Soul Crying: Dreams have your six*

The cry of the soul

One can hardly miss the craziness of our “leaders” and the number of deaths and shootings, police beatings and shootings, extreme weather damage, and unprovoked wars inundating us from the media. I’ve tried to moderate the amount of craziness by what I read or watch on TV but it’s all so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to screen out.

The craziness, mayhem, and fear also show up in my dreams or when I’m just watching a show.

Sometimes it just gets to be too much, and I find myself having a grieving response, a shoulder-shaking response with no tears and no sound coming forth through my wide-open mouth, but real grief, nonetheless. Sometimes I’m bent over in grief unable to stand upright before it. Sometimes it all feels so helpless and hopeless.

But sometimes a witnessed act of love and kindness will trigger the grief response and I’m made to realize how much I long for kindness and love in a world that seems to have so little of it to go around.

However, when any of these grief responses want to release from what I normally try to control, my dreams often suggest that I just let go and let the grief flow. I know that my dreams always have my back, my six, as they say, my well-being. My dreams often recommend that I let my grief just fall out of me back into the ocean of tears that can be the world sometimes. For some, it’s letting those cries for help fall into the open arms of God.

When awake I know that when this soul urging comes that it’s not what I’m reading or watching that is causing the need but that psychically I’m being touched by the event and that this moves me strongly. By letting go of the control and letting the feelings flow and knowing that it’s safe to do so and that I’ll come back when it’s done, I find it releasing and cathartic, sort of like the old “primal therapy” technique of screaming and punching the pillow type of coping and healing. For some, doing this with a trusted friend or therapist can be very useful.

And that is what happens when I let go, when I let my soul speak for me, it heals or begins the healing of the psychic damage that life through ego-self humanity is causing. It loosens all that scar tissue that has built up over the years.

I’ve always known it; dreams can be about healing and well-being but listening to them now is even more important in order to deal more effectively with the self-serving human chaos spreading across the world.

Opening up to a good cry if that is what the soul is urging and then doing your part to heal others through your enhanced listening and help to make room for love to come through is often the meta-message of my dreams and perhaps to the dreams of millions more if they were to look more closely.

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*This post can also be seen on https://darkknightofthesoul.blog

Why do I write?

Why do I write? It is not because I want to make any money at it, nor do I write because I think I have anything to say that anyone else would be interested in. I do not write in hopes of becoming famous or a best seller or will perhaps win an award, though all of that would be nice if it were to happen.

I would like to think that others could get value out of what I write, but I write selfishly that is to say I write for my Self. I write for that part of me that wants to create and express who they are. Whether I write well or badly is secondary to the creation and the need to express what the soul has to say.

I write because I enjoy the process. I love that it forces me to think deeper and more creatively than I normally would. I write because it is fun and even though I have a general idea of where I want to go with an idea or a story I am fascinated where the story takes me, often to a place that I didn’t really know was there. 

Every writing is a journey that when begun I know not where it will end up. I’m always intrigued by the endings. And though I say “end” the story doesn’t really end because all the writing seems to be the same story, the same journey.

Many times, I have to admit that what I write is not of me or from me, but what seems to come through me as though another is authoring what I write, or even what I live for that matter. This keeps me endlessly entertained.

Awe and the love of little things

More and more these days I find myself moved by love in both my waking and sleeping dreams. It comes in so many forms though when I was young it came in very few i.e., the love of a girl, a parent, a pet, a vocation, or a friend. As I’ve grown older, I am moved by watching the love of one stranger for another, when hate is transformed into caring, when a child pets a dog or cuddles a cat, and when a little girl or boy climbs aboard their daddy’s back and says giddy up! 

When someone is able to let go of their rigid position and opens to the needs of others this also moves me as does watching someone realize their dream after working so hard to achieve it.

When people stoop to help, give spontaneously of their heart, sacrifice their own well-being, and give up their ego I find tears in my eyes. When two hearts connect no matter how briefly it’s as though they are old friends, and both shine as though filled with a special light. 

When someone or something dances in my heart the love seems overwhelming in its beauty. For a while the world doesn’t look so bleak and the hopeless takes on hope. 

I have been moved by the awe and wonder of verdant forests and dry arid deserts, rows of tall glass covered buildings and river valleys, the stillness of a snow-covered night, and a howling wind galloping across a desert. I love them all! 

Real love wherever it comes from fills me with such awe and awe with such love that for a few moments I can barely breathe. For me love and awe are of one heart and almost always take my breath away. The simple act of witnessing kindness and goodness speaks to a deeper beauty in us all and in nature as well.

But real love is not all flowers and softness. Sometimes it is hard and breaks our hearts. When someone hurts another, I cry with deep sadness as do I when innocence is shattered, when a child with distended stomach from starvation looks up pleadingly, or when I see love betrayed through abuse or dishonesty, or I have lost the object of love through death or abandonment my heart breaks. 

Real love seems to be a risky business for to truly love we have to be willing to follow our soul into hell and be willing to let it break if that is what is needed and then strive to heal. To love deeply we will experience many broken hearts. Real love can both heal and break and when both are embraced willingly can open us to the deeper beauty of the universe and the bigger being.

The Anima Mundi of God

“Soul in space” by–Bruce Rolff

The phrase “Dreams are just thoughts” came to me just before waking this morning. Later, I had thought that my whole experience of reality is just thought. Do my thoughts create my reality? They seem to. But everyone has thoughts, and upon any serious reflection most of these seem to be specific to the individual having them. We may have similar thoughts or thoughts that can be categorized vin none way or the other but fundamentally no two people in the world have the same thoughts or thoughts that mean the same thing. So, each of us are creating our own experience of the universe and because the only thing that is truly real to each of us is how we perceive i.e., experience it, you and I are literally creating reality.

That thought would seem to open the door to great power if we could learn how to focus our thoughts. On occasion I have been able to do this, and truly great things have happened for me when I’ve been successful. But focus is hard and often unsustainable, and the thoughts start to lose cohesion and the world becomes random again. There’s also the problem of fantasy thoughts creeping in and poisoning the waters of my reality. I then regain focus on these new thoughts creating a new but often negative and conflicting reality e.g., “I’m no good, or not good enough”; “The world is falling apart”; “It’s all meaningless”; “There’s no intervening God, we’re all alone”; “The world is a dysfunctional asylum where the guards are inmates too.” And so, on and on ad infinitum.

“You are your thoughts.” Is a phrase I’ve often heard from self-help gurus, but I never really bought into it. I mean, so what? I don’t seem able to change my thoughts in a sustainable way. They always seem to follow the laws of thermodynamics by becoming dispersed over time and thus becoming disordered and dissolving into chaos much like our current political system. Everything seems random.

I just had another thought that if “Dreams are just thoughts” and my experience is a combination of both the sleeping dream and the waking dream then everything is just thoughts and because like snowflakes where no two are alike we are all living in and making different realities. Think of it, seven billion plus different realities! Add to that the billions and billions (trillions?) of other creatures in the universe with thoughts and the number of realities becomes staggering.

What’s up with all these realities coexisting within the one reality of the universe? Is it all random and without purpose and creating a meaningless muck or a grand art project that expresses the soul of the creation in action? Are we as Plotinus declared all the expression of the universe, the anima mundi of God?

This all may seem to some a bit airy-fairy and be derided as “woke” (another thought amongst the billions and embraced by those afraid of waking up, or don’t want to, or don’t/won’t believe they are asleep).

But “Wokeness” may be the soul demanding to be heard above the chaos of a world asleep to its true nature and potential.

Following the inner light

Found on Dreamtime.com

People have asked me over the years why if I don’t believe in the Jesus birth stories or in his divinity or in an intervening God/creator I still stick with my adopted religion? I’ve never been a religionist, but I’ll be damned if I’ll give up the magic that is the world and that lies within and behind the concepts and dogma of religion, soul, spirit, and God.

The world is full of hate, fear, sadness, brutality, cold-bloodedness, cruelty, heartlessness, and loneliness that often seems to overwhelm its compassion, heart, and love. But underneath it all I’ve always detected a deeper spirit and a bigger self. The church that I immerse myself in is a constant reminder of the existence and value of the meta self, the bigger self, and the magic of the soul self. It’s a reminder that I am bigger than my image of myself, or my image of the world.

With the exception of what I experience when watching a child play, learn, and create or when people give real love to one another, most everything else is pretty blah, petty, and every day meaningless, purposeless, and unimportant. But in the light of my inner soul all of that is of no consequence, a pale imitation of the reality that lies just beyond the veil of my ego.

No, I’m not a follower of Jesus, Muhammad, or Buddha per se for when I can find it, it is the inner light that I follow and go where it takes me.

Another expression of the phrase “as above, so below”

We humans spend so much psychic energy trying to be better than, smarter than, richer than, more different that we’ve lost site of how connected with everything we are. Of course, there’s a case to be made that at the metaphysical or spiritual level we are all part of and different expressions of the One, but we are also connected fundamentally at the physical level. 

We all share about 23% of our DNA with our 1st cousins, half siblings, and grandparents. 50 percent % of our DNA is shared with our parents and siblings. However, half of our DNA is shared with trees and as well as making us brothers and sisters to those tall and sometimes lanky flora, we also share 70% with slugs (eww!) and 50% with bananas (yum!). We also share 84% of our DNA with wolves and dogs and 90% with cats.

All human races share 99.9% DNA, that’s the same with chimpanzees and with gorillas’ humans share about 98%. Humans share DNA with chickens and even dinosaurs. We humans also share from 1 to 4% DNA with Neanderthals (there’s a political joke in there somewhere).

Clearly, everything on Earth is interrelated and comes from the same primeval source some 3.7 billion years ago, bacteria. Though all that commonality may not actually be expressed. Note also that most of our DNA is labeled as junk so there are a very few genes that differentiate our being and determine whether we have wings, leaves, fins, or feet.

It is also theorized that the building blocks for all this commonality came to us in the form of comets roaming the primordial solar system that was made up of material from the greater galaxy that was one of billions and billions of galaxies that grew out of the Big Bang that itself is a mystery we have barely begun to fathom. This event has been estimated to have taken place 13.7 billion years ago out of what we do not know but that the very physical essence of what everything on Earth shares was begun at that point. We are as the famous astronomer Carl Sagan said, “made of star stuff”. We not only share our beingness with all other life on Earth but with everything else in the universe. We are on Earth what is in the heavens. This lends additional meaning to the concept, “as above, so below”.

Soul Work through creative expression

Soul: Formless and ‘beingless’.

Sometimes the waking dream presents me with insight to my unconscious self. Normally I leave that up to my sleeping dreams but on this occasion where sleeping dream material hasn’t percolated beyond the waking stage I am able to focus on synchronicities that I normally just let slide on by.

In a NYTimes photo in its Tuesday Business section a quote stored on a shelf caught my attention. It read, “Life isn’t about finding yourself but in creating yourself”.

“Is that true?” I asked myself. 

After some reflection I thought, “Actually, it can be about both”. The better we know who we are the better we can create. The knowledge of self becomes the material of creation. We all seem to come with a creative algorithm toward an expression of the soul. It’s as though this formless soul is our internal guidance system through life. The better we know the soul the more we can express its desires.

I shared my insights with one of the baristas who sat down nearby on their break and got a blank stare as though I’d just played the role of “Obvious Man”. They smiled as if to placate the old man who sits in a corner with his grande half-caf with extra water, reading his newspaper, and talking about odd things if you get too near.

My thoughts went on. We seem to come here to manifestly express this soul. It is this spirit that breathes our true self into life. We need to ask what it wants at every turn of the wheel of time. The answers are everywhere but need confirmation by how they resonate with the soul. This requires looking within to see how the without is being expressed. They need to work together to produce the creation we are here to produce.

Sometimes these little quips can inspire but they can also be distracting and get us caught in an unintentional mire. For example, the inspirational phrase “find your bliss” can have unintentional consequences. “What’s my bliss?” can send you off on a lifelong quest with no satisfactory end and forever looking for what may already be there. The question becomes a search for the definition of “bliss” rather than what the soul is trying to express. Too often the ego weighs in and is given too much power to judge what is or isn’t bliss. This can cause a never-ending spiral that rarely ends with any degree of soulful satisfaction. Too often when the head takes over, we lose our alignment with soul and suffer.

I try to listen to the soul especially when its expression brings only derision or “nope that’s not it” from the ego-self. I try to look for what I experience within regarding the expression. Though the heart expression may not agree with the head expression it may actually be that bliss that we’re all looking for. This may very well be the definition of being authentic to your real self instead of the self your head I.e., ego-self says you need to be. We need to have a meta-conversation with our authentic self whilst we create/express.

However, even the suffering of misalignment can be valuable in that our growth toward authenticity only seems to happen through suffering.

Caveat: Is any of this real? I don’t know. I can only speak from my experience of what this amorphous thing I call soul wants for I do not know of what I speak. I have no proof nor tangible evidence of its existence or if it exists what is its’ purpose. I unconsciously intuit its reality and can discern no reason for its existence or its need for expression. I do not claim to know the why or the truth of this intuition of the soul. However, for me when it resonates it holds some truth.

Soul has no form or beingness. Its reality is intangible and cannot be held or discerned, yet it is there just below the liminal in a state of its own and sometimes makes itself known through unconscious meta processes while sitting at a coffee shop and reading the newspaper.

Creating the Philosopher’s Stone: “Earth am I; Air am I; Fire, and Water, and Spirit am I”

A personal grimoire or collection of blog postings referring to the practical magic of the psyche. Before opening this book begin with the central figure of four stones encircling two dragons. Start with the Earth stone to the right and move across to the Air stone on the left then up to the Fire stone and straight down to the water stone then ending into the center where the spirit lies.

“Earth am I; Air am I; Fire, and Water, and Spirit am I” is how I often greet the morning beginning with a turn toward the north and moving clockwise around the compass and ending where the sun rises.*

The ancient alchemists enshrined these elements in the symbol for the Philosopher’s Stone (below), the completed product of their manipulations, Carl Jung thought of it as the symbol for wholeness where the baseness of life as represented by lead A picture containing text

Description automatically generatedcould be transmuted into the beauty of gold   Shape, circle

Description automatically generated. It is in this meaning that I greet the day i.e., as a prayer for wholeness and integration. 

Who or what am I praying to, some deity, or spirit? Why, All of us! It is only together that we can pull ourselves out of the baseness of life and into the brightness where we in individual and collective practice can change lead into gold.

As “exclusion” is the foundation for separation, “Inclusion” is the catalyst for the process leading to wholeness **. 

In ancient alchemy there were 7 processes toward transmutation (Calcination, Dissolution, Separation, Conjunction, Fermentation, Distillation) that involved both exclusion and inclusion processes with the last process before the creation of wholeness, aka the Philosopher’s Stone, being Coagulation, the final inclusion process.

Wikipedia: The Squared Circle: an alchemical symbol (17th century) illustrating the interplay of the four elements of matter symbolizing the philosopher’s stone.
This “stone” has come in many forms from Tibetan Buddhism on the back of the Wind Horse Lung Ta and the jewel of the Hindu Naga king.

My prayer is a prayer of inclusion and togetherness using our diverse talents, visions, and substance and combining them into a whole that brings great value to all.

*See also these earlier articles on the dream symbols of Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Spirit 

**It is this wholeness that a young acolyte searches for in Psyche’s Dream: A Dragon’s Tale

The magic of listening to both the above and below

Once upon a time and right about now in a place where only our dreams can go there was and is a magical forest where within a days walk into its center one will find a meadow. In the meadow’s center there’s a tree, tall but with a leafy canopy that stretches its limbs for hundreds of yards all around and cloaks the land with its sparkling shade. But shade doesn’t sparkle you say. Ah, but in this land it does. 

A day in this forest begins with a sun high in the sky and as it moves across the forest below the shade becomes longer and casts an elongated shadow that seems to effervesce across the land wrapping all in its umbrous arms and taking them into a sparkling sleep. It’s a sleep where everyone awakens to their true self and begins the real journey of life’s meaning. It’s not about getting, having, or holding on, it’s not about taking away or being better than, or greater, good enough, or more. It’s about discovering who you really are and how to live in that space.

It is not the virtue of this land to instruct but to guide and the guide is not some stranger from a land unknown for this guide is yourself, they who has always been with you since before the day you were born and who will hold your hand when the day is done.

In both your so-called waking and sleeping lives, they travel across an imaginal landscape peopled by the shadows of the collective and personal minds. These minds have beguiled them into thinking that what they see, feel, taste, smell, and hear are real or fantasy while the real world slumbers in the high noon of their beginning. 

Some of their fellow travelers will never see the sparkle or if they do, will never know its meaning. Some will search only the flat land of their waking world unaware that there is a below and above to explore with hills and valleys to wander.

But a few lucky beings will see the tree and its sparkling shadow for what it is and will leave the flat lands and follow the umbra the tree casts into the real world of the Great Ones. Some will leave the sleep of the waking and enter the waking through sleep. 

In both these waking and sleeping dream worlds images appear as messengers to guide us through our time. For most of our time we ignore the information they carry and without which we more often than not stumble and limit the purpose of our being. In the waking part of the dream that makes up this time we all too often ignore most of the messages for they seem only whispers at the edge of consciousness. We also ignore the sleeping dream narratives for they seem only fantasy. 

For those who train the mind to listen to the whispers and fantasies magic can happen.

__________________

*Above illustration: Ambesonne Ethnic Tapestry, “Tree in The Valley” a Mother Earth Art Illustration

The Alchemy of the Sacred Moment

Being at one with the divine grace of the present moment opens the heart to magic and allows us the gift of seeing what is really there before us and to act accordingly. In being here now one comes into communion with what is and there is nothing more powerful. What was is not here now and what might be is nowhere to be found in the present except that both can exist as an illusion in the now. When one becomes mindful of the now, its thoughts, its feelings, its body activity (reaction to the environment, tension, or lack of same, its temperature, its breathing, its heart rhythm, its position in space) the psyche moves out of the illusion of the past and future and into the only thing that is real, the present.

The Dali Llama pointed out that there are only two days in any year where nothing can be done: yesterday and tomorrow. The famous master of the here and now, Winnie the Pooh, once asked “what day is it?” whereupon his sidekick squeaked, “It’s today” whereupon Pooh replied, “My favorite day.”

Being in the present moment frees up all that energy wasted trying to deal with the past or worry about the future. Magic is only to be found in the alchemy of the sacred moment which can only be found in the now. Love can only be found in the now. It has been said that there are only two things in the now: Love and magic. Actually, that’s wrong: Love is the magic. Everything else is the mind clinging to what isn’t. To be in the moment is to be in your heart that place of no suffering, that place of just being. To be anywhere else is the place of the head, the realm of doing.

When being in the heart we are always enough. It’s only when we are lost in the mind that we are never enough. In the sacred moment of the heart, we are all connected, and separation is but another illusion. The sacred moment is where our holiness is found. 

Be still, and be holy.

__________________

These ideas came to me from a wanderer named Hermes who has lived across many here and now’s. Read his story in “Psyche’s Dream: A Dragon’s Tale.”