Living Life Completely and Well
Some time ago, I had what Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung calls a numinous dream. Jung defines a numinous dream as an inner or outer experience that conveys something essential about ourselves that our unconscious wants us to know. That is, numinous dreams explain an aspect of spiritual knowledge that needs to be actualized in our lives. There is always a feeling of fascination about a numinous dream or event.
Numinous dreams connect us with sacred knowledge.
Numinous experiences feel mysterious. They carry a spiritual message from the Divine and often communicate a message that, frankly, can seem rather terrifying. Regardless of the nature of a numinous dream or experience, we are often drawn to uncover its spiritual meaning.
In my numinous dream, I am doing my best to hide from a man I believed to be dangerous. As often happens in a dream with such a theme, the man finds my hiding place. He walks up to me and orders me to eat two poisonous leaves.
Immediately and with an air of absolute conviction, I look at him, unafraid and determined. I proclaim, “NO! I want to live my life completely and well!” He turns and walks away.
I identify two numinous questions in my dream: What are the two poisons in my life? What does it mean to live my life completely and well? For nearly three years I seek answers to my questions - from books, from people, and from contemplation. Yet I failed to uncover the hidden truths of the two questions.
And then….a synchronistic event occurred that provided the answers. In fall 2012, I decided to attend a Tibetan Buddhist retreat led by Tenzin Wanghal Rinpoche. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that the retreat was designed to answer my two numinous questions. Rinpoche defined living life fully as cultivating an inner refuge into which we release our obstacles and then engage in creative actions that serve oneself and others. When I asked Rinpoche to identify the two poisons in my life, he said, without skipping a beat, “hope and fear.”
In next month’s blog, I will explain how hope and fear are poisons in our lives. For now, I wish only to plant the seed that fear is our motivation for “hoping this,” “hoping that.” We fear we do not have the inner strength, competence, and confidence to experience success in our personal and spiritual lives. So, let’s hope we do.
Recall and describe a numinous dream or event in your life that you sense has the potential to awaken a spiritual truth within you.
Have you recognized the spiritual meaning of this event and refocused your life as a result?
If so, in what ways are you now living your life completely and well?
(photo by Diana Simonton)