“Sing the Music of your Soul”
Posted on 22 April 2015, 9:11
Amazon lists my Into the Wider Dream, Synchronicity in the Witness Box as being published on April 8, and it was on that very day, that I experienced extraordinary synchronicity which shook me somewhat. I received an email from Norman Kjome, who lives in Minnesota, and who plays such an important role in my book.
Norman wrote, “Laura heard a noise from the dining room, went out to investigate, and found that a picture frame had fallen on the floor. It was the “Sing the Music of Your Soul” beach picture that you took. What was strange, Laura noticed, was that the picture was on a shelf behind other things, which were not disturbed. It fell about 4 feet to the floor. The picture came loose from the frame, but the glass is not broken. This happened between 7 and 8 pm tonight (April 7)—about noon Wednesday, (April 8) NZ time. Laura said that I must write to you. Is there some connection? Could this be like the “saucepan lids” story? N.” [Found in my new book. I describe a synchronistic series involving sets of saucepan lids, and pictures, which had fallen unexplainably from walls. Later, when I had talked about the experience, a picture had fallen on my head.]
“Sing the Music of Your Soul”
Here is the picture my friends took of the shelves where this picture was displayed:
In falling, how did the picture not disturb the objects in front?
A couple of hours after the email had been sent on this April 8, but before I read it, on a whim, I went out of our house into a store room in the garage, explored a filing cabinet where I found a spiritual journal that I had been writing in 1991. I had been reading a kind of poem that I had written back then between sleep and wakefulness:
The dream was the third in a series that I had had, on the theme, “Transfigur-ation”, seeing the physical in the light of the Spiritual, as when Peter, James, and John saw Jesus, along with Elijah and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration.
In this third dream, there was the physical me in the role of priest standing in a roundish cave like room in front of an altar before a roundish aperture serving as a window. To my right was my colleague, the Catholic (“universal”) priest facing a similar window. There was no altar in front of this “universal” priest.
It is as if I and my “Catholic” colleague are standing side by side in my skull, looking out of my left and my right eyes.
The dream seems to depict me sacrificing the physical things that go with the priesthood, in favour of direct relationship to Spirit.
Here is the poem: with suggested interpretations.
“Go send into the city to gather the bread [the City of God]
that I may celebrate communion
with my brother the Catholic priest. [My spiritual self]
While we wait, my Catholic priest sings, [cf. the picture “sing the music of my soul”]
swathed from neck to ground in a liver,
[I later wanted to see what connotations the Hebrew word for GLORY had. The Hebrew word was KABOD, implying “weight, all the attributes of God”. But the word also meant LIVER. I am amazed to find such a double-meaning. Liver = Glory!
Some hours after originally recording the dream, I find once again that I appear to have been dreaming about the Gospel reading set by the Church to be read at the next service. [John 12.22-26]:
“The hour has now come for the Son of Man to be given great glory. I tell you the truth, a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. Whoever loves his own life will lose it, whoever hates his own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. Whoever wants to serve me, must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. My Father will honour him who serves me. “]
and I could swear that he has been washing himself [purifying himself]
and shaving his beard. [erasing the Jewishness… becoming universal]
Beneath the altar, (on the ground) [a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies] the acolyte -
discloses so many thick and honey-flake
grains of incense, and scraps of flaked bread,
but not the bread we seek in the city.
But then in the cave like room,
opposite where my brother priest sings,
there on the sands lies my surplice, my alb, [sands, as in the photo]
white and rumpled wet with blood, [“Whoever loves life will lose it,” dying to self, rising with Christ]
and I am filled with nostalgia for my Father
with memories sweet, and tears fall down my cheeks,
as I share this sacred moment with my brother
wrapped as he is in the liver, [which purifies, and also means “glory”]
in his cave like room where he sings.”
After writing an interpretation of the dream on April 5, 1991, I open the “Christchurch Press” to read a news item: “A sculpture of a dress made of raw meat, hanging at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa… the meat dress made of 23 kg of flank steak, is on a hanger beside a photo of a woman wearing it.. Museum curators defended the work, called Vanitas, as a graphic reminder of mortality, and the ageing process.”
These impossible synchronicities baffle the mind. The falling of the picture in 2015 refers back to that time in 1991.
First the picture “Sing the Music of your Soul” apparently lifts up over a card and other objects to fall four feet.
An hour or two later “by chance” I wander into our storeroom, and find in a filing cabinet my spiritual journal from 1991. I read the above dream poem, and once more I am astonished at the synchronicities.
Later on I discover my friends’ email on my computer.
What is all this saying to me? At first I was somewhat shocked, and moved. Am I being corrected? I do tend to slide from the spiritual experience, the actual encounter, the actual relationship, to thinking about it, trying to make sense of it, just as I am doing in this blog. It’s OK to do this, but the relationship is of course the central matter. The experience also reminds me what a mysterious tapestry lies behind our waking minds and lives, seemingly beyond space and time.
I begin to wonder if I should meditate more, and then I would have fewer long periods when nothing spiritually remarkable seems to occur.
I think, why don’t I try what some people call, “The library angel”? I say to myself, I’ll ask St Stephen. “Let this page of my book that I open at random, be my answer.” This is what I found:
’’60. Love and Faith.
Stephen: Recognise the love of the Father that is being given you.
Does mystery alone bring faith?
Should it not be what you can see, what you feel,
Even what you breathe and taste.
Should not this be the means of faith that you desire?”
…And indeed, is not this whole episode, an example of the love of the Father manifesting?
The synchronistic web was even more complicated than described here, because of the series of dreams that had preceded the experience of 1991.
I am most grateful that my friends in Michigan had this experience, and shared it. It has reminded me of the love of God always present.
……They were singing this in church, this morning
“O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art! “
On 19 April, 2015, I received this second email from my long-term friend Norman Kjome, about the incident of the falling picture:
“I will mention that I have considered rational explanations of the picture landing on the floor. Perhaps the cleaning lady had taken the picture frame down that morning and leaned it against the front of the cabinet. (She has never forgotten something like this before, but maybe it happened this time….)
That evening the picture tipped over in such a way as to knock the glass loose, spilling out the picture. (This is the way a skeptic would give his explanation.)But—that does not fit the situation.
1) If the frame tipped over forwards, the glass would have been held in the wood frame.
2) If the frame tipped onto the back, the cardboard backing would have been flat on the floor.
When Laura found the picture, the thin flexible points had been bent outwards to the back of the frame, with the glass, picture and cardboard backing loose, completely out of the wood frame. Nothing was damaged.
(But the skeptic would be happy with his explanation in any case.)
I am happy for it to be a mystery. Norman”
This series of synchronicities coincides with the date of publication of Into the Wider Dream, and is a good example of the other synchronicities studied in this book.
What questions do experiences like this raise about the true nature of things?
Michael Cocks edits the journal, The Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
His latest book, Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box is published by White Crow Books.