In my dream last night, a man, a wiseman, a shaman, I think, came to me and said "It is only when you have love that you will achieve wisdom."
Mystical elements keep cropping up in my life.
While jogging in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend, I found myself skipping around Orthodox Jews. My friend lives in a primarily Orthodox neighborhood. And as I jogged, I found myself envying them. It was not that I wanted to become an Orthodox Jew. No, I wanted the community with all it's good and bad. And it wasn't just community in general that I longed for, I have that...rather it was a religious community. I wanted to worship with someone. It was a strange longing, and I took it and moved on...both figuratively and literally.
But later that evening, I ended up in conversation with one of Ros's friends about religion. We had a very intimate chat about our religious experiences, etc, and about religious community. I realized that for all my protestings of atheism that I'm not truly an atheist, and that I do want to be part of a religious community. Again, i just sort of thought these things, and left it at that.
Forward to my independent study conference calls....the student who is doing this with me, is a Neopagan. And we start talking about religion. I used to be a NeoPagan, and I loved it. But I'm not really sure if that's a community I could ever be in again. We talk a great deal about this, and while a part of me feels silly it feels really good to talk about gods/goddess/magic again. I realize that there is still a part of me that really feels deeply about these things. But there is also a part of me, the academic part who studies religion, that feels vaguely silly and ridiculous. And all of these parts are having a hard time articulating what I really believe.
And top it off with the dreams. The insomnia has gone away, and I am now sleeping deeply with these vivid dreams that stay with me all day. Some are disturbing my equilibrium with life while others seem to be trying to tell me something. More importantly, I am dreaming about Ishtar again. This has lead to some strange actions that again leave me feeling slightly embarrassed. The other day as I"m cleaning up the study in preparation for my sister in law's visit, I find myself tearing down the display of Guadalupe stuff I have up, and thinking about how I need to make a shrine to Ishtar instead.
There is a part of me that wishes I could embrace this stuff like I did when I was nineteen. Sometimes I wish I could unread. And then again there is a part of me that can not imagine ever living without that critical eye. But for now, I am starting to wonder if I can reconcile this mystical side with the intellectual side.
In fact, my whole feelings for academia seem to be quite divided. I love theory. I love reading Foucault and Deleuze and thinking/talking/writing about their ideas. On the other hand, the writing that is coming from them is creative...at least more creative than my academic writing. As I'm writing all the boring academic stuff, I long to be writing about other things....about love, and about sex all with their ideas tumbling around in my head. I feel vaguely unsatisified with the academic world, and a bit angry at it as well.