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A Snake Dream During a Time of War

This 2002 dream occurred right after a major clash between the Israelis and Palestinians and I felt, somehow, they were connected. The Israeli army was bulldozing Palestinian homes and allowing Israeli settlers in to occupy the land.

In the dream, I lived in a large undeveloped rural area with few homes. There were large fields and woods in every direction. A small city was barely visible in the distance.

As I walked from the house to my pickup truck in the gravel driveway, I felt lost. I had just read a letter from the nearby city’s Planning Department telling me that plans for developing the land behind my house had been approved. The property had recently been sold to a developer with ambitious plans and strong political ties. His building plan called for  thousands of new homes with industry to support them. In essence, he planned to build a new town right in my back yard. Feeling the stone and gravel in the driveway shift and crunch under my boots, I opened the door of my beat-up old truck and swung up into the seat behind the steering wheel.

The evening light was dimming as I started the truck’s engine. Pulling out of the driveway, I turned left onto the narrow country road, going nowhere in particular. Thinking about the coming changes to the wild land behind my house, I imagined what the future would look like. In my mind’s eye, I could see homes, city lights and streets with moving traffic. Nearby, industrial chimneys belched smoke. It was a testament, not only to man’s ingenuity but to his sometimes blind ambition, his out-of-control need for wealth, power and recognition.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a rattling sound. Leaning forward to see over the edge of the seat, I spotted a large rattlesnake on the floor near my right leg. How did it get there? I had no idea but it looked like it was going to strike me. With anger and fear, I reacted by raising my right leg and smashing my foot down on the snake’s head again and again until it lay bloody and dead at my feet.

Relief washes over me and then another rattle signals an angry warning, then another, and another. Suddenly I’m fighting for my life with both legs alternately rising and falling with all my might to crush the deadly invasion. How can this be? Where are they coming from? Soon they’re on the seat beside me, some crawling into my lap. There are far too many to defeat! First one, and then another strikes me, injecting venom deep into my arms, legs and torso. I fight back even more ferociously until it dawns on me that the harder I fight, the more snakes I kill, the more there are to attack me.

Knowing I’m about die, I stop fighting and begin to think about my experience. What is it trying to tell me? What does it mean? After killing the first rattlesnake, more appeared and attacked me. The more I killed, the more there were until the inside of my truck was filled with writhing angry, writhing snakes, all wanting to sink their fangs into my flesh. Why didn’t I stop the truck and slowly get out to let the first rattlesnake go in peace? Instead I reacted with mindless fear and a sense of ownership. This truck is mine and you have no business being here!, I thought. In my fear and outrage, I simply went on the attack without considering other alternatives.

Quietly, I looked at life from the snake’s perspective. In my mind’s eye it now symbolized every other life form on Earth. We, humankind, have been invading and taking habitat away from other life forms for eons. In our pursuit of more money, power and privilege we’ve invaded the homeland of countless other species, including other humans, to claim it as our own. We don’t ask permission, we’re unwilling to share – we just take whatever we want and drive out who or whatever lives there! What right do we have to do that? Doesn’t every living thing have a right to life and being?

Overcome by the enormity of humanity’s transgressions, my heart goes out to the snakes in my truck and all the other creatures affected by man’s thoughtless, self-serving behavior. A feeling of sorrow and understanding washes over me and the snakes begin to disappear as magically as they first appeared. Finally, there is only one snake left in the truck. I know it’s the first snake I thought I killed. It’s alive and fully intact as it lies on the seat next to me, its head resting on my lap. Gently, I stroke it with the backs of my fingers. In my newfound love and understanding, I can see we are both one and separate, both healers and friends.

Pete – http://realtalkworld.com/

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having (creating) a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“How you define yourself and the world around you, forms your intent, which, in turn, forms your reality.” – Seth

In other words, we create our reality from what we believe about ourselves, and the world around us.

If we do not consciously choose our beliefs, we unconsciously absorb them from our surroundings.

If our beliefs, attitudes, values and expectations create our reality, can we afford not to question them?

The more we love, understand and appreciate ourselves, the better we treat ourselves, and the world.

Blessings of love and understanding be to us all!

The secrets of the universe lie hidden in the shadows of your experience. Look for them!

Change yourself, and the world, for the better with Philosophy On T-Shirts!

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