We all have dreams. We trust that whatever is placed in our hearts will come to fruition, even if we do not know the how
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner quotes the Talmud:
Amemar, Mar Zutra and Rab Ashi would say this:
“Holy One of Being, I am yours and my dreams are yours.
I have dreamed a dream, and I do not know what it means”.
We arrive in this world with birthright gifts — then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots. In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others….We are disabused of original giftedness in the first half of our lives. Then — if we are awake, aware, and able to admit our loss — we spend the second half trying to recover and reclaim the gift we once possessed.
Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
There is a story by Mark Twain about a man going to heaven. When he arrived, he was given a pair of wings and a harp, and for a few days he used the wings as a way of moving about, and plucked on the strings of the harp trying to get some celestial music out of it. Both were pretty much of a bother, and finally he realized that in heaven you don’t actually need wings to go anyplace; and simply by desiring heavenly music, the celestial musicians appear and commence to play. So he put down the wings and the harp, and began to enjoy himself. Similarly, we sometimes limit ourselves by preconceptions of purity and happiness. We burden ourselves with unnecessary wings or halos or harps thinking that happiness consists of having certain things or acting in a certain way. When we leave aside our limited views it is possible to open up to deeper experiences of joy.
What’s needed is self-surrender, not endless effort.
A cuckoo’s song beckons me to return home,
Hearing this, I tilt my head to see
Who has told me to turn back;
But do not ask me where I am going,
As I travel in this limitless world,
Where every step I take is my home.
Dogen, 1200 – 1253
To be immersed in mystery can be very distressing at first, but over time I have found immense relief in it. It takes the pressure off. I no longer have to worry myself to death about what I did right or wrong to cause a good or bad experience- because there is no way of knowing. One of the biggest lessons is the realization that I’m not as much in control of life as I’d like to be. This is not an easy learning, especially for take-charge people like me, people who think they can- and, more important, should- be in control of things. Mysterious as it may be, there is something wonderful at the heart of our existence, and it is about nothing other than love: love for God, love for one another, love for creation, love for life itself.