Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Dream of the Marching Worshippers
Not long ago I had the following dream. There are four elements I would like to comment on. First, the dream:
A group of worshippers marches into our living room. They are separated by partitions resembling an egg carton, so that they are separate and yet related at the same time (1).
Led by a woman (2), they are looking for a place to "worship." They do not belong to any sect or creed, but are bound together by "love," in particular, by a common love of beauty, purposefulness, meaning, etc. (3) The woman leader looks at the room and decides this is an appropriate place for them to pray. They all look down at the large oriental carpet on the floor and admire its beauty, then drop to their knees and begin to pray. Even though they pray together, simultaneously, their prayers are individual (4).
When they are done praying they all get up and walk around the room, admiring the various antique, hand-made artifacts and art objects. [End of dream.]
(1) Notice that the "egg carton" image suggests separateness and togetherness at the same time. Two of the most disastrous qualities of recent history are too much separateness, on the one hand, and too much togetherness, on the other. What is required is a balance, or an integration, of these two opposing functions. The dream suggests just such a balance.
(2) The worshippers are led by a woman. I hope it is obvious to anyone reading this post that there will no truly integrative movement in our culture unless women and "the feminine" are brought forward, indeed, are allowed to take the lead, after so many centuries of patriarchal rule.
(3) The group is bound by a "shared love," and furthermore, it is a "love of beauty." This recalls the ancient philosophical notions of Sophia -- Wisdom personified-- and Aphrodite, the Goddess of Beauty and Love. The suppression of Aphrodite is one of the foundations underlying our assault on Nature. And the assault on Nature goes hand-in-hand with an assault on wisdom -- in favor of knowledge and power, at all costs. If we cannot recapture that ancient love of beauty, we may succeed in destroying ourselves and our Earth-brethren.
(4) Again, together yet separate, at the same time. Another conjunction of the opposites. If we don't achieve separateness, as individuals, we will never be able to come together in the way we need to, in order to restore the balance of nature.