Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On Dreams and Perspective...

I've found that I love writing letters, on life and love and sometimes God. With it, I become more familiar with the Book we're all reading and writing. My friend and I have spent a little time thinking about dreaming recently and written each other on the topic. I found it interesting as my favorite questions are "Why" questions and our discussion dealt with why we dream.

Two notions were made. First was that we dream because God gives us dreaming for learning, particularly about ourselves. Second was the notion that, while we dream, we instead are the active creators of that dream, acting in whatever manner we wish. Suggesting that it's one or the other, created a problem from where exactly dreams originate.

Despite the contradiction, I believe they paradoxically fit together. I think it's a matter of perspective, one no more right than the other. Any 4th grader is familiar with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person pronouns. 1st person referring to "the person who is speaking" (I, me, we). 2nd person refers to "the person who is spoken to" (you and yours). Finally, 3rd person refers to the person or thing being spoken about (he, they, it).

I find a better understanding of our problem by applying this approach to spirit and the source of our dreaming...

For example, spirit in 1p is the Great I, the Maha-atman, the Overmind, Christ in me - the very Witness within ourselves of this and every moment. Spirit in 2p is the Great You or the all-giving God before whom I surrender in love and devotion, understanding my lack of self-sufficiency. Spirit in 3p is the Great It, the Great Web of life and existence, Gaia, the sense of spirit and energy being in all nature, in all matter, in all of creation.

Most people are comfortable with one of these faces of spirit (or of God) but find trouble acknowledging the others. I have grown up in an environment which is very comfortable with spirit in 2nd person. These theistic traditions of which I'm accustomed have long had trouble coming to grips with spirit in 1st person. Until recently, I did too. If anything, now I have a harder time holding on to my appreciation of spirit in 2nd person.

Whether we are the creators of our dreams or if God gives them to us, in my opinion our problem can't be answered one way or the other. They are both correct, none more right than its counterparts. Being the Creator, we see the source in 1st person. Receiving from the Creator, we see the source in 2nd person. I think if any choice is best here, it is the choice of acknowledging both rather than just the one of preference.

In general, not only with dreams, approaching the topic of God seems best done while integrating all three of these aspects. One might have their preference but I think it's healthier to balance one's understanding with them all.

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