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  • Writer's pictureRichard Southworth

Awakening V

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Photo by Winnie Southworth

Early this morning I had a rather long and vivid dream and then woke up at about 4:00am.  Neither the dream or the waking up seemed in any way scary or negative.  As Adyashanti would say, it was just what arose.  How I dealt with it is the issue.  

So in the dream Winnie and I are walking down a gravel road and we see this large two story, stone/brick gutted building.  There are no windows, no roof, and no internal structure.  We look at it for a bit and somehow it looked beautiful.  After a bit we walk off on a different gravel road, first together, but then we get to another intersection and I go off on another path and Winnie keeps going on the first one.  It all seemed very natural.  We just decided to take different paths, and that was a good thing. There were no disagreements or negative feelings about that.  So the road I started on was a gradual climb with some places where I actually had to climb over rocky outcroppings and the like, sometimes slipping back, but always making it up.  There were several intersections where I had to choose one or the other paths but that didn’t seem to be a problem.  At several points I ran into people and asked directions.  They pointed one way or another, and sometimes I took the path they pointed to, but often went off in another direction.  I recognized one of the people but didn’t know their name or how I met them.  They pointed me in one direction and I started off in that direction, but then took off in a different direction when the path they pointed to seemed to be going downhill.  I always wanted to be climbing up. I continued to take different paths upward.  I was often unsure if I was on the right path, and sometimes the choices were hard, but I kept going.  I had my cell phone and I kept trying to call Winnie, but the phone wouldn’t work.  I also tried to use the Maps app, but couldn’t get to that either.  Tried both several times, but they never worked.  I took that in stride and kept going up.  I was not upset at any of this but just kept walking the different paths I chose.  Finally I stopped walking, and literally woke up, and thought “what was that about?”  I was not upset at all, just curious.

As I lay in bed an interpretation of this story “came to me”.  It was a metaphor for my spiritual journey.  The gutted building was the church.  After I moved away from that I was always striving and climbing, but never really worried about my ultimate destination.  I took many different paths that led in many different directions.  With a few short exceptions they all ultimately led upward, and I sensed they always led toward my destination.  Winnie and I really did take different paths but that was really ok too.  My path was difficult, but I kept going and climbing, and it always seemed ok.  I took some advice and rejected others.  When it became obvious that some paths were no longer the right path, I just took off in on a different path, and there always was one available.  

The one thing that was missing was my riling against the guidance I got and the need to take off in a different direction. That said, on a different level, it always seemed to be right to change paths.  Really what I riled against was the fact that the paths were not right.  They did not provide me with what I needed. The good thing was that I always realized it was the wrong path.  Going on a different path was always the right thing to do.  

In the end I just woke up from the dream and all was well, and that itself was an “Awakening”.  

It reminded me of the book The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck.  Learn more:

It also reminded me of the book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World by Thomas Moore. Learn more:

I really did take the road less traveled, and as a result I really did develop a religion of my own.  Both are very positive things.  I learned much along each of those different paths, and I am very grateful for both the different paths and for each change along the way.  I do wish sometimes that some of those paths had worked better for me.  I wish they had taught me more directly what I needed to learn, and thus I could have “Awakened” and found that religion that works for me earlier in my life.  That said I am very very grateful for how my current path works for me now!  And the truth is that I would not be where I am now without many of those experiences. I am also grateful for the fact this path still is leading upward.

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