Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Let's Try Another Approach

I have the privilege of loving my native culture, Cuban everything, and yet being grateful for living in a land all my life where I was able to study and have an independent spirit.  I came of age with The Feminine Mystique, but even before that, both my parents nourished my dreams and helped me pursue whatever path I chose.  I grew up a free thinker and a challenger of what seems to me absurd.

I remember, at about 7,  living in NJ, pondering the Catholic class teaching that God would punish me if I stepped out of line, especially if I didn't swallow whatever story I was told. As a kid, it seemed to me: Well, God is Good.  My dad is good.  I would never fear my father's reaction to anything I did. His very intelligent sense of humor seldom let him get angry at me.  My dad taught me kindness and understanding as a way to relate to others and he taught me the value of humor in gaining perspective.

Here's an example I particularly love.  At 18, a freshman in college, I'm home for a weekend.  I'm telling my folks about my first semester and how I met this lovely Black guy who seems fun to get to know.  My mother stiffens in her Spanish roots and says; "Pues, no se te ocure traer un Negro aqui que mates a tu padre." (Don't even think of bringing a Black man here, you'll kill your father.)  Now my dad is sitting right there with us.  I look at him, then I turn to her and say: "De algo se tiene que morir." (He's got to die from something.) I will forever love the memory of my dad totally cracking up, laughing.  My mom was not pleased, but we thought it was so funny.

When I ask myself how a supposedly loving father god can sacrifice to gory and early death, his only son, I can only say that the story supports a patriarchal paradigm in which the mother gives birth, but it's the father who makes the decisions and they usually involve bloody sacrifice.

That never made sense to me.  My dad would have said, no; if a sacrifice is demanded, take me.  I asked myself at that early age, and all the way to the present, how can that be a god of Love?  It's love with strings, love you earn by pleasing others and serving the rules.  There are a zillion things in the big three patriarchal theologies that a person can do to piss the patriarchal god off, and women seem to get blamed and punished for most of it.  The patriarchal gods do not ooze love, no matter how you spin it.

With once exception, ironically enough, the young man who died on the cross, Jesus, (who was sacrificed to appease the Father) taught the most direct road to unconditional divine love that western Christian patriarchal civilizations have to offer. If you stick to his teachings, how can you have hate, war and greed?  How can you have disdain for women; Jesus was a feminist.  How can you have white supremacy; Jesus wasn't white.  How can you be an asshole; Jesus was kind.

Divine Love just is; it finds a way through most things and endures.  It doesn't use fear, force, shame and coercion to exact allegiance.  For millennia before the "his-torical" rise of patriarchies, cultures celebrated the Goddess as the creator of all things.  It's patriarchal thinking that splits us into dualities and calls it reason; goddess religions weren't the flip side of god religions.  A divine paradigm that honors the feminine doesn't dishonor the masculine; perhaps there was a greater awareness that what ultimately matters is spirit.  What feeds ones spirit is not what one feeds ones body, although one does feed the other.  If our ancestors were more aware of themselves as spiritual beings, perhaps there was a common social paradigm based more on a circle than on a pyramid, cooperation as opposed to conquer.

Yet, history is the story told by the conqueror, a spectacular example of this was just set by the US Senate recently.  Despite three accusers and his own bad behavior under oath, including perjury, the light shines on the chosen patriarchal son who will carry the torch of righteousness to the highest court in the land.

Patriarchy is the paradigm where any male of any color, rules over women of their own race. It also includes a hierarchy of supremacy based on race.  At this patriarchal juncture in time, the white race believes itself dominant, and the white male bastion of patriarchy in America are trying to set American women's personal power back a few centuries.  We've had it better than most, but the paradigm they are trying to tighten around us is going to hurt, unless we can change things.

To change this paradigm, we don't have to flip it so that women do what men would do, matriarchy is the patriarchy's idea of ancient goddess religions.  Thanks to the work of excellent archeological scholars in the last century, we know goddess cultures did not promote the same psycho/cultural paradigms we endure today enslaving our bodies, minds and souls.

We live in a time of expanding spiritual consciousness that has it's sister parallel in quantum physics.  Science and spirituality today are opening doors to mind boggling possibilities.  Dreaming is the door I most enjoy exploring, but the fields of exploration beyond the border of patriarchal sanctions are as intriguing as they are numerous.

One example is in medicine;  Functional and Alternative practices that are mainstream now offer paths to healing that include spiritual concerns. As beings of light living in physical bodies, female or male, we survive way beyond this particular physical manifestation we're living in a body right now.  We don't have to earn salvation, we don't need saving to begin with. We've been taught that because the first humans disobeyed the divine, we are born in "sin."  This is one of the doctrines that gives patriarchies the psychic reins to rule us, but it's a made up story.

Spirituality isn't a club the way religion is; spirituality is awareness of the multi-level nature of existence in the physical.  For example, by day we live in waking consciousness, by night we live in dreaming consciousness.  Paying attention to both is breaking from the paradigm that only waking consciousness matters.

Breaking through our own false beliefs is part of a responsible spiritual journey.  If your beliefs justify you judging others and considering yourself superior, let alone entitling you to limit another's freedom, you are deluded in your thinking by a myth that doesn't support Love.  If you think that it's ok for men to tell women what to do, for God to be only male, you have bought the story and drank the Kool Aid.

There is no divine right granted to males to limit the life choices of women, and there is no divine right granted to the white race to dominate and limit the wellbeing of other races. If we are, by nature, spirit residing in matter, immortal in a way that is beyond what any of the paradigms used to indoctrinate us suggest, then it behooves us to find out more and stop giving power to these toxic paradigms.

Religion dominates at a psychological level, the state dominates at a physical level through force.  When those two branches of patriarchy align themselves completely, wielding the law of force and psychological brainwashing, human beings do not do well.  People get hurt, we lose our personal freedoms and choices and we lose our spirit, individually and collectively.

The big three patriarchal religions love to champion men and shame women; the double speak they use to explain the rightness of this is mind boggling.  They want us to believe that "sin" is a blemish on our existence, by sin they mean whatever they want.  They've distorted our natural inclinations with taboos on our sexuality, creating a morality that usually ends up burdening women in the extreme, but that involves so much distortion of the human spirit that we end up with atrocities like the rate of child abuse in the Catholic Church, the church of eunuchs for Christ.

And what's the myth underpinning this mess?  God is a male patriarch, in the big three mainstream religions, he has no partner in the Feminine Divine; in fact, he takes a dim view of women, projecting all sexuality on them, as if it doesn't take two to tango.  Men are just duped by women, so they should beware.  Adam should never have listened to Eve because she listens to the serpent.

From there the story deteriorates into the God who demands obedience and is willing to use shock and awe to enforce his rule.  If my dad was so much better than that at parenting with love, how can God be anything less?  My God was always Love, could take a joke and worked with you, on your behalf.
Unfortunately, after more than 6,000 years of patriarchy, that's not the experience of so many growing up, but fortunately, things can change, if we believe they can.

Love is love, it's a practice, not a doctrine.  If I've known so many human beings capable of such great love, how can God be any less?  In fact, Love is always urging us to be our very best selves.

Love doesn't include treating any other living being as less valuable than me based on supremacy and force.  I join William Blake in bemoaning war and it's cost to the young male gender.  But patriarchy is the culture of war.  If it's the form of social organization practiced world wide, the world order, there will be wars.  It's obvious what has to change.

Once you live in more than this world order, once you trust death and your own living path to it, once you believe in the power of Love to teach the way, in dreams and synchronicities and just plain human experience, you need a broader, happier paradigm to walk with spirit on this earth.  Once we practice Love, each as much as possible, there won't be any need to follow absurd dictums that are detrimental to both the female and male psyche, not to mention the psyches of our children.

There is no superior race or gender, there is only the human spirit. We probably, as spirit, have lived in both female and male bodies on this planet.  The path Of Love never follows bitterness, anger and hate.  The path never follows condemnation, subjugation and force.  Ask Jesus; what would he say?

Patriarchal religions suck.  They are destroying the world.  The multi-national cadre in power right now is worrisome in so many ways, but at their root, they really don't like or respect women.  Example after example are blatant around the world, but the glaring moment right now is a bunch of old white geezers denying American women reproductive freedoms in the USA, the land of the free, especially the land of freedom from religious dogma ruling all.  Sen. Kamala Harris's question to the Republican nominee for the SC says it all; "Can you think of any law giving the government power to regulate a man's body?"

I don't want these wizened old patriarchs making rules that limit the freedom of women in my country.   I don't accept their newspeak justifications.  They can't plant the flag of theocracy, proclaiming what everyone must do to please Almighty God.   Patriarchy is government by patriarchal mysogynists hell bent on controlling women and the surest way is to get God, the Father, to do it.   Without the Feminine Divine, women are not equal in the culture; the more constricted women's role is in a culture, the more overbearing the patriarchal God, especially where her life choices are concerned, like her freedom of sexual and reproductive choice.  Patriarchy is a very unhealthy organizing social principle.

The good news is that it's a paradigm, thus, it is possible to change our individual and collective minds and thereby, change the paradigm.

Same for planting the flag of privilege over others.  We all came in the same spiritual nappies, we each manifested in an assortment of races, gender and places, but we'll all dissolve into somewhere else.  Just like we all do so in dreams, regularly.  There are so many wonderful mysteries that go so far beyond the dogma and the rigid rules, why should we waste another minute in fear and doubt?

No one is in charge of me and I'm not in charge of anyone.  I love to help, as does anyone who practices  Love, but I'm also here to learn, to grow and to promote dreaming.  I"m responsible for the state of my soul, just as for the health of my body and mind.  I must do what I can for myself, especially my spiritual security, and for others, too.  Another teaching of all the great mystics is that we are all one in spirit; if spirit is eternal, perhaps it's what enlivens everything, as native Americans taught.

The Fall of the patriarchy would solve a lot of problems.  I see the passion in women speaking out and stepping up more and more, everyday and it makes me dream that patriarchy may just fade away, lacking any sense, any rhyme or reason for continuing to be the way we do things.  Women and men of spirit and character, with love and compassion, can figure out ways to bring things around.

And if we don't succeed in our own lifetimes, there will probably be even greater opportunities to help once we've crossed; it doesn't end.  What we choose to create, we can create, here "as it is in heaven."








Monday, June 4, 2018

Jim Almost Died: A Waking Dream

Here's a waking dream for you.  Perhaps you've had the experience of shepherding a loved one through a close brush with death; that's the card I drew from luck's deck this week.

How blessed am I to have a family support system that includes a Functional Med doctor for a brother? How blessed am I to live a block and a half from a small, clean and professionally staffed hospital?  How blessed am I to have loving friends who care for Jim and went out of their way to support us through this crisis?  My neighbor, Lou, mowed the lawn on Sunday; it was music to Jim's ears.

A brush with death is one thing, a loved one's brush with death is another.  I've been in a state of bliss that Jim didn't have to cross over at the moment, then this synchronicity yesterday:

I deposited Jim safely at home from the hospital and took off to do errands, like food shopping for his post-op diet.  I'm leaving Trader Joe's, walking towards my parked car in the lot when I notice a tall, thin blonde woman is walking practically lock step with me. She's mumbling about how she can't find her car, "I absolutely am coming down with Alzheimer's; oh, where's the car."  I ask if she has a remote that beeps the car shut, a tactic I've resorted to on occasion.  "No",  then she points to a big black jeep next to my small black VW and says, "there it is at last".

Before she gets in, she turns to me and says; "You see, my husband very recently died suddenly."  I was stunned.  I said, "My husband very recently almost died suddenly," but she didn't hear me and I didn't pursue it.  She so obviously wanted to tell me about her experience that I let her.  I listened and comforted for a little while, then she got in her car and I got in mine.  All the way home I feel I'm living in this waking dream, my husband almost died, but he didn't.

It's not the dying that's the problem.  If you've ever read my posts on death and the healing dreaming can bring those left behind in the physical, you'll know that I think death is nothing to fear, especially if you've lived with as much love in your heart as possible.  (If you're a mean jerk, I presume your habitat after death will be a community of fools like yourself.  I think we gravitate towards what and who we love, so the stronger, broader and more courageous our love  is now, the more exciting the crossing into the non-physical dimensions of our spiritual/energy existence.)  Jim is a kind and caring person; this is his second near death experience since I've known him, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't fear death either.

Separation? "Ah, there's the rub." How much better for me that he's here with me!  The stark contrast to my widow shadow woman in my waking dream at TJ's just fuels my hallelujah!  This synchronicity confirmed for me that I'm never alone, one way or the other, one path or the other; I can depend on help to be there for me. I feel luckier than she because my partner didn't die, but there's help for her in her love for him, and his for her; as she told me,  "He would want me to take care of myself."

Death is a very strange teacher.



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Let Your Dreams Guide You

One of the best things I've learned from following my dreams for over 30 years is that I'm my own authority when it comes to me. 

There is no need to give my soul into another's care; she's my responsibility. Contemporary patriarchal religions claim they will save my soul. She doesn't need saving, save from them.

I'm a spiritual being having a physical existence; dreaming is the bridge between the realm of my spiritual being and the physical realms "I" dwell in now.

Why would I give anyone authority over my soul?  So much of what these religions espouse denigrates woman, that's what's damaging to my soul, my psyche. It's damaging to the male psyche, as well. Myths we've imbibed since childhood, especially when we're parked in "church" and religious studies early on, endure at an unconscious level. 

One example is the psychically imbedded patriarchal myth that woman is the patsy of all evil, "woman born of the rib of man" (go figure), Eve; she who crossed an arbitrary line and wham, all Hell literally breaks lose.  There's also the patriarchal Greek version of this  dumb, trespassing woman, Pandora.  Those myths are a heavy burden on womankind.  

Religions like Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism and most Islamic sects from what I can tell, see women as threats to man's ultimate spiritual sanctity.  His Holiness the Man can be sullied by her unholiness, the woman, therefore justifying her pitiful place in the pecking order of His patriarchal society.

The Good News is I don't need religion because dreams teach me the most profound and the most practical lessons, in a custom tailored narrative. 

I follow my dreams in the most literal sense. In this way, I live twice as long, in both the spiritual and physical worlds at once. This allows me to replace belief with experience.  I don't believe in life after death, I know life after death is the next stage of my own and all physical adventures. I trust my own spiritual experiences in dreams to assure me and sustain me in waking life.

Dreams guide me through my experiences in waking life, too.  As I say in my bio on this blog, they've helped me, comforted me, disabused me of illusions, scared the pajamas off me and lent me strength.  They teach in amusing, often kind ways, though sometimes, they're heart thunderingly scary.

Along with dreams, there's synchronicity, dubbed that by Jung to describe the psychic phenomenon of "acausal connections." Castaneda's Shaman teacher, Don Juan, calls it "Agreement. It's that wonderful thrill of recognition we experience when life's physical events echo our inner worlds, especially the dream worlds. I see it as another bridge between waking and spiritual life. It's that deja vu feeling; or as Robert Moss has pointed out, it's probably really Deja Reve. 

When something from the dream worlds manifests in waking, it's also an affirmation that there is guidance and support available from other dimensions. I live in more than just this physical reality; I walk a path in waking life and I walk a path in dream realities.  I pay attention to both.  From my dream path, I know I'm not alone.   I know I am loved, connected and assisted; dreams allow me to explore the mystery of existence for myself, which is how I take responsibility for my own soul. My soul is an eternal reality, so it's my soul  that seeks connection to me.  It's my Soul who is saving me.  My Soul or as some teachers refer to it, my Higher Self.  I connect to my soul most strongly through my dream experiences.


Dreams bring healing with them when we pay attention and respect them. Listening to our own dreams, seeking our inner guides first hand is a great adventure.  If it seems like scary terrain, it might be worth getting a dream coach; otherwise, it should be as easy as riding a bike when we were kids.  We all dream; pay attention, why not? It's an organic avenue to self awareness and self-love


Here's a story that illustrates the dream/synchrocity connection.  I often have post dream teaching life synchros; they're like a huge hug from another world.  


I recently taught a workshop at a local university; a young woman shared a dream about seeing a dear sweet Huskie pup in desperate need of rescue and yearning to do something to save it. At the end of our Lighting Dreamwork process, she announced that she was definitely going to volunteer at her local animal shelter, as she had been wanting to do.  The next day I'm at Petco for cat supplies and see that they're running a special adoption clinic event for dogs from some awful puppy mill, mostly pit bulls or similar breeds.  The sight of those dogs in cages and numerous people there to adopt put me in mind of yesterday's dreamwork.  The synchronicity really hit, though, when, standing in the check out line, I turn to see that the man behind me has a young, beautiful blue-eyed Huskie on a leash. Immediately the dog jumps, places his paws on my shoulders and stares into my eyes.  Whoa!  Deja Reve!  I felt animal love so profound that, if that man hadn't already adopted him, that little boy would have come home with me.  I did leave the store with those physical shivers of recognition that synchronicity induces; a kind of spiritual high-five.

When I taught high school theology, I tried to apply the learning model that derives from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, (physical, security, belonging, self-esteem, self-actualization): we learn best by experience, second best by example and least best by being told.  I still find that's true.  


Dreams are experiences, just like waking events are, experiences in my life.  I don't need to be told what to believe. As Jung once cryptically said, I know.  I know what I know, what I don't know, I've yet to find out.  What you know is part of your story.  We can share our stories, we can use our imaginations to place ourselves in another's dream scenario, but we cannot live a dream or a life for another. We each have our own path to follow; our own actions to live out in lessons and consequences.  The best way to teach another how to understand dreaming is to point to the door available in their souls and show them how it opens. The worst way is to presume to tell someone else what their dream means.


By way of convincing us to pay attention, pre-cognitive dreams are one of the most compelling dream experiences we can have. When a dream weaves itself into the fabric of my lived experiences, the next day, the next month or the next decade, I realize there's more to me than meets the I.  I'm not alone; guidance is available to me through dreams.  Something beyond this physical world makes sense, help is available, if I pay attention.

So, I invite you to let your dreams guide you. All it takes is paying attention to your dreaming experiences.  Even when dreams don't manifest in waking life literally, their symbols and scenarios are often vibrant  metaphors for our waking experiences.  Giving dreams space to exist in my life, as real as any other real I can experience, broadens my perspective on existence considerably.  Most dreamers find this to be true; why not you?











Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Spiritual Empowerment Through Dreaming

“It’s ok not to be ok” popped up in a meme on my FB page.  It made me think of all the times I’ve heard health professionals teach about self-acceptance. Why should I need anyone’s permission to be who I am? To feel OK?   Who set the standards for okayness?

Society? The norms that bring us so much gun violence and so much divisiveness are in painfully obvious need of reinvention.  American citizens are dealing with a hot mess, politically at home, as well as around the world; the hot mess male leaders insist on making perpetually. Boys with very dangerous toys! 

Or morally?  That which is right?  And who gets to decide that; the boys in black dresses with their ‘oh so special’ inside track to Nobodaddy? Who is your God?  Patriarchy’s bloviating dictators who demand total allegiance on the pain of death and perdition, or Love, the greatest mystery we can know, the champion of our self-acceptance.

I believe, as a spiritual being having a physical experience, each of us has her or his own inside track to morality. Our hearts teach us what is wrong and what is right throughout our lives, and that still inner voice Jesus pointed to, assures us we’re never alone.  The Queen/Kingdom of God is within.

Morality is my social conduct based on my spiritual understanding, which is based on my own experience, not some external law.  My experience has brought me to the conclusion that Love is the Answer (LITA).  Love is a force that very few people have never experienced, but plenty of people deny.  Love is so much more than private ownership of a physical chunk of earth or another person. Love transcends the physical appearances of waking life, whispering in our ears at night.  I AM Here with you; you are SAFE with Me.  Look within.

My spiritual evolution comes from dialogue with my dreams.  Watching my dream life taught me to observe waking life in a similar way. I often experience how the magic of sychronicity and dream correlations meld my waking and dream experiences into a complete sense of Self.  

I have faith in my dreams because they’ve helped me immensely in my waking life, whether by giving me a head’s up that what seemed improbable in a dream is now happening so take charge of the situation, or by consoling my heart when it’s aching, or by making me see the very funny side of life and not take me and other’s pecadillos so seriously.

Because of dreams and dreaming, I have faith that however distressing life gets, collectively and personally, help is always available from the spirit, from those who love me on the other side, from Home.  I have faith that goes from my heart to the Heart Divine.  I’ve found grace, forgiveness and courage so many times in my dreams, and I know it’s a universal reality.  Dreams are our bridge to spirit.  Our breadcrumbs to home. 

If I feel not okay, it’s because I’m suffering from the expectations of me that come from outside myself.  Rules, regulations, codes and enforcers are the hallmark of patriarchies. Our modern psyche is full of dread from too many years of brutal patriarchal rule.  Granted, 6,000 years of warring father religions and rulers is nothing compared to where archeology puts us homo sapiens, 200,000 years of human cultures around the globe.  It's time to admit that patriarchy is bad for the soul, the spirit.  Angry Father Gods have got to go. 

Our earliest archeological records are of the veneration of the Mother Goddess and her Body, the Earth. 
The Venus of Willendorf, circa 29,000 BCE,  is one of the few ancient  Goddess images extant in the modern patriarchal era; goddess worshiping traditions were largely destroyed by centuries of patriarchal religious inquisitions.  Goddess worshiping cultures weren’t necessarily matriarchal, they were, as Riane Eisler brilliantly presents in The Chalice and the Blade, cooperative societies. 

The Goddess spoke to me first in a dream, Howling Mary. Honoring the Feminine Divine doesn’t involve putting our old patriarchal paradigm on a female projection; it means accessing what’s been demeaned.  Chief of all things to access is Love.  Self-love, love of others and love for all things; love as a spiritual practice.    There’s no doctrine for that; it’s a practice, just like dreaming is a practice with guidelines, but no rule book. 

The pay off is spiritual empowerment.  

May all your best dreams come true.  May Love help you find your way.