Dreams for Sale

Dreams for Sale

I was in touch with my past again this past week.  There are times when we get in touch with our past via dreams and other times when we meet those who have been a part of our past experiences in person.

This past week I attended the funeral of Sarah Campbell Benson, who died from cancer at the age of 43.  Her husband is Rick Benson.  I have known both of them from their very young ages.  We were all a part of the Worldwide Church of God, formerly a cultish church group founded in the early 20th Century by Herbert Armstrong as a break off church of the original Adventist movement.  The church has experienced transformation and is no longer considered a cult.  However, this church has experienced severe decline in membership and has split many times itself as a result of the majority of its membership discovering its former cult status or disagreeing with its New Covenant Grace based Theology.  Most who remained loyal to the original visions of Herbert Armstrong have left for splinter groups.  This division mainly occurred beginning in the early 1990s.

It is certainly not that we do not like each other as individual human beings.  Almost all I know, and certainly on mine and my wife’s part, still love each other from our past experiences in life.  Seeing each other from so long ago, as when we meet each other for funerals and other life events, can be a bittersweet experience.  Of course funerals bring sorrow, along with the joy of seeing those you have not seen for so long, as well as their children you may have known as little boys and girls and now have wrinkled faces and children and grandchildren of their own.

Many times such movements and church groups, and even governments are founded upon dreams for a better world and a better future for mankind.  I well remember the dreams for a Kingdom of God to return to this earth with Jesus as its head, where Peace would flourish, the Lion would dwell with the lamb, swords would be turned to plowshares, and men would not learn war anymore.  I still dream of this future…  I think the problem comes when dreams that should be shared are dreams that are sold as a pyramidical marketing scheme to aggrandize the dreamer.

I gave a lot to these types of dreams.  I was a True Believer.  I remember after having quit college because of ethical decisions I had made, I received a letter from my Mother asking me not to discontinue my education, but to return to school…  This was probably in about 1969.  I advised her that I would, that in 1972, I would return to school for 3-1/2 years to complete my education.  What I did not tell her was I had envisioned this continued education to occur in Petra, an ancient ruin the old Nabataean  Kingdom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabataeans where such “True Believers” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer as I was would be in a “Place of Safety” in the midst of Tribulation the rest of the world would experience.  It was to be in this Place of Safety I would continue my education in preparation for Jesus’ return in 3-1/2 years.  After all, this Tribulation was thought to perhaps occur in 1972.

A dream… A pipe dream I eventually found out somewhere after 1972, then 1984 :):) that was not to occur….  If all the religious groups who believe in such dreams and market them for sale where to be in Petra, it would be quite a crowded place.  http://otagosh.blogspot.com/2012/10/petra-atlantis-of-desert.html

After all these years, I now understand that the Spirit of God (Whom Christians believe is portrayed in Jesus) is not elucidated in being set apart from other human brothers and sisters in protection,  or good health, or having plenty of material goods and superior knowledge.  The Spirit of God (or Jesus) is elucidated in communal suffering for mankind and in dreams of the betterment of all mankind, and of a “Beloved Community.”  If the end of time is to occur to us, personally, (as it may have done to Sarah), if war is to overtake the world and nuclear weapons be used to vaporize humanity, let us suffer together.  Let us give and share our last bread, our last clothes, our last hugs, our last prayers, and our last dreams.

It was such suffering that was spoken of in Sarah Benson’s funeral.  She suffered immensely from this dreaded disease, cancer, but all those who saw her spoke of her caring and love and spirit, of her concern and love for others in the midst of her own suffering.  Several of her friends including Rick, her husband spoke at the funeral of these sacrifices.  It is only when we can give up our lives with concern and love for other humans, that we will realize the dreams God has for each of us.  I remember Sarah’s smile and gentile spirit more than anything else about her and I can dream she is gently smiling now.  If death is state of unconsciousness or sleep (soul sleep) until the promised resurrection, one can still dream while sleeping.  We are told the Spirit returns to God who gave it.  Things like this, the state of the dead before the resurrection, time and eternity, are things to wonder about that only a wonderful God knows about for sure….   Perhaps Sarah is dreaming now….  Perhaps Sarah is not dreaming, but smiling now…gently smiling…

Whichever, this I believe: It is when dreams are sold to others for gain that problems occur.  Dreams of Politicians of Peace through domination, dreams of American Exceptionalism, dreams of Peace through war, dreams of adding 2 Trillion dollars more than asked for in military budgets while cutting the deficit and not raising taxes either are dreams being sold.  It is voodoo arithmetic, and the dreams are voodoo dreams.  It just is not going to happen.  If you believe it, you are the True Believer.  If you believe in these dreams and the Myth of Redemptive Violence, it is you who are the True Believer.  It is your choice.

Life choices…. Do not disparage the path which your Divine Being has called you to trek… I do not disparage the path I have trekked… In comparison to Eternity, if we have trekked the path of a non standard religion, or even a standard system of religion, which is in many cases historically worse, life goes on…  Dreams are never stopped… Also, consider Nationalism, nearly the same thing as religion…  Try not to trek the path of Nationalism…  We must eventually learn to live beyond systems…  Do not disparage any of the people you meet on the path you have taken or are taking.  Love them.  It was hugs all around at Sarah’s funeral…. We cannot just cast aside the people we love because of their choices in the past or their choices now.

Living beyond systems is to live in the Beloved Community….. http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy.  This is one of the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King.   He had a dream… Dr. King’s dream is not for sale to the highest bidder… His dream does not require your monetary input, but the input of your heart, the input of your love, the input of your dreams for all of humankind.  None of us can dream a better dream than this, or of that dream of Jesus, that we “love our enemies”….

Dreams are given, not to be sold…  Hugs are free… Dreams are free… Don’t let nobody charge your for them…:):)  “Don’t let nobody tell you God don’t love you, cause He do”…:):)  A quote, If I recall correctly, from Billy Sunday… A double negative, for sure, but don’t, don’t let nobody charge you for dreams….

Love & Peace,

John Cooper

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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