Sunday, February 19, 2012

DREAM: TRAIN WOMAN/GODDESS...June 11, 2010, edited Feb 19,2012

I was frantically running beside a moving train. I was trying to board it as it moved along. It was a frightening and daring effort and I was successful. When the train arrived at a train station the emphasis was all on 'the church woman.'  (This is the same feminine figure who frequents my dreams or some more collective variation of her.) She was very down dressed in earth tone slacks, flats and long sleeve sweater. Her hair was dark, straight and shoulder length. She had a very barely breaking pleasant confident smile on her face. She was standing with train tickets in hand. People were gathered around her with great admiration and respect. I stayed as a distant observer. Everyone around her had a deep respect for her as if she had proven herself as very unusual by her past actions and behavior. They looked to her as a heroine of great courage and as mortal with consistent integrity. She inspired confidence in them and also in me. She appeared totally unpretentious in spite of the adoring crowd.
Presentation Of Divine Woman

REFLECTION: I realize this spiritual dream would strike many as too unorthodox to appreciate. I can only respond that I believe the scripture in deep and subtle ways points to the 'feminine' as being as necessary a part of the image of God as the male. A historical fact that should be kept in mind as we think about the 'god image' is that oldest and most long enduring images of God in human cultures were predominately female. All of the 'approved' cultures in the Bible , and our American culture for most of its history, are patriarchal cultures which have been born of a near total masculine image of God. We are well into at an age when the feminine is gradually taking its place of equality beside the male in both the spiritual and secular realms. The Old Testament  Greek Septuagint, the translation all  the New Testament writers used, translates directly  the  feminine nature of God in the O.T.  'wisdom books'  as 'Sophia.' God's Wisdom or Sophia  is fully feminine and clearly represented as an  aspect of God in at least five O.T. books. This dream, and documented dreams across a wide spectrum, is reflecting this great feminine aspect of the Sacred. In the New Testament the Marys around Jesus in both the canonical and other gospels present a somewhat hidden feminine nature of God. The story of the 'Virgin Mary' suggests the feminine can be seen as more than human and thus approaching an aspect of God. Later in church history as unconscious forces helped shape the unfolding dogma of the institutional  church came the teachings of the 'immaculate conception ' of Mary and later the 'Assumption of Mary' into heaven. This is a process in history of the feminine taking its rightful place in the Godhead and the Western image of God. The 'Holy Spirit' as presented in the New Testament can accurately be considered as a feminine aspect of God and called 'She' rather than 'He.'

Sophia, The Greek Goddess Of Wisdom
 In retrospect how could we have ever expected that God can be any less feminine than male? Yet this is the emphasis and consistent implication of orthodox Christianity and of the Western cultures it generated. This dream joins the strong movement of making conscious that Male and Female are equal in every realm just as Paul exclaimed, “In Christ there is no male or female but all are one.”

This dream image seems to be one that brings together the image of the goddess and the mortal woman. She is the mortal ' church woman' of previous dreams but also more than that. She is goddess. She is respected and adored beyond what belongs to mortal woman. The picture to the left might be a modern example of the  archetype of mortal woman  which also hints of her Sacred presence.  Here too she is associated with successful travel in otherwise impossible and dangerous situations. There is something in this dream image of woman that is 'numinous', or beyond ordinary mortal daily living. Her radiant smile is similar to the image of Jesus in the story of the transfiguration. It has a mesmerizing quality to it. She is all the Marys of the N.T. in one image. She is the bringer and creator of new and better things to come. She is at once down to earth in her dress and unpretentious, yet she is heavenly in her radiant yet tempered  smile that promises everything a human can expect as heavenly. I have no way of separating the mortal from the anima/goddess that this dream presents. I am as worshipful and adoring of her as anyone else is. It seems impossible not to be.

 The dream suggests I have managed with much difficulty to catch the last train that is taking me to some nearly final destination. And 'woman' in the most positive ways I have come to image her is somehow the goal and fulfillment of the long journey. She also is a traveler and is headed somewhere with tickets in hand. She is so wholesome, grounded, lovely and wise. I felt that I was coming into her presence now not for just a fading glimpse but to somehow manage to become a co traveler with her. ...that she and I are going the 'same way' at last. This would be , however unorthodox, the image of finding and being in harmony with the 'will of God' for ones life. This dream captures both Conscious and Unconscious, Male and Female, Flesh and Spirit, the Religious and Secular and the Personal and Collective aspects of the reality of my inner world. It is a symbol of unity. It says far more than words can and I sense it means more than I am yet able to comprehend. This is an encouraging dream bringing together so much of what my inner world has been about all of my adult life. My ego is pictured as wholly amazed in the presence of this human/divine figure. I will absorb this as fully as I can and will expect my travels to become even more blessed by the living feminine principle, by 'woman.'

RELATED THOUGHTS:  I've come to believe that  the 'uniting of opposites', including those listed above, is the driving spiritual/psychological goal and process of  all Human/Sacred life. These 'opposites' exist separated  in less than peaceful and productive  ways internally within all people. They also exist in the outer world and are involved, for good and ill, in all the communication/relationship  efforts among us all. The process of  these becoming more united is the goal  and dynamics of the inner  psychological/spiritual process that Jung refers to as Individuation.  I think this process is happening within each of us and in our various cultures and in the whole of  Human/Sacred development.

A difference  in humans is that some adults become more conscious of this  process than others. Being more, but never anywhere close to completely, aware of it should help a person  be more cooperative with it and to better facilitate the process in inner and outer life. I think the story of individual and human  history  implies that the Sacred, God,  is also participating in this process in a similar way. This means that God and Human are far more interconnected than most theologies are prepared to formulate. The Christian concept of  the 'incarnation' of God in the Human should alert us to the idea that God and Human are two aspects of the  same foundation of ultimate reality.  It is not true that the various god-images we humans now carry  have already fully accomplished the 'uniting the of opposites' and thus have already arrived at an unequivocal and perfected moral consciousness. So God does not, is not  fully able in the present situation, to reconcile these opposites within Itself and then offer this completion as a free gift of Salvation to Human kind. Rather God through our very lives is always inviting us to consciously participate in this very necessary goal of  Sacred/Human development which can be described as nothing less than grace and Salvation.

This process can also be described as the ongoing incarnation of God  in every human life. As  humans make progress, which we can find much historical  evidence of happening in various times and ways, this becomes the human gift to God is  an essential  for the Sacred's   need to continue its process of  Conscious Moral development. It may be that just as there can be much that  humanity collectively  'forgets' which  needs to be brought back to ego consciousness, the state of God is also not in touch with what may have in some time or  way been such qualities as omniscience and omnipotence. The reality of the world and its 'splitness'  including   the Good -Evil split is evidence that no Sacred reality is independently  in touch with or is  practicing the qualities of omniscience and omnipotence.

It has been my personal experience for a quarter century that it is the  psychological/spiritual 'feminine principle', to which this dream refers,  that has been the primary avenue offered to me to help in the ongoing and never completed process of individuation, of uniting the opposites. This inner 'feminine principle' which Jung calls the 'anima' serves as a bridge connecting the Collective Unconscious, which for practical matters is the place of origins of what has always been called ' the voice of God', and our human ego consciousness.  I can imagine as this process becomes more conscious among humans  that the goals and striving of humans  will become more in harmony with it. For example adults in  their daily living and in all vocations and professions will agree that assisting younger generations to be more conscious that  the process of 'uniting the opposites' is the single most important common work for each of us.   Jim

No comments: