Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dream Journal -- August 2001 -- "Adelphoi"

In this dream I am walking through a lightly-wooded area. There is clearly a habitation of some sort up ahead as I can hear the various sounds of human life -- children shouting and laughing, a hammer pounding away on something, a dog barking and so forth. Eventually, the woods end and I emerge into a clearing perhaps 200 yards across. There are stables off to my left and several outbuildings/sheds. At the center of the clearing is a large 2-story building. Sure enough, a group of a half-dozen kids is playing tag, running all over the place. A man in his mid-forties is up on the roof of one of the outbuildings working on the shingles. A shepherd/collie mutt is racing hither and yon with the children, barking excitedly.

I stride forward towards the central house and am met on the porch by a woman in her late twenties/early thirties. She smiles warmly at me but does not speak and simply leads me into the house and shows me around. There is a large kitchen and dining-room that seats perhaps thirty or so people. Adults in the kitchen are hard at work making what looks like dinner. They cutting up vegetables that my guide makes clear have been grown on the surrounding land. The dining-room is decorated with the artwork of children. Adjacent is a classroom-looking space with dry-erase boards and projection/AV equipment. Down the hall from there is an den/library with "Shhh!" signs hung up. There are locker-room-type shower/changing facilities and an adjacent laundry. My guide leads me up the stairs at the rear of the structure.

On the second floor are offices and a few guest rooms. We go out onto a veranda and in the distance my guide points out the vegetable gardens (several acres' worth) in the distance. There are also buildings for livestock and, interestingly, a baseball diamond.

Then she leads me back into the house, down the hallway and pauses outside a door and gestures me past her into the room. I walk by her, and turn left. In the room in front of me a 60-ish woman is sitting on the windowsill outlined by the late-afternoon sun. When I enter she is gazing out the window, but turns her head towards me and -- her head in silhouette and wearing a halo of the sun's white disk -- says clearly "Adelphoi."

When I awoke I was very excited by this dream. It had such a depth of waking reality to it, and the community I had toured a sense of purpose, peace and satisfaction. I researched "Adelphoi" and it is a Greek word referring to a faith community, specifically a group of Christians living together as a community. While I eschew any particular organized religion, I have been yearning for a place in an intentional community of like-minded people -- people living a spiritual and conscious life.

Since moving to New Paltz last Summer, my wife and I have been seeking out Good People and Community -- and we have had success (more on that and community in general in posts to come). However, this dream takes the idea to an entirely different level. A group of perhaps 10 families living on a large-ish chunk of land together; each family has a simple bungalow/cabin/cottage in which they have the bare necessities (sleeping quarters, toilet); a larger central building encompasses most of the indoor life of the community -- meals prepared and served/schooling of children/"entertainments" such as television and "communications" like internet and so forth/infirmary/business offices/guests rooms -- are all located in the main central buildings. The members of the community have a complementary set of skills: physician, teacher, animal husbandry, farming, managing the business end of things, techie ("computer husbandry"? ), carpentry/plumbing/electrician, and not leastly healing arts (massage, acupuncture, Pilates, herbs/aromas/nutrition et al.).

The end of the petroeconomy is coming; our current way of life is near the end of its (oily) rope and soon not just the cars we drive but the fundamental organizing principles of our lives will undergo vast changes. (To what extent these are wrenching and abrupt remains to be seen...) If you don't know about Peak Oil then I suggest you get some basic knowledge of it. I highly recommend The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler. It's a fine primer on the ways our world will change when Peak Oil converges with Climate Change. For my purposes here, suffice it to say that soon we will not be driving an hour to/from work, and we will not be trucking/flying in produce from across the continent or apples from New Zealand. Wal Mart will crumble (YEEHAW!) because long supply lines from China will no longer be feasible. Commerce will become much more localized, as will food production -- and communities will have to reorganize around that fact.

I had the above dream long before I knew of Peak Oil or knew how imminent Climate Change was. I'll point out that I had this dream the month before 9/11 -- which among many other meanings for me is a potent point of demarcation between the World That Was and the World That's Coming. (If you read my Keeping Vigil posts, you'll remember the very first thing I said when I saw the second plane hit the WTC was "The world just changed...")

The Dreaming was laying down a vision for me, a sight of things to come. Note that the vision did not include dire portents or cataclysmic carnage (although we have seen many of those in the last five years, and there are surely more to come). No: what spirit showed me was the way through all that. A vision of hope -- which when misplaced is humanity's greatest vice; properly engaged, hope is all that gets us through the dark, sometimes.

I'll write more of this in time. For now, I merely wanted to put the dream out there, for myself and for whoever is reading. Also to allow anybody who's interested to follow the threads I laid down above re Peak Oil and Climate Change. And lastly, I wanted to make the point that if we put all our focus and energy on the negative aspects of the coming times, all we guarantee ourselves is a good view of the wreckage. But if we think about our options, and act intelligently (and keep our eyes and ears open to the guidance of Alpha/Omega), we can find our Way Through. (And not only Huge Earth-Shaking Tempests, but whatever blocks we encounter tomorrow in our so-called "mundane lives".)

Dream strong, everyone -- Tim

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