I’ve always been curious about what’s inside. As a child I opened things, from clock radios to music boxes. I’d get a butter knife from the kitchen to remove all of the screws, take it apart, and look inside. For what? I wanted to see how it worked. If the item didn’t work, I thought I could look inside and fix it, which I never could, but that didn’t keep me from opening things.
My grandparents lived on a farm with all kinds of buildings. There was the corn crib, the two-story chicken house, a garage that sheltered the farm truck and tractors, the barn, a spring house, and the smoke house. All of these places provided endless opportunities to look inside on the endless search for some previously-undiscovered hidden treasures.
The opportunity for discovery faded somewhat until in my thirties, when, primarily fueled by the boredom of an uneventful time in my life, I began to pay attention to my nightly dreams. I had been writing them down for a while by the time I entered grad school. I majored, this might not come as much of a surprise, in psychology. I asked the professor in every single psych class what dreams were about and no one could answer.
Then, as luck would have it, the conservative Catholic college I was attending offered a one-credit course on dreams. I kinda feel sorry for the other students in the class, because I was so excited and curious about dreams, I asked a lot of questions. That professor basically handed me the key, and opened the door, to the magical world of symbolism. The class inspired me to continue exploring this dream language, which is a passion that excites me to this day.
In a patriarchal culture where the value is placed on the literal, logical, rational, and practical, anything that doesn’t fall into those categories is often dismissed as irrelevant, fantasy, imaginal, etc. There is an emphasis on the seen over the unseen, which means the inner world is often overlooked, since the outer is perceived as what really matters.
Symbolism is the language of the inner world and the soul. Dreams speak to the soul and that’s why I believe they are most often symbolic in nature. When you understand symbolism, you can decipher your dreams. That key will unlock a world that has remained hidden from the literal, rational, logical mind.
This language is not dualistic in nature, but is unitary. It brings together, deepens understanding of what’s happening, adds meaning to the seemingly meaningless, and reveals to us that there is so much more to life than what we can see. The soul, even though we can’t see it with our eyes, is relevant to the quality of life that we live.
The soul, and the symbolic world in which it resides, are deep and numinous. Nature and beauty are the food and inspiration for the soul. It is whole and complete unto itself. There isn’t anything missing when we rest in the soul. It’s love and the the world in which it exists is one of love as well, which means it’s a space that is outside of duality. This love isn’t superficial, but is the unseen nature of all that exists.
Dreams speak to the soul, they feed the soul to awaken it from it’s slumber. Our nocturnal experiences strengthen it, so that it may become the foundational self from which we live.
When the symbol, or image, unites with the word, it’s like the male and female joining to give birth to something new. There is a link created between the two polarities and what results is an expansion of consciousness. I must confess, it’s a somewhat addictive process, as the wisdom that is often generated is so inspiring. It’s also often incredibly pertinent to exactly where you are on the spiritual journey and assists in moving consciousness out of old states of awareness and into greater unity and wholeness.
When we live from the soul, which is what we really are, we are outside of duality. We can discern the connection between things that seem separate, we love all of life and are aware of its inherent value, we are free to follow our hearts and honor the sacredness of life. Symbolism opens the gate to the secret garden of the soul that is inside of and all around us. The world of the soul is our world, inner and outer, and despite being unseen, it’s value is inestimable to the quality of life. For us and for the planet.