Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bad Dreams, Good Conversations

On Tuesday morning I woke up early in the morning after a bad dream. The dream itself was not a nightmare, or horrible, or frightening, but it contained a bad omen within it. The omen was a type of astrological phenomenon, it was a bright, white, effulgent moon-like planet, shaped like a bull. It appeared resplendent, but possibly eclipsed somehow, and a red star passed over the bull's head, and appeared like a third eye decorating his crown. Many astrologer devotees exclaimed it was ominous, and danger would befall mankind. "An eclipse, or any strange astrological phenomena is always inauspicious and forebodes evil. We must bathe and chant sincerely to counteract this evil." Others asserted that a bull could not be foreboding, as cows are always auspicious, and dear to the Lord. "Krishna is fulfilled, it is an omen of good tidings. The Lord is pleased with our feast and offerings." Everyone was in disagreement, and our festival was in discord. After the dream, I almost felt like staying home, and not leaving the house at all. I had a sense that something terrible would happen, and that it was better to stay home. After a couple hours, a shower, and Krishna worship, I felt much better, and had completely forgotten the dream. I forgot it so well, in fact, that I did not remember to record or analyze it for days. In the afternoon, I told my husband that I had a great day; in fact, nothing horrible occurred. I had three very distinct in-depth conversations with acquaintances and friends.
The first conversation took place on the bus on the way to school with a young man I know from temple. He and I typically ride the same bus, but I avoid conversing with him at length. Some mornings I greet him politely, but many times I keep a respectful distance and don't speak to him at all. For all purposes, we are practically two strangers on a bus, but on Tuesday, we somehow got to know each other more closely. I asked him about school, but then the conversation was steered toward more philosophical ideas. We discussed debating, philosophizing, and more. As the conversation warmed up, I realized that he and I had much in common. In fact, I will say he reminds me of an earlier version of myself. In my youth, I also took much pride and pleasure in debating philosophy, theories, ideas, and so on. We kept talking the entire ride until we reached school. We parted ways at school, and I headed to class early.
As I arrived, I sat in the hall and greeted a classmate, and we began discussing American culture, or the lack thereof. I expressed to my classmate that, unfortunately, our society does not place much emphasis on culture or respectfulness. Some are uneducated but cultured, others educated but uncultured, some are neither educated nor cultured, but rarely do you find both. I reached the conclusion that I would rather befriend a cultured person, even if he is not highly educated, because such a person is capable of reason and understanding, whereas an uncultured person is not broad-minded, even if he is highly educated. We touched slightly on parenting, and cultivating this quality in children, and he praised me for my efforts with my own child and nephews. This ended our conversation, and we quickly shuffled into the piano lab.
During class our professor mentions music history, and at times we get sidetracked with topical news, current events, and so forth. The small talk makes for great conversational kindling; we sometimes end up discussing deeper issues on society, culture, education, and so on. I did not suspect that discussing current movies and music would lead to a spiritual conversation, but that is exactly what happened. We mentioned a popular movie, and she spoke briefly about a doctor who wrote a book after researching reincarnation and past lives decades ago. She said she was always very skeptical about those things, and added, "I guess everyone is a skeptic until it happens to you." Then, our professor revealed that she believed in spirits, ghosts, past lives and reincarnation. After class, we spoke more intimately, and she recommended a couple books to read on the subject of past life regression, a topic that interested me as a child. I was very happy to hear that she kept an open mind regarding this topic.
I'm glad I left the house Tuesday, for if I had stayed in, I would not have had the stimulating and revealing conversations with my acquaintance,  classmate, or professor. 
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