The Lord can access our souls sometimes easier in the night when we are asleep. A week or so ago, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit awoke from an early morning dream.
I recognized it as significant even if a bit bizarre. It was a conundrum in discerning. What could it mean? The Lord tends to challenge me in dreams, visions, and locutions--with metaphors, as in puzzles sometimes. He knows what brings us to rather enjoyable focus. For me, a mystery always delights, much as my grandson is now quite taken with solving various Rubix cubes.
In the dream, there was another person present as in someone others and the person were trying to get me to "marry." Of course, as a hermit and for decades a celibate even before my private profession of eremitic vows, it was a matter of further awakening from sleep to know that the Lord utilized "wed" and "marry" as a metaphor of sorts, in broadened sense of the words.
People and the person who I'd never seen before in actual life, tried various means to guilt me, tempt me, and even insist that I should wed this person. With each attempt, I refused. At first it was polite refusal, my trying to be kind. Then the refusal became more adamant on my part, with the increasing insistence and beleaguering the point in question.
"No, I will not marry this person!" Several times I had to repeat my stance and decision with increasing firmness and strength despite being told that I was rude, foolish, narrow-minded, unkind.
Well, I could not figure what at all the Lord was trying to tell me other than perhaps the hermitage? Was I not to remain here, essentially "married" to the work involved? Well, that hardly seemed possible for there had been uplifting progress when the adult daughter and grandson came.
I had prior known that I was to balance my daily routine with less frustration about the amount of progress. Instead I must embrace more the Order of the Present Moment with peacefulness and even en-joy-ment--simply existing whether picking produce for the roadside table, hooking up soaker hoses, listening to music to gain more insights on the artistry of the soul, or in accomplishing a small construction task.
Regardless, I told the Lord I would strive to make sure I did not "marry" into the obstacles or frustrations of renovation of an abode; I would be open to whatever, if was to not finish and to leave.
I considered some other possible interpretations of the dream, none of which included literally marrying a human. But the answer did not surface, and within an hour or so the dream shifted to the background of thought.
After all, a person was coming that morning to help drill pilot holes into the concrete block foundation, helping this hermit to construct a cellar door frame that required a powerful drill. I have but battery drills and one low-amp corded drill some 43 years old....
The person came so kindly and used the hammer drill function. Then the person wanted to talk, to visit. So we did. Increasingly, the person presented some passionately-held views having to do with what one should eat and not eat.
Then the person desired spiritual conversation. So we conversed about spiritual matters of which this hermit here adapted to the guests' needs, such as not using the word "God" for the guest disagreed with that term, finding it narrow. We deferred to the guest's resistance to the name "God" and used the word "Spirit" to describe the force and energy of life and all creation. Why let nouns hinder?
Intermittent in the discussion, the person became insistent on why this hermit should use marijuana.... Each time, the ploy was different. Three times the guest had insistent reasons of why we should get "stoned." The first was that it would reduce pain.
No thanks, I prefer to not use that which has other mind and body effects. I have enough lung problems, for one thing, and I accept what will merely take the edge off severe pain rather than costly and obviously not super-effective dope.
A bit later, it was that I should take marijuana--would bring it to me and make tea--as it would "open up my vision" in my mind. The guest proceeded to explain that right then, I was only using 5% of my mind and seeing the guest visually as an external image but marijuana and being "stoned" would have me use more of the mind and see things that I cannot see with my outer eyes.
Ah, I simply explained that as a mystic from birth, I do not just see the guest with 5% of my brain and visual capacity. In fact, I would not even remember what the person looks like once not in front of me and mostly do not register the outer appearance even thus.
I sense souls and essence, and I have plenty of visions that come from "the Spirit", so why would I want to take in an outside, hallucinogen, costly element into my body in order to induce "visions" when I get them from "the Spirit"--God--purely without taking anything external?
A bit later, the guest again tried, this time by saying that I need to "laugh." The guest eagerly wanted to bring marijuana so we could get "stoned"; and we'd laugh and laugh. I explained that I do a "laugh therapy." I laugh even if a forced laugh, laugh-counting up to ten laughs which produces the results of spontaneous laughter, for I never get to the count of ten without already laughing and laughing at the whole notion of such a laugh therapy!
After the guest left it still took awhile for me to be reminded of the early morning dream. The guest had shared a purpose felt deeply and asked me to pray for an epiphany for all people in the world to stop eating all meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and wheat. I said I would pray (and I have and do) for an epiphany for the world's people, as well as I would pray for the guest's purpose and mission in life....
[It is probably fact that we humans eat far more meat and dairy products than at all necessary and ought to eat more vegetables and fruit; and some people have dairy, wheat, and egg allergies--nuts, too!]
But during the guest's discussion, I developed quite a headache! It was work to listen carefully, to be hospitable, and yet fend off the insistence the guest's promoting pot use as well as proselytizing the dangers of several sections of the food chain.
Once the headache eased, I did connect the dream dots...I realized God had foreshown the dope-temptations and idea-insistency of the guest--a stranger to me, kindly in helping me drill pilot holes and secure trim boards around cellar opening with concrete screws. Am so grateful for the entire experience, truly.
However, I am not to "marry" into those thoughts or behaviors. Oddly, within the guest's discussion, there was brought up a problem the guest has with lacking motivation to do work on the guest's projects. I offered to help, as I explained how motivating and helpful was the two-day visit from adult daughter and grandson and what we accomplished. Yes, help now and then can be a leg-up on what we have before us to complete.
The guest admitted that the guest did not want to be motivated, come to think of it. The more the guest thought about being motived by my helping, the more came the reality from the guest of not wanting to be motivated. The guest said it with sincere self-revealing. Very good--sweet in honesty, even.
Loss of motivation is one of the researched results of marijuana use. Young people who use pot lose motivation to achieve in school, for example; and their grades are known to plummet. In fact there are various studies (even if not yet decades-old) that point out many pitfalls to marijuana use, including it being a known gateway drug to meth, crack, cocaine and heroin....
Not long ago a young man had contacted me for help with some dream interpretation. We emailed back and forth, and his dreams had much spiritual significance. It did not take long for him to see a direction the Lord was opening up as well as clearing out some issues he's had to deal with.
At one point, the young man emailed that he felt he needed to confide that he had used the hallucinogen, LSD, a few times. He had ceased, but he wanted to describe (and did so in detail) the "trips" he had the few times he experimented with the drug.
The young man was fully convinced (and fully deluded) that had he not used LSD, he'd not have gotten back to church and returned to God. He know realizes otherwise, as I had to point out to him that it was the drug that caused the visions and hallucinations, not God doing so from His Will and from His choosing to do so, the time, the place, the means.
He later humbly admitted that he had been deceiving himself on what he thought were benefits of drug experimentation. He is now in process of discerning a vocation as a monk, for many of his unaffected-by-drug dreams cleared the pathway for him to receive and acknowledge a vocational call. He accepts that he may never have visions given by God, but that other types of visions would never satisfy, as they are externally induced.
Forever more, the young man will never know if God would have reached into his soul and mind with pure visions of the Holy Spirit, of His Real Presence--had he just waited, trusted, and not taken LSD. Thankfully, the young man did cease experimentation. He was most fortunate that his mind was not shredded (or so we hope) as many others' minds have been.
There is a cousin of this hermit who years ago "tripped out" on LSD when in college, forever affected since. There is Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who said that drugs broke his mind into pieces and [expletive'd] up his mind for life.
It is amazing how the few people this hermit does encounter, have pushed what they think are the wondrous qualities of pot. One kid who helped me a couple years ago was unable to focus on simple tasks like pulling nails from some lumber; he was in a state of agitation and needed me to work with him and was goo for lifting something or flying about the yard behind the lawnmower. He pushed pot, claiming it helped him be calm.
The young man's mother pushed pot, saying you can take it even in spaghetti sauce and how beneficial it was. When I mentioned that it changes perception and obviously does not handle high level pain or physicians and people the world over would use it for the vast number of chronic pain incidents. I mentioned how it alters the mind to which she responded, "Oh, it does not 'do' anything to you!"
Then why take it, if it does not do anything to you? Why bother, why buy it?
No answer. I had met the woman's husband who I had assumed had some mental breakdown as he had difficulty connecting thoughts. I realized it was the effects of marijuana consumption over time.
There are other examples just recently, of persons advocating pot use, giving reasons equally ignorant of the realities.
All I know is that the Lord forewarned me in a dream to not "marry" such notions, not "wed" errant ideas and ideologies nor what comes down to elements that alter the mind--open it up to visions and supposedly provide a cure-all even for toothache. And perhaps pot does, when a person is "stoned", alter the mind and "dope" the senses.
Perhaps the mind altered by marijuana opens up wide and hallucinates with visions--and we get such convictions such as that any consumption of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or wheat will bring about the demise of not only all humanity but the planet "the Spirit" created and sustains--and that "God" is not an acceptable name.
This hermit, especially on this 21st anniversary of confirmation as a Catholic, prefers to let God, Christ, Jesus, His Real Presence, Holy Spirit, Spirit, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Messiah, Teacher, Rabbi, Father, Son, Trinity, Prince of Peace and any number of other divine names--be the One Who enlightens my mind and indeed, my entire being.
I wed, I marry, God and no other. So the dream forewarned me of the guest to come and ironically touched upon some follow-up information about those who find marijuana and other hallucinogens to be positive for them.
I laugh (without being "stoned") at what my life would be if any less motivated to do the manual labor projects awaiting me in this hermitage, or what it would be to have induced visions when the Lord provides more than I can begin to anticipate--of and in His own providence and delightful timing! Love surprises!
I consider the young man who will never know if God would have touched him instead of LSD bringing an hallucination. I consider Brian Wilson who admitted to what drug use did to shatter his mind; he admits by the grace of God that he survived--helped by others to get off drugs although the damage has been life-long. Wilson yet mused later in life that marijuana helped him write his ground-breaking album "Pet Sounds".
One interviewer asked Brian why he risked taking drugs when God had given him so much natural talent to begin with? Brian repeated how the drugs [expletive'd] up his mind. He nor any of us will on earth know what other and conceivably greater compositions might have come from God through Brian had he not taken the drugs. "Pet Sounds" may have been far better with God's inspiration, sans drugs. At least, the feat would have been pure, not externally tampered with by hallucinogens.
Little children, let us love God above all things and one another as Jesus loves us. Praise God for dreams and answers to dreams. There is no set formula, no drug, no technique that can hold a candle to God's actions and interactions with His (or Her or It's for those hamstrung by gender notions of God or Spirit) Creation and Creatures.