Monday, December 6, 2010

Forest Dormitory

Posted: 6 December 2010; Updated: 6 April 2011

Forest Lodge Dormitory

In this personal "Odyssey" I have been concerned with understanding and integrating the Russian Orthodox tradition of my Ukraine-born, Orthodox-baptised father as well as the Mormon tradition of my Arizona-born mother into which I was born and reared. I  have been seeking to integrate and transcend both traditions. This often conflicting process has evoked dreams, the latest of which came on December 1, 2010.  I believe it sums up my recent experience with the Orthodox clergy.

As the reader must know by now and reviewing earlier posts, I value dreams to tell us all (at least me) our deeper personal truth beyond waking identity. Posted below is the Dec. 1 dream, which I interviewed on December 5, 2010, using both my CREEI dream work process and the Integral Deep Listening (IDL) technique developed by psychotherapist friend Dr. Joseph Dillard of Berlin.

After doing the 5 December IDL interview on my own, I sent it to Dr. Dillard to which he replied the next day:

Thanks for your dream. Yes, I think you've nailed it - seems to be about the receptivity or lack thereof within the religious community that you are communicating with. It seems to me that you would probably get a better reception among the Unitarians or from local members of Mensa, for example, than from the religious community, which is largely a non-thinking subsidiary of whatever mythology they have committed to.

Date of IDL interview:  5 December 2010

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
1. Getting Los Alamos Deep Democracy Open Forum, Inc. successfully operational.
2. Developing deep and meaningful relationships with family, friends and community.
3. Retiring from school bus driving

Tell me a dream you remember... 
1 Dec 10 (0200?)
Have appt to see Father John H. at 10:00. I go to the bldg where appt is. (large wooden barracks-like structure in a forest.)   I go to room where he is, but since am about 15 minutes early I sit down outside of it to wait for 10:00.  But then I hear Fr. John H. call from inside the room to come on in anyway, before the assigned time. I open the door and see Fr. John H. sitting up on a very large bed (maybe ten feet wide) with many other men, all of whom are sleeping. Room looks like a posh dormitory. Huge beds (2 or 3) full of men in each (don't see any women). Hieromonk John A. is also there asleep in the same bed as Fr. John H. But he is further away on the other side of the bed. (There are several other sleeping men in between, Fr. John H on the left and Hieromonk John A on the right.) Fr. John H seems to be the only man awake. Everyone is in night clothes.

CREEI score: +++?+-//+++/+++  Anticipatory-motivational  [Click here for CREEI assumptions and questions.]
Why do you think that you had this life experience?
Am in process of developing deeply meaningful relationships with the local St. Dimitri Orthodox parish and its clerical leadership, which are priests Fr. John H and Hieromonk John A. This is the fourth dream I've had relative to my experience with St. Dimitri parish. The first came on April 15, 2009, the night after the first parish council meeting at the local Orthodox skete near Lake Abiqu, where I'd been assigned to the music committee. The second came on October 10, 2009, the Friday before meeting with the parish council, which came on the heels of a traumatic internet financial scam experience that threatened Fr. John H. and a surprising reaction from my granddaughter in England relative to this event, whom I had asked for help, since the scam had originated in England. This was a week or so following a highly successful musical workshop and seminar at St. Dimitri directed by celebrated Orthodox professor-emeritus of music David Drillock. The third dream came the night before my first deep conversation with Hieromonk John A a few months ago.

If it were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee?
Forest Dormitory

These are the characters in the experience…
Forest, large wooden building, corridor, large dormitory room, 3 or 4 large comfortable beds, sleeping men, Fr. John H, Hieromonk John A.

If a character had something especially important to tell you, which would it be?
Dormitory bedroom

(Character,) would you please tell me what you look like and what you are doing?
I am a large room filled with several very large, well cushioned and comfortable beds. There are many men asleep on these beds. I am very solidly built with comfortable and safe surroundings and equipment for these sleeping men.

What do you like most about yourself in this experience? What are your strengths?
I am comfortable, quiet and safe. Those who come to me feel protected and accepted just as they are.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What?
Nothing to dislike. No weaknesses.

If you could change this experience in any way you wanted, would you? If so, how would you change it?

If that experience were to continue, what would happen next?
Eugene and Fr. John H would have a frank, deep conversation about the meaning a purpose of this room, the sleeping men, the building and the forest setting.

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?

(You are in this person’s dream or life experience, correct? He/she created you, right?)
Yes and yes.

(Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?
I represent Eugene's image and experience of the American Russian Orthodox priesthood.

If you could live this person’s waking life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

If you could live this person’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle his/her three life issues differently? If so, how?

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of his/her life?
No different

How would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? And why?
Confidence: 10. I know what and why I am.
Compassion: 10. I care about the comfort and security of the men I have been created to serve and protect.
Wisdom: 10. I know the needs of the men I am giving protection and support to.
Acceptance: 10. I accept all these men just as they are and just as the situation presents itself.
Peace of Mind: 10. I am in the most peaceful of settings.
Witnessing: 10. I see the big picture--what has been and what is occurring--and am not involved in any way with whatever drama might occur between these men now or at any time.

(Character,) if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
I am that.

How would this person’s life be different if he/she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?
He is close to this condition. His life would not be much different, if at all.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for this person to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would?
When he is in conversation with the Orthodox community in general, he would do well to keep me in mind as a safe place to be.

Why do you think that you are in this life experience (or dream)?
To make Eugene aware of his true relationship with Orthodoxy and its ecclesiastical order.

(Dreamer,) what have you heard yourself say? (Read them over)
I am in a situation with the local Orthodox parish where I am experiencing the leadership tradition and looking to engage it in deeper dialogue. Only one member is awake and interested enough to meet with me.

If this experience were a wake-up call from your soul, what do you think it would be saying to you?
Look at the Orthodox situation objectively and let it be as it is. Engage Fr. John H to the extent that he is interested in meeting with you. Perhaps you and he can awaken some of the other sleeping men if and when they are ready.