Teenage Assault

 

By Douglas McElheny

Recently I had a line followed by a vision from my muse that I think is an example of prevision. Though as prevision usually goes, I didn’t know what it meant until after the fact. The line and vision were:

Tomorrow morning.
(Vision of a group of teenage or 20 something boys throwing rocks at a building.)

A lot of times I wouldn’t have given much thought to that line and vision, but for some reason I had this feeling something was going to happen, and whatever it was, it was represented by the vision of the boys throwing the rocks at the building. What I was thinking it might mean though would be some kind of attack on our house from the outside. If you’ve read this blog you know that Donny has put some ideas out there that a lot of people would find hard to accept, and so we live with the possibility of some kind of backlash coming from that sooner or later. As it turns out the vision portended an assault on the house, but of a different kind then I was envisioning.

So the morning after the line and vision something good happened at first, and that was that our friend Midhun, who is on break from University, showed up to stay with us for a while. What’s good about this is that while Midhun is still a teenager he’s made sadhana the aim of his life. So despite his age, Donny and I regard him as a fellow sadhak and were pleased by his surprise arrival. Later on though two other boys, Asa and Sudhan, who we’ve known since we started our kids program twelve years ago, showed up unannounced as well wanting to hang out for a couple of days and play video games and otherwise indulge their vitals. I won’t go into details, but that made things a bit of a circus, one that really disturbed the house for a good part of the day. Since my return to India, Donny and I try to limit the presence of extra kids in the house since it shifts the balance of the energy in favor of the vital. Or I should say more in its favor because the vital always has the upper hand to some extent, since Donny and I are outnumbered here by people with no interest in the spiritual life.

When I told Donny the line and the vision he agreed with me that it was prevision and symbolic in the sense that, while no one literally threw stones at the house, we still had a ‘teenage boy assault’ on the house. I wasn’t able to interpret the vision or make use of it before ‘the assault’, so I’ve offered this example as another illustration of how things are arising from the inner and forecast symbolically in inner phenomenon such as dreams, visions and muse before manifesting in the outer. Though I don’t have much experience to speak of in the matter, Donny can attest to how the muse can be very specific and correct about things like who will be showing up at our house, but it’s also often the way I describe here, symbolic and the context not apparent. And sometimes, like in this case, I got the ‘what’ right (a disruption to the house), but was wrong about the ‘how’. I think though these are just points to be aware of and not get flustered about as one carries on with the yoga and learns about the workings of these things. I think what’s more important is your motivation, so what I do is try to remember to continually offer my muse and my dreams to the Mother, and ask her to use them to provide guidance and help me progress toward a change in consciousness.

I Volunteer A Dream

By Douglas McElheny

This article will be a continuation from my last blog where I argued that major news regarding the G.I. Joe and James Bond movie franchises manifested in my dreams without my waking mind knowing about these events. Recently I had another dream I feel is an example of this, though this time the dream had to do with a sports team I have a connection with. Here is the dream:

I’m in what’s supposed to be Mr. Godfrey’s1 classroom at RHS, but it’s a sort of amalgam of his classroom and the eating and family room area of my mom and dad’s house in Florida. There are a number of other people there including Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. They are at the front of the room, and Peyton is standing wearing a University of Tennessee football jersey. Eli is sitting, and has a jersey on for some other university. They’re arguing about an upcoming game between the Volunteers and the school Eli’s jersey is from, arguing about who’s going to win. Peyton starts to get angry and tells Eli ‘Let’s step outside!”, and Eli is sitting there looking kind of sheepish and intimidated by his big brother, who is acting uncharacteristically aggressive. The argument does seem feigned though to some degree, and that they’re just egging each other on. They still go outside though through a sliding glass door, and Mr. Godfrey says “Let’s leave them out there for a while.” I figure they ought to stay outside, because Mr. Godfrey has just passed out a test. The test has something to do with these pieces of cookie dough we’re all given on plates.

In the interest of finding further evidence for my hypothesis from my last blog that our dreams can pick up on such mundane things as what’s going on with a movie franchise, I decided to google first Eli Manning and then Peyton Manning. Eli I discovered has been in the news the last couple of weeks because of some new email evidence for a lawsuit against him where he’s accused of selling helmets to collectors that supposedly had been worn in a game, but really weren’t. I found that interesting, but didn’t see how it might relate to the dream, other than the sheepishness of Eli. When I googled Peyton Manning though I found something much more interesting. Two hours before I had woken up and recorded this dream on my voice recorder, the official twitter account of the University of Tennessee football program posted a short promotional video which was designed to generate interest in potential recruits for the quarterback position. The video featured an interview with Peyton Manning woven amongst highlights of some of Tennessee’s most famous quarterbacks (including Manning) with some energizing music as the backdrop. It’s an exciting video to watch, and even more so if you’re a Tennessee fan. At the time of this writing, that tweet has gotten 867 retweets and 1,767 favorites which isn’t a lot compared to what a lot is on twitter, but it had much higher numbers than most of the recent tweets from that twitter page. The tweet I found that came the closest had 407 retweets and 1,200 favorites, but most of them had much lower statistics than that.

The reason I find this interesting is because things go out fast on twitter. And this tweet, because of the exciting nature of the video, and also because it features Peyton Manning, seems to have generated a little bit of a buzz, a little incident in the collective consciousness or whatever you want to call it. So it was in the midst of that buzz that I happened to have this dream of Peyton Manning in a Tennessee Volunteers football jersey, which, if you consider also the fact that this is the only dream I’ve had with Peyton Manning since at least February 15, 20162, seems hard to chalk up to coincidence. The dream parallels the video as well in the sense that in both instances Manning was promoting his alma mater’s team. Given this, I think any open-minded person can see why I’d be willing to postulate that I picked up on this buzz in the collective consciousness, and it worked its way into my dream. It makes sense that if you’re a strong dreamer you would pick up on things of interest to your vital on personal, local and global levels. Donny likes to call this being an ‘area dreamer.’ Perhaps in future article I can show other examples of this, but closer to home, such as a dream I have showing me something going on with Donny or with one of the young people living here.

It seems to me that dreams could potentially pick up on any event, but what’s interesting about this case, as well as the case with the G.I Joe and James Bond dreams in my last blog, is that they correlated with major developments, things that created a buzz, albeit a small one compared to the population of the earth, but regardless ones that involved thousands of people or more. The other thing noteworthy is that in all three cases the subject matter was something I had an emotional connection to. In my last blog, I pointed out how I loved both G.I. Joe and James Bond as a kid, and I also have an emotional interest in the Tennessee Volunteers from the three years I lived near Knoxville when I was a kid. I wasn’t totally bonkers for them in the way I was for the Pittsburg Steelers, but, as an adult, if I happen to turn on a football game the Volunteers are playing in, they’re the team I’ll be rooting for. Unless of course it was against my alma mater Penn State.

When Donny and I were discussing this latest dream and its apparent connection to the tweet, he pointed out that this line of inquiry into dreams is something that could potentially be tested experimentally, and he’s right. You could conceivably take a group of strong dreamers, isolate them from media, and over the course of weeks or months collect their dreams, and on the days they have dreams about things like celebrities or movies or sports teams you could look to see if they correlate to anything recently creating a buzz in the news. Then upon completion of collecting the data you would take the dreams from each dreamer that seemed to have this kind of connection to an outer event, and ask them if that particular movie or sports team or whatever is something they have an emotional connection with. This is just an idea, and there might be a better way to conduct an experiment like this, but I think you get what I’m driving at here, which is that you might be able to find convincing evidence for a collective consciousness, results that defy statistical probability. And anything that contributes more evidence for the existence of a collective consciousness or inner connection between people, that we live together in a field of consciousness as opposed to each living in our own separate bubble of consciousness, would be a good thing. The understanding of this amongst a more general element in the human population seems indispensible for man’s evolution. You’d need a well thought out and conducted experiment though for the data to stand up to the onslaught of materialist skeptics and debunkers that something like this would bring down on your head.

But getting back to the matter at hand, what might the dream mean for me personally if anything? The symbol of the Volunteers could refer to altruism or service, and that does fit since I’m trying to take more of that attitude toward the people in my immediate environment, most of whom are selfish and lazy to an extreme degree. Then there’s the element of a trial or test, and the cookie dough would maybe have something to do with a vital indulgence of some sort. It’s hard to say since many dreams are just kind of a mishmash of things that may be symbolic along with things that may just be impressions of mental activity, as well as other things that may be rising from the inner, but never manifest in the outer. Any experiment like the one I proposed above would have to take that into account and look for very loose connections between the dreams and outer events.

The fact that many dreams are such a mishmash is one reason why in my articles I usually only write about dreams that I can connect directly to something in my waking life. With this latest line of inquiry though I’ve had to get a bit less concrete and more speculative. Like I said in my last blog though I think it’s well worth exploring these avenues even if in the process you make mistakes or find out later you were wrong about things. An experiment like the one I proposed above would be valuable, but what might be even more valuable about what I’ve been discussing in these last two blogs is that it’s something that, with a little effort and with the right capacity, people can confirm for themselves, and through the lens of their own dream life see the collective consciousness and inner connection we all share.

Notes and References

  1. Mr Godfrey was my high school biology teacher.
  2. This is the date I started my latest dream journal. I didn’t look back any further than that.

 

My Name is Joe. G.I. Joe.

blowtorch

Most people who pay some attention to their dreams have no doubt noticed how they will draw upon things from our modern mythos like TV shows and movies for symbols. I’ve also found that dreams seem to mainly use things you like, especially things you liked as a kid. So my dreams will frequently use characters and scenarios from things like Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Men, G.I. Joe, Transformers and James Bond as opposed to Care Bears and My Little Pony. So given this, it wasn’t unusual for me to have a dream like this one I had recently:

As the observer I can see a room where some of the characters from G.I. Joe are lying on bunks. I don’t recall which characters were there, except I’m pretty sure one of them was Blowtorch. An officer comes into the room and rouses the Joes, telling them he has a mission for them. The Joes get up out of their bunks and start to file out of the room.

I took this dream to mean some kind of positive movement in the sadhana. Later though, as I was typing this dream up in my dream journal, the vital had a desire to look and see what was going on with the G.I. Joe live action movie franchise, since it had been a while since the last movie was released. I hadn’t seen the second one, G.I. Joe Retaliation, and probably won’t see any future G.I. Joe movies, but I gave in to the vital’s desire and did some googling, and found it quite interesting to see that, starting a little less than two weeks before, articles had been hitting the internet announcing plans to reboot the G.I. Joe movie franchise. Then I remembered that two days before I’d had this dream about James Bond:

I can see a submarine moving through a manmade passageway that is underneath a city. The sub is beneath a warehouse or something and is looking for a way up into it. The warehouse seems to be falling apart, because stone blocks are sinking down all around that are falling from above. The submarine stops at a place where you can go up into the warehouse, and James Bond (Daniel Craig) comes out of the submarine in a wet suit along with someone else. Two other frogmen show up who are bad guys. Bond and the other good guy point their harpoon guns at the baddies, but neither one of them has had a chance to get completely ready and don’t have their regulators in their mouths.

Curious, I googled James Bond and found that, starting a few days before the dream, articles had been published announcing that Daniel Craig had been more or less convinced to reprise his role as Bond one last time. Now I found this all very interesting because the dreams, especially the G.I Joe dream, seemed to be showing what was going on with these movie franchises. Like the Joes in my dream, the G.I. Joe movie franchise had been lying idle, but now had a mission, i.e. a reboot. The Bond dream is less clear-cut, but maybe the element of danger has to do with some obstacles still standing in the way of one more Daniel Craig movie. After all, an article saying Craig has been more or less convinced to reprise the role one last time, and his signature on a contract are two different things. In addition, as I write this article a couple of weeks after these dreams, the latest Bond news is that five studios are in a bidding war for the rights to the franchise, and people are speculating that a new home for Bond might spell a complete reboot, and sayonara to Daniel Craig, regardless of whether he wants to do one more Bond flick or not.

Now I think probably most of the time if you googled G.I. Joe or James Bond there would be something in the news about it. Maybe an actress who played a Bond girl had died, or there’d be an article somebody wrote ranking the top 20 issues of the G.I. Joe comic book series. Perhaps dreams could pick up on things like that too, but these were major developments for these franchises, which are beings or entities in their own way. Sri Aurobindo points out that our inner or subliminal consciousness has a knowledge of many things of which the external being is ignorant, so it makes sense to me that if you had a strong childhood affinity in the vital for something like James Bond, or G.I. Joe, you could pick up on major developments like this. It’s quite possible things like this are common, but I didn’t pick up on it since I didn’t look online to see what was going on with the X-Men or Star Trek or whatever when I dreamed about them. I wouldn’t think though that a dream about G.I Joe for example would always correspond to some outer event like announcing the movie franchise reboot, and it would often just be something personal, using that as a symbol. Donny said he thought the fact that the two dreams corresponded with outer events puts emphasis on the personal meaning, and he may be right.

Needless to say, I’ll be doing more googling in the future when I have dreams like this to see if it I can find these kinds of connections again with significant outer events. This is still a hypothesis even for me, let alone for a skeptic. As it turns out though I had a short dream about Spider-Man a few nights ago, and while I was sleeping it hit the internet that Spider-Man will be appearing in both the fourth Avengers movie, and also a second stand alone movie with the new lead actor, Tom Holland. All I remember from the dream was Spider-Man sort of dancing around with this dorky kind of music in the background. Is this how the Tom Holland version of Spider-Man will be perceived? We shall see.

One thing I should point out as possible support for this hypothesis is that since I began my latest dream journal on February 15, 2016 I have recorded no other dreams with James Bond, only one other dream that featured a G.I. Joe character, and only one other dream with Spider-Man. I don’t record all my dreams, just the ones that seem more significant, but usually I’ll record a dream featuring characters like these since I know dreams will use them as symbols. So that makes it easier to argue for a connection here. I will say the over the course of studying my dreams for nearly 20 years now James Bond, G.I. Joe and Spider-Man have all made frequent appearances, especially in the past. In some of my older dream journals the appearance of characters from comic books and movies were much more frequent, but that is something that has dropped off over the years. Why that is, I’m not sure though it may have something to do with the fact that over time I’ve become more interested in and one pointed in the sadhana and less interested in these vital interests.

As I said earlier however my first thought about the G.I. Joe dream, and also the James Bond dream, was that they were showing a positive movement in the sadhana, though not one without some difficulty as shown by the Bond dream. I don’t remember anything really noteworthy going on at that time, but I was fairly focused until a few days after the G.I. Joe dream when I was hit with an illness, one that I feel was a hostile attack, and perhaps the Bond dream was showing how I wasn’t prepared for that. The question is though, were the dreams showing both the significant events with these movie franchises as well as a personal movement in me, or was I just picking up on what was going on with the movies? Or as a third possibility, were the dreams just showing my individual movement with no connection to the developments with the franchises?

The G.I. Joe dream in particular so parallels the outer event that I think I can dismiss the third option, so my feeling is the dreams are showing both, but whether that’s always the case or not I don’t know. For example, that snippet I dreamed about Spider-Man strikes me as possibly just referring to the outer developments of Spider-Man with Avengers 4, though it also seems quite possible to me that it refers to something personal with me. I’m not sure what though since the day after that Spider-Man dream my vital was feeling pretty unenthused and deflated. It could very well have had to do with someone else since Donny and I have both seen that we can dream about what’s going on with each other.

There’s another question though I have regarding all this. As I said earlier, I think the fact that I have a vital affinity with G.I. Joe and James Bond is a sufficient explanation for why I picked up inwardly on what was going on with the movies, but was there some kind of deeper connection between what was going on with me personally and these events? Sri Aurobindo has convinced me that the relationship between the inner and the outer is like the proverbial iceberg with the overwhelming bulk of our life taking place on the inner worlds and planes, and with the inner actually giving rise to the outer. So is it possible that the dreams are expressing some kind of shared inner cause, or did my dreams just take what was going on with those franchises and weave that into my dreams as a way to show me what was going on with me, and also to show me how inwardly I was picking up on these developments? I think to really answer that question you have to be a lot more conscious than I am, be able to actually concretely perceive the hidden forces at work, as opposed to glimpsing them indirectly as I am, in the same way you know the wind is there because the flag is moving. As to what my mind thinks about it, part of me admittedly has difficulty with the idea of a shared inner cause simply because it seems to me that the forces trying to bring us more Bond and G.I. Joe movies are mainly lower vital, and not working for the benefit of humanity, whereas the personal interpretation of those dreams as a positive movement in my sadhana would seem to me to indicate the action of forces that would be working for the benefit of humanity. But since things often don’t work according to how our ignorant minds conceive of things, I certainly can’t rule out some kind of inner connection. As I said, I just don’t have the knowledge to say one way or the other.

Getting back to things a little more concrete, I think I should say a few words about some of the symbols in the two dreams. In the Bond dream, being underwater in the sub would seem to me to indicate some action in the subconscient or subliminal parts of myself, or maybe just my deeper emotions, since the sub wasn’t very deep. Also in the Bond dream, the enemy divers would represent hostile forces, and if I’m correctly remembering the presence of Blowtorch in the G.I. Joe dream, I would guess that has something to do with aspiration, since Blowtorch’s weapon is a flamethrower.

Anyway I’ve gone out on a limb here more than I usually would in this article with these ideas, but if you’re going to delve into dream interpretation I think you have to be willing to take some risks and put out some tentative hypotheses for the sake of eventually getting at the truth. It’s not easy though because there don’t seem to be any hard and fast rules about dreams, just themes, trends and tendencies that are very wide and plastic. If in general, though perhaps not in all the details, I’m onto something here, it would be more evidence for the inner connection and larger consciousness we all share beneath the surface.

Yo Joe!

 

The Emperor Has A Scheme

By Douglas McElheny

Back in 2004 I was living at the Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham Ashram in Lodi California. While I was there we had a weekly dream group, and I remember one meeting very well because both myself, and another resident, Dakshina, had a cold. The dream I shared was one in which a zombie had touched me, and then I woke up ill the next morning. If I remember right Dakshina also had a dream that showed her being attacked and then she came down with the cold, but I don’t recall that for sure. Regardless, all of us there saw the connection between my cold and my dream, viewed it as an attack of a hostile force against me.

Roughly a month ago I had this dream:

It’s the scene from Return of the Jedi when the Emperor shows up in his shuttle at the Death Star. He is talking to Darth Vader telling him some scheme he’s cooked up and wants to show him something that has to do with it. They both board the shuttle and the Emperor shows Vader these two aliens that are basically just heads with tentacles coming off of them. They’re very ugly. I guess they are babies of an alien species, and were kidnapped by the Emperor. Vader thinks this is really cool that they’re going to be watching over these babies.

Now if I remember correctly the day before the dream (Friday) Jana got sick in the afternoon. Then on Saturday, the day of the dream, Dhina caught it too, and Lydia went down a day or two later. Jana and Dhina had it really bad with a fever and body aches, and were spending most of their time in bed. Lydia stayed sick the longest, and had a relapse after initially feeling better. Mugu got it too, and was mildly ill for a couple of days. Donny and I managed to keep it out for days, but then we also came down with symptoms, Donny with chest congestion and myself with a bad runny nose. We were both however only sick for a day. I drank two cups of the Indian version of chicken soup, called rasam, before going to bed and woke up feeling fine the next morning.

Now this dream isn’t as clear cut as the zombie one I had at Lodi, since I myself got sick the very next day, but this illness really lowered the energy of the house and made things difficult since some of the kids weren’t able to give even the grudging help we can normally get out of them. The Mother does say in Questions and Answers that a hostile attack “takes often the form of illness”1, and given the impact it had it seems to me a reasonable hypothesis that this illness, represented by the ugly aliens, was the scheme the hostile forces represented by Vader and the Emperor were hatching. As to why the attack was launched at the particular moment, I would guess it was because it was a few days before a darshan day at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and I suspect the attack was trying to spoil the darshan for us not just on the level of the individuals, but also on the level of the house itself, since it also is an entity in its own way. Unless you already believe in these sorts of things, there’s no way I can convince you the darshan days observed at the ashram are power days like a solstice or an equinox is, a day where there’s a force available to help you make a progress or have a powerful dream or some other kind of inner experience, but if you can at least accept that idea in theory, then I think you could see why forces hostile to spiritual progress would try to sabotage people in the yoga on those sorts of days.

It bears mentioning that the day before the darshan another thing happened that really lowered the energy of the house, which was getting the house sprayed for ants. Now in the USA when we get that done the exterminator will spray a little poison in the corners of your house and maybe put down some poison bait, and that was what I was expecting to happen. Here in India however they went all through the house spraying poison heavily along all the walls, so there were literally puddles of it all along the inner perimeter of the entire house. The stench was horrible and after the first round had dried they came along a few hours later and did it a second time. That second round took a couple of hours to dry, and then we were finally able to mop the floor, but the smell lingered for days. If I had known what they were going to do I would have never had them come and treat the house except for the ground floor, which had to be treated for termites. I’m sure it was even more grueling to endure for the people who were really sick, so it seems to me that the forces attacking us had a hand in seeing to it that the exterminator showed up on that day.

Now as it turns out I myself still had an okay darshan day, felt some calm that day, but nothing really interesting happened, nor did I have any powerful or lucid dreams. I did have a little inner opening and got a short formation of lines from my muse and then another longer formation two days later before things went back to the way they usually are which is a line or two here and there. Neither Donny or I had much luck interpreting those formations though, since it wasn’t clear who or what they were relating to, but it was nice to get that little opening. So what was accomplished by this hostile attack is hard for me to say, but I know that even though I wasn’t sick, when I was sitting in my room in the stifling stench of ant poison, the energy of the house felt very, very low, and that even the house itself as an entity was affected. None of our young people here are trying to follow the yoga of Sri Aurobindo or any other yoga for that matter, but we still have a collective process here. So maybe it was that collective process that lost the chance to make a progress. That’s just speculation however.

A question though this dream brings up in my mind is how do you know when a symbol in dream or vision actually relates to an illness? In the dream I had years ago in Lodi, illness was represented by a zombie, and in this dream, if I’m interpreting it correctly, the illness was represented by the ugly aliens. In addition, I wrote a blog post a while back in which a zombie seemed to represent a vital movement I was trying to throw out, so there doesn’t seem to be one universal symbol that can be pinned down as always being the symbol for an illness. If there is some way to know though when a dream is forecasting an illness, and that dream comes before the illness actually hits you, you could prepare, but like it is so often in dreams you usually don’t know what a dream means until afterwards.

This post is mainly just food for thought, but the knowledge, however, that there really are hostile forces and beings trying to keep us from progressing is important to see, and it’s something that at some point we’re going to wake up to as a species. The fact that it isn’t known or being talked about presently except on a very small scale is aiding the cause of these hostile forces. So if an article like this has helped someone to see that or opened their mind to that possibility or even just validated their beliefs about such things, then it’s served a purpose.

References

  1. The Mother, Questions and Answers 1929-1931, pg 55

Introduction to Soul Power

Me walking the dogs, image credit: Dhina
by Donny Duke

Posting this song around the net takes a giant leap of faith. (You can find the link to it at the bottom of this article.) Surely it’s an extremely intolerant moment for the minor attracted person, the pedophile, the villain of the internet, someone almost universally considered the most depraved unredeemable person in society. While I may face a social nightmare, or at the very least see its possibility loom over my house, there’s no better person, if you give it some hard thought, to show us the soul, the hidden and unrecognized reason we exist (its evolution), what’s missing in our moral reasoning. Evolution, in its essence, isn’t a material one nor one of consciousness; it’s an evolution of the soul.

The soul is as misunderstood a concept as God, used to mean a variety of things. While it’s been talked about in both religion and the arts for thousands of years, I’d argue true knowledge of it has not yet entered the public mind. We know of enlightenment, but we don’t generally know of the soul change, that our soul not only influences us from within, turns us towards God, more and more as we allow it, but it can also surface and replace the ego once we are in the emptiness of enlightenment liberated from ego. My use of the term comes from my own experience informed by the teachings and inner guidance of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Since my aim here is not to introduce the soul but its power, I won’t elaborate on what the soul is, as my teachers and I see it, or its evolution for that matter, though in a future article I may do so, one I’m planning to write about the finding of the soul.

I would imagine the soul’s purpose is more varied than the universe, and as it evolves, or its evolving aspect the psychic being I should say, the dynamic personality of the soul, it wouldn’t necessarily take on some aspect of the world to help set right, some world problem to help solve, but as my psychic being has reached the place of maturity where it’s free to choose its comings and goings[i], it has donned the scapegoat process. I should stress here I’m speaking of my soul and not Donny, and while it would stand to reason that Donny too should be as developed as his soul, soul process is irrational, oftentimes runs contrary to our reason, is free to don a very fucked up outer personality for some purpose the likes of which you see playing out here: Donny coming online, or getting in line with his soul I should say, in order to help with the huge obstacle in our collective evolution, the making and maintaining of scapegoats, and as well help remove an equally huge obstacle, the sexual abuse of children. The song I’m introducing holds this double purpose, sings the removal of both obstacles simultaneously, what can only be done by the seeing of the soul, not by a blind one-sided world power making the pedophile the seemingly foolproof universal scapegoat.

While the word scapegoat and its use is cliché, and today we seem more comfortable with the less defining phrase the ‘other’, the making and persecution of scapegoats is still the big hold up in realizing a viable human unity, what we’d need to achieve if we’re going to make it on this crowded planet. Put simply, a ‘humanity’ scapegoat is a group of people who are what they are by nature, not by choice, not speaking of quirks in the nature, but things fundamental like race or sexuality, whether they like or want to be that or not, speaking of sexuality, people who we don’t have to treat as fellow human beings with the same rights as everyone else, people we can vent on, who it’s generally socially acceptable to bear ill will towards, to hate, people on whom we project human evil so we don’t see it in ourselves, people we blame for the problems in our world so we ourselves can feel free of responsibility for those problems.

Though it may not be readily apparent, the scapegoat is as much a part of life in ego consciousness as the alpha male or female, what can almost be called a need of the ego and its maintenance, a need of the animal we are evolving out of I might say, equating here ego identity with animal identity. The scapegoat’s scope and purpose is quite visibly illustrated in the book and film 1984, and I’d argue 1984 is not only showing a frightening future to try to avoid, but at the same time doing what creative expression often does so closely aligned as it is with dream, albeit largely unconsciously. It’s showing the present social conditions of the writer in an exaggerated and larger than life form. What in 1984 people go to an auditorium to do, vent their penned up hatred and frustration on the scapegoat as he’s flashed across a screen, so they don’t turn that on the system, we do in the auditorium of our hearts and minds. It’s like the book and film is showing us what we do on the inside, using the outer symbol of an auditorium, even if such wasn’t intended by the creators, since, in any genuine creative expression, something of the representative nature of our world comes into play, and we see a little behind things, see much more than the human creator envisioned.

My psychic being became an adult (figuratively speaking) two lifetimes ago. It had donned the life of a black man in the South (of the U.S.) just before the turn of the 20th century, a person who “could play the guitar just like a-ringing a bell.”[ii] He played with his soul, that is, his soul was involved in his music to the point you could hear its qualities, as it was reaching adulthood. The scapegoat of his day, African-American, he was killed by the KKK, for playing his guitar in white establishments, and because he was on the edge of fame. I re-experienced the last day of his life in one of those dreams that last much longer than the time it takes to dream it and one where it was as though I was here in the world, not in dream, as there was no shifting of either the material in the dream or its field until the very end. It was as though I actually re-experienced the last day of his life. I was lucid but inside him experiencing both myself and he, aware of my thoughts and feelings and his thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, except at the very moment of his death, when the flames reached him as his home burned down,  his wife and children screaming as they were burned alive, when I became the fly on the wall observer outside of him. There was no need to feel the whole brunt of that moment a second time.

In my last life I was a Jewish man in Nazi Germany, the scapegoat of his time and place, of historic proportions, as African Americans were in the Old South. Though it was also a dream that showed me this, or the defining moment I saw it was in a dream, a very recent one, I’ve dreamed all my life of having a Jewish identity, inexplicably, since neither my mother nor father are Jewish, as I had dreamed of that black man in various stages of his life throughout this life, and I am neither black nor mulatto, although he wasn’t a guitar picker until that defining dream but someone of great talent or intellect, like an artist, a scientist, a university professor, and so forth. The remembrance of past lives is like that. It comes not as some instant revelation, although the defining moment is pretty revealing and may come as somewhat a surprise, but as an essential piece of your personal puzzle falling into place, fitting essentially into your process.

It’s not details such as names, addresses, and the like you remember, or it hasn’t been with me, and nor is it in the teachings of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo (I can’t tell you the name of the guitar picker or even what state he lived in, despite such a revealing dream about him, as those details disappeared upon awakening), but moments when the soul comes to the surface or very near, like the last day of the guitar picker’s life.[iii] I should also say these two recent lives are the only ones I remember, and my memory of them comes as a necessity of my present life, to do the work my soul has set before me. To truly remember your past lives, “one must become a wholly conscious being, conscious in all its parts, totally united with one’s divine origin.”[iv]

With the Jewish man the defining dream was full of all the shifts and strangeness of dream material, where he was part of a small group of Jews being hidden by farmers in the countryside, the railroad tracks leading to the death camps a central feature of the dream, that threat and utter despair over the whole situation taking him to rock bottom. The dream revolved around a soul moment when he had a momentary experience of liberation from ego, enlightenment. It’s not only sadhana that can take us there; sorrow can too if it hits the right note, a soul note.

In the dream there were a score of others who experienced the same, and I feel that represents an unknown aspect of the holocaust: out of the millions who suffered the horror there were those whose soul was reaching maturity, and they experienced the spiritual liberation or a flash of it. You might imagine some marched into death triumphant. Neither the Nazis nor any hate group has any control over the soul. You might also imagine that, in a representative world, nothing and no one can touch the soul, it being the reality in it and behind it, all else mere symbol and representation, the will-o-wisp of dream really, even Nazis.

Such definitive soul contact did not arise automatically. In this my present life, soon after reaching maturity as man, when I was around 30 years old, I made the inner journey to my center, the well of soul, connecting my surface conscious with it. It’s a lengthy story I won’t relate here other than to say that I’d opened the inner consciousness, was not only lucid in dream very often but also learning to try and remain conscious as I fell asleep and during a full period of sleep, all the way through a night’s dreaming, and it was in dreamless sleep I found my soul, “on a remote extremity of sleep,”[v] but it was a journey in stages, over the course of several days, a journey I made one time, a journey that had me face my greatest fears and overcome my strongest attachments. You might imagine that to find the soul is actually to find it inside you, and that, while a strong belief in it or feeling of it can bring or indicate contact with it, you won’t have the definitive concrete contact until you go to the deepest most remote place inside you and find it.

“Turn Around Soul”, the song I’m introducing, was shown I feel in the dream of the guitar picker, specifically in the dream short that came at the end of the dream, a dream short something that comes often at the end of a powerful dream that’s a basic summation of the dream, a symbolic representation of it, so different from the dream itself as to seem another dream, but there is no interval between it and the dream it’s symbolizing. If this song does get heard by my society then it is what that dream short was showing: being heard. I was watching a man with a guitar on a high ridge overlooking a large valley below. He was both black and white, not mulatto but actually a black man and a white man at the same time, an impossibility dream can do. There were lay lines along the ridge, and he was trying to hook his guitar into one so to be heard in the valley below. He made some unsuccessful attempts until he was finally able to hook into the one closest to  him, which made his acoustic guitar electric, and it was like he was inventing the electric guitar by hooking into that lay line. When he connected, his guitar music resounded throughout the whole valley, and it was more than sound I heard. I heard reality resound, a common feature of powerful dream, it ending with a sound, simply a large ‘crack’ in some cases, that you feel in your very soul.

I doubt most will believe that the soul can do what I show it doing here, write an entire song. While many believe in the soul, few know that it’s capable of healing us, as individuals and as a society. We not only have an immune system to heal our bodies; we have one also to heal our hearts and minds, to set right what’s messed up about us. It’s this innate and largely unknown immune system I want to show with my song, a system of soul more powerful than any world system, what sets worlds right.

The lyrics were sung to me over a period of months, via inner voice and vision. First came the two lines that form the backbone of the song, “Hold on tight. Turn around slowly.” It was sung by a female singing group complete with musical accompaniment and had a pop sound to it. Knowing there was no way I could manifest it into outer reality with my not so great voice and guitar skills, I nonetheless focused on it so that a full song would come, something I’ve learned to do with voice and vision over a period of some 15 years. With this song, unlike my others written from inner vision, I accepted only lyrics that I knew were from my soul, not from anywhere else, not even from the divine. Years of soul contact has enabled me to distinguish its voice from any other, knowing also that it often sings when it does speak to me.

After the initial lines, more came but very slowly, one or two lines a day (and not every day) that not only fit into the song but were also what I needed to hear that day, what I needed to see. Soon I had a skeleton of a song but didn’t even know what it was about. By the time I knew it was about what it’s about it was too late to turn back, and I couldn’t deny I needed to sing it and my society needed to hear it. I must say this is embarrassing for me, or for the ego I should say, and singing so openly about being a pedophile in today’s society is not what I want to do, why no doubt my soul kind of snuck it up on me, knowing I’d not have completed it if I had know what it was about from the first.

Then came some months of the song being filled in, one or two lines a day, with many, many corrections to the lyrics, all of which were sung to me, now in my voice and guitar, and in a couple of instances, where I was having a hard time, even my hands were shown playing the guitar in vision so I’d know the right cords and right way to sing it. I still haven’t gotten it all right, very far from it, but this is the best I can do with the talent I have. It would be appropriate to mention here that my family, especially Douglas, my psychic being partner, a life partnership other than romantic/sexual not yet generally known to be possible, had a lot to do with the development of the music. He and my family kept it from getting out of  hand,  making sure it matched my so-so voice and guitar skills, else I would sound like an out of tune hillbilly.

It’s a contemporary folk song, a person and their guitar singing about their society and their between a rock and a hard place position in it. You have to engage with the lyrics to appreciate it, which are largely symbolic, poetic even, and it’s not so much meant to stir the emotions as much as it’s meant to stir the soul. No doubt it’ll make a lot of people mad as hell. That’s not my intention, and if it makes you angry, figure out what it’s saying and then see what you got. It goes from the general to the specific, each verse getting more specific, taking you on a soul journey. So what you’ve got is a soul, and by showing you mine, I hope you hear yours. At the very least, you should be introduced to the soul’s power.

Please click here to hear the song.

Turn Around Soul

1)
I’m sittin’ here on the bottom baby,
hold down tight,
standing all over town.
That would be
on the stairway.
I’m well armed.
I can’t believe he’s out there.
To keep them in line.
It’s huge practice huge practice.
Find it on the news.
Closed weapons by the rest of the world.
What a cost to our humanity.
Run around soul. 2x’s
How high we step there
and turn them in line.
God sent me to my soul, 2x’s
in a straight line.
Make you soul know you go,
hold south you fix.
Oh wave your fingers are you gone?
How should I change? 2x’s
Make a new world. 2x’s 

(Chorus):

Hold on tight,
turn around slowly today.
Inside out,
turn around slowly today.
Hold on tight
turn around slowly
in vision
will today
turn around soul. 2x’s
Hold on today. 2x’s

2)
To be somethin’ different
So keep it from runnin’.
To be somethin’ different
that warrant is for your arrest
on the 7 seas.
Take the best metro back there.
Walk heel in line. 2x’s
And that weakness was no longer
on the 7 seas.
The spirit was to find peace.
Entire soul. 2x’s
I can’t believe he’s out there.
To keep them in line.
One realize.
I promise I promise.
Come and speak,
cause I’m livin’ in a world that’s new,
vision of a world that’s true.
I saw the planet.
I am one another. 2x

 (Chorus)

3)
Find them and expose them
shows no solid arm.
Truth will be an attitude.
You have to live there.
I’ve seen him upside down.
I’ve seen him to my soul.
I am warm and I am cold
like the light of the world.
I’ll grow up
in the wild frame.
You hear Houston
name names.
My hand’s in the system
cause I’m livin’ in a world that’s new,
inner in the world that’s true,
when nature comes together,
from our door 2x’s
open.
What about soul? 2x’s
You can springtime
oh, oh, oh, oh,
above the world,
thunder like we’ll make together.
It’s a surrounding world. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

4)
Con you’re out there
problem in line.
You’ll have to see
how much we step there
over the years.
What in the a dark city?
Hold on out there.
With my hidin’,
with my terrorizin’,
In that flaming member you can’t decide.
The answer,
oh, oh, oh,
words of sound and murder came from his incantation.
What it cost to worlds.
What a cost to our humanity.
Run around soul. 2x’s
Dark science
turn of the century
pedophile. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

5)
Lacking in the system,
in the whole human race.
And there’s another thing
I didn’t question
in America,
when America.
Here’s something under there.
Don’t see my mind
and show of peace. 2x’s
You see what he means.
Allow this arm.
I’m well armed.
This could be real.
That was the most soul
word I ever heard,
a conscious soul. 2x’s
Oh the inner kingdom.
Of I’ve been born.
I’m the nineteen.
I’m your friend.
I’m the only romancing need
goin’ in the wind.
As long as it takes
if you mean work on one’s center.
Callin’ me today.
Please don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
Master and able it’s possible.
To believe. 2x’s
This is the melody.
Pledge the long road,
here in the top
in ‘bove the house. 2x’s 

(Chorus)

(addition to chorus, excluding last line “Hold on today”)
Turn around love,
yield today,
turn around love.
turn around soul,
entire soul.
It could be real,
a conscious soul.
I can have no beginning.
I can be soul.
What about soul,
run around soul? 2x’s this and above line
Turn around soul. 2x’s
It won’t be long. 2x’s

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

[i] “The time [on the other side] depends also on the development and on a certain rhythm of the being – for some there is practically immediate rebirth, for others it takes longer, for some it may take centuries; but here, again, once the psychic being is sufficiently developed, it is free to choose its own rhythm and its own intervals.” Letters On Yoga, Volume 1, page 444, by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press.

[ii] Lyrics from the song “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry.

[iii] “But this memory is not a thing of the mental kind. Those who claim to have been such a baron of the Middle Ages or such a person who lived at such a place and such a time, are fanciful, they are simply victims of their own mental imagination. In fact, what remains of past lives are not beautiful pictures in which you appear as a mighty lord in a castle or a victorious general at the head of an army--that is only romance. What remains is the memory of those instants when the psychic being emerged from the depths of your being and revealed itself to you--that is to say, the memory of those instants when you were wholly conscious. That growth of consciousness is progressively effectuated in the course of evolution, and the memory of past lives is generally limited to the critical moments of evolution, to the decisive turns that marked the progress of your consciousness.” From: The Writings of the Mother, Memory of Past Lives, 1958, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Savitri, Book VII, Canto III, by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Aurobindo Press

Mahakali On The Wall

By Douglas McElheny

Recently here at Harm’s End we were able to finally do something we’ve wanted to do for a while which is upgrade our satsung room with some dark blue carpet and a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. We also got some nice meditation cushions, and the final touch was some nice pictures of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo to hang on the walls.

To get the pictures Donny and I went to a place in town called Harpagon Workshop, which is a department of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and which has a very large photo gallery with thousands of pictures of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of all different sizes. In addition to shopping for the satsung room, I was also on the lookout for one more picture for my room, one that would be directly across from me as I’m sitting in my chair. Shortly after we arrived at the gallery one picture really popped out at me of the Mother standing at the top of a staircase. I was drawn strongly to the picture, and thought it would be good one for my room.

Later on, as Donny and I were admiring the picture newly hung on my wall, he told me that this particular photo was the first image he ever saw of the Mother. It had been on the cover of a book called The Sunlit Path, which is a compilation of the Mother’s writings. I was also already familiar with the photo as well as that book, but Donny told me something I didn’t know about it, and that was that it was taken on the Kali Puja day when the Mother came down the stairs, and then gave blessings to all the ashramites. I found that very interesting since I had drawn the card that represents Mahakali1 that day from The Eternity Game, and I took it as confirmation that this indeed was the photo that was needed for my room. I also thought this could herald more involvement from that particular aspect of the Divine Shakti in my sadhana which is good news since the name of that card in The Eternity Game is ‘Power’ and its aspects are ‘Transformation’, ‘Rapidity’ and ‘Height.’ In the description of the card Medhananda states that:

Her way is a rapid transformation by the sudden and immediately effective removal of all obstacles opposing her divine will.2

For that to happen though:

she insists that we take our seat on the highest heights of our consciousness; only then can she shatter our limitations and smallness. Only when our aspiration mounts like a flame will she remove the enemies from our path.3

So getting Mahakali’s help isn’t easy, but maybe I’m nearing the point where that sort of decisive and irrevocable help is possible. I hope so. I did have one experience of Mahakali’s help a year or so ago on a day when I was caught up in a strong movement of anxiety. I had drawn the Mahakali card for that day and remembering that prompted me to call on her for help. It wasn’t instantaneous, but shortly after that the anxiety quickly lifted leaving me feeling peaceful. That wasn’t the end of my trouble with anxiety, but it showed me the possibility of Mahakali’s intervention.

It bears mentioning as an endnote to this post that after these events occurred I saw they would make a good article showing synchronicity, and had been planning to write it over the coming weekend. On Saturday I also drew the Mahakali card, which prompted me to follow through on writing the article, and I also took it as a sign that writing it was timely and fit with my process.

Notes and References

  1. Mahakali is one of the four aspects of the Divine Mother referred to by both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in their writings and talks.
  2. Medhananda, The Eternity Game, pg 53
  3. Ibid

 

Harm’s End or Boyz II Men?

By Douglas McElheny

Dreams, in addition to showing things going on with you as an individual, can also give you a look at a bigger process such as a household or an organization. I had a dream recently that I felt was of this nature that was showing the process of our house Harm’s End. Here is the dream:

 I’m with two of the members of Boyz II Men. Myself and another black guy have been hired to fill in for the other two members who have quit the group. It’s just for one show, and we’re practicing a song for the performance. Later I’m with one of the regulars from the group at a restaurant, and I’m laughing and telling him how funny it will look for a white guy like me to come out with the three of them who are black. Joking I tell him that I should tell people I have the disease that turned Michael Jackson white.

 For readers who don’t know, my friend Donny and I are living in a large multi-apartment house in India with five Tamil youths (four male, 1 female) all in their late teens or early twenties, and the main focus of our house currently is the maturation process of these youths into adults, a process aptly and somewhat humorously mirrored by the symbol of Boyz II Men in the dream. The waking reality, like the situation in the dream, is also unusual since it’s two white Americans guiding five Tamils into adulthood with all seven of us sharing the same house in India as a family unit. Definitely not something you see everyday.

The fact that in the dream the arrangement is only for one show is interesting since both Donny and I feel that this type of work is only a temporary situation, and not our true calling nor what we feel the divine ultimately wants Harm’s End to be about. We feel that the purpose of Harm’s End is to be what, for lack of a better idea, you could call an ashram in the midst of life, a place where people can work on going beyond ego consciousness, and ending the harm they are doing both to themselves and their environment.

As it stands now, the youths in our charge are preparing themselves for a normal human life with no aspiration for anything higher. There is one though that we feel has the potential to reach for something higher, but it may be a long time before he’s ready to make that kind of change. So our house really is more Boyz II Men than Harm’s End at the moment, but at some point it appears that will change. When and how that happens is impossible to say, though Donny and I are both looking forward to moving beyond this phase of things. People in this age group are tough customers, and it gets even more wearisome when they’re actively resisting growing up and maturing the way our kids are doing to varying degrees. Donny and I are well aware that even if Harm’s End does evolve into an ashram in the midst of life, it doesn’t mean that the other people involved won’t be hard to deal with, but it will make a difference if those people have or are nursing a divine aspiration, and are actively trying to be sincere and honest with themselves. For that reason, though we do care about our charges, I think Donny and I probably won’t grieve when this Boyz II Men phase of things comes to the ‘End of The Road.’1

 Notes
1. This is the title of a well known Boyz II Men song and their first international hit.