Consciousness continued


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.

Dreams and hypnosis

“Session of Hypnosis”, Richard Bergh

Not too long ago someone asked about the relationship between dreams and hypnosis.

Did you know that dreaming and hypnosis have a lot in common? Both tap into what the subconscious is observing and has stored. Both place the conscious mind in a state that allows for access to the unconscious. Neurologically these frequency wave states are called alpha and theta (8-13 Hz and 4-7 Hz respectively. A Hz being a “Hertz,” which is the name for a cycle per second).

Sometimes hypnosis can help you to recall a forgotten dream, or it can be used to go back into a favorite dream so that you can finish it up (don’t you hate it when you’re in a great dream and you wake up in the middle of it?).

Hypnosis can also be used to generate dreams (dream incubation), or be used in the technique called “Active Imagining” when you take a dream theme and imagine it evolving beyond the reality of the actual dream. This is sort of like Gestalt therapy when the client imagines a theme or an outcome, or places themselves in another’s shoes by acting it out.

There are several states of consciousness with the mind crossing in an out of all three–Beta, Alpha, Theta and even a fourth, Delta, though this last one would be very momentary for this is the state of deep sleep. Each state has its own breadth and depth of consciousness and unconsciousness. Thought (what we laughingly call consciousness) is quite broad, but has very little depth, whereas the dream state isn’t very broad in that it is more focused, but is very deep and then there’s hypnosis which has a lot of focused consciousness and a much larger depth of unconsciousness.

To incubate a dream, or to set the stage for what is known as a “Lucid Dream” (one where you are aware that you are dreaming when in the dream, which allows you to orchestrate it), suggestions are placed during a hypnosis session. These sessions can use cultural ideas, values, or behavior patterns (called memes) in the form of suggestions that are “planted” into the unconscious and which can be brought to consciousness by attaching a cue to them (in the form of a word, phrase, sound, or visual stimulus*) that when expressed will activate the meme. These are good for the short-term, so are effective in dream incubation and recall.

The mind is a fascinating thing!


* For example, “When you see your hand in the dream you will become lucid.”

Venturing out from the past


For those of you who crave returning to the past i.e. the way it was, get over it!

I’ll tell you a secret: It never was the way it was!

Life, time moves in one direction only and while living it only exists in the present. The past only exists in memory and that has been polluted with all your projections, feelings, judgments, biases, wishes, desires, beliefs, personality traits and socio-cultural constraints. The future hasn’t happened yet and is colored by the same attributes that color the past. What you’re left with is the here and now.

Life flows. Life keeps coming at us with all its chaotic variety. Get out of the way and flow with it, act not as a barrier by “damning” the flow i.e. to judge it an improper flow. Help it to flow. Life requires evolution, we are either evolving or we are dead, devolution or standing still are often just other words for death.

Take from the past what works, but only if it continues to work. To dam up the process with what no longer works only because you liked it better when it did causes turbulence until the waters break free and cascade jubilantly, chaotically once again down stream. Be nostalgic, the soul loves the good in what was, also learn from it so as to better the present, but in the end … let it go!

Be like Thoreau and walk into the forest every day as though you’ve never been there before and let life pour into you newly. Live in the world but don’t forget your companion. Let the emptiness in your heart stir in you an old friend who was with you before you came, is with you now, and will go with you when you leave. Awaken to who you really are, not who you’re afraid you are, or wish you were but who you really are. Let go of all those branches and debris that collects along the shores of the river’s flow and venture out into the unknown. There’s where true freedom lies.

10 ways to get in touch with your greater Self


3846532.jpg In the world of dreams the unconscious taps into the greater Self (the center of the psyche–the transcendent, unchanging part of what we are). One can take the information from this world and in combination with his conscious self become a self-actualized whole. Many of the world’s mystics, shaman, wise men and women have discovered varied paths leading to the ultimate of the Alchemist’s dream–to transform our humble selves into the stuff of gold. The following represents nothing new, or profound, just another way of taking the path.

 These 10 lessons toward expanding one’s consciousness are by no means the only means for attaining greater awareness of Self, but each require an ability to open one’s psyche to a greater whole than your ego-self ever imagined existed.

These lessons are deceptively simple and require constant practice. At first the path will seem smooth and flat, but after a time it will rise radically and become full of stones and tree roots ready to trip you at every step. Winds will rise around you and squalls will pummel you leaving the road slick and muddy.

The mind will give its all to convince you that you cannot do it, or that it is not worth the effort. There will be times when you seem to have reached the top only to find yet another mountain peak beyond that can only be reached through yet another valley. Basically, enlightenment is not for wimps and the closed-minded will never even find the path to begin the journey. Some will become distracted and wander into the bush and be lost forever. Only a few will have the courage, heart, or the wherewithal to find what lies beyond the veil of the mind.

If you wish, you could think of it as a digital game where you collect power and resources that will help you to attain levels of understanding that will guide you to the highest levels of awareness, sort of a Mario Bros. of the spirit world.

Does this seem a bit too dramatic? To those who have begun the journey my description is but a mere reflection of the trials experienced when one decides to take this journey. They also know that they often travel alone for this is truly the road less taken.

Do you wonder if you’ve got what it takes to travel this road? You’re already on it or you wouldn’t have read this far!

The Beginning 10 ways:

 1) Embrace ‘not knowing’ and see what you get. Knowing fills the mind

and crowds out the empty spaces where the spirit dwells.

2) Be curious and live in the incomprehensible. The already explored and

comprehensible is of the small self–the limited self. Why explore what

you already think you’ve visited?

3) See with your heart (the head has its place in the realm of

things, but it is the soul that reigns in the greater world of the spirit)

4) Let go of expectations (they only limit you to what you already think

you know)

5) Surrender your willful point-of-view. A singular point-of-view rules

out all others and leaves you spiritually myopic.

6) Give up control. Control is of the ego-self–the small self. It is also part

of the defensive self that is only needed if you don’t feel safe–see below.

7) Embrace vulnerability because it expands what you are open to. The

opposite is to be defensive and that puts up walls and closes down


8) Daydream a little (Einstein was expelled for daydreaming too much,

but it was in his musings that he discovered the secrets of the universe)

9) Be a little impulsive and less reasoned. Creativity cannot be found in

the past that is gone–or in any future–which doesn’t exist. It grows out

from the moment.

10) Imagine what can be (it broadens the realm of possibilities and

encourages you to see what’s around the next bend)


So, what do most of these lessons have as their foundation, in what way are they similar? This not a frivolous question, and is perhaps the fundamental lesson to be learned in this group.

In future blogs I’ll explore other ways to reconnect with what the Jungian Analyst Dr. Murray Stein called “The spirit of the depths,” the instinctual unconscious. Carl Jung, a founder of Depth Psychology, looked for a way to bridge the gap between our conscious and unconscious selves. He suggested that it was symbology that could bridge the gap. He also went on to say that to leave the gap unattended would create and was actually creating worldwide neuroses. To him it was because of this disconnect with our archetypal instinctual selves that the world’s religions were becoming stagnant, adverse to growth, and no longer alive (or enlivening).

What’s in a dream?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Babes reduced to misery

Fed with cold and usurious hand”

–William Blake


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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