Do you know what reality is? I’ll bet you don’t!

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“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”

 –Henri Bergson French philosopher, 1927 Nobelist

Where the optic nerve enters the retina of the eye there is a blind spot that registers nothing. But the mind, the brain, makes up for this empty space by filling in what it thinks ought to be there, not what’s actually there, but what it creates. When seeing in low light there’s an additional blind spot, the Fovea Centralis, that is unable to see color and the objects that are seen are indistinct. As with the optic nerve the brain also fills in the fovea “blindness”.

Don’t believe the blind spot exists? Close your left eye and cast your right eye on the black “cross” sign of the figure below. Move your head close to the screen until the black dot on the right suddenly disappears. The “missing” information will be “patched in” using the surrounding parts of the picture and you see only a white area.

 

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The brain also estimates the size of things by contrasting with surrounding objects. Ever notice how the moon looks at least twice the size when it first rises above the horizon than it does high in the sky? Actually they’re both the same size 1. Also if you were to stand in front of a mirror looking at your face, all looks normal or what you’re normally used to seeing, right? But have you noticed that regardless of how close you are the reflection is only half the size of your real head (measure the mirror image then your head)?

Notice the illusion below: Two different tables right? No, they are actually the same table if you measure them with a ruler.

 

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The above illusion, moon, and mirrored face visuals are all a part of unconscious processes going on in our minds.

And every time we shift our visual attention, the attention of the mind shifts as well. This is part of the bag of tricks wielded by a magician, or even a con artist e.g. shifting your visual attention so as to do something outside your minds focus.

With only a few exceptions in so-called eye-witness testimony people are drastically affected by their level of stress i.e. efficiency of memory goes down with higher stress and then what was seen is stored into recall in a way that makes the most sense to the witness. This is highly dependent on past experiences and prejudices and/or social values. People often will add meaning to their observations that of course affects the observation. For example, the mind will often edit any puzzling or incongruent observations.

Most importantly, and more to the point of this article, what we see is determined by context. A simple proof of this is how we use visual context clues in order to read e.g. You and I can rad this sntnc vn though w hav lft out th ee’s.

Context is also what makes a movie, well… move. In reality it’s just 24 pictures shown per second that when the mind stitches them into a sequence makes it look as though something is moving. 2

 But notice it’s not the context of the external reality that I am referring to. It’s our internal reality that provides the context for what it is we see.

And that brings me back to Bergson’s quote from the beginning of this article. What our minds are ready to comprehend is determined by our beliefs, our past experiences, our prejudices, and expectations. In short, our experience of reality is determined by something other than reality–we see what we believe, not the other way around as the popular quotation goes, “seeing is believing”.

Our mind is conditioned to seeing what it thinks that it should and anything outside that conditioning is just not seen.

In order to open ourselves to new possibilities we must first look at the contexts we have created to see what we are currently looking at. We might also be willing to question what it is we are seeing and what about our own minds may be affecting that vision.

So what really is reality?

Are you sure?

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1See Emmert’s Law to explain this phenomenon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmert’s_law
2 There are some theoretical physicists who have asked the question as to whether there is any movement other than several moments of time stitched by the mind into what appears to be a moving sequence.

 

 

Embodied Cognition: The enlivened Dream

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Not too long ago I was reading an article in the Jan/Feb 2011 Scientific American Mind Magazine. The subject was how body movements and fleeting sensations affect our thinking. This is called “Embodied Cognition.” It reminded me how when I used to give seminars and workshops in the 70’s and 80’s I used to always wear a light colored pastel sweater with audiences that I thought might be resistant, or even hostile to my message. My own research, though narrow, seemed to reinforce the calming and trust inducing effect this had on the audience. Mr. Rogers and his blue cardigan seemed to have it right.

In the article, researchers at Yale University found that rough textures in the environment tend to make social interactions go roughly and that while touching hard/cold objects in the environment would affect the perception of rigidity. The article implied that drinking something warm on a first meeting between people would increase the feeling of warmth toward each other vs. the drinking of something cold.

Physicality has always played an important role on our perceptions and our learning. Educators have known for years that children learn their letters and words easier when they use large arm movements to ‘draw’ the letter, or word in the air.

Using “manipulatives” while learning math principles has also proven effective in elementary learning situations. Adults build models of chemical reactions to extend their learning and to enhance the discovery process.

We also know that simulating an action while reading a story increases the comprehension of that story. This concept is one of the generating principles behind the effectiveness of Gestalt therapy and Active Imagining, both of which I’ve mentioned in earlier Blogs. Mentally simulating body movements has been a technique to help embody a routine in gymnastics or on the field of various sporting activities. When I was in community theater the director would have us go through all our movements mentally before the play so as to help build the action into the body’s memory.

Re-embodying a dream after you have awakened by selecting a prominent image from the dream and bringing it back into the imagination while quietly meditating can allow one to interact with the image and gain greater insight as to why it has visited the dream.

The embodied cognition effect also shows up when you journal a dream. The mere act of writing a dream down immediately after waking stimulates and reinforces the recall of that dream and in many cases the recall of many subsequent dreams.

Causes of world unrest: Thinking that only your point-of-view is the right one.

 

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There seems to be so much unrest in the world and intolerance of each others points-of-interest appears to be at an all time high.

Some of my dreams express my own intolerance, points-of-view, and how resistant I can be sometimes to those points-of-view that don’t agree with mine (of course there is a remote possibility that I’m right).

First a few definitions might be in order before we dive into the factors that may be energizing the world’s current unrest.

Self-questioning

noun

  1. examination of one’s own actions and motives, self-contemplation, self-examination, self-questioning, self-reflection, soul-searching.

Intolerance

noun

  1. unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own. “a struggle against religious intolerance” Bigotry, narrow-mindedness, prejudice, bias, partiality, inequality, partisan

Literalism:

noun

  1. adherence to the explicit substance of an idea or expression. Adherence to the exact letter or the literal sense, as in translation or interpretation: as in biblical or religious literalism.

 

Intolerance leads to contraction (vs. growth), insularity (vs. openness), imbalance (unbalanced point-of-view, unbalanced behavior, psychological disturbance) and death. Basically, the soul embraces diversity and the ego does not.

Literalism can cause intolerance and intolerance can sustain literalism and that cuts off any further development and over time leads to a diversion from reality. When this diversion becomes too severe it becomes a psychosis, defined loosely as an “abnormal condition of the soul” characterized by a loss of contact with reality and exhibiting thought disorder. Some who show psychotic behavior exhibit an extraordinary belief in something that just isn’t true, that the facts will not support e.g. women are weak, men are strong therefor men must control and protect women for their own good.

What usually keeps a false belief (or bias) in place is that the mind that has it has been conditioned to not explore the truth or inner motivations and causations behind the belief. Literalism, again, trumps inner or outer questioning and the false belief remains entrenched. Anyone who begins to question thus becomes a danger to the prevailing dogma and has to be either brought back into the system or expunged from it. Many extremists and militants can be said to exhibit delusional qualities even though they themselves can’t recognize it.

So who’s reality are we talking about? Is the mystic psychotic? Is the fundamentalist psychotic? Is the zealot psychotic? How delusional does one have to be to qualify and when does the imbalance become a danger to themselves and/or others? Usually one needs to exhibit the symptoms over an extended period of time and to a great degree. When the delusions take on paranoid qualities and the person begins to act on or against them they can be injurious to others as well as themselves.

Some people experience momentary breaks with material reality when going through an epiphany or have been under prolonged stress or deprivation while some show only mild forms of delusion due to environmental and cultural influences. These don’t usually trigger the diagnosis of psychosis.

Some of the symptoms of psychoses, especially that of delusions, seem to reflect in those having a mystical experience. However, these are temporary. There’s a shift in awareness that persists over time but the disconnect from reality that the psychotic experiences is only temporary in the mystic. The mystic learns to work with the reality of the everyday through the shifted point-of-view whereas a person with psychosis becomes broadly, if not permanently if no intervention is available, delusional and unable to reliably work with reality in a balanced way.

Also under the right circumstances the psychosis of a few can generate a contagious reaction amongst the many and is usually reinforced and maintained through external psychological and sociocultural influences e.g. religious interpretation, regional cultural beliefs.

As I’ve suggested before reality is an expression of our level of consciousness, what we see is a reflection of our inner development or lack thereof i.e. if you only perceive variations of negative, guess where that’s coming from? And until we come to grips with that realization reality will run us ragged with fears and hatreds and resentments and harden our hearts and minds.

Essentially reality will support our level of development e.g. if we are prejudiced, intolerant, fearful and exclusive, the universe, aka reality, will present us with all kinds of experiences along these lines. In other words, if we say “fuck you” to the world the world will return it in kind– put out negative energy and that’s what you’ll get in return– often the energy is not out there it is within yourself. Without self-examination one is doomed to frequent failure (not total failure because even a broken clock is right twice a day).

 

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

–Socrates

 

Socrates’ statement here might be a little over the top. But he was suggesting that each of us in order to be fully human need to be self-examining otherwise we don’t rise above the level of the animals. I wouldn’t suggest that those who don’t internally question life shouldn’t continue to live or aren’t worth as much as might be implied by such a statement as Socrates’.

But life becomes so much richer and so much less fearful when one examines life while they’re living it. Being free to question life liberates the soul and keeps people balanced while an unexamined and unquestioned life restricts a person’s soul and creates imbalance. As I said at the beginning of this post, “The soul embraces diversity the ego does not.“ Another way of saying that is what rejects diversity is not of the soul, not of the divine that is boundless, but of the small bound-up “skin encapsulated ego” *.

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* A phrase attributed to Alan Watts (theologian and philosopher– 1915 to 1973, though some might say he was an Eastern Mystic in an Englishman’s body). I am suggesting that this socially conditioned “skin encapsulated ego” is the ultimate definition of separateness e.g. what is ‘me’ and what is ‘not me’ and is therefore the foundation for all exclusion, prejudice, intolerance, fear and bigotry.

 

 

Consciousness. What is it?

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“There is an Indian fable of three beings who drank from a river: one was a god, and he drank ambrosia; one was a man, and he drank water; and one was a demon, and he drank filth. What you get is a function of your own consciousness.” 



                     –Joseph Campbell, Myths of Light,  “The Jiva’s Journey,” p. 46

 

Of what do psychologists and philosophers speak when they invoke the word “Consciousness?”

At a rudimentary psychological level some define it as “awareness,” that is further defined as knowledge gained through personal perception, the recognition of something felt—that is ‘sensed.’

In the above quote from Joseph Campbell there seems to be another layer implied e.g. something residing between what is perceived and what is processed. In short, something is acting upon the information coming into the individual that affects the processing of it—a filter if you will.

Filters, we all have them–they are our judgments, biases, expectations, beliefs, philosophies, values, experiences and memories. Whether this material resides in our conscious mind or in the shadows  of our unconscious, these things affect our level of consciousness, self-awareness, and our level of alertness to reality if you will.

At a deeper, and more spiritual, level consciousness has been defined as the “Knower” or the “Observer”–something that observes itself, its feelings and its thoughts, the ground-state of our being. It is, some say, what you experience when you have quieted the mind from its incessant chatter. Others say it is what the chatter is being directed toward e.g. what is listening when you talk to yourself.

At first glance this consciousness, this knower, appears to be located somewhere alongside our mind that is the ego-thing that’s doing all the chattering. But is it? How do we explain the phenomena of distance viewing, or distant communication as when you’re thinking of cousin Harry whom you’ve not heard from in ages and the phone rings?

There’s a great deal of research that’s been done (some funded through DARPA) looking into the reality of distant viewing and finding it to be real under certain conditions. Some people can instantly ‘see’ things that are happening miles away (The Russians just love this stuff!).

Some physicists (e.g. Fred Allan Wolfe and Gary Zukav) have played around with the ground-state, or ‘universal field’, idea of consciousness as well as the concept of remote connectedness that is implied by remote viewing and have made some tentative conclusions that consciousness is independent of the sentient creatures it seems to inhabit–so much so that it exists eternally, or at least since the Big Bang.

It seems that to the degree to which a person can cleanse their perception-filters and thus get a clearer perception of reality this also affects their ability to connect with this level of consciousness. It may even be this consciousness that makes it possible to see things beyond ones temporal and physical location.

Certainly it would at least make it possible to see outside ones bias, the bias that believes there is no bias, so as to transcend the waking fantasy world dream that the vast majority of us humans think of as reality.

Consciousness continued

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When we react to real world stimuli e.g. sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell only a small fraction of what is in our consciousness is recorded into our awareness with the rest going into the unconscious. Even those data that have been perceived consciously have gone into the subconscious mind and thus have become psychic events whose nature may then become unknowable to us.

Generally speaking these unconscious aspects can be revealed through the dream not as rational thoughts, but as symbolic visions.

Because this unconscious information takes up so much room in the psyche it can have enormous effect on our lives if not brought into our awareness, our consciousness. This unconscious can in effect rule us irrationally.

This is precisely what constitutes neuroses. When too much of our mind becomes split there is what psychologists term “dissociation.” Primitives termed this as a “loss of the soul” and often it was what they referred to as the “bush soul”, or the animal soul, that was lost. Many rituals would be performed by the local shaman to help heal, or at least balance the split caused when a person radically dissociated their psyche. For the American society this is the job of the local psychiatrist, psychologist, or sometimes clergy.

I see this split pervading the society as a whole and I wonder if the society has split itself off from the deeper parts of its psyche? There seems to be a societal dissociation that has revealed itself in our severe polarization. It separates nearly everyone from their inner nature and has caused a cultural neurosis the symptoms of which seem to be a frantic effort to fill a non-existent void (I say ‘non-existent void’ because I think we have only misplaced our bush soul and not lost it altogether).

We try to fill what appears to be missing through the neurotic acquisition of things such as clothes, cars, houses, “newageisms”, right religious expression, money, right spouses, the best team, children, and diplomas. It shows up in our lust for the newest thing in technology, or foods, or diets, or husbands, or wives, or sex. It shows up when we follow the political phenomena of, “Throw the bastards out!” as an attempt to correct the perceived wrong done to us by our politicians.

But it’s not “out there” where the problem lay, it’s in the collective “in here” (point toward your own heads and hearts).

Our consciousness has become fragmented, disrupted if you will, and has left us chasing after ephemera. We have lost our connection with our soul. I think that we can only find our hidden soul by looking into the recesses of our unconscious and reconnecting the disparate parts of the psyche.

Beginning work with consciousness

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Found on: Eddie Calz @ Deviantart

 

Beginning work with consciousness, dreams, or shadow work can often produce a disturbance in ones reality. Many people who aren’t ready for it just say it’s utter nonsense and refuse to even take a look. Looking into that part of oneself that is largely unconscious can be disconcerting, confusing, and sometimes frightening. It’s not something to be entered in on lightly because the journey will take you to places you didn’t even know were there and this will over time transform your life–it will literally shift your reality.

Because of my fascination with mirrors and the perspective on reality that they present, I have a device that I purchased some time ago called a Pseudoscope. When looking through it what is seen shifts with the right eye seeing what the left should and vice versa. In this way the background becomes the foreground, convex becomes concave and the brain begins to fight with the senses for a new reality and creating an uncomfortable disturbance. Typically the brain tries to suppress the new reality, the new interpretation of space that is revealed.

This has become my waking life metaphor for what can happen when exploring a new reality as it is revealed through the interpretation of dreams, meditation images, and mindful awareness.

Most people will make the shift and find that it enhances their experience of the world, but a few will experience great difficulty, especially those who have habitually resisted new input in their lives.

As with anything that you want to master, “practice makes perfect” or at least it makes you better at it. Many people who start to explore the usefulness of dreams find that they begin to remember more dreams. As one develops a greater understanding of symbols and metaphor they also begin to see the world as a much richer experience than they ever thought possible. As one expands their awareness input beyond the basic five senses a broadening transformation happens, subtle at first, but growing as one develops greater skill.

And transformation is an interesting phenomenon in that when it happens it spreads not only within the present moment but both forwards and backwards through time so that former understandings seem almost quaint in retrospect and are understood differently. This of course effects not only the present, but also the future relationship with reality as well.

In the novel, The Archipelago of Dreams* Robert experiences this transformation and expanded awareness and in the How-To book, The Dragon’s Treasure* one can learn the particulars of the transformation process.

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*See Books by Author in right hand column

“and Grace will lead me home”

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The other night I had a dream where I was being acknowledged for something I felt I hadn’t really earned. This morning I wondered where in my life I might be claiming unearned acknowledgement when I realized that perhaps the negative might also be true. Where in my life might I be rejecting acknowledgment e.g. claiming unacknowledgment? Then it came to me that I’ve often received acknowledgment that seemed to come from nowhere, unbidden and having done nothing to earn it.

This is the stuff of religions as in the mystical hand of the universe intervening for no reason into the lives of ordinary people. Some people would call this Grace.

Sometimes acknowledgment is just acceptance, assent and affirmation i.e. a declaration of your right to exist, just as you are and as an appreciation of that fact.

There were many times in my life when had not grace been there, I might not physically still be here. Many of us have those traumas in life where we wonder why we’re still here. I’ve been in a situation where in combat the person near me died while I continued to stand. I have stumbled on many occasions where I could have met my death, or suffered extreme trauma and yet I survived unscathed. There have been times when events have presented themselves in such a way that doors of opportunity opened that I had never known existed and I’ve walked through into a whole new world.

None of this happened because I was more special, or had somehow earned the grace offered. The truth is I don’t know why–why me, and why not them? Many of them certainly deserved it more than I.

 

“Through many dangers, toils and snares…

I have already come.

T’was Grace that brought me safe thus far…

and Grace will lead me home.”

–John Newton

 

That line from the hymn Amazing Grace speaks to me like never before. Its meaning for me has evolved over the years. The use of the word, “home” not only refers to a spiritual home, but to the place where my soul resides and where the body rests, or interacts with the other “bodies” of this world. In a very profound way, everywhere I find myself is my home in that it is becoming a reflection, or projection, of the home I carry with me. I consider it grace to have lived long enough to experience my life in this way, not that I’m always conscious of that experience in that I still need continuous reminders like the other night’s dream.

I hope you experience your life as the Grace that it is.

 

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Everything you wanted to know about Easter

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“The term ‘Easter’ is not of Christian origin. 

It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles
of the Chaldean (Babylonian) goddess….
the pagan festival of ‘Easter’… was introduced into
the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt
to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity”

– Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary
of Old and New Testament Words
(1985, p. 192, “Easter”).

 

Easter is full of symbolism. Here are a few of those symbols and their origins:

 The Egg as a Symbol of New Life:

In many cultures, the egg is viewed as the symbol of new life. It is, after all, the perfect example of fertility and the cycle of rebirth. In early Christian cultures, consumption of the Easter egg may have marked the end of Lent. In Greek Orthodox Christianity, there is a legend that after Christ’s death on the cross, Mary Magdalene went to the emperor of Rome, (Tiberius Caesar) and told him of Jesus’ resurrection. The emperor’s response was along the lines of “Oh, yeah, right, and the egg in your hand is red, too.” Suddenly, the egg turned red, and Mary Magdalene joyfully began preaching Christianity to the emperor.

Most children and families who color or hide Easter eggs as part of their Resurrection Sunday tradition have no knowledge of the origin of these traditions. Easter egg activities have become a part of Western culture. Many would be surprised and even dismayed to learn where the traditions originated. “The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians (those nasty people who nearly wiped out the Jews and destroyed the Temple). They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size that was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg – according to the ancient story – the Goddess Astarte (Easter) [Semiramis], 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. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals. The egg was also a symbol of fertility; Semiramis (Easter) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother Goddess, and it even bears one of her names.

Easter egg hunt:

As for the Easter egg hunt, a fun game for kids, actually has a darker meaning, For centuries pagans due to Because of centuries of religious propaganda and misinformation, Pagans were once killed for their Religious belief.

As Christianity rose and the ways of the “Old Religion” were shunned, people took to hiding the eggs and having children make a game out of finding them. This would take place with all the children of the village looking at the same time in everyone’s gardens and beneath fences and other spots.

It was also customary to leave food and drink out for the fairies on the nights of festivals, and it is believed that if the fairies were not honored with gifts at these times, they would work mischief in the lives of the town folk.

Pre-Christian Eggs:

Mary Magdalene and the red egg (see above) was not the earliest example of an egg as a spring symbol. In Persia (modern day Iran), eggs were painted for thousands of years as part of the spring celebration of No Ruz, the Zoroastrian new year. Today in Iran, the colored eggs are placed on the dinner table at No Ruz, and a mother eats one cooked egg for each child she has. The festival of No Ruz predates the reign of Cyrus the Great, whose rule (580-529 BCE.) marked the beginning of Persian history.

Bunnies, Hares, and Ostara:

There are some claims that the original Easter eggs were Pagan symbols from Europe, but there’s little evidence to support this. Instead, it seems to be a more middle-eastern tradition. However, in Europe there may have been a goddess named Eostre, whose name gave us both Ostara and Easter. The Saint Bede, known as the father of English history, 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.

In some early cultures, 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 European folklore, the rabbit connection to eggs is one based on confusion. In the wild, hares nest in what is known as a ‘form’ – basically, 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 form.

The character of the “Easter bunny” first appeared in 16th-century German writings, which said that if well-behaved children built a nest out of their caps 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.

Today, the Easter business is a huge commercial venture – Americans spend nearly $1.2 billion a year on Easter candy, and another $500 million on Easter decorations each year not to mention the average of $26.11 spent on special Easter clothing per each celebrant. Up to 700 million Easter “Peeps” and 57 million Easter cards are sold today during the Easter season as well.

The Easter Rabbit

The rabbit is well known as a sexual symbol of fertility. In various parts of the world, religions that developed from Babel also associate the rabbit with cycles, both human and lunar (Egypt, China, etc.). As you may remember, the Mother Goddess Semiramis (Easter) is associated with the Moon. In other words, the Easter bunny sometimes symbolizes the Mother Goddess. Springtime fertility rituals were associated with worship of the Mother Goddess and Tammuz, the reincarnation of her husband Nimrod.

 

“The consort of Eostre – was none other than a hare
(rabbit) – that great animal symbol of fertility.”

-The Origin and History of the Easter Bunny
by Allen Butler

 

And at Ostara, it is customary to leave something sweet (honey, or mead, or candy)–could this be connected to the Easter basket tradition?

More dream symbols related to Easter:

Chicks

To see a chickadee in your dream indicates that you need to pay attention and become aware of something unique and special occurring in your life.

Spring

To dream of the season of spring, suggests new beginnings and creative endeavors. It is also a symbol for warmth, virility and fruitfulness.

Fields

To see green fields in your dream (often represented by green grass in an Easter basket), symbolize great abundance, freedom, and happiness. You may also be going through a period of personal growth.

Basket

To see a basket in your dream, symbolizes the material body. It also represents the things that you are holding onto.

 

Where did the soul go?

 

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Basically I think all humans are children; whether healthy, hurt, or abused, playful or withdrawn, happy or sad, expressive or withdrawn a part of us never grows up. We learn to put on masks so as to look appropriate and acceptable because to not do so runs the risk of rejection. We learn to say, “I don’t care” when we really do. We learn to hide any emotion that might result in a challenge to our survival. And it’s not just physical survival we care about but our psychological, emotional and ego survival as well.

We come into this world with a number of personalities some of which are heightened and some of which are squashed. The society of children and the parents of children who have their own inner child squashed and compromised inadvertently pass on their hurts and limits until eventually very little of the soul that came into the world is reflected in the being that is enlivened by it.

There comes a time that if we express the free spirit of our childhood at all it’s only through the overindulgence of drugs, alcohol, Halloween dress-up, or singing in the shower.

Perhaps it’s time to break out of the box we’ve built and trapped ourselves in. It’s safe, yes, but safe from what? Life? All too often we are the enemy we are hiding from. We are the fox in our own henhouse.

What then? How can we protect ourselves from ourselves?

But I don’t think we came here to be safe and well protected. We came here to run, jump, play in the mud, finger paint, sing, act crazy, love and be loved. But it’s so hard to do that inside a cramped little box. The ego likes boxes but the soul does not. We try so hard to be accepted and acceptable to everyone and everything that we lose the very side of us that came here to play. And one day we wake up and say, “Where did you go?”

But slow down, take a deep breath, be quiet, and listen and just maybe you’ll hear a little voice from deep within declare,

“I’m still here, deep down beyond the masks, the walls, the fear and worry. Just take one step outside, then another and another and you’ll find me again, waiting to play. Knock on the door and giggle and romp with me, sing silly songs and we’ll tell each other stupid knock-knock jokes. Look foolish and ignore the parent for just a few playful moments, there’s plenty of time to be serious later. Don’t waste another precious moment, come to my house and let’s play.”

 

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A Blog about Soul

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Recently I received an email asking why I write about Faeries and gods, goddesses, things that go bump in the night, and alchemy? Why don’t I just write about dreams given that it’s a blog about dreams?

Fundamentally it’s all a dream whether you’re awake or asleep. We assign meaning to every object and event in our experience whether awake or asleep.

We don’t know reality no matter how much we study it, assign names to it or try to understand it. My blog is not about reality. It’s not really about dreams either.

Ultimately my blog is only a reflection of my soul. I am trained as a scientist holding advanced degrees in behavioral science, psychology, and education. I believe in the scientific process toward understanding the world about and within. But I also have an indefinable something called a soul that is not always fed by science and the secular understanding of the world. The more I learned and thought I understood I still found an empty place within me, a void if you will that could not be filled by intellect alone. The truth seems to be that there is a great something that cannot be defined with all our science and technology.

I write about mystery, deep wonder and awe for these are at the core of our being, our soul. I dig deep within the imagination to find the grist of what sustains me emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. I call this soul and soul is the felt vitality and essence of being human.

Our dreams come from the imaginal, the core of our being, and can open us to the ineffable, the indefinable part of ourselves that gives us life, vitality, and meaning. Without soul there is no meaning just mechanics. Without soul you and I cannot touch each other and we would feel hollow and empty.

Our dreams come from the soul and are continuously telling us what is needed and wanted in order to feel vital and truly alive. Our dreams reflect all our aspirations and where our meaning can be found. They come from the place of our myths, poetry, creativity, and art of all kinds. In short, they reflect who and what we really are.

So my answer to the above question is that I write about soul as I discover all its parts and variations through the medium of my dreams and my reflection upon them.