Be gentle with a dream

 

pencilmadness_image1.jpg

After a dream is caught and you wander through its mysteries, be gentle with it for it is most fragile.

Be careful as you tread the hidden forests of your dreams. They are the unprotected essence of who and what we are. They are the messengers of our souls and our deeper selves. They harbor all our worries and fears, dislikes and rejected aspects, our hopes and our desires laid bare. They are born of the irrational, the imaginal, and the intuitive– a world of being as real and as informative as the rational world of science.

Both the outer mask that we present to the world and the mask turned inward so that we don’t look too deeply at the mysterious inner self are stripped away during our sleep allowing us to see our most beautiful face and darkest shadows. Through our dreams we get a glimpse of what God sees in each and every one of us without judgment or condemnation. Dreams are a grace unearned and a gift to those who will learn to accept them.

Treat them with care, respect, and compassion for they reveal the best of us and the worst of us. They represent our guide through life and the equilibrium and balance that all living creatures need to survive what is often a chaotic world. Our dreams are our inner savior.

They reveal a truth about our emotional state of mind, physical, and psychological health and our sense of the spiritual. They are our deepest connection with every thing, each other and with God or the universal spirit.

They create a nightly map to the experience of being human and if read properly can guide us to worlds not dreamed of through the conscious mind.

And they do all this uniquely for the dreamer who has them. Interpreters can hold our hands briefly and point to the way of the psyche but the individual needs to walk this path alone, it is about their story and life narrative and only they can know their true meaning.

 

“Forgive them Lord for they do not know what they are doing.”

can-we-be-forgiven_724_494_80.jpg

“Forgive them Lord for they do not know what they are doing.” This quote by Jesus prior to his death struck me deeply as a young boy. Here was someone enough outside of their own self-interest outside their own ego that they could understand and forgive the wrong thinking of those who not only tormented him but want to kill him.

This could be construed as intercession but it could also be stating a fact about the human condition where most of humankind is unaware of their true nature and therefore can only act out of misunderstanding. Only someone who was conscious of their real self and the reality of the world around them i.e. someone who could transcend their ego could make such a statement.

When people define and categorize each other they cut off their access to love. When they imagine that who and what they see outside themselves is real without the slightest notion of what they personally added to that reality they affect how love is experienced. Too often they experience the love as something outside themselves and the cause of their experience when in fact they are the cause of what they experience.

Later this week I’ll be posting the Love/Hate conflict in the Dark Knight of the Soul blog. Click on the picture link to the right of these posts.

As one begins to see that they are cause of their reality they begin to be more aware of what’s actually out there beyond their skin, what exists beyond the ego. When this happens the next time they experience love they know that it comes from within them and when they experience hate it is because the love has been buried or projected away.

We long for what we are down deep. It is this longing, this connection that moves us when we see love in any of its many forms.

The feminine soul comes to me through my sleeping dream bringing with her the secret alchemy of wholeness

7e7762fd6bf9896c6e8ec9dd45415ea3.jpg
Traditionally it is thought that the soul of a woman is masculine and the soul of a man is feminine and that it is this interesting opposition that is trying to be reconciled through our dreams and relationships.

 

Seeking I am lead to a place from which I cannot return.

 I am reminded that I am but a visitor here from a place I never left.

 

 She came to me by dream urging me toward distant hills.

 She opened me that I may give birth to the creative.

 Though I sought comfort in ideas, she led me to the song of my heart.

 

 My desire for her is but her desire for me.

 I draw her unto me as she draws me unto her.

 I dream her with every breath

 as she is the breath that dreams me.

–RJ Cole 2017

 

Who is the ‘she’ of whom I speak? She is my soul who animates me– the spirit guide who comes to me as a means of bringing balance to the archetypal dueling forces of the masculine and feminine within me. She came to me in a dream to help my conscious self unite with my spiritual self and invite me to leave the diversions of both my adult and childhood selves behind and scale the mountains beyond where my true self lay. She is the connection with my soul that I yearn for.

Rumi wisdom: A different take on “what you seek you shall find”

th.jpg

You are searching the world for

treasure but the real treasure is

yourself. If you are tempted by

bread, you will find only bread.

What you seek for you become.”

–Rumi

 

Search for intellectual understanding and you’ll miss the spirit. Understanding is the booby prize in life. It will not help you find your soul or manifest your spiritual self. It will not fill the void in your life or provide any lasting meaning. Seek ways to love, to manifest your soul, and find your spiritual self and you will find your true self.

Seek beauty and you’ll become it. Seek outer pleasures and they will fail you. Be in wonder and awe and you will be filled with the spirit. Seek to satisfy the desires of the ego and you’ll miss your real self.

Seek anger and hate and you will become it. Seek mystery and it will fill you with love for self and others. Seek out your shadow self and it will set you free for it is only when you hide it or hide from it that it has control over you. Seek only things and you’ll miss the intangibles, the ethereal, and divine. Seek to give and you’ll receive the whole world. Seek to possess and be possessed. Seek to just be and nothing will own you but you.

Seeking to find that which agrees with you results in missing the truth. If seeking to keep someone you will lose them. Trying to find a truth that fits your reality will forever blind you to reality.

None of these need your understanding in order to become, just their practice will make it so.

 

“You have woken up late,

lost and perplexed

but don’t rush to your books

looking for knowledge.

Pick up a flute instead and

let your heart play.”

–Rumi

A love poem: I dream of Lithia.

lithia-park.jpg

I’m spending a little time in one of my favorite little towns in Southern Oregon when this dream poem came to me.

 

A breeze extends its wings across the pond. A harlequin cloth spreads accross a palette of greens and yellows.

The wake of malards smears the trees bending in reflection upon the darkening pool. Sounds of water and restless leaves whisper in my ear as the sun sets gold and the air stills before the night.

The scent of deepening darkness wraps itself about me as a musk settles and I’m cloaked in her shadowed embrace.

Where did the soul go?

 

18e5d617485722f394c4493e41abd855.jpg

 

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.”

 

door-to-the-soul.png

In the land where the Faery Lantern and Jabberwocky Play

IndigoFairy.jpg

In a potted plant sitting obscurely in a corner of the patio behind our house sits a lamp that when night falls begins to glow an eerie blue. White crystals at its base fracture the light and send it helter-skelter across the garden floor eventually being absorbed into the dense forest of green across the miniature meadow. “What is that Grandpa?” Said my Granddaughter one warm spring evening while we sat in the dark before the moon took over the sky and dispelled the eerie shadows of the night.

“Ah yes, that’s a Fairy Lamp” I explained. “Ohh, what is that?” she whispered.

“A Faery Lantern, the link between two worlds (or the link between worlds) is like what the dream is to those who sleep and leave the world of light for the world of the night, the world of bright consciousness to the world of dark shadows.”

“The faeries are those images that reside within the dream and guide the dream body through the labyrinth of the inner psyche. Like Dickens’ ghosts of the Christmas Carol they cross through time and solid walls as though they didn’t exist. They are of the intuitive and imaginal world beholding to nothing of the material and rational and yet, and yet, hold the very secret of life, the cradle of our soul.”

“Light the lantern and sleep will overtake you and the fairies will come, dancing and flitting, soaring and buzzing through the air with an invitation to follow deeper into the night realm, deeper into the shadows of the unknown.”

“It’s mostly a curious world, a mad hatters craziness that can turn on the moment to either the sublime or upon a nightmarish Jabberwocky” I growled and clawed the air menacingly while my granddaughter recoiled in mock fear.

“It’s a place of wizards, wisdom keepers and great ladies, heroes, lovers, martyrs, tricksters, devils and death. It is a world where unicorns still forage and people can take wing over vast green meadows. Here the archetypal male in us all holds his hand to the female we all share and rejoices in the union that eludes us in the waking world.”

“As we travel through the world of the night the shape-shifting creatures of the dark will lure us into the Neverseen, the Land of Faery and introduce us to our true self. Once met and understood we can never ever be the same.”

“What do you think of that?? I queried and looked over at her, but the faeries had already come and taken her through the light of the lamp. I smiled and pulled my jacket against the encroaching cold.

 

 

My conversation with the night

7512e02395b3e695a55a41ee1762a6b2.jpg

I walked with you tonight and asked again why is it I have to learn lessons if I can’t take them with me when I die? And you answered…”the lessons you’ve learned were never meant for you…they were meant for me”.

“I learn through form”, you said, “with each specific form designed for a specific lesson. You have taught me and continue to teach me well. For this I shall be eternally grateful.”

For a moment I paused in the dark near an old sycamore and let in the words. Am I not more than your teacher? I said.

“You are”, he said.

Who am I then?

“Me”, he said.

I don’t feel as though I am you. It feels separate. Do you mind?

 

“Not at all, he said. When the lesson comes to an end we will continue to the next. There are infinite lessons for you and I, but we have all eternity to study them.”

Heart and mind: A dichotomy?

 

struggle-between-the-brain-and-the-heart-artistic-hd-wallpaper-1920x1200-2305.jpgIn western cultures the heart and mind are seen as a conflicting dichotomy. In the west people generally identify the mind or brain as the main instrument of thought, rationality, and intelligence, whereas the heart represents the irrational or emotional aspect of ourselves. For efficiency decisions if they are to be rational, must be made from the mind and not the heart or so it is believed.

This may have caused the west to become a culture of doing and making as well as forcing and struggling to make things happen. In short, the western culture as represented by the conservative mindset has become very masculine in nature.

Insight: The word for heart and mind in Hebrew is the same word, “lebh”. This is also true in Chinese (xīn ). In these cultures heart and mind work in tandem or together as one as in heart/mind with regard to thought and intelligence.

It is said by many of the wisdom keepers that in order to grow one needs to open both the heart and the mind.

There are many stories from mystics through the ages of how the void within became filled via the heart versus the mind alone. One such story is as follows: Thomas Merton told the story of Saint Lutgarde a 13th century mystic from Belgium. In this story the Saint claimed to have been visited by Jesus in a vision offering whatever gift of grace she desired and she asked for a better understanding of Latin so that she could understand the word of God. At once her mind was flooded by the psalms and readings of the Bible. But still she felt a painful void and emptiness in her soul. She then asked the Christ for an exchange. “And what would you exchange it?” and she said “Your heart Lord”. He granted her wish and took her heart into his breast.

Had Lutgarde discovered that the heart filled the void where things of only the mind did not?

To the artist, poet and writer it is the heart that is manifest as the soul of creativity, but it takes the mind to translate it to the page or canvas. They must work in tandem or there is only emptiness– the void.

To be kind is more important than to be always right. Sometimes all what we need is not an intelligent mind that speaks but a patient heart that listens.

(from: http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Heart_Vs_Mind/)

heart-vs-brain.jpg
The balance between heart and mind

 

Love

 

200.gifAhh, it’s that time of year again when the mind turns toward love, something that’s always in the heart, but most often missing in the mind.

Eros (love), not as a god, or as a thing, or a behavior, or something that engenders pleasure, is an act of being. It’s a meditation of the soul that softens our ego boundaries and allows us for a time to become a part of another person. It gives us a chance to be in the moment, and as such, to touch the eternal.

But it’s not very long-lasting is it? That’s because it’s mostly an act channeled through the ego and therefore subject to all biological and social conditioning.

You’ve heard me speak of the Animus–the male aspect within the female, and the Anima–the female aspect in the male? We all have these dual and somewhat conflicting aspects, but we usually, through conditioning conscious and unconscious, learn to suppress the influences of our opposite gender nature. This suppression makes it difficult to communicate well with the opposite sex that of course leads to misunderstandings.

But the problems don’t stop there because fundamentally we are all solipsistic e.g. mostly self-absorbed and self-interested. In short, the ego-us loves itself and the love for an “other” is often limited by the belief that the “other” is not us.

There’s all kinds of Love; Altruistic service ala Mother Teresa that requires the sacrifice of the ego demands; friendship, also requiring self-sacrifice; erotic love, that for brief moments gives insight into another’s psyche by allowing us to let go of our vulnerabilities and protected self and thus giving us insight into true intimacy; and the mother-child relationship, also requiring sacrifice, service, and vulnerability. When Love comes to the forefront of our lives, compassion–the act of being in another’s shoes–blossoms.

Note that all forms of love require that we give up ego-dominance and that we be willing to let go of self-interest. Actually, it may be in our self-interest to let go of self-interest if we ever want to truly feel that we belong and are loved. This includes giving up the idea of separation between each of us and the separation between our masculine and feminine aspects, as well as our shadows and lights, within us. Love may be the purpose for our existence e.g. to learn to let go of that which reinforces separation in order to experience true wholeness.

Now I know it looks like I’m ego bashing, as though I’m advocating getting rid of the ego, but I’m not. What I am suggesting is that we let go of the dominance of the ego both as it is expressed in the individual and in the world. Perhaps it is the soul and the world that also need to unite for us to experience what we are in order to lift ourselves out of the despair of our human predicaments?

Love I believe is always in us, someone doesn’t put it there, but we can experience it through the opening to another being. I believe that we are here to teach each other the meaning of love. We may be here to open each other up and release our spirits.

 

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” ~Rumi

 

200w-1.gif