A gun appeared in my guided meditation last week and I was afraid something horribly wrong was about to happen. It was a small, black handgun, what they used to call a “Saturday-night special.”
I owned one of ‘em when I served as a training officer in Ft. Polk, Louisiana. I believed I had to get one because I was living in another country — “way down yonder” some two hundred miles outside of New Orleans. It felt like the Old Wild West to me, a city boy living in a trailer park with another second lieutenant off the army base.
I bought the gun one lonely weekend. I remember walking into the gun shop, looking at a couple handguns, and then choosing one that cost around thirty dollars. I don’t think I had to sign anything or even show identification, let alone have a waiting period before the purchase went through. Within minutes, I became the proud owner of the .38 caliber revolver.
Although I was qualified as an expert with a rifle, I never really liked guns. We never used them in North Philadelphia, although some of the old head did create and fire zip guns in Faimount Park.
I kept my pistol empty and hidden away most of the time, especially after Nicholas, my favorite son, was born and grew up in our abode.
My meditation journey, however, brought visions of shootings on the street as well as nightly television broadcasts of the massacres in churches and in elementary schools. I was afraid of something so deadly re-appearing in my life.
All of a sudden, however, the metal gun turned into a paper mache gun. A toy gun that could be used as a decoration or something one could put on display, if something like that turned them on.
I mentioned this gun to my good friend Christina, who was guiding the meditation. Christina runs the Inner Light Holistic Center in Gilbertsville, PA, where I meet weekly for what I call a “shamanic-travel.” Eight to ten of us gather in the pleasantly-scented room as soft music plays in the background and Christina takes us on a journey through our minds.
She advised me that the gun was made of paper and that I should put the gun onto paper. That I should write about it. Write about the guns I came into contact with as a younger man in war, and how I survived the shootings and the battles and the fear that comes when someone you don’t even know wants to kill you. Or you kill them . . .
Yes, I no longer fear the gun. I have conquered its symbolism with Christina’s help and guidance. Now I can turn the weapon back into a plowshare and cultivate the many fields of my mind for more useful purposes.