.I dreamed of me and a female partner climbing the sloping hill up from the water to my youth-time lake house belonging to my step mother's family. (It was an area near Florence Al called Bailey Springs. In the early 20th century and before the area was a place where people came to bath in natural Hot Springs.) As we made our way up there were many snakes. But we found we could 'shoo' them or kick them away easily so though daunting they were harmless. Near the top a small but vicious dog challenged us head on but with some cajoling he completely turned into a friend. It was very obvious we would make it to the top and to the house. There was a strong sense of nearly 'mission accomplished.'
|Man Supported By His Anima|
REFLECTION: This female to me is clearly the anima figure. She had no physical reality( I do not know what she looked like) but was still totally and completely there with me. This is a good way of defining this element of my psyche which comes I think from the deeper, archetypal thus collective part of the psyche. This is how this function has been present and somewhat consciously with and in me for some 26 years. And there is much evidence 'she' was affecting me unconsciously long before that. More than anything 'she' serves as a guide, sometimes nearly taking over when I need it the most. Jung described this feature as the mediator between human consciousness and the Collective Unconscious. That seems to be how I have experienced it. I think of 'her' as bringing my dreams to me from who knows where.
This harkens back to one of 'her' strongest appearances in me. It was in one of the 'visions' in the early morning fog in Bear Park in NW Houston in mid August 1985. The night before I had slept on the street in downtown Houston. During one of the on going scenes which I have described as like personal Broadway productions; first there was a coming together, a reconciling that is beyond our culture's present rational understanding, of a good and an evil figure. They even shook hands.( not unlike the collaborative relationship pictured between Satan and Yahweh in The Book of Job.) It shows this long awaited occurrence is preceded by much conflict, suffering and misunderstandings. I felt myself experiencing the very heart of that conflicting kind of situation at that actual time in my outer life. I saw no rational way things could 'work out' without some unmentionable losses. All was turned upside down. The next scene was a bedraggled and exhausted man being led up the final slope by a female figure( this is similar to the dream above) rising out of a deep ravine. The attitude of a gathered and waiting community was one of joy and celebration. That is one of the 'biggest' and most unforgettable dreams/visions I've ever had. This dream of last night is calming and reassuring that the vision of 26 years ago is near its anticipated and good ending. And it reminds me of the extreme debt of gratitude I have toward the inner feminine figure that has been at times more real than a closest friend. This attitude is what one would expect if s/he actually felt the gratitude they think they should have toward God. There is a difference in 'thinking we should be grateful' and simply 'knowing we are grateful.' The later does not have to be 'worked on.'
|Typical Bailey Springs Scene As In This Dream|
I would not doubt that such inner experience is where the general idea and root of some of the Marys surrounding Jesus in the gospels had their origin. No doubt there must have been actual women extremely important in his adult life and brief ministry but they were likely outer presences that corresponded to Jesus' connection with inner feminine figures. I think Jesus' frequent references to the Holy Spirit (such as being 'like the wind') reflect an inner feminine aspect of God that he experienced. He stressed his closeness to the Spirit with as much importance as to the Father and encouraged his disciples to especially expect 'her' also as a divine presence. It is little wonder that modern readers of the gospel are made to wonder if some women were not even closer to Jesus than his male disciples. Some of the non canonical gospels suggest this to be the case. This idea is especially aroused by the figure of Mary Magdalene and the women who anointed him with tears and perfume. The popularity of the DaVinci Code is an indication that our mass culture is getting closer to the importance of the feminine to Jesus than the gospel stories have generated in many previous centuries. The book The Shack appreciated by many Evangelical Christians is a strong move toward reclaiming the importance of the feminine in our imaginations about God and Divine guidance and providence.
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