Lesson 4: Set Free by A Dream
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old me shall dream dreams;”
For this blog, please read the previous entries for context.
Carl Jung is reported to have said “Please remember, it’s what you are that heals not what you know.”
I had a lot of knowledge of mindfulness, being present, the necessity to be still, meditation techniques, etc. but no healing was happening because my mind was racing. All the books I had read made sense, but I couldn’t apply the concept in the isolated forest. In fact, I was getting worse. The more my awareness grew, the greater my frustration. The more my frustration grew, the more I felt stuck! I was fighting against my mind, trying to quieten it, force it to be still. The problem was that there was no escape – no TV, no internet, no people, no distractions. Just me! Isolation drives awareness and I was not liking what I was seeing!
Each morning, I dutifully prayed, meditated, and journaled. Those times were quieter, but during the day, and especially in the long quiet night, my mind was hyperactive. I was earnestly doing my best, but my best could not quieten the inner noise.
God’s grace in a dream! I am writing this knowing that some of my readers will pull back, that I may lose credibility in their eyes, but I don’t care. The gift of the dream profoundly changed my experience and I am very grateful for it. I won’t bore you with the personal details, but the interpretation of the dream was simple and clear. In fact, it was as if “God”, or the dream, gave me my very own mindfulness technique.
In short, in my dream, I saw this 40-foot container barge (it as like a floating container), that was ties to a huge mooring post. It was tied with a thick rope at the front and back. Suddenly, this huge force hit the side of the barge, snapping the ropes and setting it adrift. Once adrift, it slowly and gently just floated down the river and out of sight. There was more to the dream, but that’s not for now.
I spent dome time with this dream and finally came to see that the barge was set free by an external force. With my belief system, I easily attribute that to God. For me, that was God’s doing. I haven’t mentioned, but when I saw the barge attached to the mooring post, I intuitively knew that it was “my” barge, and it was full of my stuff.
Initially in the dream, I tracked the barge with the help of friend who was flying a helicopter (Yes, I know… but everything is possible in metaphor), but then finally understood. I simply had to let it go!
Like most profound truths, this simple dream changed the trajectory of my forest journey. I realised that I could simply take my thoughts, my anxieties, my schemes, my inner conversations, and my fantasies, and put them into the container. Once there, all I had to do was observe, and they would float downstream, eventually out of sight, and more importantly, out of mind.
Over the next 30 days, I sent hundreds of containers down that river. Each time I observed myself caught up in my mind, I simply took the thought, put it in the container and watched it drift away.
The amazing thing is – it has never failed!
Slowly but surely, the clutter in my mind slowed down. As the noise quietened, I grew more present! Within days, I began to see and experience the forest in a deeper way, began to connect within at a deeper level. My perception and intuition began to grow, and I could feel my heart open. Dare I say, I even felt more connected to the mystery that I call God.
This experience has significantly affirmed my belief that our unconscious has wisdom that we need. In the forest there were no teachers, no clever YouTube tutorials to watch, and no “guru’s” hiding in the trees. It was just me… and I needed help. I desperately needed help! Who would have thought that the necessary psychological technique would present itself through a dream? 40 days ago, I may have been slightly skeptical, but today, I absolutely believe that this is a legitimate was to gain inner guidance. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I believe our Christian traditions have lost a great tool for receiving inner direction, as we discredit or neglect the legitimate attention to people’s dreams. A quick search indicates that in at least 21 documented cases, our Christian examples were specifically lead through dreams (and some of them were quite wacky).
Caveat: I do understand that this is an area that can be misused and as such cause harm. I do not believe that internet interpretations or “dream book” motifs should be consulted in any way. I believe this guidance should come from our “true elders”. I have been lucky enough to have 3 over the last decade. Their guidance has been invaluable. I believe that it is time to regain what has been lost.
I wrote this blog because so many of us post-moderns are caught up in our minds. Thought it a great gift, but when it governs and controls all our time, it can lead to inner disconnect, and heightened anxiety and fear. I know it did in me! My hope if that you will allow your awareness to grow. Begin to observe what happens in your mind, what you think about, how dominant your fears and anxieties are, and where you spend most of your time. Also, observe how you numb the chatter… TV, alcohol, YouTube, gaming, etc.
I also want you to know, we can deal with it. I have no idea if my new technique will work for you. It may, but I do not know. I do believe however, that there is a solution. I also believe that the solution is within you if you are prepared to focus and listen within. This doesn’t mean we can’t get advice or external guidance, but when all is said and done, it is you who will have to develop the awareness. You who will have to have the courage to make changes, and you who will need to show endurance and keep going.
I am pleased to report back, my mind is much calmer now that I find it relatively easy to be present, and my awareness is growing.
Remember, this is not a challenge, just a simple invitation to allow awareness to grown and then to access your inner courage for change.