Last night, in the tail end of a dream, I took in an old car into an auto mechanic to tide me over for a short term whilst waiting for my new car on order. (All this is also intriguing as I don't own any car in waking life.) I assumed that the charges would be in the hundreds of dollars range. When the auto mechanic showed me the bill it was an amount larger than $5000 (I recalled the number even as I woke up, but not now, something like $5297.13.) I knew that I didn't have that amount. I didn't know where it would come from. I was panicking internally. Already, my mind was scheming how I was going to perhaps borrow it. Already my mind was scheming if I could convince the mechanic into an installment plan of payment. Then I woke up (and not a happy camper).
I know from dream symbology that cars represent our path in life, or our life direction--and, you can say our autonomy in navigating life. (I've not come up with an interpretation on what it means that I don't own one right now in waking life.) I think it was intended as a good sign that there was a new car (path) on order.
My memory from the dream is fading--but I believe it was a month tops before the new car was ready; and the old car repairs were a temporary measure to see me through that time period. The rest of the dream, I've not interpreted quite yet. I have a sense that the car mechanic is sort of like a guide or mentor for the vehicle (this body) navigating a path in life. Perhaps it saying, in my particular case right now (not so much that it's been a mistake in past) I'm spending too much energy (i.e. money) on spiritual/life mentors to guide me? That currently what feels truer and freer is trust my own Self and secondarily to be with peers in a sangha (using that term loosely). Again, I'm still open to what the dream means, and what it wants to tell me in its own time.
Plus I do know that having an unexpected car repair and not seeming to have the means to pay for it echoes a very vivid scenario from the book, Busting Loose from the Money Game, by Robert Scheinfeld.
Today, I was reading through a new (to me) blog series on spiritual awakening by Jim Tolles, in particular the one entitled: "Mindful Money Use and Reciprocity" where he spoke about money (actually reciprocity applies to anything not Formless) being an energetic flow that appears to flow in, flow out in cycles of giving and receiving.
This was a particularly resonant section for me:
"Receiving for the Sake of ReceivingTo continue to let go of the need to value things, we also have to let go of the idea that we need to do something in order to receive. This is where having a friend or two in your close circle of friends or in a spiritual community can be great to practice with. Throughout a month, you simply would give something to someone. It could be money, a gift, a compliment, or anything really. For the sake of this blog post, I think gifting money could be really illuminating [in another section he said because money has the most potential for baggage, pushing our buttons and/or conditioning around it]. You may find all kinds of issues coming up when someone gives you money. You will probably be confronted with a whole lot of social stereotypes and programming. Here are a few that come to mind as I write:
- You're not worthy
- You didn't earn it
- You feel like a charity case
- You feel like it undermines your independence
It may get even more self-deprecating than that. It's extraordinary how much we as human beings are unable to receive. Now, this is different than taking. Taking is coming from a space of feeling that the world owes you something and that you deserve to get things. If this is the issue you're working on, then starting out with a practice of giving is important before moving on to receiving. Wherever you are in your path, however, both elements are critical because they make up the fullness of reciprocity and the flow of life."
The most amazing thing about this section is I read it nearly back-to-back with another of Jim Tolles' blog post where he was speaking about how to work with a spiritual teacher, and what to expect. The part that sparked said that many students find it difficult to abide in the non-differentiated, unconditional Love that pours forth from an awakened teacher (Jim: "Love can be the MOST threatening thing a spiritual teacher ever offers to someone. "). This is bigger than any individual manifestion of Awakeness or Wholeness--when I'm honest with my self, the Love that simply pours forth from Existence itself can feel overwhelming whenver I have any barriers up--in those instances, I shut down, defend, turn away, reject love. It is another aspect of not being able/willing to receive. So whether it is money or love or grace or whatever gifts Life bestows, there seems to be an interrelated resistance to receiving there that I am definitely seeing in my make-up, or conditioning, or belief system, let's say.
I'm not sure how this all ties into the dream--but I'm writing this as a process of self-discovery and improvisation in real-time (Now) and hopefully it may speak to others as well. I am simply noting this all happened within a few hours of each other, and trust that there's some clues here.
Another beautiful snippet (all relates) from another blog post "When There's Nothing Left but Love" by Jim Tolles. It's coincidence that I'm watching over my shoulder a web designer work on a client website at the coffee shop at this moment. It's not my best skill or talent, but one that appears to be in market demand that I could employ to 'make' money although there is no motivation to do so any longer. Still there's this internal egoic voice that says I should suck it up and force myself to do it to make money, but there's no energy backing that command up, so nothing happens with it other than a sense of inner scolding. So it's been relaxing to contemplate this section:
"THE ARISING OF A SPIRITUAL JOB
The word "job" is a silly term because that's not really how this space thinks. As everything dissolves away, there is nothing left but love. So you will simply want to do whatever actively manifests love and joy into your life. That's it. It's not that hard. So many people go through such inner struggle to find their "true purpose," but in this space, the awakened self does not care about that. If there is a clear purpose for this lifetime, then you will follow it. If not, you will simply follow the path that brings you the most joy. There will still be difficulty, but consider that if you love offering massage, then you will do that work. There will be good days and bad, but because you love sharing yourself in this way, it is not the same as doing a job just to make money or because you're good at it. The "how" is everything. How you share your skills and talents creates the energetic foundation of the service you offer. If you truly hate working in non-profits but think you have to serve the world in that way, you are actually doing the opposite. You are sowing the seeds of suffering. An enlightened accountant is just as needed as enlightened non-profit executive directors, but you will only get to the work you truly want when you've dissolved into love. At that point, it all is so effortless, and you realize that the struggle and suffering you've put yourself through in the past only created more of the same. In this way, many of us often fall into the work we love, and that kind of effortlessness tends to lead to a lot of joy even as the jobs we do may stay the same or change a hundred times over in our life."
Art Credits: Ophelia, painting by Odilon Redon.