Surrender with Honor

Jeane: Before going to bed I watched a movie about Iwo Jima, and the movie influenced my dreams. One dream had to do with the Japanese during the surrender. There are two Japanese officers talking. One of the men planning to surrender has turned into gold, or what appears to be gold. I think a soldier of lower rank is asking someone else in command about that, and I can see that there is this long road to nowhere, and there are people lined up – soldiers that are going to surrender – lined up into the distance, so many feet apart, standing at attention.

And the officer explains that there’s this gold dust, and if you have enough gold dust, then each of the men turns to gold. But it’s not like a gold that anyone can use, it’s just a dust that makes a person appear gold. It feels to me like there is just not enough gold dust for them to become gold. So the rest of the men do not turn into gold as the one man did. That’s all I remember.

John: Wow. That’s an interesting effect. That movie is told from the perspective of what was happening with the Japanese as they were trying to salvage something for the greater good of the homeland (a situation that even they knew was hopeless). As you watched that, what ended up happening was that it created a scenario for a kind of karmic flow in you. You were able to recognize that at the heart of the story was a kind of surrender that, if it were accomplished in a certain way, the result would allow the arising of something golden, rather than being beaten down and defeated.

Gold represents completion. It follows from silver, which is catalytic, to become something that is more grounded, with sensibility and reason. So your dream basically is indicating that you need to personally reach a type of surrender that is about letting go, instead of being about resignation or defeat. It needs something that reflects a true personal honor and depth. In other words, a type of surrender that has enough gold dust.

That’s an interesting way of healing oneself. We get thrown around by life’s events in order to be given the opportunity to observe, see the reality, and to let go completely. In letting go completely, something that is difficult and peculiar (viewed by one’s usual sensibilities and expectations), can become very revealing and enlightening. It’s enlightening in the sense that what might have been devastating no longer has that effect.

There is something quite valuable about this process because a human being usually functions in such a confined way that the reality of the greater whole is lost. We tend to go off on our little deviations and detours. But I’ve noticed that when we are able to absorb the difficulties or strangeness that life throws at us – without being affected internally, meaning emotionally scarred and such – it leads to a greater freedom. It leads to a greater heartfulness. It leads to recognizing that things occur that are unrelated to our expectations, and that’s just the way it is.

It reminds me of a story. A Buddhist told his followers that they were going to go see a man who was known to be one of the most evolved Buddhists in the world. So, he takes his followers into a nightclub and it’s loud and raucous and topless girls are dancing around. Immediately members of the group are wondering, “What in the heck are we doing here?” And they sit there in a petrified state because none of this fits with their expectations of spirituality. But they soon find that the person they are there to see is able to be there, yet not be affected by the environment. He is so pure in himself that he is able to touch the lives of the people there but not be brought down himself.

And so what your dream basically did was take something that could be appalling and crushing in its way, and you were able to see it with a depth of heartfulness so that it couldn’t touch you – you found meaningfulness in the futility. And in that is something golden, something complete.

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