This month marks the second birthday of this blog. Writing it has been an extraordinary experience in many ways, but the most meaningful and joyful part has been meeting you. Knowing you are out there has been deeply comforting, and reading your inspiring thoughts and figuring out how to respond has had a powerful impact on my work. I love it that our dialogues have motivated me to clarify my thinking and explore new ideas. Most of all I appreciate how you’ve helped me trust myself and be bolder about sharing my truths, especially concerning religion and spirituality.
To celebrate this milestone I’m republishing the first post I ever wrote. It’s about the feminine side of my God-image. Initially titled “Coming Home to Feminine Spirituality,” thanks to your influence I’ve changed it to more accurately reflect my fundamental orientation to life: the belief that the healthy evolution of our species hinges on our ability to create partnership between femininity and masculinity.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for joining me in this journey. Julie, in honor of your birthday I dedicate this post to you.
I understand that an emerging name for blog is lifestream. This seems very fitting. It reminds me of one of the two most important dreams of my life. This one came in January of 1989. I had been teaching at a local university for ten years and was growing increasingly dissatisfied. The previous year I had discovered Carl Jung, joined a Jungian study group, and embarked on a program of serious self-examination and dreamwork. The insights I was gaining gave me the courage to consider giving up teaching to do something I really loved, but this was a very difficult step for me. Then I had this BIG dream.
Dream #155:”Going Against the Current.”
I’m walking downstream in a wide, rushing river beside a rocky bank. People are shooting by on rafts and I wonder how they keep from bashing themselves against the rocks. I decide to go back upstream and walk in water up to my chin. The bottom is rough and rocky. I reach up and hold onto some thin, flimsy branches sticking out over the water. This helps a little, but soon there are no more and I have to go on unaided. As I near the last turn , suddenly there are thousands of people in front of me, all heading downstream. I’m in the midst of them, trying to make my way back upstream to the place I’m supposed to be – my base camp. Friendly people press in on every side. Sometimes I gently touch a head or shoulder to propel myself forward. Finally, I’m at the mouth of the river. I put my hands together in front of me and gently part the people; this reminds them of Moses parting the Red Sea and they smile indulgently. Then I’m far out in the ocean in deep water, tired and afraid. Will I make it? Suddenly a younger, blond-haired woman is in front of me, only her head showing above the water. “That was smart of you,” she says. I know she’s strong and rested and will support me if I need to float for a while. Together we head slowly to my base, a place I’ve never been but know to be my destination.
For me, walking through the rushing river represented the swift passage of time in my life’s journey. For most of my life I had been going downstream in the direction of least resistance, believing what I had been told to believe, doing what was expected of me, and ignoring some deep, unfulfilled spiritual yearnings. But the dream confirmed that the time had come to discover and honor the undiscovered aspects of myself and God. Like the children of Israel when they crossed the Red Sea, I was leaving my slavish allegiance to the conventional wisdom of the dominant culture behind. Because of this, I was being reunited with the Absolute (the ocean) and my inner spiritual guide (the blond woman).
I cannot overstate the importance of this dream. I knew “I” didn’t create it; it came from a profound source of wisdom deep within. I think of this inner wisdom as Sophia, the Divine Mother, partner of the masculine Father God. The part of her that speaks to me in dreams I call Dream Mother. Because I had the courage to listen to her and change the direction of my life I eventually discovered my true passions—the search for self-knowledge, spiritual meaning, and writing—and they have made all the difference.
With the guidance of this feminine wisdom I’ve decided to take my newest plunge: lifestreaming on the internet. I hope you’ll find something in the outpourings from my base camp that will help you, too, move in the direction of home.