The nightmare is as follows: I am a prisoner of the Nazis and I am to be called before a bureaucratic judicial panel. One of my superiors in the prisoner group sitting in this room gives me a loaded pistol, cocked and ready to fire. I had asked for a machine gun—like an AK47—but it would have been too conspicuous. Thus, as I am called to stand before this trio of Nazis, I am able to hide the pistol under a gray blanket. And as I approach them I begin firing. I expect instant retaliatory fire and imagine many bullets thudding into various parts of my body as I die. The idea is to kill and be killed.
The trigger for this dream, I am led to believe, is not only this purging I am to go through. —Yesterday Ed responded to reading “The Scream”(with its murderous wish to kill Martha), and criticized my writing for being “too personal.” I found I was able to hear that as coming from his own fear of revealing his Ego thoughts, but I also wanted to withdraw from him, making the mistake of feeling judged, and demanding praise instead. It was a reflection of my Ego’s guilt for the dark unconscious wish to kill which I have repressed into my unconscious. It was guilt that caused the need to repress the dark thoughts into the unconscious. And guilt which demanded praise. Both in that moment of hatred of Ed and in the dream of last night, I experienced the ‘return of the repressed,’ as Freud put it.
Now, thanks to Jesus’ course, I have the opportunity of laying those murderous ‘kill-or-be-killed’ thoughts on the altar of my heart and call for the Holiness in my mind to shine on them—resulting in their disappearance, the relief from the illusion of guilt, and the healing of my mind.
It’s this process that brings me nearer to the awareness of Love’s presence—as I remove the obstacles I have placed on the way, that block my capacity to reflect my essential Holiness to the world. And all this is happening in my mind. All I have to do is ask for help, have faith that it is instantly given, and confidence in the superior power of Divine Love to shine away the darkness I have made—the guilt for murder in my mind. That is the “last dark cornerstone”* of my Ego mind. (That cornerstone is the “tiny mad idea”* that I killed God by thinking I could separate from His Love, and that now I am prisoner of the guilt which will surely end in my death.) I see God as the Nazi power to which I am subject and which in vengeance will kill me for my hatred of Him—the Nazi God I have made.
Part of the trigger for this dream was also the clarity of thought (this very thought) which I articulated in the Tuesday p.m. group yesterday. (I am now experiencing Martha’s presence, so I know I have returned to Love by the process of writing this.)
I also had experienced my love of the group, my love of Robert and Celia last night at dinner, and the response of love from all of them for me. At this moment, my separation from Ed is healed.—Happiness returns. And laughter wells up from within me—laughter at how seriously I had taken the world, my actions in it, and the response of others to me.
And so this nightmare ended in laughter, just as the idea of a real world will also end in laughter (ACIM Manual 14, 5:5).
*ACIM, Text, 13 III 1:9
*ACIM Text 27, VIII, 6:2
Copyright 2007 Frank West