Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

PORTRAIT OF A PRESIDENT

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

After the election, I dreamt of a grinning Barack Obama as Commander-in-Chief. He was wearing a military uniform, like a South American dictator.

Every dream about him — before, during, and after the election — was about war. I fear there will never be peace in my lifetime.

DS, November, 2008, San Francisco

A Just and Lasting Peace (through War)

Is a smiling Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief, the friendly face of a U.S. military empire? Is a smiling Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief, the friendly face of a global military dictatorship?

Totalitarian rulers — dictators –- assert authority and create intimidation clad in pompous military uniforms adorned with medals and ribbons, signifying conquest. Whether installed in a rigged election or a bloody military coup d’ etat, the message is the same: I control the military. I have the force of the military with me, against you.

Whether politically right or left, dictators repress political opponents and their own citizens, surging or revolting to reclaim their country. Dictatorial leaders use spying, repression of civil liberties, and brutal paramilitary tactics like kidnapping, torture, death squads, and assassinations to retain their power.

The U.S. Constitution establishes civilian control of the military. An American president scorns military garb (unless he is G.W. Bush dressed up in a codpiece and faux flight jacket).

Dreams, nighttime messengers, reveal hidden truths. These morning glories confer insight. They wake us, the citizenry, duped by media, moguls, and monarchs to authentic facts. They empower us to recognize the truthfulness of a candidate who promises change you can believe in.

To understand what the Portrait of a President dream reveals about U.S. President Barack Obama, let’s examine the details, where meaning resides.

NEXT ISSUE: Why is the dictator in the dream a U.S. President?

HISTORICAL ROOTS
Dreams as Political Pundit

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

For centuries, dreams have guided nations toward (or away from) their destinies. Dreams have revealed the divine plan for countries, cultures, citizens.

In the Old Testament, God spoke through dreams in both plain words and symbols. A famous political prophecy is the dream of the Egyptian Pharaoh (Genesis: 30-46): “In my dream, I stood upon the banks of a river. There stood seven fat cows. As I looked, lo! there came from out of the river, seven lean cows, and before my very eyes, they swallowed the seven fat cows, but remained as lean as before. And, then I saw seven empty ears of corn swallow seven full ears of corn, but remain just as thin as ever.”

Joseph, who became Pharaoh’s chief governor, interpreted the dream as seven years of plenty and seven of famine; he proscribed a public policy of storing food during the seven abundant years to prevent starvation during the next seven years of lack. His assessment saved the nation.

Wise Ways

In the Bible’s Book of Daniel, a dream in the second year of his reign troubled Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, famous for the magnificent gardens hanging outside his palace. He saw a gigantic statue “with the head of gold, breast and arms of silver; thighs and belly of brass, and legs of iron. The feet and toes were a mixture of iron and clay. “

Filled with hubris, Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people to worship a golden idol he commissioned. In a lesson for leaders with designs of empire, Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom crumbled and the king descended into madness.

Eventually, the King listened to the wisdom of Daniel, his court adviser, and changed his ways. After seven years, Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity returned and “the honor and glory he once possessed were restored to him.”

Read the rest of this entry »

VIRTUE:
Dream Classic Imparts Wisdom for the Common Wealth

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Ancient philosophers Plato and Cicero explored the ideal commonwealth in their writings. Their treatises sought to instill the desire to lead an upright, law abiding life. Departed souls, sometimes in dreams, revealed the way.

Plato’s Myth of Er in his Republic and Cicero’s Dream of Scipio from De re publica are vaunted vehicles.

In Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, (translated with an introduction and notes by William Harris Stahl, Columbia University Press), Macrobius interweaves philosophical discourse with narratives of visions and dreams. His discussion of types of dreams and their prophetic significance (derived from Artemidorus’ Onirocriticon) was one of the leading dream books of — and from — the Middle Ages.

The words of Scipio’s grandfather to Scipio Aemilianus, a philosopher and man of public affairs, in the younger’s dream ring loud in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential win. The elder suggests what is incumbent upon the new leader and upon us, the citizenry:

That you may be more zealous in safeguarding the commonwealth, Scipio, be persuaded of this: all those who have saved, aided, or enlarged the commonwealth have a definite place marked off in the heavens where they may enjoy a blessed existence forever. Nothing that occurs on earth, indeed, is more gratifying to that supreme God who rules the whole universe than the establishment of associations and federations of men bound together by principles of justice, which are called commonwealths. The governors and protectors of these proceed from here and return hither after death.

In his commentary on Scipio’s dream, Macrobius expounded: “Virtues alone make one blessed and only through them is one able to attain the name.”

Obedience to the virtues — prudence, temperance, courage, and justice — benefits the commonwealth and the man….

Macrobius expands on these virtues in the political arena: “By these virtues . . . upright men … direct the welfare of the citizens, and by these they safeguard their allies with anxious forethought and bind them with the liberality of their justice; by these ‘They have won remembrance among men.’

“… By these virtues the good man is first made lord of himself and then ruler of the state, and is just and prudent in his regard for human welfare, never forgetting his obligations.”