Day 18: Out of Contentious Relationships and Into Intimacy and Play
Observe, how thou art asleep in a dwelling, and its doors are barred; on a sudden thou findest thyself in a far-off city, which thou enterest without moving thy feet or wearying thy body; without using thine eyes, thou seest; without taxing thine ears, thou hearest; without a tongue, thou speakest. And perchance when ten years are gone, thou wilt witness in the outer world the very things thou hast dreamed tonight.
Now there are many wisdoms to ponder in the dream, which none but the people of this Valley can comprehend in their true elements. First, what is this world, where without eye and ear and hand and tongue a man puts all of these to use? Second, how is it that in the outer world thou seest today the effect of a dream, when thou didst vision it in the world of sleep some ten years past? Consider the difference between these two worlds and the mysteries which they conceal, that thou mayest attain to divine confirmations and heavenly discoveries and enter the regions of holiness. Baha’u’llah
There are certain mysteries that happen all around us all the time that science may have a hard time explaining. It may not even want to touch. The main one that continues to astonish me still after working for 20 years in this area is how elegant, perfect, and reliable the dream world is. A few days I had received that wonderful dream about the bear and the wolves from someone who occasionally sends dreams to me. It explained so many truths in such a simple and exact manner. Then this morning someone sent me another bear dream that explains the dynamic between ego power and true intimacy in an amazing way.
When you live in the realm of astonishment or awe, the proper response is gratefulness for the bounties because unlike many phenomena, the content of our dreams is out of our control. No one creates their own dreams at night nor is it desirable to ever try. How is it that the same bear appears in the dream life of two different people?
Here is the second dream bear.
I dream I am entering into a large, crystal clear swimming pool. It reminds me of the pool setting at a resort. Pristine and elegant. There is a huge water slide and water playground. My daughter is swimming there too. I notice her under the water, and she can talk without getting water in her mouth. Hmmm…interesting. She comes up and then starts floating out to swim with friends. As I move out I realize I have to use the washroom. I don’t want to get out because the water is so warm and refreshing, but yet I of course don’t want to urinate in the pool either. I decide to just hold it in.
As I swim out to the deep end I hear someone say “Bear!” and notice a bear comes through the door into the pool area. It’s walking like a human but has a bear body and head. people are moving around and away from it. It swats at a pre-adolescent aged boy, and he flies through the air, nearly landing in the pool. I want to pull him into the water but he is too far away from the water, and my going up on the deck would threaten my own safety. Then this bear leaves and another bear enters, and he flings his own baby into the pool. Then there is this little bear cub who can hardly swim floating in the water. I also want to help the cub but want to stay out of the way of the cub so as to not to get close to the mama bear if she comes in the water.
In this dream we see where the previous dream about the bear and wolves on top of the snow mound is headed. In that dream the goal was to warn the dreamer to stay out of conflict with ego-power so that extremely negative things wouldn’t happen. In this dream we get chapter two of the transformation process by showing were we are headed if we stay in process and stay out of conflict. Many people would argue that we ought to fight with negative power so that the side of right gets on top, but that approach has never worked in human history.
The dream starts in swimming pool that is both crystal clear and has playful elements to them. Water is a relational element. In the previous dream the form of water was snow which is characterized by coldness in human relationships. Here the water is clear and playful, invites you, and allows you to be child-like and speak in depth. These are some of the characteristics of very positive relationships that create closeness. By first doing the work of the first dream by staying out of conflict, then we end up in the second dream which is closeness with each other.
Much of the world believes that the goal is to be on top of the heap of snow, but this dream teaches us that relationships and closeness are ends unto themselves that are much more valuable than being number one. The problem in the dream which signals the work begins when the dreamer has to go to the washroom. Holding in urine in a dream means that you are holding in anger. This is the problem. It probably happens because she doesn’t have confidence that the pool is going to be there when she comes back meaning that the warm and loving relationship will not be there when she lets go of the urine.
Because she holds in the anger rather than letting it go in the washroom meaning processing the anger, then the bears return to disrupt the intimacy when she is trying to get deeper. This is the principle of dealing with ego-power. When you hold onto anger and try to continue your positive life, the ego-power elements return. When you process the anger, the intimacy returns only even much greater. There are several teachings here about ego power that the dreamer (we) needs to know.
First is that when we have been affected as a young person by an abuse of power most often by one’s parents, it is like being swatted by a big bear. It creates anger inside of us that most of us hold onto because we would like to get back at the bear. The goal is to let go of the anger and let go of any motive to get back at the bear, to stay focused on creating love and unity in relationships. Here is why. When the second bear comes in, it swats its own baby into the water to drown. This means that when you stay out of contention with ego-power and focus on relationship-building, the bear kills its own future. As long as a bear is fighting others it gets stronger and keeps moving up. When we stay out of the fight and focus on unity and intimacy, the bear throws away its future. This is simply because intimacy and unity are so much stronger than ego-power.
So the goal for us when we are incensed about what is happening around us by corrupt leaders or an abusive history from our families is to go through a process of letting go of our anger and continue on our path to closeness to each other believing that if we stay true to our path, that the days of the bear are truly numbered.
Get close to your kids. Tell your loved one how much you appreciate them.