Forecasting A Facebook Phenomenon

By Douglas McElheny

Recently I had a dream that I feel foreshadowed an interaction that took place on facebook two days after the dream. The dream and the facebook event both revolve around my friend Angelo with whom I lived for nearly a year twelve years ago when I was residing at Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham a.k.a. the Lodi Ashram near Lodi California. Angelo and I haven’t communicated with any kind of regularity over the years, but he’s a frequent figure in my dreams, often in regards to the Lodi Ashram, but also in regards to Auroville of which he recently became a member. This dream had the flavor of Auroville though it didn’t take place there and is a excerpt of a longer dream. Here it is:

Donny and I are in a busy part of a city, and there is at least one other guy with us. We stop in front of a counter that is selling pieces of cake, and the guy with us wants me to buy him a piece. Some other people show up who are trying to get me to buy them things too. Donny and I go into a restaurant to get away from them. Inside is a table with 8-10 people sitting at it, and Angelo is sitting at the head of the table. Most of the people have the look of Aurovillians (permanent residents of Auroville). I call out to him and run over and give him a hug. Donny and the others head to another part of the restaurant to find a table and leave me to talk to Angelo. We talk for a few minutes, and then I tell him I’ll let him get back to his party. There is a girl there with dyed purple hair. In the dream we’ve met online but never in person, and she tells me it’s nice to finally meet me in person. I tell her I feel the same.

This dream took place on the morning of August 26, 2017. On August 27th Angelo updated his profile picture on Facebook, and a number of people including me liked the post. Many of them were people involved with Auroville and also the wider community of those connected to Sri Aurobindo’s yoga. Angelo doesn’t post frequently on Facebook, but I clicked through to his timeline to see what I may have missed if anything. I didn’t see any posts I’d missed, but one of the people he was friends with caught my eye because of the name she used, which obviously wasn’t her real name. We’ll call her Barbara. So I clicked through to Barbara’s timeline and when I got a better look at her I was pretty sure she was someone I had briefly met before, first in Auroville eleven years ago and then not long after that at a retreat center near Tiruvannamalai. I wasn’t 100% sure though since back then she had long hair.

So, a few hours passed and I went back to look at Angelo’s post to see who had liked it etc., and I saw that Barbara had left a comment on the post. Then, in one of those sweeping ‘aha!’ moments, I remembered the girl in my dream with the purple hair, and it struck me she might represent Barbara, and that the dream was representing this Facebook interaction on Angelo’s post. As I thought about it, it made a lot of sense. Angelo was at the head of the table like the guest of honor, and all these people had gathered for him in the restaurant just like all of us gathered together around him on his Facebook post. And many of the people who liked the post were Aurovillians, just like many of the people at the tables in the dream were Aurovillians. I can see the logic too of why the Facebook interaction was represented by being in a restaurant and also perhaps by the cake at the beginning of the dream. Restaurants are places for social interaction as well as eating, and looking at things on Facebook is sort of like having a meal for the vital. It’s something the vital can sink its teeth into for a moment’s or hour’s diversion, something that scratches the itch of desire. But also something that gives a very real social interaction by way of the comments, likes etc. and thus entails an exchange of vital forces the same way a conversation at a party does despite the fact that the person or people aren’t right there in front of you.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a Facebook phenomenon could be forecast in a dream, but I guess since things on Facebook occur online they seem somehow less real than a party or gathering you actually to go to physically. So as a result I was initially ‘wowed’ by this realization. Now that I’m awake to the possibility, perhaps I’ll find more examples in the future to share.

Every Suicide Bomber’s Broken Arrow is Broken

Genie in a Bottle by Frederico Bebber, used with permission

In my last post, “To View the Hunting Design of Mourning”, I examined dreams of the suicide bomber of the Brussels Metro that seemed to show a contact with the heaven of Islam that gave him a divine sanction to carry out his mission. Over the course of years, I’ve had a contact with that heaven that’s of a very different nature, one not from Allah or angels but from a dead suicide bomber. It’s in the form of a poem in which he’s the speaker, and so it’s his words filtered through my creative reflex, put in my language and style of poetry, one which continued to develop over the course of time it took to complete the poem. I haven’t received it out of the blue, just because I had an inner opening that could receive it, nor because I was some good person chosen to show his bad. Whatever we hear or see in vision in regards to other people has a bearing on our own lives, is something we need to see and hear so to become better people ourselves, that someone else a mirror we’re looking into to help us change. This is true for both (inspired) poets and prophets, something neither they nor the people that quote them seem to understand.

The first lines of the poem came among the first lines I received once my muse turned on like a flood, which was in South America in September 2001, and it took me awhile to see the bomber’s voice out of all the muse I was getting. By the time I got to Paris, several months later, I did recognize that distinct voice and organized the scattered lines into a poem, as I did the title (“A Suicide’s Bomber’s Broken Arrow is Broken”) and more lines came, and this earlier form was submitted to and rejected by The Atlantic and Poetry. My muse edited it after, adding more verses and editing the title (“A” changed to “Every”) and individual lines, and I continued to work on it slightly until I posted it on my personal blog in 2015, after submitting it a few more places. The majority of the poem, however, the core, came in those few months after 9/11, as did many lines about Islamic extremism, mixed in with lines about the world harm I have caused, all of which I included in a prose/poetry manuscript I wrote on the island of Crete in 2002 called “Civilization and the Art of Terror” or “The Inspired Word”, which will remain unpublished, though it’s a source of organized muse I draw from from time to time.

Last week, as I was meditating at the Samadhi of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, I heard the lines “That’s got my name on it. / Perfect,” and then I saw a light blue curtain blowing slightly, and then I saw the face of Sri Aurobindo, the age he was in the last photos taken of him, the outline of his face highlighted, and he was right in front of me looking directly at me. I was then told to wait before boosting the poem, to do some purification first, told in lines of muse, the vision of his face having faded. At the time I interpreted that to say the poem would be seen as something he’s behind because I’m his disciple and because of what I’ve written about inner contact with both he and Mother in regards to my poetry and writing in general. Although the muse said “perfect”, it said it a little while after hearing the first line, enough time to make me realize I didn’t want to drag his name through the mud, since I’m considered the worst kind of person on the planet, a minor attracted person. I sat there afterwards and let that sink in. It took the ego out of it, and I’m sitting here now not wanting to be in the shoes I am, but I think I understand.

Do you? Maybe it’s the bad man that can truly show us human evil and how really to end harm, rather than who we normally think can, a good person’s that been burned by bad. To see what I’m saying you’d have to understand higher than good and evil and more integrally than there’s this bad person harming society, understanding that for us to climb out of our wrong we need the goodwill of a good number of people because it’s not something we can do all on our own, why, when it’s all said and done, this suicide bomber’s speaking and why I am. To speak in the terms of the spiritual path that I follow, you’d have to understand something of the great difference between the Supermind and Overmind, the very different ways from each other in which their processes work, to see why someone such as myself would be perfect to post what I’m posting as an outgrowth of my sadhana in the Integral Yoga.

Last night lines came saying it was time to post the poem, but that it needed a new title, and after hearing a few that played on the words I heard at the Samadhi, it hit me that I heard the new title sitting there last week, and that now the poem is perfect, relative to my ability at least. It still means what I originally thought it did, Sri Aurobindo exclaiming that it’s got his name on it, but it’s characteristic of muse to mean more than one thing, be applicable to more than one situation, and so it’s the suicide bomber making that exclamation and also all of Islam, and, in a very real though quite hidden sense, each and every one of us.

Who this suicide bomber is and what bombing he’s talking about I don’t know, but there are vague references that would seem to indicate the attack happened in Israel and killed mostly young people. He describes an after death process that would take a long time by our reckoning, but heaven can open windows on time we cannot, and so this could be what to us would be a voice from the future. It’s important to understand this is a single bomber speaking, with all the things personal to him that would entail, and so each suicide bomber would have a different story of why they became one as much as their general fate in the afterlife would be along the same lines as the one speaking in the poem.

This poem needs to get into the right hands, and as of yet it’s not gotten into even a handful of hands, other than the editors who’ve rejected it and a few other people, and so I pick it up again and try its hand here. Does anyone out there have ears? If you do, please share this poem. Its license is Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.

That’s Got My Name on It

The world let me come to your room.
Here only:
a poet’s met greater listening.
Now what did he fish?
I’m not in your reach before.
What is the moon?
Symbol for where I am,
a light
To help you cross the night.

Silence,
death takes a terrible moment to calm down.
Now I touch you with the real.
I am a dead speaker.
The suicide bomber changes its space,
and everything right now
A story about how long it is.
Give rise to future presentations.

I cry to your hand.
Look at me.
My water, oh no,
blood red.
I’m sorry to act.
Disappointment knows no greater sum.
Give me the light
of your understanding,
and I’ll give you changed view.

The service there to act the middle road to stars,
the courage there to act.
Each man has a fear, love, dread, and pull to the extreme.
We feel ourselves so different from one another.
The problem’s building the people to be a church
so I can blow people up.
Man is a kicking gale a dozen kicking gales like him.
Can you understand why?

The small raft that conceals us all in bodily harm,
what I was to become in search of myself,
a big wall of religious separation between us,
and the grizzly bodies of adolescents to 13 men to find,
it’s not a secret the whole flesh can discover.

Death was not in my hands.
I exploded immediately.
Kill someone,
their voice right there.
We had a pay together.
It wasn’t bright and sunny.
Can we show you nonexistence?
I think I touched her.
You’ve got to fear.
Oh my God,
every finger accusingly sat at me.
This was no paradise.

There are realms in death you understand.
More order came.
I guess all went off to their private lesson.
I winked into hell.
All my mountain said no.
We lingered there.
It was my own order I made myself.
Please arrive me out of terror.

There lessons learned,
deep dark secrets you who understands.
A light found me thinking.
I grasped my neck to myself
and began to see.
I vanished hell.
On my journey I rose to you.
I’ve come up to my Faith.

As it doesn’t have one of the goals reconciliation
this is where Mohammad messed up.
The others I must also treat with light.
To grow oneself in mercy good idea.
Treat them with kid gloves even bad people.

The nature of the Prophet cannot be seen by your calculations.
It is hidden,
in a sense,
light bulb.
This sometimes assailed him,
his human.

Have to take apart anger.
I was just mad at you.
Through so much deception and web
the heartbreak was crouched around a day of killing,
terror hush, terror deep.

Tearin’ a hole in the fabric
of what death open
I am the author of a little child of the Furies,
a fierce cartoon within the page of my own age.
Every word easing the spear.
Not a secret a baby can tell.
Muslim doesn’t even talk about Muslim.
God is the veil at which he lowers his eyes.

Adam used to tell his name
unto his soul.
Let me release an air of sin
this cell from within,
right where they told me to explode.
It’s time for them to know:
all the way they cut truly in to a child’s deep identity.
Behind me the spear gave lesson.
I was sleeping –
families’ dinosaur.

There are some things that result in our hatred.
These things are ugly on us.
If you can tell the victim in the victimizer
stop the hatred.
That’s the first thing the very first.
No one else can listen.
No one else has ears.
The best place the time would be now,
to bring us into the 21st century.
The future writes this very slowly.
It’s now on the city conscience of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States.

It’s So Easy To Forget

By Douglas McElheny

It’s so easy to get irked with people about the same faults we have or have had in the past, so easy to forget what we were like when we were young when dealing with young people and the difficulties their immaturity presents. It’s a blind spot that seems to afflict a lot of us when we become adults, this lack of tolerance and understanding for the young, like they should somehow not have the same faults we had at their age. I needed a dream recently to remind me of this. Let me share.

As I’ve pointed out in other posts we have an ‘extended family’ of people we are still involved with in addition to the young adults that reside here with us in our house. One of these young men is homeless, we’ll call him H. for short. H. shows up every once in awhile and wants to stay couple of days, would like to live here actually, but we’re not taking anybody else on at the moment. We have a general guideline that we let people stay two nights per visit, but since H. claimed he had both lost his job and had a fight with his mother we let him stay for four. After those four days both Donny and I, especially Donny, were glad that he left. H. usually keeps to himself when he’s here, but on this particular occasion he was frequently going into Donny’s room and wanting to hang out there. Both Donny and I like our privacy and don’t really want anyone else just hanging out in our rooms so that was bothersome for him as H. couldn’t take the hint. H. was also coming to my room to ask for money and the keys to the moped to go get this or that indulgence for himself, a soda or a snack etc. I’m used to our residents showing that kind of boldness when they want something, but the repeated coming for money on H.’s part got kind of annoying. I think it’s like the saying goes that “the fish had started to stink.” Anyone that we’re not accustomed to being around gets on our nerves eventually. I will say that something seemed to be bothering H., but we never figured out what that was.

A day or so after H. left I had this dream:

I’ve been staying at Billie’s house for a few days, but I’ve decided I’m definitely going to leave tomorrow. I’m pondering how I should spend my last day, and I think it would be nice if Billie and I went somewhere that we could hike. So I go upstairs to find Billie. I tell him my idea and he angrily tells me no he doesn’t want to go hiking. I’m taken aback by this and ask him if this is just because the fish have started to stink. I say “Maybe four days here was too much and two would have been enough. Please be honest if this is the reason so I will know if I ever come to visit again.” In a huff he admits it. I go downstairs and tell his mom Mary Margaret what happened. She says that she herself hasn’t been bothered by my being there, but that “it’s his daughter.” By this she means that my being there is getting in the way of Billie spending time with his daughter.

 Back in 1999 I had gone to a Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania. When it was over I managed to catch a ride out of there with a group that was headed to Bloomington Indiana, so I figured I would get off at Richmond Indiana where I had gone to high school and see some old friends. The first place I stopped was the home of a mother of a friend of mine, Dave who wasn’t there, but actually living in Colorado. Karen let me stay a couple of days before she drove to Colorado to see Dave, and she made it clear I wasn’t invited though I wanted to go. Next I went to my friend Max’s house and slept on their couch for a few days before his wife told Max to show me the door. So I ended up at Billie’s where I stayed maybe a week, before I took a bus to New Jersey to stay with my brother for a few days before I got on a plane to Europe to go and see the total solar eclipse in Hungary.

Now at the time I was kind of baffled as to why Karen hadn’t wanted to take me to Colorado with her, and also why Max’s wife had wanted me to leave, because I couldn’t see what a mooch and a parasite I was being. Billie was more accommodating probably because he was my hands down best friend from high school. He didn’t say anything, but I surely wore out my welcome there too, eating his food and not contributing much except for buying all the marijuana we were smoking. I’m not sure how annoyed Billie got with the whole thing, but probably more than he let on, though I think he did enjoy having me there. I’m quite sure though that his girlfriend (with whom he was living along with their four kids) got annoyed by my presence.

So when I was looking at this dream it made me take a look at the way I was acting back then, how I’d made people feel the same feelings that came up in me towards H.. There’s part of me that realizes just on general principle that I need to get to the place where I don’t get annoyed by things like this, but the dream also brought the point home that I’ve acted the same way and really have no justification for getting annoyed with people who are still immature in the same way that I was back then. We have a number of people from our ‘extended family’ who come over here just to indulge their vitals and eat our food and don’t give nary a thing back, and if they’re asked to do something they’ll get in a huff about it or do a half-assed job. Our residents aren’t much different. That’s hard for my ego to take, but it’s largely immaturity on their part and I was the same way. The other big factor however is boys in this culture are waited on hand and foot their entire lives as they’re growing up, and feel like they shouldn’t have to do anything even when they’re a guest in somebody else’s home.

This wasn’t the end of the lesson though because a day or so after the dream another young man, we’ll call him Fred as in Right Said Fred showed up. Now Fred isn’t part of the extended family, but a nineteenth cousin or something of three of our residents. Fred is young, and extremely conceited, thinks he’s a big somebody because he’s a fashion photographer and has over 3,500 facebook friends following his personal page. He doesn’t get paid as far as I know for his photographs, just takes a lot of pictures of himself and his friends dressed up with sunglasses, and showing off their six packs if they have them. It’s the sort of thing young Tamils would like, glitzy and shallow, but I will admit that he has talent and thus he’s built his small following. Fred also has an amplified vital and wants a big party whenever he’s here. Usually he comes on a Friday and leaves on Sunday, but on this particular visit he came on Sunday and wanted to stay four days. It basically threw off our whole schedule as far as satsung goes, since our boys (who worship Fred) were running around with him taking pictures. They also bought beer and were drinking which is something Donny and I allow occasionally, but we want to be informed about it, and in this case, as is often the case when Fred is here, we were not.

Fred and I got off on the wrong foot from the get go after I first got back to India when he brought three extra people with him when he came for New Year’s Eve and then proceeded to tell me they were staying for two days when I told him to get them up and out of here on New Year’s Day. He’s just one of those personalities that will push things as much as he can, and the alpha in me doesn’t like being defied by someone trying to come into our house and do whatever he wants. Neither am I impressed with Fred’s 3,500 facebook friends, and find him mainly a disturbance who makes the house harder to manage while he’s here. During his visit this time though I realized my dream about Billie related to him too, and that he was just acting the same way I was back in 1999. Given this it’s interesting that both he and H. stayed for four days just as in my dream I was at Billie’s for four days. Maybe there’s some reaping of what I sowed going on here too. The other thing I tried to recognize is that, although I find Fred’s visits unpleasant, it’s a vital treat for the young men here who feed off his amplified vital energy and ‘let’s party’ atmosphere and who think he’s basically living the dream with his 3,500 facebook friends. I also found myself feeling a little bit sorry for Fred too, since he is good looking and with his swagger he’d do well with the ladies in a more liberal country, but here in India with this traditional culture it’s not so easy carry on a relationship. I guess that may be kind of silly on my part, but empathy is still empathy I suppose. I will say though that in general I feel sadness for the plight of young people here because of all the sexual repression and the archaic system of arranged marriages, but I digress.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t react to Fred’s antics during this particular visit, but there is a sort of epilogue to all this. A month later I came out of my apartment and heard a very loud voice downstairs that I recognized as Fred and was irked since he hadn’t called to ask if it was all right to come, something we’ve asked him to do as a courtesy. That night I had this dream:

I’m reading an account of something that happened at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, but at times it shifts visually to snapshots or short clips of what’s being recounted. There’s a group of people outside the ashram doing something with the Mother, and an obnoxious jogger passes by and yells “Byyyyyyyyeeee!” as he goes by. Then he stops and gets on the phone at a telephone booth. Everyone is just gawking at him until the Mother comes and tells us to get back to work and stop paying attention to the guy, that he has no importance.

 The first conclusion I came to about the dream is that the obnoxious jogger who got on the pay phone represented Fred, who is both physically fit and also always on his smartphone. I took it that the message for me was to not get aggravated by him, see him for the thing of no importance that he is and carry on with my work. Now I think that’s true, but I think at the same time, and more importantly, the obnoxious jogger represents this part of me that reacts to Fred and creates an inner disturbance, because the real problem isn’t Fred or H. or whoever or whatever else I’m reacting too. The problem is my reactions.

I don’t know if I’m cured or not as far as reacting to Fred, but this dream really helped me, and I wasn’t bothered by him much when he was here this time and even felt some good will for him. The thing is though sometimes you have to lay down the law when you run a house like this, but the problem with me is the alpha male part of me overreacts and wants to bring the hammer down hard on challenges to its authority. It’s a continuing issue because if Donny and I didn’t assert ourselves at times our house would be overrun. What I need to do though, I feel, is work on getting a handle on myself in these situation and dealing with things firmly but with understanding, and not let my ego turn things into a pissing contest. Alas, yet another thing to work on and another thing it seems can only be completely solved by a change in consciousness since the human ego self, this way of knowing in which all these outer persons and events appear as something separate and distinct from ‘me’, is a thing of reactions and resistances. I don’t have the feeling though that if you shift to a higher way of knowing that lives in the oneness and unity of existence, that you turn into a passive candy ass. But I do think that there wouldn’t be any ill will or animal aggressiveness when you assert yourself, but rather a sincere compassion even when you’re acting in a heavy-handed way or with severity. Other people might still react to you as if there are still those baser feelings at play in you, but that won’t be the truth, just their reaction and misinterpretation. So I guess the final word is that living in a higher consciousness won’t save you from offending people. In fact, you might offend more people than you would otherwise, but you won’t be acting from ego and that’s what counts.

 

To View the Hunting Design of Mourning

Stay away from the incomplete parts of Islam through ISIS.
That dreaming ISIS.
There are no dreaming years.

He told me that a harsh character
found the credit for character
within their character.

I have a lethal weapon.
ISIS too has integers.
Heatblast
leave a notebook.
They put a bomb in this kid’s mouth.
That so formula.

The following is an excerpt from an article in Dabiq[i], the first official magazine of Islamic State. It quotes three dreams of the suicide bomber of the Brussels metro in 2016, dreams he had in the  months before he died:

“Khālid al-Bakrāwī (Abū Walīd al-Baljīkī) Metro Station Istishhādī

A man of strong character, a natural leader, Khālid was guided while in prison after having a vivid, life-changing dream. He saw that he was alongside the Prophet fighting the disbelievers. Narrating his dream, he said, “It was a vision. After hearing the last verse of al-Fath[ii] recited in a loud voice, I saw the Prophet on a horse in battle, a distance away. The vision took me beyond the battlefield. I saw myself as an archer shooting arrows at the enemy. I would shoot, take cover, then shoot again.” He narrated other details of the dream and said, “I then woke up, back in my prison cell.”

After leaving prison, full of conviction and steadfastness, he started giving da’wah in his neighborhood, calling the youth to make hijrah to Shām. He also wrote a few articles on the crusades of the era fought by the West against the Muslims. All preparations for the raids in Paris and Brussels started with him and his older brother Ibrāhīm. These two brothers gathered the weapons and the explosives. After the blessed raid in Paris, he saw another dream, which motivated him to carry out an istishhādī operation. He narrated, “The second dream was three months ago. It was a vision that took place from fajr[iii] until dhuhr[iv]. I arose to a high place, as if I was in space, surrounded by stars; but the sky was like the blue of night.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he was created only to worship Allah and ordering him to fight for His cause and make His word supreme. He then woke up.

Abū Walīd then narrated a third dream: “I had a vision that also took place from fajr until dhuhr, but ended at night. I saw myself on a boat along with Abū Sulaymān and another brother. Each of us had a Turkish soldier as a hostage. I had a pistol and Abū Sulaymān had a belt. I told him to give me his belt, as I would feel better having it. So he gave me the belt and I gave him my pistol. I then quickly advanced with the Turkish hostage in order to close in on other soldiers, two of whom were in front of us. I detonated my belt, killing the soldiers. My head then descended to the ground. One of the brothers working on the operation and Shaykh al-‘Adnānī took my head and said, ‘Check to see if he is smiling or not.’ I then saw my soul and those of the three soldiers. All of a sudden, the soldiers’ souls burned and vanished and, suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly. My soul then became full of light.” He then heard a voice in the dream telling him that he had achieved deliverance. Abū Walīd continued, “I prostrated quickly and repeatedly pronounced the takbīr[v]. I then awoke to find my heart beating fast, and I was taking quick breaths.”

One would expect the leader of ISIS, al-baghdadi, whom they claim to be the Caliph of Islam, to be the dreamer they are reporting here, not some corporal who’s only going to kill himself after having such ‘inspiring’ dreams. This is the first time Dabiq, their English medium magazine, has included a dream account that aims at showing Allah inspired a suicide attack[vi], and it’s interesting that it comes a month after I posted a comment on Internet Archive where a copy of the previous issue of Dabiq was made available. That comment included a link to a poem video[vii] I’d been sending out for the previous month trying to get the video to ISIS. In the video, among other things, I ask why someone with the spiritual stature al-baghdadi’s supposed to have doesn’t guide by his dreams and implied that their decisions as a group do not come from dreams and visions but from things like Google maps, the need for men and supplies, the lust for power, and the like.

I can only speculate whether this dream account and the claim that “both IS leaders and members strongly relate to their nightly dreams”[viii] and a rumor circulating that al-baghdadi used a dream to make a military decision in 2014, are a result of ISIS seeing the video and trying to prove me wrong. I can, however, be reasonably sure they’ve seen it by now, will probably read this article, and so I want to take this opportunity given me to examine this dream account in the light my experience with dreaming. In my opinion, much of the supposed guidance in these dreams is a mixture of Khalid’s dispositions and desires as well as a hostile influence pushing him toward the act of destruction he carried out in Belgium, dreams which are being reported by ISIS for propaganda purposes. In my analysis of these dreams, it’s my intention to try and expose these corrupting elements, as well as the misunderstanding and misinterpretation by Khalid of some genuine symbolic elements in these dreams in order to suit his lethal intentions.

Encountering it has made me realize it’s not wise to call for a society-wide wholesale opening to dream and vision. That would be, as Douglas said when I told him these dreams, a disaster. Neither is it a good idea to encourage people to guide by their dreams without first warning them dreams can deceive as much if not more than they can help, and that, long before they can be a good source of guidance, you have to have cultivated an integral understanding of their nature and purpose in the course of working with your dreams over a long period of time. You have to explore dream, not simply have them and remember them. The inner revolution I’ve been talking about won’t come from simply opening to our dreams but from learning to use them to go deeper within ourselves to discover who and what in truth we are. It seems fairly obvious Khālid didn’t use his dreams to discover truth, was not an inner explorer. He sees himself in them and believes whatever he sees.

To take a dream or vision at face value, as if it’s an oracle of truth because it comes from inside us, can lead to tragedy, what these dreams led Khālid to. He didn’t understand that dreams, more often than not, show us what’s going on with us, what we want to do, not what we should do, what we fear will happen, not what will happen, what we think the truth is, not what it is, and he didn’t know that they are constantly tampered with by the hostile powers, the field of dreams being their stomping ground, they being the non-physical creatures that they are. Between us Douglas and I have over 50 years of daily experience working with our dreams, oftentimes with the dreams of others, and although they’ve become for us a source of guidance, because we’ve developed dreaming to the degree we have, we have to be constantly on our guard so as not to be fooled, and I still get fooled sometimes.

That brings in the other corrupting element of these dreams I want to expose, one that’s made examining them a challenge, and that’s the fact that they have clearly been doctored to spout ideology and are being used as tools of propaganda. It’s not possible to separate with complete certainty what Khālid actually dreamed and what both he and Dabiq added to and subtracted from his dream accounts, and most certainly such has been done to these dreams. They bear the mark of the spin doctor. As my muse puts it, “added literature, fake literature, fake news from Allah.” To one degree or another, it’s a factor to consider in any dream account you hear second hand, but with one from ISIS, a religious/socio/political group of extremists that have taken propaganda to new levels of deception and style, it’s the major consideration.

To simply pass these dreams off as propaganda, however, and therefore not worth the trouble to examine, would be foolish. They’re being used by ISIS to convince others to carry out suicide attacks, and, however much they were misinterpreted and misrepresented by Khālid and doctored and construed by Dabiq, these dreams, in their raw form, were a factor in convincing him to kill himself and as many unsuspecting everyday people as he could in the process and to aid others to do the same, which he does as obediently as a house dog.

Not being able to see these dreams as he really had them but doctored as they are, I’m unable to say how much they were just showing him what was cooking with him and how much they have been tampered with by the hostile powers. It’s an influence on us in dream and vision, as Douglas has been showing in his two latest articles. How big an influence depends on the individual and their opening to the beast in themselves. That such an influence is acting upon ISIS I have no doubt, not only by the depravity of their brutality, but also by coming into contact with it as I was making the above mentioned video, the physical effects of which I talk about in the introduction to the video on this blog.[ix]

To one degree or another, each one of us are under the influence of the hostile powers, even people considered good, and when we learn this it will greatly change the way we understand and deal with human evil, since we’ll see an outside will acting upon us that can become stronger than our own. In the case of ISIS as a group, however, that influence has taken over, and it’s as though they have fallen into a hole they cannot now climb out of. They let it in with their diabolical violence, no doubt as a means to gain quick attention, but I’m sure they didn’t understand that it’s not a door they can close once it’s open, unless they renounce and repent being ISIS, and even then it’s mark will be upon them the rest of their lives, a stealthy persistent influence awaiting re-entry.

The process known as radicalization, whether that be done face to face by an inman or whoever or indirectly through social media, is insufficient to account for why someone such as Khālid, a native of the city he blew such a monstrous hole into, would so willingly annihilate himself and as many others as he could, the worst thing in his power to do, something that aims at destroying the very idea of what it means to be a human being. That lethal idea got ahold of him when he opened to ISIS, probably even before he contacted them, as it’s done and is doing to many today, and it’s conscious and non-human, anti-divine, and human suffering is its food. This phenomenon, to go off and kill as many people as you can however you can, is a conscious formation working within the collective field of human consciousness that in ISIS has found a home, but it’s worked it’s dire spell on anyone who goes on a killing rampage, which, in our times, has become something almost panhuman.

A person opens the door to that lethal idea when they hate, be that a hatred of society itself or some group within it, and even if they themselves don’t carry it out or even consciously consider it, their hate is a will acting on anyone who does, aiding and abetting the hostile formation. Since we live in a collective field of consciousness, our hate accumulates and becomes a force that seeks action, which manifests in individuals such as Khālid and anyone else whose action annihilates. In other words, we are all partly to blame for such tragedies. It’s not possible at this time to directly fight the hostile formation, but we can work to stop the hatred among ourselves so at least our collective will isn’t helping it to manifest its hell.

Whatever ISIS may say, the driving force behind them isn’t a passionate love for God but a murderous hatred of whom they feel are either non-believers or bad believers, which is anyone who isn’t a member or supporter of ISIS or anyone who is they decide isn’t living up to their idea of Islam. In such a narrow hateful environment it’s no wonder the hostile formation pushing for annihilation is given such free play, seems to seize people who want to join ISIS, be the idea many if not most have in their minds as what they must do as ISIS members, is what ISIS itself uses as its major weapon, is something so characteristic of and central to its existence.

“A force demoniac lurking in man’s depths
That heaves suppressed by the heart’s human law,
Awed by the calm and sovereign eyes of Thought,
Can in a fire and earthquake of the soul
Arise and, calling to its native night,
Overthrow the reason, occupy the life
And stamp its hoof on Nature’s shaking ground.”

from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo[x]

It’s so telling that, when ISIS begins to publish personal dream accounts of their members, they choose this one from a suicide bomber and construe the whole account to lead up to a justification of his actions, wanting us to believe God himself, through whatever divine intermediaries, not only willed him to do it but gave him the mission to. But the propagandists in Dabiq do not know enough about dream and vision to pull it off, about human nature either, and they do not know that when you are claiming to embody the one and only truth upon earth, and you use lies to spread that truth, you reveal that you’re not embodying it.

One can dream anything, and dreams can help us heal ourselves and others (the more so the more conscious soul contact we have), which is what Douglas and I have been focusing on this blog, the helpful nature of dreams, but they can also trick us into hurting and killing people, the latter depending on how much influence there is from the hostile powers and how much we want to hurt and kill, an aspect of dream we have neglected to give the emphasis it needs, since dreams and visions are so often a factor when one of us harms (not only bodily) or kills others. I cannot emphasize enough that any dream or vision that’s telling you directly or indirectly to do something must be ardently questioned and not automatically obeyed, even when they’re telling you to preach what you feel is the truth, most especially when they’re telling you to harm yourself and others or bring yourself glory, regardless of whatever divine clothes the mission may be wearing to give it authority and a look of righteousness.

Dreams and visions are most trustworthy as guides when they’re suggesting or telling you not to do something that would violate others or harm yourself or aggrandize your ego. Khālid doesn’t even bat an eye when a voice in dream tells him that he’s achieved deliverance by carrying out a suicide bombing. He falls to his knees and blesses God over and over, and then simply goes out into the waking world and carries it out, believing by that mournful deed he’ll be liberated from sin and death.

Or so Dabiq would have us believe. That he willingly carried out his attack is something that doesn’t seem to be in question. The question is, of course, how much is Dabiq putting those words of divine mission into his dreams’ mouth?

As I suggested but didn’t explain in the beginning, dreams of this stature, ascending upon high to receive a divine word and mission, seeing your soul transfigure and hearing another god-word telling you you’ve been liberated, among other things, are characteristic of a prophet, seer, or significant religious figure, not some fall guy about to blow himself up no different from the all the rest doing that. Either Dabiq or the hostile powers added these seer elements, the former to fool us and the latter to fool Khālid, and it’s a tossup as to who did the most fooling.

The dream account begins with a quote from the Quran. Although Khālid was in the restricted environment of prison and perhaps hearing or reciting that verse often, it’s unusual to hear something of such length and clarity in dream all in one go, but not impossible. It’s more probable he heard a portion of it and reported he heard the entire verse. Although it’s saying to be harsh to unbelievers and merciful to believers, it’s not a call to arms and seems to suggest Christians and Jews are believers too, though in the one God not in Mohammed, as other verses in the Quran suggest. If you were a jihadist and were adding material to this dream, you’d pick a less ambiguous verse for your cause, one reason this dream seems to me to be more genuine, another being that it’s a common feature of dreams, if you’re devoted to a religion as Khālid was, to dream of the prominent religious figures of it, especially in the sort of monastery prison can be if you are religiously devout. Add to that he was most likely being indoctrinated in the jihadist interpretation of Islam and therefore when he sees such a figure, it’s not surprising it’s on a battlefield. It’s significant that Mohammed is nowhere in sight when he’s shooting arrows at the enemy, a symbol they interpret to mean he’s to conduct jihad, but in my experience with this symbol, it has more to do with pointed messages you send to people than actual fighting, what we see him doing when he gets out of prison and is writing articles about jihad. Whatever the case, if the verse was added or embellished or if it’s a truthfully told dream, both Khālid and Dabiq interpret this dream to mean much more than it does in itself. It’s interpreted as his first call to arms in jihad, where he will end up indiscriminately killing anybody in the Brussels Metro near him in the near future, be they Muslim, Christian, Jew, or whomever.

Dabiq frames these dreams, as I’m showing, to lead up to Allah ordaining his suicide mission, through whatever channels of dream and divinity. Dabiq tells us that in this first dream he’s fighting alongside the Prophet, a framing technique that puts Khālid and his actions on equal footing with the battles Mohammed fought, In the dream, however, he’s some distance away, and in dream that’s quite significant, the distance we are from someone a symbolic representation of our actual proximity to them in terms of our intimacy with their person. When it’s a religious figure, it shows how close we are to their ideal, not only their person. Here, he’s not close but some distance away, and we aren’t told Mohammed’s looking at him or even aware of him, probably because he wasn’t, and that would put a lot more distance between he and Mohammed and would suggest he has little or no part in Mohammed’s battles, and so Dabiq embellishes greatly by saying he’s beside Mohammed. A dream shift occurs, and we see him shooting arrows at an enemy fighting wherever beyond the battlefield is. It’s not alongside Mohammed. The further details of the dream we aren’t given, and you have to wonder if that’s because it would detract from the impression they want to give. Since dreams are symbolic, the more details you have the better you can interpret the meaning of a dream. Dabiq describes this as a life-changing dream, what put Khālid on the path that would ultimately lead him to carry out his suicide mission.

The second and third dreams are framed within the call to prayer, beginning at the dawn prayer and ending at the noon one, and it’s not unusual for dream to initiate on an outer sound and end on one, especially end, if the sound wakes us up. What’s odd here is the length of the dreams. Several hours is a long time for a single dream. In fact, neither Douglas nor I have heard of a continuous dream lasting that long, and these dreams are not full of dream shifts, one of the most noticeable characteristics of dream, where the individual elements and scenario are changing constantly, and the longer the dream the more shifting there is. They are presented as having the continuity of waking life experience, one scenario that plays itself out in dreams that we are told lasts several hours. That’s just not characteristic of dream,  as I’ve said. It makes me hold framing the two dreams within the call to prayer under suspicion, something either Khālid or Dabiq embellished slightly or greatly to suggest his dreams were participating directly with Islam.

I cannot say much more about the second dream other than dreams do give people missions, as any study of dreaming down through the ages will show, and such dreams usually involve spreading a religion, and so he could’ve had this dream as it’s related, whatever’s askew about its length, but it’s too by the numbers for me not to question it, too literal. Besides, Khālid’s contemplating murderous suicide by this time, and you wouldn’t imagine the heaven of Islam here leading him further along that path, but you would the hostile powers. I’ll also say that, when examining the truth value of a dream account you hear secondhand, just being given a summary of what the voice of dream said and not the exact words, you have to be suspicious either a lot’s been lost in the summary or it’s been made to mean what the people reporting it want it to.

The third dream ties the dream account specifically to suicide bombing, what it’s been leading up to since the beginning: showing it was willed by heaven and was a blessed and sacred act. It’s also the most over the top dream in terms of divine fireworks, and therefore the most, I feel, tampered with by Dabiq. The first part of the dream is quite normal as far as dream goes and shows in symbolic terms his growing desire to kill himself and others, what he’s been thinking about in regards to it, which seems to be how brave and daring he’ll be, not should he do it. (He is by this time convinced that he should and is aiding others to do that and planning attacks.) Is he smiling or not represents the question of his bravado, and it’s interesting that it’s not answered. Instead, a remarkable thing happens: he sees his soul.

Seeing a representation of the soul in dream isn’t all that uncommon. While this may have been what he dreamed, it’s a little suspicious to me in light of the video I mentioned where I question ISIS about dreaming. The video, in its essence, is about the soul, and in it I say that they are not in contact with their soul nor have knowledge of it. It’s the biggest challenge I make in the video. Did Dabiq add this to his dream so to prove me wrong, or was it indeed a part of it? We have no way of knowing without further information, but because from here on out the dreams ceases to be symbolic and becomes more literal, the whole nature of the dream changing from a vital one to a religious and spiritual one, I think it’s a legitimate question.

If you were adding such things of course you’d show that the souls of the enemy, who are also Muslim we can reasonably assume, are inferior, their souls being gray insignificant things and just burning up while Khālid’s undergoes a transfiguration, but not before this happens: “suddenly, the banner of Islam – represented in the dream by the flag of the Islamic State – came out of the earth and was shining brightly.” Why the commentary here? Why doesn’t he just say the flag of ISIS? Because they want to say that the flag of Islam and ISIS are one and the same and therefore that ISIS is the true Islam. Because they are not truthfully reporting a dream account but are spouting propaganda.

Once his soul transfigures and becomes full of light, Dabiq calls him Abū Walīd and not Khālid, the name change in the account is significant no doubt, coming as it does after his transfiguration and after he’d detonated his belt. He’s now the son of his father, the son of Islam being the implication here I feel. In any event, now he’s somebody.

Once he saw his soul it appears he became the observer in the dream and not a participant, a common characteristic of dream, switching back and forth from observing to participating, but wouldn’t he be his soul and not his mortal self once his soul transfigures, seeing how he’s again a participant prostrating himself and blessing Allah and is no longer the observer? I ask this question based on what I know about coming into contact with your immortal soul. You wouldn’t wake up from a dream of being your transfigured soul excited like a little kid You’d have a brush with eternity and be filled with the calm and peace such contact brings. Neither, by the way, would you be liberated from sin and death by such a murderous suicidal action, and if the voice of dream did actually say that, and again we hear a summary and not the exact words, it’s not the soul’s voice or the divine’s. It’s the hostile powers’ or a manifestation of Khālid’s intense desire to carry out such a tragic act.

It seems they’re trying to make this out as a religious experience and not just a dream, what Khālid seems to feel all three dreams are, why he calls them visions no doubt. It’s clear he’s not using the word vision in the sense I do, as dreams you have or voices you hear when awake but in a slight trance or in twilight, between waking and sleeping, usually much less immersive and shorter than sleeping dreams. Dabiq sticks to the term dream throughout, and I can’t help but wonder at the discrepancy. Would it have anything to do with my challenge to them in regards to dream? If they too called them visions, the account wouldn’t get the tag it needed to go out into the world as proof they are into their dreams and guide by them. It’s a no accident the discrepancy is there, since this is propaganda, and every word is purposefully placed. Whatever the case, this third dream is too incongruent for me to accept either as a truthfully reported dream or a religious experience. It’s a carefully construed piece of propaganda of the most potent kind, like the other two dreams, having just enough truth in them so as not to be able to clearly see the lies. Here with this dream, however, they are so bent on spouting ideology they show their hand.

To get any real picture of what was going on with Khālid’s dreams, we’d  have to see an unedited dream journal that tried to include as many of the thousands of dreams he had in the months before he died, not only the ones that seem to be telling him to become a suicide bomber. Since he was calling on God, focused on Islam, and no sincere call goes unanswered no matter how seemingly unfit the vessel, he would’ve had dreams that questioned the dire action that had taken hold of his mind, dreams that tried to warn him and that contradicted ISIS, and I say this based on being myself an unfit vessel but still calling on God, not as one righteous pointing the finger at Khālid. I have gotten so much help from dream and vision. We all get help to one degree or another, and no doubt Khālid did too, since dreams aren’t just random firings of the subconscious regurgitating our lives but meaningful insights into ourselves and our world, however much they can be tampered with by hostile powers or people with bad intentions or by our own, but we have to be able to see the true from the false in dream and cling to the true, and towards this end I submit my article.

“Injustice justified by firm decrees
The sovereign weights of Error’s legalised trade,
But all the weights were false and none the same;
Ever she watched with her balance and a sword,
Lest any sacrilegious word expose
The sanctified formulas of her old misrule.
In high professions wrapped self-will walked wide
And licence stalked prating of order and right:
There was no altar raised to Liberty;
True freedom was abhorred and hunted down:
Harmony and tolerance nowhere could be seen
Each group proclaimed its dire and naked Law.
A frame of ethics knobbed with scriptural rules
Or a theory passionately believed in a praised
A table seemed of high Heaven’s sacred code.
A formal practice mailed and iron-shod
Gave to a rude and ruthless warrior kind
Drawn from the savage bowels of the earth
A proud stern poise of harsh nobility,
A civic posture rigid and formidable.
But all their private acts belied the pose:
Power and utility were their Truth and Right,
An eagle rapacity clawed its coveted good,
Beaks pecked and talons tore all weaker prey.
In their sweet secrecy of pleasant sins
Nature they obeyed and not a moralist God.
Inconscient traders in bundles of contraries,
They did what in others they would persecute;
When their eyes looked upon their fellow’s vice,
An indignation flamed, a virtuous wrath;
Oblivious of their own deep-hid offence,
Mob-like they stoned a neighbor caught in sin.”

from Savitri by Sri Aurobindo

 

 

[i] https://clarionproject.org/docs/Dabiq-Issue-14.pdf

[ii] Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those who are with him are harsh against the unbelievers but merciful to one another. You see them bow and prostrate themselves seeking the bounty and pleasure of Allah. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel, as the seed which puts forth its shoot and strengthens it, so that it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, delighting the sowers, and through them He enrages the unbelievers. Allah has promised those of them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a great wage.

[iii] Dawn prayer.

[iv] Noon Prayer.

[v] “God is great.”

[vi] https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016/09/08/islamic-state-and-dream-warfare/ “These issues are the first times Dabiq has contained personal dream reports of significant IS members intending to demonstrate the glorious Allah inspired sacrifice of their martyrs.” I should also credit Iain R. Edgar, a dream researcher at Durham University, who published the above article and others about the dreams of ISIS on the web, what alerted me to their existence.

[vii] https://youtu.be/6txLpFBa7Wc

[viii] https://sustainablesecurity.org/2016/09/08/islamic-state-and-dream-warfare/

[ix] https://harms-end.com/2016/02/17/rainbow-as-a-radical-with-islamic-state/

[x] Savitri quotes courtesy of The Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. The last quote is a description of the population of one of the hell worlds.

The Hostile On Top Of Me

predator cloak

By Douglas McElheny

In my last blog I gave an example of a dream where I feel I had an actual encounter with a hostile being, that is, a being of conscious darkness. I have another example I wanted to share in this post.

This dream happened quite a number of years ago when Donny and I were living in Cusco Peru. We stayed there for a span of months and shortly after arriving we befriended a group of holistic doctors there. Two of these doctors, Carlos and Luis, had a small apartment in Cusco, but on the weekends went to their homes and families in the small town of Urubamba nearby. Donny was a frequent weekend guest at Carlos’ house, and I went less frequently to stay with Luis. Luis had four children who were all teenagers or in their early twenties. One of them was a daughter, Chani, if I remember her name correctly.

The first few times I stayed with Luis and his family, I slept on the floor in an unused dental examination room. On one of those early visits I had a dream I was there on the floor in that room and Chani was on top of me, but fully clothed. She lowered her face to mine and we started kissing, but the experience was rather unpleasant, as she was moving her tongue around rapidly and violently in a circle. I opened my eyes and instead of Chani there was a being like the alien from the movie Predator in the sense that it was transparent, but I could still make it out and see its features to some extent. It was humanoid, but more bizarre and alien looking than anything Hollywood has ever managed to come up with. What I remember most clearly about it though was a small beak like thing it had for a mouth that had a tongue like thing that was circling around the outside of the beak the same way it had been doing in my mouth just few seconds before. Then I woke up and it was either still dark out or dawn was just beginning while in the dream the room had been fully lit.

If I remember correctly I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that the being I was kissing and that had appeared to me in Chani’s form was a hostile vital being. I also realized I had probably been in the cataleptic state back in my body, yet still in the dream state when the encounter occurred. The whole thing made a strong impression on me and I’ve never forgotten it over the years. I’ve also had other dreams where I was kissing someone and there was something unpleasant about it, -usually it’s something they’re doing with their tongue, but sometimes their mouth has a really gross taste- and I’ve wondered if at those times I was kissing another one of these beings in disguise. I honestly don’t know though nor do I know if it’s possible to have intimacy in a dream with one of these beings and have it be marvelous. I just know what I experienced that one time.

Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have spoken at length about these types of vital beings in their talks and writings. According to their experience there seems to be a whole spectrum of them from fallen divine beings to small mischievous entities that like to cause accidents. And some classes of these beings it appears are actually spawned from our own lower desires while we’re still alive or from parts of our own vital makeup after we die.1 And for all these types of vital beings their food is the energy we give off during lower vital movements such as lust, anger, depression etc., and they’re pushing our buttons and setting up situations both in dream and waking life to get us to give off these types of energies. My feeling on the matter is that if our eyes were suddenly unsealed and we saw how pervasive their influence is, how much they’re pulling our strings, not just individually but collectively, we’d all be in for one hell of a shock. In his epic Savitri, Sri Aurobindo speaks about their pervasiveness in a very striking passage. He tells us:

Their whispers come, an inarticulate force,
Awake in mind an echoing thought or word,
To their sting of impulse the heart’s sanction draw,
And in that little Nature do their work
And fill its powers and creatures with unease.
Its seed of joy they curse with sorrow’s fruit,
Put out with error’s breath its scanty lights
And turn its surface truths to falsehood’s ends,
Its small emotions spur, its passions drive
To the abyss or through the bog and mire:
Or else with a goad of hard dry lusts they prick,
While jogs on devious ways that nowhere lead
Life’s cart finding no issue from ignorance.
To sport with good and evil is their law;
Luring to failure and meaningless success,
All models they corrupt, all measures cheat,
Make knowledge a poison, virtue a pattern dull
And lead the endless cycles of desire
Through semblances of sad or happy chance
To an inescapable fatality.
All by their influence is enacted there.2

Now I think it’s necessary to point out that in this passage he’s describing their action and influence in the vital planes or the ‘Kingdoms of the Little Life’ as he puts it. As the passage continues however he goes on to point out they’re doing the same thing here in our material world.

Nor there alone is their empire or their role:
Wherever are soulless minds and guideless lives
And in a small body self is all that counts,
Wherever love and light and largeness lack,
These crooked fashioners take up their task.
To all half-conscious worlds they extend their reign.
Here too these godlings drive our human hearts,
Our nature’s twilight is their lurking-place:
Here too the darkened primitive heart obeys
The veiled suggestions of a hidden Mind
That dogs our knowledge with misleading light
And stands between us and the Truth that saves.
It speaks to us with the voices of the Night:
Our darkened lives to greater darkness move;
Our seekings listen to calamitous hopes.
A structure of unseeing thoughts is built
And reason used by an irrational Force.3

Discussing this article with Donny, he pointed out again something we’ve talked about before, and that’s how the knowledge of how much these ‘crooked fashioners’ are involved in our lives and in all the harm that’s done on this planet is something that has to come out on a societal level and be looked at squarely in the face if we’re going to effectively deal with human wrongdoing and evolve to a state beyond these hostile influences. In science fiction there’s the common theme of humanity uniting to face a common alien invasion, and I can see how this knowledge of hostile forces and beings manipulating and controlling us could serve as a catalyst, or one of them at least, that will give humanity a reason to unite and a common enemy to fight against. This would be a battle of a different kind though since the fight would to free ourselves from their influence, the kingdom conquered our own purified nature and we would all be allies trying to help each other win that personal and at the same time collective war. I honestly don’t expect to see this sort of shift in my lifetime, but I do think it’s coming. How it will all be played out though remains to be seen.

Notes and References

  1. One place where the Mother discusses this particular type of vital entity is in Questions and Answers 1950-51, pg 192
  2. Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, pg 152-153
  3. Ibid, pg 153

The Hostile Behind Me

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The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

By Douglas McElheny

For a number of years now I’ve been living with chronic pain in my lower back and my knees. There’s not a whole lot I can say about it other than it was a major life change that came on suddenly, and one that took a long time to even begin to adjust to. As you might imagine I’ve been searching for answers via my dreams as to what’s actually caused these disorders and preventing healing, since I suspect it’s something deeper than just physical injury or wear and tear. I hope one day to be able to know and be able to share insight into the deeper causes of my physical state, be they emotional, mental etc., but I can’t do that now with any kind of certainty. One thing though that I’ve suspected for years is that a hostile force (and by that I mean a force of conscious darkness) may be a factor involved in aggravating the pain, and maybe also in preventing its resolution, and I recently had a dream that for me verifies this.

Before I share the dream let me say that I had an actual injury to my lower back from a fall almost eighteen years ago that healed after a few weeks, and which I believe was a manifestation of the same causes that have brought about the chronic pain.1 The chronic pain itself didn’t begin until about eight years ago. The knee pain is more mysterious, and began suddenly about a year and a half after the back pain started, and was so intense for a while I didn’t feel the back pain very much. Some other pertinent details to know is the back pain started while I was staying at Nilambe Meditation Center in Sri Lanka, and that there was an Israeli man, Adi, who was giving me massage to help and actually succeeded in eliminating the pain for a couple of days before it came back.

So having given a little background here is the dream:

I’m at Nilambe. I’m in my room there, and it has amenities like a small refrigerator and microwave as well as a coffee maker. There is also a TV and DVD player. Outside my room I can see some people having a drum circle, and I’m thinking about how much this place has changed and become like a Rainbow Community2. I leave my room and go into the new library but am shocked to see only something like 25% of the books are there, and I’m wondering what happened to all the others. I figure they must be in a room somewhere else. I talk to Upul (the leader at Nilambe) a little bit, and at one point I’m outside by the dining area. I’ve got a motorbike I’m going to use to drive back to my room. I start driving, but then I’m walking, and I become lucid and don’t remember exactly what happened after that, but at one point I find myself lucid again and am laying in a bed lying on my side in the dark. Behind me I sense a disquieting presence and can sort of sense its form without actually seeing it. It’s humanoid, but very strange with some appendages on it a normal human body doesn’t have that come from the front of its trunk and are of different lengths. The appendages are stiff and wood-like but flexible at the same time and have blunt ends. I turn and start to struggle with the creature calling on the Mother as I do so. One of the appendages is attached to my lower back and I knock it off. Now the light is on in the room and I’m on top of the creature, which has changed into a blond woman. I’ve got her by the throat with both hands and am trying to choke her to death. I can’t seem to kill it, but I leave it on the bed in a seemingly incapacitated state. Now though it’s a brunette woman. Then I’m talking to Adi about what happened.

I can’t report the back pain being resolved or even greatly relieved on that day, but the dream did finally offer some proof to my suspicion that a hostile being or force is involved in the pain. The Mother speaks about this in her Questions and Answers, pointing out that sometimes behind an illness there’s also “an attack, a pressure from adverse forces who really want to harm you…encouraging the illness to become as bad as it can be.”3 I imagine her statement is also applicable to disorders like chronic pain syndromes, and she goes on to say that the right spiritual force can remove or destroy the adverse force “if you have this Force at your disposal or if you can ask for it and get it.”4

It was this passage in Questions and Answers that planted this idea in me some time ago, leading me to suspect that this was the case with me. So even before having this dream I’ve been asking for this Force to act and remove the hostile influence and also asking to be shown and to get help to change whatever mental, or emotional elements there might be that have given rise to this. I believe there might also be some kind of blockage or resistance in the body consciousness itself, and so I ask for help with that, help with making the body plastic and receptive. I also try to exercise regularly and stay as active as I can.

Ultimately what’s hard for me is letting go of getting any results, to ask and aspire for healing, but to put whether or not that happens in the end in divine hands and to try to keep my focus on doing the sadhana, on the goal of surrendering completely to the Divine in order to gain release from ego consciousness. But I’ve come to believe you even have to let go of whether or not your sadhana bears any kind of fruit as well, but yet still make the effort and aspire. It’s a level of sincerity I’ve yet to reach. A few days ago I read another passage of the Mother’s in a later volume of Questions and Answers that I’ve been trying to take to heart and would like to share since it spells out what the right attitude needs to be. It’s a rather long quote, but one that I think ought to be read in its entirety:

As with everything in yoga, the effort for progress must be made for the love of the effort for progress. The joy of effort, the aspiration for progress must be enough in themselves, quite independent of the result. Everything one does in yoga must be done for the joy of doing it, and not in view of the result one wants to obtain…. Indeed, in life, always, in all things, the result does not belong to us. And if we want to keep the right attitude, we must act, feel, think, strive spontaneously, for that is what we must do, and not in view of the result to be obtained.

 As soon as we think of the result we begin to bargain and that takes away all sincerity from the effort. You make an effort to progress because you feel within you the need, the imperative need to make an effort and progress; and this effort is the gift you offer to the Divine Consciousness in you, the Divine Consciousness in the Universe, it is your way of expressing your gratitude, offering yourself; and whether this results in progress or not is of no importance. You will progress when it is decided that the time has come to progress and not because you desire it.5

 Now THAT’S sincerity.

***

When I originally started writing this article I considered leaving the first part at Nilambe out, but decided to keep it in for two reasons. One, it seems significant because that’s where the chronic problems started and two, because of something that happened at Nilambe a couple of days before the chronic pain commenced. Let me explain.

Since Nilambe is a mediation center, I was obviously doing a lot of daily meditation as well as yoga classes in the morning and afternoon. One day after the afternoon meditation I found that I was very peaceful and relaxed and also had a very pleasant feeling throughout my body. I found it was a physical joy just to move as long as I moved slowly, and a walk up the hill to the lookout which normally took less than five minutes, took more like fifteen as I enjoyed the experience. After that I seem to remember the experience faded. Then like I said a couple of days later during the afternoon yoga class the pain started up. Given this I’ve had to wonder if there’s a connection between the two things. I’m unsure what that connection would be if indeed one exists, but one possibility that occurred to me is that the positive experience in the body may have been brought on prematurely by all the meditation and asana, and the result was that a resistance in the body which could have been worked out more slowly and less traumatically by the progression of the sadhana was brought up in a very abrupt way. There isn’t this kind of correlation of a nice bodily experience with the commencement of the knee pain, but following my neurologist’s recommendation, I was doing a lot of physical exercise at the time including two weekly one-hour power yoga classes when that pain started up. Maybe overdoing it with exercise, especially asana, brought up more resistance in the body. It’s hard to say, but it seems possible.

Now I’m not sure as to what symbolic meaning the part of the dream with Nilambe may have had. The dream did prompt me though to look up their website and see what was going on with them. When I was at Nilambe it was a fairly open place and you could show up and stay just one night if you wanted to and long term stays were also possible, though most people were backpackers who would stay for a few days or a week or so. At some point though since the last time I was there in 2010 they have changed things considerably and are only running seven day retreats that you are required to attend for the whole seven days. My dream showed an even more bohemian and unstructured arrangement than when I was there and not a more structured one, so this dream doesn’t seem to reflect those changes. This leads me to believe it perhaps had more to do with where I was at in my life at the time of the dream. Our house here is pretty bohemian as far as things go with the young people that live or visit here, none of whom have any interest in the spiritual life and just want to get as much vital pleasure out of existence as they can. There’s a freedom here in our house for young people that probably doesn’t exist anywhere else in Pondicherry, though nearby Auroville has a more western and free atmosphere throughout the whole community. I can see how the dream might represent the state of our house which for Donny and I at least is our ashram in the midst of life, but overlaid with the vital atmosphere of our young people.

I will say however, if I can get up on my soapbox for a moment, something that Donny suggested, and that is that my dream might more truly represent the spirit of Nilambe, which is actually stunted by all this added structure. There of course was a daily schedule when I was at Nilambe, and people were expected to participate as well as maintain the Noble Silence, but if you slept in and missed the 5am meditation one day no one gave you a hard time about it. I missed that particular mediation often during my stays there. People would also do things like go into the woods to get high or even for romantic/sexual liaisons, and even though that was against the rules, the staff didn’t try to crack down on it much. I would guess there is a lot less tolerance for that sort of thing there now. I do think that Nilambe is a retreat center, and you can’t just let it be a free for all, the same way Donny and I can’t let the unregenerate vital just run riot here and completely rule the house. I imagine the purpose of these changes at Nilambe is mainly to change the clientele, so that even if backpackers show up, they’re serious about doing a seven day retreat. It also probably makes things easier on the staff there since the retreats are done one week on, one week off. I have to say that I do understand why Nilambe has made these changes, to do things dynamically requires more work, and it’s easier to just lay down hard and fast rules. I have to wonder though if the center’s lost something of the magic it had by being ramrodded into something like a vipassana.6 Nuff said.

So to sum things up I haven’t been able to provide any answers regarding my physical problems in this article. I do feel though some kind of victory is possible in this situation, whether that would be healing for the body, or reaching a state of consciousness where I’m free inwardly from what’s going on with the body, or some combination of the two remains to be seen. I do think though if the influence of the hostile being could be removed or negated I wouldn’t have as difficult a time, but to do that seems to be something beyond my personal power and would require grace. In the end, it seems what I need to do is carry on persistently with the sadhana as sincerely as I can. There’s one particular quote of the Mother I call to mind frequently to help during trying times and will share to end this article. Very simply she says:

To the most stubborn goes the victory.7

Notes and References

  1. At the time of the accident I was experiencing a very joyous state brought on by an acid trip and was wondering why I couldn’t remain in that state. I guess the accident or what it represented was my answer. For those who are interested, I have incorporated a more detailed description of that joyous state in my short story Slumdog Epilogue which is posted here on our old blog The Chipmunk Press. Scroll down a little to read.
  2. Here I’m referring to the Rainbow Family that puts on the Rainbow Gatherings not the LGBT community.
  3. The Mother, Questions and Answers 1953, pg 185
  4. Ibid.
  5. The Mother, Questions and Answers 1957-58, pgs 316-317
  6. If you want to read my account of what Nilambe used to be like follow this link to The Chipmunk Press and scroll down a little to read.
  7. The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda Vol 1, entry January 28, 1960 pg 235

 

A Hidden Resource Guide

http://rebrn.com/re/minimalist-falling-into-blue-1714149/

by Donny Duke

In my mid twenties to early thirties the inner doors were flung wide open. Especially intense were the 3 and a half years immediately following a spiritual experience that happened when I was 28, and I was able to consciously explore not only dream and transition states between waking and sleeping (hypnagogia and hynopompia) and the trances such as the cataleptic (sleep paralysis) that sometimes accompany them, and consequently too the out of body experience often resulting from such a trance, but also dreamless sleep. There in the deepest most hidden place inside me, in my center, way beyond or behind dream, I entered into the realm of soul, just a short baptismal shock, but in that journey, a very involved inner journey that took a number of stages and a week or so, I took my conscious, that part of me that thinks and feels and dreams, down into my center and connected it to the soul, and why I call it the soul is the spirit of this article.

I understand now that such an opening of the inner consciousness is unusual, where you can consciously explore the inner life with as much conscious awareness and will as you have in waking life, where you have lucid dreams most every night, or frequent cycles of that, can learn to go from waking to dreaming consciously, from dreaming into the states between sleeping and waking (twilight I call them), from twilight into the cataleptic trance, and from there out of the body, but my list isn’t to suggest OBE is the direction of the exploration. For me this opening was temporary, and it slowly closed, not completely, but the unusual degree of opening I’m describing, especially the last two items, cataleptic trance and OBE, were the first things to go and in the ensuing years to become rare events.

I suspect in a future humanity such a metaphysical opening to our inner consciousness will be the norm, a spiritual opening as well, but for now it’s rare to experience even a short period of this, more common to have a smaller opening, where things like lucid dreams and OBE’s happen a couple of times a week, using those two inner experiences because they are now the most talked about net-wise, interest in sleep paralysis notwithstanding, but even this more common smaller opening is not yet common in humanity.

If you find yourself experiencing such an opening, large or small, and many are today, though not enough to light an inner revolution in humanity, not even enough to make the nightly news, you have a rare opportunity to experience firsthand what most everyone else does secondhand. You can know and not only believe that consciousness transcends material process, a knowledge that can transform your life if you understand what it means. To see it firsthand, however, involves conscious inner exploration, which is more than awakening within dream and trying some technique like looking at your hands or some trick to manipulate the dream more. In other articles, such as “The Epic of Man”[i] and “You’re like Wow, That Really Was Enchanted With a Rock”,[ii] I try and give a sense of what inner exploration is and where it can lead to in relation to its transcendence over material process. Here my direction isn’t towards the outer world or inner worlds but inside to the well of soul, our center.

The following inner journey took place around 1989 when I was 28 I believe, some months after the spiritual experience I mention above, before the net I might add, and before I aligned myself with any spiritual tradition or teachers, when I was exploring on my own and not a part of any group involved with spirituality or dreaming. It took place over the course of a week.

It’s night, and I’m alone on the football field I played on in junior high school, and I become lucid. Since I have an avid practice in waking life of meditation and pranayama, I decide to try it in dream, and so I begin to sit down in a meditative posture, but as I do a monster jumps at me out of nowhere, it’s eyes wide gyros spinning madly. It scares the hell out of me, and I wake myself up.

During the next day I got the suspicion that the monster was trying to prevent me from meditating, and so I resolve in my next lucid dream to follow through with it no matter what I may encounter to try and prevent me. I was just exploring dream and didn’t even have a destination in mind, at this point just trying to find doorways of dream to go deeper.

I’m in a huge motor pool, in a part of it where there aren’t many vehicles parked, and I see in the distance the buildings of the motor pool change colors, one color just following another, and the anomaly triggers lucidity, as an anomaly in dream often can. I remember my intention and sit down to meditate, but as I do I hear a blaring horn and seeing coming directly at me a mac truck. I settle into my resolve not to be scared out of the sitting and continue to settle into meditating. When the truck gets to me, up until that point being everything that looks and sounds real enough to run me over, it vanishes, doing that over me, its form rapidly turning into nothing as my eyes close and I see nothing. Instead of going into another dream or waking up in my bed as often happens when a dream goes blank, I remain in the blank but have a sense of falling. This blank falling state I’ve known many times, since it so often occurs in transitions from one dream to another or to waking consciousness. The difference here is that I see I can stay there, am not being captured by another dream image or by waking. I remain in that falling place for perhaps a minute or more, and then I open my eyes and am awake in bed, the falling state itself being so close to waking all you have to do is open your eyes.

I thought about that falling place for a couple of days or so, during which time I encountered a phrase in an English translation (prose) of Hesiod’s Theogony that speaks of a hammer that takes nine days to reach Tartarus, and while I didn’t believe that falling place I had found led to Tartarus, I believed Hesiod talks about inner journeys in-between the lines sometimes, using symbol imagery to describe it. The phrase led me to the idea that the falling place led to a destination, but what that was I had no earthly idea. I made the determination next time I became lucid in dream to get into and remain in that falling place until I arrived somewhere.

I don’t remember the context of the dream the next time I was lucid within one, only that I get into the falling place via meditation and remain there, knowing if I just open my eyes I’m awake in bed. Something happens to my sense of time, and I don’t how long I’ve been falling in that blank space. I almost reflexively open my eyes, and become cross with myself for not continuing onward. I decide next time to count as I travel in that blankness.

The next lucid dream, which doesn’t happen that same night but does the next night, I again get into the falling place and began counting the seconds like I learned to do out loud parachuting out of aircraft in the army, counting then to only 4 seconds until the chute opened, or was supposed to. I count to know how long I’m falling, but here the counting goes on and on, and again I lose the sense of time, losing count as well, and, though I resist the strong sense to open my eyes, I cannot shake the growing sense of terror that’s welling up inside me, like I’m falling into a bottomless pit from which I shall never again return. Then I hear both my mother and sister as though they’re standing over me, pleading with me in voices I know are their most fearful and most sincere, to open my eyes because I’m being tricked, and I’m in the hospital in a coma. The sense is that if I don’t listen to them I will never return to them, or the outer world either for that matter. It so happens that my greatest attachments at that time are my mom and sister, and my greatest fear is going into a coma during inner exploration, not to some never ending dream-state experience but to a blank alone like this darkness. I open my eyes and am not in the hospital in a coma but am simply awake in bed, nobody there but me. I see quickly that I’ve been fooled and resolve next time to go all the way until I get there, still not knowing where there is but more assured it’s somewhere significant because something very smart is trying to keep me from getting there.

Whether it’s the next night I fall again I’m not sure, but it’s very soon after the above dream, though it’s not exactly a dream but inner travel, and I don’t remember the process of becoming lucid or getting into the falling state, only that I’m there and determined to go all the way. I lose sense of time again, but there is no welling terror, or any real fear, and no intelligence trying to stop me. I have no idea how long I fall, but it’s a long time to my notion of time. Suddenly with a great shock I arrive somewhere. It’s like I’m immersed in a limitless ocean of a whole other order of existence, one formless save for identical small objects sparsely floating around that appear somewhat like half-notes or arches, and though they appear to be objects, I feel them as beings. Outer space would be a way to give some picture of what this ocean is like, but there are no celestial bodies or blackness, though it is dim. It’s lit but with a different kind of light than we know here, giving the space a glow that’s now glowing in me, and I feel the warmest and safest I’ve ever felt, and this place is so familiar to me, like I’ve been here many times but only have forgotten about it. An immense force is rushing through me, and I feel its intense vibration in every part of me, but it’s so comfortable I only want to bask in it. It seems there’s a sound to the place, which I feel in me as well as without, but it’s not sound as we know it that you hear with your ears. It’s like the sound silence would make if it made any sound if that makes any sense. I see myself floating towards one of the little arches, and I unwillingly go through it, hoping I don’t harm it by doing that, but I see it on the other side of me unchanged. Then, as abruptly as I found myself there, I find myself out, and I come awake in my bed and marvel at how I could come up immediately from such a deep place, although I am still glowing from its warmth and power.

This experience did not change my life, was only significant in that I knew I’d reached some place of spirit in me because the experience there was so different than anything else I’d ever experienced in existence, making spirit the only word that fit. At the time I didn’t think of it as the soul or its well in us, was not at the time even considering the soul as something that existed in us, didn’t even feel I’d reached the innermost place inside me, my center. That interpretation was to come years later, as this inner journey came to be more important and singular to the results of my inner exploration, the destinations, it taking stages, days,  to complete, wasn’t somewhere I got to in one go, was somewhere I had to overcome my greatest attachments and greatest fears to get to, was somewhere something[iii] very intelligent that knew me like a book, something hostile and tricky, was trying to stop me from going to, was somewhere where I went out of this existence in another kind of being, into spirit.

What put this experience and others I was to have that followed into a context of finding of the soul, were the teachings of Mother and Sri Aurobindo, that I was to encounter and immerse myself in, starting on a visit to Auroville, India, in 1995. I’m not speaking of just the writings and talks they’ve left behind, but of inner contact with them and with my soul (or psychic being, who they point you to more than they point to themselves as your guide) when I’m speaking of their help in putting this inner journey into a context of a stage in the journey of finding the soul, help I’m getting in the writing of this article[iv], which has gone through a major rewrite based on their criticisms of the first draft, which had to do with, among other things, not clouding this journey over with descriptions here of experiences that didn’t happen during it but relate to it, things I’ve written about elsewhere or will write at some point.

In an earlier article, one actually published and not just posted on my blog, I describe other experiences in relation to the soul and put the above journey in the cosmology of the Integral Yoga and as well the cosmology of science if it would ever consent to see beyond the material envelope and the cosmos, but the article’s not just a regurgitation of their teachings. It’s based on descriptions of personal experience that confirm, for me at least, the yoga’s cosmology.[v]

If in this inner journey I describe I did indeed reach my soul center, I by no means experienced its full scope and depth, and I imagine we can go much deeper into it than I did in that very brief baptism. It’s the way with me; I get a taste usually and not a full course dinner. Be that as it may, I didn’t go anywhere anyone else can’t if they have the inner opening to make such journeys, and not everyone does, probably not even most. Though we all have the right to be treated as human beings equally, we are not equal in everything, especially in the most important thing, which is the development of our soul, and we are all at a different stages of soul development, and it depends on  how developed your soul is, your psychic being, as to whether you have an opening of the inner consciousness to make such journeys as I describe. If you don’t, you probably aren’t too interested in making them anyway, since your soul isn’t at that place of contact with your surface self, your ego, and pushing you to.

I will speculate though, whether your soul’s nudging you some from behind the veil or not, whether your psychic being is mature enough to do that, that you’ve made this inner journey many, many times, especially when you were a child, make it now though more rarely, but have no recollection of it at all. It’s difficult enough just to remember our nightly dreams. How much more so what we experience in dreamless sleep. You’ve made the journey when you wake up feeling like you slept like a log, like you’ve been replenished, like you had your batteries recharged. It would stand to reason that, if it’s true we are souls that have put on this material envelope akin to the way a deep sea diver dons a diving suit, or however you want to look at it, we’d need to come up to the surface every so often to get more air and sustenance, what we do when we go down into our center, the well of soul.

When you make journey consciously, however, you connect your conscious with the inmost deeps, make the hard link whereby your soul can come out more from behind the curtain of thoughts and dreams and be your guide on the way. On the way to God the soul would say.

 

[i] https://acollaborationwiththeunknown.wordpress.com/the-epic-of-man/

[ii] https://harms-end.com/2016/07/31/youre-like-wow-that-really-was-enchanted-with-a-rock/

[iii] I was to meet this intelligence face to face some months after, not its true form but one it wore in its manipulations of me as a small child. That experience I describe in an article posted on our blog: https://harms-end.com/2015/11/19/breaking-silence/ I’ll only mention here that it was on that first visit to Auroville that I met its true form, a story I have yet to write.

[iv] Writing this I was reading Notes on the Way, a compilation of talks by Mother. Though perhaps only a disciple would see this as a synchronicity, I feel it’s no accident I read the following immediately after making the revisions: “The other day when Z read to me his article, it was neutral (vague gesture at mid-height), all the while neutral, than all of a sudden, a spark of Ananada; it was this which made me appreciate it.” It might add to the possibility of synchronicity if I said that Douglas had just bought me the book that morning in our weekly sitting at their Samadhi. Notes on the Way, courtesy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1980, 2002.

[v] http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/http://www.shift.is/2015/03/whats-bigger-than-the-universe-hang-on-whats-bigger-than-everything/