Your Possible Dream!

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When I was around ten, I read Cervantes’ Don Quixote slowly, episode by episode, like the Bible as I had read it when I was eight! I liked it so much that I didn’t want it ever to end; that is why I only allowed myself one episode per reading. This was a book I would read with a flashlight under my blankets in case my mother would want me to stop reading and turn out the lights. I was drawn into this character of Don Quixote de la Mancha. I identified with his sense of chivalry and adventure, with his strong friendship with Sancho Panza and with his elevating adoration of ‘Dulcinea’.

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Later I learned the musical script of Man of La Mancha completely: I sang every song, in order, while walking or resting.  I especially loved—still do—the theme song of The Impossible Dream. Later, in college years, I saw the Broadway musical stage version of Man of La Mancha three times with different casts.  By then I understood from literature classes that we are to pity Don Quixote as a misguided antihero, a dilapidated man bent by the aberrations of the world into little more than a dreary wisp of misguided optimism in a harsh and brutal world.  But, to me, this never really sank in; I still love the figure of Don Quixote as one bearing truth—his truth—as a banner despite all opposition, or Inquisition, too!

Here are the lyrics to the Peter O’Toole movie version of The Impossible Dream: http://www.reelclassics.com/Actors/O’Toole/impossibledream-lyrics.htm (and https://www.youtube.com/embed/YGzqbEeVWhs“>click here to hear the song on Youtube video!)

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

******   ******

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WHAT IS YOUR Possible Dream?  What cause do you pursue “without question or pause;” for which you are “willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause?” What is your Life Dream that stretches out before you as if an “unreachable,” yet to you it is a REACHABLE STAR?

I believe the human Spirit thrives on such ideal pursuits. It is a dream that benefits many as well as yourself; that which allows you to express and develop into ALL THAT YOU ARE, Here and Now!

I invite you to connect with your own inner ‘Don (or, Dona) Quixote.’  Ask your inner  IDEALIST nature to reveal itself to you. What form of character does it take? What are ITS GOALS for You?

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images from pixabay.com

I welcome your insights and stories!

 

The Oak in the Acorn

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A primary tool I will be offering with the upcoming book Life Paths is the Archetype Dialogue Practice. This approach lets you use active imagination and journaling to engage directly with your unconscious archetypal parts-of-Self (personae) so you can get to know these ever present aspects of your own Self and so you can enlist the Strengths of your archetypal cast as Allies in the pursuit of your most integral goals or Life Dream.

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The process of active imagination has been well described and exemplified by Carl Jung.  Wikipedia explains:

 As developed by Carl Jung between 1913 and 1916, active imagination is a meditation technique wherein the contents of one’s unconscious are translated into images, narrative or personified as separate entities. It can serve as a bridge between the conscious ‘ego’ and the unconscious and includes working with dreams and the creative self via imagination or fantasy. Jung linked active imagination with the processes of alchemy in that both strive for oneness and inter-relatedness from a set of fragmented and dissociated parts. This process ultimately resulted in the Red Book.

A simple method for engaging in active imagination yourself to explore or to meet & greet some of your own archetypal energies (or, synergies) is simply to close your eyes and imagine going down into a subterranean cave or down a set of stairs where your archetypal sub-selves can meet with you. Use this or another active contemplation technique to encounter or to observe these aspects of your psyche, then when you return to your usual conscious awareness, as if waking from a meaningful dream, you can record what you experienced or learned. You can also use any artistic media to represent this encounter or what you have learned from it.

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I find it easy after long practice with this approach to simply “shift down” to a subconscious perspective and to journal a dialogue directly with my own archetypal aspects. It is important to be receptive and allowing; create an internal environment of acceptance and offer a safe space for the dialogue to occur. Note that the ‘voices’ you will encounter will feel naturally to be aspects of yourself; they are not external ‘entities’ (you can discontinue your session if these voices do feel external). You will know you are ‘in the zone’ when the alternating perspectives in your dialogue feel inwardly to be authentic and clearly distinct parts of Self.

So for this week’s pairing of Idealist archetype traits with the metaphor of life as a Long and Winding Road, allow me to demonstrate, and I invite you to encounter your own “inner Idealist”, too. Remember that your archetypal personae might manifest either as masculine or feminine images and they might present in either Strength (positive) or in Shadow (repressed or feeling suppressed) modalities.

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LW: Calling Doña Jeanne [a combination of a female Don Quixote and Joan of Arc!; I  used to address my fencing foil by this name]; come in, Doña!

DJ: We like how you animated and personified your blade in this way; ‘et la!’ we would say…

LW: Thanks. How are you doing these days?

DJ: We—Let’s say I—am always available. I wish lately you would allow me and the rest of us to shed light on why it is so important for you to maintain your trust, your faith. It is one thing to claim a faith but quite another to demonstrate the ‘faith of the mustard seed’, remember?

LW: Or of the Acorn?

DJ: Tell the story; have you ever found its message for you?

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LW: Ok… One of my greatest mentors, Antoinette Paterson (Toni), loved oak. All her furniture, mostly from Salvation Army stores around Buffalo, NY, was made of oak. She once showed her young son an acorn while under an oak tree in a park, saying to him, “There is God!”

DJ: And the meaning, dear?

LW: I have always figured she meant that the Acorn, as the seed of the great Oak it will grow into, is a manifestation of the divine principle of Creation. Isn’t that the message?

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DJ: But there is more, much more.

LW: What else then?

DJ: The Acorn IS GOD, as God IS the essence of Everything and No-thing—the Alpha and the Omega; Yin and Yang; beginning and goal achieved; inner and outer; Spirit and form; Sea and Foam. Do you see?

LW: I like the sea and foam image.

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DJ: It is no metaphor. It Just IS! From out of the Formless, Form emerges. Then and Now, Once and Forever, IS. What does this imply for you?

LW: I look into the Acorn to see therein the Oak in full expression. It is not now and later but it is One. The Oak already exists in the Acorn. Is that what you mean?

DJ: Can you apply this to your recent displays of frustration and impatience?

LW: You mean re. the arduous, nebulous publishing process?

DJ: How can you bring about the bend in the Road you desire?

LW: By focusing on the End achieved.

DJ: No!

LW: By further editing?

DJ: Not even!

LW: Hmm…just by allowing the process to be already complete from within?

DJ: Indeed.

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LW: So when I dreamed last week that several large boxes of books were ready for delivery…

DJ: Precisely! On the Inner first; the Outer is a reflection. “All creation is finished in the lower worlds.” (Paul Twitchell)

LW: So trust, allowance, acceptance!

DJ: Love is All! Love is the acorn is the oak and all its roots and branches and leaves. Even its corpse is Love.

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LW: Thank you.

DJ: God Bless!

LW: God bless you too, with Love.

 ******   ******

I invite you to your own Idealist dialogue. I welcome all your insights and stories!

Don Quixote, Idealist of La Mancha

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One of the most iconic IDEALIST protagonists of all Western literature is “Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha”. When I was around 10, I read Cervantes’ Don Quixote as if it were a bible, allowing myself only one of the picaresque stories per night (though sometimes cheating to read ahead). I loved this bumbling, well-intentioned but humble everyman sort of hero, and it was not until I was older that I learned in school how Don Quixote is not universally regarded as a heroic figure at all but rather as a misguided, neurotic antihero.

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I have deeply identified with Don Quixote. I’ve seen the play Man of La Mancha performed several times, and throughout college years I knew all of the musical’s lyrics by heart. To me, Don Quixote had an idealistic or cockeyed optimist purity and innocence that eventually won over everyone’s hearts. Aldonza, the “harlot,” is raised by her interaction with Don Quixote to her true inner stature as “Dulcinea”, a Lady; the peasant Sancho Panza becomes an adventuresome Squire on his donkey; and Don Quixote himself, dubbed Knight of the Woeful Countenance, tilts at windmills as if they are dragons and wears an old wash basin for his helmet. His chivalry is as pure as his Idealist energy is strong, even if at times the consequences for those around him are less than positive.

My favorite Idealist lyrics are from the play Man of La Mancha :

“The Impossible Dream”from MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972)

(music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion)

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars

Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

 

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Can you relate? Well then, take a knee! By what chivalric name shall you be dubbed? What is the nature of the most Glorious Quest YOU are on? Look up to the night sky to find that Star you seek, and FOLLOW!

Why ‘Better Endings’?

Change a story, change a life…Yours!

Better Endings is a principle, an ideal that reveals the highest capacities of the human heart and Spirit.  It is inherent in our Soul’s journey, I believe, to strive to overcome adversity, to approach and slay (or, tame) our inner Dragons, to triumph despite apparent setbacks or restrictions.

“I can do it!,” says the Littlle Blue Engine in a childhood story of encouragement.  “Reach for the unreachable Star!,” says a beleaguered Man of La Mancha. There are no impossible dreams, for our dreams lead us inexorably forward, so long as we allow ourselves to follow.

Thirteen years ago, during a time of self-questioning about my own life purpose and goals, I literally woke from sleep one morning to the clear vision of a bold, black lettered sign or placard pasted right between my eyes, that read:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY

TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS,

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

This message has become a credo for me ever since. It has led me to develop, over twelve years of research and development, the Life Maps Process, which is a personal growth and development toolkit that allows you to reconstruct and reflect upon patterns, themes and chapters in your life to Now so you may better equip yourself with your own archetypal Strengths and Cross the Threshold to a more consciously envisioned future. Live Your Dream, Now! is the better endings mantra you can realize through the art of Life Path Mapping.

Better Endings says to all of us to “Never Give Up!”.  As long as we can exercise and stretch our human faculty of Imagination we CAN Realize our Life Dream instead of Just Getting By. This is true regardless of your circumstances; while yes, some paths may be blocked to you due to irreversible circumstances, yet there is always a better endings scenario you CAN fulfill, or at least a ‘best possible’ one.

I invite you to a year of Better Endings!  It is yours for the price of sharing–inwardly and outwardly, if you so choose–so ultimately you can reclaim and Live YOUR Dream!