Dreams, messages, and life folding back on themselves and creating a wisdom synchronicity

Constellation Draco

The Dream:

While continuing to research the image of Sophia (a dream experience from the early 2000s), I “happened” * upon a dream of mine that I had written down in mid-August of that year that I entitled “Vision.” In this dream I saw a long, Light brown ribbon, sparkling as though dusted with glitter, snaking its way amongst the stars–connecting everything with everything.

It’s curving back on itself, disconnected yet connecting everything else, it floats as though on a rippling, flowing sea–Invisible by the lights that it touches.

I felt a part of it, no, embraced by it, and from it, and I suddenly understood that all is as it should be.

Interpretation:

At first this dream reminded me of the theory of strings that is becoming a popular alternative to the Big Bang theory of creation and I just left it at that. I was also reminded of the constellation Draco snaking it way between the stars of the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. It was not until about three days later when I continued my research into an earlier image of the Sophia, a wisdom image sometimes associated with the feminine aspect of God. In this dream I was being invited to follow a winding light brown path into a far-off mountain and I was struck by the powerful synchronicity (some might call it coincidence) of my study and the former night’s dream.

An Ouroboros

The snake or ribbon curving back on itself reminds me of an Ouroboros the snake image of wholeness, completion, and oneness often used by the alchemists of old as a signal of completion in the alchemical process. It can also be a metaphor for life in how it can repeat itself until we understand and embrace its message. The “Sophia” dream seemed to provide a feeling like a completion dream e.g., a “follow this path and all will be well” kind of feeling.

The study:

It is from Sophia, the goddess of wisdom that we get Philo-Sophia, the love of wisdom, she and Dynamis created the powers and angels who create the “first heaven.” After some 365 creations our world is born, the ultimate ruler of which is the god Abraxas (Αβρασαξ), the Great Invisible Spirit (Gnostic). Jung likened Abraxas as that which combines all opposites into One Being.

Many representations of the Abrasax depict it as a composite of the Sun, Chronos (god of time and in a serpentine form itself) and the head of a rooster (or a lion) and the body of a man. The image is also reminiscent of a Chimera an image that sometimes suggests the disparate parts of oneself that need to be combined so as to become whole. The serpent also represents the inner self (nous) and the quickening of understanding (logos).

I’m not sure what to do with the seemingly unconnected coincidence of these two events other than to wonder if when we become focused on a particular idea the universe seems to present for our consideration a deeper picture to broaden our understanding. From whence this comes I don’t know, but I respect its power. The Dream takes on an even deeper meaning for me.

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*As I’ve often said before, I don’t believe in what most people would call a “coincidence” in that too many events that seem unconnected appear too often, lend their meaning so as to discover something much bigger, and revealing that something much more significant is at work.

The alchemy of Grace, a transforming experience

A dream of receiving something valuable for no apparent reason led me to look closer at the meaning of grace and its often mystical expression.

Grace: a spiritual experience of love and mercy, an undeserved gift that is unbidden. Though this definition is mystical in nature it also shows up in the everyday when one goes out of their way to help someone with no expectation of anything in return.

The mystical experience brought by grace. 

Nothing you do can automatically bring you the grace of consciousness awakening and there is much that you can do to get in its way. Part of maturing spiritually or soulfully will however, provide a space for it to live within you and grow. Sometimes grace heralds a spiritual awakening I.e., when you awaken to life, how it really is. Connecting with your soul seems to make these awakenings come more often.

What happens when one’s eyes are opened through the mystical?

“Imagine that you are in a completely dark room. You’ve been told that in this room lives a very large snake. As you sit in the room, you can see its silhouette and you feel great fear as you contemplate the potential for it to bite you at any moment. But one day there is a flash of light which illuminates the room, and you see that what looked like a snake was, in reality, a rope. Although the flash of light was momentary, it gave you a glimpse of the truth. Suddenly your long-held fear vanished entirely, and your experience of the room was never the same ever again.”

–from the Advaita Vedanta meaning “non-duality” that is a school of Hindu philosophy, and is a classic system of spiritual realization in Indian tradition.

This is what a mystical experience feels like: it is like a flash of truth that releases you from your limitedsense of self and gives you a taste of a reality that somehow feels more real.

What Triggers the Spiritual Awakening Process?

Spiritual awakenings can happen at any moment in your life. They can be spontaneous, triggered by major life changes, illnesses, tragedies, and traumas such as life-threatening illnesses, accidents, divorces, midlife crises, war, and so much more. They can happen during the process of a meditation or while taking a walk around the neighborhood.

There are also those times when all seems hopeless and emotionally overwhelming what some call The Dark Night of the Soul. If you’re highly sensitive to the suffering of others and are a deep thinker by nature, it is possible that you have gone through, or are currently going through, a Dark Night of the Soul.

The Dark Night of the Soul is a period in life when you feel completely cut off from the Divine. The more aware you become of your disconnection from the Divine, the more chances you have of experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul.

Going through this experience of the dark night is profoundly entwined with the process of spiritual awakening. Before spiritually awakening, we often “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) to prepare our minds and hearts for it.

Just think about the analogy of getting dressed. To put on new clothes, you must take off the old ones do you not?

Of course, mystical experiences are different for those who experience them but there are a few commonalities that I list below:

1. Conscious Unity

The boundaries of where you perceive your individual identity to begin and end completely vanish i.e., death of the ego. Instead, you’re left with a boundless and infinite union with all that is around you.

2. There Is No Time or Space

With a lack of a definable identity or environmental recognition, your sense of time feels infinite. You go from perceiving time from moment-to-moment as an individual, to perceiving it as a stream of eternal present moments.

Because your sense of identity is gone, your ability to separate “your” surroundings into individual elements also disappears.

3. Objective Reality

Without a discernible identity comes a sense of greater “objectivity” as though you’re experiencing a much more intricate and profound reality. Everything doesn’t just feel perfect, everything is perfect.

4. Gratitude

Most of your ecstatic feelings stem from an immense sense of gratitude. This gratitude is an overwhelming sense of awe at “your” insignificance in comparison to the vastness of existence.

5. Life Is Seen as Sacred

Your sense of gratitude is so vast that you can feel almost undeserving of having been given the opportunity to experience such a miracle. You develop a new sense of respect for the sacredness of life that allows you to be here.

6. You Understand Paradox

Our sense of self or identity creates duality in our perception of reality (“I” am separate from “That”, He or she is over there, and I am here). However, the moment this separation disappears, you’re left with a non-dual reality in which your intellect finds paradox after paradox e.g., things become both light and dark, here, and absent, human, and divine, limited, and eternal. As you try to understand the experience you might have mind-blowing and expansive realizations.

7. The Experience Is Indescribable

The overwhelming magnitude of emotions and intuitive understanding that you experience makes the attempt to describe the mystical experience is limited by language. To put words to it seems insulting to the experience.

8. The Experience Is Temporary

The very nature of a mystical experience is its transience because eventually, you end up returning to your habitual way of life, but the experience changes something deep inside.

9. The Experience Is Life-Changing

After experiencing such a state, death isn’t as scary as it used to be, and the beliefs or ambitions that you once held to be so important lose their meaning. In fact, the mystical experience often awakens a thirst to try to bring as much of that experience back into your regular day-to-day life as possible that in return deepens the spiritual process. 

10. Retrospective transformation

The experience not only transforms forward but in reverse as well. In retrospect there’s a feeling of understanding the path you’ve been on all along and shifts the experience as though it’s always been that way.

A Jungian primer: A way of looking at the psyche and its dream world.

Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit- The archetype of
the sage or wise old man.

Over the years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve used several words and phrases regarding the constructs of the mind and how they related to the field of dreams. Most of these concepts have been explored and defined by Carl Gustav Jung, a late 19th to middle 20th-century Psychiatrist and contemporary of Freud. At the risk of oversimplifying Jung’s philosophy of dreams, I believe that he has opened the field of psychotherapy and dreamwork to a whole new way of looking at the human mind.

Archetypes: In Jungian psychology, archetypes refer to a collectively inherited unconscious idea, a pattern of thought, image, etc., that are universally present within the individual. Some dream images seem to permeate people’s dreams all over the world regardless of faith or culture, with very similar meanings. For example, images of the divine, masculine/feminine images, shadow beings, death, and apocalyptic events.

Self: Is also one of the Jungian archetypes, signifying the unification of consciousness and unconsciousness in a person and representing the psyche. According to Jung, it is the end product of individuation, which integrates the opposites in one’s personality, including the conscious with the unconscious, while still maintaining the relative autonomy necessary for a person to become whole.

He thought of it as the central ordering principle of a human psyche, i.e., the show’s Director.

Shadow: Is an archetype in itself. All those things, ideas, worries, fears, feelings, and memories are rejected by the conscious mind and shoved into the unconscious. They frequently enter the consciousness through nightmares. They also tend to affect our decisions and actions when we are awake.

Ego: Simply put, it is the “I” of one’s life. It’s who you think you are and is your sense of self.

Symbols: Attempts of the psyche to express the inexpressible.

Myth: This is a story that expresses symbolically a philosophical or religious idea that evokes a particular response from one’s inner being.

Numinous:  Any image or feeling that relates to the spiritual dimension of reality. It can be an odd and otherworldly sense of presence and often represents a strong religious or spiritual experience. It often shows up when an archetype visits the dream.

Psyche: Soul, spirit, the conscious and unconscious mind, the whole personality with nothing left out, nothing rejected. The psyche is what influences our thoughts, behaviors, and personalities.

Whole personality: This includes the conscious, personal and collective unconscious, archetypes, persona (see below), and ego.

Collective unconscious: A term of analytical psychologycoined by Carl Jung. He thought of it as a part of the unconscious mind, expressed in humanity and all life forms with nervous systems, and describes how the structure of the psyche organizes experience. Jung distinguished the collective unconscious from the personal unconscious. The personal unconscious an individual’s reservoir of experience that is unique to each of us. In contrast, the collective unconscious collects and similarly organizes those intimate experiences with each member of a particular species.

Waking Dream: The idea that most of what we call reality is but a projection of our own psyches onto the world outside ourselves invokes the idea that most of what we experience is imaginal. This projection is not unlike our dream material that is also imaginal and projected by our unconscious minds during sleep. There are some psychologists and therapists who suggest that we can treat our waking world images and patterns of behavior like the images from a dream and glean much information through their interpretation.

Four psychological functions: 

Sensing– Data gathering part of the self

Intuitive– Potentials, innovative part of the self

Thinking– Logical, objective, systematic aspects of the self

Feeling– Subjective, personal part of the self.

One of these is used more than the others in each of us and becomes the dominant way we deal with the world.

Transcendent dimension: That aspect of the four psychological functions used to make contact with one’s inner unconscious being. Here is where we humans can relate to the spiritual world.

Active Imagining: A process where one can embody or reanimate the images of a dream to work with the image further beyond the initial interpretation. For example, one might bring the dream image of a dead loved one into the room and engage him or her as though they were still alive.

Complex: This is a core pattern of memories, perceptions, emotions, and wishes in the personal unconscious organized around a common theme, such as power or status. It is primarily a psychoanalytic term found in the works of Jung and Sigmund Freud.

An example of a complex would be as follows: if you had a limb amputated when you were a child, this would influence your life in profound ways, even if you successfully overcame the handicap. Even those who have dealt with their disability may have many thoughts, memories, emotions, feelings of inferiority, bitterness, and decisions made about life on that one aspect of their life. If these thoughts troubled you, they might be called a complex.

The idea of complexes assumes that the most important factors influencing your personality are deep in the unconscious and influence the individual’s attitude and behavior. 

Synchronicity: The idea of synchronicity is that the relationship between concepts is structured logically and gives rise to relationships that are not causal but are not strictly coincidental. These relationships can show up as occurrences that are meaningfully related.

Synchronistic events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework that includes, but is more extensive than, any systems that display synchronicity. 

Persona: This appears as a consciously created personality or identity fashioned out of part of the collective psyche through socializationacculturation, and experience. Jung used the classical term persona because it meant the actor’s mask and expressed his role.

The persona, he argues, is a mask for the “collective psyche,” a mask, or an act, that ‘pretends’ individuality.

The rabbit hole called reality: So what is real?

Once again, I leaped into that rabbit hole we call reality. Cool breezes and sunshine lured me out to the garden one morning this week and not for gardening, mind you, but for a chore I’d been putting off for two years, painting the picket fences and gates. It’s a slow process beginning with stripping the loose paint, cutting back the intrusive foliage, and then slopping on the white color. Where’s Tom Sawyer when you need him? When I started this chore, there were all kinds of neighbors outside. A third of the way into the project, there was nary a human in sight. I recalled that scene where Tom cons at least a dozen boys to joyfully do his job for him, having convinced them that the painting was a privilege.

As I painted, I slopped a bit of paint onto the petals of a red rose and recalled another scene from the fictional story of Alice in Wonderland where the playing card soldiers tried to cover their mistake in planting white roses instead of red (the queen of heart’s favorite color) so to keep the “off-with -their-heads” queen from getting angry they painted the roses red. 

Both stories were about con and deception, or were they? Tom spun the “dislikeable chore” narrative into a “joyful privilege” narrative while the cards tried to deceive and turn their error into something more pleasant for both them and their demonic queen. Both showed initiative, both twisted realities to serve their needs. Don’t we all do this? Don’t we see what we want to see and ignore what we don’t want to see? Are we not creating a reality for ourselves as we go? And as we do that, do we not make an agreement with others (painting is fun, white roses are red) regarding the reality we’ve created?

So, what is real?

For more on reality: 

and more:

And it gets even murkier:

Demon visitors to dreams

“Is the devil invading my dreams?” has been a worry communicated by several dreamers over the years. My likely response was always to deal with the symbolic meaning of the Devil or demon mainly because each of us creates our demonic forms based on our cultural, religious, and familial influences. Though this little Devil will show up in many forms, his existence is an archetype from the collective unconscious of humankind, meaning that it resides within the universal psyche as an expression of the antithetical and contrasted phenomena that create the reality that we see.

For example, for something to be experienced as being “good” requires a definition or experience of something being “bad,” female requires male, up needs a down, positive requires a negative, and left needs a right.

Ultimately it is death that gives meaning to life and vice versa. It’s our opposites that create and inform the reality that we see.

When this contrary little demon shows up in a dream, it is usually there to point out a puzzle, a paradox, a contradiction, something denied, rejected, or repressed that is causing us discomfort or driving inappropriate behaviors. Just as with all the other archetypal images, the demons are there for our health and well-being.

The Devil in a dream can represent our struggle with our basic urges, which pulls us down. He can represent our fears, negative aspects, and limitations though it can also represent cunning, cleverness, and deception. If the Devil is talking to you, it can suggest that you might be worried that certain temptations are becoming hard to resist. If you’re friendly with the Devil, perhaps you are talking yourself or allowing someone to talk you into something you don’t want to do. Dealing with the Devil or a demon in any way within a dream may reflect your need to deal with an issue of morality in your waking life.

When a demon shows up as Satan itself, it can be about things in the inner and outer world that you may fear or think are out of your control. Satan can represent something or someone adversarial or confrontational, as in an attacker or accuser. Frequently people invoke this image and project it onto other people to justify hurting them.

Sometimes people experience being possessed by some demon in their dreams. Being possessed is also an archetype. Over the centuries, people from all cultures would employ priests or shaman, even lay mediums to exorcize an individual’s Devil that has “possessed” them. Today we’re more likely to consult a therapist.

But even now, the old version of the primitive possessor demon lives within an unexplored psychic phenomenon and acts out contrary to a person’s best interest. One only needs to look at how many so-called fearful “conservatives” will vote for the very issues and people that only mean them harm, directly or indirectly, to see the truth of that statement. 

All too often, when we deny our complexes1, our worries, and repressed fears and emotions, our demons, so to speak, can possess us in that we allow another force and energy to take over our lives, both internally and externally.

But sometimes, he’s just there to show us some clarity on what is good.

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1 Complex: A pattern of emotions, perceptions, wishes, or memories in our Personal Unconscious. Some of these patterns can manifest themselves somatically, i.e., through the body. 

Severely negative and untreated or denied emotional patterns could lead to neuroses such as obsessive-compulsive disorders, including perfectionism or poor impulse control, or shallow feelings of self-worth. Both Jung and Freud thought these unconscious patterns were the most important factors influencing our waking behaviors and attitudes.

Bring your shadow self into the light

“The persona is the mask we wear in relation to the world and others. It is created through a combination of socialization, societal expectations, one’s experience of the world, and the natural attributes and tendencies of the individual. It combines elements of how we want to see ourselves, ideally, and how we want the world to see us, as well as how the world does see us and wants us to be. Our persona defines our social identity; it is constructed in relation to the roles we play in our lives and in our world, how we want to look and be seen. It is the face we wear to be presentable and acceptable to our society. It is not necessarily who we really are, but who we want and pretend to be to others and, many times, to ourselves.”

War of the Gods in Addiction, David Schoen

Often our truth lies hidden beneath a self-imposed exile because it doesn’t fit the ego-self’s image. Recognize your own truth and stop lying to yourself. Many tell themselves that something is okay when it actually is not. Sometimes we even try to enroll others in our self-deception by trying to convince them of our veracity or to even enroll them in the lie by taking it on for themselves. Children often tell themselves the lie that they are loved by a parent when in their heart that for whatever reason they do not feel loved. Both women and men not in relationship sometimes try to convince themselves that they are just fine without one. Not that they aren’t right but some take on the lie that they are when in fact they are not. It is most likely fear that keeps these lies in place and in so doing lock the experience of love away in the cellars of their minds.

“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed” –Carl Jung

The inner lie is a coping skill often told so that we can fit into what the society expects of us or what we expect of ourselves and in the short run can be reasonably effective. The lie helps to create our outward and inner persona designed to meet the expectations of families and cultural norms. 

However, self-deception has a limited shelf life. How do we know that? Ever notice how past hurts or fears, angers or things we try to avoid keep reappearing? What’s that about? The psyche never forgets. We may shove certain events, memories, or feelings onto the back burners of our mind and develop a presentation that looks good to ourselves and others so as to be accepted and cope with the present so as to move forward in our lives but these undealt with experiences don’t just disappear. Out of sight is never out of mind. They wait in hiding like coiled snakes beneath the outcroppings of our unconscious mind until something disturbs them and they strike out blindly and wreak havoc once again with our emotions and once again poisoning the moment and our sense of well-being.

These demons or shadows of our unconscious selves do not ever disappear but gain energy in the darkness. This energy is often projected outward onto others politically, religiously and through our prejudices of others. It’s only when we confront them and bring them into the light, acknowledge that they are a part of who we are, and that we can own them rather than project them and work with them to negotiate a peace and compromise that we can then become whole once again and be the “captains of our soul”.

“Out of the night that covers me
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning’s of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

Invictus–William Ernest Henley

A Gratefulness Meditation 

I’ve often said that dreams can be useful in the waking life. Frequently patterns in a dream reflect the same patterns in our waking life e.g. behaviors, problems, and emotions that show up in dreams show up our waking lives as well. 

When we find ourselves being chased in a dream it often refers to our avoiding something in our waking lives such as the avoidance of some communication or at looking at some hurt, or some loss, or in making a change in our behavior that is probably long overdue, or even a change in jobs.

But because it’s often too painful to confront our weaknesses we stuff these upsets into our subconscious mind, just hoping that out of sight will lead to out of mind and that maybe they will magically go away. 

But they don’t do they? 

They keep coming back to haunt us and even when they haven’t stormed their way back into our conscious mind they’re hiding in the background making it hard for us to be true to the moment.

And it is difficult to be true to the experience of the moment, the here and now, when the past is influencing our responses. Not that past experiences can’t be of value, but we need to know the difference of when they are of value and when we need to let them go.

In the book, The Archipelago of Dreams Robert confronts a Medusa-like creature* and is initially reactive by struggling mightily against its power over him only to overcome it by accepting it as it is and that it was only a reflection of a part of himself.

“Reactive” is the key word in that little confrontation with one of Robert’s shadows–the shadow of the fear of having done something wrong. 

His usual reaction was to try and avoid the issue by ignoring or running from it. Past experience had taught him that he’ll only lose if he stayed to fight. 

Over many years he had made up his mind that avoiding the fight at all costs was his only chance at survival. But running away had only made the shadow more rigid and he was no longer in control of the moment and letting the past control his present.

Like Robert, we get stuck in parts of our pasts because instead of acknowledging them we reject them by trying to hide from them. 

This morning I’d like to offer another meditation to help soothe the fearful side of yourselves so that you can bring in your own light to heal. When in fear it is hard to experience love or to give it and it impedes the body’s ability to heal. Learning ways to open the door to love can be an important life skill.

It’s called a Gratefulness Meditation

The beautiful magic about this meditation is that gratefulness and our fearful ego-self cannot exist at the same time. The fear and the pain vanish when exposed to the light of our true being.

Gratefulness banishes the ego because one cannot be grateful without being vulnerable and Ego cannot stand to be helpless, unprotected, or unsafe.

So once again find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for a few minutes. You may want to light a candle to help the mind focus and as a welcoming ritual to the spirit of the meditation.

Focus your attention on the flickering flame. When you are ready, slowly close your eyes and shift your attention to your breathing. Notice your breath going in and out, in then out. 

Become aware of your body and move down from your head to your shoulders and arms, across your chest and down through your stomach looking for tensions, tensions that you can release through your next exhale of your breath. Breathe in deeply and then slowly letting the air out and taking with it any tension. Empty any stiffness in the back, your legs and feet with each breath in and then out. Breathing in, breathing out.

Think for a moment, is there someone in your life for whom you feel much gratitude for what they have meant in your life? 

Imagine that they are sitting with you in this very room and look into your heart for what it is that you are grateful for that they are in your life. 

Gaze into their eyes for a moment and let them know how much they have meant to you and how much difference they have made in your life. As you do this notice the peace and compassion that gratefulness brings into your heart. 

(Count 2 breaths)

Thank them once again and let them go. Now sit for a moment in the beauty of that feeling.

Now, imagine someone whom, or some event, that has caused you some pain or difficulty. Something you know that you are not grateful for. 

Take a deep breath and hold it for a second and as you breathe out, let the stress of that event or person go out with the air. 

Now, for just this moment look to see what contribution that pain or adversity may have brought you. Has it taught you how to set appropriate boundaries for yourself and others, helped you to seek clarity in your relationships, or helped you start on your path of inner exploration? Did it lead you to something better, or to seek something better? Did it move you in a different direction in your life? What positive affect can you find that may have resulted from the pain caused?

Though you may not be able to appreciate the pain, is there something about the event that helps you appreciate who you are becoming and the positive aspects of the path you find yourself on right now? How did they or did that event help you to find the good things that are in your life right now? 

Will you be grateful for that? Be with that experience for a moment.

Now, slowly bring your attention back to your body.

When you are ready slowly open your eyes and come back into the room.

In closing this morning I offer these three activities between now and the next time we meet.

One: Is there someone today that you want to appreciate? Tell them today, call them, e-mail or text them or just set up a date to meet face to face if that’s possible.

Two: You might also want to list that which you are grateful for include everything–the good, bad, and the ugly as they say. Also list why.

Three: Over the next week start noticing all the things you are grateful for as they happen and begin a collection of appreciations.

Good day and peace be with you.

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*The Archipelago of Dreams, pg.22

United we stand divided we fall

I had a dream early last week that showed me being bullied by others and excluding me and others in my group. While trying to decode the dream and apply it to my life a number of thoughts presented themselves. The following is a distillation of these thoughts.

Anyone or anything that shuts out the inclusion of that which is other than itself kills off part of its soul individually or collectively.

The idea that we are all part of a greater whole is a philosophical and religious concept as old as religion itself. Wholeness whether on Earth or in some concept of heaven has been what most religions strive for at some level. Psychologically, meaning that which affects, or arises in the mind and is related to the mental and emotional state of a person, humans spend a certain part of their conscious energy trying to attain a certain equilibrium by trying to balance between its natural tendency to be separate and the natural need to belong. When one of the factors outweighs the other the individual or group loses their equilibrium and become unbalanced and the soul expression becomes compromised.

Outwitted


He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win
We drew a circle that took him in.”

–Edwin Markham

This poem epitomizes for me not only the power of inclusion but the power of the unfettered soul. It reflects a psyche that has grown beyond it own ego needs into something more inclusive. The God of the Christian New Testament seems to be an example of Oneness and perhaps the maturing ego through the example of the inclusive Christ while the Old Testament seemed to reflect a much more immature ego in that separateness, revenge, and survival were projected onto their god more often than not.

In fact, many religions who believe in a prime deity or God imagine their God as having many facets some of which are turned into subordinate gods or aspects of the One deity but all representing the prime aspect of Oneness or wholeness.

It would thus seem to me that our attempt to create separateness here on Earth, in our nations, and neighborhoods is the antithesis of the God we believe in. Why the need for some people to insist upon the separateness of people seems to exist to support the egoic need to think of themselves as unique, dominant, better than, and righteous.  What if God’s Will is for us to be inclusive and strive for wholeness and Oneness even if that may not be achievable by the psyche of most of us or any of us for that matter? 

What are we doing then when we strive for exclusiveness, polarization, and separation? It’s hardly a mature and grownup let alone enlightened response to the world. What if  “growing up” means to become more responsible for our actions, more reliable in our dealings with others, more compassionate, less self-serving, and honest not only with others but with ourselves as well? What if our egoic maturity depends on thinking of others and not just ourselves and learning when we are projecting our faults and weaknesses onto the actions of others? What if growing up depends on us owning these faults so that we can thus be responsible for them and then move toward their correction or acceptance without acting them out? Could all this be part of our purpose for being here i.e., to learn how to do that?

There is no one answer to our purpose for being though it is possible that most aspects of all the so-called meaning of life philosophies can be included with the singular exception that most seem not to advocate the creation of greater separateness and entropy, that most do not employ evil to meet evil or to manipulate what constitutes evil in order to commit evil and thus defend the separateness. It also seems to me that an ends justifies the means or an evil for evil, hurt for hurt, and polarized philosophy is a consequence of separateness and exclusivity and rarely if ever brings about fulfillment in the long term even if that term lives beyond the individual or group. It also seems to me that the awareness that declares the experience that the kingdom of heaven is here now is a place you come from not go to is an awareness that knows no separation not between God and us or between each of us. This awareness reflects a nondual consciousness i.e., a consciousness of unity.

In this way of seeing the world the concept of ‘united we stand and divided we fall’ is a truism i.e., a reality that throughout history has proven itself every time we challenge it, allow it to decay, or ignore it. Empires have been destroyed when they’ve lost this unifying principle and they enter the Dark Night of the Soul that spirals into decay. How arrogant are we to think that that truism is for others and not us because somehow we are more special and can do without the input from other than ourselves? How self-indulgent, self-centered and elitist are we? 

In a state of non-binary awareness we dwell within the very same spirit that dwells within us. Fundamentally at our deepest most profound level we are united. When we deny this basic truth we become functioning cripples in that we are vastly less powerful and effective. 

When we allow our divided and egoic nature to grow up and see that we are all connected and that this is connected to something vastly bigger than ourselves we will see that we are part of a gigantic interconnected and coherent system that includes everyone and everything around us. As we now looking at ourselves we have become incoherent in our relationships and are rapidly compromising our ability to survive as a species. We don’t know what our destiny as a conscious species is but surely our penchant for separation and division within a context that exists as a function of its unity jeopardizes that destiny.

Bronze plaque on SJSU Tower Hall

A short dream analysis for the Easter season.*

Easter

To dream about Easter, suggests that perhaps the worst of your problems are over. After the darkness and sadness you’ll experience joy. Alternatively, the dream symbolizes resurrection and spiritual rebirth.

The Cross

This can represent in a dream the difficulties and tribulations you carry–all the pain, guilt of perceived wrong doing, and the burden of being wronged, or unjustly accused, but it can also represent wholeness, or sacrifice, or the act of letting go. The cross can also be a symbol for death, rebirth, personal salvation, transformation and resurrection (similar to the Egyptian ankh). If witnessing a crucifixion or being crucified in a dream you may be punishing yourself for some perceived guilt.

Christ

In a dream seeing a Christ-like figure can speak to those aspects in you e.g. higher consciousness, or soulfulness, goodness and the connection with a greater source. As an archetypal symbol, the Christ can represent powerful influences acting on your personality e.g. familial, social and political forces (read as beliefs). For some, Christ represents the cosmic mystery that each of has been born as and into–he is the best of yourself and from this perspective you can observe the quality of your life. Have you sacrificed this part of yourself in your day-to-day living? A Christ figure in your dream may represent your own soul and the essence of who you really are.

Eggs

To see or eat eggs in your dream, symbolizes fertility, birth and your creative potential–something new might be on the verge of happening. It is also in some cultures a symbol for a new life, new beginnings, and rebirth, or resurrection.

A nest filled with eggs might mean some financial gain; the more, or bigger, the eggs, the greater the gain.  To see cracked or broken eggs in your dream, might represent feelings of vulnerability or a fragile state in your life. Alternatively, you may be breaking out of your shell and being comfortable with who you are. 


To see bright colored eggs in your dream can symbolize celebration of a happy event. 
To dream of rotten eggs might mean loss, or you may have allowed some situation to take a turn for the worse. 


To see Easter eggs in your dream can symbolize potential and wonder. You need to recognize that potential and unleash it. 

In Greek Orthodox Christianity, there is a legend that after Christ’s death on the cross, Mary Magdalene went to the emperor of Rome, and told him of Jesus’ resurrection. The emperor’s response was along the lines of “Oh, yeah, right, and those eggs over there are red, too.” Suddenly, the bowl of eggs turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity to the emperor.

It has been said that the egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size that had fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. According to an ancient story, the Goddess Astarte (Easter) was hatched. And so the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter. 

The idea of a mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world. In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Mother Goddess of the Romans. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem and in Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.

The egg is still a symbol for the Cosmic Egg–that which gave birth to all that exists.

Easter egg hunt

This game for kids actually has a darker side in that Pagans were forced to hide their religion from the Christian authorities. The eggs were a symbol for fertility and the celebration of spring (the Ostara, or Eostre, festival), but they could not be displayed for fear that the pagan practitioners would be punished, or killed, if they were found out, so they would hide them and have children find them as part of a game.

Also at Ostara, it was customary to leave something sweet (honey, mead, or candy) for the fairies of the meadow so that they would not work their mischief. Perhaps this is the origin of the Easter basket tradition?

Rabbits

To see a rabbit in your dream, could mean luck, magical power, or success. Alternatively, rabbits can symbolize abundance, fertility and sexual activity. The dream can also be associated with Easter time and your own personal memories of Easter. 

In the first century Europe there may have been a goddess called Eostre, whose name gives us both Ostara and Easter. The Venerable Bede described Eostre as a goddess with fertility associations, which loosely connects her to both rabbits and eggs. Author Jacob Grimm (of Grimm’s fairy tales) suggested that eggs were a symbol of early European Paganism. 

The nocturnal hare was actually considered a symbol of the moon. In addition to feeding at night, the hare’s gestation period is approximately 28 days — the same as a full lunar cycle.

In pagan, pre-Christian European folklore, the rabbit connection to eggs is based on a confusion. In the wild, hares nest in what is known as a “form” – a nest for bunnies. When the hares abandoned a form, it was sometimes taken over by plovers, that would then lay their eggs in it. The locals would then find eggs in the hare’s nest.

The “Easter bunny” first appeared in 16th-century German writings, that said that if well-behaved children were to build a nest out of their hats or bonnets, they would be rewarded with colored eggs. This legend became part of American folklore in the 18th century when German immigrants settled in the eastern U.S.

Spring

To dream of the season of spring, suggests new beginnings and creative endeavors. It is also a symbol for warmth, virility and fruitfulness. This can also represent the birth of something new or some growth in your life or within yourself (spiritual, social, emotional or psychological).

Flowers

To dream of flowers might symbolize compassion, beauty, and/or pleasure. A bouquet might suggest acknowledgment reward or admiration. The type of flower also has symbolic meaning. For example, Jung thought of the rose in a dream as representing a mandala, a symbol of the unconscious self and also very spiritual in nature. To Christians the Lily might represent the triune aspects of the one God i.e., the Trinity and sometimes symbolize the virgin Mary, Easter, and rebirth.

Withered, drooping, or damaged flowers might reflect disappointments, sorrow, or hurt feelings. 

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*Be sure to look up and earlier blog from 2017: https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-easter/

Deserts and wind in dreams

Shiprock on the New Mexico side of four corners
region. In Navajo: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, “rock with wings” or
“winged rock”.

I have loved the stories by Tony Hillerman that took place in the desert towns and villages of the Navaho Nation near the four corners area where Zuni and Hopi tribes also come together. They are stories about two tribal policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee who are involved in many mysteries of this deserted and sacred land. I’ve spent many a happy hour immersing myself into the culture albeit in a second-hand way.

However, it was the desert and Hillerman’s description of it that often drew me into the story.

I have stood in the middle of the Winnemucca Desert in Nevada and felt the wind talking to me and knelt before the winds of the Peruvian Andes feeling the spirits of the place flowing through me. I have meditated in the cold, dry, arid Himalayas of Tibet listening to the flapping (some say, galloping) Windhorse prayer flags sending their entreaties toward heaven and slept on the sands of the Mojave with the universe spread out above me. 

Winnemuca desert

All the spirits of these places spoke to and through me and left me feeling awestruck and energized. They were also some of the few places on Earth where I felt as though I belonged.

I have written about my relationship with moist verdant forests, dark woods, and many species of trees both in the sleeping and waking dream but find the spirits of place and objects in the dry hot deserts as well.

In my dreams I’ve found myself walking across a desert and determined that it referred to a sense of barrenness or loneliness and isolation that I was feeling at the time. Like many of the Native Americans in Hillerman’s stories I was feeling abandoned and deserted by the greater  society around me. Much of what I was feeling at the time was blah and unexciting so my dreams reflected an unmet need.

There were also times in my desert dreams where I was parched and without water that suggested to me that I was not in touch with my feelings and that I was actually feeling a lack of love and belonging.

Windhorse prayer flags

However, my desert dreams more often than not would speak to the deeper psyche and its spiritual aspects. The winds experienced of both the sleeping and waking dreams were like communing with the soul and deeper self.

Because most of my desert dreams include wind, I’d like to make a comment about this aspect within a dream. They often tell me what is moving me or influencing me in my waking life. Very windy dreams often speak of overwhelming emotions i.e., frustrations or out of control feelings buffeting me and sometimes holding me back from some personal goal. I’ve also experienced these winds as being symbolic of my own spirit, and greater self, blowing me in certain directions. In my waking life I’ve experienced a breeze or gathering wind as being almost corporeal and greeting me as though family and welcoming me back into the fold from the often disconnect that everyday living can cause.

In the Old testament of the Christian Bible and the even older words of the Jewish Talmud the wind was often portrayed as the spirit of God, the Ruach (meaning breath or spirit in Hebrew) or Holy Spirit and for me would often call forth my spirit guide, Sophia, the feminine aspect of God. The desert often showed up in these old testaments to the spirit of God as a place of trials and learning the deeper realities of who we are. The spirits are often either feminine or masculine in nature depending on the aspects being communicated.

*The interpretations of deserts and wind are taken from the book Morpheus Speaks: The Encyclopedia of Dream Interpreting. See books section in right hand column.