Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friends and followers.

Have you changed or are you who you are?

Last night I had a dream that I was running a marathon, which began in the neighborhood of my childhood, ending at the river bank. (That right there is rich in symbolism.)  My best friends took what I considered to be the longer, out of the way route, while I followed some of my new friends, or acquaintances along what seemed to be a shorter route:  Knowing full well we'd have to follow a detour because the downtown area and other obstacles were in the way, thus causing our route to be the longer and more arduous route. Along the way, I passed several places that seemed significant to my life, some of them I ran past, others I stopped momentarily to revisit - always moving on, intent on passing my friends to arrive at the finish line first.  

Within the dream I told myself the dream was interesting because it demonstrated that I have always been on a path much different than my good friends, while those I had conceded to follow were not really my friends at all. In fact they were just people I encountered on my way.  As I grew conscious of familiar sites along my way, sites the others knew nothing about, I noticed I was alone each time I stopped to revisit a place or event; my companions remained outside my experience.

Nevertheless, it seemed my thoughts always returned to my real friends, my childhood friends - those who had taken the shorter route.  I also think I knew we could never had taken the same route. Of course I knew the shorter route was easier, not only because it was more direct, but because my friends had the support of one another. My route grew more and more difficult because it not only had many detours and obstacles to overcome, it also lacked the support of faithful friends. Thus it became clearer to me that I was really just caught up in a milieu, that those persons in my company were in reality simply acquaintances. I no longer needed to try to catch up to them, or try to win their approval or acceptance.  I didn't have to prove myself to strangers because real friends accept one another for who they are - just as they are.

I suppose I know more about the dream and what it meant than I've revealed here, at least I think I do - but I don't really pay attention to dreams - they can't be trusted, although one may enjoy them.   Some people imagine their dreams to be inspired - perhaps they are - for the dreamer.  Keep in mind the following maxim however, "whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver." 

I don't really 'believe' in dreams.  Neither do I believe in other people's locutions.

Once I thought I saw Blessed Pier Giorgio in the clouds - like a flash, out of the corner of my eye. But I just thought I saw him.


  1. Sometimes I'm terrified of human freedom and desire, of my own "mode" by which I receive. I fear forever being trapped in my own subjectivity, limiting my union with God.

    I share the feeling Kafka had:

    "Not dehumanized; human, rather, all too human. It was people in their insatiable fullness, not in their mechanized emptiness, that Kafka feared." -Zadie Smith, "The Limited Circle Is Pure," in The New Republic, 11/3/03

  2. St. Teresa of Avila makes it clear that we have these "imaginings" and "dreams" but they are in no way the same as a "vision" in which we actually encounter the person of Christ (or Mary). It is very easy for the devil to use imaginings and dreams.

    Of course it is also easy for us to gather true insight from our dreams just like we can from any thought.

  3. Thanks guys for your serious reflections - I like that.

  4. That's a very interesting dream and to me it speaks about our lives and how often we knew when we were in particular situations or places that we shouldn't really have been there or that they weren't conducive to our growing in virtue etc.
    My dreams tend to be about places that seem familiar in my dream or even places i've lived or been but when I think about it awake the places are really no place I know and yet I do. My dreams have certain "feels" to them certain energy. I dont really have "bright" or "happy" dreams but neither do I have nightmares on a regular basis. I really haven't for years. I was once told by someone years ago that he feared for me in my sleep when he heard me crying out and he even said he prayed for me when he would hear me in those nightmares.

  5. Why do everyone else's dreams seem to have meaning and mystery? I can't remember the last time I had a dream that wasn't utter nonsense or didn't involve me getting into some trouble that I am glad to wake up and find out didn't happen. Or, something good happening that I find out didn't happen.

    But mostly it's all random nonsense. I tend to think that's what all dreams are ... but maybe it's because I've never had one that even *seemed* to mean anything?

    I almost never remember them - if I dream at all. I'm a terrible sleeper.


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