The Face of Love ~ Euro Man

In real life when this dream came I was in a difficult situation with a person to whom I was very attached.  My feelings were not being reciprocated and I asked for a dream to show me the face of love so that I could better embody it.

 

I am a witness in this dream but I respond at times with my voice as if I am part of the audience.

In the dream a young eastern European guy is a performer, one of many who has a performance act — his is with a unique bicycle that he has built. 2 American friends, a man and a woman the same age, without explanation ask the eastern Euro guy what colors does he like and see himself in, in a potential outfit to perform in.  They want to help him make his performance the best it can be but they want it to be out of his energy, his preferences.  It takes s a while for him to understand the question.  The American guy keeps asking the question and refining it until the Euro guy says "Feather Pink, and Dusty Denim blue."  The American guy poofs away instantly and comes back to the room of the American girl.  The American girl is dressed beautifully in black and white, very clean lines. She has bought a can of white paint and poured it in her chair and sat down in it without getting it anywhere on her front.  The American guy has come in to show her the outfit he has made for the Euro guy—it includes a hat with streamers in pink blue and white, dusty denim pants and a Feather pink shirt.  I hear myself exclaim from the audience in the dream—"that is great, that is great!"  I feel as if I am in the arena of a big top seeing all these scenes from there. In minutes there will be the performance. I wake up.

The dream shows the face of human love.  To me, it shows that we are here in the world to reflect our fellow companions their own true faces.  And from our own creativity to gift these reflections in a selfless way for the sake of each others 'performances'. Euro man is from 'some place else'.  He has the rudimentary ingredients for a great and brilliant performance but his outer appearance is lacking in color.  In the dream he is dressed all in grayish green and his bike is also the same gray green.  But despite this his American friends can see his brilliance and his gifts.  Their contribution is to ask how he would like to to dress if he could—the colors he sees himself in, and he responds eventually in a very feminine, receptive and surprising way.  The American man friend goes immediately to his task of creating an outfit for him from Euro man's colors. It is a selfless and unpretentious act. The American woman seems to be waiting in her tent.  She is dressed very concisely and elegantly in Black and White.  Her pants are black.  She stands up and pours white paint into her chair and very delicately sits down in it.  What came to me from this step in the dream was that she was introducing light into her lower chakras.  And that was an important cue for me.  The lower chakras comprise our first and second chakras. The root chakra—how we come in, our family of origin, the way we relate to the world from our upbringing, including our core wounds. Our second chakra is our relationship chakra. To bring light into a chakra is to begin seeing through our highest self, our light instead of through our needs, wants and wounds.  There is nothing wrong with needs want or wounds but when we see through them we see through a filter of often what has been difficult or lacking in ourlives. How one does this is to explore the needs, wants and wounds that have influenced the way we relate in love and family.  This was my work.  The work did not change the outside response to me but it significantly showed me what I was actually made of.  I felt the constructs of all the needs I carried around reciprocated love move aside and I felt shooting up and out of me -- real love. This was a life changer.  It was not something I had really thought about previously and when it came up I felt very attached to my right to be loved in the way I wanted to be loved.  It was only in attending the origin of those attachments that I saw the attachment move aside on its own and felt the reality of being a loving human being come through me in a new way.

The Woman Who Is a Complete Human Being

Reflected Love One of the most heartbreaking realities in our culture is the fact that all of us have grown up with and been taught to see our worth and our essence through the reflections back from family, lovers, institutions, job performance, career success or failure, how we look, to name a few.

And from these erroneous assessments we go on to believe that we are something inferior; not the beautiful Beings of light that we are, but somehow always on the outside of a perfection that we perceive to be in others or in the future but not now, not in ourselves. We go on to attack ourselves in this way, continually trying to fix ourselves, to fit in with others, social situations, public institutions, in order to feel that we are okay.

As women growing up in this culture the reflection often is fused with how one looks, or acts or if we are acceptable in the roles we have taken on. And so even our sexuality becomes a torment of trying to be something for others and in doing so we subjugate ourselves to something we perceive as a measuring tool for our goodness.

I went to hear Robert Waterman speak, an original founder of Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM last year. The title and prologue of his talk, drew me in a powerful way:

The Good That is Seeking You from Within

"The fear began when, in our curiosity, we stepped away from ourselves. The sensation of separation, while initially exciting, settled in as fear. From then on, we interpreted love through its reflections. Reflected love is a contrary and perverse partner. Love itself continued below the surface, growing in stature, yet undetected by fear. Our addiction and defense of fear masquerade as a dark lover. All this time, and we are ancient, while we fought the dragon, love continued to mature within us. On the surface we have come to believe we are experts, which effectively hides from our awareness the true mastery by which we guide our lives. When we discover how we actually make our lives, living from love is easy and powerful."ROBERT WATERMAN

I was personally and deeply touched by Waterman’s workshop that day. He is a calm very humble man whose presence is an abiding loving one.

Linley Solari of Taos, also attended this workshop and wrote a clear summary of the day’s offering by Waterman, which I include here in part:

“…And then he[Waterman] began, in earnest, by saying that our discomfort, our pain, our fear, our anger, our confusion is NEVER about what is actually happening but lies solely with our relationship to what is happening. “The difficulty is never the issue; it’s our relationship to the issue.”

“EVERYTHING is a reflection back to us, “he said. “It is not something to be judged or fixed or defended or protected. You are not something trying to find God…that is the reflection. You are already God trying to find itself in this world.”

What Waterman was addressing is the basic and fundamental split in our psyche between what we hold ourselves to be and what we actually are. We have all been hypnotized through thousands of years of imprinting into believing we are something separate from the foundational intelligence of the universe. We have all come to believe in the innate limitation and inadequacy of the individuatedself. And so we seek…we seek to find “something” in the “outside” world that will make us feel adequate: love, sex, money, family, knowledge, status, religion, accomplishment, power. We are seeking to somehow complete what we feel is incomplete: our very selves. “We interpret Love through its reflections.”—End of Solari’s summary.

the nature of illness

the nature of illness

Here is the dream I wish to end this year with…it is a celebration of human existence as learned from the woman in this dream. I pass it along to you.

2013   The Woman Who Is A Complete Human Being

I dream I am at a sitting with M and 3 other people, another woman and two men. M is sitting facing us and we are sitting 4 square facing him. The room is without light, it seems to be twilight. There is a knocking sound against the building. The woman behind me thinks there may be someone at the door. I know it is a tree branch but I cannot control my body from responding. My body crawls down to the floor and out of the room. When I cross the threshold I am facing an open door and it is broad daylight. I am in a beach town and the air and light have that quality and color to it. I walk out the door turning right without any idea where I am going. I wonder how or if I will remember how to get back here. I meet a child and she takes me to a house of an older woman. I met these woman years ago-she remembers what I wore, a silk shirt that she admired. The woman is lying on her back. A man friend is there who is my age, and she is showing him her chest, that is bleeding below where her left breast has been removed. Both her breasts are completely gone. The scars are there and her chest looks like a battleground-it is purpled with bruises and blood is seeping from below her breast scar. I am reminded of the portraits of Jesus on the cross. I don’t know if she has an infection or the wound is still healing. She shows this to him without any self-pity. To simply reveal herself. Then she is standing up and she has with her in her hands two of her favorite objects, which she seems to be gifting to him. One is a silver pen that she holds in her left hand. The pen looks like nothing I have seen before. It is about an inch and half wide, it is tapered at each end, it bulges a bit in the center. The ends that are tapered look a bit like the feather but it is symmetrical and very unusual. In her other hand she is holding a piece of silk, a small square of it about a foot square or a little smaller. The silk is gold but luminous gold, luminous from within the weave of the material. I love the realness of this person, and she strikes me as a complete and total human being, not simply a woman although she is certainly that.   I find I love her relationship to the man, the child and to life. It imprints me. I go to leave and as I walk out I think I am going back the way I came but I gradually see that the numbers are getting larger in the addresses and I see that I will not be going back the way I came. I feel at peace to be somewhere so foreign.

This dream in a way speaks for itself. I still see and feel the woman’s chest, my chest. I feel as if she lives inside of me and as if this potential is the most human and most awakened part of me. All that it means to be a real human being. The wounds, the pen, and the silk. Our human journey including our injuries, our creative ability to express ourselves and the essential fabric of our existence—the golden and luminous truth of who and what we are.

We can relearn our understanding of ourselves, our real selves, and begin to see that in others, honoring the truth of our realities to one another and to our children.

star gazers

star gazers

I wish you a very peaceful holiday full of joy and promise and renewal.

Patti

 

Ripping the Veil

And I have felt A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and a spirit,

That impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (excerpt)

I would like to write about two topics over the next couple of weeks – one on the subject of persona and the other on the subject of reflected love.

We live our lives as if totally convinced of our stories of others and ourselves until we have an experience of another reality, a hidden reality.  Then the basis for all our beliefs wobbles and we see we have not been scraping the surface of bedrock, but the pillowed existence we have built on top of it.

Through this discussion my intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.  It is a necessary aspect of our lives.

My intent here is to give it its place. And to raise the question about who and what we actually are, and what is keeping us in hiding.

In this first dream, a decision is made to face myself completely, not realizing what that might mean.

October 12, 2011

Papji, a 20th century Indian sage, once commented that the presence of a lion in a dream was a sign of the Higher Self in pursuit of you.

I am both in the dream and witness to the dream.

There is a lion, so small and harmless. I have it in a bowl of peanut butter. I am looking at it thinking if I let this cat out I will prove I am ready to face myself completely, knowing it will be life size if I do. With that thought the lion is out of the bowl, life size, in the room, my bedroom. It is very frisky and is nipping at me like a dog but it is a bit stronger. I look up and now there are TWO wild cats in the room. I watch my character get up on the bed with my back to the headboard, as far back as I can get. One of the lions jumps up onto the bed and with one stroke tears off my face. I hear myself saying, “Well there goes my face.” I am thinking, “I wonder what it will be like to live without a face.” Scene shift. I am with the lions again; we are in my living room. They are very lively and moving around. “It is Sunday,” I say, “and I can finally get to really look at the details.” End of dream.

Initially in the dream I am looking at a tiny lion in a bowl of peanut butter. The lion is like a childhood toy in a bowl of childhood food. When I see it there I am aware I am living behind the façade of being a helpless child, playing at consciousness, and that if I really wanted to know what and who I am I would only have to say it and the lion would be life size. And with this thought—poof! The lion is full-grown, there in my bedroom – the place of intimacy. The lion is frisky, not calm or serene, nipping me – making full contact with its mouth and teeth. And then there are TWO lions…and I feel their intent and pursuit of me. (When TWO shows up in this context I am reminded of the two headed snake, the two headed elephant, the Adam and Eve myth, the Shiva/Shakti story—the duality speaks to the masculine and feminine aspects but also to the sense that the Infinite embodies wholeness and is not in short supply. They come perhaps to represent the creative force of the universe-the ever-generative power of creation from which we are born.) I climb up onto the bed and press myself back into the headboard. I know the inevitable is coming and in the dream I want to feel the solidness of something behind me, bracing me for when it comes. With one stroke the lion tears off my face; there is no pain. Only a true wondering: “What it will be like to live without a face, what it will be like to be seen by others without a face?” And then there is a scene shift – and I am in my ‘living’ room (I have brought this shift into my real life).  The lions are there, very lively moving around. And almost in answer to my query of What will it be like,  I say aloud, “It is Sunday—(Sunday- the day dedicated to the sacred-the sun, the source of light), and I can finally get to really look at the details—(I can finally look without a mask at all there is to see.)

My intent is not to bash the personality.  It is with us as long as we are in human skin.  It is shaped by all our life experiences and is part of the way we relate and make our lives work, pursue careers and have families.

My intent is to raise the question about whether we actually have any idea who we are. And if we don't, what is keeping us in hiding.

shadow introductions

shadow introductions

“The ancient Greeks, in their renowned comedies and tragedies, had their actors portray their characters by holding up masks in front of their faces. The masks were known as “personas”. And so it is. We have come to identify with our “personas” rather than realizing that we are each but mere characters in a divine play. We get to explore life as our character and engage in the game of hide and seek wherein we seek and find the divine in each other and in all things. [But] More often we hide our divinity and hide the divinity of others and all things.”

LINLEY SOLARI

So to ask the question is to begin to lower the mask, to admit that we don’t actually know what and who we are.  And perhaps opens the way for the God within us to reveal a glimpse of our true wealth.

Friend, this is the only way to learn the secret way:

Ignore the paths of others,

Even the saints' steep trails.

Don't follow.

Don't journey at all.

Rip the veil from your face.

SACHAL SARMAST, Translation by Ivan. M. Granger

 

Dust of the Earth, Dust of a Star

If you accept the nature of dreams as being from one's Higher Self then it changes the way you view your life and the lives of others.  In a sense we lead a double life – Earth and Star – and there is no getting around it. But how we treat ourselves, how we address our missteps – this we have control over. The following dream illuminated how I was seeing myself by giving me the contrast from the 'other side'.

I dream I am a soul named Lawrence.  I am looking back at my life, which I am still living but from which I am taking a time-out to look at certain events. In my living I have been somewhat hard on myself and impatient with the parts of my life that are filled with unawareness.  When I am on my time-out, however, my view of myself is softer, because I am in a place of Light, and I simply look at the events from my life, saying aloud, "Oh I am in unawareness here, and oh there, and there too." But there is no harshness or despair, simply seeing things for what they are –  more or less conscious. Then the scene shifts to me as Patti on Earth and I still remember Lawrence. I understand I have been feeling rough around the edges as I tackle some core issues especially when I look at myself through the bright searchlights of self-criticism as opposed to through the non-judgmental love of my inner light. I get to see—"ah just unawareness here in these areas."  I get to see what Lawrence sees. The weight of measurement and self condemnation lifts off my shoulders and heart. It is a relief.

I share the dreams on this blog to illustrate the instructive potential of the realm in dreams.  I invite anyone who would like to work with their dreams to submit a dream and I am happy to look at it and see what I can see, of course anonymously.

I wish you a Blessed and belated Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 

Metaphors in Dreams — Getting New Glasses

Dreams often come to us using a metaphorical set of images to get across to us a message or potential trying to manifest in our lives. One such metaphor that has repeated itself in several of my own dreams is ‘getting fitted for new glasses’. There are many ways of ‘looking’ at this metaphor. One way is just acknowledgement that we are seeing on a new level and we need the glasses that go with the depth with which we are seeing. Another way to look at it is there is a growth edge manifesting and we are being asked to ‘step up’ as it were to stay on line with our new potential.

Here are two dreams that came this past spring and summer having to do with getting new glasses. With each one of them there is a sense of self-consciousness, indecision, even irritability and fear showing me that I was not completely comfortable with the new requirements for growth.

April 20, 2015

I dream I am being fitted for a new kind of glasses. Each eye has its own lens and frame—each is very big and independent from the other— they look like camera lenses. Each one fits into the eye. If it fits well it stays in place. A man and a woman are helping me and fitting the new glasses. At times it feels like the experience of trying on shoes. At last we find the right fit and I pay for the glasses. They are somewhat expensive. As I am leaving the store I see myself in the mirror— it is the first time since I got the glasses fitted that I see myself and I am surprised that I have bought these glasses. They are huge and no one else has glasses like these. I look to another woman sitting there-she is very pretty and has these demure looking petit glasses on. I say to the man maybe I would do better with those kinds of glasses. He said you already had those and they weren’t right for you before and that is why you came for these. I say I don’t suppose you return money for glasses you have made just for me. He says no and waves his hand. So I leave with my new glasses. No one seems to notice them but I feel as if people will know that I can really ‘see’ them and they will hate me for it.

This is one of those dreams where you can feel yourself swallow hard when you go to work with it. While it is all fine and good to think you can see things that are going on in life and you can really see people in their innocence and appreciate them. It is quite another to have on a set of glasses that announces to others that you see everything, you see what others don’t want you to see, and that is a game changer. Because it takes a lot of courage to keep these glasses on and to know what and how and if to relay what it is you are seeing. It is a new potential that has a built in responsibility that you know right off the bat that you are not always going to understand how to use. The kind of responsibility that requires a lot of love to go along with it. There are always immediate tests for these kinds of potentials, and in real life they came almost within 24 hours. I was able to feel the strength along with the vulnerability. It is a difficult edge to get past-whether you care more about if people like you OR whether you care about being true to your self and to want to respond to that trueness in integrity and kindness.

seeing
seeing

In the next dream I am being taken to the ensuing stage of owning these new ways of seeing.

July 15, 2015

I dream I am being fitted for new glasses. My grown children are with me. When the fitting is finished I take the glasses off and they get all out of whack. And the glasses have to be adjusted again. Every time I take the glasses off they get wonky and must be realigned. I am complaining loudly to the man who runs the shop. He is a very elegant man, older, perhaps French. He tsks tsks me and says no, this is the way the glasses are. I begin to cry and say I want to return the glasses and the man says his store never takes glasses back. I am in an overly sensitive state –I have just heard that my former partner is remarrying his first wife. Though I think this makes total sense I still feel very ‘sensitive’ about it. My kids are being themselves with out any reactions. There is a woman, a by-stander, who is saying a word that seems to mean 'transient' or 'impermanent' or 'fugitive'. I wake up.

So in this dream I can see that I am feeling very sorry for myself, and I am resisting a growth edge and complaining loudly and dramatically about it. It is being exacerbated in my mind by another growth edge that I understand and which makes sense to me but which my little self ‘doesn’t like ’— that my former partner is remarrying his first wife. There are many things being modeled to me in this dream. The backdrop, which I say has made me feel emotional and sensitive, is the remarriage of my former partner to his first wife, which hints at a realignment with original Love, in a public and committed way. And then there are the conditions of having these ‘sensitive’ new glasses — that if you take them off they will need to be adjusted before you can wear them again. I am rejecting this idea because it means that I will need to keep the glasses on. I will need to continually see in a new way and that will take a level of maturity I am not accustomed to and have not been stepping up to. My grown children and the shop owner assume I can take this in stride and have no reaction at all to the conditions of the glasses or their sensitivity to being handled. The shop owner admonishes me not for taking the glasses off but for crying about the conditions I have to take into account and he tsks-tsks me like a little child, which is what I am acting like. I am the only one in the dream who seems to be having a problem and because of this when I wake up I see –oh I am being asked to grow up here. The way that I understood the insertion of the word being spoken by the by-standing woman meaning transient and fugitive is that I am in a state of transition from one way of being to another and that this too shall pass.

Although sometimes dreams have a shameless way of presenting things to us we are embarrassed to admit, the truly miraculous aspect is that once we do admit to our own foibles and where we are getting in our own way, there is a shift in us that leads to another level from which to live. Because growth is not accidental, it is part of who we are and why we are here.

 

Eating Elephant and Facing the Impossible

I would like to present two dreams. Both dreams employ a kind of foretelling quality. These dreams stop the mind from its usual ability to make sense of things and grounds one in the immediacy of another reality. Because in order to get a sense of the dreams you must inhabit a greater presence. The point is not always to understand some literal explanation of a dream but to embody the reality that is offered in the dream, to value it enough to try it on. The first dream came shortly after I moved back to Taos New Mexico in 2007. The dream arrived in the night of Christmas Eve, an auspicious time for such a startling dream.

Moses

Moses

December 24, 2007 Facing the impossible

I dream I am with an older woman and man who are a couple and a young child. We are out in nature having a good time together. Then we come back to the home of this family. The young girl and I are playing in her room. She lays down on top of me naked face to face. I can feel all my sexual energy arise thru my body. It is incredibly delicate, sensual and sweet. And very subtle. She and I  kiss and stay in that position. Then I prepare to leave and the mother and the father bring me home in their car.

At home I am in my house. This house was new from the one I previously lived in . And with me in the house lives a young boy – an adolescent. He is using the dryer and that annoys me and I think it is because I have a lot of laundry to do as well, but in reality I carry a burden. In the dream I know that I am going to have to deal with an enormous task—one I have done before, and I am facing this task with much dread. There is a sense that because I did it once before, I know all the aspects of it and the fact of these aspects is weighing heavily on me.

My horse, which is in the house, downstairs, is going to die and I have to skin the horse and remove the head by myself and carry it upstairs. The older couple has told me it will be all okay but I am feeling overwhelmed by the task and feel strongly that I need help to do it. The young man in the house –they have told me to get his help and I say, “He is useless.” I am left alone to my task. I wake up.

This dream filled me with a sense of foreboding because there is no getting around the fact of the enormous task. A task that filled me with a kind of horror that such a thing would be my responsibility.  So all sorts of bells went off upon waking--outrage, disbelief and fear.  That a reality like this was on my plate.  What did it mean and why had it shown up now? There is no explanation in the dream to make the task understandable and that adds to its sense of magnitude.

Interestingly the dream starts out with an encounter, a transmission so to speak, with Innocence, Eros and Guidance. We often assign innocence to childhood and forget about it as we grow older.  But I have come to see innocence as a quality of the soul--the original and indelible condition of being a human being. The qualities of the soul are interwoven, one cannot take away one without ripping in half another. Eros is the generative life force in a human being’s existence. John O'Donohue has written beautifully and profoundly in his book, "Anam Cara", about the sacred nature of Eros. He says, "that the body is the Angel of the soul, that the body is our only true home on earth."  He goes on to say,  "that the senses are the thresholds of the soul—to be sensual or sensuous is to be in the presence of your own soul."  He quotes Wordsworth who wrote in his respect for the senses, "Pleasure is the tribute we owe to our dignity as human beings."

These are the gifts silently acknowledged by my dream character as the unusual and touching experiences they were. These gifts from the child became conscious through my experience of her and thus became part of the tool kit with which I was to face the task I was going home to do. And the fact is that I had somehow done it all before. And in that way my dream character is free of illusion. But she is focused on the difficulty she knows is ahead of her. In the greater Reality, the home of the unconscious, there is no time. Everything we have done and will do in our lives already exists there. It is the occupying of time that makes things arduous. So in a way when we pierce time and draw from the realm of complete Possibility we gather ourselves anew.  This dream was in a way a heralding and a summoning of strength for a task that was about to begin—an undertaking both sobering and daunting but ultimately liberating.

The hidden character is the horse. He is dying. It seems that he must. When I think of a horse I think of power. So for the sake of the dream I can say that the vehicle of my power that I have known up until now is dying…and in the ritual of its dying I have to cut off its head, the egoic center, and skin it, making it completely vulnerable to life and carry it up from downstairs. There is a sense of the “descent” necessary to do this task and a bringing it up into the light of day to complete it.

The character of the young boy, the adolescent, in whom I place not a shred of appreciation, is in fact the unknown gem the older couple advises me to obtain help from. When you consider an adolescent and what they are capable of it is surprising that our culture does not find more ways to include their contributions to our society. They have no ambition outside of being alive; they are honest, completely self-involved and available to the new. They are strong, and somewhat fearless, and are willing in most regards to try most anything. In working with this dream I saw that I needed to locate these characteristics within myself, to rally in myself Innocence, Eros and adolescent fearlessness and strength. To find my inner resourcefulness and hutzpah to undertake this next chapter in my life. The dream alerted me to be ready for the impossible.

In reality this chapter of my life has been an 8-year passage into my unconscious.  Once again I quote John O'Donohue:  "The unconscious is a powerful and continuous presence.  Every life lives out of and struggles with this inner night, which casts its challenging and fecund shadow over everything we do and think and feel...This work of freedom is slow ad unpredictable; yet it is precisely at this threshold that each individual is the custodian and subject of their own transfiguration."

It was and has been indeed a formidable but very worthwhile undertaking. It has changed me; it has changed my life from the inside out.

This next dream seems to occupy the complete other end of the spectrum.

July 31, 2010 Eating Elephant

In my dream I am in a beautiful city park somewhere. Apparently, at this time, it is known by everyone that the world has run out of food and water and we are being asked to eat elephant. I feel no surprise in the dream at this and in fact I am laughing and joking with someone and saying, "I cannot possibly eat another plate of elephant”. There were all these tubs of elephant meat lying around the park. I didn’t feel hungry. The groundskeeper was a very matter-of-fact guy –he just did his work and didn’t seem affected by anything outside himself. I enjoyed his way of being and I trusted him. I am traveling via an electric pushcart that is attached to the back of me. It can go in all directions including up and down stairs. End of dream.

Here in this dream we are presented with what should have been the worst of all possible scenarios... something has happened to make it possible we no longer eat food and drink water as we have in our known histories. It has the feel of the future in the dream. A potential is making itself known. We are being nourished by elephant. Once again we have an animal coming that’s uniquely symbolic. When I think about the elephant I am first struck by its size, its power and its intelligence. The elephant is the most powerful animal in the world, it communicates over long distances, it is aware of its family and tribe and uses its memory to lead its own and other animal species along pathways to hidden water supplies. In Hindu astrology he is Ganesh, a Divine being capable of removing any obstacle, a Being of great wisdom.

In this dream the elephant has become the sole source of nourishment for the world. As I step into these qualities the elephant has brought up in me I have to ask myself the question– how would it be to live my life this way, and for this to be the sole way in which I draw nourishment and what would it look like for the world to do this, what things would change?

The park groundskeeper is my model of how to work with such an extreme change. He does not make a big deal out of anything. He goes about his work, he is pleasant and uncomplaining and not affected by outside circumstances. In the dream I travel easily in all directions aided by an electric cart attached to my back, my hands are free.  It is a dream of great mystery, it leaves a scent in the air of jewels to mine.

Like the first dream, this dream holds these mysterious elements – the tools I need to embody, to nourish myself in these times of great change. Power, wisdom, strength, remembering, compassion for all the species of Earth, making clear the path, flexibility, and the ability to move creatively in any direction.

This dream encouraged me to read a book called "Elephantoms" by distinguished biologist and naturalist, Lyall Watson.  His autobiographical book followed his life long passion for elephants, his first original unexplainable encounter with one, their own fate in his native land of South Africa,  and what he came to learn from them.  There is an amazing scene at the end of this book where he witnesses one of the last known elephants of his region in a cordoned off reserve park in South Africa communicating with a whale.

“Do everything from love, especially the things you are afraid of.”

Crack the Code of Your Dreams

Crack the Code of Your Dreams – Taking Notes That Will Reveal the Heart of Your Dream“The basic function of dreams is to express the unconscious.”

—ROBERT A. JOHNSON

So you receive your dream, you have written it down as you experienced it without interpreting it. You have noted your feelings in your dream—

  • About the place you are in
  • Your feeling response to other dream characters,
  • To a situation,
  • To yourself.

Feelings like agitation, pride, peace, annoyance, anger, judgmentalism, hesitation, surprise, distrust, delight, innocence, court room mentality, wrong/right thinking, blame, sadness, grief, humility, despair, Love, righteousness, worthlessness, calm, controlling, humorous, playful, confused, trusting, arrogance…As much as possible be able to say exactly what you felt as you go along.

Part of us lives in our conscious mind, and our complementary quality lives hidden in the unconscious…They may appear to be enemies– yet they are in reality in the process of making a synthesis." —ROBERT A. JOHNSON

things of value
things of value

The dream is made up of male characters and female characters and some characters that seem to go back and forth in their sex.

If you look at your dream characters as each being an aspect of yourself, you will see these relative characteristics playing out in the shadows or openly, in your life.

We all carry these characteristics. It is important to mention here that shadow does not mean anything negative. A shadow character is simply a part of us that has been pushed underground and in doing so can make mischief in our everyday life, not because it is bad but because it is not acknowledged. Most of these shadow lives contain a huge amount of potential that our lives need to fully manifest their purpose. It is often wounds or childhood circumstances that drive aspects of ourselves underground. An early misconception formed that we have taken on.

Our dreams are comprised of many aspects:

  • Males tend to portray the thinking analytical rational deciding mind
  • Females tend to portray emotions and understanding, a feeling logic, a sensing of the whole.
  • There are often certain figures in our dreams who stand out and feel very whole and full of guidance-these are our soul guides coming forward to offer guidance and counsel. Jung referred to these as the anima and
  • Symbols will appear like a circle or a mandala or a square, an animal
  • Numbers will appear in dreams and these also have significance. As well as the ages or the number of years ago you were in the place in the dream. These are the clues left in the landscape to uncover that will begin to put together the picture of the dream.

ASSOCIATIONS provide the foundation for understanding a dream. Associations spring out of our unconscious in response to dream images.

Take each scene and notice the place they have occurred and any associations you might have with that place. For example: a town you grew up in, an old house, something from the past, or a new place, someplace you have never been before. If it is in an old house that you formerly occupied the dream maybe coming for you to recover something or show you something that is still operating from that time or a new appreciation for something difficult from the past. Writing down your associations with the houses and cities you are in can further embellish your knowledge of your feeling state and let you see what you might be still carrying from the past. Perhaps it is a mythical kind of place or barely descriptive at all. But you still will have feelings about where you are and these will fill out your associations. Take nothing for granted.

Archetypal dreams often take you to ancient or extraordinary places—bigger or smaller than life…talking animals, royalty, heroic figures…You can research the source of these figures and symbols that come—the Internet is a great research tool for this, rather than a dream dictionary that will give you one set meaning.

In the same way notice the people, are they familiar to you, are they couples, what are they like? Do not censor how you feel about them, write down what their characters evoke. EVEN IF IT IS EMBARRASSING.

Don’t daisy chain your associations by turning your associations into a story and don’t allow your associations to take you away from the dream itself because not all associations will be true in their importance to the dream. Keep them as distinct entities in themselves. Just write them down in a list. You are looking for one that comes that will ‘click’ the dream more into place. One that carries energy in it.

Allow the images that may have presented themselves in the dream to fully drop in. Is it an animal or a symbol? What does it bring up in you, is it a part of your waking life in any way or have you seen it before, do you have any history with the image… Begin to make associative meanings to the images. Again the Internet can be a great resource for this. For example you could receive the image of a circle or a rock or a bee or a shape.

I once had a dream image that came that was simply a large boulder that was sitting on the trunk of my car. When I looked at it what came immediately to me was that I was carrying something large and heavy from the past that I couldn’t see directly in front of me. This dream image led to a big revelation in my life.

In this way write down any associations you might have to the image, or anything it reminds you of and again how it makes you feel. Do not go to the dream dictionary that says that such and such means this or that. This will dilute the power of the image that often carries much of the meaning of the dream like an acorn carrying the totality of the tree within it.

In the end when you read your list of associations you will find the one that brings a little surge of energy with it-that is often the one that ‘clicks’. When I am working with people they often say, I don’t know why I am thinking of this now, but I remember such and such event…”

After you have looked at the initial scenes and their locations, you are ready to look at the DYNAMICS.

In working with the dynamics of a dream you make a connection between what is happening inside of you in real time– your inner dynamics – with what is happening and playing out in the dream story. Ask yourself the question—if I translated the actions of the dream into my inner world, does any aspect of this feel familiar? For example – if two people in your dream are having an argument, is there an argument going on inside of you, by way of a conflict you have within your self, something you have not been able to resolve? These are examples of the inner workings or process of becoming a whole person. The dreams present the stages along the way, adventures or obstacles, beliefs, surprises, key people or qualities that you value or dislike. Dreams describe our inner world, which internally deliver our outer experiences, via relationships, jobs, careers, etc.

And it is on the inner level that you can change things. Often the most life- altering thing that can happen in your life is for you to recognize and name a dynamic you have been living. This naming is the turn-around event.

Robert Johnson writes that the single most important thing to realize is that all of our dream characters represent an aspect or something going on within us. And that dreams about ‘others’ are not excuses for blaming other persons or making proof as a case against them.

In noting the dynamics of your dream, ask yourself the question what you have in common with the other dream characters or how you are different. Ask your self what the dream characters have in common with one another that are unlike you. Try to use neutral language in describing these characteristics. Even if you have to initially pretend, find the virtues these folks employ. For example, if the character in your dream seems very boastful to you, find a positive value in him—for instance that that he is not afraid of saying who he is or what he is good at. In this way you can begin to see what may be underground in your own life. We often make people into the bad guy because they are bringing out a way we feel secretly ashamed of in ourselves. So we develop a little moral arrogance to hide it and create distance from it.

When there are exaggerated positions or arguments in the dreams look at the beliefs and attitudes and values you hold that are being contradicted or threatened in the dream.

When a surprise shows up in a dream it is usually an indication of a limited belief we are holding. For example one of the most common surprises is when someone shows generosity or love in a dream situation that our own character might not expect – the whole matrix of always expecting the worst… that is a world many people live in to shield themselves from disappointment that they have experienced somewhere along the way that was crushing.

In some of our dreams we are simply a witnessing presence watching the dream play out in front of us like watching a drama. In these dreams you will see all sides of your character and how it is alive in your life.

In some of our dreams we discover things that disturb us down to our core. For this reason I think it is valuable to be able to work with someone whom you trust to explore these kinds of dreams. Often dreams bring up subjects that we cannot easily share with our family and friends. It is for these dreams I strongly recommend working with someone skilled in this arena. Not because they are dangerous but because they can uncover strong emotions or things we did not know, or things we may not be able to find a perspective on that will be healing That is when the steadying light and presence of someone devoted to your healing will make the difference. And healing is the point of our dreams.

INTERPRETATION

At this point we are looking for the central most important message of the dream—why it came to you.

  • What is the dream advising you to do or to embody?
  • How would my life change if I embraced it?
  • Write it down.
  • Feel the energy of it.

Evaluate your interpretations by:

  • Choosing the dream that shows you something you did not know
  • Avoid the interpretations that inflate your ego or are self-congratulatory
  • Avoid interpretations that shift responsibility away from you
  • Learn to live with your dreams—over a long time—let them evolve with you—you can only know what you know right now. But along the road you may find things about your dream you were unable to know when you had it, thus they evolve with you.

RITUALS OR HOMEWORK

For most people it is important to physically take an action that will anchor the message of the dream into everyday waking life by creating an act to consciously honor their dream.

This is an arena that indigenous cultures have employed carefully and consistently and we of the super-mind culture have often pooh-poohed as unnecessary. But it is done because it works. It acknowledges the message you have received with a sense of reverence. It says by your action that you have received the guidance and wish to act on it. In some primitive cultures they will take the message or medicine of the dream with the help of their shaman and they will ‘drive’ it into a rock or a physical object from nature. Then this object will become a piece on their altar or a place in the garden where they can look upon it, and remember it. An object becomes a thing of power by the energy we empower it with to help us make the change we wish to bring into being.

Perhaps it is as aspect of our selves we would like to let go of. We can use an object we find to hold that aspect and then cast it into the sea where we ask nature to take it where it needs to go. This can be a very powerful experience. Because it empowers us to change and not feel like we are permanent victims of life experiences. And because it takes us out of our heads where we mostly live in our modern culture and where we have become so unfortunately lost.

I heard of a man who worked with his dream by writing a letter to a part of him that was revealed in a dream. He posted it and mailed it and upon receiving it was able to take full responsibility for a part in his life and an issue that his dream had unfolded.

It can be as simple as a very intention-filled walk in nature, a phone call you have been meaning to make, a connection you have been putting off.

As with all things use your common sense. Let it be a creative act and allow yourself to be available to what will come as a result of it.

Stay tuned...more on dreams is coming!

Dream inquiry: Developing Your Dream Question

I have heard it said that more important than knowing what the answer is to an issue is knowing what the question is.This is the place from which to begin any dream inquiry.

Dreams can be engaged in and played with to invite an on-going dialogue with the inner self to address significant themes in your life and come to a deeper understanding of specific issues.

There are 3 pieces to formulating a good dream inquiry question:

  • Develop a question that will shine a light on what your issue is.
  • And in the same request ask what is the medicine for resolving this obstacle in your life?
  • Be resolute in wanting to know the answer.

For example you could ask,  "What is the primary stumbling block to establishing financial flow in my life AND what is the medicine to resolving that issue?” (Without asking for the medicine you might dream all night of the ways in which you are stumbling but without any resolution offered!)

Or by way of another example

“What core belief or beliefs do I hold that keep me from experiencing joy in my life and what is the medicine for releasing them?”

Now it is not always necessary to know all the things we need to ask. I know someone who simply says each night to her higher self, “You know what I need to know, so please send it”.

i stood to face her

i stood to face her

But sometimes there are specific questions regarding life events. In all situations it is best to stay away from how questions. Our highest self does not like to tell us what to do.

However we can ask something like-

“What do I need to know about such and such issue…?”

Or, “What am I blind to in this situation and what is the medicine for seeing it clearly? “

In this way we can receive all the nuances of information we might need to come to an understanding of its turn-around. We can ask for resolution to the same issue over the course of a week or a month or a year.

If, for example you are trying to find healing for an illness to complement the guidance you are receiving from your doctor, you will need to adopt an unwavering and diligent approach— do not give up if your inquiry takes you longer than you would like. Keep at it.

Or perhaps you are applying for a new job and you are unsure if this is a good fit for you. Or perhaps you are going into a new situation- a public talk or a new city and you want to know if there is anything you need to be aware of before you go.

A few years ago I was asked to come to Minneapolis by a client to give a public talk on the nature of healing, where afterwards I would be doing hands-on healing work with folks. This was my first public talk in a brand new city with folks I did not know. So I asked in a dream question, to show me anything that I was blind to in this situation and the medicine to navigate through it. I received a dreams, it came a few weeks before the trip.

In the dream I am meeting a group of people on a bridge. I was coming from one direction and they were coming from another. I was riding a very big bike, bigger than what I was used to. It was difficult to pedal because the bridge curved upward in the center. When I got to the crest of the hill of the bridge and I met the people I turned around and they followed me down in the direction they were heading. As soon as I turned, the pedaling eased and the ride smoothed out. I noticed leaving the bridge there were folks in boats in the water underneath the bridge following the current of the river. They were laughing and really enjoying themselves. Because they were in the flow of the river current they were not having to effort at all so they could relax and enjoy the ride, directing the boat in a luxurious fashion. End of dream.

 The dream showed that I was in a new role – riding a bigger bike than I was used to and I was preparing myself by working hard on the talk and getting hung up in the details of making the talk happen in my head ahead of time – the uphill pedaling experience. But when I got to the middle of the bridge and met the people where they were coming from,  and I turned my bike around on the crest of the hill – the place of the most efforting – they followed me and it was downhill from there. Seeing the people under the bridge in the water was a reminder that being in one's essence and delight would provide the momentum for movement and everything could flow from that. When we are in alignment with our higher self, life is easier and more relaxing. Then steering happens out of the relaxed state instead of the tight controlled state.

In fact the public talk went like that. The night before I gave the talk I woke up in the middle of the night laughing. I was laughing because there was some epiphany forming in my heart and I saw that everything in life was about healing…there was virtually nothing that was not designed from the beginning to bring you into wholeness. And that it was from that point of view I could inspire folks to relate. The next evening at the talk this epiphany and its laughter was still bubbling. Once I met the people where they were, I put my notes aside and the talk flowed out from the ethers. There was a lot of joy in the room, folks felt comfortable and when it was over I had prepared the week for the work I would do, by weaving into it the freedom of this innocence.

I have found that the most effective way to enhance the effectiveness of our dream inquiry is by the sincere resolve to work with the dream material that comes to us. And if what comes is not clear to give thanks and ask for clarification.

There are other reasons to engage in dream inquiry or make a request to the dream realm—

fire rock_
fire rock_

Sometimes we are stuck. Stuck in a dark place, or stuck in feeling badly about ourselves or stuck in our habits that keep us cycling through the same material over and over so we begin to feel as if our inner work is not progressing and our lives are standing still. We are looking for the light of day and our own minds are too bogged down to allow it to come through. Basically we need to bring about a change of heart, be lifted into a higher vibration, feel again a sense of promise and joy. I have always found the dream realm’s response to this state is profound and beyond any expectation, when we ask, because too often it is then we are in a real state of humility. In response sometimes you receive a dream that is pure medicine that contradicts every possible harshness you might experience in your life.

Here is one dream that came in response to such a time in my own life:

I dream I am standing outside of my window on the ground in my nightclothes watching a group of Beings coming toward me on horseback. As they get closer I see that they are Angels, royal in their bearing and they are full of light. They are dressed in the finest raiment of pure gold, sitting very tall on their horses, carrying banners. And there are clusters of stars hovering above them as they ride. I know they have come for me and I am ecstatic. Every worry or small way I have ever seen my life goes completely out the window. I am in the trance of anticipation of their company, and what they are bringing. When I wake up I am in wonder and complete awe.

Awe is a very transformative state to live in. Its very vibration makes everything ordinary in life shine with a different light. Just being in the experience of awe has a completely healing effect on the system. This dream had an archetypal quality to it because it brought beings of another realm, a celestial realm to visit me. When I woke the feeling from what I had witnessed and been visited by had changed me.

(I included the experience of this transformation in a poem I wrote later called: I Was a Soldier. It is recorded on my website in the Poetry section.)

Another dream came when I felt inundated by my own conditioned responses to everything, and weary.

In the dream I was a witness, not a participant in the dream, to groups of people interacting. Everyone in the dream was acting from their own truth and creativity as a human being. No one was acting out of guilt or pretense or image making or obligation. There were feelings and emotions in the dream but no discordant drama. In effect it was watching people live their lives in a state of freedom and true kindness toward one another and the harmony that would grow out of that amazing possibility.

The dream needed no interpretation – I received the understanding of what I was working towards and that all of my effort, no matter how long it took, was worth it.

Coming next will be a section on How to take notes from a dream, the key questions to ask yourself in working with the dream material and ways to anchor the message in your life.

Please feel free during this series on dreams to write in with your questions and send in a dream if you are struggling with something and if you think a dream you have had is pointing to something you can’t get a handle on. If the dream is  resonant with what is being offered I am happy to anonymously work with it in this series.