Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DREAM: LOVE'S TROUBLE...september 4, 2009..(edited august 30, 2011)

I've ignored this dream all day but need to give it some honor. It is not a pleasant one. I dreamed that all were shocked that a well loved couple in a conservative church were to be divorced. They were both viewed as outstanding people and an ideal couple who 'had it all.' They both contribute to the good of their communities and have several children still at home. I was astonished and saddened also to hear it had already been finalized. What is worse, it then became obvious that a majority of the couples in the church were at a similar frightening crossroads. The amount of marital unhappiness and discontent was startling. I was aware of the great personal and communal tragedy if more and more people were divorced. Then the dream showed that this was the state of marriage in general throughout the land . I was having to ask myself, ' What would happen if everyone who is unhappy in marriage were suddenly divorced?' The consequences seemed horrible for children, for personal finances, for the loss of full community and the social well being of these individuals and family members as they went through such a stressful life change and adjustment. The dream ended with these very unpleasant thoughts.

What Has Happened To Us?

 REFLECTION: I was glad it was 'only a dream' when I awoke. Unfortunately I would need to take the dream as saying much truth about the state of marriage now. We would all likely be sadly surprised to know how many sincerely married individuals are having a serious lack of inner joy and satisfaction in their marriage experience. To many the sadness is too hard to even admit. It is hard to be honest when so much is at stake. Many have lost the joy of sexual intimacy which is initially very important to most who enter marriage. Many handle this cloud of disappointment by not thinking about it, focusing on other aspects of the marriage, or especially focusing on having and rearing children. I've believed for a very long time that an ongoing ecstatic erotic intimacy is likely the greatest happiness and ongoing boost to life that is humanly possible and that is a common potential. Our amazing U.S. constitution seeks to provide all an equal opportunity for the 'pursuit of happiness'. It is nearly considered irreligious to suggest that mature sexual intimacy is likely something needed for the majority of people's highest happiness. I think many a young person intuits the importance of a shared intimate life but they soon run into a dead end. Often that dead end is in marriage. All to often the expectation of a life propelled by shared mutual sexual intimacy is shattered within a few years of married life. Most come to say to themselves or aloud, 'Well , sex is just not what one expects. We make way too much of it. We just need to grow up and get over it.'

I think when people see no way to 'return to Eden' (the topic of a recent dream) they simply 'settle for less'. There seems to be no alternative. This is what Freudian-ism, which the West is thoroughly entrenched in whether we know it or not as individuals, has always said will happen in human life. That the joy of sexual intimacy turns out to be only a 'dream' , 'fantasy', 'wishful thinking' and not at all a significant potential life long reality. I've written about this in several essays and will not retrace those steps. The unconscious source of this dream is simply affirming to me that I am correct in this intuition that there is a need for a giant evolutionary step in human consciousness. One resulting in the possibility for humans to experience regularly , both in and out of bed, the personal joyful erotic intimacy that is hinted at in parts of the Adam and Eve myth of the Garden of Eden and directly in the Song of Solomon Old Testament poetry. We are all in this together the dream seems to imply. There are certainly times in every life that being with a love partner simply is not possible, best or preferred. There also have always been individuals, many of them among those who have brought great gifts to human kind, who have lived celibate lives, whether by conscious choice or as the natural unfolding of their lives. But every thoughtful human has a strong interest and stake and hopefully desires that others are having such advanced intimate relationships at any given time in our culture. For the healthy and healing effects of such love spread far beyond the couple's intimate life. It creates an atmosphere in which children and adults alike can better thrive and grow in body, mind and spirit.

My prayer is that several decades of cultural sexual confusion, ' grasps at sexual freedom' and cynicism by both the religious and secular institutions of America is leading to a transformation, resulting in movement toward human sexuality delivering its promised joy to human couples throughout the world. The impact for good in this is beyond imagination. Such a shift in consciousness could be the beginning of some solutions to the major problems presently threatening Humanity. The dream is taking the symptom of divorce and of couple unhappiness extremely seriously. It does not offer any rational simple answer. Especially does it not imply that couples just need to be more sincere, work harder and live up to their vows, or maybe take a cold shower. 'Will power' is never the answer to love problems. This is true because this is a spiritual aspect of every human life. It invokes the need for the deep forces and archetypes of the Collective Unconscious to become appropriately activated and alive in our collective consciousness. It is probably the spiritual problem of our day. Gathering and teaching true facts regarding human sexuality is essential and important( and there are strong forces, mostly religious, in our culture that oppose even that.) But only a spiritual awakening and a leap in individual and collective human consciousness can bring about the needed change. A change that would be equivalent to people being able to 'see' the god/goddess in themselves and in their beloved. The 'Song of Songs' is a good resource to get in touch with the Eros quality of sacred/human love. A willingness to boldly let oneself consider this is not only about 'just fantasy' but a description of spiritual/psychological forces that seek to become more conscious in each of us.

The dream is accepting the tragedy of the familiar experience of 'lost love' in the intimate life of individuals and couples and implies that a 'new awakening' or a ' natural miracle type experience ' is needed for love to find its way to the private lives of suffering bewildered couples and those who have hopes of eventually having a love partner. I personally wait also for such transformation, for my own extended personal happiness as well as for all my human brothers and sisters. Jim

Note: I have been asked, 'Jim, how is it that you as a divorced and now long time single person can have so much to say about the potential of human joy through the shared spiritually erotic joy of intimate love partners.' It is true, I do not speak from outer experience. My short and truthful answer is that in the months and years following what in Jungian language is referred to as a spiritual 'confrontation with the unconscious' , overtime it became embedded in my psyche( heart,soul, mind) that I had 'somewhere, somehow' lived a full life time in such a love relationship that so much of my writing seeks to describe. I came to what may be considered a 'gnosis' (inner immediate knowledge) of the details of a fully developed intimate love relationship between real man and real woman over the course of a long human life. Some would find it tempting to speak of this as a possible 'past life' experience. It does not exactly strike me that way. But this became, through no conscious effort of my own, a part of my psychological reality. It is just there like so many memories and nuances of my actual outer life experience. So in this, strange to the 21st century mind, way I am speaking from experience, inner experience. The love I describe had the sustained meanings of Agape(unconditional dependability-loyalty), phileo( a strong unworked for deep 'liking' of the beloved in unique details) and living Eros(strong sensual desire and longing to be physically near in all of life's situations). All of this is sensed as coming as sheer gift though surely it must have been consciously and thoughtfully lived day in and day out. How such an internalized reality can be I never expect to understand. I can only say that I have lived these last several decades as one who 'has known through it being implanted within me as if it had fully happened' of what the potential for human happiness through such love is.

Mechthilde of Magdeburg experiencing Eros
It did help me to discover more than a decade ago the personal chronicle of a 13th century young lay church woman, in the order of Beguines in Germany, who describes in much detail the inner Eros filled love relationship that she experienced and remembered. It became the foundation for her life long practical service to her fellow humans. Her name was Mechthilde of Magdeburg. This has offered me at least the comfort that something similar has happened elsewhere and has been described. What I am describing as a deeply embedded prior relationship is perhaps the primary inner result on me of the direct encounter I had with the 'Collective Unconscious' beginning in August '85. Such an experience is also what has always in all cultures been referred to as an 'experience of the Sacred.' Were someone telling me this story I would not know what to make of it and would likely know I had no way to compare it to anything so could not possibly make any judgment about it. That is how it is with me now also. It is just that the story being told happens to be mine. This has been kept most private for at least 26 years. 
From 'C.G. JUNG, PSYCH. REFLECTIONS' by Jacobi and Hull
This reflection by Carl Jung seems to allude to the kind of experience and results that I am attempting to describe here:

I believe it has been, for reasons beyond my comprehension, somehow spiritually/psychologically necessary for me to live without this great joy alive in my heart being outwardly realized. This I suspect is in order for me to more fully personally comprehend what it also means to live without it after being conscious of what is perfectly humanly natural and possible. But something that has escaped humanity to a great extent right up to this time. So I have lived these decades anticipating that it still may, in ways I cannot imagine, be realized in my outer life. I do not know that such will happen and consider myself fortunate for just 'knowing' and reporting to others that it can possibly be the lot for humans in general. My dreams frequently have a person referred to as 'church woman' who seems to be an actual real woman, in contrast to the female 'anima' that I describe as an important psychological function. The 'anima' in my dreams is never depicted as a sexual relationship but she very definitely is interested in and supportive of honest human sexuality. But for now it is clearly impossible for me to tell if this 'church woman' does refer to some real woman in my future or is another representation of the 'anima.'

Theologian Paul Tillich defined love as, 'the reuniting of that which belongs together but has been separated.' I think I have had a full inner and living experience of the sense of both the original union, the long separation and now live anticipating the reunion of such whole love. Such love in any of these phases of its progress or cycle can only be described as a gift and grace of God.

With such thoughts I have reached the outer bounds of anything I know about the meaning and power of love. I will add that all the material that has come to me via dreams , 'visions' etc make clear that such love does not end with a couple living in joy only for themselves in isolated bliss away from the troubled crowd. But such love will most certainly turn its life and joy toward the outer world of humanity and its wounds and needs. Because the ones who experience this love know it is a love that has come from and is in honor of what might be called the World Soul it is not just a private matter. So this is not a selfish love that my inner world has brought awareness of but a love that, without losing itself, 'loves the whole world' just as the central Christian, and no doubt other world faiths, confess, 'God so loves the world.'

It is difficult for me to believe that I have decided to place this supremely personal aspect of myself into a public venue. I fear for its misuse perhaps even against me. I am doing this because I believe it is about far more persons than me and maybe does not even concern my outer life at all. After all I am now 67. I think it is an expression of hope and love that has issued from our Collective Unconscious through my unique life circumstances. Thus it is not a private possession of mine to keep forever to myself. And I'm confident that many others have some similar experience of such realities. And so that is why I am compelled to make it available to this extent. I think this speaks to the suffering and trouble of love that is described in the dream above. If we are made to live in such love than being somewhat estranged from it must surely be a deep source of human suffering and woundedness, perhaps especially in our time when it may be more within our conscious human reach than ever before. If someone I did not know asked me to talk about this further I would likely refuse. However I suspect that I share this need and desire, at various levels of consciousness, with many many of my fellow humans and I can only say it must be right that we inwardly long to give and receive such love for our own sake and that of our world.

I am just struck at this moment that I have referred to a recurring female in my dreams as 'church woman' and that is also the way I chose above to designate and identify ' Mechthilde of Magdeburg' of 12 century Germany. Such a straight forward 'synchronicity' from the unconscious may be saying there is some kind of connection 'across time' in these two women? Jim 

P.S. The reader may want to read also the blog post 'The Greatest Of These.'
and  'A Reformation Of Love'   http://jhibbett.blogspot.com/2011/08/reformation-of-love-date-unknown-note.html

No comments: