The Spiritual Self

 

“You were born with your spiri1393849020_988801907531472bce644e_586_16058.jpgtuality… Your spiritual self was born in a dream and when you dream, you are going home.” These are two powerful sentences and two transforming concepts from Thomas Moore’s new book, A Religion of One’s Own (2014). In this book he offers the idea that we do not need to go chasing after what we already have. We just need to open up to it by scraping the junk of our ego-selves off the cluttered desks of our mind (my image) and behold it, behold us as we really are. As I wrote some 35 plus years ago as the title of a meditation manual, Everything Worth Being You Already Are. However, back then this was more a platitude than a reality for me, more a hope than an actuality. Like everything else I had to grow into it.

At that time of my life I was learning new things about my profession and about myself and tended to follow the teachers I found at least until I felt that I had learned what I needed from them and moved on. I was absorbing new ideas at an incredible rate but had as yet to fully understand or integrate them into my life. Basically I hadn’t made the ideas my own, probably because they hadn’t come from or through me. Like Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat the Andrew Lloyd Webber 1970’s musical about Joseph in the Book of Genesis I was just tacking on beautiful patches to an outer garment given to me and reflecting nothing of the inner self.

Over time with the power of the soul to express itself through and in spite of me I began to turn inward only to find that all the teachings had been inside all along even though I had not recognized them as such.

Sometimes I still don’t look within for that wisdom that’s always there, that’s usually because I can get stuck in my ego-self and want what I want, when I want it, and damned the consequences. But it’s there urging me to transcend the self-serving ego and helps me to live beyond the pseudo-myth of my ego-self and get in touch with my real self that I now know is there anytime I’m open enough to recognize it.

It’s always a struggle because deep down this limitless power of creativity is quiet and subtle in nature and often gets lost in the noise of the everyday when I’m not paying attention.

Peace be with you.

Fighting Dragons

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Sorry I’ve been off my feed lately, but you see I’ve been fighting dragons for the last few days. Dragons, that’s what I call the depression that sometimes charges from its cave and overwhelms me. He takes on a number of forms, right now he looks like the giant “I’m no good” dragon where everything is better than, smarter than, more creative than.

I’ll be walking the paths of the kingdom feeling pretty good about myself when suddenly I feel his blast of hot breath reducing my fragile armor to ashes. I stand there naked and vulnerable suffering blow after blow of his acid tongue, his maniacal laughter seeming to come from all around me as though the very universe is laughing at my insignificance.

Nothing I do is of any consequence– I pull out my “I am bigger than this” sword and it melts to the beasts fire. I wrap myself in “I am worthy’s” but these are easily stripped from my body and again I am naked before him.

I get so wrapped up in fighting this demon creature of the psychic world that I quite lose myself, and forget the wisdom of the inner wizard. Somewhere in the acrid clouds of smoke and burning ego a little voice struggles to be heard. “Create!” says he and the tears begin to flow, washing away the helplessness and fear. And I begin once again the acts of creation. There is where wholeness lay, there the spirit plays and the soul expresses itself freely.

When I am in the act of creating, the dragon vanishes and it matters not what smallish images of self have been conjured for the real self is engaged in the expansive act of creation– the soul freely expresses during the alchemical process of creating and the universe expands to infinity– no room is left for the little knight and his demons.

So what the hell am I talking about? When I have nothing else to do my mind will conjure up all kinds of stuff to grab my attention and that’s when I start feeling depressed and begin to beat myself up. My ego-self can swing radically between noble grandeur and street urchin, from self-love to self-loathing.

Continue reading Fighting Dragons

What’s in a dream?

What’s in a dream? They are the alchemist’s crucible for rendering the common into the divine.

In our waking life we are used to objects retaining Flammarion_Woodcut_1888_Color_2.jpgtheir identity through time and space. This is not so at the subatomic level or within our dreams. Particles can change into other particles or into two particles or morph into something altogether different or merge their identities. At this level there seem to be any number of realities and the different realities seem to interfere with each other on occasion.

What is this that keeps one reality following one set of physical rules while another allows for anything to happen? What is it that exists in one realm of reality and not the other? I posit that it is something called ego-body consciousness. In the waking world this consciousness creates a particular point-of-view but in the sleeping world where the ego-body consciousness has been turned off there is what I call dream-body consciousness that is unrestricted and allows for all points-of-view not unlike the superpositionality of all particles at the subatomic level that don’t become fixed until focused upon.

Is it possible that it is our conscious individual and collective ego-self that determines reality while the unconscious self allows for any reality? There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions of time or space or form in the unconscious mind. Basically it’s ‘anything goes’ i.e. anything and everything is possible because the restrictions on possibility are lifted thus allowing us the freedom to explore what in the waking world are “impossible” possibilities.

Is it any wonder that dreams have opened us to any number of new discoveries and new ways of looking at things? Our dreams have connected us with the divine and the unimaginable; from the common to the sublime they problem solve and restructure perspective, and help us to see who and what we really are. Our dreams not only help us to heal and discover the inner workings of ourselves but the mechanisms of reality itself. Dreams are a way of pulling back the veil to see what lies behind.

“This is not real reality. The real reality is behind the curtain. In truth, we are not here. This is our shadow.”

–Rumi

There are people who want you to believe that there is nothing beyond the veil, in fact they argue that there is no veil. They are like the Wizard of Oz who said to Dorothy “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Most folks don’t know that there is an unconscious mind or that this unconscious world modifies their experience of the conscious world. Most folks can only imagine that the world they see is the only real world. Most don’t know that the world they see is but an illusion, a projection of their biases, their conditioning, and the archetypal material of their subconscious.

So what’s in a dream? The sleeping mind pulls aside the curtain and reveals the hidden world behind– the machinery behind the machinery if you will.

Functioning from Source, the nonlocal I

 

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For the past two weeks I’ve been writing about intention, practical magic, and the universal soul.

I’ve suggested that intention is the basis of all creation because it is ones intent that comes before all learning, reasoning, inference, recall, and action. I’ve tried to show that we are all our deepest intent– our deepest desire. Down in our center we intend that which will ultimately fulfill us e.g. what will make us happy at our spiritual level.

There seem to be two levels to this spiritual level– this soul level. One is our personal soul that which makes up all our personal desires, holds our individual egos (the “I” that we think we are), our experiences and conditioned behaviors. It’s that part of us that operates within the world of space/time, what might be considered our local mind.

Outside of the local mind is the universal soul where the nonlocal or superlocal mind resides. Our “I” self is but a reference point from which we view the greater Self that is the place where together the observer and the observed, the seer and the seen experience and create. It is in this place where everything is possible because at this level everything already exists. But when we trap ourselves in the box of the local mind, the limited mind of the ego and its conditioned behaviors, we cannot imagine anything from the universal and thus are limited in what we can create.

In short, that part of us that you and I believe is the real us, that part we call “I” is the ultimate limiter of the extraordinary beings that we really are. It is this limited local “I” that needs to be transcended, laid aside, before the real magic of our being can be practiced. The individual “I”s of the world need to cooperate i.e. as Deepak Chopra said, “the trees must breathe so I can breathe” so that the illusion of separation can be transcended and we can collectively move beyond our constricted awareness.

We do this by asking ourselves a very simple question when attempting to manifest our intentions, 1) How will attainment of this intention serve me and how will it serve everyone else around me?

If the answer is about fulfillment for me and happiness for all concerned, i.e. for the universal “I” versus just the individual “I”, then we begin to create the extraordinary and magical world about us.

 

Practical Magic

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Frequently in my writings I refer to “magic” but why do I use the word “magic“? Well, mostly my use of the word is to capture people’s attention but I also use it as a means for exploring a place that is found in all of us that is connected to the source of our being and the incredibly fantastic and magical things that can happen when we make that connection.

There is so much more to magic than meets the eye. For the past two weeks I have been writing about what I call “practical Magic”– the magic of the everyday. I’ve even shared a story regarding the psychological underpinnings of the process of developing greater wholeness of the human psyche. Following the studies of C.G. Jung regarding the psychoanalytic implications of Alchemy I’ve jumped into a deeper realm of my own psyche.

In studying the concepts of Practical Magic I’ve run across a number of occult references, all interesting from a psychological projective standpoint, but relatively unhelpful when it comes to the art and practice of transformation.

While digging into these various disciplines, however, I have found a philosophy that makes a great deal of sense and seems, at least to me, to have useful value for the practice of Practical Magic.

I thought that I would share a summary of a portion of what I’ve discovered. In presenting it I have scoured all references to the ancient Asian linguistic traditions that are attached to the philosophy. I’ve done this because it’s made it easier for me to understand and follow through my own linguistic and cultural traditions. I am aware that the cultural tradition of the Asian world is significantly different than that of my own– the western European– and because of that many of the concepts don’t translate well but what I present here is a rather simplified understanding of the foundational concepts of what I’m calling “Transcendent Magic” (not my own word for it has oft been used before and not to be confused with the occult Transcendental Magic) where one allows for the transcendent spirit of the divine to make itself known. 

Continue reading Practical Magic

A doorway into the universal soul

I had a dream recently where I seemed to be everywhere at once. The dream was very disconcerting I’d no sooner noticed where I was than I’d be somewhere else, then nowhere and yet everywhere.

This reminded me of the quantum physics concept of “nonlocality”. In the dream it was only when I noticed myself as being somewhere that the location would change. In the theory of nonlocality everything is potential and it’s only when we make an observation that the field of everywhere and everywhen collapses into a single place. It’s as though reality is what we make of it. It’s only when our ego-selves intervene that everything solidifies into a something.

Some self-awareness gurus like Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and James Redfield suggest that at a fundamental level reality is a non defined soup or eternal soul that exists at the level of potential and only taking form through the personal soul, the soul of all our experiences. As Chopra once said “the soul is the observer in the midst of the observation.” Essentially there is an object that is observed, then there’s the process of observing that happens in the brain, and lastly there’s an observer. The brain is interpreting what is seen based on prior information, observations, relationships, and biases. This is all happening while the “observer” is observing.

In dreams this nonlocal essence is often imaged as an ocean or great sea while the waves represent the local or personal point-of-view. Carl Jung, the early to mid-century Swiss Psychiatrist thought of this vast sea as the unconscious mind where the universal archetypes of the psyche reside– that there is a shared information that crosses all cultures and across all time. Everyone and everything is part of a nonlocal intelligence i.e. an unbounded potential from which we can draw if we learn how. Dreams are but the waves of this vast ocean and present us with information that the conscious mind normally has no access to. They are an access-point or doorway into the universal soul.

Intentionality

In the book The Dragon’s Treasure (Cole, 2009*) a chapter was devoted to the skill of intentionality. My explanation of the power of intention will be drawn from an update on this chapter.

th-2 copy 2.jpgOnes intentions if not fully understood can create havoc with the events of ones life. For example, a confused intention, one where you say one thing but harbor a hidden agenda or desire e.g. someone who claims to want a relationship to work but secretly harbors and end to the relationship will present a mixed message that will ultimately result in a thwarted intention. Though it might also give the “intender” an alibi for the failure i.e. “Well I tried!”

On a societal level the country claims to hold children as a high priority but where this intention is thwarted by how children are frequently treated. For example, “In a society where money and having things is more important than the freedom to express one’s self in a healthy, joyous, and balanced way we see starving children (nearly 25% of America’s children are nutritionally compromised), children with minimal or no health insurance, schools that have become warehouses, children with no voice of their own, abused children (up to 33% of children have experienced some level of physical or sexual abuse), suicidal children, suppressed children, and indifferent children.

“Is this a holy thing to see in a rich and fruitful land

Babes reduced to misery

Fed with cold and usurious hand”

–William Blake

 

The first action regarding your “real” intention is to become clear about what ones “real” or meta-intention is. Because this meta-intention comes only through the ego-self it is always suspect and it’s only the intention that is connected to ones spiritual source without the influence of either the conscious or unconscious ego that has any real magical power. To intend anything is ultimately not to “do” anything but to connect to ones “source”.

One of the most effective ways to manifest the magic of intention might follow with the following cleansing formula: D+W+A   leads to S that then allows for  I where Desire is added to Will and then added to Action that “leads to” Intention being manifest. Make sure that they are aligned with each other. For example, do you have more than one desire regarding the issue? Conflicting or competing desires will render an intention unfulfilled. What you thought you wanted is not what you get i.e. the strongest desire will frequently win out.

With regard to Will is meant “Free will” or choice. If you are not aware or clear about your real desires you are not free to make a clean and willful choice e.g. your hidden desires are making the choice for you. Bottom line, everyone in the world is creating the world out of their real intentions e.g. I want my children to have the best education may be the stated intention but the meta-intention may actually be, “but not at the expense of my flat-screen TV, SUV, or RV (we could add thousands more things to this list such as a strong military to protect us against everything, or walls along the borders to keep the undesirables out, etc.).”

And remember every “choice”, conscious or unconscious, creates a different universe, a different reality.

So how does one get in touch with their unconscious and conflicting desires, after all, they’re unconscious and therefor unknown? Some of the so-called ‘unconscious’ desires are not that unconscious.

Dreams of course come from the unconscious and once decoded can provide a wealth of information regarding ones conflicting desires, but there’s also a waking exercise that is often effective in targeting ones hidden intentions and motivations.

With a friend state the following, “I want____________________.” (describe the desire fully and clearly) then state the opposite, “I don’t want________________________.” (using the same desire). More often than not the real desire will make itself known after you’ve done this process a few times, especially if you also make yourself aware of your feelings while you make the statements.

After this approach you might then ask yourself why you don’t seem to want what you thought you wanted? Do this by asking yourself what would happen if you got what you really wanted and what would happen if you didn’t get it? These questions can help you get some insight about your real desires.

For those really intractable and unconscious desires, following and interpreting your dreams can be especially helpful given that dreams come from the unedited unconscious mind that is they don’t come through the conscious ego-self that tends to bias, confuse, and obfuscate ones real intentions.

When satisfied that you are in full agreement with your desires and are committed to the stated result the “will” will follow and then you can study what actions will most likely produce the desired result. This may of course require fine-tuning as you go along– don’t get too rigid with the action part.

But what about the S in the above formula? That’s the secret to all power. It refers to the Source of all being. Without it’s acknowledgment all we have is the ego trying to make something happen, the “I’m in control and I’m going to make something happen no matter what!” aspect of the ego. Bottom line, intention won’t happen while the ego is involved. Intention doesn’t come through the ego. So where does intention come from?

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*Cole, R.J., The Dragon’s Treasure: The dreamer’s guide to inner discovery through dream interpretation, pages 144-151, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4401-7692-0 (can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as several other international booksellers)

The Archetype expressing itself

Ith copy 35.jpegt’s funny what my dreams conjure and carry into the waking world.
Since a young age I ‘ve thought that this world was a little like a state run asylum. As I grew older this thought remained but had evolved so that I now think of it as an asylum for disturbed souls. But what if as my dream of last night suggested it is where the damaged souls of the anima universum or cosmic soul go to heal?
In the arcana of the soul there are layers of reality the first layer of which is called “ego” the name for the “I” e.g. that identifies as you, me, us.
Collectively we are the “nos” or the “we”,  then comes “anima” the “soul” or the animating force of our existence. Collectively these souls make up the soul of the world that which has been labeled the “anima mundi”.
Greater still is the collection of souls or the “host” if you will, of the “anima universum” or the cosmic soul i.e. the creator.
A number of years ago I wrote a story titled TheArchipelago of dreams: The Island of the Dream Healer (2010). As usual what I do with the development of a story is to let it evolve from whatever kernel of an idea that strikes me and trust that the story will come out as a projection from my as yet unconscious self seeking to be expressed.
In the story there is an island located somewhere between the conscious world and our dreams where the souls of humankind go to be healed after the hosting body has died
I thought at the time that this would be a good medium for expressing the nascent rumbling in my own soul eager to have its say.
As I write its sequel the rumbling has started again and has suggested that the “Island” of the original story is actually Earth itself and that it is here that the damaged souls come to be healed. If so, this would explain why it all looks so crazy. Our souls may be here because they have become dysfunctional and disconnected from the whole and it is here through unfettered self-expression that they learn to reconnect. I wonder if it is here that the healing regimen outlined in The Archipelago of Dreams is what is necessary for the soul to return to the whole?
This begs the question of whether some damaged souls might have to go through multiple lives in order to be healed and reconnected. What happens if some souls remain disconnected forever is that the “eternal hell” of Dante? Does Donald Trump continue his mindless and self-serving ranting across a multiverse of lives for all eternity?

Perhaps our lives here are but a dream imagined into existence through the outward expression of the so-called big bang turning the One into a diaspora of souls all seeking to reunite.

Something New

Dracos84.jpgWell here we go again! The site is an extension of two previous blogs entitled The Dream Dragon and its darker cousin The Somnium Meum Libro. The Dream Dragon blog provided interpreting techniques, information on human behavior, meditation, psychology and general dream meanings. The Somnium Meum blog looked at our darker aspects including the usefulness of our nightmares. The aspects of both blogs will be morphed into this new presentation, The Book of Dreams. There is also a means of sending your dreams to me through the Contact page. Dreams will be interpreted as they come into the queue.

Please have fun with this. My writings are meant to inform regarding current research, philosophy, and practical application of dream meanings. I will also be sharing personal insights.

If you are working with a therapist, my interpretations or insights should not be used as part of any therapeutic program without your consulting with the therapist and sharing them. They also should not be used in lieu of any therapy that your physician or counselor might recommend. Because of the limits on email interactions my interpretations can only be superficial in nature and should only be used as a guide towards further exploration.

Please note that the interpretation(s), and concepts that I provide are not the ultimate meaning of the dream or the varied aspects of the human psyche. Every interpretation or insight is but a hypothesis and an attempt to read what is often an enigmatic narrative. You the dreamer will know what meaning(s) would be your own truth by what you feel in your heart. If it resonates as true, then go with it; otherwise discard it in part, or in its entirety. I can only offer what the dream would mean for me if it were mine.