Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I Can Sometimes Relate To Eli Stone
Several days ago I wrote about chasing coincidences--the story of how my dreams led me to being interested in both spirituality and Australia.
I had found a book called Conscious Dreaming--written by an Australian (Robert Moss). The book opened my eyes and mind to all types of spiritual things.
I decided to read the book again--now about three and half years later. I'm about a third of the way through and loving it all over again.
In the introduction chapter, he talks a lot about Australia.
In the introduction chapter, he talks a lot about Australia. I'm guessing that when I first read the book I had never heard of any of these Australian things that he mentions. I think the only thing I knew about Australia was that it had kangaroos and koalas, and the capitol was Sydney (Ha!) Oh, I also probably know about Eucalyptus trees.
Now I know so much more, and I finally have the whole capitol thing straightened out in my mind.
I'm not beating myself up for being ignorant about Australia. There's so much in the world to know, and we can't know everything. I just think it's amazing how you can know next to nothing about something one day; and some time later....know so much.
At one time, my family knew nothing about head injuries. I don't think we had ever even heard of them--well, at least I had never heard of it or thought of it. Then someone in my family had a major one, and suddenly we were forced to be experts. At one point, we probably knew more than some doctors (well, the ones that are NOT Neurosurgeons).
Okay, honestly Conscious Dreaming is much more about Spirituality than it is about Australia. And in fact, the author no longer even lives in Australia. He lives in New York. Like me, he was led, through his dreams and synchronicity, to a geographical location.
I can see how reading that book must have brought me enormous amounts of comfort. It talks about the spiritual aspects of dreams--which I don't think I had heard much about.
For my whole life, I had always had very vivid dreams. Some of them felt so real and important.
I don't think I ever received any type of validation for these experiences. I read (and was told) that dreams are just random images--your brain getting rid of garbage. Then, I got my undergraduate degree in psychology--a field which (outside of Jung) usually strips all spirituality away from dreams and turns it into a dry science of symbolism.
This book helped me to realize and accept that you can have personal spiritual experiences--that I don't have to rely on a Rabbi, the Torah, or a Synagogue to experience spirituality.
I am grateful that I found the book--or that the book found me.
I think it's the type of book that someone like me needs to keep reading--well, just to feel moderately okay about myself. You receive quite a lot of opposition when you believe the stuff that I believe.
First there's the religious opposition. I met a lovely nanny in the park one day. This was when my spiritual awakening was in it's infancy--a few months old. We became playground friends during the summer. The only challenge was she was a very religious Christian. I politely listened to her talk about her religious beliefs and kept quiet about my own. Finally, I felt brave enough to speak up and talk about my beliefs. She politely told me that all that I experienced was the work of Satan. I wish I can say that I completely dismissed what she said. But there was a part of me that doubted myself. There was a part of me that took my beautiful and amazing experiences, and began to twist them into something sinister. I'm sure I wasn't much different from the Aboriginals and Native Americans who abandoned their spiritual beliefs, stopped being "heathens" and embraced Christianity.
Yeah. It's hard to have faith when someone tells you that your beliefs are evil.
Then there's the world of science and psychology.
Robert Moss says:
If a fear of dreams breeds witchfinders, it also spawns reductionists who are perhaps more deadly (or at least more deadening) because they invoke scientific jargon in a society where "science" is widely presumed to have all the answers. Turn a certain kind of scientist loose on the dreaming mind and you will soon be informed that dreams are hallucinations spawned by the wash of chemicals or nonsensical clutter triggered by random neural firing. Such findings are usually reported without a single reference to the researcher's personal experience of dreaming, which speaks eloquently about their value.
I love what he says here. I think the thing is....for SOME people this is what dreams feel like. They don't have amazing epic dreams. They rarely remember their dreams and if they do it's usually seemingly random meaningless images. It makes sense for them to believe dreams are just brain farts.
It's hard to believe in something that hasn't happened to you.
It's hard to believe in something that can't be reproduced in a laboratory. Although one book I read talks about how even WITH laboratory evidence, a lot of scientists choose not to believe certain things
Because it's hard to believe in something that doesn't fit into how we already define our world.
I don't have a problem with skepticism--as long as it's done with an open-mind. I DO have a problem with skeptics who have already decided there is no such thing as mysticism and will fight and deny any information that is out there. They're so closed-minded.
On the same token, there are people who are too closed-minded in the other direction. They see a strange image and automatically declare. "I've seen a ghost!" or "God has spoken to me!"
The universe is full of questions. Anyone who thinks they have a definite answer, or has 100% faith in something is a fool. At least in my eyes.
I feel it's best to have an open-mind and see every experience as having multiple valid explanations.