This dream so captured my attention I had a hard time getting out of bed. I wanted to stay with it. I could not figure why I felt such a strong connection. On reflection I think it is full of very collective, thus old, archetypal, and deep, content but to me it is also very personal. This is why I am so attracted and desire to keep it close. It is about water from start to end. Water unfailingly points to the activity of the unconscious, either in its personal or collective sense.
At first children, including myself as participant and observer, are playing in the water in a wilderness situation. It was mostly knee deep water, a small but quickly changing and fast running stream. It is fun but also more dangerous than children can know. I was trying to keep aware of that and watch out for the others. Part of this water experience is my having an orange square raft(roughly six by six) that I actually made myself as young teen.(I've not consciously thought of that raft for many years.) I constructed it from scrap lumber at my brothers' store. This was only a few blocks from the Tenn. River called there Muscle Shoals. I put large oil drums under it for flotation. I even put a small outboard motor on it. It was my first boat. It was not very safe or controllable but an adventure. This raft was prominent in the first part of the dream.
|Simple Wooden Raft|
Then I personally, in the dream, stray into the woods and notice a building compound that is glowing like it has fire in it. I make my approach to it from underneath through the floor and am then in the center of a well lit, by some kind of natural light, old rough wooden church full of people. The church is made of rough cut logs and the air is a bit hazy. It has two sides, each being a sanctuary. One is older people who are very stoic, nearly zombie like. They are dressed very bland with calm nearly dead pan expressions. But probably totally content within themselves. The other side are younger people and families with children. The children are normally active and in groups and some of them are moving around playfully as children would do. I am standing with a young man in the center and our feet are slightly below the main level. Everyone else is sitting in pews or on the floor. The left side sings a familiar hymn that I am able to join in singing bass along with my escort ,the young man , who also sings bass. I'm able to follow his lead in the singing which gives me confidence I'm not off key. These people must represent a very a primitive kind of humanity. They have developed psychologically in mass without much interference or desperate stresses . There is little sign of individuality. They would likely all believe pretty much the same thing and explain life with the same ideas. Each generation has likely simply followed the pattern of the previous one. There has been little need for rebellion , questioning or revolt. They are essentially quite unconscious but happily content. I have no conversation. But I am aware of how different I am. I am aware of myself as an individual but I have no desire to disturb their complacent mass state of mind. I think, 'where would I begin to explain to them?' But it is scary to me they can be so mass minded and thus so unconscious. But in another way I envy their simplicity.
Then suddenly a female voice that seems to come from some source among this group of religious people introduces something saying, 'all the people are very proud of ….. our amazing Ark”. With that I am observing a scene without being in it. The scene is of some ancient virgin forested isolated river. And there on the water's edge is a huge ominous wooden Ark. It is a rectangle of rich dark wood. It is very deep, nearly as deep as it is long. It is hard to tell the size for nothing is present to clearly compare it to, but the impression is it's huge. It is simple, very tall out of the water but it can go deep down if need be. The wood is beautiful but simple, no windows. The top is a solid wooden slab with a smooth sculpted ridge all the way around the edge. This is the only decoration of any kind. It is an ominous presence, overwhelming and demanding, even mesmerizing. The female voice spoke the word and it was launched and began rolling down the churning river. No sign of any human navigator nor what its cargo is. Once it came upon some land and simply moved across it seeming to have wheels. Then it went back into water continuing its path. No indication that any human was seeing this but me. Not even animals were around even though it was on a river.
Again, this image had a strong impact on me but I could not account for why. I just lay in bed awake with it for a long time. What I think now is this is a deep and strong collective,archetype image picturing the relationship between consciousness and the Collective Unconscious. The church is described as 'glowing like a fire' indicating that in humanity, no matter how unconscious, is a light, the very light needed to fan both Human and God into a higher level of consciousness of spiritual maturity. And that perhaps we are well into the midst of such an evolutionary jump in consciousness even now. Me 'coming up' into the church depicts my bringing from below, the unconscious, an awareness that before I had been unaware of.
This of course is pictured as being above all else a spiritual experience of the first order. It is describing me as becoming aware that many people remain quite unconscious. I would take such a picture of bland consciousness as a fair picture of Americans say in the years before the great Wars and before our use of the Atom bomb in World War II. History has forced us to become significantly more conscious of potential human evil in the past sixty years. I take it as a sad reminder that humanity collectively and as individuals has only just begun to move to what greater consciousness we are capable of. This is something that we have not been encouraged in our culture to imagine or take seriously. We still go our daily way believing we and the world are exactly at all levels how we perceive them to be. This is living as if there is no personal or Collective Unconscious. It seems that many people adapt to the mass situation, to the group, to 'common sense' and are not pushed to become more fully individual as it seems circumstances have pushed me. It shows me respecting and needing other people and realizing that they often do not have the direct experience from the Unconscious like, for whatever reasons, I have. I am pictured as sharing in a common religious experience and having a feeling of being a part of people who seem in many ways quite different from me. We are connected by our interest in the mystery of the Sacred and unseen aspects of life.
The female voice is my anima( my soul) serving, as always, as the link between the deep undeveloped but powerful collective unconscious.(the undeveloped potential roaring power of the Godhead). She is showing me, in this dream, a strong symbol of this collective unconscious which is of nothing less than the original and eternal Godhead...symbolized as an ominous Ark. The Ark of the Covenant in the bible was the dwelling place of God and it moved along ahead of the people just as the Ark Boat of the Bible symbolizes the awesome, frightening redeeming processes that involve God's work with humanity. The Ark of my dream houses all the 'Jungian' archetypes from which all that has and potentially can come into human consciousness. That ark and its unfathomable content is what so fascinates me. For these 25 years the anima has been putting me in communications with the Ark's content and I have assimilated somewhat more, I suppose, than many persons.(I only say this egotistical sounding thing for it is the message of the dream.) This is an image reminding me of from where it has all come. It remains as much of a mystery now as before I ever had such direct experience of the Sacred emanating from the Ark.
|A Numinous Ark|
The Ark is pictured going on its way. The Ark is moving away from me having given me all that I needed to complete my job and task. The fact that it was for a moment on dry land symbolizes that for a moment it fully surfaced in order to bring me to the level of consciousness that was needed for the task at hand. Now it is moving on where it will continue to do what it has always done.....wait for the kairos, the right time, to bring more of its unlimited content to receptive human consciousness.
I feel the dream is an appreciative salute from the world of the collective unconscious toward me, as I represent humanity. That is why it so fully got my attention. This is how it chooses to be remembered by me....a strong no-nonsense sacred powerful Ark moving undaunted down the waters of time, occasionally making serious and real contact with human consciousness. I pay profound and wordless tribute to it, for it is what gives human birth and continued human progressive development first and always. And it gives tribute to me, representing the human ego, for without this tiny barely surviving fragile human ego none of its content could ever be known, for only the human ego is capable of consciousness. Only the fragile human ego is able to assist God to be known and thus to be alive and known in the world.
I am speechless as well I should be. ..the mighty ark goes on its lonely way and I am left being nearly as lonely as it. But we are perhaps both alive as much as it is possible for God and a human to be. I'm left with awe and gratitude, surely a sense of grace. But I am also wanting so much to get back to ordinary human life and live it with the joy and wonder the Ark has made me aware is possible. Perhaps God has shown me the possibility of joy and wonder that even God cannot experience except as a human experiences and reports it. I will surely report any such experience back to God, to the Ark from which a voice of God has come to me. I recall the Psalm writer expressing the confidence that he would always sing praises to God. I would hope that the Sacred then can also know such wonder and Joy as the Ark has led me to at least know is humanly possible. Jim Hibbett