This is very much in contrast to before, when my dreams were generally more persecutory in nature. There was always a problem of some kind, with an undercurrent of tension, danger, and an irritating lack of resolution. I don't mean nightmares. Rather, just being hassled by something or someone. I still occasionally get one of those, but not often.
An idea popped into my head. A theory. To the extent that religion is "true," it is true in a way that is much deeper, wider, and more expansive than, say, scientific or mathematic truth. As we know, it speaks to a "deeper" and "higher" part of ourselves. In terms of attachment theory, science is the Wire Mother, while religion is the Cloth Mother, the latter providing another kind of nourishment that is just as vital to survival.
At the same time, dreams obviously speak from a deeper part of ourselves. I wonder if there is some relationship between the speaking-to of religion and the speaking-from of dreams?
Yesterday we spoke of hacking God; perhaps hacking the upper vertical would be a more felicitous way of expressing it. I wonder if religion hacks into the unconscious -- or better, the non-conscious, which extends vertically up and down -- in such a way that the unconscious then hacks into the upper vertical? If so, this would explain the transformation in my dream life.
We've all heard variations of the expression "feeding the soul." It refers to a common experience, and goes to the reality of both the food and the soul: if the soul didn't exist then we wouldn't hunger for (nor be nourished by) the food, and if the food didn't exist we wouldn't be aware of having a soul.
Put it this way. I think we've used this example in the past, but compare it to the sex drive. How do we know we have one? Because we are attracted to certain objects exterior to us. Likewise, how do we know we have a soul? Among other reasons, because of its spontaneous attractions: the attractor and attractee are mutually illuminating.
Yesterday we spoke of Dante's Divine Comedy. What is it but a kind of vivid waking dream of heaven, hell, and purgatory? Countless souls have been nourished by its imagery -- for example, Bob Dylan:
She lit a burner on the stove / And offered me a pipe I thought you'd never say hello, she said / You look like the silent type
Then she opened up a book of poems / And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet / From the thirteenth century
And every one of them words rang true / And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page / Like it was written in my soul
From me to you / Tangled up in blue
Then there is this: He [Jacob] lay down to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
Like me, Jacob wakes up, reviews his dream, and says, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.
And How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!
Wait. What place are we talking about? Is it outside, in some object? Or inside, in the soul? Obviously it is both, the one illuminating the other. At once Jacob perceives God and is awakened to a deeper experience of selfhood.
In The Symmetry of God, Bomford suggests that "the mystics' God be called 'The Unconscious of God' and that any other aspect of God be attributed to 'The Consciousness of God.'" This is a helpful way of looking at it: dogma, for example, goes to the Consciousness of God. You could say that it is addressed to the left brain.
Even so, it inevitably spills over into the right, due to its archetypal symbolism. It has a more "mechanical" effect on the left, a more "organic" one on the right; in the latter it is as if seeds are planted, which grow in unexpected ways.
Bomford quotes the Jesuit William Johnston, who writes that "the consciousness gradually expands and integrates data from the so-called unconscious while the whole personality is absorbed into the great mystery of God."
That sounds about right: left and right spur a mutual growth in one another, which in turn spurs an expansive growth in God. Or you could leave God out of it and just say O: we metabolize O via a kind of psychic metabolism between the conscious and supraconscious realms of the soul.
Two Big Errors: "The first is to infinitize the finite, the second to finitize the infinite. In religious terms both are idolatrous" (ibid.).
With certain qualifications. I would say that it is always an Intrinsic Cosmic Heresy to infinitize the finite, which is Genesis 3 all over again. It is Marxism, materialism, relativism, deconstruction, and any number of other pneumopathologies. It is the Left.
However, we must in some sense finitize the infinite, or we can't think about it at all. It's just that it must not remain static but be deployed as... as what, exactly?
Somewhere Schuon expresses it perfectly. Let me see if I can find it...
"We are here at the limit of the expressible; it is the fault of no one if within every enunciation of this kind there remain unanswerable questions.... [I]t is all too evident that wisdom cannot start from the intention of expressing the ineffable; but it intends to furnish points of reference which permit us to open ourselves to the ineffable to the extent possible, and according to what is foreseen by the Will of God" (emphasis mine).
The Points of Reference represent conscious knowledge of God, but we don't leave it at that. Rather, they are God-given grist for metacosmic dreaming.