Love Equals Love

 

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I meant the first post for this month’s Topic of Life Lessons to be a general introduction to the topic, which I have already written. Instead, I have had a three-part dream this morning and realized while driving to work this morning how it conveys a major life lesson for me: Love Equals Love.  Along with this, Acts of love are Heroic!

In my dream I am visiting all day with a lifelong friend. Since my friend’s gender in the dream is ambiguous, I will call my friend here Dona (Donna/ Don). In Part I of this dream Dona is visiting me and we share some experience together like attending an event or a class, but I do not recall that segment. After that activity, Dona drives us back to her/his location and I ride in the car, talking familiarly with my friend and grateful to be in Dona’s presence. We arrive at Dona’s place and sit out on a portico (that is the word that comes as I write out the dream), suspended over a gorge with water below.

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After talking awhile I realize I have brought my orange tabby cat Emily with me on the visit but did not bring a litter box, so I say maybe we should be leaving. (This often happens in a lucid dream that some element of a physical-world concern can intervene and shorten the dream experience.) Dona says–I believe not wanting that I should leave so soon–that visiting animals often use a fenced area down in the gorge below for their needs.

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Sure enough when I look down to the gorge (where previous to this I had looked and saw a large dog in a region beyond a further fence), Emily is already down there and does relieve herself. One and then up to three or four other ‘local’ cats have gathered just outside the inner fenced area where Emily is. I mention this to Dona.

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All of a sudden Dona gets up and DIVES off from the portico over the cliff! S/he transforms into a cat on the way down so that s/he lands on her feet and then transforms into Dona again, to save Emily from the cats that might have attacked her. After realizing what has just occurred, I (with I think my sister Cheryl) go down a trail to the bottom to check on Dona and Emily.  A younger woman with blue and pink  hues, blonde, is coming up as we go down (angelic?). We get there and Dona is lying down, okay but needing to recuperate, enclosed in a blanket or even a protective tube to help him/her to regenerate from the hard landing.  Emily is fine and I have her in my arms to carry her. We will bring Dona up in the tube, but meanwhile Dona is talking about how this will make for a great story to tell later. Quite a story, Indeed! Dona says this is about the need to take bold action on behalf of others; that this is a sort of action often not taken in today’s world!

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Driving into work after this dream this morning I was replaying the dream in my mind, trying to comprehend and interpret its meaning for me. What came to mind almost immediately is:

Love = Love.

I had been thinking of a spiritual expression I like: Soul = Soul. But then came this slight emendation: LOVE EQUALS LOVE. I realized then how the dream itself was about the love that comes with lifelong friendship; and as well, Dona’s leap into the gorge off from the portico to protect my cat Emily (whom I also love) was an act of love as much as an heroic act of itself!

So yes, a Life Lesson:

Love Equals Love !

Dream Reflection: Whatever form love takes, it IS Love. And love, to be love truly, is always reciprocal.  Love engenders Heroic qualities on behalf of the Beloved.

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images are from pixabay.com

I hope that some of you reading this story can relate to this Life Lesson of Love = Love. It is a beautiful affirmation, for me, of the magnificence of Life itself:

(for, Love = Life = Love).

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Jaguar Dream

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Sunday morning I had an interesting dream that I feel relates to the Warrior archetype concept that we are focusing on this month. In my dream I am preparing to take a big journey, to embark upon a transition/ turning point or a move. I have a pet Jaguar, young, all black (sleek, beautiful!), that I load into a large pet carrier in the rear of my car to bring with me on the journey.  There is a bicycle in the pet carrier, too, with a rear wheel that spins while I drive, so the Jaguar does not have a lot of free space in there. That’s mainly the dream, except that throughout the night I woke several times realizing I had made part of the dream journey, then went back, and gradually as I was waking I thought I wasn’t tending to the needs of my Jaguar in the rear of the car. In the dreaming itself this did not seem to be an issue, but it was to my waking awareness.

It feels to me that the Jaguar is my Warrior Archetype Ally, in the form of an animus/anima figure. (In my archetypal ensemble cast, I tend to have both masculine and feminine ‘anima’ images; maybe because I am rather androgynous myself.)

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(Combine these to see more like my ‘real’ road companion, my pet Shorkie, Sophie)

The spinning bicycle wheel (while I am in motion, driving through the ‘move’) that occupies the same space frame as the Jaguar is a compelling dream image. I guess that may be my Mind, spinning rapidly as I negotiate my way through this upcoming big transition.  But my Warrior-Jaguar instinct or intuition is also important for me to rely upon, and to properly care for and attend to.  I need the Strength of my Warrior-Jaguar Ally to help me negotiate when I reach my interim destination. (This may be the book deal I anticipate or a choice I may confront about that since the proposal began circulating yesterday.)

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It is interesting to be writing this blog during this time as well; sharing about the unfolding process and how archetypal psychology influences my own journey.

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Have you had a dream image that may represent your own WARRIOR Archetype Ally? What form does it take? What message does it have for you regarding your life situations?

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images from pixabay.com

I invite and welcome any story you may wish to share about YOUR Warrior Ally.

A.C.T. on your Dreams to Realize Your Dream

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Where do you want to be five years from now or further down the road of life?  What is your Life Dream? Or do you prefer to land where you arrive at, trusting life to carry you along?  Living in the Now and being grateful for everything in the Present is of course tremendous and very important! Yet it is also okay to keep in mind what this bubble of the Present may unfold to. To me I believe true Nowness is an Awareness that unifies Past-Present-Future; that is, it is a Mindfulness that transcends Time altogether. From this perspective, living in the Now is like having a 360 degree viewpoint; you can see how you have arrived in this Moment and also what Its array of potentials are in many directions.

So, where do dreams (including nightly dreams, “waking dreams”, and daydreams) fit with this idea that you can brew the Now to unfold into your most desirable Future potentials?  Dreams can reveal not only the conditions we are currently ensconced within but also the possibilities and even probabilities available to us from Here. How? Often dreaming seems to take its own course so that you need only to be attentive to receive the messages of your unconscious promptings.  But it is always a good practice to ASK what it is you wish to perceive or understand through your dreaming.

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I have shared before about how I used active contemplation and nightly dreams to show me the future potentials associated with my “big move” from Buffalo to Phoenix 35 years ago. I was relocating to enter a graduate program in Anthropology at Arizona State University. This was a major transformation of my life since I had grown up in eastern states and most of my immediate family was in New York at the time. To help allay my uncertainties about moving to such a foreign environment as the Southwest desert of Arizona, every night for a year before retiring to bed I sat for a half hour active contemplation in which I posed a specific question of my inner guidance and then went to bed, expectantly anticipating that in my dreams the answer to that day’s question would be given. And, it was! In that year’s dreaming I met people I would meet in Arizona in clearly prophetic dreams. I was shown situations that would unfold once I arrived there. In all, my dreams confirmed for me that this relocation was a necessary spiritual move in my life; that it would not always be easy yet it was definitely the path I was being called to fulfill. Those dreams served me well; for years in Arizona events would unfold that I had been prepared for in “the Dreaming”.

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A major move in a new direction is worthy of taking your time to ask inwardly about its potentials and then to Dream…whether in nightly dreams or in ‘daydreams’, which are after all a kind of active imagination.  I believe that when you meet your inner awareness or Inner Guidance actively, It will bring you the inner Knowing you desire or need. My general formula for working with Inner Guidance through dreaming I call A.C.T.:

ASK and then Access your dream (e.g. write it down in a dream journal or tell it to a                           loved one on waking);

Contemplate the message of the dream;

TAKE ACTION that is portended by the dream in an appropriate context.

All three of these phases are important for what we might call Active Dreaming, especially the middle step: contemplating the meaning of the dream that you receive.  Sometimes it takes several dreams over a period of time before the message or meaning becomes clear to your inner awareness. If you act too impulsively based on your first thoughts about what sort of action is appropriate, you might miss important qualifications.  Let’s say you dream (or in a waking dream see a license plate, e.g.) that says simply ARIZONA.  That does not necessarily mean that you should pick up and relocate there (presuming you are not there already). It might be a symbolic image for you to consider rather than a place to move.  What do YOU associate with Arizona, you might then ask yourself? Maybe you traveled there once as a child and it reminds you of your Grandfather who took you there and now he lives in a nursing home in New Jersey! Maybe it is time to visit him. See? You are the best interpreter of your own dreams, but you must cultivate your inner awareness to arrive at an interpretation that “fits” or that “rings true” with your Higher Wisdom.

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Your Dream Messages

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Descent is a vital process whereby a person can ‘sink’ into their unconscious depths to discover or learn about their deepest motivations, challenges, abilities, and needs.   Western cultures tend not to emphasize the Inner or unconscious dimensions of our psyches, favoring rather the Outer, surface appearances. This can be problematical, because we tend to “bury” our conflicts or sensitive issues, often resulting in unbalanced behaviors and emotions and ‘off-kilter’ attitudes.

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One of the easiest ways to take stock of your inner unconscious messages is through paying close attention to the content of your nightly dreams. You can establish a two-way communication with a deep level of awareness by asking for help in your dreams, then tuning in!

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Two very common forms of archetypal figures that might show up in your dreams are what Jung called the Shadow (or Shadow aspects of any number of archetypal forms), and animal figures.  The classic Jungian Shadow is a same gender, dark figure that appears to dog your footsteps or threatens you in your dream. Animal figures—sometimes representing what Jung would call Animus and Anima archetypes—may reveal aspects of yourself that you tend to project onto others and may need to “own” in order to better integrate your intrinsic strengths and awareness.

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A dream dictionary is a helpful tool (see the Art of Spiritual Dreaming, by Harold Klemp for this and many other helpful dream techniques). In the back of your Dream Journal, you can keep a log of the special dream images that show up in your dreams. Some of these will change in their appearance and in their significance or message to you over time. You are the best interpreter of your own dreams, so long as you pay attention and ask yourself what the message of an image or dream story is, to you.

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I went through a period of many years of dreaming about being chased by Tigers or Bears. I would admire the Animal, but then I would run from it, sensing that in its wild nature it would come after me; and then it would! Over time I came to realize these graceful, powerful animal figures represented my own strengths that I was not owning; I projected my own strengths into others for fear of wielding too powerful and thus possibly dangerous feelings. Once I was able to hold my own anima/animus powers in a balanced way, these dreams ceased.

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What are some of your own Shadowy figures that turn up and recur in your dreams?  What messages do they bring you? If you are not clear about their meanings, I invite you to engage in an active imagination. Go within, and ask to be shown what these images are meant to teach you. I did this once after a Bear dream in which after petting a cub, I realized the Mother would come after me and my sister. I sent my sister to climb a pine tree, and I clambered up behind her. Below me I saw this graceful, powerful Mother Bear scaling the tree as though on flat land. When I asked in an active contemplation two days later about the message of this dream, the whole scenario replayed before my inner eyes and I heard: “Even though you run from Her, she is pushing you to greater heights!”

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