The Cross and the Course
Shared by Brian
I recorded the dream described below on Wednesday, July 25, 2012. As is my custom for dreams I consider to have a spiritual message for me, I wrote down this dream in my journal and reflected on what I learned and how I could apply the learning in my waking life.
This dream occurred at a time of significant turmoil in my working life. At the office, the team I was heading was slated to be folded into a newly formed team, with a newly defined focus, and a newly appointed leader. I felt very much as though events were “happening” to me, and that I had very little control or influence on the outcome. As a result, I felt that the mission of my existing team was being abolished and my own professional contributions were being diminished. I believe the following dream addressed this situation.
I am alone, friendless, on a hillside at night. I am just awaking from sleep.
In the dim light prior to dawn, I open my eyes. I become aware of my body being in an upside down position, bound by ropes to a wooden cross. My feet are tied up on the shaft of the cross, and my head and shoulders just reach the ground. My entire body is tightly bound and I am gagged.
I am aware that I enabled this, that I am responsible for this. In disgust, I think to myself, “How could I allow this to happen to me? This is not good. All the blood will run to my head. And the others are coming to watch me and taunt me, I can feel their intentions. I must get away from here!”
I struggle and twist against the ropes to free myself. I can feel a growing sense of panic. At last I manage to free myself from the cross, and my body collapses to the ground.
In the gloom, I can just make out the rows of tents of the others who are camped out on the hillside around me. I am aware that they are coming toward me. I stumble up onto my feet. I half run, half lurch my way across the hillside, trying to scream at them. I am still gagged, so all I can get out is a dreadfully muffled scream of “Get away, get away from me!” I am filled with terror of the others, and with anger at myself for putting myself in this position.
I stumble down into a treed ravine. I find there a small stream. I seem to know that I will be safe if I stay within the stream. I wade into the stream to reach a flat, white rock. Exhausted, I lie down on the rock and quickly fall to sleep.
When I awaken, I am still lying on the rock in the stream. The first thing I notice is that the stream is running the opposite direction from what I would expect, based on the lay of the land around me. It is running up hill!
I look down at the waters. The sun is shining on the stream. And as I look, I see within the waters flashes of brilliant light, red and orange, and blue and yellow, all the colors of the rainbow. I watch as the beautiful colors arc and mingle and dance as they make their way through the stream.
In that moment, I hear a quiet, loving voice that says to me, “See, this is A Course in Miracles.”
Reflection and Application
In the dream, my sense of isolation and loneliness was palpable. I probably have never felt quite as vulnerable as this at any point in my waking or dreaming life. When the dream opened and I found that I was bound upside down on the cross, it accentuated my intense feeling of victimization. The dream indicated that there is part of me that knows that I myself am responsible for projecting the picture of a terrifying situation, even though another part of me is enraged by that idea.
The tents of the “others” were arranged as in an army encampment all around me. Yet as I reflect back on it, I never actually saw any of the others at any point in the dream. Thus, even the mere idea of an “enemy” struck terror into my heart. I can see now that the enemy was but an illusion of my own making, reflective of my perception that my work colleagues were persecuting me in my waking life. When I freed myself from the cross, the best I could do was to try to run away in terror. But I never really felt safe until I found the rock in the stream.
The dream reminded me there is a place of peace in every situation, no matter how fearful the situation appears. The stream, where I found safety, was down in the ravine. It is a place not visible to the rest of the world.
I awoke, became aware of my situation, in two very different places within the dream. The first was waking in the night, in the darkness, to find myself on the cross. The second was waking in the morning, in the light, to find myself in a place of peace. My rock is the peace I find through practicing A Course in Miracles.
Even in the dream, I was struck by the sight of the stream running up hill. I feel deeply within me that the Course is guiding me up to a higher place. I need but follow the gentle, confident voice that abides within me, the Voice for God. As I reflect back on the vision of that beautiful stream, I can see that there was something joyful, even playful, about the way the lights danced in the waters.
After recording this dream in my journal, I was guided to this passage from Lesson 73 of the Workbook which seemed to resonate with me:
“Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. Grievances darken your mind, and you look out upon a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light.”
And I held to the following idea from the lesson to hold and practice as I approached the uncertainties of my job:
“I will there be light. Let me behold the light that reflects God’s will and mine.”
Following this dream, I went into my days at work with a somewhat “shifted” perspective. I remembered that sense of peace being on that rock, and the feeling of joy in viewing those lights in the stream, and I tried to bring those feelings into each hour of my work day.
In the end, it took several months, but I did find my attitude improve about the changes to my job. I found myself embracing the new opportunity. I found myself looking at my colleagues without the baggage of my past grievances. I even found myself going into the days saying, with a glimmer of anticipation, “Now I will there be light!”