Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Shadow We're Up Against

Recently, I read a wonderful post by Jungian scholar and author, Paul Levi, who, as I've mentioned, has written some fascinating and wise work on the Shadow archetype.  In this article, I hear the author adulate CG for his genius and way ahead of his time ways. He thinks of Jung as a teacher, and so do I.

I'm good with crediting Jung to a point.  As ahead of his time in scientific imagination as he was, he was also a man of his very patriarchal world view.  Ask Emma if living with C.G. was a picnic, or Toni.  I'm enjoying getting to know my favorite dead dream teacher as a person in Deidre Bair's biography of the great doctor.  But I already knew he was steeped in male superiority from some of his writings on the anima/animus archetype.  I remember practically throwing my copy of Symbols across the room when I read how sometimes rough treatment is the only thing an "animus possessed" woman can understand. Synchronistically, I was working as a counselor in the field of domestic violence, counseling recipients of  male superiority at its most toxic. Jung was enlightened perhaps, compared to contemporary patriarchal standards, but he held and benefited from many prejudices of his status in a patriarchal, "it's a white man's world."  He assumed knowledge of the Feminine Archetype, without understanding the impact of 6 millennia of vilification obscuring the long ancient  history of the Great Goddess.  Fortunately, one of his students, Erich Neumann steered a better psychic course when he published "The Great Mother" in 1955.

Levi makes some good points about our contemporary psychic jeopardy,  (points I also made at the start of the recent gruesome Presidential campaign). At the moment, metaphorically and literally, the Feminine Archetype is living in a "pussy grabbing" world.  From the upright Christians who want to restrict a woman's authority over her life and her body  to the Muslims, who go the extra mile and put women in sacks, to the secular patriarchal club that runs the world and wants women in bunny suits for entertainment,  women are facing new barriers to leadership and power.  Ironically, women are more powerful now than they've been in 6,000 years, in consciousness and in numbers.  More men are actively supporting women's progress than ever in that time, as well.  It's time for the obscene imbalance at the heart of patriarchal religion, the maleness of god, to get tossed out of our collective consciousness.

The Shadow we're up against is Patriarchy; - Trump, Putin, N Korea, regimes of oppression, exclusion and complete control.  Just take a look at the leadership; what do all these sinking ships have in common? Patriarchal despots leading the old boys' brigades around the world.  The mentality of patriarchy is subjugation, domination, exploitation, near sighted, self-serving religion.  The mentality of the Feminine Divine is that we are all one on this planet; what affects one, will affect the other.  What goes around, comes around.

The Shadow we're up against is of an old, fruitless paradigm that's dying of its own stagnation; this patriarchal shit is getting really old.  But, there's also a Bright Shadow we can't miss; the Feminine is emerging.  Women are taking the lead in creating alternative paradigms, and that's a fact.  Men are taking the lead in creating alternative paradigms, and that's a fact, too.  There's a consciousness revolution; more and more people just can't buy the old toxic ways.  More and more people are straddling the two world they live in, dreams and waking life, with awareness and grace,  transforming this dangerous, greedy old human race, slowly but surely.  It is the worst of times; it is the best of times.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Precognitive and Prophetic Dreaming

What good is dreaming the future if you can't do anything about it?  What purpose do precognitive and prophetic dreams serve?

I use precognitive and prophetic to describe dreams that subsequently take place in the dreamer's waking reality.  Precognitive are dreams that cover the a-z of dreaming the future, from an object seen in a dream and then viewed in waking reality shortly after, to a person we end up meeting, a job we end up taking, a person we end up parting from in sorrow or joy.

Prophetic dreams are life map dreams, often including collective unconscious material, like what the political climate will be like, etc.  In Jungian terms, they are archetypal, they are talking about a much bigger picture than our little hobbit lives encompass.  I've written about a few of mine, Howling Mary, being especially significant to me, but also, Crocodile Friday and my 1995 visit from dad, which though I didn't get the happy ending I was hoping for then, it continues to guide my present.

One of the great gifts Active Dreaming has given me is the triple door approach to dreaming.  1. I can go through the analytical door of my Jungian fondness and dwell on symbolic meaning as it relates to my ego led waking life. 2. I can accept that we dream the future all the time, so I journal regularly and take a reality check on every dream for possible scenarios in waking life. 3.  I can enter consciously into the other dimensions, the foreign inner-space countries, where my fortunes, luck and personal satisfactions are also made. I can walk through any of these doors to a dream, or sometimes, all three at the same time, as that's the way of dreams.

For this, and other vibrant approaches to dreaming, I recommend and frequently write about, Active Dreaming, created by Robert Moss.  His work opens new vistas into how we approach dreaming; it teaches us to live our best dreams and confront our worst with courage and creativity.

But back to the psychic gifts of dreaming; what good is it knowing the shit was going to hit the fan if you can't get out of the way?

For me the best answers come from my dreams and what they've taught me.

#1.  Physical reality isn't all there is; physical laws and statistical probabilities sometimes give way to the pure intention and whole-hearted effort of heart-centered people.  So be a heart-centered person.

#2  Pay attention to what you're doing in those precognitive or prophetic dreams and reality check yourself for what you can do in waking life now.  It doesn't have to be grandiose; it does have to be kind, self-less and contributing to the good of others, as well as of yourself.  Think outside the Box!

#3  Heal you're own inner wounding because it can blind you to what your ego is really up to if you don't face your unfaceable stuff, your shadow, your fears, your pain.  Patriarchy produces emotional stuntedness; all those thou shalt nots, cruel and illogical taboos, especially if you're a woman, add up to psychic wounding for many.  It's your own job, as a spirit leading a physical life, to find your way home, to the light.  It's the job of every one who finds their way to help someone groping in the dark. So, physician heal thyself is an ongoing mandate; dreams are important guides to healing, personally and collectively.

#4. Dreams keep me focused on the alternate realities that my spirit can access for sustenance and guidance (not to be confused with alternate facts, which have no reality).   When I'm overwhelmed by fear of the future, I remember that I dreamed this already and that dreams have and will always guide me on my best path forward.  I can take strength from remembering that I volunteered for physicality in this time and this place and so I can just continue doing what I'm called by my heart to do and carry on, best I can, until I cross out of here or turn things around.  Even when I do shuffle off this mortal coil, I'll volunteer for dream duty on the other side in gratitude for all the guidance I've received myself.

#5 I've heard baby-boomers joke about the surreal nature of our present reality, why not drop some acid again and get a level playing field?  May I suggest that dreams open the same portals that LSD opens, not every dream, but once we tune ourselves to living our dream life as fully as our waking, things make a lot more sense.  Not to mention, if you're really into experimenting, try conscious lucidity and self induced OBEs.

#6 Sometimes when there are no answers, there's purpose. Our Native American ancestors knew that dreams tell us the secret wishes of our soul.

One of my fondest dad dream visits was one in which he helped me escape some evil men, saying to me before he intervened for me to run, "You have no idea how important this mission is."

Okay dad, if you say so, I'll do my best.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Compassion, As Taught to Me in Dreams

Compassion, what does it feel like to you?

To me, it's not pity or "feeling sorry for", because that's like looking over the railing at someone's demise, sad for them, glad it's not me.  Compassion acts and takes risks on behalf of the other person; compassion finds some life line to throw.

We're more compassionate of others when we know ourselves well enough to need compassion from our own harsh self-judgements.

Jesus, with his usual astuteness, put it this way; don't judge the mote in someone's eye until you remove  the plank in your own.  It's easy to see the bits of personal rubbish in others; rare, it seems, for folks to see their own garbage.

It's much harder to be judgmental of others if you're aware and responsible for your own shadow. The more compassionate we are in the face of our shadows, the better we see others with compassion.  

Finding compassion in ourselves involves hatching out of the hard shell that is Ego and living in the physical, but connected to spirit.   Once I became aware, through dreaming, that my physical body and dreaming body are separate aspects of the consciousness I call me, I opened the magic doors to living in two realms, in one lifetime.  Dreams matter as much as things that happen during waking matters; it's me in both places.

Dreams are the most compassionate teachers I've known.  I like to use the phrase, they've scared the pajamas off me, but even my greatest nightmares have turned into my sturdiest allies.  Dreams will shock you out of complacency, but when you have the courage to pay attention to dreams, despite hearing growing up, it's "just" a dream, you find your wisest and most trustworthy life teachers.

Who can afford to be compassionate?  The wise person who's found she or he has nothing to lose by loving.  The person who knows, this solid ground is only one side of the story. How do we know? Dream explorers are leading the way, as are the growing community of near death experiencers, between them, our age-old questions about death and the after life are being openly and compassionately addressed.

We're living in a time of great spiritual advances in inner exploration and we're also living in a time of great physical crisis.  Feels like some kind of divine irony.

Life is joy; without joy, we're dead inside.  There are many paths to joy through dreaming that can ease our suffering and give us the courage to ease the suffering around us.

The mindfulness movement is an exciting spiritual movement, as well; it's Buddhist thought harmonized with the best of current psychotherapies.  We're moving away from the sin driven, punishment/reward paradigms we've endured for centuries towards greater awareness of the complexity of spirit or consciousness.  Despite the external atmosphere of hate, separatism, violence. religiosity and fear, growing numbers of us are keying in to love and compassion as the engines of action.

Following dreams helps us see that all is not always what it seems.  This is one reason I call dreaming "organic" spirituality; we're born plugged in.  We may have unplugged that connection based on believing things we were told or on the lack of guidance available to help us navigate those sometimes choppy waters.  Helping children with nightmare fears can be an opportunity to show them how to address their fears creatively.

Independent spirituality through dreaming isn't something religious enterprises endorse because it could cost them memberships; memberships pay for their existence, often in the luxury to which they've become accustomed. The scientific establishment, for its part, has confined itself to materiality,  with the wonderful exception of Physics. Yet, more and more, people are finding themselves pondering the possibilities of new spiritual paradigms for themselves.  I thank Oprah for sparking pioneering spiritual thinking in mainstream culture.

The time is ripe for all of us to turn inward; drop-in, tune-in and pay attention.  There's a great deal to be gained.  One of those things is greater compassion for ourselves, others and the pickle we're collectively in on this earth dimension.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Year of Women, For a Change

One day recently, at Trader Joe's shopping for dinner, I found this card among their always excellent collection of affordable greetings.  It happens that a neighbor had gifted me a wall tile engraved with this saying that I enjoy hanging in the guest bathroom.

Seeing such a captivating image using the same quote, I bought two, with no specific plans for them.  It turned out to be a lucky choice, as I sent one to my grandniece,  after we spoke on the phone that day, along with her GS cookie sale check.

The second card, I realized when I looked at it again, is custom ordered for me.  It speaks straight to my psyche in a series of long established dream images that, if I didn't know how fluidly dream and waking interact, would be startling.  It often happens that the realization of meaning in a synchronicity lags behind the spontaneous, intuitive action that creates it.  It's deeply inspiring to hear the universe whisper in my ear.  "It's okay; how's this?  It all coincides; it all comes together.  Stay true; have fun."

Every year, I create a new dream journal for the year; it's fun to let synchronicity lead me to the images I'll use to decorate the front and back covers.  Sometimes, it takes me a while to find the right ones, but this year, I delighted across the front cover in December. This card is the back cover.  

I declare 2017 the year women step into their strengths and leadership.  I declare 2017 the year of women.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Inner Resources for Challenging Times

Perhaps some of you, like me, are feeling the intense surrealism of this present time in our country. What just happened?  What is happening?  What will be happening?

What's feeding this bizarre violent nightmare playing out in our country and around the globe? It seems like a world hell bent on Armageddon.  But, it makes sense if you look at the motivating myths and religions of the battling forces.  It's like "battle of the titans"; the war Gods have demands and rules that we mere earthlings must carry out.  If we accept these myths, we are dreaming an apocalyptic consensus reality into existence.  But we don't have to.

When I feel overwhelmed by the oppression of  consensus reality, I often turn inward. I ask myself, from a much larger perspective, what am I supposed to do?  How can I contribute and what can I learn?

I write to share an organic spiritual reality with others that is ridiculously accessible and which can be a balm in these uncertain times when we may well be asking does love trump hate, or hate trump love?  If Love, the universal super glue, matters to you, dive inward.  Pay attention to dreaming. We live in our waking reality, but we also live in the dreaming reality.   If we don't know we're eternal and loved, we can be easily manipulated.

My favorite dream teacher, Robert Moss posted this quote the other day on FB; "Jung once told me that he thought the dream was always going on in the unconscious, but that it usually needs sleep and the complete cessation of outer things for it to register in consciousness at all." - Barbara Hannah, "Encounters with the Soul"  Robert post 12/19/16

There's a great tradition of spiritual literature that balks at the fetters of conventional and religious thinking, including in Jesus' own teaching, "the kingdom of god is within." Jung saw this inner kingdom (queendom) as the unconscious (which he categorized as personal and collective). He came to believe that without a relationship to our inner life, we are doomed to tragedy, personally and collectively.  Paul Levi, a Jungian scholar, writes on his blog:

Jung elucidates, “What future developments are being prepared in the unconscious of modern man…It depends on us whether we help coming events to birth by understanding them, and reinforce their healing effect, or whether we repress them with our prejudices, narrow-mindedness and ignorance, thus turning their effect into its opposite, into poison and destruction.”[xxix] We are potential spiritual midwives, who by ‘understanding’ the psychic nature of ‘future developments,’ ‘reinforce their healing effect’ and birth ‘coming events’ into incarnation through the womb of the psyche. The psyche, which is pregnant with open-ended possibilities, is the very cipher in which the history of humanity is being written. Jung writes, “The world today hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man."

We need a relationship to our own psyche, our soul, our own spiritual life, just like we need a relationship for our physical love life. Spirituality is the love life of the soul.  We begin, as in any relationship, by paying attention to that connection and how it makes us feel, day by day.

We have inner resources.  When people say to me, (and I wish I had a nickle...) "I don't dream." or "I don't remember my dreams" my first question is always to ask, do you want to?  Do you pay attention?  People mostly smile and shrug their shoulders; many admit that they've never really tried, but would like to. Where to start? I've explained the practicalities of beginning a dream practice on my blog before, so for that advice, I refer you to the previous posts I've linked throughout this sentence.

One thing that blocks our access to inner resources is "lemming social behavior."   For instance, the "media" is something we imbibe in huge quantities on a daily, and for some, an all night basis.  TVs blare in every room across America, especially the "living" room of many, many houses around the country, with a mind-numbing consistency.  Unfortunately, an inner life needs some time of introspection, sleep time to dream, time to meditate, dance or abide in joy.  It's accurate to depict the media as shallow, gutless, full of deliberate and manipulative misinformation, but who is forcing a person to watch it?  Nobody.

Most of us have a choice.  I've heard people say that TV is "entertainment," or" relaxation" or "staying informed."   Add the computer and cell phone, that's a lot of ersatz experience substituted for the living, direct real thing. There are several generations now who've grown up on external, vicarious stimulus far more than on their own creative play and developing imaginations. I call it the "Disneyfication of American Childhood."

Dreaming is our inner reality; waking is our outer reality. Without connection to our own inner life, it's easy to become fearful and susceptible to external controls and idiot influences that cost us not just our money, but our essential life force, our souls. Let me emphasize that by soul, I don't mean some poor spotted white spirit, sin-tinged from the moment of conception. I mean the essential collective energy that is at the core of the Self.  In each incarnation, in each physical personality or ego, we are different, but we have an indestructible core that if we care to nurture, saves us needless grief.  The Soul does not need Saving; the Soul Saves.

We have an invaluable resource we came to the planet possessing; it can't be destroyed like our bodies can, though many willingly shut it down or belittle it. Through conscious dreaming, we become independent, spiritual beings with access to individual spiritual guidance as we tune in.  It's not about the meaning of one dream; it's about creating a dialogue with your inner world.  Over many years, you come to know that the foundation of your own being is unconditional love and endless creative life. You come to know for certain, that you are here for a reason and you are never alone.

May your inner resources grow robust in the coming year and may love energize all you do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fly Free; You Are Forever

In the aftermath of the waking dream that has many of us stunned, saddened and fearful, it's hard to find that silver lining.  Many of us in the consciousness/spirituality movement feel it's very important to stay positive, because despair leads to emotional catatonia, which literally gets us nowhere.

In my last post, I mentioned how one of the things that seems apparent is that we won't have a leader to turn to, so we'll need to do it ourselves, for each other and with each other.  Do what?  Make sure Love trumps hate.

Obviously that won't be easy, but the hard things seldom are.  For myself, I'm choosing the areas I most want to champion and commit my energy there, while supporting others in their endeavors to move human consciousness beyond the stagnant mental swamp of this dying patriarchal system and its death generating values.

For me, the women's movement has received a huge wake up call; too many women, white women it seems, voted for a misogynist and put their own civil liberties, their daughters' and their grand daughters in jeopardy.  Why?  Brainwashed, that's why.

That's the title song by George Harrison on his posthumously released album:

Brainwashed in our childhood
Brainwashed by the school
Brainwashed by our teachers
And brainwashed by all their rules
Brainwashed by our leaders
By our Kings and Queens
Brainwashed in the open
And brainwashed behind the scenes

God God God
A voice cries in the wilderness
God God God
It was on the longest night
God God God
An eternity of darkness
God God God
Someone turned out the spiritual light

Patriarchy is a 5-6 thousand year old paradigm that has forced humanity into this perilous period of self-destruction.  It takes many forms on the planet, physically, monarchies that are inherited or hierarchical legislative structures that are to various degrees elected, but psychologically it takes one common form.  God is male, so the male is the only suitable representative of his rule in the physical. This belief is manifest to varying degrees of severity, depending on where in the world we find ourselves.  But very few societies extant give equal voice to the Feminine Divine.  This denial of half of who we are, within and without, has created the dark paradigm, the collective dream, we're living on this physical plane.  I spoke about this in my Mother's Day Homily a few years ago in more detail.

The good news, as I've mentioned before, is that we humans have been here much longer than the patriarchal age and have experienced peaceful coexistence and egalitarian organization of societies. The myth of it's always been like this is part of the patriarchal, apocalyptic narrative.  Are the myths of Eden hinted at in this bleak story echoes of the paradise we indeed lost when god was not the war tyrant father and all that was life was the Mother? 

The challenge of the times we're in is doable; it depends on one person at a time learning to free herself/himself from the mind-forged manacles that make us conform to values that are religious rather than spiritual, exclusive rather than holistic.  The choice isn't religion or atheism; it's dogma versus experience. The realm of God/goddess is within and the path is always open to us, especially through our dreaming.  Paying attention to our dreams, our organic spirituality, can free us from the religious strictures and lies that cloud our judgments and harden our hearts with fear.

We are forever because we're spiritual beings in this present physical existence.  We've been here before and we've been elsewhere in the multi-universe, as well.  We don't have to earn our way into heaven because heaven is inside us - as is hell, if we choose it.

The question for each of us is, why am I here now?  What do I need to learn and what am I here to contribute?

A world out of whack is a world of imbalance; many teachers in the consciousness/spirituality movements of today believe that the Feminine Divine must be returned to equal status with the Male Deity that's been Ramboing us to perdition these past several millennia. The influence of the Feminine is key to achieving balance; the goddesses that all our earth centered ancestors revered informed our moral codes very differently.  Goddess respecting cultures embodied a very different paradigm, a very different consensus reality. 

We need to melt down this hateful paradigm that's imprisoned the human imagination for so long and fly free.  Patriarchal religions control through fear and coercion, just like patriarchal governments or patriarchal family structures.  But no one can control our inner freedom.

The spiritual movement of this dark patriarchal age is brighter than it has ever been, thanks to so much passionate research and writing in the last century.  Material science and metaphysical science are partners in the current conversation on what constitutes "reality."  We can take heart in that.

There is no doubt in my mind that as Jesus put it, you can't put new wine into old skins; the new skin we need to grow, to rebirth, regenerate and renew our existence on this planet is a psychic one.  We need to act as if our spiritual being is just as important as the ego being of our waking reality. It's not either/or, it's both/and, especially when the shit hits the fan.  We need to examine our beliefs, where and how we got them and whether they serve our deepest values.  We need to tune into our dream lives because that's where we find the help we need, custom tailored to our own soul, not mass produced, mass distributed and controlled by patriarchs for their own profit.

As Robert Moss teaches; "We are born to fly, and in dreams we discover that the soul has wings."

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dream Strong Now!

The moon when it's full lights up the dark night; using our dreaming life consciously, we can lighten the darkness of this waking reality.

 I was deeply inspired by Secretary Clinton's concession speech.  Here's what I learned from listening to it.

a)  I'm not off the hook.  Four years of HRC and I could have lah-di-dahed my way around serving my community and future communities on earth by doing my civic duty of giving back in a cavalier way, confident that the ship of state is in good hands.  Now, the glow is gone and things look dire, but as she points out, this campaign, this movement was never about one person.  Get out from behind the FB posts she challenges us and do something for whatever you believe to be right and good. 

b) Watching her give her speech made me realize that HRC is even more valiant and capable than I already knew her to be. What an example of poise and states-personship!  She's an inspiration to the women's movement; I know she will continue to lead and do her part for the greater good. I loved how she reached out to the young and challenged them not to be disheartened.  More than anyone I know, I feel she leads by example in exhorting us not to lose heart; never doubt that working for what you believe is right and good is worth it, she exhorts, despite how painful the moment must have felt to her personally. 

c)  Brutishness has always been a part of patriarchy so it appears Mordor is waking once again. But,   spiritually considered, we're all going to die sooner or later; it's no big deal, we've done it who knows how many times, how many lifetimes! We can ask ourselves if it's wise to be so fearful of death and if it's not even wiser to ask ourselves for what purpose was I born this time around?  The currency of eternity is love.  The answer to our spiritual purpose is too individual to allow for the doctrines and legislation of patriarchal religions; spiritually we're all equally free and assured of deliverance, death where is thy sting? As for a life's purpose, any variation of spreading love in the world will do; it's one of the few treasures from the physical that converts to the non-physical at death.  I'm guessing spreading hate and violence doesn't sell well on a soul level and that attitude bears re-thinking. Perhaps, many of us volunteered to bear witness to this truth, at this time, in this space for the purpose of spiritual evolution. 

d)Both HRC and Pres. Obama are speaking to our hearts, calling for a mindful transition into whatever difficulty we encounter and for our powerful, loving and creative energy to transform the worst case scenario into the unexpected.

e) "Scripture tells us: Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."  Her message is simple and clear: Never doubt that doing good is worth it and never give up.  She's amazing.  She's not giving up and neither should we.

f) This isn't how I wanted it to be, but I am famous for my life motto: "It is what it is and it ain't what it ain't."  We have choices to make.  We live in interesting times.  We can make a difference that is far bigger than our little self.  Calling all to dream strong and all dreamers to connect deeply with what is good and kind and loving.  We are still stronger together.

"Hopeful, Inclusive and Big Hearted".