I can’t be certain when I had a certain powerful dream, but I am going to guess and say it was in the late 70s, early 80s. In this dream, I am with other children, perhaps unidentified siblings. We are all seated at the feet of my paternal grandmother who is standing on a gentle mountain slope. Typical of her summer garb, she was wearing a sleeveless, front zip-up dress, like a baggy shift with two huge front pockets in which she kept her hands. In this dreamy image, we are all mesmerized by the story she was telling us, especially the last line of the dream. Grandma said, “The truth fell from pockets and burst into stars.” For years I have wondered what this meant.
Truth and stars? This is where astrology comes in. Greek philosophers as early as five centuries before the time of Jesus were interested in stars. Astronomy, the study of the stars, evolved into what the stars meant, astrology. Plato, we know, believed that the arrangements of the stars reflected a divine thought pattern. Interestingly enough Plato moved ancient thought away from gods and pointed to one god. This is, of course, not a new thought, but Plato’s influence caught many philosophers’ ears. In early days, then, one could not study philosophy without studying the stars. Somewhere in the stars was the truth.
All religions offer insight into truth and ideas about from where it comes. A natural religion believes that truth comes from nature’s visibility: mountains, birds, animals. A revealed religion like Judaism and Christianity believes that truth is revealed by the one Creator. This revelation has two voices: nature (natural law) and divinity (supernatural law). With this source of revelation in mind, it is not a surprise that Christianity would look tot he stars for some guidance. After all, as the mosaic floor at Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem suggests, all created things reveal something of the Creator who is TRUTH.
The abbey’s own explanation for their floor is as follows:
The floor mosaic of the upper church, which our confrere Mauritius Gisler designed and carried out in 1932, can be read as a kind of confession of faith and story of creation:
In the center, three concentric bands mark the center of the creation. The light of the triune God, his truth and wisdom is carried out into the world by the greater and the lesser prophets and the apostles and evangelists. Additional bands are formed around the center until finally the ends of the earth are reached – graphically and in letters presented as the names of the twelve months and the twelve signs of the zodiac. The entire circular presentation is surrounded with a quotation from the Book of Proverbs: From of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains or springs of water; before the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought forth.
(Proverbs 8:23-25) The One who stands in the middle of the whole creation also holds it together! http://www.dormitio.net/english/en.places/en.abbey/en.abbey.church.mosaic/index.html
I’m still at a loss to explain my dream, but maybe this is the point of the dream…it does not reveal truth, just ideas, and images about what truth is and what it does. Truth cannot be concealed and always makes a huge impact, like a burst. There is a seventh century anonymous hymn, Creator of the Stars at Night, which attests to this revelation of truth. Search for it on YouTube and perhaps my dream will make some sense to you.