Monday, August 8, 2011

DREAM- STUFF AND HEALTH..may17, 2010(edited Aug 8,2011)

1. I was moving. I pulled up a very large truck to the door of a house. I was pleased at how perfectly I parked the big truck. I was by myself but waiting for help to come. The truck had possessions on it that had never been unpacked from another move long ago. I began to take out and sort these things. There were dishes, appliances, books etc that I had not seen for years. After a long time of unpacking them, I thought to myself this stuff means hardly anything to me in a living way. I think I will give it all away or find a way to recycle it. It also struck me that there was little in the house that I highly needed. I could easily walk away from most of it. Help never arrived.

2. I had been exposed to something that may give me cancer. I was on a university campus in a class of others who also may have been exposed. We were given tall test tubes containing our blood and other chemicals to carry by hand to another place on campus for testing. As I left I noticed one of the instructors also was carrying such a tube. I inquired and he said he was exposed just like the rest of us. As I went down a wide hall I stumbled and spilled some on the floor. The younger man behind me did the same. He immediately called emergency and began to put up barriers so people would not walk through it and possibly be contaminated. Many people ignored his efforts.

We went to a very famous doctor who was reported to have a deepest care for his patients. Somehow before I took a room I was outside the window of another person's room with the doctor. He was explaining his work to me and how he did this kind of testing around the whole world. I knew the chances were higher that I would not have cancer than the opposite but I was worried about my condition when I awoke.

REFLECTION: It seems these dreams mention two important realities of life and how important our attitude toward them is. The first is that of possessions. I've come to believe that there is a connection , a unity between mind and matter, spirit and material. This is yet to be fully understood by science but sub atomic and quantum physics point in that direction. So material reality is not to be looked upon as less important than what we consider mind or spirit. But the dream is talking about our connection or relationship with matter. Material objects can become wasteful dependencies for us. We can become pack rats and hoarders of the material. We are likely not best to think of ourselves 'possessing either things or people' but to see them as important experiences of our life. The dream suggests that ideally I see no reason to keep material things with me if they are not serving life in some genuine way. Having things of the past-relics, photos etc are a source of nostalgia. Nostalgia has its proper place I'm sure but it can be deceptive and misleading. The distant past is not to be lingered in until perhaps very old age when rich memories, especially of love, can be wonderful companions. But until we are seriously confined human focus needs to be on relating to the present and expecting a future to unfold that is not anchored on the past but is always a 'new creation'. Material things , I think the dream suggests, need to be lovingly and appreciatively passed on or recycled instead of gathering dust. We do well to  not see ourselves as permanent 'possessors' of anything or of any life situation or arrangement. Humans are to remain inwardly always travelers, wanderers, discoverers. This is an important lesson in human life. The frequency with which we use the word 'my' is an indication of why it is so easy to miss this liberating lesson. 

'Help never arrived.'  So much of human life is extremely personal and private, both in its experience and its responsibility. No one else can learn these things or  make such choices for us or even with us. We  do each walk alone, without human companionship,  in a most real and daunting way. This makes the moments of genuine connection with another(others)  so precious. No one saw how 'perfectly  I parked the truck' but I did and that was its own reward.This is a good reason to become well acquainted with ones inner world.. It is always with us.

The second dream reminds me of the inescapable reality of illness and disease that is part of the present human life experience. It seems like such a downer on human happiness and potential. I don't like it. Illness is in a real sense an enemy of human life. But it cannot be escaped. In the dream I feel the heaviness of possibly having an incurable cancer. My present primary medical issue is heart disease. It is a certain fact that three heart attacks have led me to eat more healthily and to exercise more regularly. I realize I am in the early stages of statistical life expectancy at age 67. I realize that I could quickly lose the capacities to be living a pain free and fully mobile life. This makes each day seem truly like the gift that I know it is. Illness and disease reminds me that we are truly all in this together. I do think that much is learned through suffering with illness. I try to be fully open to 'learning' with whatever suffering that comes but I would never suggest that one seek out suffering in order to learn from it. We will all get our opportunity for that while living as healthy and close to nature as possible.The dream suggests that we seek to be engaged with people, no matter their credentials, who have a  'deep care' for humans and their  actual situations.

I must add that I believe when my dreams speak of  'human love and care' they always include, whether in sexual fantasy and expression with a love partner  or a non-sexual expression in hugging a child, the quality of Eros. Eros(that longing  which desires through all the senses the  embodied reality and presence of fellow humans) seems  essential if our encounters are to be ones of 'living love and care.' And it is humbling to know Eros is not something we can manufacture by will power but comes as a gift. Yet we can always have our hands metaphorically reached  out anticipating the gift of  Sacred Eros to come.

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