GNL number 106

a report of doings at meeting #106, Sunday, May 1, 2016

including liturgical items, major themes, and other odds and ends


Those who have compared our life to a dream were right—We sleeping wake, and waking sleep.~~~Michel de Montaigne, 16th c. French essayist

That which the dream shows is the shadow of such wisdom as exists in man, even if in his waking state he may know nothing about it. We do not know it because we are fooling away our time with outward and perishing things, and are asleep in regard to that which is real within ourself. ~~~Paracelsus (Theophrastis Bombastis von Hohenheim), 16th c. Swiss MD and alchemist

Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t figured out how to ask. ~~~the X-Files


Sue opened today’s conversation on DREAMING with some word research that helped explain her own observations about the different kinds of dreaming, and her sense of needing to balance them. She spoke of some indigenous traditional societies of the Pacific, whose dreams were central to their culture and health; and mentioned other aspects of the word, such as in MLK’s famous I Have a Dream speech, and in John Lennon’s song Imagine, and also, as in delusion, from which her brother suffers. She read several quotes as well, for which see AFTERWORDS.

Louise spoke of dreams she’d had with similar features: she alone, in big buildings with others, and finding herself trying to warn or help them be safe. She said she’d noticed this reflected her working life, where’s she’s alone and always trying to educate, warn, equip people for safer, healthier lives, and feeling like nobody’s hearing her. She also spoke of the other, waking dreams, and of her daughter’s fulfilling her dreams, and of Ayana’s dream and efforts toward starting a think-tank on ocean climate science. (And of course after she’d shown us her new incubator system, she told of having just dreamt of exploding eggs.)

Vijaya didn’t think she dreamed much, but did mention a recurring one of herself in the arms of a man whose face she could never see, and another, the eye image she’d told us about last time. And also the vision in her mind of a scene of Jesus with children under a tree, which she’d tried to get some Lutherans to do as a mural. Later she recalled her dad’s dream long ago of doing the metal foundry mechanics that he did actualize into his so successful business. And last, she described her vision of creating a solarium-community.

Nancy N said her own dreaming tended to be in archetypes, often involving getting lost or losing or forgetting something. She mentioned the psychology of dreams work done by Freud and especially Jung, on archetypes. Which made her and the rest of us wonder if most people don’t have dreams that relate to fears (not just of going to school with clothes missing or buttoned wrong). She, and we, were also wondering if there are new studies reflecting conclusive info about dream meanings. There will be googling. Stay tuned.

Nancy S confessed to almost never recalling dreams, but did recall some in her youth, of flying, and the sense in them of knowing she could do it. Of dreams while awake, she cited several moments, when a song or poem has come almost in one piece, of its own accord, and she sang one called Lucy Rose, inspired by a magic moment with grandbaby Lucy; then read a Morning Greeting, and a poem to her cat Eddie. Last she cited two famous, not so similar dreams: MLK’s, in his Dream speech, and the American Dream, now for many, so distorted that its models seem to be egomaniac-billionaires. For quotes etal, see AW.

Ann said she couldn’t bring too much to this discussion, since although she has had dreams of both kinds, the topic isn’t so important to her. She did mention a dream she’s had for some time of building a house on their land, one she designed herself, but similar to her mother’s design of the home of Ann’s childhood; and she pictured this as a dream not on the front burner. (But we were happy to hear her say she also reserved the right to change her mind about taking that dream seriously.)

We were also very, very happy to know our old friend Nancy Kelly, who moved to Ecuador some years ago, is safe after that nation’s recent earthquake, and we agreed to send this day’s offering to one of the relief organizations working there now.


Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. ~~~Carl Jung

Nothing happens unless first we dream. ~~~Carl Sandburg

Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real. ~~~Tupac Shakur


: Sunday, June 12, 2016 (1030) at Sue Spivack’s in Cobleskill.

The topic is EYES and EARS (Art and Music).

And Nancy N has offered to host in July.


from Sue

Definitions c. 1200 in the current sense, from dream (n.). Old English verb dremen meant “rejoice; play music.” Related: Dreamed; dreaming.

mid-13c…. probably related to Old Norse draumr, Danish drøm, Swedish dröm, Old Saxon drom “merriment, noise,” Old Frisian dram “dream,” Dutch droom, Old High German troum, German traum “dream,” perhaps from Proto-Germanic *draugmas “deception, illusion, phantasm”…German trügen “to deceive, delude,” Old Norse draugr “ghost, apparition”). Possible cognates outside Germanic are Sanskrit druh- “seek to harm, injure,” Avestan druz- “lie, deceive.”

But Old English dream meant only “joy, mirth, noisy merriment,” also “music” And much study has failed to prove that Old English dream is the root of the modern word for “sleeping vision,” despite being identical in spelling. Either the meaning of the word changed dramatically or “vision” was an unrecorded secondary Old English meaning of dream, or there are two separate words here. OED offers this theory: “It seems as if the presence of dream ‘joy, mirth, music,’ had caused dream ‘dream’ to be avoided, at least in literature, and swefn, lit. ‘sleep,’ to be substituted ….”

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer”  ~ Harriet Tubman
“Imagine all the people living life in peace./ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one./ I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” ~John Lennon

“You know a dream is like a river
Ever changing as it flows.
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores.”
~Garth Brooks “The River”

“Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, a veritable butterfly, enjoying itself to the full of its bent, and not knowing it was Chuang Chou. Suddenly I awoke, and came to myself, the veritable Chuang Chou. Now I do not know whether it was then I dreamt I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” ~ Chuang-Tzu

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
~Langston Hughes

Dreams are … illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. ~ Marsha Norman
Saddle your dreams before you ride them. ~Mary Webb
Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled. ~ Mark Twain
Dreams – A microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul.  ~Erich Fromm

Senoi dream theory
:  I apologize for talking about  the Senoi people of Malaysia and the reports of their work with dreams without checking on line — turns out that was the work of one traveller/anthropologist, and his work has been pretty completely debunked in recent years — long after I read about them and copied the article for my files.  Here’s a link about the whole controversy and how it’s been debunked.   It was as so many utopian sounding stories — too good to be true.

from Nancy:

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~~~Oscar Wilde

Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding. ~~~John Locke

Sleep is the best meditation. ~~~the Dalai Lama

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. ~~~Martin Luther King, 1963

People are so busy dreaming the American Dream, fantasizing about what they could be or have a right to be, that they’re all asleep at the switch. Consequently, we are living in the Age of Human Error. ~~~Florence King

Lucy Rose
Lucy Rose, 
from head down to toes,
She is a baby Buddha girl---
Lucy Rose has news to disclose
To all the big ones in the world---
Here is her message; 
it shines in her eyes:
See and hear, 
you big ones please,
See and hear,
 and smile,
 says Lucy Rose.

Morning Song
I greet you, Day
with open arms, with open eyes and ears,
and with soft hands, soft tender hands,
 I join you, Wondrous Day,
Wondrous Day, I join you.

For Ed:  A Night Song
( A  Silent Night. Then 
in the kitchen, clinking, clinking: )
Eddie, Eddie, up on the sink
Getting Eddie Eddie a drink....
Eddie,  I call...
What are you doing?
And down he bounds,
And over to give me
His head-in-the-knee hello---
Eddie,  I smile
Outloud in the quiet---
Eddie, I love you,
Sweet Boy.

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