The act of something or someone disappearing in dreams

In dreams there is often an image of a person or an object disappearing. This can be in reference to your fears and anxiety about certain people or things disappearing or dying in your waking life or aspects of yourself or your life that you have ignored and that may be disappearing. The images may actually be trying to bring your attention to what you are not seeing in the world around you or in yourself. Nightmares are often the penultimate attention-getter in ones dreams if what you are not seeing threatens your well-being.

A form of disappearing in ones dreams is the act of “fading” and may be symbolic of a loss of energy being felt but not being attended to adequately. One’s drive or motivation may be fading or disappearing altogether. This symbolism has shown up in the dreams of some people during the Covid-19 lock down.

The phenomenon of disappearance also shows up in the waking world and I bring it up here so as to bring your attention to it. As an educator and psychologist I knew that it was important to keep certain points of view such as behavior rules present and conscious to the students. This is why teachers occasionally go over class rules beyond their initial presentation, why the students often participate in the process of creating the rules, and why they are often posted on the classroom wall. However, it has been shown that if a posted set of rules stays fixed they disappear from the student’s consciousness. This is why some teachers know to periodically move the rules posters and bring the student’s attention to it.

We of course don’t always see what is right in front of us. In fact we probably miss most of what is out there however, the unconscious mind will often pick up on what we are not attending to and it’s from the unconscious mind that our dreams are generated.

 When it comes to visual recognition the brain needs among other things context for the object to be recognized that is how an object resembles previous objects and whether recognition is important enough for the brain to devote energy to the process. Attention slips or is never engaged if the object doesn’t demand enough attention. Also if the object is embedded with too many other objects e.g., your kitchen tools drawer, the brain needs to work harder and the risk for missing certain objects even the one being looked for increases. Also if there is no context for an object that is if there is nothing for the brain to compare it with i.e., something that is so alien to experience it may not be seen by the brain and therefor does not exist to that individual or collectively to any number of individuals.

In short, there are probably many things in our visual experience that we do not see that are functionally invisible or that have disappeared from sight but that are actually there.

Though this may heighten one’s sense of the mysterious it can also actually affect the choices we make and how some of those choices may seem irrational (rational output depends on rational input). If something is truly not visible to us our decisions can be adversely affected. Advertisers and politicians use this fact to emphasize what they want people to see so that their decision-making regarding the object or concept or person is directed along a pathway of the advertiser’s or politician’s choosing versus that of the person being manipulated.

A good technique for making activities and events disappear is to continuously bombard the populace with outrageous visual and cognitive stimuli so that they become overwhelmed and cannot focus properly, this is what the current federal government administration in the United States is doing. In this way they can hide in plain sight the questionable activities they use to manipulate people to their advantage. To overcome this one needs to be aware of what is behind the curtain in this fantasy land of OZ in order to see what is really there. But be careful the Wizard doesn’t want you to pay any attention to the man behind the curtain for if you do the whole fantasy will collapse and the Wizard will lose his power.

We need to pay attention to our dreams and to what we are not seeing in the current crises, ignore the redirection and deliberate Tweeted misdirection of the political “wizards” and focus on what they’re are actually doing behind the curtain. What do “they” want you to focus on i.e., what do they agree you should focus on for that agreement or direction is a ruse and only meant to obfuscate. We need to pay closer attention to what’s actually out there in both our dream and our waking realities. Our very lives depend on it.

No inherent meaning?

 

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Not too long ago I had someone pooh-pooh the idea of there being any inherent meaning to dreams.

What I asked him was, “What evidence do you have that there is inherent meaning in anything?”

He then proceeded to give me the meanings for things and I asked after each one of his assigned meanings, who gave that meaning to the object, or event? “Someone did, an expert, everybody agrees that’s what it means!” He exclaimed in frustration. I then went on to point out how many times in history the meaning of something that was created by an expert, or accepted by the collective turned out to be wrong. I also talked about how something can have several meanings depending on one’s point-of-view, cultural view, values, and experience. “Do you not have thoughts that you commit to words that you have given meaning to and then you put them out into the environment and leave it up to the listener to interpret? Are the words really independent of the speaker, or of the listener? If something can have so many meanings, what is the inherent meaning?”

What I was trying to get at was that there is (prepare yourself) no inherent meaning.

You and I are meaning machines. We are constantly giving meaning to everything we see and every event that we experience. And these meanings are uniquely personal, uniquely ours. Seen this way, the discourse between individuals can be a discovery process, a learning–an expansion toward enlightenment.

This is why I constantly caution the dreamer to follow his own meaning for the persons, places and things in their dream and to use the analysis of an outside interpreter as only a guide.

The meanings of events, things and people in our dreams are no different than they are in our waking lives. Yes, when we are awake the story-line seems to flow more smoothly and follows some kind of logic, but the dream story-line also follows its own logic and the discontinuity that often forms the story-line in a dream seems to be a function of the REM eye movement.

Now you might say that some dream events can be quite bizarre such as flying, or fighting dragons, but so what? Most of us don’t spend much time noticing the bizarreness of ordinary life because we have a built-in bias, a predetermined explanation that deletes anything that doesn’t fit the accepted cognitive paradigm (personal or collective) i.e. it doesn’t even register into consciousness.

In the dream state, that filter is shut down and what is not noticed consciously is released from the subconscious (no, I’m not saying that there are dragons that you’re not noticing, at least not real ones). If these unnoticed events are not brought to consciousness through the process of dream analysis they will be dumped, deleted, trashed. Dream analysis is nothing more than doing to the things of life that we normally do when conscious, only we are doing it with the unconscious material picked up while awake and exposed through the dream.

In our waking lives people and events are often mirrors to ourselves in that they reflect the image we project. If we project fear, then we see fearful things in the mirror of the world. In short, when we hide the essence of who we are, then we can only see the image that we project reflected in the world.

The discontinuity and otherworldliness of a dream

 

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I’ve noticed that in my dreams events seem to occur chaotically as though pieces of images were scattered randomly across a table and picked up in no particular order, much as I’d do if I were filling in the center of a jigsaw puzzle. For example, in the dream I would find myself in front of a wall, in a hall behind it, momentarily at one end, the other end, facing it as though I had never moved, then without warning I’d be outside. These snippets would often repeat but not in any particular order.

When I awoke and began to describe the dream in my journal I would create a somewhat linear narrative e.g. I might say “there I stood before a wall looking from one end to the other. As I peeked behind the wall I suddenly* found myself outside.

In order to bring the experience of the dream images into consciousness I would have to run the discontinuous images through a more rational filter i.e. the linear world of the conscious mind, the ego-mind as it were. This is because the dream comes to us in images and emotions and not in words that require some sort of linear pattern to make any sense.

The “experience” of the dream is almost always different than its description. This is due to the fact that the unconscious mind produces dreams in a non-linear manner. In our waking lives we also may not experience events in a continuous way but due to the way our consciousness is wired we will force the narrative into some linear form that makes sense to us. In short, there are experiences and there are descriptions of these experiences– often two different realities.

Inherently dreams are discontinuous in nature as though they take place outside of time and even outside of space certainly outside the time and space that we are used to in a three dimensional world.

Certain waking visions seem to follow this outside-of-time pattern as well when one may feel as though all of space and time is falling inside one tiny area or moment. It’s a feeling where time stops, but incorporates all the past, present and future simultaneously. These usually unbidden visions can leave us breathless and with an expanded experience of reality that never completely goes away.

It’s like walking through a dream and suddenly becoming aware that you are walking through a dream– a moment of lucidity within the dream of our lives and a chance given by the fates to explore the images of the dream carefully, and in broadened detail, so as to see where they are taking us.** Using these times of lucidity whether in the sleeping or waking dream provides us an opportunity to go deeper into their meaning and enrich our reality.

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*In Fred Alan Wolf’s book “The Dreaming Universe” the physicist suggests that words such as “suddenly” used in an experiential description are often seen in the narratives of those who have experienced Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as well as alien abduction stories. In other words, in those who have experienced otherworldly realities.

** One can also explore the images of a dream by re-embodying the dream through a meditative imagination technique known as Active Imagining.

 

Who are you? (3)

Who are you?

A couple of years ago I wrote two posts* that posed the question, “Who are you?” I’m still pondering that question and thought I’d share what I’ve come up with since then.

Self-discovery, true self-discovery where the soul illuminates the ego rather than the ego darkening the expression of soul or adding false light upon itself can be a tricky process. You know when you’re on the right track when your discovery brings awe, beauty, and happiness. This seems pretty simple, so why is it so hard?

I think part of the reason rests in from what part of ones self one is asking the questions. Asking questions and pondering answers generated from the ego-self almost always complicates the process and limits the results.

Sometimes even asking a question at all can distort reality. Sometimes in order to “hear” one needs to shut-up.

Sometimes just observing, watching, looking, minding (as in being mindful), hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing is all one needs to open the door to enlightenment. Note that I don’t say anything about “doing” anything with any of that incoming awareness data? That’s because “doing” usually shuts the process down whereas the act of “being” keeps the process relevant and alive.

Try the following:

Step outside, go on… what do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you see? You named it all didn’t you e.g. a “dog” “barking”; new-mowed grass; it’s hot out, must be 90 degrees for god’s sake!; there’s the neighbor playing with their one year old–cute little guy.

Now, try stepping out and observe without doing anything with what you notice. Much quieter, huh? Sometimes when I do this, not only does a sense of peace well up, but tears of happiness, feelings of belonging ,and sometimes a sense of being big enough to include it all–of being bigger than I was before stepping out the door pervades my consciousness. But as soon as I start labeling the experience…poof! It all goes away.

When I “decide” what it is that I’m experiencing I immediately kill all the alternatives, I objectify a subjective experience, I limit the experience. To add “cide” to almost any word means to kill the alternative or object.

Now, it’s not that the process of deciphering and deciding has no usefulness, because on the contrary it’s an evolutionary security process and the faster you can accurately do it, the greater the chance of your personal survival. So I wouldn’t ignore this skill when walking down a dark alley, but one does not have to treat their whole life in survival mode.

When the stresses generated by my mind’s reaction to reality begin to weigh heavily on me sometimes just quieting it by stepping outside and letting the reality wash over me without trying to corral it i.e. define it or add meaning to it will center me and bring me peace.

What does this have to do with the original question, “who are you?” It’s about telling the truth about an observation, whether that observation comes from outside you or from within. It’s about opening to the unvarnished, unmediated experience of reality.

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* https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/who-are-you-2/

and

https://thebookofdreamsblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/who-are-you/

Who is dreaming?

 

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Wise men and women have for millennia wondered if what we have assumed was objective reality was only a dream.

Edgar Allen Poe who once queried, “Is life but a dream within a dream?” What a curious question! Is he questioning whether we can distinguish between what is fantasy or reality? Isn’t this inability to distinguish fantasy from reality part of the very definition of what is considered magical thinking and a component of an obsessive-compulsive thinking disorder?

As I looked into this question I found that the Australian Aborigine thinks that we are continuously within a dream that creates what we call reality.

“I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not.” Exclaimed the 20th century philosopher Bertrand Russell.

The Toltecs believed that we are the dream of God. They suggested that God is dreaming the world into existence. This seems very much like the Australian Aboriginal world-view and not too different in essence to the book of Genesis.

But what happens when God awakens from the dream?

A Taoist philosopher, Chuang Tzu, Relates that he had a dream of being a butterfly and when he awoke he asks whether he was Chuang Tzu dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Tzu?

He went on to say,

“Someday comes the great awakening when we realize that this life is no more than a dream. Yet the foolish go on thinking they are awake: Surveying the panorama of life with such clarity, they call this one a prince and that one a peasant—What delusion! The great Confucius and you are both a dream. And I, who say all this is a dream, I, too, am a dream.”

 So which is the illusion, the sleeping dream or my waking life? And where does truth lie, in the every day or in the fantasies of my dreams?

The psychotherapist Carl Jung posited the idea of complexes i.e., a core pattern of emotions, images and ideas that influence everything we see or think or feel. Along with these mostly unrecognized complexes there are also ancient archetypes we all share and that are mostly unseen factors that determine our vision of reality as well as our responses to it. These psychic features of human beings show up in both our sleeping dreams and the waking dream we call life.

Many scientists, philosophers, and cosmologists wonder if what we see around us may not actually exist. What we are seeing may only be projections from our psyches. That’s not to say that there is not an object out there to be perceived, but that our relationship to and understanding of it is subjective. The philosopher Schopenhauer stated that there could be “No object without subject.”

 

“There is no one who hears, there is just hearing. There is no one who sees, there is just seeing.”

–C. Beck, Everyday Zen (1989)

 

If I were to carry the idea in the above quote further I might add, that there may be no “I” who is dreaming, there is just dreaming.

When I am dreaming, who is creating the dream and who is observing it? When I talk to myself who is listening? And what about the dreams where I am dreaming that I dream of seeing myself? Is there more than one “I” in there? How many?

Are our dreams like a book that our soul is writing about us? Am I really awake when I climb out of bed and into the waiting day? Is it as Jung once quipped, “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”

 

“The awakening of consciousness is the next step for mankind.”

–Eckhart Tolle

Don’t believe in the Cosmic Mind, or God, or goddess? It’s okay, they don’t believe in you either.

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Belief: Wikipedia defines it as “… a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true”. It doesn’t require empirical evidence that something is true. In general they are just personal attitudes and not necessarily reality. Each of us create our own reality i.e. our own attitudes and judgments about what we see or experience. These may or may not correspond to what is actually true. Mostly we don’t bother to look too closely at whether there’s any real truth, in other words, when it comes to belief most humans aren’t very introspective. Most of us walk around thinking that we know what the world is about.

But don’t believe everything you think.

And that should be the default mantra of every thinking being, “Don’t believe everything you think”. Mostly what we think we believe is delusional or better yet illusional i.e. our beliefs are deceptive and misleading. What we see depends on our motivation and that usually involves dealing with fear– fear of the unknown, fear of being out of control, fear of loss, fear of being wrong, fear of being vulnerable, fear of dying, fear of nonexistence, fear of pain, fear of being unworthy, fear of being unloved, fear of commitment, fear of not surviving, fear of meaninglessness, fear of not being important in short, we are all looking for that which will help us handle our fears.

So what can one do to remove the barriers to just being with our fears, no I’m not saying to our becoming or embracing those fears I’m suggesting having them and looking at them honestly? Life is generally fearsome which is why we create beliefs in the first place i.e. to help us deal with them and that can be good but then we act as though what we created was real. What would happen if we just laid ourselves open to what’s actually there without our guard up (no I’m not suggesting we put ourselves into real danger)?

If we were to put our beliefs aside what might we see? If we could really just be in the moment, what might be there? If we could be aware of our fears what might we learn from them? Might we learn how we’ve been letting them determine the direction of our lives? Might we learn that these fears and our reactions to them have over time boxed us up and left us smaller than we actually are? As a reaction to fear we often use our beliefs as a way of limiting risk, what market people call risk aversion, but too much of this leads to a contracted life.

So why did I title this piece, “Don’t believe in the Cosmic Mind, or God, or goddess? It’s okay, they don’t believe in you either”?

The so-called belief in a Cosmic Mind, or God or goddess as an illusion for purposes of self-protection is like a crutch. They are just constructs to help with day-to-day fears. But do they exist? They may exist as representations of our spiritual aspect in that they speak to parts of our being– the deeper aspects to who and what we are and as such don’t require that we believe in them in order for them to exist. They just are or it just is and exist outside our rational brain. And it’s the rational brain as a construct of our egos that the spiritual doesn’t believe in for it is just an illusion. But some may argue that it’s all illusion, but whose illusion? Ah there’s the rub.

A waking dream experience of a very, very bad day: what happens when one lives in the narrow world of expectations.

 

a_chair_in_an_empty_room_by_ondrejzapletal-dbfnsa5.jpgI couldn’t get a break today. But I should have “expected” it because I was in a bad mood from the start of when my feet hit the floor from a fitful nights sleep of very odd and incoherent dreams. At every turn of events I felt thwarted, frustrated, impatient, and intolerant. What…in my dream or in my waking life? Precisely!

In the morning my wife and I thought we’d take a pleasant bike ride to breakfast. But we kept taking different routes that lead away from each other, and when we eventually met up her cautiousness on the busy streets caused her to frequently dismount from her bike and walk, which according to my expectation made us late (not that we had reservations mind you). To add to my frustration a cross walk light chose that morning to malfunction. After three cycles of malfunction it dawned on us that it wasn’t going to light, so we walked across, keeping a wary eye on the traffic.

My frustration built up like an ungoverned steam engine until it needed to find something, or in this case someone, to vent on. I mumbled, fumed, blamed in my head, and struggled mightily not to take it out on the nearest person at hand, poor Fran. I had made the reality of the ride an unhappy burden in my imagination. Once again my imaginary expectations made a mess in the reality. Breakfast, however, was quite pleasant and I started to relax a little.

Later in the day, a granddaughter came over and we went out to Starbucks at the mall for treats and grandpa/granddaughter time, but I couldn’t find a parking space, “ah there’s one!” I’d say and I’d step on the gas arriving just as someone else would pull in to the empty space. Damn! I said in my head again and again as around and around we went until my patience wore thin and the veiled expletives became less shrouded, “There’s one, oh fu…, funny, how “fu…nny” I choked so as to not upset the innocence in the back seat as yet another car slipped in before I arrived and I took yet another round of frustration. “I can’t get a break today!” I exclaimed. “Poor grandpa! We could go to the one near our house.” She said helpfully, probably sensing that grandpa was not a happy rider on this not-so-merry-go-round.

Finally, on a side street a lone parking space appeared out of nowhere, far from our destination, “but it’ll have to do,” I thought resignedly. After a long wait in line at the coffee shop the clerk didn’t seem to understand my order, “A large non-fat hot chocolate.” I said wearily, but somehow she heard, “A chai latte, please.” I don’t even know what that is, but on discovering the mistake after waiting for several orders that had been taken after mine, they put the correction in the queue several more orders behind that. Then the difference in cost had to be worked out and that took several more minutes and signatures on a reimbursement chit only to receive a 30 cent refund and the wrong sized hot chocolate.

A simple trip to the coffee shop started to feel as though it had taken most of the afternoon. Not wanting to prolong my self-induced agony I took the smaller cup, grunted a not so sincere, “thank you,” and numbly walked out the door and plopped into an outside chair to stare at the passers-by and sip my now cold hot chocolate.

For a moment I felt dead inside, kind of numb, then I forced my self to chuckle. This was definitely not my day! I mused. But my granddaughter was happy as a lark with her chocolate milk, a pumpkin scone and some other little girl to befriend on the nearby play-scape. I couldn’t help but smile and this tamed the weary beast inside me.

My older granddaughter called from her cellphone and asked me to pick her up at a friend’s house and to take her home. This of course was located several miles from our current position. “Where’s your Mom?” I croaked. “Out with Grandmother.” She said as though I were being just too stupid for asking. So I wrote down the directions on a slightly damp napkin (you ever try to do that?). Of course the directions of a thirteen year old were less than ideal and forced me to consult a map at every stop light while she amused herself in texting me every five minutes or so with a “Where are U?” This of course buoyed my spirits, NOT.

I finally picked her up and dropped her at her front door. Out she bolted and disappeared into the house, no goodbye, no thank you. I left the younger one with her mother who had barely escaped being knocked over by the thirteen year old bent on texting while running toward her room without once looking up, lost somewhere between narrow focus and complete obliviousness. “How do they do that?” I wondered silently. Also the six year old had in mind that she and I were going watch the Barbie at Princess Charm School video, but when Mommy showed up early there were tears of disappointment (hers, not mine)–yet another thwarted expectation.

Soon it was dinner and my wife was off playing bridge at the church so I thought I’d try a rib place I hadn’t been to before. Inside and sitting next to the window I looked out on the traffic moving down the Avenue. Something disturbing intruded– A rumble that I could feel in my chest and inside my head. The ground felt unstable here as it shook with each car that passed, the guy behind me made odd grunting noises, and the ribs smelled dead, uninviting. Nothing seemed in balance. Everything was off just a bit, nothing was quite right. Even the air felt as though it were heavier than usual and pressed down around me. Nothing seemed fully real. Perhaps, I pondered, it was the Paulo Coelho book I was reading? No, this had been going on all day, before I’d had a chance to even read the first page.

As though this day were partly within a dream, some aspect of me wasn’t fully here, but lost in some expectation, and I paid the price–perturbation, unbalance, alienation and a strong sense of separation all of which conspired to leave me rootless and not feeling quite welcome in the world. So, where was I? The truth is that I wasn’t fully there because I was mired in the way I “wanted it to be” rather than in the here and now of the way it was.

It seems to me that expectations, like my granddaughters cell phone texting, tend to narrow ones focus i.e. our vision of reality tends to narrow. It’s like sitting in the middle a room and looking out its one small window and assuming that everything within its frame is all that there is. I could get up from the chair and approach the window and stick my head outside which would of course expand that reality, but, no, I sit, fixed in my point-of-view, depending on the world to bring reality into that limited frame and disappointed when it isn’t what I wanted.

I used to tell my oldest daughter when she was much younger and talking about her image of God, “Be careful how you describe him, for if he is that leaf that just blew by and your image doesn’t include that, then you’ve missed him.”

I often complain that things aren’t the way I think they ought to be and then whine, sometimes bitterly, that someone ought to change the reality so as to better align with my expectations. No that’s not how I say it, it’s more like, “Why do they do that? They should do it like this.” Or some form of “I’m right, they’re wrong.” You’d be amazed at the lengths I’ll go to feel better about their being wrong.

For some people right now it may look as if I’ve wandered from expectancy into another restricting trait, point-of-view. But isn’t an expectation just another point-of-view and vice versa? Both require a vision of what is and a narrow vision at that. Both affect what is seen aka reality e.g. experienced and thus inform our actions, or how we feel about them.

In our waking life I think that many of us are standing in the room with the small, framed window. It isn’t until we enter the world of the dream that our frame widens, even disappears, and holds the potential of infinite possibilities. What would happen if we treated our waking lives in the same manner e.g. as a frame with infinite possibility? What would happen if we let go of what we think our life should be and embraced what it is?

What would happen if we were to get up off our tuchus and walk over to the window and stick our head out to get a broader and clearer view?

Well, there’s always tomorrow.

Crossroad to reality: Creation, time,dreaming

 

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For many years I’ve been fascinated by creation stories, probably because of my curiosity for how and why we got here.

It seems as though every culture, extinct or extant, has a creation story explaining how they and their world came to be. To me they all read like a dream. It’s my intention across a number of my Blog entries to touch on the dream states of cultures in some detail.

One of these cultures in particular is very much a “dream”. It’s even called the “Dreamtime” and comes to us from the Australian Aborigine. I choose this group to be first because they come from the land of my birth as well, though I am not Aborigine, but of the Europeans who invaded their land some 250 years ago.

These people have lived the vast land of the Australs* for some twenty-two thousand generations, that’s 40,000+ years. Before the arrival of the Europeans, some 200 different language groups existed. Though there are now only seventy groups remaining with each calling their land something different, they all tell a similar story of the creation of the world–the story of the Dreamtime.

From the Dreamtime, Rainbow Snake and others “Dreamed” the world into being. Areas in their world are named for the Dreaming of that part of creation that took place there. The word “Dreaming” symbolizes another aspect in that it represents the individual tribal beliefs and spiritual understandings. For example, one tribe might refer to themselves as having Kangaroo Dreaming or Honey Ant Dreaming. All that comes into the world such as a painting, or other object, or idea, is still dreamed and is claimed by the person or group that has produced it. To them everything comes from the Dreamtime. Individual lives come from those of the Dreamtime as well and return to it when the body dies. In all the people there is an eternal part borne through the mother in time from the originals of the Dreamtime.

The visions of the early Aborigine and to some extent today do not differentiate between men or their surroundings. They experience an undifferentiated state of mind that makes separation much less common among them than with modern man. I believe the western mans general lack of caring for the world and each other comes from this separation. In the Aborigine there was no separation between their daily living, eating, working, sexual, and religious lives. All were either dreams or waking visions. And all come from the “all-at-once time”** and are born into a “life in time.” In a way the Aborigine lives in a dream within a dream.

Through the waking dream (awake state) and the sleeping dream and various altered states, the Aborigine interacts with his reality–indeed with his soul. To him everything is connected.

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*Variously known as Australische by the Dutch and Terra Australis Incognita (The Southern Unknown Land) and Colloquially since the early 20th century as Oz.

**Known in quantum physics as the super temporal or in metaphysics as time transcendence.

Magic– transcending the common experience of separateness

 

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Found on https://higherdensity.wordpress.com/tag/spirit-and-matter/

In honor of Samhain, the Gaelic festival known here as Halloween I’ve written two articles, one here and one in the Dark Knight of the Soul Blog where I’ve parted the veil between two worlds of reality. It is in this place where magic happens.

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In a seminar of long ago and in a far off place I once sat with a stranger and face-to-face we just looked at each other. First there were all the worries about what he was seeing of me and then came my own judgments and critiques of him and of whether I was doing the exercise right. After what seemed like hours, but only several minutes, my vision of him softened and went slightly out of focus.

The voices in my head that I’d been entertaining that were related to the person across from me, and of myself, and of the process as well came to a standstill and I was left looking– quietly looking. It was then that I noticed that it was myself I was seeing in the chair facing me. There was no other chair, or person in the room, just me, looking at me. My sense of self seemed to expand outward and filled the space of the room. I seemed everywhere, but not really anywhere. It was so real that I inhaled sharply and my partner came into focus. I then shared with him some information about him that I could not have known. When finished he did the same for me.

The exercise was to reveal to the participants that there was a deeper level of communication available to us than the everyday of our experience. The experience was that for one brief moment I was not a separate being from him and something communicated in that space, something that should have only been filed within a separate head, a separate consciousness. It was then that I realized that we are all “communicating” unconsciously on some collective level. The exercise made it possible for our forms to experientially transcend the common experience of separateness. This was my first taste of magic– the magic that is the world throughout and around us.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

–CG Jung

Separation may actually be a function of the human brain and not really exist outside these rational and linear stacks of cells encased within our skulls. No that’s not to say that you and I don’t have bodies, or egos generated by memories, judgments, decisions, thought processes, feelings, and experiential input–those are separate, but perhaps our core selves are not?

Many times I’ve prayed to my God for help or guidance and had an answer to that prayer show up within virtually no time at all. How is this? Perhaps in the letting go of my own need to control I open myself up to what’s already available in the universe? When I let go of my projections, personal control, and self-protections, when I’ve stilled the mind of any expectations my vision clears and I can see what is directly in front of me, metaphorically speaking. I find myself in another world, one that transcends the world my mind has created. This feels like magic.

Things seem to work much better when I get my self out of the way, this is what the rituals and chemical inducements of the shaman, the wizard, and the witch are all about e.g. making room for the soul by getting the body out of the way.

Here’s a lesson in magic, when we don’t allow the body, or any of its aspects such as the ego (the internal image of self) or persona (the external image of self), define what we are, or are capable of, then the door to magic opens. When we can transcend the dominance of the body it frees the expression of soul. In short, letting go of ego-dominance allows for magic to happen.

“Magic is a way of living. If one has done one’s best to steer the chariot, and one then notices that a greater other is actually steering it, then magical operation takes place.”

–C. G. Jung (The Red Book, p. 315)

Because we live in two worlds, the one of the every day, and the one of the archetypal unconscious, that which informs most of what we do in the every day, and yet keep these worlds separate we are incomplete in our ability to impact reality, or to even understand it for that matter. Dreams, and meditation allow us access to both these worlds through the portal of the imaginal.

When young we lived in the imaginal that made life a place to play in. We then strove to be others expectations of us. This cut a lot of us off from our magical selves. This happens so much that we often find ourselves walking through life with little or no purpose as though what we do, or have, or feel, or don’t feel is the goal of our lives.

We have lost the magic of “being” because we have lost much of the art of imagining and magic arises from the imaginal. The soul loves to play and when released, amazing things can happen. The artist knows this, as does the writer, the poet, and the musician–anyone who releases themselves from their limits and intentionally creates. It’s when you “let go” of your same-old, same-old and drop into the chaos of uncontrolled play that the magic of the child returns.

Here’s another lesson in magic: If you want to learn about magic, watch the children.

Dreaming wakefulness

 

a_dream_within_a_dream_by_ttpersephonett.jpg
Who creates the universe that we experience? The following diagrams are meant to represent a different possibility for the reality we observe, the reality that seems to exist because of its oppositions. I’m just playing around here because I actually know nothing about reality other than what I can touch or intuit and frequently these too are in opposition and conflict with one another.

I’m looking beyond the reality that we create through our biases– conscious or unconscious, and our physical senses. I’m digging around in what some might call the metaphysical. What if it’s all a dream and everything comes from the imaginal part of the human mind?

When I use the word “state” in the figure below I’m dabbling at the surface of quantum physics, at least as I understand it.

 

Dreaming state                                                                                                         Wakeful state

Fig. 1

Fig. 1 Perceived as opposites but perhaps these are not opposites but a continuum i.e. two states of the same dream– and it all takes place in the observer.

 

Reality (empirical/causal)                                          Fantasy (synchronistic/acausal)

Fig. 2

Fig. 2 Perceived as opposites but if all is imaginal then perhaps they constitute two states of the imaginal.

 

States of reality seem to depend on the observer that is, how the observer observes. In the quantum world, that is the unseen world smaller than the atom, everything seems to exist everywhere and ‘everywhen’ what is called super-positionality until an observer chooses how, what, and when to observe. At that point the observer causes this state of super-potential reality to collapse into just one reality. This seems to include the construct of time as well. As the theory goes there really isn’t any time save what the human mind creates so that everything isn’t happening at once. Talk about the ultimate multitasking if it were! Even Einstein showed us that the reality of time is all relative to the position (point of view) of the observer, that it isn’t consistent across the universe i.e. reality is relevant to the the individual and their point of view. So if reality is not consistently the same for everyone is there a “real” reality or are we making it all up?

As the theory goes we may be creating reality by merely choosing what we look at. Interesting, huh?

While in the dreaming state the rules of the waking reality are suspended, so all those pesky concepts of time and space are suspended. That’s why dreams don’t follow any temporal order or any spacial rules either– anyone for walking through walls or flying above rooftops? When we awake a new set of rules seems to take over but these rules are moderated by the efficiency of our sensing and recording apparatus.

There is research evidence that suggests that sometimes we register the future before it happens or on a more mundane level our biases, beliefs, and values determine what is seen or not seen and/or felt or not felt.

There is also speculation based on observation that dreams reflect the un noticed patterns coming from our waking life and that they also create patterns that manifest in the waking life. The imagery research done by psychologist Catherine Shainberg has been used to show her clients a link between ones everyday behavior and their dreams, to seek the patterns in both, and then to choose a response versus just reacting*. Basically she claims that there is no separation between the night dream and the waking dream**.

But we may not be in charge of any of that, that is to say that our conscious self i.e. who we think we are, is being controlled by an unseen force that psychologists call, the unconscious.

It is this unconscious mind that makes up the vast majority of our self that affects what we see and what we do with it. We may be no more in control of our wakeful state than our dreaming state. There might be a very real possibility that both states are but a dream.

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*   Kabbalah and the power of Dreaming (2005)

** For more on the waking dream try Life As a Waking Dream by Diane Kennedy Pike, (1997)