For today's Friday 5 about dreams, Jan hosts and tells us: "I have just started studying Jung and dreams with a group of friends. I am hearing about lucid dreaming and imagining, which have opened me up to wondering about dreams in general. So how about wondering with me?"
1. Everyone dreams: Do you remember your dreams? How often?
Whenever I wake up out of a dream full of symbolism I usually try to be quiet for a few minutes and assess what it might have been about, though it's been several years since I tried writing down and pondering the meaning of whatever I'd recently dreamt.
2. Did you or do you have a recurring dream? Share it, if you'd like.
As an adult I haven't, but as a little kid I had a visually interesting dream that featured what looked like a board game full of textured black squares I had to move through from start to finish. It always was easy, with almost no roadblocks, but it always took a while to get to the end.
3. Have you ever had recurring themes or images in dreams? Examples?
One basic type of recurring dream features players currently on the periphery or who have been on the outskirts of my life for a short time in roles and situations where now former friends and acquaintances used to be; I'd call those thematic images and they're always people rather than objects.
4. Do you day dream? About what?
As part of living as if and practicing resurrection, I try to daydream often, imagining a here and now, a place, space, and a people that welcome me, do not consider me a threat or a curiosity and are willing to help resurrect me from this death. I envision a scenario where I've found a geographically local, a "parish" church where I can design some posters and bulletin covers, teach on a regular basis, preach now and then, help plan worship, be the regular supply musician or possibly the musician for one of the worship events.
5. What are your dreams/hopes/goals for the future?
Please refer to (4), and to emphasize, I dream of a place where I have a future, where my many years of education, my gifts, skills, and abilities will be exploited and celebrated. Internet options can enhance and enrich life tremendously, but like sacraments, real life is local. Like sacraments, real life is sensory: you can touch and feel, taste and smell, see, hear and celebrate it. The sad reality of someone with my level of education, skills, and experience running around town and around the internet, sending emails, making phone calls and cold calls trying to explain my background and begging folks to let me do something, (sometimes to go to lunch with me!) is plain pathetic. Walter Brueggemann says "bright, skilled, educated people are valued and sought-after"; he also speaks of people being nullified.
What is life? Community, friends, family if you have one, participation and parties, good food, good drink, opportunities for "meaningful" service; for me it needs to include a setting safe enough that I can recover the reasonably full emotional responses that are essential to being human. Real life evolves organically, and isn't something you can manufacture as I've been trying to do. That's my hope for me as an individual, but more broadly, I dream of that kind of setting for everyone. In short, a total environment that helps transform the world and especially the neighborhood (remember, life is local!) into something closer to the Reign of Heaven on Earth. Community, friends, hopes, dreams and participation in the thick of things make us human; they make life and they make life worth living.
PS I loved reading Jung when I was in school and maybe need to check him out again!