Too often, spiritual imagination takes flight from the world and
cannot seem to hold together the realm of being with the realm of doing.
I once had a dream that showed me this necessity of holding
contradictories without seeking resolution.
In the dream, I was in an interior courtyard. A man had fallen to
the ground, suffering from a heart attack. I was attempting to do
something by pounding on his chest, trying to resuscitate him. I looked
up and saw through a window inside a building where a woman was playing a
harp, in a way, not doing anything to be of help. The harpist was
looking directly at the stricken man and she was singing.
Nothing in the dream indicated that what the harpist or I was doing
was misdirected or in error. Both were needed, and needed at the same
time; that is, an imagination that encompasses both is needed. The dream
put together these two ways of presence—doing and being—and let them
live in what might seem to be an inherent contradiction. However,
contradictions are no problem for the imagination and, in fact,
imagination thrives in contradictions and creates what is new and
unknown from them.
Robert Sardello, PhD is co-founder of The School of Spiritual Psychology. He is author of Facing the World with Soul, Love and the Soul (re-issued as Love and the World), Freeing the Soul from Fear, The Power of Soul: Living the Twelve Virtues, and the recently published Silence.