1. I was with friends in an 'ordinary' green meadow. I wandered away alone and came to a sudden break in the terrain. Before me was a bottomless canyon of very ancient brown rock. On the far side of the canyon was a very 'extraordinary' green meadow. It was aglow with a bright heavenly light. There stood a single perfectly shaped mature green tree. The brown rock canyon wall went right up to the base of the tree. The fossil appearing roots of the tree filled out the whole far wall of the canyon reaching downward endlessly. I was spell bound and wished the others were seeing it also.
2. In my basement was a mirror with dimensions of 4 x 8 feet. An 8 foot edge was against the floor and it was slanted slightly backward toward its top. It was very stable though nothing visible was holding it up. I was to the side and barely in front of the plane of the mirror. I could only see a bright light within the mirror and no concrete image. Then an authoritative voice said, " The image is her words and actions."
REFLECTIONS: Both images carry more of an air of the Collective rather than the personal with their surreal brightness but both are present. I was astonished and nearly breathless. The solid slanted mirror without visible support and the very ancient fossilized look of the bottomless canyon all speak of the Collective. Both have an emphasis on the origins of what becomes visible is that which is first contained below, the bottomless canyon and my basement. The less emphasized personal elements are that I am initially with 'ordinary' friends in an 'ordinary' natural environment in the Tree Dream and in my personal basement for the Mirror Dream. Both the canyon and the basement are underscoring the importance of the Unconscious, Collective and Personal, as the sources of all that is potentially conscious. And when such unconscious contents emerge in large increments it creates an air of the numinous or 'miracle' to ordinary human consciousness. This phenomenon is imaged by the bright eery heavenly lights in both dreams. These situations are often reflected in Bible story ....Paradise of Eden, the creation expression of 'Let there be light', Moses' burning bush, the rainbow, the bright face of Moses paralleled in the bright 'transfiguration' of Jesus and of Jesus 'different than ordinary' resurrected body, the appearance of white angels and the 'Bethlehem bright star.' So the dreams are a spin from the archetypes of 'the numinous' so typical in the timeless stories of the appearance of the Sacred and of love. The impression of the human experience of dazzling breathlessness is captured in both dreams. These are richly 'religious' and 'spiritual' dreams. This is the 'wow' aspect of all religious story and experience.
Presently I have been involved in finding as near permanent solution to my basement water problem as possible. This has been a continuous concern and battle since we first moved here in 1976. It was not a highly threatening problem until after my return home from my year away in Houston and Florence('84-85). I recall storm water gushing underneath a 20 foot section of wall with frightening force. The color of the water was red as of blood. We called my father-in-law to come help us. He feared the wall was about the cave so he jacked the house up at that wall. This took the load off the wall so that water came under even more furiously and caused more leaning out of the top of the wall. We were in fear of the wall collapsing and our semi finished basement filling up with mud. After removing the jack and the basement dried we had an expert mason come and repair the damaged mortar joints of the wall. He said this may not stop the seep water but should secure the wall permanently. I also built a panel wall in front of the block wall and designed a water proof trough to catch and channel any seep water to a drain. This all was out of sight and worked for twenty two years until two months ago when we noticed water was seeping into the room. For the past two summers I continued to get at the source of the problem by digging and installing outside french drains, by digging out old buried concrete sidewalks that were channeling water against the basement wall and by bringing in several tons of fill dirt. Still some seep water was coming in and I still had the leaning at the top.
I see my dealing with the threats of basement water as parallel to my internal battle with the contents of the Personal and Collective Unconscious becoming conscious over this same long period. There are many ways to compare these parallel inner and outer realities. It is consistent and timeless that water and its potential to harm or bless outer life is symbolic of the nature of a similar dual nature of the Collective Unconscious regarding spiritual/psychological life. And here rather dramatic activities of both of these natural phenomenon have occurred with me side by side for a quarter of a century.
|Intruding Basement Water|
I've given this much detail for it shows that in spite of how 'transpersonal' this all is to me(a matter of faith and trust in the Sacred) I never escape the human tensions and intellectual challenge of processing it all. One may think that since I am so aware of a fateful Sacred guidance of these life challenges I would simply 'let it happen' knowing that it is in the 'hands of God.' But it is my experience that to be assured of the Sacred 'predestined' flow of life does not excuse one from full responsible participation in what surely 'feels like human free will.' This is a great paradox of human existence. I find myself 'doing my best' with limited energy and knowledge and all the while knowing that I am also trusting life at a deeper unseen level. This is what living 'by the Spirit' feels and looks like to me. I think the level of consciousness one arrives at determines the fullness of this experience. It provides at the bottom of one's sincere outer efforts to be responsible also a sense of , " I really don't care about this stuff. This is not what my life is primarily about." Like the contents of the Collective Unconscious the danger of a bulged wall is never fully removed. The Unconscious is not only a continual threat to consciousness it is also the source from which consciousness first emerged and that which nourishes ego consciousness to new evolutionary levels of consciousness. Jung refers to the higher amount of the Unconscious becoming conscious as the 'Self.' In this meaning the Self is both personal and collective. It is both imminent and Transcendent. The 'Self' is nothing less than a psychological meaning of the undefinable God and the source of the 'words and action of God'.
As the voice in the second dream says the 'Image of God' suggested in the bright mirror is ushered into human consciousness by the 'words and action of God' coming out of the Self or Collective Unconscious. Yet the individual human is described throughout Biblical narrative as being the carrier of the Image of God. This is highlighted in the incarnation of God in the human Jesus whom John describes as the Logos, the ordering male aspect of the powerful creation God. Yet Jesus is depicted by John(in the most Gnostic of the Biblical gospels) as not just the roaring threatening raw power of creation and destruction but also and primarily as 'full of grace and truth' and the expression of the 'Love which is God.' The image of God unfolding in Jesus as its 'first-fruits' is also consistently said to be residing in every human, for each one is 'created in the image of God.' Jesus is shown in a gospel saying, " Ye are Gods." So all that was true in Jesus is potentially true in each and every human being.
I would be glad if some of the experiences I have attempted to describe might some day be a resource to others in assisting to become more directly conscious of the 'God Image' within themselves. I see the human Jesus of Nazareth as primarily helping people to 'see' and own the 'God Image' which he already could see in them. This was the nature of the 'salvation' which persons experienced in his presence. Later on the collectively interpreted 'Christ Image'(or what has been called 'the post-Easter Jesus), e.g. through the 'gospels'(including those not contained in the Bible), continued to have the effect of helping people to 'see' the 'God Image' within themselves. And this continues as his Spirit as Holy Spirit or psychologically the 'Self' comes to humans to comfort and guide them through life's mysterious journey. This is the historical channel of Spirituality that I, and likely most who read this, have been affected by and which calls for our continued attention. Yet we should avoid the strong urge to believe that 'Christian' is the 'one and only' way the Spiritual Life and 'God's Image' come into human consciousness. I have also, even as this dream shows, experienced the Collective Unconscious coming forth is ways that have little connection to the Jesus Story. But the Jesus Story is the place and the 'God Image' where it all started in me. That is my personal Spiritual heritage and of necessity always will be.
|Fossilized Canyon Walls|
The first dream can be no less than a spin on the archetypal, timeless and endorsed by nearly all cultures, 'Tree of Life' or 'Tree of Paradise.' Its brilliant greenness above the earth countered by its ancient and limitless roots seem a perfect symbol of how all life is rooted in the eternal darkness of the Collective Unconscious from which it brings forth the visible glory of the Sacred. The 'Tree of Life and Paradise' is nurtured by the eternal Sacred from below. And as Human Consciousness receives more content 'from below' , it continuously brings its light back to the realms of darkness which nurtures the Ultimate Sacred. These sometimes gradual and sometime quantum leaps in human consciousness and the mesmerizing creative suffering they initiate become the ultimate gift of the human to the Sacred, nurturing the Sacred's need for growth and consciousness from its dark beginnings just as sure as the Sacred nurtures the Human's spiritual/psychological development. The Sacred and the Human are in a cooperative mutual relationship of creation and growth. I am hopeful, even as I see such things as the peaceful insistence on basic human rights by the Egyptian(humans rooted in the deepest levels of the origins of human consciousness) people, that human consciousness is moving forward rather than backward, and perhaps in some kind of bold world wide quantum leap.
I find it appropriate that the transpersonal Sacred aspect who 'speaks and acts' is called 'Her.' If the second dream carries any personal meaning, it is consistent with many of my dreams which seem always to push me to see that Sacred reality needs a present emphasis on its feminine nature. And I can say the aspect of my psyche that has been active in dealing with inner opportunities and challenges can be accurately pictured as a 'she'. It has been the female 'anima' structure of my psyche that has carried the bulk of the load in my dealings with my inner, and indirectly outer, challenges the past 27 years. 'She' has been the image of the constant presence of the transpersonal Sacred that I have trusted and counted on at both levels of living. I would now need to rephrase the apostle Paul and also say ," It is not I but 'She' that liveth in me." Jesus has remained for me the primary human model for male living but 'She' has been the primary inspiration.