Thursday, September 29, 2011

DREAM: VINDICATION....april 5, 2010(edited september 26, 2011)

Introduction: This dream features a person who was an active member( I will call Sam) of Clear Lake Church of Christ in Springfield the last few years of my ministry there. He generally appears in previous dreams as a shadow type figure.(This does not suggest he is a 'negative figure' but only  that the dream source casts him that way to help me understand the message of the dream.) He was well educated and was an administrator at the University in Springfield. He was quietly supportive of my ministry. I think he personifies my shadow for he , without ever saying it, helped me become conscious that the Elder group of the church did not have the good of my ministry and its connection to the congregation at heart. I came to realize they were generally a threat to the ministry that was developing around my activities there. Sam helped me to learn ways to protect myself and my ministry. For me to learn to stand against a high authority that I had come to trust and personally care for was something that only ' my internal shadow' aspect could help me do. In other words the always-pleasant, comfortable, nice and seeking-to- please Jim Hibbett was of little value to my
Clear Lake Church of Christ
 ministry when it was under assault. So I discovered my shadow partially through my relationship with this person. I learned to take conscious action to protect my ministry and to attempt to undermine, by honest and fair ways, the wrong use of power by this elder group. I was finding support and information to help with this conflict also in my University studies and Clinical Pastoral Education. Sam and these other resources were rarely if ever directly pointing out or discussing with me the specific ways this elder group was being unjust and irresponsible. They were just an important influence and resource in my own development regarding facing and standing up to the church politics which were seeking to harm my ministry for this church. This was a very important time of new learning for me and also of discovering my living and needed shadow aspect. Mostly it meant I learned somewhat to fight back, in my judgment, for the good of my ministry and the church.
The Flood...Michelangelo Sistine Chapel @ 1510

Dream: In the dream  I was with some friends and family at Sam's home. Rising flood waters were threatening to destroy everything and everyone.  Sam and I were trying to make some kind of plan for surviving and helping others also as best we could. We went to other homes  and the the same threat was everywhere. It seemed to be a world wide threat. It seemed like a losing battle we were up against. But we were trying to save anyone we could. The dream ended with seeming no hope for anyone's survival. *

REFLECTION: This painting captures the archetypal distress and vulnerability that is part of rising flood waters any time or place in History.  I do not recall having such a 'total flood' dream before. This seems to be the archetype of world destruction by natural forces. It was frightening but Sam and I were quite calm as we did what we could to comfort and save life. I would call this a 'flood' dream and relate it to the archetype that was the source of flood myths in numerous ancient cultures and post modern nightmares.

Even though this seems to present a very deep and ancient archetype it is also very personal. It does not seem supernatural in any way. This shows how our personal stories are also ever repeating archetypal stories with individual twists. There is nothing 'other worldly or animated' about it. Sam and I seem to be accepting it as a matter of fact.

I do not take this as a premonition of world destruction. I think it reflects primarily the personal state I experienced in my ministry at Clear Lake ending  and it points to  some possible meanings of the 'visions' I had and activities that came out of them. These were activities I did many months after leaving Clear Lake. I realized at the time that as I made statements, while under the effect of strong archetypes causing 'visions' and audible 'voices,' I  purposely said things to others  that placed my personal credibility on the line to everyone who knew me. I was fully aware of that supreme personal risk at the time but I was also persuaded that I must follow the 'higher voice' that was fully present with me. I was being asked to place my integrity on the line and I complied to that request in most every detail. I have 'outgrown' (decades ago)or have 'been released  from' my ego being so directly influenced and nearly 'possessed' by such Collective Unconscious forces. But I have never denied that I felt I was under the influence of the Sacred in all of that, for better or worse. I feel like my credibility has never been restored from those activities. It still stands, by any who may remember it, as simply a 'sickness' I had.
These pictures are of places in Northwest Houston where I first began my 'confrontation with the Collective Unconscious' in the early Spring of 1985. The apartment where I lived alone for four months is pictured and Bear Creek Park where hexagonal(that carried strong archetypal meaning for me then) shelters were places I often contemplated the consequences of directions I was receiving.  Directions which threatened my personal integrity,  but which I generally found the faith to follow.

So in a sense my integrity for that part of my life has been destroyed in a 'flood of seemingly rational judgments' that Jim Hibbett was deluded and deceived. This also goes back and applies to my ministry at Clear Lake. The teaching and preaching that I was earnestly doing in ministry which I felt was most strongly being guided by the Spirit may also be judged by any who remember has having little positive or true value. For they only seem to have resulted in church confusion and my being , in some eyes, justifiably ejected from that ministry. I am fully aware that neither those who love me or those who opposed me then are ever thinking about any of this. It is now ancient history. And it is also for me but not quite. I would be negligent to duty to think those forces and those times are not still alive, at least in me. They certainly are no longer my life. So the dream says, 'Jim, you are not to forget about those disappointments and you should still ponder the possible meaning of them from time to time.' So this reflection is me doing just that, and now sharing with others who may eventually read this blog post.

I am now most bothered about the possible disappointments  of  my children from my being once judged by some  as a sick person, as compared to a person genuinely experiencing the Sacred via these forces of the 'Collective Unconscious.' They never speak of such but I know they were hurt that more obvious 'good' did not come out of these experiences, ones that I trusted had come from God. This, I consider, as a real calamity for that part of my personal life, practically a destruction of its theological meaning. It threatens to cloud part of  the  joy of the last part of my life. It is an embarrassment even though family and friends seem to hold no animosity toward me.

These pictures are the place that the 'visions' first broke through to consciousness in mid-August '85. This was in Northwest Houston near where I had lived three months earlier.  At the time this was a completely vacant street but the street sign posts are the same as then.
The dream shows that ' my shadow' which was occasionally outwardly displayed was my 'friend and ally' in this 'flood' tragedy. But 'his' reputation (as described in Jungian thought)of being real and able to exert what, in retrospect, can be seen as a positive influence has also been seriously 'flooded out.' The shadow's integrity and positive value needs to be what people can learn from 'his' overall work, which at the time seems only negative and even evil. So I am not only defensive for my own personal reputation but also for the possible good learning that can eventually come to others from this story. I am not taken by surprise by the dream for I have been living this flooding effect of my integrity for more than 25 years. I have developed a whole new and reasonably respectable persona and ministry, which I experience as pure grace, since that time. But any who knows, even if it is only me, what happened then still only have evidence that my integrity in these things was greatly discredited.

This places me in that theological predicament that nearly all  remembered  stories of 'believers' describes one way or another. My integrity 'seems' to need vindicating by the 'God' who I believed to have been working through me and making promises to me. Like both the Jews and the Christians following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE a part of me cries out, "Lord vindicate me by openly showing I was indeed under your influence and walking your ways when my integrity was harmed and my ministry shamed. Do not allow my 'enemies' to forever make fun of the work you gave me and which I  tried to accomplish." The Jews' cry for vindication only resulted in a nation totally brought to rubble and they were spiritually mocked regarding their claim of being God's chosen people. The Christians were mocked at their claim that their triumphant Jesus would return soon, in their life time for sure. Similarly, I have been forced to reinterpret my life's status and the claims that came from my own mouth and actions. I too have had to openly 'eat crow' regarding what I had experienced as proof positive that I was under the guidance, protection and living will of God in my ministerial activities. A living out of which was perilous for  me and  our family.

This I think is what this dream of 'certain and real disaster' is about. Did the Jews and did the Christians find a way to be credited or vindicated for their claims and faith after suffering such ridicule and mockery? Some think so and others do not. They both still exist in the world and have had great influences that are a mix of good and bad. They exist with significantly changed personae and redefined descriptions of who they are and what those  humiliations in their ancient stories actually meant, then and now. Neither is still, at least openly, crying out for the same divine vindication that they did in those moments of great loss and distress. Perhaps Judaism and Christianity can be  stronger and more spiritually mature movements  to the extent they acknowledge their public humiliations and work honestly with its reality and meaning. All of that has over time changed for them. Is this how it is also for an individual going through such crises? I still do not know for sure?
Destruction Of Jerusalem..70 CE, by David Roberts,1850

I  feel that phase of my life was somewhat  'flooded' and I see no evidence of any redefining of my experiences so that my ministry then can be seen as part of something 'good and true' from a religious and theological perspective. I have no plan and see no way of that happening. I see no prospect that the experiences I had, have described and interpreted as best I can will be more than a forgotten tragic part of my personal story. I think I still have the desire to be vindicated by life's forces. I still stand by my fading story. But I know that anything positive  coming out of it is in the hands of fate. It is in the 'hands' of the God that I have tried to describe and serve, the Sacred presence that 'I have believed and am persuaded' is the only force that might vindicate me and my ministry's story. I do not feel I have any right to 'demand' anything of these Sacred forces. I would not change any of the experiences I had or the continuous confidence I carry that I was on the path that God had placed me to walk. I'm confident I will never deny those Sacred experiences and actions nor the forces I believed had initiated and supported them. All of this is what it is. I will not turn against any of the aspects of the 'Self' that have been manifest in me. These include 'the shadow', 'the anima' and the ' Sacred Self' of which I have  some awareness of  being a part of and it a part of me..

This is my best statement of what I am to learn and remember from this dream.

*NOTE: (September 26, 2011) I want to clearly state that I am superbly grateful and pleased with where I am in my life. For the comfort of my semi-retirement, for the love of family and friends and for the freedom and health to be doing what I fully now choose to do. I am not whining above nor am I angry at anyone or anything. I simply am stating, at the nudge of this dream, an important part of my life I would change in no way for what seems to me 'had to be.'  I am  acknowledging what happened regarding my ministry, especially from early spring of '84 (My Church of Christ ministry ended in mid May )until  spring of  '86 when I began to pick up a normal work life again. Another view I have chosen is that any unfairness and rejection of my ministry at Clear Lake was a necessary impetus to make the changes in faith and values that I did in the months and years that followed. I'm quite sure it generated the stressful situation that prepared me to receive the 'more than usual' contents from the Collective Unconscious in the months that followed.  Looked at that way, which I think is a healthy perspective, it can be correctly concluded that  there is 'no one to blame' but rather everyone played out their role in the drama  precisely the way needed for the somehow 'necessary to happen.' Perhaps nothing very significant ever happens in life without our personal and collective shadows having a strong hand in it. I think Goethe's  Faust said something akin to, ' There is that bad which works the highest good.' I think this is now a primary way I interpret the events of those two years. Maybe this is a healthy way for most of us to look at life's most serious disappointments.

Peace and Gratitude, Jim Hibbett

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