Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dreams

Just saw the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" tonight. I loved it! It was so slow and steady, flowing like a river through this man's life. So much of it was in that time that I love so much: the 20s, 30s, and 40s. It was so sweet and alive, just a man's life. It was like telling the story of any person's life, the magic and love and memories that fill a normal person's life, a person like me, but since he's aging backwards there's something special going on, but really were just kind of tricked into experiencing the magic and sorrow of real, everyday life.

Benjamin Button grows younger and younger until he is just a little baby when he passes away. That's exactly what I want for myself. I can only hope and strive that I may be as innocent and pure as a newborn baby when it is my time to pass from this world, because that passing is not the end but the beginning. It is not death. It is birth, and all I can do for myself here is to develop in the womb as best I can. Everything but my own spiritual growth and the bonds of love I share with others will pass away.

The knowledge Baha'u'llah has given me about the afterlife is kind of a double edged sword. It makes me feel at peace with the whole process and not afraid, but rather excited about the prospect of moving on from this world. It puts everything in the right perspective and endows life with true meaning that I can embrace completely. In a sense, eternal life has begun already! At the same time, however, knowing that the next world is one of light without darkness, union without seperation, joy without suffering, and goodness without evil, makes this world sometimes seem all the darker. It makes me sometimes so impatient to be quit of it, and frustrated that I must experience so much toil and sorrow. And so many suffer so much more than me. To love God is to know that you are in prison. Ignorant bliss is shattered forever when you see what true freedom is, the freedom that comes only from letting go of this world and its trappings, submitting your will entirely to God, cleansing your heart with sincere efforts in His path, and opening it completely to His love and care.

That all sounds great right? It is great, but it's really difficult to to actually do and maintain and can be really painful, like strenuous exercise. True life, spiritual life, is such a challenge. It demands so much--everything! I often feel alone, more alone than perhaps I really am, and it's harder when I feel that way. That's why, if I get married, that woman must be a devout Baha'i and she must be passionately engaged in this same quest for God, because if she's not, I think I would feel more alone than ever. I know I would.

On the contrary, if she is on that path then I think we would both be able to support each other greatly. Maybe that's especially important to me because I feel like life is so much more real when I'm with others, when there is a real person there to love and serve. Marriage and family can be a way to bring the spiritual world into ours and to raise us up into that realm. So, now that I've written it down, I'm sure that's what I'm looking for in the marriage department. A Baha'i who will walk with me, hand in hand, every step of the way on this heavenly yet very difficult journey. I think I've been through enough and learned from my mistakes to have the right view of it now. Of course that means I have to be more detached than ever about finding that special woman, because I have REALLY narrowed it down. Detachment, especially in that area, is a good thing for me. It's difficult though, a perfect example of the challenges of the spiritual path. I am grateful to still be on it! Thank you God! Help me to walk it well!

On another note, a few nights ago I had a dream. I still remember it vividly, which is rare for me, so I'll describe it as best I can. I was in a small house with some friends and family. We were stitting around a table talking. Someone went to the window and said that she saw something strange and that maybe a storm was coming. I went to look through the window. You know how in dreams you see strange things that you would never see in real life, but in the dream it seems normal and you don't have much reaction? Well, what I saw out the window made such an impression on me that even in the dream I was mesmerized, so much so that I think I almost woke up at that point. What I saw was a vast landscape rolling of into the far distance, with a city full of skyscrapers off to the right. The sun was setting low in the sky. The clouds were ablaze with color but not the usual colors. They were full of blue and silver. The sun was a white light, not blinding, flickering just like a spot of bright reflection upon rippling water on the brightest of days. It was flickering a silver white light, flickering a heavenly light, pulsing to an unheard angelic melody. It was so peaceful, so beautiful. For a long time, which later seemed like only a moment, I gazed into that light. Then I felt commotion and distress growing around me. I turned to look around me in the house and I saw that everyone was racing about frantically and preparing to abandon the place. I asked someone what was going on. She said a great storm was coming, and that the house and all this area would be destroyed. She said it would arrive in a few minutes so we all needed to escape as quickly as possible. I looked out the window again. The sun and sky were as peaceful as before but I saw that that something was changing in the earth. It was shaking or moving in some way, almost becoming like liquid. Then I started to feel rumblings in the ground beneath my feet. I was suddenly so alarmed! I started racing around the room collecting things that I thought I needed. I grabbed this and that. My arms quickly filled up with a pile of stuff. When I grabbed things they seemed essential, but when I looked at what I was carrying it all seemed like utterly useless junk that would be no help to me. I kept running around piling things into my arms, however, stuff falling out onto the floor. I was full of anxiety, as if my whole future depended on the things I could carry out of that room. Meanwhile the room is shaking more and more. I knew I had to get out of that house now. Then I saw a plate of bacon on the table and a bacon and egg sandwich next to it. Suddenly I felt so hungry and felt that I had to eat, that I wouldn't be able to find food for a long time. I stuffed my face with bacon until I realized I had to get out of the house immediately or I was going to die. I raced out of the back door of the house. The land rose steeply up from the house into a thick forest. Everything was so green and lush. I saw the last stragglers of what I knew somehow to be a vast retreating mass disappearing into the forest. I was alone. I raced up the hillside towards the shadows of the forest. The whole world was shaking and rumbling. Some ways up I stopped and turned to look behind me. I could see the house below me, the city to the right, but beyond the house what had recently been plains and hills sweeping far into the distance was one indescribably vast maelstrom of spinning earth. It was growing rapidly, turning all the land into liquid, spinning unbelievably fast. It was miles and miles wide! The fury and power of it was like nothing I've ever experienced before! It hadn't reached the house or the city yet, but it seemed inevitable it would. It was spinning so gracefully, so majestically. I stood on the hill and watched as it grew. I wasn't afraid, but I felt so small. I looked to the sky, into the setting sun. It's flickering white light filled my vision. All else was cleared away and all became silent. In the light I felt such peace as I had never known. Oh, such peace! O my Lord, my Best Beloved, such peace, such peace! Then I woke up.

Back in this world, the light replaced by a pillow, blankets, and a wall. The world rushed in again to swiftly fill my mind. I felt such dismay. Oh, Lord, I beg Thee! If it be Thy will, let me gaze again on Thy light! Oh Lord, fill my vision with it! Let me not wait through all the years of this mortal life to feel such peace and love! Let me be a channel of Thy peace and love to others! Let me eat, drink, and breath them! Oh Lord, help me to walk this path, weak and prone to failure as I am, in such a way that will cause me to be filled with Thy light and to feel Thy closeness. All else is ashes and dust! Help me Lord. I need Thee. I am starving for Thy love. Please Lord, aid me to love Thee, that Thy love may flow into me and through me unto others.

Ya Baha'ul-Abha!

1 comment:

Ramin Gillett said...

Really beautiful. Im glad you shared this. I look forward to reading more.
-ramin