Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I was being shown a very modern contemporary kitchen. It had all the features you might think of and provided an attractive and welcoming environment. Then as a closing to the dream image an authoritative voice said, ' I will restore two curtains here.' With that there was an image of two gray neatly hanging curtains, suspended by rings like a shower curtain, that covered up two areas in the center of the kitchen.

REFLECTION: I know it is redundant but again this dream struck me at first as meaningless and unimportant. It comes after a week of intense dreaming, none of which I could recall when awaking. This one stood firm in my waking memory so I began to reflect on it.

Right away, as a Christian, I associated the 'curtain' with the N.T. image of the 'curtain' covering the Holy Place being torn in two when Jesus was crucified. Only here it is presenting the opposite or a flip side of that image, two curtains are being restored. So this part of the dream is very much a 'collective Christian  image', a presentation of a timeless archetype of the Collective Unconscious in Jungian terms. It has to do with ancient symbolism, including that of the Judeo-Christian heritage. The Holy Place of the Jewish temple; though represented by physical materials of precious metals, luxurious curtains etc, was representing the highly spiritual disembodied 'other worldly' residence of God. It is a masculine image in most every way and only the male high priest was allowed to ever enter it. And then only in a highly ritualistic thus spiritualized way.
'The Torn Curtain' Biblical Image

The dream in contrast first pictures a post-modern kitchen. This represents fully and genuinely present, real, flesh and blood human life. This is a down to earth 'bread of life' picture bringing honor to the concrete embodied human aspect of reality. This to me is the only realm in which Eros can be a part of a fully developed love that is the essential goal of the Christ story. The 'kitchen' is where we are literally 'fed' and nourished to stay alive. The kitchen in our culture is also the center of real human living, sharing and communion. Also in our culture the kitchen is very much an area overseen primarily by that considered feminine in direct contrast to the maleness of the temple and certainly of the Holy Place. Then an 'authoritative' , that is a Sacred voice of God, says that now 'two curtains need to be restored.' The image is shifting the 'holy place' , the dwelling of God from the spiritual 'other, heavenly world' to the right here and right now very center of our human  living. This is a way of saying that the Sacred is truly Emmanuel, 'God is with us', fully incarnate and embodied in contrast to God being distant, in the sky,  unapproachable or only spiritualized.
Pair Of Curtains, Mutually Guarding Human Mystery.

I can only surmise that the two gray simple earthy curtains are a cover of respect for the two forms of humanity--male and female. Here male and female are recognized as the immediate dwelling Holy places of the Sacred. Also they are completely equal and mutual to each other even with their differences. This image allows no way of concluding that one sex is superior or more connected to the Sacred than the other.( Such as the second creation story of Genesis is purposely designed to do with its deprecation of Eve representing the feminine principle. This story has served as a  foundation of  Western patriarchy that still saturates most of our social, legal, political and religious systems. We have witnessed a positive transition away from this in the past 75 years , more than the preceding 3000 years.)  And by having a curtain placed over their dwellings, male and female are shown to be great mysteries to our human intellect and desire to rationally understand all things. It warns us that we have objectified and over simplified the wonder of being human, both male and female. We are actually a great mystery to ourselves at our center. And we both have much more to offer and much further to go. This image calls up a genuine humility about our own personal and collective human identity, not to mention the Sacred which abides there. The image calls for the mutual respect of each human for every other human person in our post modern world . Only with such attitudes can we fully receive the 'bread of living' and capacity to embrace the total o human community and all of creation.

P.S. Just as I finished this writing I noticed the young man sitting across the isle on the train was reading a book. I made out the title on the spine as Kitchen Confidential. This synchronistic event assures me that my 'kitchen' dream message is important and fundamental for me and perhaps for my culture. This moves me away from the so typical attitude, ' Oh well, it is only a dream. It is really nothing.'

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