broken glass

Hi Carol -

I am curious if your recent move to Chicago hasn’t awakened you to some of the pain and suffering that has occurred in the lives of friends and family in the twenty years since you have “been away from your roots.”

One of the great mysteries of life in our world is the simultaneous presence of beauty and tragedy. Most of us experience a measure of each in our lives. We witness the small victories and accomplishments that result from our hard labors, our consistent efforts, our caring and our sensitivity - and then we also are confronted by losses and sufferings that - to the best of our limited vision - appear to me meted out to our friends, families, to ourselves and others - seemingly at random and without regard to anyone’s “best efforts.” Does anyone really deserve to die in a head-on car collision, to lose a child, to be a victim of violence, to suffer a heart attack in the prime of life?

Homecomings often are poignant occasions in our lives, because we get to catch up with friends and family we have not seen for some time. When we do, we learn of victories and setbacks, fulfillments and losses, dreams realized and dreams abandoned.

Do you think that your dream reflects a sense of guilt you may feel, upon returning home, that perhaps you were not around to help your loved ones in their various times of need? You write that your dream was unusual because ordinarily you “always” are behind the wheel of your car, bicycle, or whatever dream vehicle you are maneuvering. But in this dream the car is unattended. In the absence of a driver, it rolls down a hill and crashes into a building.

I think you may feel that, had you been present, that is, had you been in the driver’s seat of that car, that some of the “accidents” that you now are becoming aware of may have been prevented. You feel responsible for the accident in the dream, and fear that you will be punished for what you have done - abandoned the car.

I think your dream offers a realistic counter-balance to this sentiment, however. In the dream you are re-assured that the car - which represents yourself, your life plan, your path - is not injured, and you are informed that only the glass door was shattered in the accident - which you also are re-assured is “OK.” Glass shattering in dreams actually is a fairly common symbol for the absence of consciousness. The reason for this is because, like consciousness, glass allows us to see our own reflection.

Perhaps when our consciousness is more developed we will not lose it so easily, and the occasion of these “accidents” will be reduced. Perhaps then we also will discover a more consistent karmic law of reciprocity - a law that so many of us already see at work in our daily lives. But until then, it appears that these lapses of consciousness - these shatterings of the glass - are a part of our lives. It is sad and it is a mystery - but it’s also where we are. I think your dream correctly tries to relieve you of any responsibility you feel for these accidents - that genuinely are happening outside the realm of your control. At the same time, the metaphor of broken glass should not be lost upon us. If you believe in conscious evolution, improving the consistency and quality of your consciousness is your true “life’s work.” Step by step, rung by rung, every day we try to get better. Perhaps this is the “better way” you set out to find in your dream?

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