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At 2:00 A.M., I awoke with a strong impression of Vietnam, with no accompanying dream story.

Instead, a flood of images converged in its wake: anti-war demonstrations, President Johnson and his advisors in the Oval office, TV coverage of guerilla warfare with casualties, the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. withdrawal from the conflict, the horrific stories that followed, the 1975 unification of Vietnam, bloodied by thirty years of killing.

So the question remains, what does Vietnam say to me now?

A brief YouTube of this country reveals an impoverishment of spirit with unconscious war scars, an aping of Western ways, and an enslavement to Communism. Lost in the dust of centuries is its identity as a people with its dynasties, its Buddhism temples, and its skirmishes with China.

Certainly, I own my self-imposed impoverishment: violence, confusion, need to please others, and skewed perceptions that I still deal with in Chronic Pain Anonymous. But I shudder to think of the bleeding remnants, still hidden within the recesses of my unconscious.

With God’s help, I’ve come this far. The challenge is to continue mining my dreams for more hints of such disorders and Twelve-Step them away, one day at a time. So I pray for healing…



Salt sprinkles upon summer’s vegetables, steamed just right, pleasure my taste buds and prompts taking more forkfuls until satisfied. Without salt, blandness settles upon my tongue like crud, shrinks hunger, and diminishes satiety. Indeed, salt seems to enhance foods like symphony conductors, their musicians—The end result satisfies, deeply.

Toward this fulfillment many yearn today, given the multi-faceted impoverishment that cripples psyches, that discounts the spiritual, however expressed. Such evil mirrors the mythological Hydra, a gigantic water-snake-like monster with nine heads, one of which was immortal. In ancient Greece as well as today, such monsters spew unbridled terror resulting in cookie-cutter posturing in boardrooms, courts of law, churches, and universities. Change is suspect and frowned upon.

In view of this deplorable situation, how retain salty spirits? How access humor still lodged in our depths? How inhale winds of harmony, of shimmering colors, of nature’s imprints? I ask myself these questions, daily.
Of necessity, I watch Jesus in the Gospels salt his followers with counter-cultural behaviors: There is blessedness in being poor in spirit, in being meek, mournful, merciful, clean of heart, peacemakers, open to suffering, and hungering for what is right—all reversals of wayward instincts on rampage for power, prestige, and sexual aberrations.

Jesus says further, Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.

Thus a fresh discipline emerges from within that lightens our steps, no longer trudging to the tin-horn band tooting nonsense. Boldly, we step out of line for a different path that works and follow it with the like-minded. It works.


Within dark recesses dwells the Sacred Feminine.

It was hard to wrap words around this waking experience, shimmering in blues like the night sky before total darkness. Its stillness opened me to distant realms, to uncanny rhythms, to womb-like nurturing, to joy. I put off full consciousness, savoring each instant. Imperceptibly, the dream faded and I opened my eyes, slowly. Then recorded it in my notebook.

For days, I pondered the dream’s implication — the Sacred Feminine embedded in creation — the revelation of an order more powerful than the unprecedented fears generated by telecommunication technologies saturating our planet. “Distracted by distraction,” a phrase taken from T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, unsuspecting media-watchers are dulled by daily reports of wars and mayhem, starvation, drought, political wrangling, societal and economic breakdown. More and more, an armed presence is justified to maintain “law and order.” Just look around. Listen.

In my perception, evil lurks within this darkness; its might, evidenced by war-toys, effectively quells the dissident, wrecks havoc upon the earth, and fosters materialism.

How counter such madness? How remain grounded, despite this maelstrom? How uncover the lies generated by the Dark Ones?

No easy task. This is war. Return to your spiritual disciplines, from whatever school, and practice them, especially meditation. Keep abreast with what is really happening. Be with like-minded people. For those desirous of Her dark nurturing presence, She will reveal Herself.

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