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At 3:30 A.M., I awoke with this peaceful dream:

I’m working in a large city with countless others, all in a spirit of harmony and peace. Nowhere is there ill will or discord.

What is unusual about this dream is that it continued throughout the night. I’m glad to have receive it.

In robust health, I’m working, totally involved, energized by multiple projects that enlarge my knowledge of life. I’m delighted to be participating and never tire. Countless others surround me from whom I also learn; and they, from me.

The large city suggests the realm of Twelve Step Recovery, where a minority engage in conscious living that involves selfless care for one another, even through chronic pain and illness unto death. Care for the environment also flows from this awareness of the living God within and in our midst, evidenced by the spirit of harmony and peace. Key to this on-going recovery are the practice of faith, emotional honesty, and willingness.

Another association with the large city is St. Augustine’s philosophic treatise City of God (413-466 CE) in which the believers bolster themselves from malicious attacks by the unbelievers of the Earthly City, a conflict that will continue until the end of time.

In view of our present global conflagration, good versus evil, it’s imperative not to lose hope. Another Power is at work who has brought others through similar perils. Lean into It and do the next right thing, with grace. It’s working out …

In today’s quiet, I returned to the lyrics of the protest song, Sounds of Silence (1964), its symbols pin-pricking the Alice-in-Wonderland world shapeshifting around its composer Paul Simon. Then, it was the war in Vietnam, with nightly footage of its atrocities numbing many viewers into powerlessness, voicelessness. Something was very wrong in our world. Switching channels helped.-

In my perception, Sounds of Silence still evokes shudders and speaks to our country’s splintering beneath heaps of social, political, and economic disorders. Morals no longer work; in their place, the bastardization of language.

The protest song opens with the imprint of a powerful dream upon the narrator that commands its communication to

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

And at a later disaster was heard: “Just keep them quiet,” said one of the terrorists on the phone recovered from the debris of United flight 93.

The lyrics continue as if echoing Yahweh’s pleas in the Psalms:  

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

The warning was given. Yet, with passing years, even more trivia has dulled imaginations, stoked hot pursuit of substances, and atrophied psyches—even evolving into monster-like-minions of

 the neon god they made

The timeliness of conversion of heart has never been so urgent—it can be done.

At 7:35 A.M., I awoke to this corrective dream:

I wear a hospital gown and lie upon a gurney, having just been rolled into the operating room for total knee replacement surgery. Last week, I had the same surgery and don’t understand why I have to go through this again. I look around. The room appears unclean, smelly; the nursing staff wears soiled scrubs—one of the nurses injects my mid-back. It stings. To my left, sets a leaden trough with body parts surgically removed from previous patients, earlier in the day.

This dream reveals darkness in my psyche that confounds my spiritual faculties: thinking and choosing. I am powerless, unable to stand on my own, so I believe. More knee surgery would remedy that, another concludes.

The gurney, a wheeled stretcher, takes me to the operating room, the theater of high drama where medicine, fused with technology, often brings about beneficial changes to patients, but not without physical and emotional pain. But this operating room is a toxic environment, with high risks of infection or loss of life. Despite knowing this, I remain helpless to change my circumstances.

Even the body parts surgically removed from previous patients should have roused me. I say nothing and let the plan proceed.

That my psyche was stunned by new energy diminishment the past two days is obvious: gnawing fears of being victim, of self-pity, of still working things out on my own. The dream seems to call for greater trust in God’s plan for my demise, not some credentialed authority in my psyche.

Although weak, I do have a voice.

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