At the center of the universe

It is within our nature to dream, for disconnected visions and distant images to drift vividly along the somnambulant pathways of our unconscious mind. And yet that which held us so captivated in our mental dormancy is instantly discarded and forgotten upon waking from our slumber. At least that is the normal way we dream. There are other times when we might dream while we are fully conscious and aware. Science calls these dreams either waking (hypnagogia) which are experienced during the moments just prior to sleep or lucid (hypnopompic) which occur during the onset of wakefulness.

Dreams

Dreams

Recently I experienced a lucid dream that challenged me to reflect and to consider the times in which we live. What I most recall are words and phrases, from all appearances completely disconnected with one another, and yet ultimately tightly bound together defying any attempt to disentangle. I felt as if I was being torn apart by opposing forces, yet any choice would fail to satisfy or ease my anguish. Above all two words weighed heaviest upon my thoughts throughout those lucid moments: “me” and “God”.

“Me” has become the new center of the universe while “God” has become increasingly irrelevant; scuttled to the periphery of this self-indulgent egoistic universe. If any wonder still remains, the question that is asked far too frequently is “What is in it for me?” We have allowed our minds to atrophy to the point where perception has become our reality and the truth is either unimportant or anything we imagine it to be. We seek comfort and safety in the vacuousness of nothing, fearing the precipitous heights and chasms of knowledge, truth, and understanding. What now excites and inspires are unreal and self-constructed visions of darkness and death: zombies, ghosts, monsters, and vampires.

We have lost touch with what is real. When a random group of people were asked who Joe Biden (Vice President of the U.S.) is no one could respond correctly, yet most quickly identified Bella Swan (an imaginary character in the Twilight Saga Trilogy).

The central importance of “me” has hastened the demise of the desire for knowledge, the degradation of common purpose, and the loss of meaningful relationships with one another and with God.

Within my lucid dream I dreamed of life so distorted as to be unintelligent and meaningless, or as Shakespeare penned “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Being stoned once referred to having stones thrown at you as mortal punishment; today it is construed as drug-induced mind-altering immolation. The act of living has sunk so low simply by living perpetually high.

Reason and common sense have been replaced by expediency and legal fiction. The purpose of life has been distilled into mere sound bites and bromides; seeking a more profound understanding is a waste of time and effort. The definition of life has been codified beyond any logical explanation. Irrational argument and stern judgment have replaced reasoned discourse and impassioned understanding.

We have become tranquilized to the crass, the vulgar, the ugly, and the obscene to the point of indolence. We have so succumbed to the relentless onslaught of mediocrity and moral decay that we lack sufficient energy to object or demur.

We have made “me” a god to our great detriment and shame. Dreaming your life away will garner you nothing and any tranquility or peace so obtained will be but an illusion. There is a purpose and an essential reason for every life. No one is without purpose, no one is non-essential. Don’t let your life go to waste. Open your eyes and look around and you will find God waiting for you to live, to become all that He created you to be.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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