DREAMING OF GOD
Do you ever have a dream so engaging, that you don’t want to wake up? When it seems that the subconscious is taking us to some other place that the Jungian analysis doesn’t want to visit for once. Where we are not concerned about getting bitten by a rattlesnake in the garden or worrying if that task is late or undone? You know what I mean, the dream of what dreams are made of. We find ourselves drifting off into an unknown world we want to inhabit and stay! The dream we don’t want to leave. And, if we wake up from it for some reason, we try our best to return to it when we return to our bed.
For the most part, these dreams invite us to a place of inner peace; the best dreams are always the ones where we are content, relaxed, and feeling that unique inner peace in our hearts, the place where God resides.
The picture illustrated here shows what a dream like this would be like for me if I could try and articulate it. For those who have been sailing on the ocean, particularly on a sailboat, you know it’s a beautiful experience. At least when all is going well.
If you have ever had the opportunity to sail at night, it is a totally different experience. Of course, the navigation is much more complex, as you have to use charts, marine knowledge, and a good GPS, but then you have nothing but the wind, slightly illuminated darkness, and the sound of the water on the bow. This is a sublime encounter.
The ocean depicted in the image was taken during a photo excursion on the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts. As you can see there was just enough wind to keep the sailboat moving at a good, but not uncomfortable clip for those on board; the boat was probably doing around 7 knots. This is indicated by the limited whitecaps, which would start to appear around 8 knots and higher. In other words, perfect speed for cruising. The surface of the water is illuminated by the moon, which is out of the image; but its reflection is shown on the right side. And then, of course, there are the stars. Of course, this picture is a composite, with the Milky Way illustrated, but would not be as clear as it is shown in the image. It’s a dream, after all!
So what has all this to do with my relationship with God? Well, quite a lot, as it turns out. Dreams of course, can be of both a natural or supernatural nature. There is much written on the topic of interpreting them, and many a professional makes money interpreting them, some more viable and useful than others.
Nevertheless, what goes on in our subconscious when we “remember” a dream often makes a call to action. Whether it is something that is disturbing us that we need to fix or attend to, or something that is a much bigger calling and perhaps even supernatural in nature. These discussions are best left to a conversation with a qualified Spiritual Advisor, who will be very cautious in their handling of your experience.
However, I do see that dreams fulfill a useful purpose in our spiritual balance, when we are off balance, then may indicate that we need to do something different during our waking hours, in order to re-establish peace with ourselves, deal with a problem or a relationship. In other cases, they can indicate how we are doing in our relationship with God. We can treat our dreams the same way as we might interpret some other input we have received, comments from others, listening to a homily, watching a movie, reading a book or poem, or interpreting what a scripture passage means to us. It is best to say open to what our dreams tell us, even if we can’t initially make sense of them. And yes, some of them certainly don’t make sense, but that does not mean we should not listen.
As far as this image is concerned, this depiction of a Dream Journey has all the elements of what a fine dream might look like. The galaxy of stars we inhabit, the wind propelling us through a gentle ocean, and enough illumination to see where I am going, but a perfectly lit world to show off its beauty. Even when the lights are out. Sleep well. God Bless, Michael.
Image and Reflection Copyright 2022, Michael J. Cunningham OFS