Tuesday, November 1, 2011


This is a very serious and sobering dream. A nightmare-like dream of  a church encampment fire. It was people from my churches throughout my adult life as a pastor. We were staying in a rough several story bamboo like dwelling in the deep forest. I was trying to be a leader in midst of the chaos of a fire. It erupted during the night and was supposedly under control and no one had died. But suddenly the fire erupted again and many died. I watched one man die walking around ablaze and screaming. The trauma afterward was horrible. There were flood waters that came and we were in physical survival mode for days. One woman commented that you never know what you can do in survival situations till you do it. In her agony, grief and loss she felt some pride and accomplishment, a sense of transcendence. I knew what she meant. But I was devastated by my own helplessness to be a better leader at such at time.  I am still reeling with the awful  sensations of horror and panic that I had experienced and saw in the faces of the people. I think I irrationally felt it my own fault somehow.

The the dream ended with all becoming calm. Then a beautiful dark haired woman(I'm sure it is ' the church woman' from other dreams.) was obviously way over due in pregnancy and wearing a money green dress. I thought to myself, 'I too am pregnant and ready to deliver."  I desired so much to be with her and support her in her birthing process.
Sistine Chapel  Scenes Depict 'Times of Change' in Bible Story ..1510
I think this dream is both personal and collective. It is hard for me to accept that my own shadow side is able and has inflicted upset, anguish and fear on others. Just knowing of my shadow affects me in the same disturbing way. Areas of life where I have come to my fuller truth have meant at times  harsh conflict with ones I once so fully shared a perception of spiritual truth. This has been my experience of religious, scientific and political interpretations. I fully believe that in the long run allowing ones shadow to become more fully conscious brings improvement and progress to the overall human situation. But it is a fact that many get lost, get hurt, even are killed when such a process is going on in the external world. The personal unconscious and the collective are very double sided realities. During times of extreme change what brings a blessing to one is , at least temporarily, a curse for another. What is salvation for one is temporarily damnation for another. Jesus occasionally described this horribly frightful aspect of truth. He spoke of it being like a sword, a fire, a tearing asunder. I am sadly and horror struck aware of how my shadow experiences have been a source of suffering for ones I love the most, including my family and even the people of the churches I served. It stretched some too far in their desire to be supportive of me but unable to accept what I was finding to be true in the areas of religion, ethics, justice and morality. My attempt has been to follow  in the directions I have come to see the spirit of the 'gospel' is leading.
'Fire' is an eternal symbol of change made through difficulty.

I cannot help but recall that dear Beverly experienced the physical fire with its literal  human destroying capacity as an innocent five year old beautiful girl. She gave me experience of 'the fire' through the spiritual/psychological wound that she carried. A wound that constantly threatened our relationship in our early decades together. I have experienced the refining properties of the fire in an inner psychological way. I think life brings us all to the fire's edge. Some are more ready to consciously enter the fire and be transformed by it. This is a matter of preparation that is outside any effort to logically understand or predict beforehand.

The dream is also showing that we are dealing with deep themes and dynamics of the Collective Unconscious. The building is primitive being of bamboo and it is in the deep forest. This heart rending aspect of psychological/spiritual evolution and growth is an ancient theme that all of us have implanted within us. It is such inner realities that make us aware of how dangerous and unfair the human experience actually is, at least for some people some of the time. By accepting these truths and our incapacity ,at our level of development, to keep them from being so we may become more conscious; and perhaps become ones who can help lead us through such dark times to a brighter day. As long as the realities of the personal and collective shadow are denied, repressed, kept unconscious then personal and collective human horrors will continue even more so to rule the world . As with all forms of evil, only human consciousness can help bring the necessary harmony of the good-evil opposites so that our human responses can become more protective and just, both of other humans and of nature itself. And that the Sacred itself becomes more humane, just as the book of Job depicts such a need in the unconscious raging of Yahweh..
The 'Ready To Deliver' Symbol
The image of 'the church woman' fully pregnant may picture that my work with the inner feminine anima aspect of myself is reaching its fruition. Whatever she is pointing toward as the final phase of my earthly life and task is at hand. She is ready to deliver(another biblical and other spiritual texts strong symbol). The time is at hand. This may also speak of collective changes in the outer world as well. She is beautiful and I long( an erotic aspect of love but not directly sexual here) to be near her, with her in her giving birth to the truth she has nurtured in me for all these years. I want to be very near her in her triumphant labor. Am I, and perhaps all of us, possibly her pregnancy? This archetype of the overly pregnant woman seems to me also very applicable to our national collective situation in America. I am hopeful that something new and healthy is seeking to be born presently. But just as with the Christ Child, already the strongest and wealthiest forces seek to abort such a birth or to kill it on arrival. Here another example of where to some a new spiritual/psychological state arising from the Collective Unconscious seems like the end and destruction of all that is right and comfortable to others. Hopefully it portends eventually  a new, glorious and new found freedom has emerged for all. Generally, as in Jesus' day, it is those so strongly connected to and benefited by the present system (which is most of us to some extent) who are the most threatened, and driven to protect the status quo. At such times these forces are totally on the defensive, creativity-the movement of Spirit- is nowhere in sight for them. Panic is at the door. The experience that 'the fire is in our house' is alive.

So this is much a psychological/spiritual message with the pregnant woman being the anima. But that she likely also represents ' the church woman' in my personal dreams. I am also left with the faintly impression that I need to be ready for contact with a real woman who is an outer reflection of my inner anima. The two would be similar in many respects no doubt. Both have experienced the horrors of the 'fire' and know how unsure, disappointing , unfair and tragic life can be. But both keep movement toward the future going , a more conscious future for human and the Sacred. A future where we can say, especially as humans, ' We never know what we can do in survival situations till we do it.'

No comments: