A man dreamed, “I am with some people who have a large machine, maybe ¼ acre in size. It moves over the land and extracts gold from the soil.” A precious metal, gold is a symbol of the Self, the creative and healing core of the personality. To harvest gold is to pursue the value and wisdom of your soul. But the way this is done makes a difference.
A machine is mechanical, repetitive in movement, and without thought or feeling. Is it possible to harvest the gold of the soul in this way? In discussing his associations to the dream, the dreamer shared that he spends a lot of time reading spiritual and metaphysically-oriented books in the hope that they will bring him closer to God. Although he has been exposed to a wealth of ideas about God and spirituality, he continues to feel frustrated and unfulfilled. Despite his years of study and spiritual practice he still feels disconnected from God.
Our mind can only take us so far in our quest to know God. And, in most cases, that’s not very far at all. God is reduced to a concept or abstraction, an idea or principle when we relate to Him only through our analytical mind. He becomes much more real when we experience His presence and involvement in the day-to-day activities and challenges of life.
Knowing God is not unlike knowing a river. For example, you can read all about the Mississippi and see pictures of it, but it never really becomes a living, personal force in your life until you swim in it, ride a boat on it, fish upon it, see it flood your crops, or carry your house away. Then you experience its temper and calmness, its currents and power. You see the landscapes it has carved. You can move with it, and you can move against it, and you will experience the consequences of each path. These are the things that make for a personal relationship with the river. It carves a bit of itself into you. These are the things that make it a living, active, and forceful presence in your life. The same is true of your relationship with God.
If you want to know God like a local knows the Mississippi, you must become engaged in the here and now, flesh and blood reality of God’s presence in your life. There must be a dialogue, or conscious interaction, between your will and that of God, between the you and the greater than you. Learning the language of dreams, synchronicities, signs and symptoms goes a long way towards the development of this dialogue. To know God you must set down your book and jump consciously into the river of God.