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.

 

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