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It’s about air-borne diseases and the air we breathe. It’s about actualizing our birthright. It’s about staying well—and it’s been going on for years, spawning opaqueness in the psyche. Listlessness, confusion, even panic, estrange relationships and distort reality. Flailing for the once-familiar ends—disease has taken its place, and in its wake: fear, suspicion, and incalculable stress.

In my perception, such a scenario exists among us. Pestilence, the fourth rider in the Book of Revelation, still sits astride his pale horse spreading disease and mayhem. There appears no way of suppressing his evil intent, recently targeting planet Earth with the volcanic eruption near Tonga.

But we are not alone. The Psalmist reminds us that Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (119:105) Interfacing with the power of this word in our psychic depths requires prayer, discernment, and rebuilding community with the like-minded. The guidance comes, if we ask.  

Two startling dreams roused me during the pre-dawn hours:

My brother Mark asked my help in removing thousands of silver needles and straight pins from a magnificent display of unique fabrics that commanded rave reviews, worldwide. The venue for this artwork was at the St. Louis Cathedral.

Sleep returned immediately, only to have the following dream surface the next hour:

Many crowd a playing field on a sunny afternoon. Suddenly, the loud speaker system clicks on, and a warning voice announces: “If by 3 P.M., tomorrow, letters, T, O, M and Ed Buegge have not stopped drinking, they will die.” At least the announcer did not disclose the anonymity of my brother, I muse to myself.

Remembering that dream stories are replete with symbols and hidden in the unconscious, I had much to work with, their terror firing me for several hours afterwards.

To deal with these lessons, I prayed, with the psalmist: “Unless the Lord build the house, in vain do the laborers build it.” In my perception, dream work constitutes co-creating with God. He is the Master Builder.

The symbol of thousands of silver needles and straight pins in the first dream has multiple associations: their sharpness and invisibility, their impermanence in holding things together, their potential to inflict pain. Others’ perception of my well-defined character is fleeting, at best: a cover for multiple disorders still lodged in the darkness of my psyche. My brother Mark, already in the next life, invites me to explore this stinking morass with God, so as to remove it, before my own transition.

In the second dream, the announcer’s warning caught me unawares, so lulled I was by the afternoon sun and camaraderie of the participants on the playing field. Only after he clicked off the microphone did the full import of his words strike me with dread: alcoholism, our family disease, and death.

For generations, I’ve Twelve-Stepped my alcoholism and grasped its lethal nature, also evidenced at funerals and memorials. But the felt presence of death in my psyche is a first.

For years, studies of death have attracted me: its multiple expressions found in the work of psychologists and theologians, even authors and musicians. In blogging this subject, I’ve grown. But much of this buzzing about has not touched the core of my death, until this morning’s dream.

I’m grateful to having been so nudged, but more will be revealed. I’ve only to surrender and participate. This is working out…

Listening relaxes strangleholds of madness. Listening diffuses bleeding lisp of anger.

Listening accepts the terror of the unknown. Listening stills gibberish perceptions.

Listening punctures snobbish pretense. Listening twizzles prattle into harmony.

Listening stitches isolation with living color. Listening buoys the next step wherever it leads.

Listening discloses flickers in night skies. Listening staunches negatives within sticky globs of sap.

Listening seeds crevices with wildness. Listening waters arroyos with mud splashes.

Listening vibrates like dulcimers along mountain streams. Listening teases tittering pastels in sun-drenched mornings. Listening burgeons whispered prayer like flowering camellias.

Such listening fosters growth in His likeness, alive in His world. 

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