God and the Salt

By Mark Schellhase (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mark Schellhase (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0

I had an unusual dream prior to waking up this morning and want to record it here before the entire dream fades from my memory. I am making no claims about the substance of this dream.

As my dream began, for reasons unknown to me, I found myself alongside God—or rather, I should say I discovered God beside me. Don’t ask me how I knew who it was. In dreams sometimes certain things are simply understood to be so. I was not in a particular place. In fact, to the best of my recollection, there were no surroundings at all, other than some sort of heavy white woven fabric laid out before me that seemed to flow from Him. We were side-by-side, as opposed to facing each other. Although I never looked directly at his face or saw his body, in this dream God seemed like a man, albeit a very large one who positively dwarfed me, like a grown man beside a young child.

And that’s exactly how I felt, like a small child. For the duration of this dream, I never said a word. Now that’s very unusual for me. Whether in a dream or awake, silence is not among my strong suits.  From my left side, God spoke to me in a soft, deep voice. There was no echo, no Cecil B. DeMille special effects. Here is how it went.

“People wonder why I don’t do more to help them.” He placed several large crystals on the cloth in front of me, although I never saw his hand.

“This is salt. Go ahead, pick one up.” I picked up a white crystal the size of a Brazil nut. “Look at it. Feel it. Hold it in your hand.” I did as I was told.

“Put it in your other hand.” I moved the crystal from my right hand to my left. “Now put it behind you and switch it back.” I obeyed, not really understanding the point of this exercise. It was sort of like playing Simon Says with the Almighty. He told me what to do and I did it. If only real life worked like this.

“See? It’s real. I put that there. The problem is, people don’t use what I give them” That’s when I understood. I turned to my left, grabbing fistfuls of the heavy woven fabric, and began to cry.

He said one last thing to me, with emphasis. “Pick up the salt.”

Then I woke up, wondering what I may have been ignoring or underutilizing and what salt had to do with it. I’m not often able to remember my dreams, so I guess the way this one stuck in my mind bothered me a little. I’m also not one for quoting Bible verses, but let me leave you with this one that popped into my head. As I said when I started, I make no claims.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.”  (Matthew 5:13)

As always, thanks for hanging with me.

I’m a Spiritual Being Living Out a Human Experience

Those of you who have visited the Crazy Horse Memorial and watched the video presentation that they show in the visitors center will immediately get why I chose Crazy Horse as my backdrop for this post. But for the benefit of those who have not yet been, I offer this brief explanation. In the video of which I speak is a gentleman who expresses his appreciation for the concept of being a spiritual being living out a human experience. I may be paraphrasing, but the point is that I share in his appreciation. I would love to give credit where credit is due, but the concept (and quotes thereof) has been attributed to more than one philosopher and used by several motivational writers/speakers, including a favorite of mine, the late Dr. Stephen Covey. So if nothing else, I find myself in pretty good company as I attempt to share a few words of my own on the subject.

I must point out that I have never written about this before—indeed I’ve only even discussed it with a select few whom I deem closest to me—so forgive me if this post comes across as sparse, disjointed, or utter nonsense. I’ll be the first to agree with you. So with that out of the way, and if you’re still reading, pull up a chair, pour yourself a drink, smoke’em if you gott’em, and let’s talk.

At face value, I’m considered a “cradle Catholic” in that I was born into the Church and am still an active member. In-between, however, lies a substantial gap of some years, during which I wandered in the desert and denied many things, including my Catholic identity. This post isn’t about all that. It’s not about religion at all, really. I only bring this up because even during that period of years, I never stopped being spiritual. I’m not even sure what that means, yet I know it to be true,with certainty.

Philosophically, I subscribe to the notion of the whole person being comprised of body, mind and spirit. If I deny any of the three, I deny a part of myself. And I am obligated to feed, nurture and develop all three in order to live fully. Believe it or not, the component with which I struggle most is the mind. Why? Because it cannot stand alone. A chemical imbalance within the body can and will cause the mind to falter. Yet an unbalanced mind can also destroy the body, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes I wonder if the mind, as we understand it, is nothing more than the intersection of body and spirit. That to me makes sense.

But what of the spirit? And what the hell is it, anyway? Yeah, I knew we would end up here sooner or later. Bear in mind, I am neither an expert nor a scholar in this matter. I can only speak from my experience, which has shaped my paradigm. My sense of things is that of the three components that make up the whole person—body, mind and spirit—the spirit is either the largest or the least contained. Surely one’s spirit can be lost or broken, but it can also stand alone. Without bringing religion into it, I can’t really get into the concept of the spirit pre-existing (or surviving) the physical person’s existence, so I won’t go there. I will say, however, that I have seen things and experienced things that have shaped my personal belief system, or B.S.for short.

Yes, I am a spiritual being living out a human experience. I like that concept. It seems to fit. If you were expecting tales of the supernatural, well, that’s not really what this is about. Besides, you gotta’ walk before you can run. Thanks for hanging with me.