tyrsalvia: (towersage)
[personal profile] tyrsalvia
Last night, I was contacted during a dream by these sort of soul-priests. They told me that in order for a soul to be redeemed when passing between this life and the next, they must be offered unconditional compassion by a living person. They asked if the three of us would be willing to participate to redeem someone for them. We said yes.

We were in my car driving around Portland, OR when we turned down a street we had been down before. Instead of the normal end of the street, we came to a dead end with an old brick warehouse that had become a temple. Several people were standing out front as though waiting for us. They wore long robes with rope belts, like monks. They asked if we were ready. We parked the car and got out, and went into the temple.

Inside the temple, we stood waiting in turn to offer this gift of compassion. We were in a sort of church, standing on the altar facing the sacristy rather than where the congregation would be. There was a sort of balcony running around the edge of the altar. We stood before it, and in front of us by several yards was an enormous fish tank. When a person crossed into the world of the dead, we briefly saw their ghostly outline before they became one of a number of different kinds of goldfish.

The priest prepared a concoction to drink. By drinking this, he said, we would be offering redemption to one soul. We were being called upon to offer complete unconditional love to this soul, and through that it would be cleansed and ready for a new life.

Fox went first, and drank from the cup the priest offered. Then it was my turn. The drink was a sort of thick and frothy hot cappuccino, hot and bittersweet, full of grounds. It was hard to drink all of it, and the metaphysical sensation was indescribable. Tears rolled down my face, and do now as I vividly recall this to write it down so I won't forget.

When my turn was over, I waited with Fox while Sierra drank, and then we stayed silently sitting in chairs near the altar thinking about what we had done.

I asked the priests how this worked. They said they drew on random people they knew had enough love in them to do this. Like jury duty, they would call us up in dreams to offer the redemption that could only be granted by a living soul. Groups of us would flow through this place and others like it, each in turn cleansing one soul before it could move on. They said they called it Friday Gifts.

It is likely that, having done this once, we will be called again.

*****

I remember holding onto threads from this dream hoping to fix it in my (poor) memory. My alarm went off before it could slip away, and I immediately got the computer to write this down.

In the Christian religion, it is belief in Jesus that cleanses a soul for the next world. In other religions, it is usually judgment and punishment that redeems, or occasionally the unconditional compassion of a god. Not sure what to think about this, but I kind of like the idea that redemption might be granted by a single living person. If nothing else, what a blessing to live in a world of redeemers!

I'm still not very awake, and lost in ideas from this dream. So many spiritual practices seem to be about cleansing the soul, church as weekly soul-bath or something. Lots of the occult practices I am familiar with involve cleansing. Many are staunchly anti-materialist and view the physical world as inherently unclean. I'm not sure what I think about this, and I suspect I'll be thinking about it a lot for a while.

Date: 2010-07-19 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amberite.livejournal.com
I love that dream, and I love that it took place in Portland. :-)

Date: 2010-07-19 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
It was interesting. Plants were in the process of eating the city. I remember driving around streets that had been paved but were now becoming meadows. There were ramshackle Victorian houses that were built around the trunks of massive trees, with branches going out through the windows.

We were driving down a suburban street and turned down into what had apparently become a cul-de-sac due to some wild flora that had taken over the road. When I did a u-turn in the grassy pavement and crossed another street is when I found this warehouse church blocking my way.

Date: 2010-07-19 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amberite.livejournal.com
That is rather what Portland is trying for lately, though by design rather than by natural takeover...

Date: 2010-07-19 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dcart.livejournal.com
Neat.

Though it was not what drew me in, I have to say that the longer I engage with buddhist meditation, the more drawn I am to the centrality of compassion in that tradition.

Date: 2010-07-19 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caprine.livejournal.com
This is marvellous.

Date: 2010-07-19 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leucotheasveil.livejournal.com
Wow. Serious dreaming!
You could spend most of the week (?rest of your life?) pondering
the metaphysical and subconscious implications and messages in a dream like that.
That's a really cool concept as well. I rather like the idea of being offered compassion by the living
to pass into whatever is next. If you later edit to add that the friends in the dream emailed you to
say they had the craziest dream last night... I might need to break open the absinthe. :O

Date: 2010-07-19 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heron61.livejournal.com
That's fascinating and nifty. I very much like the aspect of people redeeming one another, rather than relying on an external redeemer.

Many are staunchly anti-materialist and view the physical world as inherently unclean.

That's one possibility, another is that everyone compromises their morals, everyone does at least small things that are thoughtless and unkind, even if it's only buying the occasional product made in some hellish sweatshop w/o considering this. From this PoV, you're not cleansing people of the impurities of the physical world, but of our own failings.

Date: 2010-07-19 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tyrsalvia.livejournal.com
That's one possibility, another is that everyone compromises their morals, everyone does at least small things that are thoughtless and unkind....

Yeah, that's where my thinking had led me, also. We are pushed and pulled by the way the world works, and what little attention we have available. With poor health and conflicting responsibilities, even the most mindful of us can commit moral offense. And many of us are not that mindful.

Date: 2010-07-19 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knaveofhearts.livejournal.com
This is why I continue reading LJ, especially interesting because I just moved to Beaverton this month.

Date: 2010-07-19 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alfrecht.livejournal.com
That's pretty amazing, and appealing...

One of the things that is important for me, in the Ekklesía and doing the yearly observance of canonizing the Sancti, is that I feel we're trying to keep the memory and the good feelings alive for a particular person. I'd like to think that what we're doing might be helpful in the way you were helpful to people in your dream...

It also "fits" with some ideas that have been kicking around in my head, that what goes on in the material world with living people, as well as with them in their dreams, has profound effects on the Otherworlds.

Date: 2010-07-20 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alostrael.livejournal.com
Sort of nifty that you and your sister both posted dream blogs right in a row on my friends list. :)

Date: 2010-07-20 07:47 am (UTC)
arethinn: Black stag on green ground, in front of a blue sky with geese and a stang with crossed arrows (pagan (nigel stang))
From: [personal profile] arethinn
We cleanse to become Clear - to remove whatever grime is blocking proper perception of Things As They Are.

Date: 2010-07-20 10:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bellacrow.livejournal.com
wow, how beautiful

Date: 2010-07-23 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spaghettisquash.livejournal.com
the physical world is what we make it. i see spiritual practices as a way to reground oneself, to have the strength to be what one wishes to be. (before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.) still, this dream reminds me of the feri kala ritual. i like it!
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