Falling into silence
How dreams speak to us
Good morning, good evening, good afternoon depends on where you are in the world watching this. One thing I have learned with Zoom is you can go by the hour so it is eleven minutes past the hour. The hour here is 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
We are going to fall into silence.
Practically we will remain in silence for as long as we remain in silence. I don’t anticipate that it will go for as long as a Quaker meeting which would usually be an hour of silence although speaking can arise if someone feels moved to speak.
That is moved beyond ego. So that is not speaking from ego but speaking from beyond your ego. We will fall into silence, have a time of silence. If I feel moved beyond myself I will say whatever that might be and if I am not I may share what came to me in the silence. There is always something going on in the silence.
If you want to take longer than this alls you need to do is pause the video.
The silence begins at 1 minute 58 secs
The silence ends 10 minutes 49 secs
(You can skip the video the text follows below)
I was very aware of the noises maybe it is because of the time of day. I am a bit earlier today as I want to watch The Hobbit which is on TV. A good film. A good metaphorical story, journey and all that business.
I have the dryer on in another room. I was also conscious of the possibility of the phone ringing. I hadn't unplugged it. It was my mind that was saying, “There was a noise there” I could hear the traffic behind me. That is all part of it the mind wants to distract you from the silence and say, “Oh the phone might ring so unplug it”, “O go and turn the dryer off” and all those sorts of things but those are the dramas that can come and go, come and go. The machine is still on and it didn't stop me from the silence.
Nothing came from beyond myself but as I seem to do there is always stuff going on as I assume there is in most people.
I am part of a group of contemplative Christians. My own first language if we speak about faith being a language is Christianity. I do think it is important to have a first language (of faith) in order to understand concepts that will bring you on to others. Christianity and Judaism with the Tanakh or the Old Testament have enriched my life and its stories particularly.
At the moment we are looking at Joseph the father of Jesus. He has a dream well there are a lot of dreams. The wise men have a dream that tells them not to go back to Herod. If you don’t know the story google Mathew chapter one and two.
Joseph has a dream where he is told to take the child and the mother to Egypt as it is not safe for them to remain where they are.
There are a lot of dreams in those first two chapters. Joseph has a first dream which tells him to marry Mary the mother of Jesus when there is some doubt about that. Then the wise men have a dream that tells them to go another way. And then Joseph has a dream which tells him to go to Egypt. He also has another dream that tells him to go back to Israel after Herod dies.
This got me thinking about dreams and how dreams speak to us, what they tell us. I am still surprised by the number of people who tell me they don't remember their dreams. I think it is good to get in touch with our dreams.
In the silence, I was thinking about dreams. Two came to mind. I bought a red car once. I had a dream and it seemed a red car was the wrong car to have. It seemed like a ball of fire when I was driving it. The next day I changed it to a Chagnell blue colour.
The biggest dream that affected my life occurred in Birmingham, England. I was 17 at the time. I had gone with a group of young people to a Christian conference. At this conference, there were people from all over the world. There were people from the Republic of Ireland and I felt a connection with them.
In the past, I had been hostile to Irish Nationalists. I come from Northern Ireland, from a Protestant, Unionist, British background.
A change had begun which changed me from that hostility towards peace.
I went to bed one night at the conference and in my dream came the words Christ Unites Ireland. It was so powerful that I felt I needed to get a T-shirt with those words on it which I did the next day.
There is more to this story but the most powerful thing is this dream set me on a different course of my life, making peace. I guess first you have to make peace with yourself before you can make peace with others.
That does not mean to say I am always a peacemaker. I raise issues that can cause strife but I hope I am genuine in raising them. The challenge is for me to work through them in a peaceful way.
So back to the dreams Joseph has a dream that directed his life. How much would that change your life to get out of Israel and go to Egypt? I have spoken about the dream that changed my life. It may be helpful for you to think about the dreams that have changed your life.
We will fall back into silence and then I will turn the video off.