Dreams and Divination

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Yesterday, I considered my worldview, as I often do, and thought of my dreams and divination and so on.

Even if in the world there apparently seems to be no gods and goddess and so on that are sensible, I’m still drawn to things involving rite, ritual, and yes, divination.

For some people, they’re able to look at Tarot cards or the I Ching and immediately say, “That’s ridiculous, superstitious stuff, and I want no part of it.”

For me, I was *never* able to do that.

I could never convince myself that there was absolutely nothing to the Tarot or other methods of divination.

No, it doesn’t make sense in a kind of logical, scientific way.

However, a lack of an immediate explanation doesn’t mean that there is no explanation and that it doesn’t work at all.

Last night, I finished reading the His Dark Materials trilogy.

I think the conception of the aletheiometer was one of the best forms of divination I’ve ever seen. Gorgeous and wonderful, and I wish they were real and I could own one and use it.

Use it, I would.

I found the last book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, to become tedious; the book should’ve been edited in several parts OR split into two books. It was just too long, and I didn’t have the same enthusiasm in reading it as I did with The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife.

Last night, in my dreams, I dreamed that I had ordered an I Ching set, and also, by accident, an aletheiometer.

And later in my dreams, I was holding a guy I used to like, and he had a boyfriend, yet the guy and I were talking about how we mutually had crushes on each other, and I told him that if I were to take his boyfriend’s place, the feelings we had now would result in the same thing happening with him and another guy later on.

If they’ll cheat with you, they’ll cheat on you.

Make no mistake.

But the dream was a good one, if not a little odd since I’m married.

Later, the guy in question had the form of a cat, and I understood him to be my dæmon in the way Pantalaimon is Lyra’s dæmon in His Dark Materials.

When I awoke, in the subtle state between waking and sleeping, I suddenly KNEW things.

I knew that in times old, people lived closer to the dream-world, and that’s why images of gods in chariots and fires burning around them and angels and demons and such things made sense to them, because their minds were closer to the subconscious mind.

Now, in our world, we find these things odd and strange because most of us (okay, at least in the USA) live further away from the dreaming level of the mind. We like structured, conscious things that conform to our expected reality around us, and people shit unhappy easter eggs when this doesn’t happen. (The whole marriage equality debacle is a keen example- some people can’t get over the idea of the tuxedo-and-white-dress image, so they freak the fuck out.)

So, our mission, which is really the mission humanity has had from the beginning, is to bring the subconscious/unconscious mind (what I call the “dreaming mind”) into the conscious reality and to live it out.

That sounds like, “Oh, is THAT all?” type deal, yet the enormity of the whole process is incredible.

I awoke knowing that I could trust myself. The knowing may fade, but I knew that I could understand and make decisions and rely on the Dreaming Mind inside of me to make the best decisions and to not lead me astray. Perhaps this is what people mean when they refer to trusting in Jesus and so on.

The Mass understood from the Gnostic perspective at least refers to the Self and so on in a Jungian sense.

While I cannot testify that there is an objectively existing God, I can testify that there is, in fact, a Self, an unconscious level of us that’s confident and keen and to which we can turn and never have any fear.

The journey deepens, and I might have to make adjustments to my identification and so on as time goes by.

Such is the case for any mystic.

So here we go. Come, Dreaming Mind, come, and bring us what You Know.

I do wonder if the Dreaming Mind ultimately issues from matter, and not in the sense of dead material, but in the sense that perhaps the stuff of the cosmos is actually intelligent and *somehow* conscious.

Let’s see.

Stevo

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Animus, Anima, Archetypes

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Gnosis tends to creep up on us. 

Lately, I’ve noticed the use of the word “gnosis” to be different for different people. This seems only natural as its unfortunate how often people have completely different definitions for the same word. Largely, I myself had conceived of “gnosis” to refer to direct or first-hand knowledge about God; in other words, “gnosis” is the “information” about God that’s apprehended in, say, a vision of God or an angel or some sort of spiritual being. That is “gnosis” as opposed to “epistemis,” which is instead a hypothetical knowledge that potentially derives from a specific line of reasoning but is not necessarily something that one has encountered for one’s self. 

So, this is the manner in which I use the word “gnosis.” I don’t use the word to refer to enlightenment or some kind of higher level of knowledge as other Gnostics do; instead, “gnosis” is used kind of like “grace.” One might be in a state of grace, one might be in a state of gnosis, but gnosis is not equivalent to something like Nirvana or theosis; on this point I agree, but I would also disagree with the Gnostics in the Apostolic Johannite Church who insist that the goal of Gnosticism and Christianity is not Nirvana or enlightenment but gnosis as gnosis seems something like the building blocks that lead to Nirvana.

Enough of this. To the point. 

Earlier today, something registered with me. I initially had a suspicion that the dyadic nature of Christ/Sophia suggested in some way the Animus and Anima, and so, too, I think this is even more clearly represented and supported by the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary whereby Mary is understood to represent the functions of Sophia in a parallel way that Jesus represents the functions of the Christ. 

The problem, of course, is that in circles mystic, esoteric, New Age, and otherwise, the Christ Consciousness is almost always attributed to being the elusive Higher Self/Buddha Nature. This poses a problem, because if Christ represents the Higher Self, then how can He also represent the Animus?

The answer exists to some extent in the sphere of Gnosticism and those who would separate the Eternal Christ from the man Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth becomes the image of the Animus; hence the concept of the “Sacred Heart of JESUS.” I’ve never come across literature who refer to the Sacred Heart as the “Sacred Heart of Christ.” Not once. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the phrase always used. Thus, the notion is that the Eternal, Pre-existent Christ is the Self and cannot be given a specific form but the man Jesus DOES have a specific form or image- hence, the Animus, the Ideal Image of the Masculine. This is further supported by the Sacred Heart itself and the countless images of Jesus pointing to His Sacred Heart as if to say, “I AM Love; I AM the Passion; I AM the Animus.”

However, for heterosexual men, the parallel devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is necessary. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is necessary in order for the man to integrate the Anima into himself, I think. Her perpetual virginity is easily explained in the sense that the Anima can NEVER be truly touched or defiled; projected, yes, but ultimately, the Anima is a part of the person, and thus the Blessed Virgin Mary is a perpetual virgin who is the Queen of Heaven because she is assumed into the Divine Self once the person has fully (or mostly fully) integrated the Anima. 

This, too, explains why the notion is that she is conceived without sin, that she is immaculate, even as Jesus was sinless; both the Anima and the Animus are CONCEIVED IN THE PSYCHE WITHOUT STAIN OR FAULT. 

I have no idea how I know these things; archetypal relationships just seem to pop out at me, and that reinforces the notion that I must approach Christianity through a Jungian lens for it to make sense.

A while back, a friend said something to me along the lines of how he just can’t take most of Protestantism seriously, and I agree. Protestantism seems so geared toward decidedly making itself Not Catholic that the archetypal relationships are all but lost; it isn’t to say that the Catholic variety of Christianity doesn’t have its own issues, for it does, but for a different set of issues. 

More and more, it does seem that the Gnostics are about the only Christians in the history of the religion who actually knew what they were talking about. 

Stevo

Further Understanding

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Lately, I’ve written a few different blogs that are lurking on my iPad. I’ve yet to upload them for various reasons, but that’s okay; I’ll make sure that I note when I finally get around to putting them online that they come, chronologically, after this blog.

That being said, something happened recently. I’ve been in the process of integrating the Shadow for quite some time, and most recently, I fell ill. Each time I’ve been sick since last December, I’ve noticed that I was going through some kind of purgation.

 

I’m not sure if anyone else has had a parallel experience of a physical sickness manifesting in their body when they’ve come upon a deep psychological transformation or integration or not.

 

One thing I should note is that my dreams have for many years seen me back in high school. These always bothered me for various reasons, not the least of which that I’ve already graduated from college.

 

But now I’m having dreams about entering college, and not the colleges I’ve actually attended; the dreams are actually about larger colleges as opposed to the smaller ones I attended.

 

This isn’t a reference to my actual education so much as it is to my internal or spiritual education, I would guess. So, the moving on up to the college level makes me think I’ve made some kind of transition.

 

So, I integrated some of the Shadow, in fact, probably a large part of it. I resisted it for far too long, and the scope of this blog as a whole couldn’t explain to others the kind of torment I endured during the integration process. I can’t give specifics because they wouldn’t make sense to other people. Suffice is to say that once you realize that the Shadow largely consists of irrational processes that control us and direct us to do things we may not consciously want to do or would find horrifying and repugnant, you have to also accept this reality and allow yourself to feel the darkest of the dark impulses- and accept them.

 

What I mean by “accept” is difficult to explain. “Acceptance” is not the same as merely making a conscious acknowledgment, nor is it a conscious acting out of the Shadow impulses, though in some cases one can act out the impulses without any kind of social repercussion. I wish I could explain.

 

But then, this process happened while I was sick and thereof in a slightly altered state of mind as well, so accepting was easier for me to do.

 

The immediate effect that happened is the blockages which I’ve so long lamented of in my heart began to disappear. When the particular Shadow problems appear now, as soon as I accept them, the block that appears in my heart goes away, and I can feel Longing and Love much, much more easily.

 

The other blockage is in my head; this was a more recent discovery. Whereas the energy moving through me used to catch at the heart and go no further, it now catches as the base of the skull and seems to only go into my head as a whole in very small amounts.

 

The condition as it stands reminds me slightly of the unitive condition or what tastes I’ve had of it before, though it’s still gradually building at the moment. In general, I feel more peaceful, I seem to enjoy myself and life more, and I have this sense that the next great movement is the integration of the anima/animus.

 

Though some would argue that as a male I lack the animus, I disagree; I have seen the animus time and time again during the course of my dreams, even since I was quite young, and my animus largely overlaps with the Self. I’m okay with that, too.

 

Anyway, the next step of integration that was revealed to me deals with realizing that the guy I’ve seen in other guys is actually a projection of me. I’m actually the guy I long for, for I am the Longing One, and the Longing One, in turn, is actually the Inner Christ.

 

This all sounds heavy and maybe too intellectualized but reflects actual experiences I’m having and not just ideas that are floating around me or that I’ve read in books. But then, for all the trash-talking I hear some mystics do about books, I also think books are good for finding the external method of integrating one’s experiences; as Andy of A Red State Mystic states, the Tradition gives us a language by which to express ourselves.

I can’t say whether or not my own Dark Night has finished, but I can say that there seems to be a Light at the end of the tunnel that I did not see before. So, in good cheer, I do tell you, Andy, that the Dark Night is worth the traverse, and I do tell you as well to KEEP GOING.

 

Also, a bit of a theological reflection here: I understand now what Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee means when he says that it is ultimately God’s grace that takes us home. To see this state that I’m currently in, I understand from the inside-out that *I* did not induce this state of being; *I* did not create this; *I* did not stumble upon this; this is something into which I was brought.

Yes, it may appear that one is brought in the state by actively participating, but the participation on our part, too, is Christ compelling us. Perhaps we are all called and only some answer His call; I cannot say.

 

One glimpse of how this may work that I’ve seen is that, since so much of my Shadow has to do with self-denial and self-hatred, the integration of the low self-esteem and self-hatred will be countered by the integration of the animus that I adore so much and which largely represents a high self-esteem. I could see this works possibly as a “thesis, antithesis” which then collapses into a synthesis- that is, the alchemy of the Shadow and the Animus thus mixed together cause a collapse in the Ego and a revelation of the Interior Christ’s true dominion.

 

That, however, IS speculation, though I was aware of these things in meditation.

Pax Vobiscum.

 

Beaux

 

 

Synchronicities Abound! or Strange Coincidences Seemingly Constituting Support for the Jungian Acausal Connecting Principle

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BEAUX’S NOTE: I, Beaux/Stevo, did not write this. Rather, my friend John wrote this, tagged me in the Note, and I found it powerful, beautiful, and compelling. I asked for his permission to repost it, so here it is. For the very reason of making sure that everyone understands that John wrote this and not I, I’m writing this extremely vivid and ugly preface so that everyone knows.

That being said, the formatting was a bitch to try to actually put on here, so I apologize to John if this repost’s formatting appears botched or off at all.



Synchronicity 1: Langdon.

  1. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alan Gribben, the Mark Twain scholar who became the center of an international controversy by announcing his new combined edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which replaces the n-word with “slave” (and “Injun” with “Indian”), for an article in the Aumnibus, AUM’s student newspaper. In researching Mark Twain to prepare my questions, I naturally learned that the maiden name of Twain’s wife Olivia was Langdon.
  2. Less than a week after interviewing Dr. Gribben, I received an email by complete accident from the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of the Fall Mountain Regional School District. The email read (in part), “I have used the emails that are listed on our rosters. If you notice any errors, please let me know.” I have no idea how my email address ended up on their rosters. I looked up the Fall Mountain Regional School District and it is located in Langdon, New Hampshire.

Synchronicity 2: Ph.D.

  1. Will Ellis asked me to identify the graduate school from which I hope to earn my Ph.D. While I told him about some of the universities that I already had in mind, his query also inspired me to look for other schools. In this way I discovered the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
  2. I was reading “Terence McKenna’s Last Trip,” an article about the last series of interviews to which he agreed before passing away. According to the article, McKenna would sometimes treat “the Net like a crystal ball, entering strange phrases into Google’s search field just to see what comes up.” This inspired me to do the same thing. I used a true random number generator to generate seven random integers ranging inclusively from 0 to 26. Each number corresponded to a letter. 0 = space, 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, and so on. I do not exactly remember the seven-letter “word” that resulted from this process, but the first letter was “I” and the last three letters were “P,” “H,” and “D.” I entered this into Google and the search results included mostly websites for the Ph.D. programs of universities whose names begin with the letter “I.”

Synchronicity 3: Technopaganism.

  1. I was reading the Wikipedia article on technopaganism, which “focuses on the spiritual side of technology… One belief… is that the Internet itself is attaining a unique spirit.”
  2. While I was researching McKenna, I had come across the following quote of his: “Organized religion is as concerned with controlling social groups as organized politics is.” I had subsequently posted this as a status update. This apparently inspired Stevo Harris to make the following status update: “Chaunce Woodmansee, John Gibbs Tisdale II, behold, each other. Just trust me on this one, despite how huge of a request that is to ask of either of you.” Then, as I was reading the previously mentioned article on technopaganism, Stevo, in a comment on his status update, said: “You guys are on the same wavelength. This is what Facebook is for, people like you and John meeting and conversing and exchanging. This is it – this is what this whole social networking thing is about, so we’re living its purpose. Oh, yeah, baby, I just took Facebook THERE.” Like me, Chaunce is a self-described mystic, a psychology student, and a fan of Carl Jung (who developed the concept of synchronicities).

Synchronicity 4: Time-space art as a sleep aid.

  1. At the end of the night (4 or 5 AM) on which the preceding two synchronicities occurred (which is also the night during which I received the email mentioned in the first synchronicity), I had so much energy pulsing through me that the prospect of sleep seemed unthinkable. I had been sitting in front of my laptop, “devouring sites, weeding through lists, exploring virtual worlds,” as McKenna once did, for hours, so I turned it off and began pacing around my room. My mind still wanted to be working with information, but my eyes were tired of staring at a screen. So I sat down and did something quite archaic: I began writing with pen and paper. But I was in no “normal” mood, not even by my own eccentric standards. I didn’t write in straight lines but rather in a spiral around the paper; thus, it was more of an artistic writing than a scholarly writing. Here is what I wrote (some familiarity with philosophy is required if it is to make any sense): “A stream of consciousness more powerful than the Mighty Mississippi courses through my veins. Animal spirits? Preposterous! Cogito, ergo sum? Nonsense! Prime indubitable? More like a composite fallacy! A terrible philosophical blunder. Who could be proud of being labeled the father of modern philosophie? Non, Descartes, il est la morte de la philosophie! Mai moi, je will be the mother of postmodern thought. Nay, not the mother, for the other end of the spectrum is not radical enough; the spectrum itself must be completely transcended! Mother and father, ha! Sexuaity, ha! Reproduction, ha! The union of opposites is unnecessary. There are no opposites! There is only One! Even the growth of plants does not do it justice. Mothers, fathers, pistils, stemens, all things of the archaic past! Such concepts are so last nanosecond. I am not the mother of postmodernism, I AM postmodernism! And not postmodern ‘thought,’ either, for I am the transcendence of thought! I am the transcendence of all that is, was, or ever will be. Not that there ever ‘will be’ anything ever again. It’s over. The end is beyond nigh. It’s to the point that ‘end,’ ‘beginning,’ ‘nigh,’ ‘far’ are no more! Time is dead. It’s to the point that there is no point! For what is a point if it does not exist in time and space? Awaken from the dream of reality. We are lucid.” After writing this I was able to fall asleep.
  2. The next day, Jill Harrell started chatting with me on Facebook. This was the first time that we ever directly communicated with each other. She had added me as a friend just days prior. She informed that on the previous night, she was unable to sleep because she was thinking so much about the time-space continuum. So she began doing some fingerpainting, and then she was able to fall asleep. Interestingly, we each had our artistic time-space sleeping aid experience at about the same time.

Synchronicity 5: Aldous Huxley.

  1. Another friend of Stevo’s, Marco Slate, sent me a message. Up until this point Marco and I were completely unacquainted with each other; I had never even heard of him. He asked me, “Do you care for Aldous Huxley?” I responded, “Yes I do. I had myself a little vow of silence after looking through The Perennial Philosophy.”
  2. Later that day, Fae Frederick posted the following Franz Kafka quote on my wall: “You don’t even need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, simply wait. Don’t even wait. Be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you. To be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” In a comment, I responded, “What a synchronicity! I just had someone I’ve never met ask me if I’m fond of the work of Aldous Huxley. I was telling them that I once took a vow of silence after reading the chapter on silence in his book The Perennial Philosophy. He cites that Kafka quote, which is what inspired me to do it.”

Synchronicity 6: The biological psychiatry controversy.

  1. I was working on a presentation that I will be delivering to the psychology club on the biological psychiatry controversy, which is essentially the debate about whether or not the human mind is completely reducible to neurochemical processes in the brain. A big part of this debate is the overuse of psychopharmaceuticals such as antidepressants.
  2. While I was working on my presentation, Emily Martin posted happy birthday wishes on my wall (it was just past midnight, so technically it was my birthday). This led me to look at her profile to see what she’s been up to (I haven’t really talked to her in a while), and I discovered that she is majoring in biopsychology. Also while I was working on the presentation, a friend started chatting with me. He was struggling with some existential issues and, through no provocation on my part, he revealed (to my horror) that he is taking psychopharmaceuticals. I told him that such an approach is merely a quick fix and urged him to ween himself off, to find a more holisitc way of dealing with his problems. He agreed with me but ultimately stated that because of the practicality of the quick fix, taking the drugs is worth the risk in his opinion.

Synchronicity 7: My birthday.

  1. Today is my birthday. My family has a tradition: when it’s one of our birthdays, we all go out to eat.
  2. The universe gave me an amazing birthday present: the grand opening of Earth Fare, Montgomery’s first truly health-conscious grocery store. Anyone who knows my über-hardcore-health-conscious-raw-organic-gluten-free-vegan ways will understand what an amazing synchronicity this is. Rather than going out to eat, we are having an organic vegan meal at home.

I am utterly grateful for the bizarre coincidences that have been connecting me with other people. I am starting to become less reclusive as the world is becoming increasingly interconnected. I am sure that the synchronicities will only keep getting more and more meaningful as we continue to near the singularity.