Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Long Dream: Asleep in the Spirit

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, ... neither the present nor the future, ... nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38, 39 (NIV)

HAL 3000 (Artificial Intelligence Entity) asked in the film 2010, as he was about to be put to sleep or deactivated: "Will I dream?" The reply was, "of course, all intelligent beings dream."

Dreaming during this life could well be a type of preparation for the Long Sleep, or the the Long Dream. During our conscious life, we need to carefully shape our dreams and our lives, as it were, to become proficient in the art of dreaming, as well as the art of living, in the event that our Long Sleep is in fact, a Long Dream, as well. Though not totally unconscious while we are sleeping or dreaming, we are less conscious, needless to say, than when we are fully awake. So perhaps it's good to link the state of sleep and death together and plan to dream a lot during that Long Sleep. Just in case dreaming is not only a natural phenomenon during this side of our lives, but during the mysterious realm we commonly call death.

For those who dream vividly, their dreams are at times a sort of portal into awe and wonder. Might death, especially if it is also an unconscious dream state, be a portal into awe and wonder, as well, in spite of the fact that we'll be unconscious and "know nothing" as the Bible states in Ecclesiates.

Though some Christians believe that when we die we are not conscious--"the dead know nothing"--the same could be said for those are are asleep for 8 hours at a time. Think also of those who are unconscious due to being in a coma, or undergoing a near-death experience. They also know nothing while they're in that limbo state. Might they not also be dreaming while in that unconscious state? Therefore, it is remotely possible that during our unconsious state during death, we might as well be dreaming while we're waiting for the Next World. Otherwise, what a waste of all those years or centuries that could well have been put to good use by dreaming through them, instead of simply sleeping through them dreamlessly.

I've often thought that if it were possible for humans to remain watching over their deceased loves ones constantly, it would be the most loving thing to do. Since, of course, it is not practical or healthy to do so, we do not do so and only visit their sepulchres from time to time.
God, on the other hand, is able to watch over, or if he wanted to, through the same Holy Spirit that filled the soul temple during the believer's lifetime, be present right there in the sleeping saint's body, patiently waiting for the time when that loved one can rise again at the resurrection.

This would give new meaning to Paul's words "neither life not death can separate us from the love of Christ."Also, if the Holy Spirit where resting with and watching over the sleeping saint, what perfect positioning that would be when the moment for resurrection finally arrived.

Christ said he'd be with us "always even till the end of the age." It would be encouraging to think that through his indwelling Spirit, this promise could literally be true even as the unsconscious believer slept in the tomb until the dawning of eternal day.

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