I was a science teacher for multiracial students. All were out control and disrespectful. None would listen to me or follow along with my lesson plan. I did not know what I was talking about. I was not prepared to be their teacher. I tried to give a test. They were sliding their desks around. All were cheating. The principal Obama came in and they were more respectful. I gave him some white powder which he put on his face to entertain the kids.(This sounds racist but in the dream Obama was genuine and the powder showed that he was not racist himself. He could see the world as a White or as a Black person more than most.) He was good at relating to these kids. Another young man, a student, was sort of trainee teacher. He was better at relating to the students than I was. But when he returned to the class as a student he undermined me as much as the others. Then while I was out of the room they started a fire. I was able to turn a sprinkling system on and put out part of it. I used an extinguisher on another burning area. While I was doing this students returned and felt it was all funny. One student poured gas on the floor in front of me. I could not remember his name for I knew none of them by name. I got no help form administration on this. No one arrived to help. A dream before this was where I was a new cop and found out my boss was trying to get me in trouble and he was a crook himself. I had nowhere to go for help. That is what I am remembering.
REFLECTION: My stomach is churning. My heart is racing. I resist the meaning of this dream. I've just awakened feeling horrible. Incompetent, incapable, impotent at handling outer and inner life realities. Another teacher night mare has me fearful of a heat attack. Is this God's way of telling me to not forget what I have learned about God's nature? It is so humiliating and annihilating of all ego confidence and sense of competence. I'm absorbed by such inner suffering that seems to attempt to split my mind. This dream is so humiliating and arousing my anger, fear and disgust. Why? Why? I have earlier come to understand, with much reluctance,such a dream as leading me to a mutual empathy with/for God. I have taken the 'classroom out of control' dreams to be a confession of the Sacred to my humanity of its inner turmoil and its morally imperfect flaws in relating to its own creation. Only after many repeats of such a disturbing dream over many years did I finally 'see' its unexpected and unwelcome meaning. But I guess I, with most of my peers, fall back into a hierarchical view of God being the one who can make all OK. And again this disturbing dream is telling me to not forget the imperfect nature of God I have been taught and led to discover, much as the story of Job suggests is possible and necessary. I must not forget that God too is evolving to a more moral and whole God and is dependent on human consciousness, and its suffering of the opposites, to become more conscious as God. I think this was the worst 'teacher dream' ever . I guess the Collective Unconscious needed to push me back to what I have learned. I think The Shack book has been disturbing to me for its driving purpose is to show how perfectly Good God( but to the author's credit not all powerful) is and how all that is wrong and unlovely is from human pride and power grasping. I realize there is much truth in that but it is not a full and fair truth of things regarding God and Humans. The dream is determined to not let me return to that one sided and somewhat emasculating view of God for Humans. The Shack suggests many creative images of God and life, claiming that all hierarchy is an evil, a result of sin and often encouraged by our interpretations of our religious texts. But the final hierarchy the dream is saying, which The Shack does not address at all, that must be leveled and turned to mutuality is that between God and Human. The dream suggests that my experience of church yesterday(in Dekalb, IL),as good as it was, and my reading of the The Shack have threatened to restore a hierarchical view of God and Human rather than an empathetic mutual one. I'm grateful The Shack attempts for the typical reader to work on this same problem by picturing a human like female incorporated Trinity.
MORE REFLECTION: The dream source is pushing me to revisit Images of God that I resist but that were made clear in the vision-like experiences I had in mid August of '85 and following. God is asking me to relate to God, not unlike how love insists we do realistic retakes of our assessments of close loved ones. To fail to do so twists them into our own image of them rather than accepting who they more accurately are. Love insists we acknowledge and accept those parts of others we initially miss or deny. I suppose this process never ends. It is a process of love. I felt I had finally integrated these 'teacher out of control dreams' as an experience, a revelation of an unpleasant aspect of God. But that truth continues to make me feel threatened; that God is, at least in some important ways, this much out of control and overwhelmed. I so want to rejoin other believers in a perfectly together God who not only has the world in order but who is capable of doing all the loving that the world needs. (I think the world, and our human experience, clearly says in every language it is not receiving all the love it needs and claims.) The dream is defying that and saying I best get rid of such childish wishes, which not only are incomplete images of God, but also lead to the greatest levels of human irresponsibility for our world. That attitude is often masked in the common saying, " Well I can only take care of my immediate world and leave the rest to God." This is a self serving view of God and part of every kind of religious fundamentalism clings to it like a last breath. I have the fundamentalist viewpoint still embedded somewhere in my psyche. I too am so tempted to do that to God and not allow God to become a fuller and truer image in me. Thus the need for this kind of dream which feels initially unbearable.
The dream pictures the horrors of a near total incompetence and a lack of focus and preparation. God, like industrious humans, is capable of creating something which then develops into itself and becomes something far more than imagined or that the creator is capable of monitoring. Yet, in the dream I do care and I do try. So it says that God cares and God tries. This is what we can count on from God. God can be and is willing to be mutually involved with us and God can do what we can't. But God cannot do what we can. God and Human are interdependent on each other for the good of the creation. Humans are now being called to pick up this kind of responsibility that is somewhere naturally within us and meet the Sacred in mutuality. That is the lesson perhaps that is sorely needed across Western culture. These are some of the real but limited virtues of God the dream is stressing. I still catch myself saying I can't, I mustn't, think or speak of God like this. As God intimidatingly reminds Job, 'who are you to question me?' I surely have no better conscious solution to humanity's great problems than God does. If the Sacred is, in some ways, this powerless compared to our projection of perfection onto it, it initially makes me fearful and insecure. Where do I go for security? It finally seems that ultimate security, of the type we attempt to squeeze out of our orthodox religions, does not exist? There is a security and 'peace that passes understanding' but it is not permanently found in the image of a God who is already totally perfected. Our potential security lies deeper and is even more foundational than that.
A failure to sort such a dream out provides the kind of thoughts that could likely bring in a neurotic if not psychotic state for the human. These are dangerous images for the Western person to walk into with no preparation. This may even be the unconscious source of much serious human anxiety, where the conscious has received such images of God but the conscious ego is not yet able to integrate it? I must remind myself that this 'out of control state' , though sometimes experienced by a human, is not primarily about me in this dream but about God, God seeking understanding and empathy from the Human. God is saying that God is not, in every way, as I would have God to be for my own comfort and use. But it shows an aspect of God as God is and who in God's honesty and courage seeks to inform the Human of what is closer to the whole truth. It has relieved me to make this report. I am even envisioning that this kind of communication is a grand demonstration of God's love for me and for humanity. This is a lonely burden that no doubt others carry consciously their own way also.
Blessings on this whole world and on God's Self