THE SPIRITUAL LINEAGE OF DREAMS
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As a person with an immigrant background, I come from a completely broken cultural lineage. I did not know my grandparents and more than that I never heard many stories about them. Three of my four grandparents were born out of the country, in Ireland and Canada and yet…
…I have absolutely no real connection whatsoever to those countries or those cultures.
I have at times in my life studied cultures where the lineage was not broken. I have longed in some ways for lineage – to know in some ways where I have come from.
It is an irony because I also hightly value living in the present moment.
And yet, there is something hard about being present in the moment when your history is a vacuum or broken in any of the myriad of ways that our lineages are broken.
It took me years after I started working with my dreams, to get that my dreams were rebuilding some kind of inner lineage.
Dreams in their own way, carry the deepest of our lineages.
I think part of why it took me so long to get this, is because it is hard to let this possibility in. There is a grace in the possibility that I could actually remember and reclaim what I had thought was lost.
Western culture and history is in part, a history of destroying cultures that had a deeper understanding of our relationship to the earth, of our relationship to God and of our relationship to each other.
As a child in a Catholic school, I specifically remember a nun teaching us about a tree somewhere, that the “natives” of the old country honored in some way. I remember the nun saying how the church saw this as superstition and worse as the heathens “refusing to accept in their entirety the lessons of the inviolate faith” (see Donar’s Oak via Wikipedia).
In the story, the tree was of course cut down and the heathens “converted” to the “one true faith”.
Even as a child I found the story disheartening. And this was long before I knew of the atrocities that were committed upon the “heathens” that didn’t convert.
As a child, for some unknown reason, I sided with and longed for those ancient trees and grieved that I did not, would not ever get to see them.
It used to depress me some to think of all that had been lost.
I get now, that this was the point. The intention of the atrocities was not just to hurt the victim of the torture. The intention was to wipe out these alternative beliefs. The intention was to depress any hope that these alternative ways could live on.
To consider the possibility, that maybe these trees, these ancient groves, these ancient ways still live somewhere in our dreams, scares me in a way.
What if they did not completely succeed?
What if those who tried to destroy these cultures did not completely succeed?
What if in each of us, lives some part of that memory? What if there resides in each of us a kind of inner lineage? A place where there is a knowing that is not so much to be learned but instead to be remembered.
I have come to believe that this is true.
The longer I have worked with my own dreams and those of others, the more that I have learned to trust that we each have an inner lineage of some sort that wants to come into expression in this world.
There is a part of this lineage that is literal in the sense that some of the memories feel almost physical like they are part of a blood lineage. But aside from that, there is a bigger lineage that lives in everyone’s dreams.
A kind of soul lineage.
I don’t know what that means in general. I just know that each of us seems to have some much deeper consciousness that wants to come into being.
I think some part of each of us knows this.
Even those who don’t remember their dreams wonder about their dreams and why they don’t remember them. There is a fascination with dreams that is based in the fact that we feel some resonance with them.
A resonance that we mostly don’t know what to do with.
I think some part of each of us, longs to be in some version of that grove that was cut down. I think we each in some way long for guidance as we try to figure out how to live in this crazy world of ours.
Dreams offer that guidance to us and they can be understood if we feel into them, from this perspective, instead of trying to interpret them or fit them into our usual way of thinking.
I hope this writing helps open you to that possibility. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below. I will try to respond to all questions within 24 hours at most.