Thursday, August 25, 2005

how night makes day

Night falls; but me, I can't tell night from day.

My nights are days lit by her face as bright as day.

O night - it's waiting still for word of her that makes you night.

O day - study her face to learn what makes day light.

#956: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: day

I recently dreamt about a character that appears in a TV drama series ("The Bill" from the UK) and I noticed how the dream scene failed to appear when I watched the show. Then, last night, I dreamt I was watching a movie on a screen set up on a stage. At the end of the movie, the actors appeared on the screen to take their bow, much as happens with a stage presentation. One actress, however, came out from behind the screen and took her bow as her "live" self, in front of the audience. This overlap of movie and stage was probably influenced by my recently watching (on DVD) the 1968 classic comedy, The Odd Couple, which is a screen adaptation of a Broadway stage success.

The theme of both my dream and of Rumi's verse is the interplay between reality (as day-time truth) and imagination (as night-time truth). Our subjectivity, the very wiring of our brains if you like, so determines what we see when we're awake, we do well to study our dreams (or communal myths) so as to understand what we are contributing, through our imaginations, to our view of day-time reality, a view that seems so objective but essentially is not. After all, it is a view and that is a psychic content in its essence.

In my own dream, the movie stands in for the dream world and the "live" actress emerges from behind that. However, that same actress helped create the movie or dream. My own preoccupation with different truths or realities is determining how I live and see the world but the world is also feeding me the data that create my views and preoccupations. I like to summarize that by saying that God creates us as we create Her. It's a two-way thing, a symbiotic relationship.

My Big Dream is that this world of humans should come to live in the One World, the One Reality, working towards the One Vision. I'm reading more of John Shelby Spong: this time, his best-selling Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. I love it that he tells it like it is but I can see that so many people are nowhere near his view, whether because he too radically attacks Biblical literalism or because he claims there is any value at all in the Christian religion. At least he unites both sides in the one view that his writing is shocking. That's a start.

I'm somewhat inclined myself to doubt any lasting merit in the Christian religion but I know that my view is coloured by my loathing of fundamentalism, literalism, and especially the preposterous claims of Biblical inerrancy and Papal infallibility. Why can't we - and God Herself - make the odd mistake? To disallow these smallish mistakes is to make one very gigantic or global mistake. I'm all for the little ones, myself.

In whatever small way I can, I mean to walk toward my dream today.


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