Tuning In to Your Mystic Awareness

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How can you tune in to your own inner Mystic Guide? Let’s count some of the many ways available to you:

Active imagination

Meditation

Contemplation

Yoga

Dream work

Archetype Dialogue Journaling

Prayer

Mindfulness

Each of these natural modes of accessing your unconscious and/or spiritual awareness offers great potential for engaging your Mystic archetype as an Ally who can help your conscious self by sharing deep insights. Let me describe a few of these methods, then, that you may wish to practice.

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Active imagination:

This is the technique Carl Jung himself used which he wrote about extensively (e.g. see the marvelous new Reader’s Edition of Jung’s The Red Book). It is a mode of creative visualization. You can journal about your inner experience after returning to your normal waking perspective.

Contemplation:

Contemplation is an active, engaged form of meditation. You maintain awareness while asking an inward question for inner guidance, or you can travel, either astrally (in your emotional state of consciousness), mentally, or via soul travel, to explore dimensions of consciousness beyond the Physical realm. With active contemplation you may assume the perspective of being in the state which you wish to observe, and release your conscious mind to allow whatever experience is relevant from that perspective. You may begin with active imagination and then shift into a contemplative experience.

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Dream work:

Dreams occur from many different levels of consciousness, so different kinds of dreams reflect these different levels of perception (and action). Lucid dreaming occurs when you become aware within a dream that you are dreaming; achieving lucid dreaming can help you to be more conscious of your ability to control your outer states of consciousness while waking as well as your dream state.  Archetypal dreams—which Jung was interested in—appear with symbolic content that can reflect either universal, collective archetypal imagery (e.g. a snake can refer to transformation, or a circle can refer to completion or wholeness) and also personal unconscious archetypal parts of Self can appear as personas in your nightly dream. Waking dreams may also happen (more so when you pay attention as such), wherein you realize an outer occurrence has a symbolic component or gives you an answer you are seeking in a serendipitous manner. Some mystical philosophers would remind us that the outer life is as much of a dream as a nightly, “inner” dream scenario.’ (A good primer: The Art of Spiritual Dreaming, by Harold Klemp.)

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Archetype Dialogue Journaling:

Using active imagination and contemplation, you can enter into a conversation with your own personal unconscious archetypal ‘parts of Self’. This is the approach I use with the Life Maps Process, and it is the approach Jung used that is described in his The Red Book.  Once you become proficient at invoking and ‘shifting’ between these perspectives, you can journal a dialogue with your varying archetypal personae as it occurs. This can allow you to explore your conflicting attitudes and motivations. These different archetypal perspectives may be identified with “typical situations” in your life; that is, with the distinct ROLES you have established and that you enact daily.

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You can approach your MYSTIC archetype for a direct, dynamic dialogue or within a soul travel type of inner encounter.  Remember, all you have to do inwardly is to ASK! And then, accept what happens with a loving heart, ready to learn, and record your experience so you can interpret and remember the insights gained.

Life Is…But a Dream

Underwater

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Gently Down the Stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is But a Dream

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This verse, with such a lilting melody that English speaking children have heard and sung since childhood, carries a profound truth. Is our waking reality any more substantial than a nightly dream or daydream? Our everyday reality as we perceive it has a quality of projection to it, so that the coherence we perceive is constructed rather than real; it is a mapping of our experience according to conceptual systems that we develop through socialization and language acquisition processes. Language sorts our perceptions according to cultural categories and habitual experience. Even our sense of Self, of who we are as persons over a life course, is constructed by the brain or Mind, weaving together disconnected moments as a seamless stream of consciousness, even though with multiple threads of attention and attitudes—including archetypal MULTIPLICITY–our sense of self could more accurately be described as diverse and disjoint or multiplex.

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So, Life IS but a Dream! Such potentials open up with this awareness, so long as we learn to recognize how bound we can become to fixed ideas and habitual, self-limiting behaviors and beliefs.  Since life is a dream, we can change our life by altering our perceptions and attitudes. We might just as well MANIFEST that which we intend to realize, being cause via our mindful choices rather than the effect of our responses to others’ choices, for instance.

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Since Life is But a Dream, then you might just as well dream deeply and dream BIG.

How is your life like a Dream? Is it a “dream come true”?  Would you change anything about your life if you could? How might you choose to alter your waking dream life?

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You can work on little things as well as big things in modifying any fixed elements or patterns you have established by recognizing these and choosing to implement changes. For example, last week while in a contemplative, “receptive” mode at night, I had an impulse that told me I could “save nine years” of life by no longer drinking soda drinks. It was a very clear impression, so I made an inner agreement and have not imbibed a soda since, nor do I intend to any more. This one slight adjustment to patterns I have established in this life-dream scenario could make a big difference down the road.

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Since life is but a dream and YOU are the Dreamer, this opens opportunities for LUCID awareness that empowers you to create the life you choose to live in every aspect, moment by moment as well as on the largest canvas.

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Good Dreaming to you!

Are You a Dreamer? (Your Dream Laboratory)

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I have always thought that cultures should recognize and nurture Dreamers and give them a valued role. I’ve written a science fiction novel (which sits on my shelf and in computer files) which is Book I of a trilogy I call The Dawnbreakers, all about this. On the remote, terraformed planetoid of Guvral, Dream Arhat (Teacher) Benath trains young people who show an aptitude for becoming Dreamers. He teaches the Art of Dreaming. The Dreamers develop their gifts of prophecy, of inner sight for healing and for manifesting creative ideas, and of telepathic communication.   Separated from their home Grand Spiral federation for over 60 years, the majority of people on Guvral have given up on their dreams, however, and the Dream Temple Benath operates is in jeopardy. Mogren, a Science & Technology consul, aims to dismantle all remnants of the spiritually founded Grand Spiral ideology and its dream-based theocratic governance. One young Dreamer, Jenu, tells his best friend and fellow Dream student Kairn about dreams he is having about an Inner Dream Guide who accompanies Jenu as he visits another remote planetary colony of their federation, hitherto unknown to Guvraleans.  Kairn develops a plan for a cadre of Benath’s Dream Temple students to launch a mission to the stars to find this planet so they can revitalize and reconstitute their Grand Spiral ways.

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At the end of Book I, the Dawnbreakers cadre barely escapes capture as Mogren’s forces try to prevent Kairn and Jenu’s mission to the stars. Book II transpires mainly in the Void of interstellar space as the cadre hops from planet to planet (by means of “photosonic transduction”), seeking the prophesied sister colony.  Jenu begins doubting his visions, the crew nearly mutinees, and the technology begins to fail so that it appears the Dreamers will become stranded in space, when suddenly they do find the orange-white banded planet of Jenu’s dreams . There on Sadhan, a colony of Grand Spiral refugees has developed a Dream Temple centered around teaching telepathic communication and teleportation skills. They had contacted Dreamers on remote colonies telepathically to draw only those worthy of training to join their cause. In Book III Jenu stays at Sadhan to train, while Kairn and most of the rest of the original Dawnbreakers along with some representatives from Sadhan return to Guvral, where a quasi-religious millenarian group awaits their return as an underground movement opposing Mogren’s harsh new regime.  Kairn’s crew, however, is intercepted immediately upon landing on Guvral by Mogren’s forces, so that most of Book III involves Kairn’s group aiming to escape the harsh imprisonment and “Reeducation” program that Mogren imposes. I won’t share the ending; suffice to say it involves Jenu appearing in his Light Body from Sadhan to help deliver Kairn’s group from imprisonment so that all of Guvral can celebrate the return of the Dawnbreakers and the rise of a new cycle of growth and spiritual unfoldment on Guvral; okay, so there it is then!

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Some day I aim to complete the writing and to publish this trilogy. For now, though, I share the story just to ask you: Are You a Dreamer? For those of you who answer Yes, what does this mean to you? How have you learned to rely on your dreams for Inner Guidance, prophecy, healing, or inner communication? What dream techniques have you developed for lucid dreaming and how have you come to use dreaming as an inner laboratory to help you understand and apply your insights to any outward situation and to your own deepest life mission and spiritual Quest?

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Now I want to add: we/you can ALL be Dreamers! Sometimes “lucid dreaming” is held up as some sort of secret, arcane, privileged ability. Often this approach sees lucid dreaming as a way of controlling one’s own reality—and sometimes that of others. This latter is the darker potential shade of ‘lucid dreaming’ depicted in some science fiction stories—like the recent Invictus and somewhat in Ursula Le Guin’s earlier and masterful The Lathe of Heaven.

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Give yourself more faith and credit than ever before! You do not need to rely on others when it comes to dreaming. You can learn to unlock the secrets of your own unconscious wealth of inner awareness. It is your right and your divine heritage to unfold your Inner Awareness to unlimited heights.

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Last time I shared about a series of Bear dreams wherein I learned to re-own my Strengths instead of foisting them upon others. Well, in the final dream of this series the whole mechanics of dreaming revealed itself! I had climbed a pine tree (axis mundi linking the Above with the Below) to evade a graceful Mother Bear and her cub who were chasing after me. When I reached the top of the pine tree, I stepped across into a LABORATORY space. A female scientist was working with chemistry tubes there (Alchemical!). She handed me a beaker that I drank a potion from, and suddenly I knew just what to do. I stepped back into the tree and looked down at the ascending cub and her Mother. Easily and gently, I removed a few strips of bark from the tree and dropped them toward the Bears. The cub dropped off to the ground immediately and then the Mother Bear also released her grip on the tree and she dropped gracefully down to the ground, not to return. This was the last dream of this theme I have had, from a few years ago.  It showed me that I can always find answers inwardly to the questions I have about how to proceed in life! The value of lucid dreaming—which ANYONE can learn to develop on their own—is that if you can ‘control’ what happens in a nightly dream, then you can also change or better manage this OUTER DREAM, as well!

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I welcome YOUR stories , your own best Dream Practices, and Comments!

How to Use Your Dreams for Better Endings–Just Ask!

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As an example of how you can use dreaming to bring about Better Endings, allow me to share about a time in my life when dreaming was fundamental in helping me to make a major life move. I grew up “back East” (from a Colorado perspective!): in Ohio, Pennsylvania and then upper western New York. My family lived near Niagara Falls when I was in high school and then I went to college in Buffalo for my bachelors and Masters degrees; so I lived in the eastern part of the country for my first 25 years, from 1954 to 1979.

After my Masters, I wanted to go on for a doctorate in Anthropology, and I had become particularly fascinated with the Southwest and Southwest Native American cultures from my Masters studies in Linguistics while in Buffalo. I took a wonderful cross-country bus trip with a friend to visit Sedona and Phoenix, Arizona, and after that I decided to apply for my graduate studies at Arizona State University. I was accepted into their graduate program, and that’s when my whole life was about to take a major shift, not only of location—Eastern to Western states—but to a fundamentally new way of being, for me, apart from my family and friendships I had forged in New York. “Going West” was a huge shift for someone whose whole family hailed from the Eastern states. So, I had to go through a major shift in perspective in order to accept this major life move. To do so, I turned to my dreaming.

Every night for over a year while I finished my Masters thesis and began to prepare for ‘the Big Move’ to Arizona, I sat for a ½ hour to 2 hour contemplation in my bedroom in Buffalo, and then went to sleep, to dream. Each night I framed a question that I would aim to receive an answer for in the contemplation or in my dreams that night. My questions all had to do with the upcoming move. For example, was I crazy to make such a huge relocation, from East to West, or shouldn’t I just give up on this wild adventure scheme and stay ‘Home’? I was going to drive my red Buick Special convertible; wasn’t red going to be too hot for Arizona? I was taking along my beloved cat, Chela; could she make such a long car trip? And, would I meet any ‘real’ new friends in ‘cowboy country’ (or again, maybe I should stay home in my ‘comfort zone’, after all!)

It was amazing, really, in retrospect. The technique was much like Jung’s nightly experiences with “active imagination” that he wrote of in his journal, The Red Book (check out this link for Jung’s images!). Every night in contemplation I would pose a question like those above that mainly challenged whether I could or should make such a huge transition, and afterwards, every night I would ‘be given’ a lucid dream that very clearly answered that specific question in the form of very direct and unmistakable inner guidance.  I was addressing my questions in contemplation to a spiritual Inner Guide, and he was helping me every step of the way, probably because without such clear answers, I would have found it harder to make this major change in consciousness that, spiritually, I really did need to make in order to move forward in my life.

When I complained that my car was red (How could I take a red car to Arizona?), that night in my dreams I was taken to a hotel in Phoenix (I later learned it was a Ramada Inn that really exists there!). This hotel has a rotating restaurant at the top. I was taken to that overview where I looked down at the parking lot. Guess what? It was FULL of red cars!

When I complained how could my precious cat endure such a long road trip, that night I was shown myself and her taking the trip. I was driving a big van that had a PIANO in the back! Over the piano was a quilted comforter, and stretched out in pure comfort along the piano top—with soft music playing—was, yes, you guessed correctly; my cat friend, Chela!

But would I meet any real friends? I was shown that night a truly prophetic dream revealing four specific persons whom I later met and recognized when I met them from that night of dreaming! One became my good friend whom I later married for 3 years, Franco. Another became a best friend and graduate school cohort for several years. Another would be my PhD advisor, Betsy. And the fourth became somewhat of a personal spiritual advisor while I was in Phoenix.

But, did I really have to make this trip? Would I be happy? Two dreams followed from those two questions. In the first, I was shown that there would be hard times to endure but they would be necessary for my spiritual unfoldment. In the second, I was walking with my Grandmother along a Phoenix city street. There was happiness in the air as I sang a lilting tune which I awoke with: “I’m leaving; But there are a few doors left to close, before I get over there!” For the rest of the year before I made the Big Move, I sang this song daily, in the morning at the university where I was teaching English and at night. I was leaving. I did clear up whatever remaining business I had in Buffalo before I could go.

When I reached Phoenix, these dreams had prepared me perfectly for all that was to come. Things went smoothly, and I learned what I needed to learn along the way. After only one night of tears when I realized I really had separated from all I had ever known, I adjusted rapidly and undertook one of the most significant and edifying phases of my life.

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Have you had this sort of “tandem” relationship with your Dreams? As an explanation of the method I used that you can use, too; it can be summed up very simply: Just Ask!

I would love to hear about your insights and experiences too! Feel free to comment and share YOUR stories!