(Image from A.Word.A.Day)
When it comes to cars, I’m only half-useless: most of the time I can tell you what is wrong with an automobile when something goes wrong, but also most of the time I either don’t know how to fix it myself, or I don’t otherwise have the capability to do so – like the tools, or no way to lift the entire car to get under it, that sort of thing.
I’m increasingly feeling like this is a barrier that my spiritual explorations have hit.
Here’s another death dream from a couple of weeks ago, but which I’m certain isn’t literally about death:
I had died. (There’s the death part.) But instead of anything resembling what I was expecting to follow after physical life, I found myself in a Purgatory that looked like a giant apartment complex. A female guide was there to greet me when I appeared there, and she told me that there were two places one could go when one died: if one’s art during life was unbalanced, or the person hadn’t come to grips with it somehow, or they hadn’t accepted it or misused or wasted it, then they would come here. If they had accepted it and found a balance with it, they would move on without having to stop first in this Purgatory.
In the dream it was clear she meant any kind of art, including writing. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think she was talking about any creative energy, whether you’re an artist or not – not quite advancing as far after a lifetime if you wasted it, misused it, used it in an unbalanced way, or never accepted it.
Another interesting thing was that at this point in the dream, and nowhere else, I knew what someone, in this case the guide, was going to say an instant before she said it. More on that in a bit.
At any rate, I was shown a small apartment where I would be living – I have the feeling that I had a roommate, though I never saw one. There was also a lot of physicality here: food (I was taken at one point to a cafeteria) and drinks (I was given a soda that tasted almost exactly like Coke), and books. At one point I was handed a box of books and told that I could check out whatever I wanted, but the cost of checking out a box like that would be spending an extra ten years in this Purgatory. (There was an explanation for that in the dream that has faded since, but I got the feeling it had something to do with misplaced priorities.) The physicality here was also because many people here had a strong attachment to physical reality, sometimes too strong, and this would also act as a middle ground between the physical and non-physical worlds.
I assume that this is probably a heads up that I’m wasting or misapplying my creative energy. The fact that I knew what my guide was going to tell me an instant before she said anything seems to indicate that this was either a guide who was communicating with me outside the physical realm, or myself at a higher level trying to get the message across to my physical self.
But that leads to the questions of What am I doing wrong and How do I correct this?
And hence my car analogy that opened this entry: I can probably diagnose what I’m doing wrong, but I stumble when it comes to trying to figure out how to fix things.
- For starters, I haven’t been doing nearly as much spiritual work lately. Part of this is just not doing it, while part is also that I’ve been busier with other physical pursuits, like extra work. When I do meditate or engage in similar work, I’m typically either trying to visualize something I want or work with clairvoyance, rather than leaving the meditation open to see what might fill a need.
- While the depression has mostly held off in recent weeks, anger and impatience has often seemed to take its place. Frustration and fretting over a few certain but constantly looming things likewise have gotten too much attention.
- I know I should also be writing more. I’m well past time where I should have at least returned to some project of my heart, whether or not it’s paying work. And as it is, much of what I’ve written lately – this blog aside – feels frivolous.
So how to fix them?
There are two paths, I think, and using one doesn’t exclude using the other. First, I’m aware that the dreams themselves are likely pointing me to solutions alongside showing me the problems. But the messages are often opaque, or garbled in my memory when I wake up. It feels like I’ve studied a little bit of Latin, and I can recognize letters and some words, but those appearing in my dreams are speaking Etruscan. There’s a connection, similarities, and I can take some things away, but a smaller amount than I’d like.
Now and again, though, I get a clear message that points to me being my own best enemy. A few days ago I was talking to a figure in a dream who was simultaneously faceless and also reflecting me (don’t ask me how that works – that’s just how it comes out in my memory), and expressing frustration that my dreams weren’t as clear as they were not long ago, and I was remembering less of them recently.
I got two simultaneous answers: one, that this was my own doing for not doing the work properly (this came with the awareness that “properly” meant I was pursuing things the wrong way), and two, that this was the way I wanted it.
That seems contradictory on the surface, but I realized that when you’re talking about multiple levels, it makes perfect sense. If you want to get to Point B but you’re heading in the wrong direction, towards Point L, you don’t necessarily want to make a lot of progress heading towards Point L. So it makes sense that at some higher level, I would be blocking my own progress in dreams if I’m going the wrong way.
What about that second path? Just to be mindful. Well, I say “just” as if it’s easy – it isn’t, but it is simple. I just need to be learn to be more aware of what spiritual work I’m doing when I’m doing it, and why. I need to be aware of what I might be doing to avoid or procrastinate spiritual work. If I’m trying to push and demand instead of accept, I should learn to recognize that immediately and stop it. Some of my best results have come when I’ve let myself be open to a flow, rather than trying to dictate what should happen.
And if for whatever reason I do want to do something specific, or get a specific result – then I should be mindful enough to ask, rather than tell.
I suspect asking is considered the polite thing to do at many different levels of reality.