Giving a great deal of attention and energy to the shit that's regularly hitting the collective fan around the world makes me tense and fearful if I don't also take time to give attention to what's happening in my inner dream worlds. Pondering this, I see that, there's the rub. If I focus on fear and dread, despite that what's actually happening in my personal life now is positive, I not only create a mighty stress in my own physical body, I contribute to the collective stress that surrounds me. Eckhart Tolle's work is brilliant in making a case to average people for that old meditational chestnut:
BE HERE NOW.
Most of our fear is based on our internal drama and dialogue, despite what's actually happening in our surroundings now. Fears about what might happen if such and such happens can keep us awake at night time and again. One remedy I always prescribe is when you wake up at night and know you might have trouble getting back to sleep, treat that time as an opportunity to enter any dream that comes to mind and consider it play time. I often will play with a particular dream for months because of a character, place or experience I want to develop further in my story telling mind. It may or may not get you back to sleep, though it often does, and it beats the hell out of worrying thoughts and their consequences.
My dream practice has helped me keep a foot in the temporal earth world and in other dimensions in the eternal worlds of dreaming, which is where the AWE comes in. Dreaming is organic spirituality; it's our birthright bridge to the eternal without the dusty layers of dogmatic oppression patriarchal religions add to our burden on our journey home. We each have a reason for being on planet physical earth; we each have something to offer and something to learn. Mind control religions entrap us in unnecessary suffering and privation. A God/Goddess who has nothing to fear doesn't need anything from us. Divine love isn't based on need. It is simply What Is. There is no need to limit or define it; there is every need to experience it. Dreams are a door to that experience; a direct life line to the Awe in life that keeps us living, hoping and loving.
Throughout life, my dreams have companioned me in a way that has guided, taught and entertained me. I turn to my dreams for answers and for experiences beyond the dull and dreaded in my life. I'm schooled morally by my dreams way beyond the shalts and shalt nots of Nobodaddy tenets. I know the unconditional love of the Divine through my dreams; it can take so many forms and act in so many wonderful ways, as some of our ancestors knew. Locking the Divine in exclusively Male Form is the most damaging psychic wound inflicted on us by patriarchal codes. We project on to the Divine in metaphors and similes; god is like this or goddess is like that. But, knowing Divine Love in dreams is to know it never keeps just one form; you know you're in the presence of Divine Love by the Awe you feel Sometimes it takes on surprising forms, but it doesn't have physical form because, ultimately like us, it's not physical.
In a time of so much shock the awe of inner exploration is a salve for the soul. A dream practice isn't a place to hide from the world, but it can be a spiritual retreat zone. A resource I can draw on, at times of trouble or trepidation or just for a break and a change of attitude. It matters whether I choose to live in shock or in awe. Depending on where you are physically in the world, like in religious totalitarian states like Saudi Arabia, especially if you're a woman, like Loujain al-Hathloul, you may not have an easy choice. Choosing spiritual freedom can be dangerous when patriarchy uses its brutality to enforce their choice on us. But, for those of us who can make that choice relatively easily, once we heal our own psyche from the damage so much brainwashing has done, we can help others to find their own healing and perhaps, together, keep this world going.
Jung's fans know his teachings about our need to heal the individual and the collective psyche; he said the fate of man hangs on a thread, and that thread is the human psyche. What does that mean? We've got to become conscious of our choices and what fuels them at an unconscious level. Fear is a primal human emotion that's easy to use for mind games. Patriarchy loves using fear to control people's behavior and, historically, has done so in fantastic feats of cruelty.
Every time I review the dark periods of our history some of us call the Burning Times, basically where it was legitimate to brutalize and torture women into submission to the patriarchal yoke of servitude, my stomach gives a familiar lurch. This is all too real. Ms. Loujain al-Hathloul, held in captivity for a year and a half and counting for her feminist campaign to drive and to change the many other petty restrictions of her basic human freedoms under the patriarchal domination of modern Saudi Arabia. These restrictions, which in such a theocracy is also the rule of law, are mostly based on religious imperatives. Loujain was recently offered her freedom on the condition that she lie about everything they've done to her; tortures like those of the burning times. She is still in Saudi prison. When will we free Her?
Healing the human psyche is about acknowledging that we know shit about so many things, but most of all about the exact experience of life after life and about the Divine. That Which Is is vast and contains all us multitudes, so how can it be as simple as one story, one myth? Why should we fight each other about what It should be when we're all going to experience it for what it is eventually? Why don't we take the opportunity our dreams offer us to learn more about those ultimate questions for ourselves?
Of course, the most convenient way to control someone is psychically. Get them to buy into a particular story, especially when they're young, and they'll do what you tell them to do. As soon as we are born, we're baptized and cathechismed till the cows come home. I often think when a parent says to me, I'll send them to church, synagogue, mosque whatever now and when he/she becomes an adult, he/she can decide for him/herself. But it doesn't work that way! Once our little imaginations are denied freedom and instilled with fear, it's not all that easy to shake.
What we believe to be true is our reality. Patriarchal dogmas in all big 3 religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as in other male elevating spiritual practices, including Buddhism, have convenient stories about why women are bad and why everyone needs to tow a certain line in order to safely transition to the other side.
They're not even that good, as stories go. So, I'm to believe that the Divine is so super pissed off at a couple of newly minted Homo sapiens, male and female, for eating an apple, or even for wanting to know Good/Evil so they can choose for themselves? I'm to believe that the very Life Force, the Light, the overpowering certainty of Love that I've known in dreaming so many times, not only condemned all future generations but blamed the woman, especially?
And the stories go on, all in the service of why no-one, especially women, should question this male structured mental, emotional and social paradigm that is still grinding along, on an inexorable track to planetary destruction. As I told my dad in a dream once, patriarchy has been one blood bath after another. But it doesn't have to continue this way.
Dreams are bridges to self-discovery and to social healing; dreams call on each of us to own our spiritual health as well as our mental and physical health. Dreams call us to lead a life that acknowledges our own responsibility for our own path. They call on us to live bravely because, in the end, literally in the end, there is nothing to fear.
The myth of original sin is fabricated to prepare the human psyche for other fear based strictures religions love to impose. Once you fear God and HIS minions, you'll do what they tell you to do, whether it's to your own benefit or the benefit of your beloved ones is irrelevant because your thought allegiance has been won over.
But if you're not afraid of God/the Divine in any way, your life is an adventure in the physical; you live on the continuum of other adventures you've experienced on other planes or in other times. Past lives are frequently remembered in dreams. You can know some of what you'll experience after death because you've already experienced it through dreaming. It's the awe of these encounters with the divine that eclipses all fear and all doubt. There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.
The only thing that makes sense to me these days is for each of us to do whatever we can, say whatever we can, in the most loving way, to take down the wall of fear that's being steadily reconstructed before our eyes, always looking inward for guidance and advice from dreams and holding hands with fellow/sister dreamers with the purpose of healing ourselves and the planet from the wrathful, wrongful paradigms that keep us in this dismal cycle of doom.
There is no original sin, it's the same thing over and over; why? Because we're adhering to the same paradigms of rigid Father oriented, male dominated insanity that created this problem in the first place. Come on, just listen to that ignorant congressman King from Iowa wondering if he would be alive but for the wise forbearance for rape and incest in human history; tell me that's not messed up!
That guy thinks he's a good, god-fearing Christian and there's no doubt he serves the patriarchal idol of god he and others constructed so it would be okay to think that super fucked up way. Women don't even figure into the equation. But the Jesus he supposedly follows championed a woman's right to equal treatment and opportunity again and again in the gospels. Jesus was a feminist.
I can live in shock that we've actually elected patriarchal one dimensional puppets like King, (and worse than him, too) or I can live in awe that at least I was born into a time and live in a place where I can challenge patriarchy because of what I know to be true. Practice love and look to dreams; that's what I know to be true.