It’s So Easy To Forget

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.

                                                 my muse (inner voice and vision)

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, all over the globe, completely independent of ISIS, and it’s a conscious idea 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, in other words an active virus in the collective inner life of humanity, 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 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.

How are we all partly to blame? The hatred of who is considered evil, including ISIS, is also hatred that becomes will for a mass murderer to murder, and when you examine it, hating who we consider bad is basically the how and why we hate, the bad people being, most often, those people not of our kind, which could be and often is simply just a person of another political party. We really need to look at this, since it’s what’s giving rise to groups like ISIS to begin with, because, on the inside of humanity, hatred is the order of the day, and, on the inside, it’s so much stronger. We, meaning you and I, whoever you are, are not innocent of their coming to be.

Whatever ISIS may say, the driving force behind them isn’t a passionate love for God but a murderous hatred of anyone not them, whom they feel are either non-believers or bad believers, which is anyone who isn’t a member or supporter of ISIS. 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 want to do as ISIS members, kill themselves and as many other people as possible at the same time, and it’s no accident it’s what ISIS 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 had 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

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

nightmare1322883219564
The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

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 Primacy of Dream

 

by Donny Duke

A couple of months ago I was dreaming I was sitting down against a building in a field waiting for my mom to come and pick me up, and I became not only lucid but aware of myself in my bed, that place where if you just open your eyes you’re awake, twilight I call it. As I heard her car stop at the road some 100 meters from where I was, I got up, and on the ground in front of me there took shape a very beautiful mandala with the words “I love you” on it, made with many colors. It was made in a way that had my mom all over it, that is, it captured the essence of the way she made things, the colors and shapes, and I felt the strong presence of her as I saw it and read her message to me, understanding that this was a message to me from beyond death.

A few nights ago the following scene occurred in a dream, with another member of my immediate family, though one not deceased:

I’m driving my sister’s pickup truck down a highway, and she’s riding shotgun. We are going from a town where she lives to where I have my jeep parked, a distance of a few of miles. We talk on the way, or rather, I do, telling her of my current plans to move to the mountains. She lets me out at the parking lot I’m living in for the couple of days while I’m in transition from my former living situation to the one in the mountains. After she drops me off I think that she could have invited me to dinner or even stay the night at her house, and I wonder over why she didn’t.

A couple of nights ago I dreamed this scene with another family member, who’s also still alive:

My dad has taken me and some other hitch hikers to a gas station and is dropping us off. I’m on my way to Houston, a distance of about a 100 miles. As the others leave to go hitch, he tells me to put my suitcase in the truck, and I know that means he’s going to take me to Houston so we can spend some time together, and the dream ends. I hear a few lines of muse about the dream as I come awake completely in bed.

“If you google the word dreams you will get millions of hits for websites devoted to dream interpretation. Are any of them worth a visit? Very likely not. Why not? Because there is no scientifically supported system of dream interpretation. What you will get if you look at dream interpretation blogs, sites, pages, and the like will be garbage pure and simple. Or they will be the writer’s own idiosyncratic interpretation of dream images and that typically is not very interesting at all.”[i] The quote is from an article in Psychology Today. It’s not suggesting that dreams are meaningless, but that any attempt to interpret dreams until science cracks the dream code and provides a system to interpret them is garbage or at best so boring as to not be worth your time. But the ignorance of science isn’t the measure of our knowledge of dreams or our ability to interpret them, and why should its ignorance be the holdup in dream inquiry? Because science can’t interpret dreams, does that mean we can’t?

Rather than give some formula or system to interpret dreams, something you can plug any dream into and know its meaning if such an undiscovered formula exists because dreams have so many variables, and not all are actually dreams but something else, Douglas and I have been taking individual dreams and visions, including the inner voice, and interpreting aspects of them that can be shown to have some relevance to our daily personal lives and that of humanity in general, focusing on linking dream movements to ones in waking life and discussing dreams that reveal an inner connection between human beings, ones that suggest we live in a field of consciousness rather than in our own private inner world unconnected to the inner lives of others, which is the view of science.

In the most basic sense, dreams show us what’s going on with us, what’s on our minds, in our hearts, what we say with our mouths and do with our hands as we move through life, sometimes acting as a proving ground for personal movements not in our best interest, allowing us to see they indeed aren’t, or sometimes just simply being a gestalt, the dream itself being an meaningful experience that isn’t necessarily representing anything about our waking life, and dreams are not only about our personal symbols: study and tell us about other dreamers as well. But in this basic explanation of dreams I’ve not by any means exhausted their purpose and scope. And while dreams focus mostly on our present, they not only use images of our past to show us our now but also use our future too, but they not only focus on our present; sometimes they are almost exclusively about the past or future.

Dreams and visions are like a looking glass revealing the ins and outs of our life movement in itself and as it interacts with that of others and with the world and universe at large. That they do this in representative terms, telling a story about our story, about the story of others, and that they can be seen to have not only the past in them but also the future, the more of which you see, in little pieces, the more you can actually interpret them, suggests creative intelligence within us but beyond ours telling the story, intelligence that can see the whole picture, not only of our whole life past, present, and future, not only what’s going on with ourselves, but also what’s going on with everything and everybody we significantly interact with, are connected to, intelligence that can see through the walls of time and form.

I’ve come to believe this intelligence is the soul, what in us that transcends the material envelope[ii], which doesn’t create dream actually but is the is influence on it shaping it along our own personal evolutionary lines, influencing the organization of all the various elements that present themselves from whatever quarter in the making of any given dream into something that has meaning for us. The quality of people’s dreams vary widely I’ve found, and not everyone has storytelling dreams. For many they are just an incoherent barrage of sound and image, the reason I suspect many label them just random things coming up from the subconscious or from our active memory of the day’s events, or what’s pressing on us as we sleep.

The more coherent your dreams are, the more they tell a story, and the more you can see yourself in them making decisions based on judgment and reason that are resolving conflicts within yourself or with others, healing your personal mess or integrating who you dislike or who dislikes you, the more your soul has a hand in shaping them, and, consequently, the more they can be used as guidance, as a road map that not only shows where things are and the direction you need to go, but also what’s obstructing you and what’s aiding you in getting there.[iii] Where ‘there’ is depends on you, the direction of your life’s movement, its purpose to put it more meaningfully, but, if you are able to put the inner eye on the outer world to the degree you see the underlying unity of all things and all people, what comes more and more into focus as you do see the outer world through the inner lens, regardless of where you’re headed to personally, you’ll see you and I, all of us, are moving to wholeness in our relations with ourselves, each other, and with the world at large, working out oneness.

The above dream scenes show this process at work, but, in what what might be called the catch 22 of dream, I can’t contact any of my family members to verify inner contact with them, since my mom’s been dead some years, and neither my sister nor my dad will speak to me. It’s a catch 22 because so often dream, when it’s seeing beyond the physical senses, shows us things in shadow, or shows us the shadow side of things, what we or others don’t want to admit, what we want to keep a secret, and so we are often unable to verify the dream with waking life. Although the case here isn’t something bad being hidden, is just I can’t verify the dream because the people involved are either dead or won’t speak to me, it appears to me things like clairvoyance, which these three dream scenes are examples of, each a different aspect of it, happens all the time among us, but it doesn’t get verified, or even usually mentioned, because it shows things we don’t want others to see. In a rather rebellious and somewhat illicit earlier piece on my personal blog, “Under the Graffiti”, I point this out in a way that might bring it closer to home:

“It’s happened so many times not only in my own personal experiences of anything to do with clairvoyance and the senses seeing past their physical range, but also with many others I’ve talked to who’ve related to me their experiences, ones that they really couldn’t tell someone else about (I got these ‘I know I’ve been bad’ ears, so you don’t have to worry none), or at least not the whole story, because it revealed their shadow side, so much so and in so many instances I’ve come across that it seems to be part and parcel of the process, that the ESP’s not only to give you that sight but more to try and wake you up out of your animal cravings, get you to get up, evolve, and that’s the number one reason I’d bet we don’t hear about these things as much as they occur among us: they show our bad that we don’t want others to see.”[iv]

I think anyone intensely involved in working with their dreams with others they physically share daily experience with, who’s had a lot of experience being part of such a dream group, would be inclined to agree with me in regards to the above, would see the shadow in that light, but that our dreams (in fact our lives) are working out oneness takes an inner depth of seeing that goes beyond the scenes of the world, contact with the soul, and I can only tell you that you really have to look for it to see it if you don’t, but once you begin to see it, you wonder why in the world everybody can’t see it it’s so present and apparent.

The three examples I give are showing a process of reconciliation ongoing between the members of my immediate family and I, those three people perhaps the most commonly recurring characters of my dream life, and I suspect it’s the case with most of us; we dream all our lives about who were the most significant people in our formative years, whose womb we came from, whose genes, who we shared that womb with, if, that is, they were actively there as we grew up. If not, it’s the people that most filled those roles. My muse once told me that the more one we are with someone, those most like us or close to us, like a brother or sister, or a neighbor, the more likely we won’t get along with them, and if you look at the world and its conflicts, that’s often the case.

Before my mom died she had little to do with me, and we didn’t communicate often. She carried that enmity into death, and it seems that on the other side she realized some things, the need of reconciliation for one, and so she sent me a clear message of love, her first from the other side, in the form of that colorful mandala, and it came in the context of a longer dream I was having with her, not her I should point out but a representation of her my dream maker had made, and this is an important point about dream: most often when we dream of someone it’s not actually them in the dream, not a dream sharing experience, or only extremely rarely, but our dream maker making their image so as to represent some inner or outer interaction with them. The message was well placed in my life, came when I needed that declaration of love from her.

It’s not yet accepted human knowledge that we continue on after we die, much less that the dead can communicate with us, but we’ll get there before long, since these kinds of communications from departed loved ones are so common to human experience. It’s often like it is in this dream scene, they give us some message or sign rather than seeing them face to face, and when it is actually meeting them, the meeting is quite short and comes most often in the representative mode of dream, like you and they doing some activity together, not as you and they able to just chat a moment.

With my sister Gwen reconciliation is still some ways away, if it’ll even happen before one of us dies, and then it’s inevitable, but it is in process, as the dream of her taking me some distance in her truck shows. In the scene I was driving it, which would indicate that for some time during her day, a day close to my dream, I drove her life vehicle for a little while, that is, I was driving her thought and feeling for some distance, a few miles the dream shows, and that it was in broad daylight and on a major highway shows this was conscious on her part, not on a side road under the shadow of trees. She carried me in her mind and heart for some distance, but, as the scene also shows, she went no further, didn’t take me to dinner or to spend the night. Since she’s made it very clear she wants nothing at all to do with me, it’s probable she keeps me out of her mind as much as possible, but with someone as close to you as your brother, that’s just not possible to do all the time, and sometimes the heart wins out, as is the case here.

It’s not possible, as I said, to verify this inner communication with my sister, or rather me picking up on her thinking of me with enough emotional force to register in my inner life, but I’ve seen this play out in dreams enough times to know it’s the interpretation of the dream scene. It came in the context of a longer dream that had nothing to do with her, but since the dream took place near where she lives, she appeared in it. I’d probably picked up the inner communication some time before, and it waited in my inner being until such time a dream appeared that could represent it. As I’ve suggested, dreams are composed of many different elements that come from various places within and without us, and they are organized together to form a dream.

The dream scene with my father happened at the end of a longer dream I was having with him, and though it would also show inner communication between us, or rather what we each are thinking of the other, it’s this scene that shows more clearly reconciliation happening, or that he’s now willing to give me some time in his heart and mind at the very least. The scene ends where I’m about to drive with him to Houston, a couple of hours away, where we’ll be alone together and can talk. Upon awaking from the dream the scene ended, my muse suggested that he was going to read (or have read to him, since he can’t see very well now) a long story[v] about the Duke family I wrote and made a copy of and had mailed to him snail mail, and that might be what the suitcase represents he told me to put in the trunk, the suggestion that he’ll read it at some point in the near future. I can only speculate if that’s the case, but, although I can’t verify he’s going to give me some time focused alone time in his thoughts and feelings, I know very well that’s what the dream’s showing.

It’s this very thing many people, especially from science, object to at bottom, God and soul being objections based more on this overriding viewpoint rather than on being impossibilities in their own right: knowing something to be true that the physical senses haven’t verified or really can’t verify. I’d suspect the author of the Psychology Today article I quoted has this fear at heart, and all who think like him in regards to dreams being unintelligible things, and that their interpretation is something we ought not to bother other people about on “blogs, sites, pages, and the like.” That fear is that reality won’t conform to material science, and they’ll have to remarkably shift their worldview, significantly change their lives, and maybe even lose their jobs, though as they experience it, it’s the fear that superstition will take the place of knowledge or greatly hamper its pursuit as it’s done in the past, as it’s doing now.

Today, however, superstition, the kind that’s holding up knowledge about ourselves and our world, isn’t so much religious, although religion definitely points a gun at knowledge and sometimes even shoots it. It’s the ignorance of the people with their hands on the world doorknob of knowledge, your average mainstream techno-culture scientists, who have their hands on the way we define the world, the research cash to investigate it, the news media to cover it, the arts and literature to symbolize it, that keeps us in the dark about the most basic things about us with their dogmatic insistence on the primacy of matter, the most basic of those things being we have a soul, and we share not only a field of consciousness together but one also of identity. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s the darkness of fear.

I’ve suggested many times now our next revolution in knowledge with be the one that occurs when we turn our attention to inner exploration, the investigation of consciousness and the inner life, one that’s already begun not only on “blogs, sites, pages, and the like”, but also in our hearts and minds, though not yet as a revolution, the big one we’ve all been anticipating in one form or another (just not yet inner), one that will turn society as we know it on its ear, change our most basic social institutions, change even being human. Many if not most feel technology’s what it’s about, it being our human endeavor, and we measure our progress more by our advances in technology than by a growing and greater sense of our shared humanity.

Dreams are the most common and available doorway into the inner life, the subliminal life we live deeper than conscious thought, and talking about them in a public space quickens the inner revolution in society, since dreams can show us to be more than a mere physical body that has somehow engendered its own separate bubble of conscious awareness, and such knowledge really turns you on.

By showing our dreams and visions here at Harm’s End, Douglas and I hope to demonstrate that we are so much more than some separate spume of matter floating on a shoreless sea in meaningless infinitude. Far from being garbage or so boring you’re wasting your time, blogs about dream and inner exploration such as this one, and the thousands like it on the net, on social media, are slowly but surely lighting the world with the inner fire, whether they’re right on about our interpretations of inner experience or not. Ours is the attempt to light the inner fire in the world, and we fumble a lot as happens when lighting a fire from wet material, but once that fire starts, no power on earth can put it out. Even now, on more than one page, truth is staring back at us, truth being not some religious or scientific formula but what’s actually happening with us in our seemingly brief little lives.

 

[i] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dream-catcher/201307/the-folly-dream-interpretation

[ii] Our inner being, or dreambody, since it is open to the universal, also can see into the inner life of others and into the future (to a limited extent), but it’s the soul behind it that’s ultimately the intelligence in us shaping our life.

[iii] I’ve greatly over simplified the making of dream, skipping over a tremendous amount of inner process and going directly to the soul, which to become conscious of you have to become conscious of that inner process, but I’ve done so because it’s not God behind all shaping our dreams and as well our life movement in general as we tend to believe if we do believe there’s higher intelligence behind it; it’s our individual soul, as it’s God’s delegate in humanity, and the more conscious we are of our soul the more it can do that more directly.

[iv] https://acollaborationwiththeunknown.wordpress.com/auto-biographical-sketches-a-letter-and-a-comment/ (You’ll have to scroll down to the graffiti story.)

[v] https://harms-end.com/2016/08/05/minor-attraction-on-rock-hill/

 

Blah Blah Blah Blockchain.

Recently as a favor for a friend I gave a talk on blockchain technology at a conference he was holding at a resort near Mamallapuram here in Tamil Nadu. He and a business partner are trying to get their own cryptocurrency off the ground and need to get people not just using, but also mining the currency.  So one of the purposes of the conference was to get people interested in buying the hardware and software needed to mine this type of cryptocurrency. I didn’t really know anything about cryptocurrencies (other than the fact that they existed) before preparing for this presentation, but what my friend was interested in was to have a native English speaker give the talk. There were actually three of us giving the presentations. Two were native English speakers and the third was not, but she was quite fluent.

The last dream I had that morning before I got up to get ready to go to the conference, I was watching a music video of this alternative rock band. They were singing normal sorts of lyrics up until the end where they literally starting singing, “Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.” When I told Donny about the dream he laughed and said he thought that was indicative of what I would be doing that day at the conference, and it was true. Though I tried to speak clearly and slowly while giving the presentation to my all Indian audience, I was giving a lot of technical information and I’m sure for a lot of the attendees it was like me going, “Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah” or like the way adults sound in Peanuts cartoons if you’ve ever watched those. I kind of felt like a rock star too afterwards when myself and the other two speakers were besieged by people wanting to take group photos and selfies with us. When I decided to leave I actually had a big muscular security guard escort me out through the crowd in case anyone tried to accost me further.

No real lesson here. This is just another example of how dreams present things, which is often in a humorous or ironic way. I think you could also call this dream an example of prevision. Blah Blah Blah Bye!

Picking Up On The Stanley Cup.

2017 Stanley Cup logo

In some recent blog posts I’ve been looking into the phenomenon of outer events that I’m unaware of in my waking life making an appearance symbolically in my dreams. Rather than restate things I’ve said elsewhere I will refer the reader to both of these older posts if they want some background for this post.

My Name Is Joe. G.I.Joe.

I Volunteer A Dream

I will reiterate however that I’m finding that the occurrences making their way into my dreams relate to significant developments with things that my vital has an interest in such as movie and sports franchises. I’m going to share another example of this with this dream:

 I’m watching a lead in for the World Series where Bob Costas is talking about all these different pitchers for this one team. He’s talking about one pitcher that got benched during the semifinals, but that he was very supportive when his teammate pitched a shut out.

 The morning after this dream I found out via my mother that the Stanley Cup finals had started while I was sleeping, and that Pittsburgh had won the first game. Now I was neither aware of the finals starting nor that the Penguins were in it for the second year in a row. I’m a lover of all things Pittsburgh when it comes to sports, so even though I never watch hockey, I had tuned in some to the Stanley Cup finals the year before just because the Penguins were in it. And of course my vital got a thrill out of their winning the Cup.

But you might point out that I dreamed about the World Series and not the Stanley Cup. My answer to that would be that if you have any experience with dreams you know that this is how they operate a lot of the time. Things aren’t always or even usually exact, just approximate or analogous. I did come to discover later though, that for at least the first two games of the series one of Pittsburgh’s top players, Carl Hagelin, was benched due to poor play during the post season, and, before game 3 when he was asked by Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter Sam Werner about being benched, his response was “When you find out … you’re pissed off. But it’s the Stanley Cup final. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.” So if you can accept the analogous nature of dreams I think you can see I was picking up on what was going on with the Stanley Cup final and this particular player even though it was all presented in the garb of the World Series.

As in my last two articles I’ll take a stab at a personal interpretation for me in this dream since, as Donny pointed out while we were discussing my first draft of this article, one could assume the dream builder has a reason for weaving these events into the dream. One also has to ask if the appearance of something you love in a dream, like Transformers for example, always correlates with a significant outer event happening close to the time or at the same time as the dream. I have to admit I haven’t found that to be the case so far, but I do think I can say it’s the case sometimes, and for the moment I’m going to assume it’s going on even when you aren’t looking for it, and not just once you become conscious that it’s possible.

So getting back to the personal interpretation I would point out that this dream took place a week before I got about a two-week break from my life in India. That life involves dealing with a household of maturing youths in their late teens and early twenties and all the difficulties and responsibilities that entails. The first week was more or less a complete break, as I went to Sri Lanka by myself on a visa run, and then in the second week Donny and I left our charges here and went for a few days to stay in a quiet area near the holy mountain Arunachala not far from Pondy. There we were still in contact by phone with the house back in Pondy and were periodically checking up on things. Perhaps like me you can see how that final week before my break could be shown as going into something like the World Series, capping off a process. And even though the break was short, it may have been long enough that I was able to process things a bit and ‘start a new season’ so to speak when I returned, one not the same as the preceding season, at least as far as myself and my dealing with it are concerned, a bit of a fresh start to some degree. At the same time though, something like the World Series is quite significant, implies perhaps that I was being tested or challenged at that time. If I had snapped to this idea at the time I had the dream, I may have been able to connect it to something going on during that week before I left, but I didn’t, so I’ll just have to put that idea out there as speculation.

And if you didn’t already know the Penguins did take the cup for the second year in a row.

A Dark Day In The Driveway

sore loser

In Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri there’s a series of cantos where the heroine, Savitri, journeys inside of herself to reach her soul. This, however, is more than just a story, but Aurobindo’s presentation of a significant step in the process of the integral yoga. A few years ago I started aspiring to try and remember to use my instances of lucidity in dreams to try and reach my soul. Though I have not yet succeeded in doing so, along the way I have had dreams where I think I have made some progress toward that goal. I want to share my most recent example of a dream like this, but I need to physically describe where the dream started which was in the driveway of the house I lived in during high school.

driveway house in Richmond

I was able to find this picture of that driveway on the internet. What you don’t see that’s important is a descending terraced path that runs along the left side of the driveway down to the back yard. The path was gravel and each terraced step was about five to ten feet long or so and ended in a railroad tie turned sideways to hold the gravel and that particular step in place. There are also railroad ties running along the side of the driveway all the way to where it meets the house. Where the latticework fence is there’s about a 12 foot drop to the back yard. That fence was not there when I was living in this house. There was also a basketball hoop over the middle garage door, and we often played basketball in the driveway.

So having set the scene let me share the dream:

I’m in the driveway of my old house in Richmond, and I am looking at some improvements the new owners have made. The rail ties that run along the edge of the driveway are covered with something smooth and white like the cement in a skateboard park and decorated with rows of something like painted stones or pottery. The pieces are circular and of all different colors. The path that goes down to the yard is also paved and decorated like this. The whole thing is very beautiful to look at. Right at the curve of the driveway a piece of the rail tie has been removed, and it’s possible to go down a step and reach the path here rather than where the path starts. In the dream though it was only a foot or so down to the path at this spot, whereas in waking reality it’s almost the full 12 foot drop. I walk back up the driveway toward the street, and I’m with a couple of other guys. Then I realize I’m dreaming. I jump up into the air and start being taken up by a force. I ask the Mother to take me, and I’m going up fast as things fade to black. I move through the blackness for a long time and see some different vague images and patterns. I remember some five pointed stars and also a sun either setting or rising. There’s one part where the space I’m in seems constricted like I’m moving through a tube or something. Then I notice I’ve come to a stop, and I open my eyes and I’m lying in a bed. The bedspread has been pushed back and is rumpled at the end of the bed. It’s a light blue color if I remember right. Lilo, our yellow Labrador, is at the end of the bed, but it’s strange, like she’s melded with the bedspread. I’m still lucid, but I start losing the dream and have a false awakening.

So what I believe happened here is, as in other dreams I’ve had, I was journeying toward the soul and reached a waypoint, a deeper level of dreaming. Some of these deeper levels of dreaming can be kind of weird like this one with the dog strangely melded with the bedspread. I’m not sure what that might mean, but on one level maybe it’s showing something about my relationship with the dog who sleeps in my room frequently, though I don’t allow her on the bed. The light blue color of the bedspread, if I’m remembering the color correctly, would probably have some spiritual significance since blue, according to Sri Aurobindo, can represent the spiritual consciousness that lies above the normal human level of consciousness. It’s possible I was actually in my bed in the cataleptic state, but I don’t think so, as the usual sensations I have of a sort of numbness in the body and difficulty moving were not present.

Regarding the events of the dream before I went into the blackness, I would guess that the beautifully decorated descending path to the backyard represents the journey towards the soul since that’s where I went as soon as I became lucid. Donny suggested though that the path might also show the light getting down into the lower levels of my being as part of the process of sadhana. I think it may have that meaning as well for reasons I’ll explain later. The gap in the rail tie with the step down at the curve of the driveway (basically a shortcut) is maybe showing a way is open to some of these deeper levels of dreaming, showing that if you reach there once, the way is clear to get there again, though you may not find yourself there frequently. So maybe in this dream I reached a level I’d already been to before and didn’t actually go any further. It’s hard to say because I’m quite far from being any kind of expert on how to differentiate between these different dreaming levels.

Now in the first part of the dream I only observed the beautiful downward path but didn’t actually go down it. Everything I did took place in the driveway, and before this dream I’d never given any thought to what a driveway might mean as a symbol. Though I think there’s much of dubious value in dream dictionaries, I do consult them online frequently because I’ve found they can be quite insightful at times. So when I looked this time I found a couple of sites saying a driveway represents the end of a journey. That interpretation would make sense and fit in this case I think, even though I didn’t reach the end of the journey and actually arrive at the soul. And a driveway of course leads to a garage or in this case a three-car garage. Donny has come to believe that a garage1 represents your dream life and if that’s right that would fit into things too, even though I never went in the garage, nor were the garage doors up. All of this would be enough to explain why my dream builder chose this particular location to represent where I am in the process of completing the journey to the soul, but I think there may be another reason why this particular driveway was chosen, and it relates to something that happened there in waking life, something that was a manifestation of a major character flaw of mine. Let me explain.

As a child and a teenager I was basically skinny and a wimp as well as fairly unathletic, though not to the point where I had the unenviable distinction of being last kid picked for kickball. But I more or less always found myself on the losing end of any individual contests in sports, video games as well as the wrestling matches that boys often engage in. You could imagine that was very frustrating in a culture that places so much value not just on athletic prowess, but also being strong and tough. What made matters worse though were some things that had to do with my brother who was fourteen months younger than I. Despite the age difference Rick, who was very strong and a star athlete, could basically whup me from the time we were small children, and that was a bitter and humiliating pill to swallow, since the big brother is supposed to be able to whup the little brother. In addition to that, since he was my brother there was sibling rivalry, and the fact that he was so much better than me at sports was very frustrating for a couple of reasons. One was just competitiveness. I wanted to be as good as him at everything and got very angry about the fact that I wasn’t. The other was the fact that his athleticism won him the approval of my father, who wasn’t so interested in the things I was good at like theater. Another thing about me I should mention is that I didn’t like losing in general, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to do something like flip a board game over in frustration if things weren’t going my way.

So with that as the psychological backstory let me tell you what happened in that driveway in Richmond, Indiana. It was a winter day, but it wasn’t too cold, and there was no snow on the driveway. I was sixteen or seventeen. I was playing one on one basketball with my friend Jeff. As usual I was on the losing end of things, and there was some roughhousing on both our ends, though nothing unusual for boys playing sports. As Jeff continued to best me, I got more and more angry and frustrated. At one point on the crest of it Jeff and I were both going for the ball near the edge of the driveway, but near the top of the downward path where the drop was only a few of feet. As we went for the ball I didn’t outright shove him, but leaned hard into him knowing that that would be enough to send him over the edge. And it was. I’ll never forget the utter horror I felt as I saw Jeff fall back flailing over the edge as the more reasonable part of me kicked back in. Fortunately as I said, the drop was only a few feet, and Jeff landed flat on his back on snow-covered gravel, his fall further cushioned by the winter jacket he was wearing. So he jumped up unhurt to my great relief, and we continued playing. The way I had done things had been quite sneaky, and just appeared like normal roughhousing. If Jeff had noticed or sensed that I had purposely tried to hurt him he didn’t give any indication.

Now while I had had plenty of tantrums and outbursts over losing, I had never done anything quite like this. And unlike a lot of descriptions of people’s reason being unseated by the vital, I didn’t have the sense that I was watching myself do it or that it was like I was another person. It was more subtle and insidious than that, but it was still an act that went beyond my normal ethical boundaries. Fortunately it didn’t end in a way that would have haunted me for the rest of my life, because even though it was a short drop, Jeff still could have been seriously hurt or killed if he had landed on his head or hit one of the railroad ties. I think there may be more people out there than we realize who could relate an instance like this and who through luck or grace were spared a lifetime of regret or even imprisonment. And then there’s the cases where things didn’t turn out so well, people who, even if they’re not sitting in a prison cell over what they did in the heat of a moment, are sitting in an inner prison of guilt and regret wondering how in the world they could have acted that way and wishing very much that they hadn’t.

One thing it seems obvious we’ll have to do in order to evolve as a species is we’re going to have to start bringing these sticky and unsightly things into the light of day and start talking about them. If enough otherwise ‘good’ people came forward and admitted they’d been temporarily taken over in the way I’ve described here, we could perhaps start to realize that we aren’t the masters of ourselves that we think we are, and that in the right conditions many of us are open to what for a lack of a better word you could call temporary insanity. And it’s not just on the level of the individual, but also in groups, as the examples of angry mobs and Nazi Germany will attest. Understanding this would be one of the things that would get us on the way to a right way of dealing with harm and wrongdoing, forgiving others for the hurt done to us, and forgiving ourselves for the hurt we do to others. Punishment would eventually be taken out of the equation, but that wouldn’t mean you still wouldn’t have to try and take responsibility for harm done even if it was done in a genuine moment of temporary insanity. There couldn’t be any fixed formula though for how you would take responsibility, since for whatever reason it might not be possible or appropriate to help the person you wronged. If you were open to it though the universe would present you with opportunities and situations to balance the harm done by helping or being involved with other people that had nothing to do with the original harm, or even just having to endure a difficult trial or situation as a way of balancing things out. It would take a very plastic society with spiritual growth as its aim to implement this sort of thing, and it would be hand in hand with many other changes. The time where we’re doing this as a global society seems to still be a ways off, but a beginning could be made now on a small scale in small organizations or communities. This was a bit of a digression here, but one that I think was worth taking the time to make.

Getting back to me though, how does this event from my teenage years relate to the dream. Well as I said earlier Donny suggested the dream was showing the light getting down into the lower parts of my being. That interpretation makes sense since this competitiveness in me is a major stumbling block. Perhaps this particular locale was chosen to show not only that this character flaw is something blocking me from finding my soul, but also that I’ve made progress with it. Some aspects of this weakness I let go of many years ago. I no longer get really bent out of shape about losing for example. The only area it really comes up is with the only thing I really value or have a strong interest in anymore and that’s spirituality. And it’s mainly something that comes up in my relationship with other seekers I’m around which most of the time is just Donny. With all the spiritual experiences he’s had and the mountains of muse he’s had come down on him, it’s hard not to feel that I don’t measure up, since I’ve no ‘big’ spiritual experiences I can talk about, and what I get from the muse is hardly a trickle, which I often can’t interpret. And while my mind can see that all Donny’s grace is one level a sort of compensation for a difficult issue in his vital, my vital, like everyone’s, is an irrational creature and has more difficulty grasping that. Nor could my vital grasp when I was a boy that I had talents and abilities that were more developed than Rick and be content with that. Ultimately I think feelings in the vital of inadequacy or lack or not measuring up are what usually underlie most movements of competitiveness or jealousy, and it’s also a lower movement, though perhaps it’s more legitimate because it’s emotional pain. It’s still egoism though and has to be dealt with. One thing too about competitiveness I’ve found, is it breeds on proximity, and if I didn’t know Donny and wasn’t close to him, and just read about his experiences online or in a book, and never saw him or had anything to do with him, it might still hit that painful inadequate spot and produce jealousy, but it would be much less significant. But because he’s close to me I compare myself to him, and also since our work is side by side online I don’t like feeling like I look like a second fiddle.

Some people might be shocked at what I’ve divulged here or wonder why I’d be willing to admit to such a thing. As I said though we need to start talking about these things so I’m talking about them. What it boils down to is that all of us still living in ego consciousness are dysfunctional to one degree or another, and that’s a key truth to see: that ego consciousness itself is intrinsically flawed. The other key and complimentary truth is that there’s the possibility of getting out of ego consciousness2. Understanding these two truths can provide a framework in which, as I’ve suggested, small groups and communities and eventually all of society can safely talk about and work on integrating our darkness. This is what Donny and I are trying to do on a very small scale here at Harm’s End, with basically just the two of us at the moment, though other people live here. We hope though that in the future more like-minded people will join us here and take part in the endeavor, and that eventually we’ll have a little model here that other people can use as starting point for similar undertakings. Anybody interested?

Notes

  1. Dream symbols often have a simple logic to them, so I asked Donny what he thought might be the logic behind a garage representing your dream life. He said that a garage is where you store things, and also where you work. He also said it’s not where you live. You don’t spend as much time there as you do in the rest of the house.
  2. I don’t know this from personal experience, but I’ve read a lot of accounts of people who’ve made this leap, and in a few cases even spoken to people who had had glimpses or permanent realizations beyond ego consciousness. So I’m convinced enough that I feel comfortable saying the potential to go beyond ego consciousness is a truth.

I Volunteer A Dream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and References

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

 

My Name is Joe. G.I. Joe.

blowtorch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yo Joe!