The Other Side

Jeane: I have gone over the mountains to visit the office where I used to work, though in the dream it looks different. I know that during one part of the dream I have run into some co-workers and given them a ride. Another person in the car is someone who worked in the building and she was also a client. I give them all a ride somewhere; it is snowing out. At one point I have to make a brief stop at the store, and someone in the car asks me a question. The woman who used to be a client is concerned that I am going to reveal confidential information – not about her, but about anyone – in how I reply.  Because we are standing outside and none of the others are around, I reassure her that I would just make a general reply to what was being asked. I would not reveal any information. Then it feels like I need to drop her off at her home; maybe she is the last one I drop off. Maybe I will even give her a ride on another day.

When I go by the office I discover that there was a client who needed a reference or a form filled out, and no one had done anything about it, so I quickly sent off the information. Because I do that I am looking around a little and I run into another co-worker. She tells me she is really happy. She says everybody is happy except A., a person we hired a year or two ago. No one is quite sure why he is unhappy, but I have not run into him myself.

Then I’m in the front of the office and I notice that they have these little mailboxes and there are at least three letters addressed to me that are requests for information on clients I had worked with. No one is handling these requests. I don’t really have time to handle them, so I go to the secretary (who is happy to see me) and I talk with her. I don’t think I will have time to deal with these requests on this trip, maybe I will need to make a second trip. I tell her I will come up with a form letter so the information from the file can be easily plugged in when they get inquiries like these. It should be getting handled. That’s all I really remember.

John: Your dream raises a problem that I often ponder: How does one go back over to the other side, so to speak? Undertaking a spiritual journey requires a decision – making a choice really – to surrender one’s life to something greater. In making that choice, one has also simultaneously said “no” to many of the trivialities that humans fill their days with. At a minimum that can mean not taking the world, and everyday events, so personally. Decisions like these immediately separate one from the rest of the culture, even if only you know.

So it is like crossing over onto a different path. You can get into a certain balance and cadence there, which can then be challenged or disrupted when you have to go back to “the other side.” That can be dealing with people or things from the past, or the denser aspects of yourself; any lingering issue or involvement. The reason this is a problem is because to make the shift onto a path of spiritual development, one needs to go through a process of annihilating the patterns and practices that have kept one in a state of illusion.

That, however, can create problems of its own, which I would put in the realm of “spiritual illusion.” When you don’t know any better, you just keep on keeping-on until you die, in a kind of ignorance-is-bliss life. When you suddenly realize that there is something more that is possible, something more that can be opened up and occur inside, you find yourself making sacrifices to go in that direction. And that can lead you into a certain sense of relief, even a sense of freedom. Then when you go back over into the past and what was  – when you revisit the very things you’ve turned your back on – you see that things there are still in a bit of disarray, and you can find yourself in judgment of that.

So this is a dream about grounding. And about holding a type of humility in oneself, because you can say no to the illusions and patterns of everyday life and end up taking on the illusions and patterns (wrongly) associated with a spiritual journey. And I suppose this is somewhat supported by ideas like “we are in the world, but not part of it.” If you take an idea like that too literally, you can end up being very cavalier with the world, as if you are above it suddenly. Or, on the other side, you might not give the proper attention to the details that need to be maintained to live a functioning life. There is something really insincere about that, and it lacks a humbleness. It really is just another form of self protection, or self deception.

We will look more deeply into this territory next time, but here is a thought: The process of gaining consciousness includes overcoming the limitations in oneself that prevent our natural connections to higher realms. But those gains are made by being fully grounded in this world, not by avoiding it or denying it.

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