A Dream of God
I say, “I think she’s sleeping in bed, but….”
And then, the child throws off the bed covers and pops out of bed, dashing to go by me through the doorway. So, I catch the child, grabbing around the waist and lifting this little body with the legs still running in the air, then I say,” did you have a scary dream?”
So, the legs stop swinging and a squeaky voice says back to me, “yes, a very scary monster was chasing me.”
I say, “Really? Was a monster really chasing you, or did you only dream that a monster was chasing you?”
“In the dream, there was a monster chasing me.”
I say, “Aha. So you were just dreaming that you were in a dream getting chased, right?”
“You’re weird. I simply had a dream of a monster! I want Mama, not you.”
But then I say, “Well, I have also had a dream of a scary monster. Would you like me to tell you about it?”
The child quickly- almost as if reading my mind- says, “No,” then repeats, “I want Mama!”
Then I say, “Oh, that’s right. You want to tell her about the dream, right?”
“Yes,” the child says, raising eyebrows, pausing, then adding: “You can carry me to her… now.”
So, I put the child’s body on to my right hip- with one leg in front of me and one leg behind me, and then I started walking… very… slowly.
“What,” I ask, “would you tell her about the dream?”
“I’m not talking to you.”
I say, “I think I just heard something!”
“I think you were just talking to me!” I say.
“I just had a scary dream and now you are scaring me more!”
“Right- the one with the monster chasing you, right?” I say
“Well, what about it?” I ask
“Well,” says the child, “this big monster was chasing me. I had been picking flowers for Mama when I heard a loud noise and turned to see a huge wave of a thing with white and black stripes and a hundred legs. It was coming right towards me and it could run right through the trees- like a wave flowing around rocks on a rocky coast. The black and white waves were just moving up and down as it ran. There was no way to get away.”
“That,” I say, “sounds a lot like a herd of zebra,” as I turned back around at the end of the hallway and began heading… very… slowly… right back toward the child’s bedroom.
Excitely, the child continues: “So, I dropped the flowers that I had picked for Mama and I started running as fast as I could, but the sound of the monster….”
“The herd of zebra,” I ask?
“Whatever. it was getting louder and closer, so I knelt down on the ground and prayed for God to tell me how to stay safe.”
“Wow,” I say, moving the child’s body over to my left hip, “and then what?”
“Then, God told me to clear a space on the dirt, so I quickly moved the leves away and had a clear, flat, open place in the dirt just in front of me. I asked God what to do next, and God said to draw a stop button in the dirt.”
“What do you mean,” I ask, “by a stop button?”
“A stop button is how you stop a video when it’s playing on the TV.”
“Oh, okay,” I say, “like a stop button can turn off music that is in the middle of playing.”
“Right. One of those,” says the child. “Also, there is a black square shape on my stop button. Anyway, I drew one of them in the dirt, the God told me to push the stop button, so I did.”
“And…” I ask, “then what?”
“That was it.”
“So, the herd of zebras just stopped running….” I say.
“No, silly! I pushed the stop button of the whole dream. There never really was a herd of zebras running toward me.”
“Oh, right,” I say.
“But I was really scared though!”
“Yeah,” I say, nodding my head, “I could fell your heart going fast when I first put your body next to mine.”
“Plus I wet the bed.”
Suddenly, I noticed that I was holding the child at arm’s length right in front of me, one of my hands under each armpit, and I could see the dark spot in the crotch of the pajamas, and then I looked at each of my sides and saw two similar dark spots on my clothes over my hips.
“That’s what I needed to tell Mama,” says the child, “that the bed is wet… very wet”
“Ah, I see,” I say, “Well, we can get some other pajamas and a dry sheet and I’ll put the wet stuff with the other laundry for washing.”
I set the child back down in the bedroom, then pulled the wet laundry off of the bed, and I put dry bedding on the bed while the child changed pajamas.
“You have pee on your clothes now, too,” says the child.
“I already know that!” I reply.
“Are you mad?”
I look down and answer: “No, but these clothes….”
“Because you sure do look mad and those are your best dress clothes, aren’t they?”
“Right,” I say, ” so now I am not going to wear these to the event.”
“What does event mean,” asks the child.
“Well, an event is, uh, sometime when a bunch of people wear their best dress clothes, but without any pee on the clothes. That’s an event.”
“But your clothes…” the child starts to say.
“Yes, I know,” I interject, looking closely at the darkest spot on my clothes. “Maybe I can quickly change into something else that would work,” I say to no one in particular, then sigh.
“You can borrow my stop button,” says the child.
“What?” I ask, turning to face the child.
“Just imagine a button- like floating in mid-air, right there! Then, if you just push the button, the dream will suddenly….”
(Commentary for adults)
Consider that your body is not really you. Without the life of you, your body is a corpse. What you witness in your life- everything that actually happens/appears- as in whatever we believe to be happening or to have happened- is not really you, either, and, by the way, may not have even happened. It could all be a dream… that you might not know was a dream unless it has already ended. And, once a dream ends, we know that nothing in the deram ever really even happened.
In every religion and every culture, as far as I know, there are teaching about a distinctive way of experiencing life- distinct from what we may already know. first, there is the default way in which people divide life into categories- like how I think I am and how I think others are, then comparisons and judgments of what is better or worse, along with strivings, conflicts, controversies, blame, guilt, complaining, fixing, resenting, contempt, and antagonism, whether overt or “passive” or “effectively repressed.”
I’m calling all of that “the spirit of divisiveness” which tells stories of personal importance (specialness), and may be called, in varying degress, insanity. The term sin, I think of as the letters S, I, and N- with N referring to a narrative or story. I used to call it the Self-Isolating Narration. I altered that slightly.
The Self-Importance Narrative is sin, and it’s wages (or fruits) are, at the risk of sounding overdramatic, hell. The Self-Importance Narrative is the story of how we divide life into not me and me (or us and them, enemy and hero), into whatever is declared “important” and all the rest.
Note that I am not condemning any of that- and to an extent I am doing that right now- dividing life into two ways of living- that divided way and some other possible way. So, “over here” is the broken spirit of divisiveness with it’s Self-Importance Narrative to compensate or cope with how life is allegedly a problem (an important one of course).
In contrast, religions worldwide also teach of a way of experiencing life that I am calling the Holy Spirit. Some traditions use sayings like “the Lord God is One” or “The Father and I are one.” That is the voice or perspective of the undivided or Holy Spirit, which we could also call integrity.
We may have been taught that who we may think we are (the broken spirit of self-important narratives) must be sacrificed for the Holy Spirit to fill us. When the Holy Spirit encounters another part of life that is struggling with a broken spirit of divisiveness, the Holy Spirit may bless that Broken Spirit, proclaiming that the Holy Spirit heals all divisiveness, waking life up from the dream of self-importance, self-righteousness, and struggle as inherent to all life always (as distinct from struggle as something that may or may not happen in life, like something occasional or even optional).
The experience of attachment- with us attached to these bodies and them attached to those bodies- may be only a dream. If anything seems to keep you from the Holy Spirit and it’s “peace beyond understanding,” are you willing to sacrifice that? Are you willing to “push the stop button” as soon as you experience the belief in a problem- perhaps even right now?
When the Holy Spirit encounters life dreaming that it is broken, isolated, in conflict with another part of life that may seem to oppose it, the Holy Spirit may say “Bless you.”
One may say to another: “in my language, we honor the one God in a trinity as Creator, Sustainer, and Transformer but you people over there deny the oneness of God and worship Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and so on, so, in the honor of the One God, we’ll kill you.” That would be a tragic irony, since Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva refer to the “divine” functions as Creator, Sustainer, and Transformer. The one who is full of the Holy Spirit knows that God does not need people to defend or protect God or argue over trinity or unity or which languages or words are God’s favorite (the most special/important).
The nations and churches that protest and argue and make war may not disgrace God, yet nor are they accepting the Holy Spirit into their experience as they die to the experience of broken, conflicted, self-importance and be born again in/as the Holy Spirit. Do we die to self-importance, never looking back, and live now from inspiration? If not now, when?
The Buddha says “give up your suffering and let the light shine from within you.” Mohammed says: “Surrender your broken spirit of personal willfulness to the Holy One.” Christ says, “stop sinning, and be still, knowing God. The Kingdom of Heaven is within. Seek it first, and then all else will be added. Father, I give you my spirit,” and that last part- which Christians may think of as the crucial, pivotal moment in the history of Christianity- was actually a direct quotation from the ancient Hebrew scripture of Psalms 31:5. In other words, that was a Pre-Christian saying which Jesus simply repeated. Even the story of a crucified “only Son of God” may pre-date Jesus and Christianity. But those who worship Jesus as the most self-important of all… are still operating in that same old narrative of self-importance! Those who are proud of Jesus and not humble, but proud. That is quite distinct from being grateful or curious or amazed, and being proud might be great, too, but being humble is distinct from being proud- even proud of soemone else like Jesus.
Do you notice any conflict in the paraphrased proverbs above of Buddha and Mohammed and Jesus quoting the ancient Hebrews? Wait- what if there isn’t any?
What if at the root of all the major religious traditions of the world, there is a single root? What if these traditions are essentially identical at the core?
Here is a quiz for you: who said “The Lord God is One?” Was it Mohammed, Jesus, Joshua, Yeshua, Issa, Isaiah, Moses, Mishrah, Ibrahim, Abraham, or Brahma? What if they all said it?
By the way, Jesus, Joshua, Yeshua, and Issa are established as being 4 names (in different languages) for the same prophet. Same for Ibrahim and Abraham… and possibly Brahma.
Sure, there is some variation in the content and translations of what any particular prophet or religious figure taught- assuming each of these literary figures refer to people who really lived, which to me simply is not important, at least not important relative to the simple, profound teachings! How couldn’t there be some variation (as well as some argument), given that at the time there was no single world-wide language, no internet, no printing presses, and so on?
Let those who would argue enjoy their socializing. Let those who have the ears to ear recieve the good news with joyous gratitude. Let hearts open to God and experience being full of the Holy Spirit right now, this very moment, Here.
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