This morning, on Theophany eve, I woke from a dream right after someone in the dream (I believe my brother Adam) stated, “The Virgin Mary conceived the Plan!” I do not remember the context of our oneiric conversation, but I remember the speaker’s (Adam’s?) expression conveyed delight as well as a bit of mocking . . . with implication that I should have obviously thought this all along.
The phrase stirred me awake, and I marveled at my dream, as I often do. I do not believe that “the unconscious” creates our dreamscapes, at least not totally. I don’t know what dreams are, but I am pretty sure that I am not humorous, imaginative, musical, or artistic enough to be the source of what I witness in dreams . . . from cityscapes to harmonies to witty lines to engaging plots. The Greeks were onto something with the muses. No, I feel as thrown into the world in dreams as I do in waking life, and I cannot buy that I am the source of the world around me. Solipsism is false, even in bed.
Last month, I had a dream wherein I was seated in a college science class (I don’t know which discipline). After the lecture, I went up to the professor and talked for some time. I don’t remember now what he said, but it came across as very pertinent and wise. I then woke—with a strong but weird feeling . . . but not odd in the sense of uncommon. For it was very familiar, but it was weird . . . not domestic, so to speak. The thought that immediately occurred to me was that I might have just received a communication from my guardian angel. I don’t keep any sort of angelic cult. I have referred to such a guardian in the Church’s prayers, but I have not invested much thought, time, or piety in the matter. I accept the existence of guardian angels as a matter of Church teaching—and it has probably colored my outlook of the world, but I’ve never been one of those Christians. Even so, the experience very much felt like such a direct communication—though I don’t remember what was stated. I then wondered why my mind or the angel—if it was an angel—selected such a background, such a costume, for the dream. I don’t worship at the altar of Science, though I do hold all rational learning in esteem. No wizened monk in a cave, no numinous, black matron on a park bench, no sprite in the woods . . . rather an elderly professor in an undergrad. science class. Funny.
Later today, I searched online to see whether I might have come across “The Virgin Mary conceived the Plan” at some point and digested it unnoticed. The phrase and related searches yielded no results.
It’s a superb little sentence . . . and one ever welcome in our hearts. Let us always remember it . . . not as an excuse for inaction or lack of prudence, but as a foundation for all our local strategy and provisions.