Tag Archives: Dream

Spiritual Isolation

treesI have always been very confident that there is a greater reality that underlies the reality in which our every day life takes place. I suppose this is what the terms “heaven” and “the Kingdom of God” attempt to describe in Christian terminology.

I once had a dream where I experienced this greater reality directly. In my dream I was in a green room lit from some unknown source. There was a low humming sound in the background like a florescent light bulb. What was distinctive about this experience was that it felt “more real” than my every day experience. Along with this feeling of “real” there was also the feeling of recognition or gnosis. It seemed very familiar but not in the deja vu way where I am aware that something is familiar but cannot connect all the dots. In this experience the feeling was simply a timelessness and I felt like I knew with absolute certainty that what I was experiencing was the reality that underlay reality. When I woke up I felt an extreme sense of disappointment and a longing to get back to that ultimate reality. I had the feeling that that place was home and where the important action was happening. It pointed out the fact that in my waking life was an exile hidden by the illusion of normalcy. I had the sense that I was being left out of something that I should be a part of.

Similarly, I remember feeling left out in elementary school when I was not in the smart kid group but felt I should have been.  I was always picked last for kick ball.  I could never get the girls to like me.  People treated me like a loser.  Anytime I put myself out there and tried something new I was humiliated. To defend myself I isolated myself.  This provided some measure of protection but now I know it was me who was leaving myself out.  Because it hurt less than being actively left out by others I kept at it.  But as a result I never got good at those things I isolated myself from.  In a sense I perpetuated my sense of being left out by preventing myself from mastering those skills I would have gained had I put myself out there despite the fear of humiliation. Regretfully, I never had that moment of recognition and struggle to set things right. Now in many ways I am an adult struggling to catch up with everyone else.

I always felt the saddest part of A Christmas Carol was the scene where Ebenezer Scrooge finally shows up to the dinner party hosted by his nephew Fred.  Fred had been inviting him for years to come to dinner on Christmas Day but Scrooge always declined.  When Scrooge finally knocked on the door I imagine he half expected to be rejected but he took a chance and knocked on that door anyway.  I have cried many times watching this scene late at night and perhaps a bit buzzed. There is something about seeing Fred welcome Scrooge with non-judgmental acceptance and genuine happiness that elicits this emotion in me.

There is a connection between these three anecdotes. I am aware that I have been separated from my true self or home. Whether this means my soul, heaven, my true calling in life or all of these things I am not entirely certain. Along with this separation is attached the emotions of longing and sadness. When I see this separation depicted allegorically through literature I experience an emotional release. Emotions (particularly uncontrollable emotions) are always true. That is, they are always there for a reason. Their existence is a clue or a piece of evidence pointing towards a greater truth that what I suspect most people normally experience in their everyday life.

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I Murdered Someone Last Night

Last night I murdered a man at a gas station with a shot-gun.  My friend told me to leave the gun like in the Godfather.  Actually he wasn’t a friend.  He happened to be a childhood acquaintance.   At one time I thought was my best friend.  He was always criticizing me in the form of ball busting.  He always purposefully misunderstood what people said and rephrased it as something risqué.  For example, I might say, “My heart is beating.”  To which he would reply, “Your fart is beating?”  Later on I found out he was talking shit about me behind my back.  This was in middle school some time.  I remember working up the nerve to buy a ticket for a dance for the first time.  They were selling tickets from a table on the stage in the lunch room.  I had never bought a ticket to a dance before because I felt like people would make fun of me.   I was a nerd trying to do something the cool people did.  It was funny in the way a chimp riding a bike is funny.  I was nervous and standing in line but people were cutting in front of me.  Someone told me later that he was laughing at me and calling me a loser.  I felt ashamed and betrayed when I heard that but it sort of opened my eyes that this guy was not really my friend.  I sort of drifted away from him after that.

After I shot the guy I went back to my childhood home.  I remember lying in my childhood bed afraid that I would get arrested for killing the guy.  I prayed to God that no one would ever find out.  Then I thought there must have been a security camera at the gas station.  I felt panic and dread.  I lay there waiting to hear sirens approaching the house and anticipating that it would happen any second.  I prayed some more asking God that I be let off the hook some how.  I thought about what prison would be like.  I did not really have a reason for killing the guy.  I just did it.  Maybe I was trying to impress that childhood friend of mine.

As the dawn light filtered in through the window, I realized I had been dreaming.  I had never shot anyone.  Instead of lying in my childhood bed I was lying on the floor of my new apartment in North Carolina.  I did not have a mattress yet.

Even though this was a dream I actually felt like God answered my prayer.  It was as if the me in the dream was a different, yet equally real, person living in a different reality.  God transported that me into this reality where the crime had never taken place.  By doing this God had wiped the slate clean.  It felt liberating.  This is what forgiveness feels like.

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