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Communications With Vicky

October 2008

Dear Tony,

Through my dreams I have met perhaps the most devastating events in my life, creating both loss and change.  Also, my dreams created the ability to really see, know and love.

For years I had a recurring dream/nightmare of being unable to open my eyes, they were stuck shut and no matter what I did I couldn’t open them.   Eventually, in large part due to my dreams, I learned what I was unable to open my eyes to.  For over 40 years I had lived my life unaware of my childhood.  I had very few memories of home and family, but knew it was a life of poverty and parental abuse, and I was always aware of these things.

But at some point I began dreaming of things I had not been aware of, things that I eventually learned indicated sexual abuse.  I bought your book at the bookstore and it was incredibly helpful in allowing me to figure out what I was actually dreaming about.  I had completely repressed all memories of what happened to me in this area, except one that happened at the very beginning of the abuse, at the age of 3.  This one memory I had, I magically transformed into a “funny little thing that happened” with my father.  I could not se it for what it really was.  Now I see it as the start of something awful.  But it amazes me that all throughout adulthood, I had been unable to see what that one memory told me.

As time went on, my dreams became more obvious and less symbolic.  I had many, many dreams and wrote them all down.  I was in shock over them.  I thought I must be making this crazy stuff up, I was very frightened.  In the beginning I thought, someone may have done something to me, but no way could I think it was my own father. I had made him out to be sort of the hero in my story, because he was at least playful and kind to his children on some occasions, as opposed to my mother who was often rage filled and cruel to us.

My dreams began including my father at some point, and I began to know it was him who hurt me this way.  Eventually I could go on no longer, my depression was overwhelming to me.  I called a therapist and together we started unraveling the dreams, unraveling the memories and I started to journal with my inner child.  It has been several years now that I’ve been working at this.

It has been difficult for me to access the emotional responses I had as a little girl, yet once again, through my dreams, my inner child has shared these most terrifying, paralyzing fears, the pain of betrayal, most recently the anger and to some degree the shame.  She has shared how she was able to fly away during these things he did, and also bits and pieces of the actual things that happened and her own responses.

Interesting to me is that I am a Scorpio, and in my chart, every one of my planets are in the lower half of the chart. I have been told that one thing this indicates is that my night life is very active, and that is so true.  My dreams have been absolutely pivotal in this whole healing process.

At one point about a year into therapy, I was ready to give up.  I could not reconcile within myself that my father for sure did these things.  I had no clear memories, I had only my dreams and the evidence of some of my life’s occurrences and symptoms that indicated this type of abuse.  Amazingly, it was at that time that my father, who I had never confronted with any of this, told my sister that he was sorry for some things of a sexual nature that he had done to me as a child. It seems the universe rose to meet me.  When she told me this, my heart sank, but also my spirit was relieved, for at least I was now certain that what I thought had happened had indeed taken place, and I could begin in earnest to process all this without as much disbelief and doubt.  He has since recanted, saying that he didn’t mean what he had said and that it was me, who as a 3 year old had somehow seduced him.  (my words, he put it differently)  And not surprisingly, my family chooses to believe him.  My mother supports him and my 2 brothers and 2 sisters are there for him as well.

What I have lost through this healing journey is my illusions about the way my life actually was, it has been torturous at times, stripping away the walls and barriers I have created.  Meeting this change in my life has been a true challenge.  I am a very fixed personality, change does not come easily or quickly for me.  I will be in therapy awhile longer as more and more is revealed to me.  It seems just when I think, ah, I have reached the worst of it, my inner/higher self says, not yet.  You are now strong enough for this…

Perhaps I can say I have lost my family, my old sense of myself, my way of being in this world.  I have changed so much it is hard for me to think I ever was that person from several years back.  Painful though it has been to lose these parts of my life, it is also what needed to happen in order for love to come in.  Sometimes I have a sense of missing the way things were before the dreams began revealing to me the truth.  But I wouldn’t ever want to go back to being blind to again.

I am grateful beyond words for my higher self, the part of me who helped me through dreams to open my eyes at long last.  Without my dreams I would still be lost.  I am grateful for my inner child self, who saved my life and my sanity through her ability to repress the bad stuff and was brave enough to come out and share with me her experiences at long last.  I am grateful for the one constant friend/love I had through all this, from the start, who was ready to stand by me and love me.  And because of this, now I am learning what love really is, and this is monumental to me.  It is something so much more then I ever knew, I am learning to love me and with that comes love and acceptance for all others.  How awesome is this path, this journey of awakening and transformation. Transformation is a theme that shows up in some of my paintings, and if you would like to see a few I would be glad to share them with you.

Thank-you for reading this rather lengthy story.  Many times I’ve wanted to write and thank you for your books and your incredibly helpful website.  I can’t imagine that I would’ve managed nearly so well without your help with my dreams and learning their language.  From the start, your book was with me, and then when I learned you had website, it was just such a big help.  So you are someone in my life that I am grateful for as well, Tony Crisp.  Thank-you so much for helping me through it all.

Sincerely,

Vicky

 

Vicky – Thank you so much for taking time and heart to share your story with me. I am moved to tears by it, partly perhaps because I know so well parts of the journey you have taken, and that child we meet.

Is it okay for me to quote some of what you have written in a book I am trying to produce about meeting change? I will use an assumed name if you wish.

Also, did you do all this alone? Or did you have someone to share this journey with?

Knowing that the website has been of help encourages me. I have lived as something of a hermit in recent years and it is good to know what I have done touches people.

As ever – Tony

 

Vicky – Just one more point to comment on. It is where you say, “You are now strong enough for this… ”

That is so important. Often people don’t realise that we are very vulnerable creatures; not necessarily physically, but as personalities. Even heroes find it difficult to face the enormity of childhood feelings. With one such facet of my own journey it took me twelve years before I was strong enough to meet it. When I did it was six weeks of being lost in a childhood world without time or hope.

Also I read more carefully and see you are not alone in your journey.

Love and strength – Tony

1/10/2008

Hi Tony,

It did my heart good to get a kind and thoughtful response from you.  It is heartening to know you too have met your beautiful child, it is not easy, but it is above all else the true meaning of a labor of love. There are few out there who take that journey, at least that I have known of, so it is a pleasure to meet a kindred spirit.

Yes, it is fine to use any part of my response to you in your book.  It feels an honor is done to me that you should ask this.  I have occasionally thought of writing a book about my experiences with the dreams and all this change they have brought to my being.  But, I am not a writer and the scope of writing a book tends to boggle my mind a bit.  Perhaps being a writer is why you have lived as a hermit lately?

You mentioned in your second email about the inner strength required to face the enormity of our childhood feelings.  I agree completely, and I suspect I have yet to get to some of the deepest fear and anger.  I can imagine how terrifying it was in your childhood space during those six weeks.  I think feeling no hope would be devastating – and no time, frightful in the extreme, how was it you came through this, I can’t imagine. I wonder if you shared your journey with another?

With love and strength, as well,

Vicky

 

Hi Vicky – Even if you don’t write a book, what about writing a feature about your use of dreams and your journey? If you did I would love to put it on my site. It would be so helpful to many people.

The six weeks of being out of time – well, I think if I hadn’t already had years of what I call LifeStream now, in other words opening and allowing all that inner pain and wonder flow out, I would have been hospitalised. I did go through it alone though. I had to put a bit of board on the wall that I blacked in each day because it helped me to feel that at some point I would come out of it. But I also worked hard at digging down to find the cause. Basically it was terror as a three year old that I had been deserted – I had been put in a convalescent hospital for three days only, but not having any sense of time, and not having the situation explained to me, it had seemed I had been deserted by my parents in an eternity. As that lost child I couldn’t understand why my parents hadn’t fought to keep me. I went through huge swings of murderous anger and then into enormous desire to placate – I’ll do anything to make you love me stuff.

Being married at the time, my wife away – the trigger – the feelings for my mother all projected onto my wife. The turning point was that I saw with absolute clarity that unless I forgave my mother my ability to love a woman would be forever doomed. It was hard to forgive, but I saw I had to do it for my own sake, not for my  mother.

What I understood was that in itself the three days away were not a problem. The problem was that I was premature, my grandmother raised me but died before I was two, so I lost my ‘mother’. So the 3 days tore at this earlier scar and deepened it.

Crazy things we do.

I went through that alone, apart from one of my young sons who agreed to sit with me once while I roared out my anger and pain, writhing on the ground, and slowly examining the roots of the misery. But at the beginning of my travels inside I had great companions. There were no therapists at the time, and I had no money to pay even if there had been, as I was bringing up five children, so it was all self help back there in the early seventies. I was desperate, so willing to try anything and dare anything – ready to die in fact as it was pointless living the way I was. So we developed what I now call LifeStream and the Seed Group, and stayed with it year after year with dream work as well. But LifeStream is, as I see it, a way of allowing the dream process to break through into waking awareness and speed up its process. I also had the good fortune to have two LSD session with RD Laing from which I learned an enormous amount.

It’s a long story.

You said in your first email that you paint, and yes, I would love to see some of your paintings. I love imagery and use a lot on the website.

Bye for now – Tony

Isn’t love a strange and terrible thing to keep a child held to its determined search through the long years into adulthood?  Some ghost, some spirit of that small boy that I was, remained waiting in a corner of myself.  Waiting and hoping for the return of his beloved grandmother.  Waiting and bearing the weight of that waiting each day, gradually becoming walled up in a dungeon of debris dropped by the passing years.

The vulnerable and beautiful spirit of that child, buried in the shadows of myself, was the hidden artist behind much of the beauty and tragedy in the love story of my life.

2/10/2008

there Tony,

Thanks for your response involving what you went through in coping with the extraordinary inner pain and terror you experienced revolving around what happened when you were only 3 years old (and also earlier).  It is heartbreaking what little ones go through all alone without any adult to help them through it, to understand what is happening inside them, to comfort them through the terrible events.  It sounds like what you went through as an adult, once again being on your own and alone, to confront and process this was tremendously difficult.  To reach back even farther in time to infancy and to losing your grandmother… amazing, for surely you had little or no conscious memory of this time.

It seems that if you are an adult who has a family story of loss or pain, but were too young to have a conscious memory of it, then it would help to get in touch with that little child and bring the darkness into the light.  So many problems we have as adults relate back to childhood.  Both things we remember and things we don’t consciously remember.  That little one inside suffers throughout our whole lives if we don’t work at reaching out to him or her to help them.  Tony, I am encouraged by what you did, and so happy that you were able to help your inner child with his pain.  It takes such courage to do this.  I have yet to actually access the anger that I know is inside me about the things that happened, but realize it is there, it too has come to me in my dreams, and whew, it is a big emotion. I like your phrase of murderous anger, because it really describes it best.  I imagine there was a part of me as a little girl that wanted to kill my father for the ways he hurt me, and also my mother, she was so terrifying to me.  Then there is this child love you feel for them, as well, big as the sky, and what a conflict it must be for a child.

Do you talk about your LifeStream process on your website?  I will get to it later today, hopefully, and look into it.  It may be something to help me get to the root of things, the deeper emotions that I have been so slow in getting to.

As an aside, this reminds me of a recent book I read called The Presence Process by Michael Brown.  You may have heard of it.  In the book he teaches and trains you to understand that whatever emotional charge you are experiencing as an adult relates straight back to events and emotions you felt as a little one.  He attempts to help you access these events and emotions through several weeks of structured meditations and through the use of other tools.  Once you uncover something, he explains how to process and heal it, and again, it is all about the inner child who is with us always.

“The vulnerable and beautiful spirit of that child, buried in the shadows of myself, was the hidden artist behind much of the beauty and tragedy in the love story of my life.”

This is a poetic line you wrote, and so expressive and true. (I seem to recall reading poetry of yours on your site, now that I think of it.)  Our precious child within is indeed so vulnerable, and it has aroused in me a tenderness toward myself that I had not been able to conjure up for most of my life.  I could be everything for those I loved, but was nothing for myself.

It may be a good idea to write an article about how I’ve used my dreams.  I’ll give it some thought and see what I come up with.  :)

I hope your day is going well for you.

Vicky

Hi Vicky – Thanks for these interesting emails.

There are several goes at describing LifeStream on the site, and I called it various things in the past, so there is a whole book about it on the site – Mind and Movement.

But that was written at a time I was only seeing it in a narrower way than at present, having been published in 1987.

Prior to this emerging in my life I had read an enormous amount of literature and had gradually pieced together from approaches from other cultures, that there was a fundamental common to them all. I had noticed that Isis was the virgin mother of Osiris. Buddha’s mother Maya was a virgin, as was the mother of Jesus.

Being interested in symbolism I wondered what this all meant. What I arrived at was that to give birth to the wonder that we are we need to open ourselves to the mystery of what lives us without preconceptions, offering our whole being as trustingly as we can.

I gradually refined that into a modern conception which goes something like this:

When we sleep we surrender ourselves fully, body, mind, sexuality, otherwise we cannot sleep. That is akin to this virginal offering of self.

Dreams are an uprising from the core of our being toward consciousness, and that only happens when we have surrendered in slepp. While we dream not only do we speak, we also move, express emotions, experience sex, and all manner of things. All of those things happen without conscious volition, spontaneously. However, Freud found that even in sleep we repress certain things, we wake and get as far away from the enormous emotions of nightmares as possible. We avoid pain. We might even avoid intense pleasure or great expansion of awareness.

In other words our vulnerable conscious personality lives in a cocoon of restrictions. When we approach that bigger self, our core self, what actually gives us life, we are so suspicious that if we let go we will go mad or lose control. We are scared silly of what gives us life.

So, what I attempted to do was take on an attitude of approaching dreams, and my core self, as fully as possible. I was ready to let my body be moved spontaneously in any way it needed, just as in dreams. I left my sexual feelings, emotions, imagination and memories open in the same way. I was ready to be moved, shaken, enlarged, healed.

It didn’t happen quickly but one day it broke through. My body started shaking. The first time I thought I was cold and so trembling. But then, within a group we had formed to explore, it started again, and that time I had put on a big jersey to keep warm. So I knew I wasn’t nervous or cold, so I lay back on the floor and let it take over.

It was incredible. The dream process broke through and my whole body and emotions spontaneously relived having my tonsils out as a six year old. My head pulled back hard. My mouth was clamped open. My arms felt strapped to my sides. Amazing

Prior to this I had been experiencing enormous neck tension. When I went to bed my head would pull back. So I would try to relax it away. Back it would go again. Now, during the full release I realised what a crap exercise relaxation is for ridding one of tension. Tension needs to be allowed full expression, not repressed. But we are reared in a society that is so into control and repression it is part of how we cope with the status quo. After that experience my neck tension disappeared. Several other things were dealt with too, all in one go.

So that is it in a nutshell.

I haven’t seen the ‘Process’ book, but I think the dream process that pushes such stuff as my tonsil operation to the surface, but is usually frustrated or repressed, is fundamental to our healing.

Hoping you do the dream feature.

As ever – Tony

 

Hi there Tony,

Here are several paintings, the last two being the most recent. I hope I didn’t send too many, they are resized, so hopefully won’t take forever to load.

I don’t usually give my own interpretation of my art, mainly because I think the viewer brings her/his own life and experiences to it.  I have done so here with a few of them because it seems ok.  I hope you like them.

With light, shadows and colors,   

Vicky

Tiger Lily

Vicky1

This one I felt compelled to do several years ago as I started getting in touch with my past through my dreams.   Down in the right corner is a waif like spirit of a child sitting in a corner, representative I guess of the part of me that carried the pain and fear for so long.  The blue dress, from a dream.

Vicky2

Harmony

Vicky3

Balance

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Moonlit Tulips, this was from a dream I had.

Vicky5

pastel – Heads in the Clouds, not sure where this came from or what it represents.   Perhaps my own fuzziness as I am trying to get clear about things  

 

Vicky6

 

Green Tara.  Though I’m not into any religion, I like what this female Buddha represents, and felt a need to paint her.  The symbolism speaks to me, I imagine.  There are times I don’t know what moves me to paint. :)

Hi Tony…

I very much like the explanation you gave in your last email reasoning out the symbolism of the virgin births in mythology, etc. and it’s meaning and how it relates to our inner selves.  That was some great thinking, in my opinion, and it resonates with me.  I’d never hear it before, but it makes a lot of sense.

This part, “When we approach that bigger self, our core self, what actually gives us life, we are so suspicious that if we let go we will go mad or lose control.”  Yes, that is exactly what I have feared and have expressed out loud, realizing it made no logical sense really, but is a tremendous hindrance in the whole awakening or transformation path.

What you accomplished in your breakthrough is for sure amazing, and so intense and powerful.  I’m very happy to know that this can happen, and that it’s actually safe and can free us from whatever is binding us.  What a great relief you must’ve felt as the extreme neck tension left you forever.  And I will say it again, you have a lot of courage.  Leaving yourself fully open in all those ways, and to let go of all the controls, that’s huge.

I found the LifeStream information on your site a few days ago and have been going back whenever I get some free time.  It’s really different from anything I’ve tried before, and if it helps speed up the dream work, that’s great!  Already I did the arm circles exercise and had an interesting realization about half way through.  First off, I really enjoyed this exercise, it felt freeing to me even just shortly after beginning.  Actually there were moments of joy in it.  What came about was that I twirled my body around in circles and left my arms and shoulders very relaxed, so my arms floated just a little bit away from my body as I went around.  As I did this, I had a memory come to me from when I was a little 4, 5, 6 year old girl.  My mother would encourage us to spin ourselves around, faster and faster, until eventually we fell to the floor, and sometimes crashed into the wall and/or bumped heads with one another.  This hurt!  However, my mother found great pleasure in this, she would laugh and say, do it again.  I’d never given this much thought before.  But as I was doing the exercise, I thought to myself, what did this teach you when you were little?  I never asked myself that before.  And then I was holding myself and I imagine comforting the child inside me who learned that in order to make the person you love happy, it is ok to be hurt. That isn’t worded especially well, but that’s what I came up with.  Anyhow, I had a good session with this and intend to repeat it and to read more about the LifeStream process.  So thank you for sharing this with me.  It seems a remarkably simple and very effective way of getting to those things that we hide so well.  Who knew?  And I liked doing it, which is also remarkable.  Getting myself to sit and meditate for long periods is not easy.  Here I get to do whatever moves me – sing, dance, sway, laugh and cry, etc.  Cheers for that.  I am curious to know what my next session will be like.

I got sidetracked at one point (several actually!) on your site and read about your experience with becoming the mother, how you really got in touch with your feminine side, and it is just one of the most wonderful things. I was so enthralled with the article, that you came to this at such a young age and you write about it with such passion. Awesome!  I imagine your children had a better parent as a result, and you were even more able to love being their parent, coming to it with more fullness.  It was inspiring.

As far as the dream feature, it is just begun and going in every direction, but eventually it will get there.  For me it is like that feeling you get when you have a large closet that needs organizing because it is filled to overflowing with things, and you go, oh where do I start and how will I make sense of all this!

Well, I suspect I have gone on for longer then I ought!   I hope you’re feeling well and enjoying the autumn.

With love and peace,

Vicky

 

Hi Vicky – The bit about fearing going mad reminded me of something I wrote before I was able to really open to that inner life.

“Today, as I cut the bread for the children, I am not myself. No, I am not myself. A madness lies bustling and surging just beneath the thin surface of my being. It surges again and I tremble and moan with it. But it is not the black madness of men; it is the divine madness of Love, of Life. Only the bread knife holds me to myself. If I but let go, and let the moan of pleasure cry out, and fall, and fall, and fall, into that immensity and fall until there is no more falling – for we fall only in space in moving from one place to another; but here there is no beginning or end, no landmarks to pass or space to cover – then I will have gone wonderfully, ecstatically mad. I would be so mad I could love you; so mad I could give everything; so damn blissfully crazy I need never again hold on to anything, to anyone, to any moment, any past, any future – any – any – anything!”

I have found this a number of times. Somehow we know beforehand where we are going.

By the way, thanks for the paintings. I have saved them all and if it is okay with you I would like to use one with a poem if I write something that fits.

I guess I was a reasonable parent, but I came to it a bit late in the sense that my first children were not treated well. That was what started me trying to change – horrified at what I was doing. I think I am more of a father now in people’s lives.

Being the mother though was really something. Most of that stuff goes on underneath what we are usually aware of, and I only came across it, like buried treasure, as I opened up in the ways described. I honestly believe we are all full of treasure as we let them rise to the surface.

Your art and work on yourself are obviously ways you are doing that.

Bye for now – Tony

 

13/10/2008

Hi Vicky – I was feeling a bit rushed with work last time I wrote. No need really when I figured it out. I needed to approach my timing differently.
What I missed commenting on was what you did with the arm circling. That was really interesting to hear – and the bit about your mum and spinning.

When I was with big groups of people using LifeStream it often happened that someone would be led spontaneously to spin like that. I think what it does is to knock out our thinking, planning self and let the intuitive, right brain self have more space to express.

I don’t  know if you know, but the great mystic Jalaludin Rumi discovered when quite young, that if he held on to a pole and spun around it fast he entered into an altered state of consciousness. I think it was his method of meditating.

I am curious to know what your next session will be too.

Also, I would love you to try something else, but only after doing the arm circling a few times. It is described at Meditation.

Mostly I have done this with companions, but I have led a group where about a 60 people in a hall all did it at once. Wonderful to watch.

As ever – Tony

Tuesday, 21 October, 2008

Hi there Tony,

I got back from my trip yesterday, it was a wonderful time, but I was ready to be back at home, too.  The art festival is another way to connect with others who are on a healing journey, and it was especially mind and soul opening for me.  How was your trip to London?

It is the same for me as far as writing goes, and I appreciate that when you write it is when you have the time and space to do it as something you enjoy.

Your journey in following your friend Kevin into another place in spirit sounds really interesting, have you written about it on your site?  I think in learning about what comes, you are released from fear.  So much of our time can be spent in fretting over what might happen.  It is actually good to be at peace without knowing and just accepting of what comes in life, too.  But with death, we tend to get into panic mode.  I think I am feeling ok with it, but deep down I suspect there’s a part of me that is fearful still.

Yes, parenting is an amazing spiritual path, one that encourages you to learn and explore because you want to be at your best because you are this most important person in the lives of these tender young ones. They are these incredible little sponges that absorb so much from everything and everyone in their world. We have far to go in realizing how important the early years are, and how they influence the entire life of every person. You can try to walk away from it, but it is with you nonetheless.

The ending you shared in your crazy bliss experience, amazing to me.  It is just so well described by you, and I love that you can share with words things that, for me, anyway, are almost inexplicable, beyond words.  When I was in my late teens, I had an experience, sans any drugs or substances, that was perhaps a little similar to what you described.  It was after a long meditation and I began to feel a sort of tumbling sensation, and then I felt what I can only explain as radiance coming from inside me. It lasted for a day or so, I believe. I felt at peace, I felt almost like nothing really mattered, everything was ok, regardless of what was going on.  I felt as though I was floating a few inches above the ground.  lol.  Sounds a little odd that bit, well it all sounds like I was on something I suppose, but I wasn’t. I went to work, interacted with people, and just had the best time.  And most wonderfully, I felt so connected to everything and everyone, so much love, it is indescribable, resting there within me so peacefully.  I felt as though I was actually glowing, like light must be pouring from my eyes.  :)   It has been over 30 years and it is still a moment in my life that I treasure.  I don’t know how it came, why it went, but it sure made me fully aware of the beauty of our universal spirit connection.

In regards to the second part of the letter about spinning, and the lullabies, the left brain and such, you wondered about sharing my experience on your site, and yes that is just fine.  I’m looking forward to my next session with the arm circles.

I would be most interested in what poem you would choose to be illustrated, too!  Maybe what would be good is for you to choose a couple or several that you felt were of a healing nature for you, and I will choose several that I like in that way as well.  See what comes of that, perhaps?  Let me know.

Hoping you have a wonderful night, Tony -

Vicky

 

October 25th 2008

Hi Vicky – Reading your description of your experience of your tumbling into that wonderful self-existent radiance set off a response in me. A sort of self-existent smile. It sets me thinking that you don’t have to be clever with words. Your description is excellent in that anybody who has got near that same experience recognises it and shares it with you in themselves.
Yes, I have written quite a lot about my travels with Kevin, my friend who died. I did have it on my site for a while but took it off as I wasn’t satisfied with how I had presented it.

Here are a couple of bits from it. Kevin is Shaun in the story.

I believe Shaun came to think of me as some sort of white Caucasian local holy man.  Meanwhile my marriage was foundering on the rocky promontories of my non acceptable behaviour – non acceptable to my wife that this.  Shaun was fine with it.  Also I felt like shit a lot of the time.  But again, that didn’t ever shake Shaun’s belief in me.  Whatever it was that happened between us worked for him in his never ending emotional struggle with women.  So as far as Shaun was concerned I was a holy object like a touchstone he could apply to his wounded soul.

Some time later —

In that period I had another important communication with Shaun.  I was once more visiting in Devon to work there for a few days.  While there I met Zelda, a woman interested in dreams, Wicca and the inner life.  We walked up to the spot where Shaun’s ashes were spread.  Then Zelda sat while I became receptive to Shaun.

This communication was unlike any other I had experienced with Shaun previously.  I started by asking my usual question as to what he was meeting now in his after death life.  He told me that the process of losing himself had continued and he was now on a boundary, which if he passed over, he would no longer be the Shaun I had known.

I was trying to understand this and asking questions when suddenly Shaun was a woman, and engulfed me in wonderful female love.  This was so unexpected and beautiful I wept.  To be loved in that way by somebody I had known as a very masculine male was an extraordinary experience and very moving.

Gradually I recovered from the surprise and the feelings, and saw that Shaun was now male and female at the same time.  He had not switched to becoming a female, but had enlarged to being both male and female.  The losing of himself as he had been, and the adding of things that he could not experience while in the body, had led him to become this fuller very loving being.  Now, he/she was a whole person.

As I experience this I wondered what the border was that he/she was now ready to cross, so asked him/her if she/he knew what was over the other side.  She/he replied that it was very simple.  “It is a life without boundaries.”

Although those were the only words spoken, I received a flow of impressions or insights helping me to grasp something of a dimension of experience.  And as this was happening Shaun said something in a manner typical of him in life.  “And you, you bugger, have already been there before me.”

I could sense the smile and love in this, and understood what was implied and stated in the words.  Shaun was saying that during his life, and even since his death, I had been like a guide to him, making it easier for him to find his way in life and death.  He was also directly referring to a dream I had experienced.

Such were my journeys with Kevin.

Seeing that you have touched that self-existent radiance in yourself, I believe you could share in this way too. It is only a matter of letting go of the self doubts we are trained form childhood to have about that inner life.

So – The Poems. These are my choices:

http://www.dreamhawk.com/home.htm

http://www.dreamhawk.com/ages.htm
http://www.dreamhawk.com/yesterday.htm
http://www.dreamhawk.com/bend.htm
http://www.dreamhawk.com/rough.htm

http://www.dreamhawk.com/windwing.htm
So, over to you.

Tony

 

29th October 2008

Dear Tony,

Your experiences with Kevin demonstrate the totally close soul relationship you and he shared, and being able to reach out to his spirit and connect with him, what a gift for you both.  I like so much that he showed you his feminine self, as well.  It seems so natural to read this, that once we shed these skins we are more whole in our expression, male and female and it makes sense, doesn’t it.  I guess I would expect it to be that way when we die. It is mostly through our bodies and our physical beings that we experience our gender, but so many people are crossing boundaries more openly, and I suppose that is one way of finding balance between these two sides.  Specially in those people born not having the walls in place quite as firmly between the two opposites.  In the past they have been ostracized and ridiculed, but as time goes on, it seems gradually more acceptable to be gay, transgendered, etc.  Did you ever read the book Middlesex?  A very interesting read about a child born a hermaphrodite.  You seem to have had wonderfully enriching experiences with Kevin, and he with you, before and after death.

What an adventure I’ve been on lately, exploring your poems.  I have, over the past few years, popped in and read some of your poems whose titles caught my eye, and I really liked what I read.  And now, going though them more completely, it seems like I am caught in discovering you through your poems and at times like I ought not to trespass, yet I do, because you have put them out there.  That you can share yourself through your poems and writings, it is almost frightening.  What kept coming to me as I read was what a tremendous earthiness you have about you.  It was a little bit funny in a way, because the first poem I clicked on was “Like Bells”, the title caught my attention – so I read it, and I was sort of just floored by it.  Why, Tony, you’re hot!       … but seriously, it felt like my very bones melted inside me.  So, that was something different.

Then I changed categories and settled in to the body of your work, and I haven’t read everything yet.  What do I love so much… hm.  I love that you are conscious of what is happening within you.  I spent so much of my life not knowing the truth of me, unable and unwilling I guess to turn and face the demons. And you have managed that, and wrote about it, and wrote about love and anger and sadness and pain and all matter of spirit things, and you have been incredibly bold in it.  And your earthiness, and I don’t know if that is the right word, I don’t mean earthy like in Earth Mother, I mean earthy as in, when something snatches you and wrestles with you and reveals to you this great passion, sensuality, this daring, gripping, wildness, spirit.  I want to just say, wow, but that is taking the easy way out.  :)   So I thank-you, for sharing this epic story of you and your travels both on the inner planes and the outer ones.  To me, it seems you’ve made yourself intentionally vulnerable, and it is something I struggle with, being vulnerable.

Overall, what I love about all this is that it is what I am aiming for, perhaps?  I guess I’m still confused and perhaps talking way too much about it.  There are the ordinary, mundane times in life, but more and more I feel like nothing is ordinary and everything is sacred.  Sometimes in what we explore, you and I, in these emails, it is as though I have to apply myself, to really dig in, for so much of my time is spent coping with the everyday “stuff”, and I switch gears in order to come here, but then again, I am learning that even in this coping, I am becoming more aware.

So, have I found any poems that I feel compelled to express with painting… yes, but too many!  The ones you sent, there are several that I was drawn to.  And then as I started reading in earnest, there were so many to make note of, I stopped and just read them.  Here are the ones I thought inspiring before I decided to just read on.

Are You Still There?

Earth Wind and River

I Share Life

I got so much out of “Isn’t There Anything Else?”   and below is a section of another that I really like, too.

The Interior Castle (excerpt from)

Us little people,

You and I,
With such great loves,
Transcending ourselves
Making us wonders –
Lifting our fearful feet
Beyond our sense of self
Toward some unknown
We dare not tread,
Except through love.

Touched by your
Ever present desire
I am alive
Who was dead.
I am wondrous
Who was ordinary.
I am made
Beyond myself.

Of the ones you sent,

The Rough Track

Wind to My Wings

Bend in the Road

And Tony, I bet I have only read half of what you have written.  I will continue on reading them, and hope you will let me know about narrowing down the selected ones so far.  It is not so easy.

I had another interesting arm circles session.  I haven’t had an uninteresting one yet.  :)  I went into the exercise thinking about this dream I had about having to throw my baby boy back into the green sea to keep him safe.  I’ve been confused about this dream for awhile now and thought perhaps I could gain some clarity.  After being in the movement for a bit I felt a voice say, be the baby. I had a hard time feeling that at all.  Then I found myself making repetitive motions with my arms, the motions you make if you have jumped into deep water and you are swimming up.  I did it over and over till my arms were too tired to do more.  I thought to try being the dolphin or the sea turtle who had initially rescued the baby at sea, but that didn’t happen.

Eventually I was on the floor in a variation of the child’s pose, only my arms were around my face and head to block any light, my forehead on the floor.  I closed my eyes and saw myself as a small child, and she wailed at me furiously, he hurt me… and this deep pain rose up from her, and her fists were flying in uncontrolled anger, and from her mouth came many loud wailings, not screams, not crying, something more powerful and expressive.  Then I saw her arms over her head, pounding furiously on his torso area but she knew no satisfaction, no relief from her blows, her small arms were nothing more then tapping on his muscular body.  They bounced off him and he didn’t feel her, he had no thought whatsoever about her emotional tirade against him.  And here is where I finally, consciously knew her great distress of feeling absolutely powerless.  I knew it as my own at last, it is that feeling I have had so many times, but vaguely, as though I couldn’t name it or place it. I am powerless.  I am full of rage.  And I have no place to go with it.  Pounding on this man and he swats me away like a fly buzzing around his face.

nd to her I said, remember how much you love Popeye, and how his arms could become powerful and muscular by eating his spinach?  Imagine that you have this power now. Imagine that your arms are big and muscular, and your blows to him will be felt and he will back away from you, that he will feel your strength and you will know the satisfaction of  landing each punch.  They will not bounce off. He can no longer use you as his thing.  He has power over you no more.  And so she did, she was like a boxer in the ring, landing punches in his abdomen, that was as high up as she could reach.  He backed up, he shielded himself from her blows.  She knew he felt her anger and her strength, and he could not deny her presence. To feel the rage and to have the power to defend herself, it was freeing.  I stood up then and came out of that place with her, and I held her and swayed back and forth for a bit, comforting and reassuring her.

It brings such good feelings to come through these exercises with yet more healing, more awakening, more wholeness.

And now, back to you, Tony,

Vicky

Hi Vicky – You seem to have waxed lyrical in this latest e-mail.  Also, I looked at your photos.  I can’t remember you saying that you are a keen photographer.  I love taking photos, and for some of my early years was a professional.  So I will try to remember to send you some of those I have taken recently.
The business with Kevin was both wonderful and puzzling.  The reason being that for quite a long time it seemed easier to communicate.  Then suddenly one day I took time to open up the channel, so to speak, and it was like talking in an empty room.  There was a real feeling of absence.  Nobody there.  Since then I have not felt that there has been any communication at all.  The very last communication though maybe explains this, as follows:

“It was very interesting today because I started by asking Kevin what his experience was at the moment, what it was like for him now. But there was no response at all. It was like talking to an empty room. This happened five or six times without a response. So then I asked why there was this blank emptiness. What I received was that Kevin no longer existed. The personality that had been Kevin was now completely absorbed and could therefore no longer be communicated with.

So then I asked the question of the spirit that had given life to Kevin and there was very quickly a response.

What I received from this spirit, who I will call Sinedria, is that it exists in a condition where it is exploring or living within the creation and exploration of possibilities. I came to the impression that this dimension of experience was something like dreaming in which you can create and discover where your best feelings, where your creativity is. But this is not quite it because Sinedria inferred that it was also creating possibilities and situations in my life here and now. So Sinedria was forming, or exploring the formation of a new life for itself.

Sinedria went on to say that the life of Kevin had been completely absorbed and the lessons in its experience had being incorporated in its present exploration of possibilities. It said that Kevin had loved me very much and I had been his teacher. The love that Kevin had for me was now part of Sinedria, and this love was a living link between Sinedria and myself. Through this link Sinedria experienced and gathered something from my life, particularly what was happening in the love passing between Petrina and I. Sinedria said that I had also learned a great deal from Kevin. It was also said that from this dimension life and death are not separated, and that Sinedria partook of my life through the love developed between myself and Kevin. This wan’t easy to understand, as it suggested that what I do and live is a part of death, and death or Sinedria is a part of my living experience.”

So, moving on, when I rented what you wrote about reading my poems and that I was hot, I had a real laugh.  I still smile now when I look at what you have written.  I suppose this is because I feel life is so funny.  What I see is that we are all incredibly passionate, but for many of the us events or life have either deadened that or buried it in some way.  Having worked with people as a therapist, gradually helping them to uncover who they are, I have watched this process with much love or wonder.

I suppose occasionally that molten core comes to the surface, but most of the time, on the surface anyway, I am simply warm with a smile.

But then, your description of what happened with the arm circling, shows you are beginning to open to that wonderful molten core yourself.  That core has an immense range of feelings, everything from raging anger to overwhelming love – and it is all okay.  The only harm that can come in as if we clumsily let it pour into other peoples lives before they are ready for it.

I remember years ago I was the seed in a group I had been running in Greece.  It was an extraordinary experience in which I learned and felt so much.  I saw that love was fundamental in our spiritual life.  But it wasn’t a view of love of the romantic kind.  What I saw was that when we give ourselves to another person – I mean give of ourself -whether that is warm caring, real feelings of hurt or anger, then we have entered another person’s life and the enlarged them.  And when we can receive in the same way from another person we are enlarged.  Mostly people just want to receive the sort of love a child has, the sort of gentle protective, cuddled up love.  They don’t really want to know who the whole person is, from fire to light, from winter to spring.

Anyway, I surfaced from being the seed with all that bubbling out of me, babbling on about love and people and life.  Near me, and watching me tall thin Englishman.  He practised Zen Buddhism, and as I looked at him I could see that he had moved into
some sort of cold intellectual view of the world and was completely baffled by my babbling.

I suppose what I am pointing to here is something you have said.  ”So much of the time is spent coping with this every day stuff.” More and more I feel that ‘this’ and ‘that’ are completely one and the same.

As for the choice of poems, I will leave that entirely to you. I really enjoyed reading through again those you put links to or quoted. It is very strange to read some of the things I have written. Often I don’t recognise them as originating from me.

It is so interesting for me to read about your experience in the arm circling.  I have spent so much of my life trying to be, or to build, a door way for people to touch and experience what you describe, that I feel almost grateful for your trust in doing the exercise.  I wrote to a friend recently about this, saying, “It has been rejected so many times in the past that for some years I have been figuratively standing on the street corner with my rather drab placard. On it were the words “There is More.”"
So, thanks.

The house in snow is where I live, on the side of a hill. The vista of hills is the countryside I am in the middle of, and my cottage is one of those in the valley. As for the sheep, that was taken in the spring – motherhood.

As ever – Tony

 

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