Here on my dream blog, and on my Facebook pages, “Mary Jo’s Dream Page” where I share my work with my dreams, my own and those of my dream clients, and “Dreaming into the Mystery” where I speak about working with those in hospice and end of life dreams, I use the G-word a lot…it feels natural for me to speak about and refer to God.
It’s not something religious or even faith based. It’s not something dogma based. It’s not something fear based. It’s not something I’m trying convince others of. It’s about a relationship and a presence I’ve experienced since I was a girl and never questioned…and when I write I call this presence God.
I have a name I use in the privacy of my inner conversations. My dad used to called this presence Davey…“I have to go talk to Davey”…“Go ask Davey what to do; He’ll know.” Others have other names. I can’t imagine that the name or the gender we use matters to anyone but us; we each respond to this presence as it reveals itself to us. I can’t imagine that it matters to God. I can imagine though, being called ‘Davey’ must have been a sweet and intimate feeling. My dad’s relationship with Davey influenced me deeply, helping and encouraging me to develop my own intimate relationship with God, to have a personal and even visceral connection through my soul to something beyond myself.
This incredible relationship my dad had with Davey ran deeply through him, was part of who he was in the world and how he treated others. As I’ve shared here, my dad was captured on Wake Island during WWII and spent 3-1/2 years in prison camp. Following is an excerpt from an article about Wake where my dad is asked about how he survived the camps.
Surviving the Camps
“People always say we’re heroes, and to most Wake Islanders it’s embarrassing,” explained Gross. “You know, any other group of Marines with the same amount of experience would have done the same thing. It’s no small thing we did, because we probably delayed the Japanese going to Midway about 30 days. They had to go back and regroup, and it took them 16 days to take Wake, so it slowed their timetable. It was quite a feat, but any other bunch of experienced Marines would have done the same.”
Gross may be right, but the Wake Island defenders, military and civilian alike, were extraordinary individuals. In times of stress they turned to one another, leaned on each other, and maintained faith that each would do his duty.
They also clutched tightly to another faith. At a reunion 40 years after the attack, the author asked LeRoy Schneider what made him survive prison camp when others did not. The imposing Wake Marine, still muscular and dignified after all these years, answered with a few simple, yet moving, words. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a well-worn rosary that looked as if it had been used thousands of times.
“It was this,” he said to me as he nodded toward the string of beads, the same one he had used in prison camp. “Each Sunday a group of us, including Major Devereux, gathered together, got down on our knees, and said the rosary.” As tears welled in the aged warrior’s eyes, Schneider added, “That’s what got me through.”
This article by John Wukovits originally appeared on Warfare History Network.
When Carl Jung was in his 80’s he was asked by an interviewer, “Dr. Jung, do you believe in God?” Jung smiled and said, “No, I don’t.” After a moment he added, “I don’t believe…I know. I had the experience of being grabbed by something that was far more powerful than I could ever imagine.” He knew…he was in an experiential relationship that was visceral, very real and not dependent on faith.
And this is where our dreams come in and can help us return to our own knowing…our own experience of soul and of the divine. My dad knew it…Jung knew it…as do many others. Each night, through our dreams, we have the opportunity to be ‘grabbed by something far more powerful’ than we are…we are invited, through our soul, to be in this relationship…not to believe in it but as Jung shares…but to experience it…to know it.
(Image by Dragica Micki Fortuna)
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com.