During the First Annual Gathering of Friendly Mystics, I heard that we were being called to “name the spiritual condition of the world.” Mariellen later encouraged me to share the story of that leading. Given that the story is somewhat long, I have split it into parts and removed some of the less relevant and most personal details.
As I sat down to write this story, an image-feeling came to me; it was of energy radiating from a center. I realized that it was a representation of the calling — of the inward experience that led up to, composed, and followed it. Then I realized, from the side view, that the image of radiating energy looked like a mountain. So I will share the story as it happened chronologically but urge you to keep in mind that inwardly it was like climbing a mountain.
The Climb Up
On the morning of Thursday, June 13th, I woke up from a dream. I had dreamed that I was in the church I grew up in. There was to be a wedding after worship in the main sanctuary, but then it appeared that there was going to be a smaller wedding in the room off the sanctuary.
No one had set up for the wedding. The bride was trying to do everything herself. The bride’s and groom’s family and friends were not helping. The groom seemed immature. He was there and willing to do things but was not taking any leadership. I saw that they needed help, so I got involved.
There were a number of people milling about, seemingly unaware that there was going to be a wedding. I tried to get the attention of the people in the room who were guests. I couldn’t get their attention.
I decided that the pocket doors, that would close the room off from the sanctuary, needed to be closed. I thought that if I could get them to close, I could get the people to hear me and then take some appropriate action.
My mom came and saw that the people weren’t paying attention to me, even when I was talking to them in my loudest voice. She told me just to start taking action.
Later, I dreamed that I was with my immediate family. We were going to be part of a worship service in a very large room. There were chairs in rows. For some reason, Reid was moving the chairs around so there were spaces between the chairs. As a a result, I was not going to be able to sit by them.
The next morning, Friday, June 14th, the first day of the gathering, I had this dream. I am associated with a man. We are in underground terrain. He is leading a group. I am not in the group. I am going along with him but alongside, not part of the group. He is trying to get them to sing.
We are on a bus trip. We stop at a gift shop where I find a camera. It is in a box. I look at its features. It is a 35mm camera. It has a lot of components that go with it. The film case seems like the toner cartridge – it’s not just a cylindrical drum. Even though I don’t fully understand the camera, I decide to get it anyway. I believe I can figure it out after we leave. I am confident it is what I am looking for.
Later that same morning, I received a letter from my brother. In the envelope was a card, a picture of him, and a letter which documented an intense dream. After seeing all the contents of the letter, I felt stunned. Soon, I could tell that I was not allowing my feelings to surface. After I allowed, felt and processed them, I realized that my brother trusted me and was willing to be vulnerable with me. I treasured that; I saw it as a gift.
Upon reflection, I realized that what my brother shared with me and my associated reaction to it had additional significance. My feelings associated with caring for him allowed me to see that other caregivers who are open and receptive to the people they care for might also feel as I did. In particular, it helped me to perceive that I was being cared for in this way without previously being aware of how my caregiver felt about me.
Later that same day, when I was reflecting upon this experience and my recent dreams, I recognized that masculine and feminine aspects of myself were preparing for a joint action, that I had an inward maternal figure helping me, and that I had the tool (the camera) necessary to capture a true image of myself.
Before going to bed, the first night of the gathering, I realized that I was loved by my caregiver. I revelled in the feeling.
Then, at about 4 a.m. Saturday morning, I woke up from a knock inside my head, which was soon followed by light pouring into my consciousness. I hadn’t experienced either before, so I got up, as a way to note the reality of the experience and, ironically, to help myself go back to sleep. Getting back to sleep was important to me, because I really wanted to attend early meeting for worship the next morning.
After I fell asleep, I had a dream. In the dream, I found Marcelle. I was looking for her, because I wanted to ask her about what I had experienced. When I asked her, she responded by saying it was wind. She said it in a way that I could not tell if ‘wind’ meant nothing or something.
Upon waking Saturday morning, I realized that wind was another name for the Holy Spirit.