Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Pentecost #167

If someone walked up to you on the street today and offered you a million dollars to go live out your dream life, could you  instantly describe what that dream would be?  Most of us, if asked, would define the word dream as something we do when asleep or perhaps, as a daydream, when we are bored in a meeting or class.  The whole science of dream interpretation, though, is based upon the premise that dreams are much more than simply images we see in our subconscious mind while sleeping.  If you study dreams, at some point you will come across this quote:  “everything in a dream is an aspect of ourselves.”

For many of us, dreaming is just something we do in our sleep.  From Plato to Carl Jung, however, man has been fasicinated with dreaming.  They saw and see our dreams as something we do in our sleep.  For others it is a roadmap of our mind, illustrating what we fear or what makes us happy.  For the Aborigine people of Australia, the past, present, and future are explained in their myths of the Dreaming, a concept over forty thousand years old.

The spirits of the Dreaming are eternal mythical creatures who die, only to become part of the natural landscapes.  Thus what may appear to be a barren dessert is actually a living myth.  Recent rains have turned dessert pastures into beautiful colorful fields of wonder.  It is easy to understand how these ancient cultures saw what once had been stark turn into beauty and think it was the result of a supernatural power.  The Dreaming myths have been kept alive through oral tradition, songs, tattoos, sand paintings, and conventional art.

Before we dismiss such beliefs as silly, think about this.  Dreams are mentioned in the Bible one hundred and twenty times.  It may seem crazy in our modern world to believe spirits in the Dreaming die and become part of the landscape but consider the fact that symbols are called the language of dreams.  Perhaps those spirits that seem so alive are just symbols that represent something.  I once had an aunt who named all her trees and shrubs.  While I never really believed these were the returned spirits of my relatives , some of whom had died and others who were still living, it was fun to water them all, speaking to them by the named given to them by my aunt.  Maybe what others called her “green thumb” was simply a different version of the Aborigine Dreaming.

The study of dreams is considered to be a behavioral science.  Older definitions of a dream centered on images seen while sleeping.  We’ve already discussed day dreams, those periods where our mind seems to take a mini vacation.  Maybe we should follow the example of the first people of Australia and ask ourselves if our dreams are trying to tell us something.

Aborigines believe even today that the terrain feature, the topographical distinctions of a region, have power.  Their former spirits of the Dreaming which are now rocks or creeks, mountains or trees have spiritual power and potency.  Our own dreams also have power when we apply action to them.  The only thing keep a dream from becoming reality is a lack of faith in ourselves.  Faith in one’s self can make a dream become a plan for success, a way to fully and completely live the dream.

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