A woman in her 70’s dreamed: “I’m getting off of a tour bus that has come to a halt on a snowy mountain pass. It may be a rest stop or perhaps a ski area. It reminds me of Donner Summit. Around me and the other passengers who have disembarked is deep snow piled high with duffle bags and soft-sided luggage. We climb and climb up these very tall mounds. It feels like such a struggle—like going against the tide or walking through quicksand. It is quite dark out. Then the scene changes, or perhaps another dream begins. I’m underground in an area with various structures, like climbing walls and small pyramids with steps and symbols carved in them. Oriental people in religious robes are there. They seem like holy people and are there to help and guide us over the steps and hurdles. The steps have a definite right or wrong way in terms of their sequence. At times openings appear and lights shine through creating a warm glow. It is a positive place, challenging but not scary. It is maze-like with different paths individuals can take towards a central sanctum or holy area.
The mainstream is the popular, societally-approved, and well-traveled path. It doesn’t require a lot of thinking, feeling, intuition, or effort for it is the common way. In the mainstream you can be swept along by the crowd with ready-made answers, attitudes and values. The mainstream carries clout through the magnitude and mutual support of its members.
The mainstream is like a tour bus on a busy highway, a collection of people moving together, sharing a similar viewpoint. But, stalled on a snowy hill, the mainstream perspective can take you no further. Even nature seems to be against you, as it was for the Donner party. The cumbersome baggage of collectivism impedes your forward movement. The mainstream way becomes tiring and draining. Eventually, it will be at odds with your true nature and individuality.
The underground temple, the inner sanctum; you make your way to the center, the core, the place of inner wisdom and your soul. Oriental guides assist, helpers from the other side of the world, from the unconscious. They speak a different language—like your dreams, synchronicities, and symptoms.
The way to the center is mazelike. Certain steps must be completed in a certain order or you won’t get to where you are meant to be. There are no shortcuts and you must rely on your inner self for guidance. Although there are others with you, this is not the mainstream. Each individual must scale their own spiritual challenges. And yet, in this way they are united: they all seek to reach the center.
Such a process is challenging but do-able, if it is important to you, if you follow the call. You feel energized and focused rather than weighed down and bored. And those who complete the pilgrimage learn something important about themselves. They learn about the spiritual reality that lies at the center of their being. The reality of God becomes palpable, a mirror of the soul. A reality you can only find if you have the courage to become yourself, drop out of the mainstream, and take the inner journey.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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