my way to cash a five so I can tip the waiter a buck for my coffee. The dream may at least result in decent tips for my restaurant waiters, even if I have to go out of my way to arrange it.

Note: I unconsciously typed in BLESSING above instead of the intended REFLECTION: Even when I noticed and was a bit irritated at my 'mistake' I started to correct it. Then I became conscious that this was part of the message coming to me from the dream source. This is one of those synchronicity occurrences totally outside of consciousness. My hands typed BLESSING when I fully intended to type REFLECTION as I always do. Such is also commonly referred to as a 'Freudian Slip.' It is a way the Self suggests that the dream and my thoughtful reflection on it is indeed a BLESSING to me. I agree.

No comments: