INTRODUCTION: It is true there are 'very big dreams' providing images to help navigate the most difficult times life confronts one with. Or that jolt one into a long range view of where life is headed. Such 'big dreams' may shake up a persons conscious perspective and invite, even compel, them toward fully unexpected changes in life and spiritual perspectives. But dreams taken as daily nutrition of the soul provide stimulus and a kind of enlivening emotion to help frame ones day. Such nightly dreams become an emotional/spiritual guide to the new day awakening. Their intent seems to be to usher us into the day on a wave developed from dark wisdom of the 'world unknown' to our conscious mind. This says much about the nature of spiritual life. It is indeed fed by the Spirit via images originating in the personal and collective Unconscious. The dream images below are of the less dramatic type that provide such daily nutrition. Such dreams cut into post-modern living's most common negative symptoms.....such as boredom, exaggerated fears and sentimental nostalgia for the past. The dream says, 'Think on these things as you go about your daily routine for these have to do not so much with the past (though the past is never forgotten) but with where life is now and the future it is bringing to you.' Most Western people (who are the ones I know best) have yet to establish this kind of relationship with their own dream life. Our dreams are ,in my convinced opinion, the most personal, regular and dependable, 'voice of God.' And remember the most important use of a dream always is to take it as an 'image or presentation of wholeness for the soul' at this given time. And let the feelings it generates have what the apostle Paul once called , 'free course' in your mind and heart. The dreams of one night are good for the following day. There will be new images for the next day. There is no end to this form of soul nurturing. One only needs to be open to receiving it as a very natural part of being human. Sleep is not only needed for the body it is needed for the Soul to function. In fact sleep and the images it brings to us help unite our' body and soul' which are so easily torn apart in ordinary post-modern daily life.
1. I was in Tennessee with friends. We hiked into a backwoods area where commercial development was just beginning. At a bulldozing site we saw ancient human remains that had been dug up. It was amazing and very sad that more was not being done to preserve what should be an archeological site carefully handled, or better yet consecrated and left alone.
|Protecting Ancient Burial Sites from Bull Dozing|
2. We neared a beautiful creek. Some friends encouraged me to take a swim. They said this part of the creek was fed by hot springs. I entered the soothing bright blue, with natural minerals, waters and floated down stream. After awhile the water began to be cooler and clearer. I got out refreshed.
3. I was with brother-in-law Ervin in his jeep. We were in extremely rough roads. We headed up a very high sheer vertical wall. The motor began to pull hard and we moved slower and slower. There seemed to be nothing to keep us from turning top over and fall back to certain death. It was frightening. Ervin was confident that we would make it but finally in a total vertical position hundreds of feet in the air the car stopped. Somehow we did not fall. I’ve had such dreams before. I had a huge bubble in my stomach, like caused by a roller coaster ride. But here it was an experience of life threatening danger.
|Publicly Preserved Burial Mound|
REFLECTION: Nothing so strange about these dreams. I take these as reminders of values I’ve come to have such as preserving and trying to understand our human past and our development depicted by the unearthed human remains. And the wondrous pleasures of nature that should be available to all in the second dream. A Public TV special some months ago was about our National Parks, America's Grandest Idea and just how wise and thoughtful it was for government/civil leaders to do as well as they did in preserving these magnificent gifts for the ages.
Public Radio and TV have, in my opinion, provided a great service in promoting and preserving the values of nature and also some of the most important aspects of American Culture. Frightfully short sighted politicians and bottom line corporate leaders see little in such values. The TN creek and hot springs also reflect the values of preserving and enjoying nature. I recall refreshing in such blue waters underneath a 100 foot waterfall in Havasu Canyon, Arizona in 1970. This was the home of the most isolated native Americans in the nation, the Havasupai. Our generation, at least powerful parts of it, has little concern for nature other than using it for self and short term interests. They have heard only the Biblical injunction and become possessed by the archetype of 'subduing the earth' and know little about 'tending the Garden.' I have been pleased in recent years to see some parts of the Christian Evangelical community showing a sincere interest in protecting the environment but corporate and political power in the opposite direction could easily win the day even in our present generation.
|Havasu Falls, Arizona|
Originally from Alabama, Harvard biologist and confessed Biophilist(lover of nature) E.O. Wilson has supported this interest of the conservative Christian movement in his book The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. His books are excellent resources on conserving nature. The Jeep dream reminds me that life long family connections and friendships are extremely valuable. Ervin is my long ago former brother-in-law but we have kept a real brotherly contact all along. The dream of climbing a sheer cliff in a vehicle has been a repeated dream of mine for many years. I guess it simply reminds me that the tensions of life, that actually give life its energy, are ones that constantly also threaten to undo the limited human being and his/her efforts to live out faithfully his/her personal and collective destinies.
Life is a very real adventure with challenges that threaten to destroy the quality of abundant full living. This is true at our outer physical level and at the inner spiritual/psychological level.