Working With Dream Themes: The Appearance of Deities in Dreams

Deities as avatars of energy in dreams

Jesus Riding on a Donkey
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One of the eye-opening experiences about dreams is that we may see a visitor from the divine realms in our nocturnal reveries. I think this happens more commonly that most people would let on, being reluctant to say in casual conversation something like, “I had a dream about Jesus last night.” Actually, this happened to me several times over the many years that I have been recording dreams and I am sure something similar can be said by anyone else who has been keeping a life-long dream journal.

Example: Two Dreams

In my case, long ago I had a dream about Jesus sitting by himself on center stage in an auditorium. The lighting was focused on him and he was looking out to the audience. That was all there was to the dream. At the time, I wasn’t sure what the dream meant. While I have always been a believing Christian, I was raised Catholic where there was a whole host of spiritual beings that were held in high regard starting from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the angels and archangels and then the Blessed Virgin and saints for every day of the week! Being named Frances, I even had my own guardian saint with about seven saints I could choose from who had the same name. While I loved the richness of the stories and traditions told about these figures, I didn’t have a special connection to anyone of these beings.

I fell away from practicing Catholicism due to that church’s stand on women in leadership positions. I continued to do “my own thing” by praying and meditating. As the years passed, however, I noticed that the energy I held around the figure of Jesus continued to increase. I started to pray more frequently to him. Later, I came to see that for me, Jesus was becoming “center stage” not only as a deity to believe in but as an avatar of a purposeful and loving life which would well be worth emulating.

A number of years afterwards, this spiritual trend in my life seemed to be confirmed by another dream I had of Jesus riding by on a donkey, going from the left to the right. Again, the dream did not have much other meaning at the time; however, when I felt called to the priesthood and was accepted in the training program of the Episcopal Church, I began to see the dream as pointing the way to my new career: priests are supposed to be the embodiment of Christ on earth. They go through life simply and lovingly, and usually don’t drive flashy cars.

For me, then, these two dreams of a divine being represented the growth of a spiritual energy within myself. I do believe that inside each one of us are avatars of energy reflecting the transforming values and beliefs we hold most dearly. We only need to nurture these energies in ourselves so that we too can go in the wonderful directions they are leading us. Who is your divine nocturnal visitor and where is that being leading you?

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Luke 12: Radical Intuitive Awareness as the Way through the Worries of the World

Field of Lilies (222275926)Perhaps one of the biggest challenges Jesus makes of his disciples and to us today is written in Luke 12: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.” There are very few of us who have never worried ourselves silly about any one of these things. To actually make the choice to NOT worry about these things, and be able to pull it off, requires a deep trust and a profound intuitive insight into the love that provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields as well as each of us.

Caught Up in Dualistic Thinking

Asking what gets in the way of being able to trust so deeply challenges us to dig deep to recognize our fears—fears that indicate our waking consciousness with its limited understanding is ruling the day. Waking consciousness is governed by the rational mind which sees only dualism: right and wrong, life and death, health and disease, strong and weak, rich and poor, insider and outsider. It is the outcome of the human condition, of eating of the Tree of Knowledge, knowing good and evil. We can be blinded by our fears, producing anxious greed, insecurity and endless striving for what we think will help us. If we do get what we want, we become like the rich man who thinks he is on top of the world with his riches that will last him for years, not knowing his riches will be worth nothing when his life is taken that night. Caught in this duality, we will always prefer and strive for one over the other, not recognizing there is another way of understanding the world.

Intuition as the Road to move beyond Dualistic Thinking that Traps Us in Worry

Intuition is the awareness of oneness, that we all part of the whole and, as a result are informed and supported by the whole. This awareness as expressed in relationship is love. The more we can rely on intuition, the greater the result. Edgar Cayce said in reading 792-2, “The more and more each is impelled by that which is intuitive, or the relying upon the soul force within, the greater, the farther, the deeper, the broader, the more constructive may be the result.” ‪ A developed intuition, one that has been tested and proven true, can trust that the Spirit will come to inform us in times of crises, and that our needs will be provided, freeing us to recognize the needs of others to be just as important as our own.‬

Jesus was well aware that his teachings which are based on the radical intuitive awareness that we are one with each other is not in accordance with the ways of the world. He said his words would pit mother against daughter and father and against son. And yet the radical intuitive awareness known as love is the way out of the limitations of dualistic thinking.

Luke 10: Choices of an Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Story of Martha and Mary

Jesus With Martha and Mary — Tintoretto

Luke 10 is about preparing and sending the disciples out in the world to heal and to preach. The stories told within Luke 10 illustrate the values based choices necessary for someone called to participate in Jesus’ mission. The Parable of the Good Samaritan defines what it means to love my neighbor and the Story of Martha and Mary shows what it means to sit in the presence of divine wisdom. Both involve choices that come from an open, empathetic and intuitive heart.

Treating the Stranger as Oneself

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan (who was thought to be inferior in class and moral values to the Jews) is ironically the one who treats a stranger beaten and robbed as he would want to be treated—quite unlike the priest and the Levite. The Samaritan is the one who is operating from a moral perspective which recognizes that this is a human being just like himself. Since he wouldn’t want to be left hurt and penniless by the wayside, he simply makes the choice to help the man. This is empathy in action. It shows a heart open to the needs of others.

To Do or to Be Still and Receptive: The Better Choice

The Story of Martha and Mary clearly describes the state of mind of each one of us at any given moment. One part of us is busy, running about taking care of errands, serving others and the performing the tasks of everyday life. This is the doing part of ourselves that make us feel like we have “to do” something in any situation, and often make us feel good when we have done something. The other part of us—which wants to sit quietly, patiently and attentively to hear what comes from silence— however, is often ignored and disparaged in our action-oriented society as being lazy or useless, “navel gazing” with no productive outcome. Jesus makes clear this latter choice to sit in the presence of divine wisdom is the better choice. It is a reminder to us to put aside the busyness of the day and sit in intuitive reflection, open to what comes in the silence.

Luke 9: An Intuitive Perspective on the Road to Transfiguration and Beyond

Raphael's Transfiguration of Jesus

The Transfiguration by Raphael

Luke 9 is about bringing the disciples to the mountain top, literally and figuratively, and then sending them into the world while letting them know what the cost of discipleship is all about.  In the process, a growth of intuitive insight occurs among the disciples to the point where they can see the full revealing of Jesus as He is, beyond the carpenter from Nazareth.  They can see his essential energy field in all its glory and wonder, as well as those of Moses and Elijah who set in motion the forces of spiritual tradition that led to Jesus.

A Call to Let Go

After having chosen his disciples, Jesus sends them out with little in the way of backup support to proclaim the Good News and to heal.  In a sense, it is the pulling away of the usual supports we are accustomed to for a greater good.  The call to grow one’s intuition often involves a call to let go of the things we previously relied on for support.

A Discovery of Miraculous Abundance

Early on in the call to open the third eye of understanding, the seeker becomes aware that highly developed spiritual persons can summon and bring abundance of resources and good health, defying our common perspective that the pie is only so large.  The disciples witness this so many times they begin to believe it themselves.  They begin to see that life can be lived on different terms.  There will always be enough with the grace of God.

The Recognition of God’s Presence among Us

Jesus constantly asks His disciples who they think He is, testing their depth of spiritual awareness.  When Peter answers that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus knows Peter’s eyes have been opened.  In a sense, all of us are constantly being asked the same thing.  Can we see the presence of God in our lives?  If Jesus is the God for us, can we recognize Him here among us now?  As with Peter, when we can see God even in the lowliest person, we have reached a significant point of spiritual development.

Before the disciples recognized Jesus’ true nature, the demons inside possessed people were the only ones who recognized Him.  It is much the same within ourselves, our demons torment us, and make us aware until we can recognize the divine and be healed.  Their coming to the fore is almost necessary to precede the healing call of the divine.

The Mountain Top Experience

Like Peter and the apostles, we are usually relaxed, half asleep or in a state of meditation when suddenly there is a shift of consciousness and we can see auras and energy fields.  In this state the disciples witness Jesus in splendor, along with the great spiritual leaders who preceded him.  Like us, the disciples want to capture this precious moment and make order out of it by constructing something to make it permanent.  They want to build booths to contain the wonder they have just seen just as we want to write about, paint, sing, memorialize or “churchify” our spiritual experiences.

The Need to Go Out Into the World

Jesus knows it is not only about the mountain top experience.  It is also about acting as His disciples at a time when he won’t be around, spreading the news of what they have just witnessed and doing the miraculous things He has done.  He explains what this entails: the profound insight demands an equally profound and unconditional call to action.  It is the basis for the call to action.

Luke 7: The Empathetic Power of the Open Intuitive Heart

Empathy

Energy of the Empathetic Heart

Veronese

Christ and Centurion – Paolo Veronese Courtesy Wikipedia

Luke 7 contains stories that show intuitive understanding at work in the world and show where it is not, and what happens as a result. As the Master, Jesus Himself was capable of a great deal of intuitive love. His empathy, which is the driving force of intuition, picks up on the devastated state of the Widow and compels Him to bring her son back to life.

Consider the stories of the Centurion and the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet. How did they get the insight that Jesus could help them? Luke doesn’t tell us. Theologians would probably say it was the gift given in time of need. This defines intuition exactly—a gift of understanding and awareness given when needed, either for one’s own self or to help another. This gift comes from a source beyond the capabilities of the waking mind and rational thought and it comes when the heart is in the right place: open, caring and loving.

Empathy Sees Into the Heart of the Matter

The Centurion and Woman who washed Jesus’ feet were remarkable but very different people sharing two things in common: somehow they knew that Jesus had miraculous power to help them and their hearts were in the right place.
In the case of the Centurion, from his line of work he understood the nature of authority and command. When an order was given by one authorized to give it, the order was done. But that doesn’t explain how he knew that Jesus had authority like no other, so much so that he didn’t feel qualified to see him anymore than he would feel qualified to stand before the emperor of Rome. However, he was a good man who helped build the synagogue. He had a sick slave he cared a deal about and wanted to help. It may have been the open goodness of own his heart that empathized with Jesus, recognizing in Jesus a commanding goodness that was able to help in a way that he himself would help if he had the power and authority to act in such a way.

In the case of the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet, again we are not told how she knew Jesus was someone in whom she could trust her whole being. We only knew she sensed her sins were forgiven by Jesus’ love and understanding and responded accordingly with great love and gratitude. Her actions show her uninhibited expressions of love, unlike the closed, tight actions of the Pharisee that hosted Jesus. Hers was a heart that was utterly open to love. Perhaps the Woman empathized with the power of Jesus, seeing in Jesus someone who loved and forgave as she was capable of doing.

The Superficiality of Judgment Replacing Empathy

Where empathy is absent, casting judgment based on superficial input rules the day as in the case of the Pharisee who only saw the Woman washing Jesus’ feet as a sinner. It is not surprising then that this Pharisee also did not open his heart warmly to Jesus as his guest. By his own heart not being open, he could not see into the heart of the Woman or the heart of Jesus and acted much like the Pharisees who refused to accept John because this prophet was not dressed in silks and living in a palace.

Luke 6: It takes an Intuitive Heart to Reach Out to the Outcast

The sixth chapter of Luke tells about Jesus picking his disciples and setting the standard for what it means to be his disciples. It is the first thing any great leader does in a given situation: define the operating values which will govern the activity or endeavor at hand. What is being asked of the disciples is that they discard their accustomed ways of viewing the world, their ideas of right and wrong, likes and dislikes and see the world in a whole new topsy-turvy way that can only be understood through the eyes of an open intuitive, loving heart. Logic and our usual calculated ways of thinking strain to understand this new world view.

Jesus presents his standards in the Sermon on the Plain where he clearly states—contrary to what we all have been taught and led to expect by society—that it is the poor, the hungry, the sorrowful and the hated who are blessed. However, none us, if we believe what society thinks, wants to be included among this ragtag lot and so spend much of our lives avoiding being identified with such a group. Instead, we align ourselves with the very group who Jesus calls woe upon: the rich, the well fed, the happy and those with sterling reputations. The questions are 1) why do we do this, and 2) why does Jesus call us to do otherwise?

I think we identify with the rich and well off because we ourselves are afraid of being poor, hungry, sad and hated. We know that deep down inside there are aspects of each of us that feel want, loss and dislike—inner outcasts we all would rather avoid and deny.

Intuition is knowledge arising out of empathy and compassion

It takes an open, loving intuitive heart to understand why Jesus says the poor are blessed. Unlike rational, waking consciousness which separates and divides while delineating likes and dislikes, intuition knows the full spectrum of what it means to be human and sees it all as one. Unlike psychic ability, intuition is a form of profound awareness about another person that arises out of empathy and compassion. When I see someone through an intuitive heart I understand this person is no different from me, and is actually part of me and I am part of her or him in an interconnected, mystical universe. Therefore the intuitive heart sees the other, no matter how strange, awful, disgusting, fearsome, or loathsome as not only someone out there but as someone representing an aspect of myself which needs accepting. When I can accept that in myself, I can accept it in others.

Acting intuitively means reaching out to the outcasts in our own selves and in our neighborhoods

And this is why I believe St. Francis’ defining moment on his spiritual journey was the embracing of the leper. Lepers represented to him everything he feared and loathed. Embracing the leper meant dissolving all that separated him from his own deepest Self and from a group he had previously avoided. People who seriously embark on a spiritual journey at some point must drop their conventional thinking, see the world in a new, intuitive way, and embrace their own leper in order to be at one with their deeper Self and others. Reaching out to and identifying with the poor, bereaved and oppressed are ways to embrace the feared lepers in our own selves. These outcasts hold the key to our own transformation on the spiritual journey

Luke 4: Faith Healing and the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Jesus Healing the Sick

Jesus Healing the Sick

The first hearers of Luke’s story of Jesus would have the stories of healings and exorcisms (Luke 4:31-44) to be a normal part of life. What do they mean for us in today’s society?  Is there room for healing in our faith?

In mainstream Christian traditions like Catholicism and Anglicanism faith healing has not been emphasized, perhaps reflecting modern society’s bent to prefer a scientific approach to healing. While people have always prayed for good health and blessed themselves against evil, these were “back burner” practices, not given center stage importance as Jesus did in his ministry.  This attitude may be changing, however, with the recent popularity of energy medicine and notions of how energy heals in Asian traditions.  These practices may become the bridges that can help westerners understand how faith healing works, and thereby open up the possibility for a more general acceptance of it.

What is Faith Healing?

As a “hands on healer” in my own church, I can see a need to educate people about faith healing.  It is not “magic,” and certainly nothing to be afraid of.   It is energy that flows because love desires to help someone with a need.  When Jesus healed, He healed energetically.  For example, in Luke 8:48 Jesus even says he felt energy go out from him as the woman with a hemorrhage sought his healing.

The Power of the Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Modern day faith and energy healers recognize this kind of energy flow that can go from one person to another.  Many take the compassionate intuitive heart to be the locus that draws and directs this healing energy to other people.  This was verified for me in a dream when I saw a physician who told me that healing comes from what can be called the intuitive heart, a region he pointed out to be just above and to the left of the physical heart.  Healing energy then goes out from there.  From my own experience and observation I have seen that a developed sense of intuition provides an empathetic inner knowing of the other person’s state thereby initiating and inspiring an open heart to help someone who is suffering.  The heart’s intentionality to help sets and directs the energy on its path.