Correspondence Between Emily & Tony
December 12 2007
I just want to express my gratitude for you and all you have posted
on your website and for all the books you have written. I still have
your book “Do You Dream?” published in 1972 – the first book I ever
bought on dreaming, and have been carrying with me through life ever
since. I so appreciate “The New Dream Dictionary” and look forward to
its expansion. Your website is so insightful and inspiring.
I do have a question or two, though, and hope you can give me and
other dreamers like myself some guidance. As a person who recalls
numerous dreams each night and writes them in a journal (as opposed
to typing them in your on-line program), are some ways better than
others to “work” with such a plethora of dreams? I don’t want to
intellectually understand each and every dream , but what is the best
use of dreams for those who are such vivid dreamers? How does one
chose from so many dreams the ones to dwell upon, to research, to
work on dream groups, etc? (Yes, I have looked at dream series,
recurring symbols, etc. and see patterns and changes, and yet I still
find it a challenge to keep up with such a prolific dream life).
I am also fascinated with dreams and art, and perhaps you give some
pointers in this area as well? One understanding I have in regards to
dream art is to express the feeling of the dream through your art,
not to literally try to reproduce the dream with its setting and
characters in a work of art. But how does one bridge this gap from
the literal to the feeling aspect?
I am that little soul yearning for expansion….
Thank-you for taking the time to read this e-mail, and to respond if
you are able.
Subject: Walking the Way
Emily – Thanks for your really interesting email, and the things you said.
I am not at home at the moment, and am sitting cross legged on the floor of a tiny bedroom in a friend’s house in London. She and her partner are still asleep, so I am being quiet here with her laptop literally on my lap.
It also means I am limited in my response as there are some things I would like to attach, but maybe later when I get home.
What is the best way to approach so many dreams? I believe that dreams are mostly like snapshots of an ongoing process that emerges and is an expression of our life. As such they are all samples of the same thing. I remember working with someone on a dream of hers that was 18 years old. It had remained intriguing so she wanted to explore it. When we got to the heart of it I likened it to taking a core sample from a tree. Maybe the bit in the core was old and had been developed many years previously, but looking closely it was seen to be linked or supportive of what was happening to the new growth today. There was no separation.
So even if you only took one dream a week, or a month, you would still be gaining insight into the overall process of your life. Perhaps the most important thing is to try to reach the passionate core of the dream. I say this because my experience is that our own core is vitally alive and passionate. When we touch it through a dream we experience that passion, often with very powerful emotions. Within those feelings lies great insight. If we then record what we have gained or found, we gradually build up a grand awareness of the flow of our own life, and also of Life.
So my response to your question is to choose any dream that is vivid and interesting and keep approaching it until you get to that wonderful experience of its core. If you want to explore that idea with me further I would like to.
As for art and dreams, well, I think this differs with each person. I did write a piece about this years ago. It is at http://www.dreamhawk.com/art-d.htm.
But that is very general, and I think you are right about expressing the feeling of the dream in your art. Something I have noticed in doing this is that the actual expression in creating what arises from the dream is that it is partly conscious rational, but also a spontaneous eruption from the unconscious. So in painting, writing or creating in whatever form, it needs to be a marriage of those things, and maybe that has to be learned, or at least encouraged.
Most of my own attempts at this come out as poems or stories. A poem that arose from a dream is http://www.dreamhawk.com/bells.htm.
And a story is http://www.dreamhawk.com/shining.htm this was a dream that I slightly altered, adding a name and place to express understandably to a reader.
I have a feeling I would love to do a workshop on this subject.
As ever – Tony
December 12th 2007
Thank you so very much responding to my e-mail, especially at such a busy time of year, and away from your home using someone else’s laptop!
The poem “Like Bells” and the story “A Tear Dropped in the Ocean” are both so precious and moving. The story, especially, is touching to the core as I walk the road with two friends who have recently lost their husbands, and a third who is being treated for cancer. That simple act of dropping a tear expresses all the emotions swirling within us that goes beyond words. Thank you for sending those links. I have printed out your article on Art and Dreams and will read it soon when all is quiet.
Thank you, too, for explaining the “core” of dreaming. It makes much sense. And to get to the passionate core of the dream(s) – sometimes getting to that point seems just beyond my reach. Yes, it is something I would like to explore with you further. I would need for you to guide me in how that process works.
Your words to the effect of a marriage between rational thought and eruptions from the unconscious ring a bell – a marriage of the known and unknown – to increase our understanding/contribution/enlargement of and to Life. Like a plant reaching for the sun – the seed that needs to erupt from the darkness of the earth and find and follow the spirit of the light.
I send it to you because I think workshops combining dreams and art are few and far between, and in much need and demand. Her work, in my limited perception and experience of art and dream work, is ground-breaking. You may enjoy reading her paper. It’s rather long, but somewhere in there I think it may speak to ideas you hold.
I would highly encourage you to do a workshop in this area-I couldn’t think of too many other people to do such a workshop which would have a dramatic effect on how we can further deepen our relationships with ourselves, with others, and with whatever we believe about the beyond, than yourself.
Again, thank-you for your time and attention to these e-mails of mine.
On Jan 7, 2008, at 11:27 PM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – I am just catching up with mail after Christmas. I hope you have emerged into the New Year well.
‘The core of dreaming’ – Well, this involves learning how to enter your dream at its own level, putting aside rational thought for a while and delving into spontaneous response when you approach the dream. It is a fairly simple thing to do, but perhaps needs learning if you haven’t used it before. I find it works best if you are with a partner listening and guiding your attention. Having worked with people on this over many years, and finding that it can be just as successful over the telephone, if you wanted to we could use this a few times so you could experience it. Telephone calls from here are only a couple of cents a minute almost anywhere in the world. And I don’t charge for this. I always learn something from what people find within them.
If you wanted to do this we could find a mutually workable time. It takes up to an hour.
As for art and dreams, after our communication I had a wonderful snake dream that gave me a bit more insight into this. Basically Life holds in us millions of years experience or its journey and wonders – but it is all unconscious. It exists but hasn’t in most of us got much voice in our conscious personality. When we learn to listen to it, the mystery of life emerges and can be expressed as art.
I looked at Sheila’s site. An interesting approach, but I didn’t find, in reading right through, any very direct appreciation of a dream. It seemed more like the Freudian process of associations via imagery.
Workshops and I don’t seem to go hand in hand. I did teach for many years, but all the classes arose largely spontaneously. When I tried to be business like and organise things they never worked. I think particularly of when I lived in Melbourne Australia and Oxford here in the UK and organised workshops. The first week in Melbourne there were a few people – next week nobody. In Oxford completely no response, so a waste of time and effort. I don’t think I trumpet loud enough – and anyway, the business of people trying to earn a living by running courses is like a circus; so many people competing for clients. I find that if people want what I have they come to me. I don’t need to strive to earn a living so all that hassle to compete has dropped away. Therefore I don’t charge for what I do – spoils the fun.
Anyway it was given to me as a wonderful gift. Selling it suggests that payment will assure the person of success. That is so untrue. The person is resting on their own efforts, courage and perseverance.
As ever – Tony
January 11th 2008
Good to hear from you! I’m not sure if I’m emerging into the New Year or if the New Year is emerging into me! It goes well.
I would love to work with you! I’ve heard of and read about “active imagination” and “dream re-entry” but have little to no experience with it, at least in working with someone one-on-one. I know I, for one, would benefit greatly from being guided by you over the phone, as you have such extensive experience with and knowledge about dream work. It may be just what I need in order to learn how to get to the core of the dream more directly. Having read so much of your writing, I have trust in you.
Prior to this last reply, I’ve been thinking if I were to do this which (of my hundreds of dreams) would I chose. Suffice it to say I thought of a snake dream – one red snake and one green snake. So, life does work in mysterious ways.
Thank you for taking the time to read through Sheila’s website. I have to agree it does sound like an association technique, but there’s a part in Part II of her IASD award winning paper in which she details how the images of one of her client’s collages relate to images in dreams the client had previously. I think Sheila’s sense is that our dreams can be expressed unconsciously through art. This is different than bringing conscious material forward and expressing it consciously. I suppose this could be the difference in ways artists approach their work, intuitively such as I do, or preconceiving an idea and doing the art work to express that idea. Such an interesting topic, art and dreams! And I don’t mean to belabor any conversation about this.
Thanks for explaining the workshop scenario. I’m grateful that you are able and willing to do this work for free! To keep what we have we need to give it away…
As for setting up a time, I will be out of town (leaving tomorrow Jan. 11th and will be back the earliest on Tuesday, and maybe not until Friday the 18th. I have an aging mother and we will be having her diagnosed for her now very apparent memory loss.
If we were to talk this month, some days that would work for me would be sometime around the 22nd to the 24th (my husband will be out of town one or two of those days, so I would feel most comfortable doing this exercise – at least for the first time when he’s not here, so the only presence in the house is my dream). But, if those days don’t work for you, let me know what does and we can decide on a date and time.
Thank you for offering to do this – it means so much. Somehow it feels right, and I know it will be good for both of us!
On Jan 13, 2008, at 4:18 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
The snakes dream sounds interesting Emily.
Okay – the dates you gave are fine – 22-24. So what we need to do now is to pinpoint a time and one of the days. Any of those days are free for me, and as I do not have any routine to adhere to at the moment I suggest you choose a time and day. However I don’t know what time zone you are in yet, but here are my details.
Time zone is GMT/UK. My telephone number is *********** – or from abroad *********. If you have Skype you can find me as *********.
As I can get very inexpensive calls I could call you at a time we decided on, or use Skype for free.
Present day communication options are amazing. Having used this with people as far away as Japan I find it has knocked down previous barriers I had regarding working in this way.
So, looking forward to meeting you and your dreams.
As ever – Tony
January 17th 2008
Let’s plan on next Thursday, January 24th. California time zone is GMT minus 8. As I am 8 hours earlier than you are, perhaps you could call me anytime after 8:00 am CA time. My day is open, so if you want to call later in the day or evening that is fine as well. Unfortunately, I don’t have the access you have for the inexpensive calls or Skype – and I am amazed that this can be done so inexpensively. But I will need to think of a way to thank-you!
With much appreciation,
P.S. I hope you won’t be disappointed if I decide to chose a different more, current dream (if the spirit moves me), but the snakes dream was quite fascinating, but there is this recent one of a space craft appearing… But I am sure that, as you say, there will be the “core” of the dream, which I am sure will apply to both. Thanks again!
On Jan 19, 2008, at 3:14 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – I have made a note for the 24th, but will call you 6pm my time which is 10 am your time.
I regularly call a friend in California so am used to living ahead in time – time travellers. But, Emily, you didn’t send your telephone number???
The reason we have such inexpensive calls here is that when the monopoly was taken off the telephone company here a lot of competition arose and companies set up automated lines for almost everywhere in the world. The strange thing is that they hired the lines of the old company and yet charged less, so obviously the company that had a monopoly was charging enormously over the odds, and still do. But now I have a phone using broadband and so the call goes over the Internet to an outlet near to you, then is like a local call. It costs about a dollar an hour to the US.
I have no problem about what dream you choose, though even old dreams are linked inextricably with the processes of inner growth that contribute to your experience of today.
As ever – Tony
Sorry about not including my phone number. It is: *************. What an incredible phone service you have!
My dream and I will be waiting your call on the 24th at 10am.
I wanted to let you know I am still very touched by the dream work we
did last Thursday. An interesting thing happened yesterday in a collage class I was taking. I was looking at magazine pictures to cut out and use when I came across one of a Buddha statue in India. He was gold, and it looked like gold was raining down on him. I realized my “figure” in the dream was a female Buddha figure! Not gold, but silver, and the smile she had was the enigmatic smile of a small Buddha statue I have on my bureau.
But what surprised me more was that I didn’t recognize her as such in the dream. At first, anyway. And it brought up memories that I need not indulge in at the moment; suffice it to say I got in touch with numerous occasions (since childhood) in which I, in essence, did not acknowledge or give credit to the Buddha (or Christ) within.
When my friend, who was taking the class with me yesterday, thanked me (during break) profusely for something I had said to her husband two years ago which really encouraged and helped him hone his photography skills, I was able to take a breath and thank her for the feedback. I experienced the gratitude that comes when knowing
something I said had such a positive influence on someone – and at a deeper level something I said was worthy of having a positive influence on someone. Such is the Buddha.
And so I carry the Buddha around in me. She has helped in meditation these last few days. It has been a difficult week with two deaths, and now there will soon be a third…
The timing for dream work was fortuitous, and I wanted to thank-you again for your kindness and time and patience and knowing.
On Jan 29, 2008, at 4:11 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – Thanks for telling me more about the dreamwork we did. Sometimes, when we hit the right places, it goes on unfolding, and then lends subtle ‘colours’ or influence to the years ahead.
Regarding the Buddha and Buddhism, there is a saying that when you discover your own Buddha-hood you start to know the diamond body. That is, a body that is imperishable. And I get something of that from your female dream figure.
Thinking about what you said about not recognising her in the dream for what you now see her as, I don’t think that is uncommon. In fact it is part of the mythology of the spirit in the human form. Remember that Jesus was not recognised after resurrection. The beautiful simple spirit of Life is so ordinary in many ways, and can take on any form, that we may be looking for shinning lights and trumpets.
What is this that walks with you at every moment?
As ever – Tony
29th January 2008
Who was it who said (something like): ”We are not human beings trying to have a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings trying to have a human experience”? I see more clearly that it’s a life-long journey (or longer) to be human, or spiritual, or both.
Thank you again for your words. I have not heard of the diamond body before. You lead me in new directions that awaken possibility and potential in myself.
I spent time on your website looking at your vision of the world through the camera. The photographs of the child were most delightful and expressive of our human range of emotions. Your flower photographs brought me back to my first experience with the camera – using close-up lenses to photograph them. I would most times be crawling on the ground and experiencing the elements of the earth. I have several “favorites” from your galleries – the Unfolding Fern from New Zealand, the Orchid Heart, Forget-Me-Nots and more. The London Crow captivated me as well – perhaps because of its blackness against the white flowers and grey branches. I was pleased to read that you started your own photography business at 15 years old; you must have a strong spirit that has guided you, and continues to guide you, in your prolific life! I am honored to be in contact with you.
As I don’t yet have the link for the art league which is hosting my images (and that of other artists in the league), I am attaching two images I created last year. The ideas were from two different dreams, and I manipulated them in Photoshop. This is to give you an idea of the direction I took and would like to continue to take, with dreams.
Thanks again for your time and words!
February 2nd 2008
One of my goals is to set-up a website which will show my work much
more completely. I have been avoiding this task for a while.
On Feb 3, 2008, at 5:36 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – I looked at your photos. They are very striking and moody.
I used to work at a firm in London where we had a very large hand colouring section. The women there were great, and we did a 60 foot long hand coloured backlit mural of the battle of Trafalgar for the Trafalgar Square post office.
Let me know when you do the site. Do you do it yourself?
As ever – Tony
February 15th 2008
Hi Emily – I have been away in the US for a while visiting a friend, and am not back home yet, so just a brief response to your email.
I haven’t been to Trafalgar Square lately, but I will try to find out if the mural is still there.
About websites, I could never afford to pay someone to do it, but with your ideas about design etc, it would be easy for you to do. I could help you with that. Building your own is a great pleasure and satisfaction.
Will write more when I get home.
Thank you for looking at my photos. And, I can only image what it was like to hand color a 60 foot long mural. What a great experience! Is it still at the post office? I have 2 friends who live outside London, and I’m sure it’s something they’d enjoy seeing.
Recently, I’ve been asking around about the cost to set up a website. The prices seem to be really high – some want $250/page and most start at $500, and I’m not sure how many pages this would include. Some friends have said it’s easy to set one up by oneself, and I have not yet committed myself to learning how to do so. There’s the time factor. So, please, tell me how you manage to keep on top of your website! Your site is so well done, and there’s so much information that’s fascinating to read through. I appreciate your willingness to share so much of yourself on your site – I’m sure you touch a lot of people because of it.
I want to thank you again for working the dream with me. I am not partaking in any dream group at the moment, and I miss that connection. I’d been meeting (actually, I started it) with a dream group using the “projective method” (Montague Ullman/Jeremy Taylor) for the past two years, but have grown disillusioned with the process and stopped attending (any thoughts you have on projective work are welcome!). By now, I had hoped to be part of another dream group at a place called ‘The Dream Institute” in Berkeley, but the group has yet to start. So, being able to communicate with you has been very helpful as I find my way back to dream work.
In regards to the dream we worked: at a class yesterday on chakras, I learned that silver is the metal associated with the 6th chakra (the source material used was from the book “Wheels of Life a User’s Guide to the Chakra System by Anodea Judith). I associated the metal silver back to the silver Buddha in the dream we worked. It just fits as I’ve been more focused in meditation these last few months (to control the stress I have in my life right now). It’s so wonderful to have a dream unfold like this.
Take care and many thanks,
On Feb 21, 2008, at 4:23 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – I am back home again and read your email more carefully.
Thanks for telling me more about your dream and how it is unfolding. This is why I sometimes liken a dream to the trunk of a tree. Once you discover that part of the trunk – the dream – you see how it connects with every other part of the tree.
I have had several remarkable dreams about chakras, although the dreams in no way referred to them as that. They were shown as vestigial cells in the body that at one time in humanities history were very active, giving those races in the past an everyday awareness of the multidimensional world they and we live in.
Here is a piece I wrote out from a recent experience -
I saw that some of the disciplines or practises of the East are designed to lead the practitioner into building up the internal energies, recognising the play of emotions, thoughts and fantasies for what they are, and leading to a breakthrough to another realm of physical and psychological functioning. I also saw that for some, old age does this, as it gradually reduces the need and motivations to seek fame, money, sex and dependent relationships. If the person has managed to mature reasonably well, this build up of energies achieves the same thing – namely a focussing of life energy on what might be called the great seals of the body and mind.
In the East these are called Lotuses or Chakras. In Western religion they are symbolised by the different stages of the Christ drama – starting with the stable – the base instincts or root Chakra, and going up to Golgotha – the top of the skull.
These I saw as points in our being that link with the higher dimensions of the Universe we live as an integral part. In most of us they remain locked – not operating, and so not allowing personal awareness to perceive what they connect with. When this life energy begins to touch them with sufficient strength they start to awake or open.
I know our Western culture looks at such ideas as superstition. However, our own science points out that there are 11 dimensions in our universe. It is also obvious that you and I would not exist without the universe, and living beings on our planet are in some mysterious way a fulfilment of the forces and possibilities of this universe that is our home. Therefore, if we are part of and an expression of the forces integral in our universe, why shouldn’t we reflect the universe in some way, and its dimensions? Isn’t that the message of the mysteries? “Let us make them in our own image.”
Also, something I came across in this exploration is that beings in the clouds, or alien types of beings often represent the functioning of the chakras, or a growing awareness of these higher dimensions and what they hold. I wouldn’t be surprised if the great flow of feelings resulting from recent events in your life are playing on these centres of awareness.
Returning to the theme of the website, I have software you can have that makes building a website almost like word processing. I can send it if you want. It is out of copyright as the company no longer exists.
As ever – Tony
February 25th 2008
I was at a retreat this past weekend and brought your e-mail along with other reading material to contemplate during my private time alone. I am very touched by the writings that arose from your recent experience. You write so clearly and lucidly; it is a pleasure for me to read and reflect upon your thoughts.
I am sending just a few quotes I came across this weekend that seem to fit in with what you write. The first is, “At some point in our lives, we discover that happiness in the outer world is a transitory illusion”. That “some point” could be old age. To me, this discovery also hinges upon the waves of the internal energies you speak about. I am only now beginning to understand how this discovery is an outpouring of these cosmic energies, that one does not always need to have the parents or the teachers (although it does help to have them!) to guide one’s awareness of and towards them. I am reminded we are all made of stardust, and that this is the dust our bodies will return to.
A line from a poem “Each Soul Completes Me” by Hafiz, (Sufi) you may be familiar with:
God revealed a sublime truth to
the world, when He sang
‘I am made whole by your
life. Each soul, each soul
One particular question caught my attention this weekend. “How do you humbly walk with God?” I realized that so many of us are waiting for God to walk with us that we forget or never learn to walk with him.
Another quote (I don’t have the source right now in front of me): “The soul is a drop of his essence”. A beautiful reminder to me that we have the soul of God in us, and not only do we humbly walk with him, but we are humbly an expression of him, just as you so beautifully write ” …living beings on our planet are in some mysterious way the fulfilment of the forces and possibilities of this universe that is our home”.
If I didn’t have a sense of humor, I would be dismayed at the time I was preparing to facilitate an Adult Ed class on dreams at my church. This was to introduce the topic of dreaming to my church community, and what better way to start than with the dreams found in Genesis. We did have a person or two meet with the pastor to be sure that dreams (personal or those found in the Bible) were something we could address! How sad that fear and superstition can pass through so many generations. This, to me, is one basic reason why some people do not “manage to mature reasonably well”. (I don’t know why that particular phrase caught my fancy, but it did!)
I think one force playing on the centers of awareness in my life right now is meditation. Because of the recent events in my life, I am being more intent on meditating and on being in silence. “I am more than the events and emotions in life” my pastor said to me this weekend – a quote she heard on tape. Meditation takes me to a place beyond those emotions and events, and I hadn’t realized the depths of such a (internal) place before.
Dreams are such another force for a thin-boundried person as myself. I dream of a physical struggle between a “down-to-earth woman” and “an alien type woman” in a floating embryo, and am reminded of 2 other embryonic dreams – to me, a symbol of new potentials, new forces wanting to be expressed, and the struggle these energies have in getting my attention and coming into fruition. I sense a connection between embryos and aliens – somehow both possibly expressing that functioning of the chakras or that growing awareness of the higher dimensions you write about (more so with alien beings, although both embryos and aliens are unknowns). One an indication of the internal forces, and the other the workings of the external, or cosmic forces. Perhaps an expression of those vestigial cells waiting and wanting to be of use again – yes, I can imagine them being such incredible dreams!
Finally, the website. I am wondering if you are PC based and if the program you have is for the PC. I work on a MacIntosh, so I don’t know if your program would be compatible with my system. But I would like to try it if it is; meanwhile, I am also told it’s easy to build a website with the Mac, so I am pursuing that as well. Thank-you so much for your offer!
February 26th 2008
I meant to tell you that last week I had a first lucid moment in a dream (which is exciting!), and I’m hoping (when you have time) you can shed some light on what I experienced and also suggest what I might do or be aware of the next time I become lucid.
In the dream, I was being pulled backwards and upwards into the sky. (It was the strangest sensation, and the second time in a week in which I experienced a dream of being pulled upwards in the sky.) However, in this dream, I became lucid for a few moments. While lucid, I recalled a waking life conversation with a woman who had recently told me that when she becomes lucid in a dream, she blinks her eyes to change the scene and get away from whatever frightens her. Due to my fear of this out-of-my-control, slow, upwards pull to where I didn’t know, I blinked my eyes so that I could change it. Instead of a scene change, all I saw was blackness and woke up.
I’ve read your books and those of others and have talked to people about controlling the dream in a lucid state, and it’s been my belief that one should not try to have such control in a dream. I made no mention of this to the woman as I had no experience in lucid dreaming, and I had the sense it wouldn’t make a difference had I said something to her. So, I was surprised that I chose to do this in the dream, and even more surprised at the resulting blackness. I don’t know what the force was that was pulling me upwards – it was not something I could see, touch, or confront - so I can honestly say I was afraid of this vast unknown sensation or force.
Any thoughts? Thanks muchly,
Tony replied 26/2/2008
Emily – You present me with so many interesting ideas and communications it is difficult to know where to start. But maybe the easy things first.
It depends on what Apple Mac you have. The latest ones have the same hardware and chip as PC’s because Apple switched from IBM chips to Intel because that is the way progress is going. So if you have the latest ones you can run the program, otherwise probably not. Pity if that is so as it is so easy to use, and I know it so well I could help you make a start.
First lucidity – WOW. That brings a whole new world to explore.
The pulling backward – well, you are experiencing this ‘out of control’ influence all the time. It is what makes your body function with all its intestinal movements, heartbeat, and so on and on. But we grew up with those movement. However, when we open to that inner life process it has so much more to show us it expresses things we have never consciously met before. Previously sleep and dreaming would have guarded our fragile ego from direct experience. You know – it was only a dream.
Did I ever direct you to http://www.dreamhawk.com/mmcha8.htm ? Emily, this is a huge subject, and I have been experiencing it and trying to define what it is and how it works for most of my life. The link to my book Mind and Movement gives a summary – rather long – of how I have tried to link what is usually seen as a mysterious and perhaps mystical experience with some of the obvious processes in ourselves we are often aware of. This is something else that has been a feature of my direction, bringing the abstract or mysterious to the here and now.
The blinking – used to escape from the threatening – is another example of how our ego is often unready to become aware of its wider self. And that is because the wider life is not all angels and coloured lights. WE are in there too. I mean all that we have been in the past. Our culture hardly teaches us the skill to readily enter into and travel that world. But we can learn and our inner guru will teach us, as well as guide us to external information and contacts.
I am guessing that you blinked because you knew it would take you away from what you felt to be threatening.
Here is an example of two different responses taken from the website.
Norman MacKenzie explains this very well in his book Dreams and Dreaming. Writing about the clinical use of LSD to help patients deal with various forms of neurosis, he says that the drug enabled a massive observation of how people’s mind worked, and how people related to their unconscious drives. When a patient first took LSD one of the commonest reactions was massive anxiety. This degree of anxiety usually arises only when we are threatened physically or mentally. The patient fears the drug is robbing them of control and will overwhelm them. In fact what is happening is that the repressive defences the person uses to keep their inner drives and processes under control are being relaxed.
People relate to this threat in two major ways. They either fight to keep control, and employ all manner of techniques such as keeping their attention focused outwardly by such things as talking, walking about, drawing, holding their breath or dancing – or they surrender to what is being experienced. To meet the parts of ones nature that have previously been pushed into unconsciousness, one needs to surrender in some degree. If the person fights the loss of control as the new material from within is emerging, it sometimes feels as if they are disintegrating. Their body may feel as if it is changing or dying, and they are losing themselves.
Below are two descriptions from people using LSD therapeutically which illustrate these different responses.
It didn’t happen at first, but gradually I began to feel that if I relaxed I would not be able to hold back my emotions, that I would do something that would be seen as crazy. So I sat holding onto myself, literally tensing my muscles to hold back whatever might happen to me. Time seemed to stretch and I felt as if I would never get out of this tension and difficulty. I just had to sit through it, live through it, and hope there would be an end. I also wanted to get away, but I was frightened I would get lost, like I was a child of four or five. Maybe that’s how I felt at that age, so I had to stop myself from doing what I wanted to do. A.K.
Here is someone else’s description of a similar situation.
Early in the session I started having fantasies about being attacked. Each time it happened I put the fantasy aside because I couldn’t see why I would be having these feelings that I was being attacked. There were a lot of images flowing into my mind also about the horror of life in general – babies abused, children murdered, men and women shot or tortured. The fantasies returned and several men attacked me and were trying to drag me off somewhere against my will. As the fantasy progressed, or replayed, I began to realise that it only appeared like an attack because I was resisting the process. In fact the men wanted to show me something that was important to me. They were being quite gentle, but because of my resistance, it felt to me like an aggressive act. I then let myself be carried off by the men, and began to feel as if a great chunk of my nature has been held back since childhood because of anxiety. In fact I had been frightened to ‘live’ this part of me. I had held so much of myself back throughout most of my life that I constantly felt there was something I was missing and had to search for. But it wasn’t an external thing – it was the me I had denied. B.M.
AK was using tensions and experiencing fears he had developed in childhood to hold back feelings that he had been taught were not acceptable. In BM’s experience he learned to move beyond such tensions and fears.
So now – “How do you humbly walk with God?”
I believe one of the earliest of the healing miracles in the New Testament was the healing of the blind man. This is the problem, most of us are afflicted with an awful blindness that leaves us certain we are alone, and God is some abstract being or something far away.
Nothing is further from the truth. Briefly, read through these aphorisms. They attempt to show you that this strange idea of God as an unknowable or questionable something is really weird when facts are there in front of us.
You have no existence outside of the universe.
We cannot define, scientifically or otherwise, the original state of the universe, other than saying it is the central reality from which all else emerged. Even time and space did not exist in the primal state.
lthough this central reality is indefinable, it is observably the ground from which all existence has emerged.
This central reality is absolute in that, being the ground from which all else has emerged, it does not depend upon anything else for its existence.
Being self-existent, and beyond definition, it is not a thing, person, or changing aspect of time or space.
Although this central reality is unknowable, we nevertheless have a relationship with it.
If you were asked to define life, you could not define it in a way to satisfy everybody.
Nevertheless you know life through your own existence.
Defining and experiencing are two different things. Even though you know life by experiencing it, you cannot define it except in a limited manner.
This mystery of the central reality permeates all that we do or are, all that exists. Out of it time, space, substance and personal existence have emerged. And although the mystery is therefore revealed/immanent, at the same time it remains unknowable/transcendent.
Because the ground of your existence lies beyond these polar opposites, it is a paradox to the thinking mind.
Nevertheless, you know the paradox by experiencing life, not by thinking or by emotion. It is neither light nor darkness, but out of it both can come. In its expression it is known and definable, though remaining transcendent.
Because you know life by experiencing it, in a similar way you know the central reality because you experience it as your life. (Remember that you have no existence outside of the Universe, so you exist as an expression of that prime cause. Remember also that you cannot define your own existence.)
To find your experience of your central reality, look beyond what is definable and concrete. Experience your being outside of what is changeable, dependent upon something else, or subject to space and time – then you will know your fundamental self.
Everything that has arisen in your life, your growth, your experiences, have emerged in some way from the central reality or core of your being.
If you identify with the things in your life such as your concept of your body, your looks, your achievement, your failure, or even your form of love, it is a link with some form of ignorance, limitation or source of pain. Your basic identity is the central reality – the core – forever formless and yet taking on form.
o identify with the products of time and change is to become a prisoner in what is formed. Identifying with your core frees you from the walls of entrapment. From the core comes the power to transcend.
Perhaps one of the sayings that best sums this up is not, “Be still and know that I am God” – but, “Be still and know that I am God.”
As ever – Tony
March 13th 2008
Hi Emily – I am away at the moment too. Yes, both people are the same. Sometimes I have to change the names. If I recall the publishers wanted me to with the Lucid Dreaming.
But will catch up on the other mail soon. I am in London going to be at a cousin’s 80th birthday. But will be back home soon.
As ever – Tony
February 28th 2008
Thank you as always for your response. At times I feel I have “a long ways to go” to reach the point of “Be Still and Know that I am God”. The resources and aphorisms you provided are wonderful – I hadn’t read through Mind and Movement chapter 8 until now, and it is so well-expressed. As I’ve said before, I really, really, appreciate all that you write and how you write it. Now I can add one more book to my reading stack!
I understand the need to surrender, but I hadn’t understood the scope of it. I can relate to both person’s experiences In Norman MacKenzie’s book and their reactions to their LSD experience. I can consciously recognize my need and desire to surrender but it’s another thing to allow myself to do so, especially unconsciously. I had almost given up hope of ever being lucid in a dream, so I must somewhere have surrendered or touched a part of myself/God/Creation/Awareness in order to do so. Yes, in it, I was very frightened and blinked my eyes so that I would be in a safe place, as I did not trust where the force(s) was taking me. I do want to build up that ego strength so as to be ready to experience whatever may come next.
The wildflowers are beginning to bloom on the ridges where I hike. As I noticed one shooting star, suddenly I noticed how many more there were scattered nearby and across the fields. It reminded me of awareness, once you notice one place where your awareness is deepened, you’ll be aware of more. I need to remind myself of that from time to time – this may be a silly question – but do you think any of us will ever reach the place where we feel we are at or near our full potential? I’m not sure why I ask, except on a personal level, I believe I won’t reach the heights that are there to be reached or that I desire to reach – at least perhaps not in this lifetime. I have such a powerful urge to read, to feel, to connect deeply with people, to learn – I don’t think it will ever end. I am beginning to sense that the life process doesn’t stop in old age or in death – but have not had experience with this infinity (other than dreaming).
Finally, I’m sorry to say that my Mac doesn’t have the latest Intel chip in it, so I am unable to use your software. However, I’m pleased to tell you I have made an appointment with an Apple representative at a nearby Apple Store to tutor me on how to set up my own website, under the program !Web. Supposedly it’s fairly easy, and very affordable. So, I look forward to learning how to do this, and to reap the reward of doing so!
On Mar 1, 2008, at 12:40 PM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – To quote you, “I believe I won’t reach the heights that are there to be reached or that I desire to reach – at least perhaps not in this lifetime.”
Wow! Language! It is so designed to help us create a three dimensional world in which there is up and down, right and wrong, success and failure – and to get anywhere you have to drag this body around. What height is there to climb? What goal is there to reach to be yourself? You are already an emanation of the great reality. You are already IT.
That is not simply my message. In early Christianity it was taught that you are already saved and washed clean.
Here is a quote from the teachings of Shirdi Baba.
“Wasn’t Arjuna a jiva (being) and therefore an emanation of Chaitanya (universal consciousness—Self)”
“Then how can knowledge be given to what is already an emanation of Self or knowledge ?“
Then Sai Baba explained: “The verse tells us how a disciple is to approach his Guru in order to attain Realisation. He must completely surrender body, mind, soul and possessions to the Guru. That is the prostration referred to. The enquiry must be a constant quest for Truth, not questions asked out of mere curiosity or for a wrong motive, such as to trap the Guru. The motive must be pure desire for spiritual progress and Realisation. Then the service is not mere physical service such as massaging. For it to be effective there must be no idea that you are free to give or withhold service; you must feel that your body no longer belongs to you since you have surrendered it to the Guru and it exists only to do him service.”
Then followed questions to which Nana replied ‘Yes’ in each case.
“Isn’t Brahma pure Knowledge or Being and everything else non-Being or ignorance (absence of knowledge)?“
“Do not the scriptures declare that Brahma (God) is beyond the range of speech or mind? So the speech of the Guru is not Brahma or Knowledge. Then you admit that what the Guru says is not Knowledge but ignorance ?“
“It seems so.”
“Then the Guru’s instruction is simply a piece of ignorance used to remove the disciples ignorance, just as we use a thorn to remove another thorn from the foot, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so.”
“The disciple is a being whose essential nature is Knowledge, isn’t he?”
“Then there is no need to give him knowledge but simply to remove the veil of ignorance that hides the existent Knowledge. This, of course, is not to be done at one stroke, since the disciple is immersed in age-old ignorance and needs repeated instruction, perhaps through life after life. And what is this instruction through speech about what is beyond speech? Isn’t it like removing the cover? Ignorance conceals the pre-existent Knowledge just as water plants cover the surface of a pond. Clear away the plants and you have the water. You don’t have to create it; it is already there. Or take another example—a cataract grows on the eye and prevents a man from seeing; remove the cataract and he sees. Ignorance is the cataract. The universe is the efflorescence of the indescribable Maya, which is ignorance; yet ignorance is needed to illuminate and dissolve ignorance … Jnana is not something to be attained, it is eternal and self-existent. On the other hand, ignorance has a cause and an end. The root of it is the idea that the devotee is a separate being from God. Remove this, and what remains is Jnana.”
Suzanne (Collision with the Infinite) Segal says, There is no one I could instruct to do something to make you the vastness. That’s already and always who you are.
There is no end to all of this, just as there was no beginning. There are constant “bus hits,” as I now call them, in which the infinite expands yet again and again. The substance of the vastness is so directly perceivable to itself in every moment that the circuitry at times requires another adjustment phase to get used to more infinite awareness. When asked who I am, the only answer possible is: I am the infinite, the vastness that is the substance of all things. I am no one and everyone, nothing and everything—just as you are.
With you Now – Tony
I’m not sure how to put my thoughts/feelings into words at the moment. Perhaps I could have more appropriately stated “experience the vastness” instead of the words “reach the heights”. The inner vastness of dreams and intuition and God (however one defines God). That place of peace – that knowing “you are God”.
There are only a few people whom I have met that, to me, seem to have an honest sense of Self about themselves. Not that they don’t experience the doubts, uncertainties, etc that we all do from time to time, but despite the doubts, there’s a faith about them – they seem to intuit and follow an inner voice that is healthy and whole for them. And, inner light emanates from them.
One of my pastors at church, Pastor Paul likes to say “God loves you no matter what” and the other, Pastor Kim, says “Don’t sell yourself short”. I like to “think” that I am living this life of authenticity and with the realization that I am part of God, that I am living in such a way that honors my Self and those of others. But, I, too, can second-guess myself, especially when some certain difficulties (in my life at the moment) surface and distract and disturb me. I would like to “be a better person to myself” and not get so edgy when these situations arise. Thus, the meditation. And the prayer that clarification will come in how best to work with these extremely difficult situations.
What does all this mean? I really don’t know – I sense that dream work holds a venue for increased awareness, understanding and appreciation for all of life. That lucid dreaming is a step into the Beyond, although the dream we worked took me their as well. I would like to be more of a lucid dreamer (and yes, I am following the exercises in your book Lucid Dreaming) and be more aware of my actions and the world I create throughout the days and nights.
Any other words you have on any and all are welcome.
On Mar 5, 2008, at 2:08 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Emily – Excuse this rather truncated reply, but I am researching something I am writing and came across the following quote from my journal. I send it because it is an excellent example of how we restrict ourselves, and also how direct insight can arise from lucidity. People avoid that as it isn’t always comfortable to see who we actually are and what we are doing.
“About three days ago, after defining the reasons I had not repeated my waking up in sleep experiences, I had another such experience. I had seen that the previous experiences had arisen because I conceived of their possibility, and because at that time I believed I could do it. Since then I have felt incapable in that area. When I recognised that and changed my feelings, I had the following experience.
I awoke in my sleep and realised, without any symbols, that my attitudes and sleep movements expressed a feeling of restrained antagonism or irritation to my wife, Hyone. The feeling was arising from my discipline of my sexuality. Realising I did not want those feelings I altered them and woke enough to turn toward Hyone.”
As ever – Tony
I’ve been out of town, and will be again for a few days, so I am catching up with things. When you have time, I’m hoping you can explain in more detail the connection between altering your feelings and turning towards your wife. I sense some sort of healing took place, but don’t have the words for it.
I’ve been slowly reading Lucid Dreaming the last few weeks, and recently came across Rachael’s story. I was struck by how similar it was to a personal experience you wrote about in Do You Dream when you travelled to your home in London as well. Is there a relationship between the two stories or is it the same story? That particular story has always stayed with me because of the visuals – the dog, the mother knitting, the fire. The male and female point of view? I just want to be sure I understand the use of such a similar story in both books. It is a most powerful story, and right now I’m not quite sure from whom it came.
I’m taking small steps to build my website. There’s so many aspects to it, and software programs to become familiar with. I hope to have some sort of a skeleton website in the next few weeks.
On Mar 20, 2008, at 7:30 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – The business with my wife – now living apart – that was
mentioned in this quote – ‘I awoke in my sleep and realised,
without any symbols, that my attitudes and sleep movements
expressed a feeling of restrained antagonism or irritation to my
wife, Hyone. The feeling was arising from my discipline of my
sexuality. Realising I did not want those feelings I altered them
and woke enough to turn toward Hyone.” has a bit of background.
For most of my life sex was an enormous problem creating great
conflicts. From my earliest experience of sex – masturbation – I
experienced enormous exhaustion after ejaculation. It was so marked
it led to me avoiding sex for long periods. This created conflict
as my body/psyche drove toward sex, and restraint caused
irritability in various directions.
The dream lucidity came at a time when I was avoiding any sexual
contact with my wife. In the lucid state I clearly saw what was
happening and managed to shift my attitude to allow a flow of
warmth and sexuality to my wife.
However, that didn’t heal the underlying problem of tiredness. I
only moved on from what when I learned the yogic technique of non-
ejaculation during sex.
Being born two months premature I think I have a very low energy
threshold. It feels like having little money in the bank, and any
expenditure tips me over into the red.
Not much sex in my life now anyway as I live alone.
As ever – Tony
Just wanted to let you know I did receive your 2 e-mails from a few
days ago, and have not had sufficient time to think how to respond to
both of your e-mails. But, I’ll try now, as it’s quiet and restful
This one sentence of yours: “This created conflict as my body/psyche
drove toward sex, and restraint caused irritability in various
directions.” says so much. So, if you don’t mind me rephrasing it
for my own understanding, the irritation was not so much directed at
your wife than that it was at being directed in so many different
directions. By a shift of attitude (gained from lucidity) you were
able to overcome this irritability and restraint and let the warm
emotions flow. That’s powerful! And you also continued to work with
your sexuality to overcome the fatigue that occurred after you
experienced sex, which was successful through a yogic technique. It
sounds like so much discipline, motivation and dedication were needed
to achieve such a state, for both your emotional self and your
physical self. How intricately they work, as you well know. Thank-
you for sharing that; I sensed there was quite a lot to that quote
I stopped in a gallery today to see the work of one of my art colleagues this morning. She wrote in her statement: “…In time I stopped resisting the emotional journey I was on and allowed myself to be where I was and go where I was going. I knew from experience that when all my energy is going unsuccessfully into resistance, it is better to surrender. I gave in and trusted, as best I could, my journey and myself. In doing so, space opened up within the turmoil, providing a portal to move through.”
I quote her because of the word “resistant”. That part of us, whether from body, from soul, or from spirit, holds us back from living a fully authentic life. I can feel it in myself, experience it when I resist the places where the dream winds want to take me. I hold out hope that eventually I, too, will learn to have that shift in attitude, to allow the full flow of feelings in body and soul.
I am reminded of something Patricia Garfield wrote in one of her early books – something to the effect that her belief was that lucidity was somehow orgasm. Or somehow linked to it. But seeing that you had your lucidity during a celibate period tends to make me think that perhaps that’s not the case. Or, I lack the understanding of what she meant when she wrote that and/or I do not understand the similarities between orgasm and lucidity. I am resistant to writing this next part of this sentence (due to restraints, upbringing, prudishness, etc) so here goes: I don’t experience either lucidity (except the one time I blinked my eyes and woke up). Thus, I have thought (perhaps incorrectly) that if I don’t “achieve” one I won’t “achieve” the other. Or if I achieve one I have a chance of achieving the other. Perhaps “achievement” is the wrong word, ”experience” being better, experiencing due to surrender.
As far as your questions about how I am doing with the exercises in Lucid Dreaming, in particular the slow breath: I am fortunate in that I have practiced relaxation techniques for many years, and am able to slow down my breathing during relaxation/meditation. As I pay attention to my heart rate, I can feel it beat slower. I am consciously trying to slow the breath during periods of anxiousness and to be aware of my breathing (or in my case at certain times, restriction of breath) as I go about my day. I do find that meditation has allowed me to be better prepared for the emotional assaults I’ve had to endure these past two or three months (from a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and from a sister ill-prepared to deal with it all), and meditation has been a great, great relief. I am discovering there are many variations of meditation, and am a little stumped as to which practice is the best for me to follow
(third eye, breathing, Christian meditation, etc). So, I continue to Relax body and mind and slow the breath.
The one exercise I do find difficult (and perhaps it’s not surprising) is the carving in space. I feel awkward doing that exercise, that I don’t know where my body is going with it nor can I tell what symbols/shapes my arms/body is forming in mid-air.
Something “I can’t grasp”. Which reminds me of another dream, but I’ll leave that for later.
Tonight I am going to The Dream Institute in Berkeley to an Open Forum led by Kelly Bulkeley on The Four Elements in dreams. I look forward to hearing and interacting with whatever group will be there.
Take care, Emily
March 26th 2008
Emily – Once again, what an interesting email. Thank you for trusting me with the things you said. It is always a privilege to share someone’s life even in small measure.
Some people are extraordinarily lucky or blessed in that they have a healthy emotional, physical and sexual life. But they often cannot imagine how anyone can have difficulties with something so simple – simple for them that is.
In my case nobody I spoke to would even accept that exhaustion could follow ejaculation. I often wept at feeling so inadequate.
My own struggles led me to many insights I would never otherwise have arrived at. One of the things I noticed in the teaching of the New Testament is that the Christ particularly reached out to those who were not ‘normal’. What I gradually understood from this is that the normal, those functioning healthily and easily in life, often do not develop beyond that condition. Whereas the hurt or skewed find there are other dimension of experience to live in. The following is from my journal when I was exploring and deeply intuitive.
Talking was quite difficult as this point, but I said that I had seen that it is usually the hurt and broken people who look for an alternative to everyday life. After all, normal life is a tragedy for them. If a person is content with the usual round of things however, they have little inclination to search for alternatives, and the experience of the transcendental is an alternative – a possibility humans can find. My own pain in sexual and personal experience probably triggered my own search.
Emily – someone has just phoned me so I will continue later.
As ever – Tony
March 28th 2008
You’re links to the two pieces of writing you sent were apropos yesterday. I am a mentor for a 14-year old girl who is going to be confirmed this year. She is struggling with her faith, or rather lack of it. I had the image of the seed (that you write about for the seed meditation) in mind, and was able to suggest she think about the where the energy in that seed comes from, what that life force is which determines how that seed grows. In addition, one of the (sometimes silly) questions/sentence completion exercises in the book we use for study asks “I believe creation….” and she immediately said “started with The Big Bang”. I asked her what preceded The Big Bang and she said another Big Bang. I think she paused long enough to realize there was something prior to The Big Bang that even she cannot understand. So, thank you for that reminder in your link “I Don’t Believe in God, I Know God”.
The “I’m not Normal” brought up all kinds of things for me. In 12-Step programs, “normies” (a term I dislike), is used by (mostly) the early recovering addicts/alcoholics. They say “Normies don’t experience what recovering alcoholics and addicts do, thus they can’t understand what the addict/alcoholic goes through and are thus of no help”. So, there is the belief that only other alcoholics/addicts can help those who still suffer. I have to ask people with this frame of mind “Is your pastor an alcoholic? Your mother? Your favorite teacher? Any of your siblings? You don’t think they have an iota of grace to help you through this?”
I’ve had to think about people who do try to travel the path to greater self-awareness versus those who don’t. I believe that those who are consumed by consumerism, evil, violence, etc. are the still-wounded ones who have not yet found the path to that peace within. Their lack of personal understanding and self-love have not yet brought them to the depths of despair needed to seek help from Grace or God or the Universe. Many of them, sadly, will never reach this point.
The bigger question for me right now is, “Why do some of us get on this path and others don’t?” And I find part of the answer in your words “Perhaps those you see quietly dying around you didn’t have the courage to feel the agony of that”. I take only part of the quote, because I think I believe many of these people don’t die quietly. They take others down with them. I don’t see it in my neighbors, I see it in my immediate family. Why I am the only one of 4 children to seek a spiritual path, and not the other three, who are all self-destructing and hence negatively impacting the rest of their family, which they can’t see? It is my biggest unanswered question right now.
Last night I heard a man give a presentation on “dream interpretation”. I wasn’t that impressed by him for many reasons, but one thing I did get out of the evening was a reassurance that whatever bad stuff we did in the past can and is made up for by the good karma we put out in the world today. So, those of us who were caught up immersed in the land mines of life and were able to traverse through those fields and safely make it out, can turn around and help de-fuse the remaining bombs by our prayers, our self-love, our acceptance of others, and by forgiveness. This will make it easier for others to get through.
Finally, I also want to say I really liked your Weekly Feature “Interpretation, Passions and Core Experiences in Dream Work” – I believe it was from last week. The words you use are the ones I couldn’t quite express when I told my dream group Projective Group work was not working for me. It hadn’t been for a long time. So, I e-mailed the link to them all. I hope they were able to read it.
Well, I’ve gone overboard again.
March 29th 2008
Hi Emily – Your emails are always so interesting and thoughtful.
The girl of fourteen seems to be a young woman of the future – to already make the universal connection instead of falling back on doctrine and cultural indoctrination. It sounds as if she will, with the sort of guidance you are giving her, find her own faith.
Yes, what I wrote about not wanting to be normal is a bit one sided perhaps. It burst out of me from exploring a very powerful dream the day before. From the work emerged a great many things that had remained unconscious from my teenage years. We are all so rich with experience and some of those riches or things realised from my past arose, particularly in regard to how I had killed a beautiful part of myself. I had met this theme before many years ago, but such things are full of life and further creativity.
Did you ever look at Meeting with Christ? I describe the first meeting with how I had killed myself in there.
I’m not sure about people who don’t feel that connection with their own Life. I often used to think about my father who had no such beliefs or convictions. I thought what a hero he was in some ways to meet life without any sense of its wonder. My youngest son and I were exploring our experience and feelings about this a few days ago. What I personally concluded was connected with the human situation. This arose because my son Quentin was telling how defensive materialists seemed to be about what they believed. What I have seen is that the human experience of self awareness is an incredibly new and fragile thing. It has only arisen in the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, and is not well established. If you look around you will see that masses of people – i.e. their self aware ego – break down, or manage to carry on using antidepressants, alcohol, nicotine or street drugs. Even when people do not actually go down under the difficulty of being self aware, a huge percentage of people are heavily defended. Having worked as a therapist, a lot of the work with people is to help them gradually melt their defenses, or as Freud called it, their resistances. If you ever get time, read the book Myself and I, where the woman describes the huge struggle with her ‘resistances’ as she moves toward being able to achieve an orgasm, do so.
The story of Adam and Eve is a wonderful parable of this struggle. In the beginning the human creatures – Adam is a plural word in Hebrew – were directly aware of the divine. Then they achieved self awareness – Aisha/Eve – which was part of their potential, so they could have a will of their own instead of being only directed by the divine. That cut them off from the awareness of the divine, as shown by the expulsion from the garden. Then they hid from the awareness of God – their defences.
Some researchers into the human psyche and its evolution think that when humans first experienced self awareness they were frightened of being swallowed up again into the hugeness of that prior condition. They concluded that from studying primitive tribe’s people who had very little self awareness.
So coming back to why some and not others, I guess there are lots of possible causes. Some are just healthy and have no desire to find anything else. Some are heavily defended. Some people’s relationship to pain or tribulation is to blame everybody else, so they can never move on from there. To open to another influence for some is incredibly threatening. Some people are so incredibly bent on doing exactly what they want to without any care for others, considering a higher power is like being destroyed.
I believe there is a very new paradigm emerging, and most people simple float in the waters of the cultural paradigm – which at present is materialism – so in most cases that is all it is. With the shift in a fundamental paradigm they will float into a new view of life and death. Cultural paradigms are very comfortable to be part of. You are amidst the majority and will fight to remain comfortable.
Thanks for telling me about Interpretation, Passions, etc. I read it again. It was something I wrote a while ago. Did you follow the link to the worked on dream? That was a wonderful experience, and although it is from 11 or more years ago, when I read it again yesterday I realised what a wonderful description it is of the inner journey I have taken since then.
Now – orgasm. I have had a relationship with several women who have never in their life had an orgasm. It seems to be fairly common. One of those women I loved very much and she did have an orgasm. From what I learned it seemed in her case that her male partners didn’t give her long enough to reach her wonder.
But that doesn’t always seem to be the case. Another friend has had a multitude of lovers and still has had no orgasm. However, she does have very marked and powerful feelings about uncleanliness and was potty trained. A very early training to control the bladder and bowel can lead to not being able to really let go in that area. This was the problem with the woman in Myself and I. She had to learn to be ready to wet herself as the pleasure built. The friend with the many lovers admitted to me that when she got near to orgasm once she felt she would wet and mess herself.
That doesn’t usually happen, but it does feel like that, and fear of it would cause a clamp down.
Have you watched the film Kinsey? There is an interesting interview with a woman near the end who had never experienced orgasm until her fifties I think it was. She had arrived at it through learning to gradually release herself through masturbation.
I guess learning to tense and release the genital and anus might help to slowly release tensions.
Just a guess – Tony
April 4th 2008
Thank you for the thoughtfulness and time you took in regards to the
last e-mail you sent. As usual, I need to take time to process all
that you say and to review the various writings you lead me towards.
So, I was able to print out and read “Meetings with Christ” as well
as to order the book Myself and I (thank-you for all your comments on
this issue). I look forward to reading the book.
I know I’ve carried a circle of defensiveness/resistances around my
own being, and it took a while for me to see that not only was I not
able to express love to others, but also that love from others wasn’t
able to get through to me. That has changed so much for the better now.
I didn’t follow the link from Interpretation, Passions, and Core
Experiences to the “explored dream” as I had printed out the article
and read it when I was traveling. I recently tried to search your
site for the link, but couldn’t find it. Would it still be published
on your site? If so, I would very much like to read it.
A question that arises for me is how do you experience your
“experiences”? I read Meetings with Christ and I feel I am drawn into
another universe or reality. The experience sounds like a dream, or
drug-induced imagery, or a trance, or a powerful and other -worldly
meditation. I am fascinated by your experiences, and have not met
anyone else who experiences the same or who so powerfully writes
about them. So, whatever this experience is, it seems to assist in
increasing your awareness of all that is in you and outside in the
The last few pages in Meeting with Christ are so uplifting to read.
Well, the whole piece is. I am reminded of a time I realized God was
bigger than what I could realize. Your being able to merge with
Christ, with the otherness, with seeing he was the totality of human
experience. All that you write about this meeting; it gives me hope.
This shift of self-awareness, the way out of the cultural paradigm of
materialism (or fear, or lack of self-knowledge or lack of “true”
spiritual and emotional guidance) is so important to our collective
spiritual growth and to the survival of our planet. Seeing the shadow
in ourselves is so threatening, and it’s easier to hide one’s head in
the sand. I see more and more how people project their worst aspects
onto others, and so I usually ask myself when in that judgement mode,
“What part of this is me?”.
I suppose the most we can do at the moment is to do our best on our
individual journeys of self-growth and awareness and bring that
aspect of this awareness as is indicated to others (through writings,
art, dreams, etc) and perhaps most importantly of all, be aware of
God as in us and through us and surrounding us. Carry that light,
which as you experienced, others can see and celebrate with a hug.
April 4th 2008
Hi Emily – Just a brief reply as I am trying to get a book ready for publication but am fascinated as usual by your questions. To quote you: A question that arises for me is how do you experience your “experiences”?
I think a turning point occurred when I was working as a photographer in London at about the age of 25, and was all alone in a darkroom. I had been puzzling about the symbolism of the Virgin Mary, and suddenly felt that it represented the ‘virgin mind’. In other words a state of mind that did not hold fast to its convictions or beliefs, but instead was virginal and ready to conceive of the new. In the case of Mary she is shown as offering herself without preconceptions and with all her heart and body to the invisible that gives life.
Having realised that – the plates I was developing were now in the fixer and I had time just to be – I wondered what would happen if I myself tried to be just like Mary, offering my being wholeheartedly and virginally to the unseen. Immediately I had images of a young woman I knew like a vision, and as if a new slide had been put in a projector, then an image of a baby with a crown on its head. This was so extraordinary I didn’t know what to make of it. But it seemed to be telling me that the daughter of a friend of mine was pregnant and she would give birth to a boy who was a ‘special child’ – more aware than usual.
About a fortnight later I had to phone the mother of the girl, and after we had finished our business together I asked her if her daughter was pregnant. She immediately laughed and I asked her why she laughed. She said she didn’t know if her daughter was pregnant, but her daughter was at the doctor’s at that moment to find out. The daughter later gave birth to a son.
In the book I am preparing I came across this passage that explains it.
This is a process that arises from the unconscious that most people do not know how to allow or work with, though Jung has described it well enough, and ancient cultures knew and used it. It is the action of the dream–forming process emerging into waking consciousness. It emerges because the conscious mind takes on a listening and non–interfering attitude. Just as the dream process, while active in sleep produces spontaneous speech, movements and drama, so, by taking on a passive receptive attitude of body and mind, this process is allowed while awake, and produces similar actions.
This involves spontaneous body movements, feelings and vocalisation, expressing themes and drama just as dreams do. It is a form of waking lucid dreaming. It is by no means something only known in present times. If you consider the function of the dream process in the light of what has just been described, what was the Pentecostal experience if not a breakthrough of unconscious material into awareness? It was a breakthrough occurring because the group took on a surrendered and receptive attitude to what they called the Holy Spirit.
The group I was part of all gave themselves to the unseen as fully as they could.
As ever – Tony
[i] Seitai as practised in Japan ; Shaktipat in India ; Subud in Indonesia and the Pentecostal experience of the early Christians are all examples of this ability to be awake and meet the process of dreaming.
On Apr 5, 2008, at 1:06 PM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Emily- Today I watched the film Black Hawk Down. It was about the terrible genocide and war in Somalia some years ago. The death and killing led me to a strangely positive feeling that is an echo of what you say at the end. “I suppose the most we can do at the moment is to do our best on our individual journeys.”
I feel it is about living as fully as possible, and letting our life shine out as much as we can.
I wrote the following to a friend.
It leaves in my mind not despair, but a few words from the New Testament -
For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always.
On the surface it is about Jesus – but underneath that veneer it is about
the possibility of joy and love and all manner of things we can express,
share and give to each other if we do not hold back and bemoan that we will
Yesterday I was reading through Eye of Dreams and came upon a piece just
like that – I am a wonderful animal so full of the music of life. I can
laugh and cry, dance and be still. I can love and shout out with the wonder
of it, and I can know fear and hurt. I can be amazed and curious, touching
the world to sense it, and I can stand before life both bewildered and in
awe and in love.
Today life is still with me, and I will play its music as fully as I can.
As ever – Tony
April 6th 2008
Thanks for taking the time to write at such a busy time for you. I hope all goes well with the publication of your new book – I look forward to reading it.
An intuition struck me to pull up a poem or two I had written long ago. I think they speak to what you write about here, and so I’ll include them at the end of this e-mail – one responds to the pains in life, and I realized the other one speaks to living a life of joy. I send them as they are already written, already verbalized.
If Christ and his pain and suffering is at one level, then through his healings/teachings/dreams/spiritual practices we can experience pure joy. I am reminded of those who were healed by Christ to be so joyful in spirit (and grateful) after. To have their potential given back to them and once whole, they were joyous.
I am also reminded that Mary said “Yes” to the archangel without any hesitation at all. To fully integrate that moment, that request, to give the world the life of Jesus.
I appreciate your former e-mail in regards to your “experiences”. If it refers to Jung’s Active Imagination (and I will be reading your selection on Active Imagination more carefully), I must say people here in California (in my experience) do not give this process proper justice. In my experience with projective groups, the dreamer may be asked to “play a certain character or object” (but be asked to play one of another’s choice, not so much have the dreamer have the choice), but the process isn’t taken to the levels I think can be reached. I think what I am trying to say is that, myself included, people need to be more fully trained and initiated, so-to-speak, in leading or facilitating dream groups; or, they need to be more cognizant of what Jung meant when he used this term, active imagination. It’s not something you understand in two or three sentences or squirm through quickly in a dream group.
And as I write this, I wanted to tell you I’ve invited some people from my (former) projective dream group to come by next week and work a dream or two using your guidelines of peer group dream work. They have been e-mailed the link to your web site, and hopefully all will have read your article. I think back on how we worked my dream, and so appreciate again that you took the time to do so with me. Perhaps this is part of the unfolding of the same dream – I am leading people to a different group process, which may or may not work for them. I miss being part of a dream group, and maybe this will be the beginning of a new one.
I must be off – we are heading out tomorrow on a short road trip into California wildflower areas. Not a stellar year for wildflowers, but pretty enough to pack up the cameras and be off.
Thanks again for everything!
QUIET DREAMS RUN STILL THE AIR
Deserted passion sulks
beneath the crested wave
lost hope drifts
with flickering ash
smoke before dawn
Strandless dreams dream
Beyond ocean’s shore
emergence of another deathborn
seeping mother’s milk
spills warm upon the flesh
Unopened eyes weep
silence cleanses birth
running waters cool
Quiet dreams run still the air
The other is directly from a dream:
Rest at the Watering Hole
I stand in fields of childhood
Smell grasses, hold sparkling quartz stones
in my small hand. I
breathe in the spaciousness
of this sunny afternoon.
Silently and slowly, wild animals appear
gorillas, giraffes, beaver, boars,
antelopes, apes and more.
They are not frightened to see me,
as they make their way to the watering hole,
a glistening pool upon my right.
I watch them, quiet in their sight.
Suddenly, they start to play
hide-and-seeking, leaping frog, back-flipping in the air.
I raise my arms and catch their spirits
joining them now in
rejoicing, refreshing, renewing
along the water’s edge.
April 11th 2008
Hi Emily – Your two poems express to me something of the polarities of life you can experience. What led you to the first one?
I believe if we allow each of these to be felt deeply it leads to the fullness of who we are. I have been writing about The Great and Ancient Secret recently. In the end it seems to me to be so simple, and it is often presented as so complex and needing special instructions or teachers. But it is the old, old story. The Secret is what we are born as and with, and it then gradually gets buried, denied, crucified. Being lost we then search for ourselves everywhere else, but if we dare to feel our passions, if we dare to really love, as challenging or painful as that might be to start with, then we arrive at who we really are. Everything else follows. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven – “The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you, not in buildings of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and you’ll find me, lift a stone and I’m there”.
As you say – If Christ and his pain and suffering is at one level, then through his healings/teachings/dreams/spiritual practices we can experience pure joy. I am reminded of those who were healed by Christ to be so joyful in spirit (and grateful) after. To have their potential given back to them. And once whole, they were joyous.
And I believe it is the allowing into our life of Life/Christ knocking on our door, asking us to accept our own innate wonder and creativity that heals our blindness, our paralysis, our deadness. It is not happening two thousand years ago, it is happening now. So who is that knocking on your door?
I am really looking forward to hearing how your dream group goes. Don’t get too locked into theory – even the stuff I have presented. It is a way to help people discover and unfold the treasure they hold within. Like the prince who goes to waken the Sleeping Beauty, cut through all the brambles and confusion that beauty is surrounded by. Wake it up. Help them to be daring enough to feel their own depths and heights.
I am not sure if this means anything to you, but I believe the quickening is upon us. The world and people are reaching a turning point. Life needs all those who open to it to help the process. Veils are falling away.
You know I am here if you need support.
April 12th 2008
Good to hear back from you! About the first poem, if you asked me
what prompted it when I wrote it (in my mid-20′s) I would have told
you it was a reaction to the knowledge that a relationship I was in
was about to terminate, and it was breaking up because I was the one
who “wasn’t enough”. Today I can tell you the impetus for the poem
was really all the sorrows in my life up to that point. The poem
represents the grief and loss and abandonment feelings that had
started when I was a teenager: the death of a boyfriend, the death of
a brother, to name two of them. (Actually, it started much earlier
now that I’ve given this more thought, but I think you have the gist
of what prompted the poem.) I wrote it on a train from Providence RI
to Boston, MA after visiting with this person for the weekend. The
relationship was over soon thereafter – well, if you could call it a
relationship at all, looking back on it….I didn’t have a clue what
it meant to be in relationship with anyone, including God.
Yes, I can relate to burying and denying my soul its life, and the long, lost search for myself in everyone and everything around me. (I no longer have a need to do that, for which I am eternally grateful.) I am beginning to believe more and more we lack spiritual teachers, or access to spiritual teachers and spiritual seekers. Those who can help us learn to love. I think that’s where the Stillness comes in - our souls need that space in order to be able to feel those passions and pains of love and living and dying. As well as the needed time for reflection in those spaces. To give space for the Universe to become alive in us; if I understand the Secret correctly. So, I read through your chapters on your website about the Secret, and learn more. I understand more.
Who is that knocking at my door? I am learning to answer that knock, or should I say, open that door, slowly but surely.
The dream group will meet here Monday evening. Thank you for your
words: “It is a way to help people discover and unfold the treasure
they hold within. Like the prince who goes to waken the Sleeping
Beauty, cut through all the brambles and confusion that beauty is
surrounded by. Wake it up. Help them to be daring enough to feel
their own depths and heights.” I am beginning to wonder how many of
us are able to be that daring? Does that not open up the Universe as
Finally, I am part way into the book “Myself and I”. I find it
fascinating, almost overwhelming in the unfolding of her images and
their connections to each other. Yes, I do have a new appreciation
for the strength of Resistances. Thank you for referring it to me.
I am not familiar with the quickening. When you have time, please
write more about that. I sense it’s good thing, the veils falling
away. People becoming more self-aware?
April 15th 2008
I wanted to write and let you know how well the peer dream group went
tonight, especially as the feelings we experienced were and are so
positive and so powerful. The kind that keeps you up for hours. There
were three women total tonight. Although I had expected a larger
group and was disappointed when two people didn’t show, I knew that
we could process a dream with the three of us.
Writing this is like writing a dream right now – it’s hard to capture
the fluidity of the evening, the flow of the feelings, the surfacing
of the feelings and the recognition of the life circumstance(s) of
the dreamer because she was allowed “to rest” in those feelings.
Two of us had your steps of the peer group process, and its flow was
a great help. It seemed natural to move from one step to the next,
and I must say the dreamer had little difficulty imagining herself as
the two objects she chose to be (she later said it was like being in
therapy in that a therapist would be the one to ask the questions to
sit with). We worked on the one dream, and had time to work through
two of her images in the dream.
It was a rich dream, and we know we only were able to touch on those
two parts, but those two parts were so meaningful for her. I think
the most enriching part of the evening, for me, was to see her gain
insight as she was describing herself as an image in the dream. It
was watching the change on her face, the way she was suddenly not
speaking anymore. She saw meaning so clearly, so deeply. In the end,
she was comforted by the dream, and knew it “told” her she was ready
for this circumstance in her life. She felt at peace. She “felt her
depths”. Her whole demeanour relaxed.
After the dream work, we spent a lot of time discussing how we all
felt during the process. For none of us had this experience before.
Three important points about the process came up for the dreamer. The
first was that the asking of the questions was extremely important.
The dreamer stated she never would have thought to have asked herself
the questions we asked her. Secondly, the dreamer was grateful for
the time she had to be the image in the dream and to stay with it. It
enabled her to see it and feel it and learn what it was. And the
third comment was the listeners’ reflections back to her as it
enabled her to hear what she said, and to hear what she said with
someone else using slightly different words than she used. That was
powerful for her.
The other listener and I felt under no pressure at all. It was
freeing for us to focus on the dreamer and the dream image. For in
projective work, as the non-dreamer, it takes time and work to feel
the dream as one’s own and to come up with one’s projections. The
two of us as listeners were aware of how much we were not projecting,
but I think we did well in not putting our own ideas about the dream
into play. It wasn’t necessary to the process.
Finally, we discussed more about how this compared to our experience
of projective group work, and we all came away with feeling that it
was much more focused for both the dreamer and the listeners.
However, as there are plenty of groups in this area that focus on
projective work (which some of us will attend from time to time), we
made another date to continue and form a dream group using your
guidelines, your stuff, or whatever it is to be called. We liked it.
For the first try at this, I am very pleased. Assured.
Thanks for being there for me and us!
April 16th 2008
Hi Emily –I haven’t forgotten you asked about the Quickening.
One of the ways that I think clearly is by writing, and I have been writing about this lately so my thinking – not the right word, it should be intuitions – are still clarifying.
Perhaps this is the meanderings of an old man, and if so they are meanderings that have gradually developed and clarified over the past few years.
Where to start? Maybe on something that is observable. For instance, I was born just before the Second World War. It was a very different world back then; different social world, different physical world, different technology. I became a vegetarian and health food convert when I was 15. It was something that was freaky at the time and there were almost no shops, even in London, and no restaurants, apart from one, to serve that need. I have watched a huge transformation take place, as slower as an incoming tide, but nevertheless very definite. Even our local supermarkets now have vegetarian foods, organic goods, and cater for what used to be outlandish individuals.
That similar enormous change is going on in another way. A massive paradigm shift is occurring as well. Excuse me if I state some things you already know but I need to lay the foundation for what I am going to say.
During the 19th century the common paradigm or world view was that described by the physics of the time. It seemed to know all the answers, saw the atom as the fundamental form of matter, and thus stated there was nothing beyond the physical form. This led to a view of the world we called materialism. The materialistic viewpoint was a paradigm. So many people lived it and believed it that it had immense influence on individuals, and still does. It more or less created or helped create the way they saw the world and how they related to life events. As Wikipedia reports, “Lord Kelvin famously stated, ‘There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement’.” But in 1906 Max Planck published what has come to be known as his quantum theory. This, with Einstein’s theory of relativity and all that arose from them, revolutionised physics and created a huge paradigm shift; one that is still only slowly entering general personal awareness. From this new paradigm the atom was by no means the fundamental particle. Human observation or consciousness was seen to be a powerful factor in how sub atomic particles manifested.
The paradigm shift is much more than one from materialism to the acceptance of a very strange and paradoxical universe. It is bringing with it massive changes in human values and people’s relationship with politics and what they want in their nations.
A little while ago I had a lucid experience in which I saw that this paradigm is not simply acting on us from external means and through information or what we read. It is an actual force acting on people while they sleep. If this is correct it suggests a tremendous tidal change in the world.
But there are so many other things acting at the same time. We are on the edge of an enormous change in the impact of technology upon human individuals.
But my sense of the Quickening also includes things that cannot be explained in quite that way. Some years ago I had a number of experiences that seemed to be showing me that some form of intelligence was acting upon my body and my mind, changing it. At the time it was very powerfully, and like being thrown on the floor. Literary I was knocked down on my knees. When I asked for understanding as to what was happening, I was given to understand that patterns that lead to some types of human behaviour were being changed in me. I was also told that it is happening to many people in the world today. Life, God, is moving toward something, is preparing for something. It is getting certain people ready for particular action.
That was back in 2003, and a lot more has happened since then. Just recently the whole sense of it has developed further, and the Quickening now is that tremendous energies are at work on the world and in society. Humanity is at a crossroads. Enormous numbers of people are changing and need help with that change and growth. Veils that clouded people’s perception in the past are falling away. The action of life upon our personal awareness is getting more distinct. Life is calling those who are listening into action of one sort or another.
And that is about as clear as I can make it at present.
As ever – Tony
April 15th 2008
Emily – What a thrill it is to read your account of the group.
I am not sure if I have covered this ground before, but I have lived like a semi hermit for the past seven years. Although that has been and still is good, I miss being involved and teaching. I know I do that via what I write, and in communicating as with yourself, but there are still missing elements. So reading what you said gave me tremendous pleasure, almost like being there.
Thank you – Tony
April 17th 2008
I want to first say it was a pleasure for me to retell the events of the dream group to you! I’m so glad you felt like you were there, which is why I e-mailed you so soon after – so that the feelings of the evening would freely flow. I’m happy that the experience touched you as it did. I will be more than glad to e-mail and let you know how various groups go – I’m sure each would be different, but each have its own specialness.
I left teaching after 15 years, and for two years afterwards I experienced an occasional crying dream because I was no longer in the classroom. Being in a dream group was a good place for me to land. Being involved in dream work is also a good place for me to be.
Last night I had the occasion to have a cup of coffee with one of the members of the dream group who wasn’t able to attend group (this sort of made up for the fact that he was a no show!). We discussed the dream work that was done, and another interesting discovery was made. It had to do with taking on the image as it is in the dream. He recollected how in a projective group last year, he had taken on the role of a character, but it was how she appeared in waking life, not in the dream life. He knew it would have been very different had he entered the dream and took on the character as she appeared in the dream. I’m not sure if this is a nuance or a misunderstanding or a flaw in the way people are being trained in projective work. Or none of the above.
Now, the Quickening. I have to admit it is something that has been outside of my personal awareness. What you write gives me a lot to think about. Don’t ask me why, but one thing that came immediately to mind is that of fractals. It’s a topic more than a bit beyond me, but it’s about math and symmetry – or, one definition being “the whole has the shape of its parts”. The more you magnify the image (of a snowflake or a fern, for example) you can see how it repeats its structure over and over again, to infinity I suppose if we could see that far. To me, the macrocosm and microcosm unite. I was reminded of it because of the atom you mention. I am also reminded that all solid objects are made of atoms, thus nothing is really solid.
But I digress, if these changes are indeed happening to people through dreams or otherwise, I am both fearful and excited. It’s quite extraordinary that Life is acting both through us and on us. Or maybe not extraordinary at all. Do you know of others who have had the experiences you are having and can they make sense of it?
You speak of tidal waves and I recall a tidal wave dream I had about 3 years ago. I lived through not one, but two tidal waves, and got out of my (space capsule!) and ended up at Grace’s house. Her house was on the shore of the ocean, with the fresh smell and colors of a thunderstorm which had just passed. But this comes to mind because you refer to tidal waves in your e-mail. I seem to be doing more free associating than adding to this conversation. I apologize.
I will need to read what your wrote more, and let it sink in. The experiences you are having are extraordinary to me; you have such sensitivity and receptivity to these lucid and other experiences. You seem to gain so much insight – why aren’t more people as tuned in as you are?
It’s late again. I need to stop!
April 17th 2008
Emily – About the dream image being entered as it is in the dream, Jung was very clear about that, and that is where I got that piece of insight from. So I don’t know why people are not aware of it. An oversight though as the dream characters or objects often have marked differences. So if one were writing something it would be like, Susan was lovely today and she told me she is going to have a second child. So that is Susan as we know her. But if it came out Susan was lovely today and she was fretting because she has never been able to have a child – why would the dream create such a difference unless it wants express something different?
If you left teaching 15 years ago how old are you? You sounded so young on the phone. Not only young, but when we tried the sounds and you actually did it I was surprised because many people can’t let themselves go into the ridiculous, and I thought that was young and explorative.
And that is partly the answer to your question, “why aren’t more people as tuned in?”
Many people cannot move out of a set pattern of behaviours. Any new type of behaviour confronting the causes them to pull back. But there are many factors here.
In thinking about it now, it seems almost as if there is a magic door so invisible to most people they honestly are convinced it is not there so why be ridiculous and try to open it? This is like believing in Santa Claus and fairies – “I don’t need those sorts of crazy childish beliefs to sustain me.”
Also the door opens when we stop trying to do something and learn to watch and listen. And that is so foreign to the way people are told or learn to deal with everyday life. Years ago I taught a group in a small rural village how they might open that door. It wasn’t a very successful group as I now see I was trying to show them too much. However, afterwards a woman came to me and said, “Thank you. Before we did these things I never knew I had an inner life. Now I have found it I feel so different.”
However, in another group one woman was deeply experiencing spontaneous movement and sound within minutes. I thought what an amazing talent she had for it. But suddenly she sat up – they had been lying on the floor – and said firmly, “This is against my religion” and walked out there and then. I think she thought she was possessed.
Another factor is that many people don’t know how to be excited – excitation – and allow emotions and sound. The New Testament tells it all. If we leave aside the name of Jesus and call it Life – ones own inner wonder – then look at how people deny it, crucify it, wash their hands of connection with it, try to deal with it through rules and regulations, laws and authorities, argue with it intellectually. But how beautiful too that some wash its feet with their hair and love it as only a woman can love. Some kneel before it to be healed, or are in awe and listen to its teachings.
I fell in love with It Emily. I didn’t know at the time I was falling in love. And I weep now when I think of the wonder and the pain the love brought. Some of that story you read in Meetings With Christ when love tore me to pieces to be remade.
Also I am perhaps a little crazy. I wanted to be with that Love as often and in any way I could. I was desperate to be healed and I longed to learn from it. So I did everything I had heard or read might bring that about. I meditated and prayed for hours a day – I can’t remember the 60′s much because I was so interior. I fasted, I did crazy yoga things, and when I was offered LSD to try with RD Laing the psychiatrist I took it twice. What a revelation. Because of all the prior work I broke right through to see what were the underlying principles and why I had been so trapped in a bog. So I practiced what I had learned for eight years and broke through all by myself – with a lot of help from loving friends.
Now I see there are simpler and more direct ways than I knew then. Sometimes I imagine the me now talking to me as a young 18 year old and pointing the way. Maybe it happens, as I certainly was led to certain books and experiences that were enormous guides – and dreams of course. And I met God in the second LSD – about three times actually in different guises (the god of a thousand faces). God said to me so clearly – if you come to me each day like this – in surrender – I will grow you until I know myself in you. That promise still lives in me.
Sorry to go on so long. I just love your questions and writing about them clarifies them for me.
As ever – Tony
Emily – I was looking on Google to see if anyone else was writing about The Quickening.
There are a few, sometimes calling it other names. I see Eckhart Tolle has just published another book about it.
Surprised though to see I have a page on my site that I did ages ago - http://www.dreamhawk.com/quickening.htm
It wasn’t as clear to me then as now. Some brain cells have fallen asleep.
April 17th 2008
I don’t know why people aren’t aware of the differences either
between engaging the character in the dream and not outside of the
dream. I understand exactly what you are saying in terms of the dream
character/object expressing something different than in waking life.
All I can say right now is that in my experience in various
projective groups, people don’t seem to play out the character as if
it or themselves are in the dream. They will imagine the character
and speak and dialogue with it, but I really do believe when they do
so it’s done from the waking life viewpoint but inside the dream. I
don’t know if that makes sense. It could be that little time is
given to the dreamer to engage in this or any other internal process
in projective work. Or, it could be many times the question is asked
“Pretend I am from Mars. Tell me what such-and-such is”. The dreamer
then describes the such-and-such object in terms of waking life.
Most of the people in the projective groups here in the San Francisco
Bay Area have attended seminars/classes/workshops by Jeremy Taylor,
myself included. I was also a TA for him in three of his workshops/
classes. I had never considered this dynamic in quite this way
before. Yes, many times people imagine the object or character, but
solely in terms waking life experience and not engaging in
interacting with the other dream images. But I will run this by
Jeremy – I will see him this summer at the Haden Institute
hadeninstitute.com Summer Dream Conference in June. I have never been
there, but decided to spend a week there rather than go to the IASD
Conference in Montreal asdreams.org. I don’t know much about the
Haden Institute and only know 2 of the teachers there, Jeremy and
Robert Hoss, but I think if you ever wanted to get back and involved
in teaching, this institute may be a right place for you to start.
Not so much that you need them, but that they need you!
The more I think about it, the more I believe the projective process
doesn’t give the dreamer this time to explore the inner characters of
the dream. That’s why I wrote earlier that I needed more training in
working with dreams or facilitating dream groups.
I have wished that your books were more well-read and known here.
Jeremy is re-publishing “When People Fly and Water Runs Uphill”. He
sent out an e-mail for books to include in his bibliography and I
gave him your name and some of your book titles and I believe I may
have given him the link to your website. I hope he will reference
your books. I also include your books on my resource list when people
want books to read about dreams. I think people think I’m nuts when I
start to talk about your books before they haven’t heard of you! But
you’ve been writing longer than any of the authors most of us are
familiar with, and you have such extensive knowledge and wisdom, as
well as so well-read. For example, I read Hadfield’s book “Dreams and
Nightmares” based on your high recommendation of it in Do You Dream,
I believe it was. Why have I not heard of this little book since? I
think it’s the history of dream research that is getting lost or
overlooked. I don’t believe Van de Castle notes this book in Our
Dreaming Mind. My point being you are a tremendous resource and
inspiration and I for one thing your voice needs to be heard more.
As for my age, I am 56, But I am much younger in looks (and voice)
and in my emotional and spiritual development. For the past 20 years
I have been trying to “catch up” and mature in ways I was never given
or took to understand. I suppose I have that drive to try something
if I know it’s going to help me, as opposed to the self-destructive
tendencies of my youth. The time you gave me on the phone was
precious to me, and if you had a suggestion for an exercise for me to
do, I was determined to do it regardless of how foolish I felt! I
know you didn’t ask for me to verbalize the prayer without having a
good reason to do so.
By the time the late 60′s came around, I was one of those partying
girls and took drugs recreationally. So I hid in addiction for many
years, and thus severely limited my emotional growth. And I can’t
believe I am writing you this! But I did get through college and
after many years, supplemented it with a teaching credential. And my
field of choice was jail education, thus I taught in a county jail
Talk about healing. So many of us are so desperate to heal. Years
ago, I was on the phone with my mother’s psychiatrist (I forget what
initiated that particular call) and he told me “I’m surprised you
kids (myself and my 4 siblings) came out as good as you did”. I’ll
always remember that statement, and clearly if he knew the life
circumstances of my 3 remaining siblings, he would not have made that
comment. At the time I was in my 20′s, living alone as I had done
most of my adult life, and so very confused as to why he said that,
and how could it be that we could be any different that what we were?
I love reading about your background and how you don’t remember much
of the 60′s because you were so internal.
I am in awe of how LSD can be used in therapy (and with proper
guidance). For you to have had that experience with RD Laing is so
encouraging to hear in that you were able to come face-to-face with
God in his many faces. Perhaps that laid the foundation for you and
so much of your writings afterwards. I think you are tapped into
something so different and so profound where few people ever arrive
and so many strive to be there, myself included. “God said to me so
clearly – if you come to me each day like this – in surrender – I
will grow you until I know myself in you. That promise still lives in
me.” That is so profound, so much the flame of the Holy Spirit in
us. How it is that we can surrender so God will know himself in us.
How many of us have what it takes to practice the disciplines to do so?
And so I could go on as there’s lots more you wrote and I didn’t
address, but I promised myself to go back into the darkroom this
afternoon. Like you, writing clarifies my thinking, it cleanses my
brain and body and sometimes gives me a sort of high, a feeling of
accomplishment, resolution. So, I hope you’re ok staying in
communication with this middle-aged woman who seems more a child than
I realized I should have started my first e-mail to you with “I am a
56 year old woman who has carried one of your books around with me
for over 30 years….”. That would have properly set the stage. I’m
sorry I didn’t start that way.
I also wanted to clarify that I am not one to carry on e-mail
conversations as we have done. I’ve never sent an e-mail off to
someone I didn’t know, and especially to someone I’ve admired through
his writings. I happened to follow an intuition that day – having
seen your e-mail address on your website. I never expected the depth
of the e-mails we have sent back and forth.
In a way, I have felt you have been a father figure to me by the way
you have responded to my e-mails. Responded to me. So, that being
said, I’ve felt a bit shameful since I sent that last e-mail. That
perhaps I disclosed too much, or didn’t disclose enough sooner. It’s
one of those times I can’t shake it – so I’m trying to get through
it. To feel that internal love and acceptance I know is there.
But I will change topic to projective group work:
Some thoughts occurred to me in regards to Jeremy Taylor – I happen
to be blessed that he taught within an hour of where I live, and I
took a wonderful graduate course with him one week one summer, about
three or four years ago. I was surrounded by such spiritual people in
the class – ministers, spiritual directors, a priest, counsellors, etc. There was so much compassion and disclosure of feelings, humanity and all its depths coming alive. That drove my love of dream work even deeper.
As Jeremy’s classes are so full and he breaks them down into small
groups to work dreams, he asks former students to lead the small
groups for him as he makes the rounds between them. I took this
opportunity to do so, despite much anxiety at the beginning as I
didn’t know much about leading a group in dream work. But I did know
a lot about facilitating small groups.
At first it worked out fine, but as time went on, I really questioned
this projective work. So many people in this area see Jeremy as the
“authority” so-to-speak on the meaning of dreams, In groups, I felt
they weren’t experiencing and working the dream enough themselves
and depending upon others to give them the meaning of their dreams
through projective work. I highly regard Jeremy and his work, but I
don’t converse with him although I have his e-mail and phone number.
I don’t have that connection with him for whatever reason.
So, at the time my own dream group was transitioning out of my home,
I e-mailed you. I took a risk, not something I usually do with
someone I don’t know.
I wanted to get this off to you. Perhaps it will help dissipate this
uncomfortable feeling, or perhaps make it worse. I don’t know. You
have been so wonderful, I don’t want to disappoint you.
Finally, I hope I didn’t cross my boundaries by recommending Jeremy
take a look at your books so as to reference them in his. I am so sorry if I did.
Emily – I send a smile.
I am trying use speech recognition to put one of my son’s stories on disk, otherwise would write more.
I am just an ordinary old guy who enjoys very much your friendship and your intelligence. You have such an inquiring mind it is a real treat to correspond with you.
Sometimes I think I go on too much, but it is because I seldom get the chance to unfold as much as you allow me. But you keep asking me these amazingly intriguing questions. Thank you.
Will write soon – Tony
April 24th 2008
Hi Emily – It has taken me longer than I thought to reply.
I hit a creative spell and got so caught up in it I didn’t want to stop. It feels a bit like running downhill. Nice, easy, but difficult to stop.
I am not sure what to say about your description of having felt a bit shameful. I wish you knew me a bit better because I am just the guy next door who has a little garden, an old stone built cottage, and potters around and loves writing. I am a greengrocers son who was thrown out of school without any qualifications, and I don’t take myself too seriously – so why should you?
I am from my parents half Italian, quarter Irish and quarter old English. This gives me a wonderfully mixed up background. But something new that popped up as I was writing is that the background appears to have given me an access to a real religious sense. But looking at it more closely it was trapped beneath a huge stone that was the work of the churches dogmatism. But because of the world I grew up in somehow it enabled me to squirm out from the stone and grow like a wild seed without all the bullshit one is usually plastered with.
As for the father figure; well I have five children, have cared for several others, and seem to have some young friends who I often wonder if I am something of a father to. I believe it is because I am easy going and encourage them to dare to be themselves.
Somewhere in my life I was so fortunate to develop or inherit – not sure which – a lack of awareness about how things ‘should’ be done. So I simply got on and did things without any worry about qualifications, status, and hierarchy and so on. Lucky because I would never have done a fraction of the things I have otherwise.
So, relax. I grew up in the back streets of London. Quite a rough area, though I didn’t notice it at the time. There wasn’t much formality on the streets. People didn’t introduce themselves and shake hands. Also, I believe we are quite a bit more rough and tumble in some ways here in the UK. When I first visited the US I was amazed how formally people addressed each other compared with here. Sort of nervous.
So I am still trying to learn how important people see manners, formal greeting, and the ritual of greetings.
I believe the acceptance IS here.
It was really interesting to me what you said about how the dream work is dealt with that you have witnessed. And also Emily, you have only just begun working in the Peer Group way. The depth and height still to uncover is still waiting. I have been so privileged to share such moments with people as a listener, and also to have them support me in my own exploration. In the groups I led I was always a participant also.
My words and books are put out for people to read and perhaps use. So when they are in your hands and in the market place they are no longer mine. Also I am only a participant in creating them. It takes quite a team to publish. And what I have written took skill to frame in the right words, but it has been built upon the work done by many others also. I have of course added my own experience. Even the Peer Dream work is a synthesis. I had to good fortune to watch a woman who is now a friend, Dina Glouberman, work with a group. Some of what she did was a sort of magic I hadn’t seen before, so I built it into the PG work. It transformed it from the Jungian, Gestalt type approach into a new dimension.
My books live so many different stories and enter so many different lives. Most of those stories I never get to hear. I have been lucky to have heard one of those stories from you – how a woman, now middle aged, carried such a book around for thirty years. What a beautiful story. What an interesting relationship.
As ever – Tony
On Apr 25, 2008, at 4:47 AM, TC wrote:
Hi Emily – After writing to you yesterday I had an interesting dream.
It seemed to be stimulated by my attempt to describe myself to you in a way to say – treat me as an equal.
Also it was saying that there are two aspects to the way I have lived my life.
In the dream my now dead friend Kevin appeared in each of three sections. Then at the end Carl Jung was there with us as an equal.
Early in life I split in two. The vulnerable and injured me was largely hidden – to my own view and the way I saw myself anyway. I developed an outgoing and active self that I identified with, but always kept falling over because I was not acknowledging my vulnerable self.
The Jung dream character shows how much I got from seeing and reading the writings of someone with such wide sympathies and inclusive views of life – everything from religion to science – whereas Freud couldn’t really cope with religion and the hidden sides of life apart from unconscious trauma.
at wideness and inclusiveness has become a part of my own sympathies. But the vulnerability is still needing more integration. Kevin was abandoned as a child and put in an orphanage. It damaged him enormously, and we were travellers on a similar journey. My own abandonment was equally felt but not caused by the same things. See Lumpkin.
Maybe I haven’t let that vulnerable side talk with you or show itself. I don’t think I am hiding it, but the dream made me wonder. So I suppose what I should have said in describing myself is – I am a struggling and hopefully growing person like you.
As ever – Tony
Thank you for sending this dream! I am on my way out this morning for the day, and tomorrow is pretty full, so I’ll be sure to e-mail back on Sunday or Monday. I find the dream and your comments quite provocative. Back in touch soon, Emily
April 27th 2008
First of all, thank you for the smile you sent a while back. An
image came to mind of the sky raining smiles – would they be the
smiles on people’s faces or the smiles of an upside down umbrella?
Both work, I think. Of course the image dovetails into the “running
downhill smiling” – another fun image to play with. Difficult, but
smiling. I’m glad to hear you had such a creative spell and went with
the flow. Probably happily out of breath when all was said and done!
If you’ll be posting those writings on your website, please do send
me the link.
Several thoughts have come to mind the last few days. I’ll start with
the “shameful” part. I realize that perhaps this shameful place in
myself is really a vulnerable place, and may I go so far as to say my
shadow space. A part of myself I don’t like to address, yet is an
intricate part of who I am today. I’m reminded of being naked in a
dream – without clothes we are vulnerable to all sorts of things, but
we are the most authentic of who we can be. So to share those spaces
with someone else is a risk, and ultimately, sharing such things
means there has to be some trust in the other person as well. I
suppose at times I slip out of trust, but those times are few and far
between. So, yes, I am relaxing!
In regards to your sharing some of your most vulnerable aspects of
your self with me, well, I believe you already have both in your e-
mails and on your web site (Although it was emotional for me to read
Lumpkin, it was a joy to know you had such a wise and loving
grandmother who was the first one to save you). To me, it takes a
great deal of sensitivity and self-knowledge to write about one’s
life, to share so much of it. I can see how it helps to put it in
perspective, so as we grow older, we grow wiser. I have come to the
conclusion that there are old “Wise Men and Wise Women” in the world
and in our archetypes because they know how to Forgive. And
forgiveness develops compassion.
That brings me to another question in regards to the integration of
the various aspects of ourselves. Is it not Acceptance (as you say is
here) and Forgiveness that allows us to integrate these vulnerable
parts? To forgive others for the harm they may or may not have done
to us, and to forgive ourselves for the harm we may or may not have
done to ourselves and others? (Freud’s psychic reality verses
reality – I’ve come to realize how my perceptions of others’ behavior
can be a version of my psychic reality and not the real thing).
Or, will there always be that empty place (or as Pastor Kim spoke of
the “hole in the soul” in her sermon this morning) in our hearts,
that longing, that will never be filled because we never bonded with
our mothers as infants? And that we accept that this space cannot be
filled by Mother (for whatever reason) so we eventually learn to live
with this space and/or that it can be filled in so many other ways if
we can mature enough to see that? That felt “hole in the soul” that
led you to search beyond yourself to God? That delayed my growth for
so many years because I felt I belonged nowhere? And to learn, for
me, began in therapy and continued through 12-Step work, to joining
a church and eventually back to dream work, all to learn that yes, I
am a part of everywhere. (Hmm, a photograph titled “Everywhere” in a
dream I had a few weeks ago just came to mind).
And so I come to some thoughts on Father. I think, yes, I see where
young people look at you as a father figure because, as you say, you
encourage them. That’s a message I pick up on when I read your books
- the encouragement and lack of judgement which flow from your words.
Encouraging people to grow beyond who they are – to experience just a
little more of what life has to offer. Perhaps that’s why I carried
that book around for 30 years!
However, I’ll go one step further and venture that approval has a
place in this as well. The common thing I found lacking in my two
brothers and myself was that we never felt our father approved of us,
either as his children or in what we did with or in our lives
(again, this could be psychic reality, as my father, of Norwegian
descent, was extremely stoical). So, I wonder if one turns towards
the Mother for love and towards the Father for approval. An
encouraging father is surely one who approves of who is children are
and what they are doing! This just came to mind: “This is My Beloved
Son, in Whom I am well-pleased”.
As far as introductions go in the USA, as children we were taught how
to introduce ourselves one to another – who holds out their hand
first to shake, who to introduce first, whether to use last names, or
what do you do if you don’t remember their last names, or their first
names for that matter, etc etc. People fumble over this all the time!
I really don’t know how the more important people in the world do
their greetings! I am reminded of how the Christians fought some wars
over whether to make the sign of the cross with two fingers or with
three fingers – alas, rituals!
Finally, the dream with your friend Kevin and Carl Jung. No, I don’t
think you are hiding your vulnerable side, at least from what I read
on this side of the world. I appreciate all that you do share.
However, I do get the message that you are a person like myself, and
like so many of us, are just trying to be “better” people day by day.
Maybe we all entered this search because of that sense of those early
abandonment issues we experienced. Being in Jeremy’s class made we
realize how we are all part of “the human condition” through working
with dreams. However, I don’t say this to build up your ego: you have
a gift in the way you write, and in the way you’ve been able to
synthesize the major dream methodologies (although I don’t like that
word, I just can’t think of another right now) in a process that is
authentic to the dreamer.
I was reminded of that last IASD dream conference I attended and the
various workshops on how to interpret dreams – from Gestalt, to
writing a story, to “If it were my dream”, to dance, to collage, to
the dream interview, to 6 magic questions, etc. It’s like one has to
come up with something new to make a mark in the field of dreams. To
earn a living, capture a following? I don’t know. I don’t think we
need all these processes to chose from, although I know different
people will respond to the various methods differently. And, I can be
stubborn and self-righteous at times, so I do have to watch myselfs -
I think people just need try your Peer Group Dream work at least once
or twice! It’s simple, direct and heart felt. Well, I do have to
laugh at myself – I am introducing the concept out here, so some will
get a chance! Finally, I so look forward to working with others in
this way. I will be meeting with two more girlfriends in the next
couple of weeks to share this with them as well. I look forward to
going into those greater depths and heights you speak of.
Well, that’s enough for this part of the story!
P.S. I have slowly been working on a web site and some pages are in
place, at least at the moment. If you’d like to see it partially
completed, I can send you the link. Or, you may prefer to wait until
it’s more complete…
May 5th 2008
am going with. Or is it just gravity? Whatever it is I still seem to love writing. It’s a sort of journey of discovery. I tend to play with the pieces I write almost like painting a canvas – touching up bits here and there again and again. Learn a bit – add a bit.
The feature I have been working on lately is about intuition. I have a wonderful search program on my PC called dtSearch. I have scanned in many books for reference – 630 books and features in one section alone - and also everything written in the past. dtSearch scans the whole lot in seconds, and while searching for something I came across an article I had written back in the early 80′s. I had forgotten all about it and thought I would put it on the site. But on reading it thought it needed a bit of tweaking. In bringing it up to date though I discovered that I have so much to add to it that it got quite long, and am now working on the next section of it. It is at Intuition and I would like to know what you make of it if you get time.
You wrote about acceptance and forgiveness. I heard an interesting talk here on one of our radio programs. BBC Radio 4 is a wonderful program with first rate discussions and human interest programs. It was an Indian woman talking about how she found deep peace even living a humble and sometimes difficult life as a mother and grandmother. She said that it was because she had learned to accept everything.
As I believe I have explained already, one of my great difficulties has been terror of abandonment. I seem easy with this now unless someone pushes their finger on old wounds. But some years ago I fell in love with a woman from the US. We drove together from San Francisco to Mexico where I helped her set up a house. She had originally told me she was separating from her husband – isn’t that usually the story the married man tells the single woman? – but in fact she was deeply involved with her family. However, while in Mexico she had to go back to the US for ten days. The following is from my journal.
“As soon as she went I began to suffer almost unbearable pain at her absence. Yesterday morning it was bad. I tried to find its source to see if I could resolve it. But apart from realising this was my child pain of being away from P, I could do nothing with it. So I busied myself doing fixing jobs around the house. It was so painful I couldn’t relax or even read a book. Then, about 1 PM, P phoned, and we had a deeply honest, vulnerable – i.e. exposing our fears and the longing for each other – talk.
I felt at ease afterwards, but didn’t realise until this morning the depth of that ease. It seems to me that the pain my mother planted in me nearly 60 years ago, has been healed. Healed because, at last I have found someone who dares to love me as I love her, as a deeply vulnerable child, as a young teenager, as a mature woman. Nobody before has led me to feel they want me as deeply as I want them – not even want, more like need. Yesterday P spoke straight, heart to heart, with the deeply vulnerable part of me my dream has named Lumpkin (lambkin). She aches as much as I do.”
But this led on further. “I prayed to God, in thanks for what I feel to be an amazing healing, the true sense, right through down to Lumpkin, that I am loved. I have never been convinced before. And then, in prayer I asked why this lifelong misery had been my lot. I experienced the immediate impression that I had betrayed someone’s love myself in the past. When I asked the question who, the memory and meaning came to me, my mother walking me home prior to telling me she was going to put me in an orphanage. She said, “You hurt me. Now I am going to hurt you.” I feel as if she was telling me of my fate, and that I had indeed deeply hurt her in the distant past – past life. As her child I was the vulnerable one, and it was my turn to feel pain. My God, what a journey! God forgive me. God forgive my mother.”
That led to an extraordinary sense of forgiveness that was breaking the cycle of pain that had stretched across lifetimes.
Our life is an extraordinary adventure.
Please let me know when your site is visitable. I would love to share in what you are doing, just as you share in what I do.
Thanks for all that – Tony
May 9th 2008
Interesting that you should refer me to the Intuition piece on your website. I try to get to your site every week or so to keep up with all the information on it, and the latest piece I had scrolled through was the one on intuition! Intuition? Yes, I like the piece. It flows nicely with the examples you use, and with the explanations of the three theories from which intuition arises. I liked reading about the experience in Exercise 5 – I would never had thought of an exercise like that. It’s amazing that people were able to access those other parts of themselves through movement and spontaneous speech and come away with new insights to their problems. Extremely important! If I were to want anything more to read about intuition, it would be specifically creativity and intuition from an artists’ point of view. How can artists’ use their intuition to be more “creative”? Allow the body, hand and eye to be more spontaneous to create an idea or a piece of work? That is the artist in me talking.
Speaking of exercises, I finally did the “Seed” exercise a few days ago. I will have to write you later to tell you my experience. I will write you from the writing I did after the exercise. It was much more than I thought it would be. I find it awkward to be doing these sorts of exercises on my own – I don’t think any of my friends would have enough spontaneity to do them with me. So, I plow through some on my own, and others I don’t attempt to do as I would prefer someone else to be with me.
I don’t have a lot of time on my hands these days – I’ve been dealing with a family issue, and need to leave again tomorrow for a day or so (which is why I’ll relay the seed experience to you later). I haven’t had a chance to review the BBC program on forgiveness, but will do so when I have time. My favorite book on forgiveness is by John Patton “Is Human Forgiveness Possible?”. It’s from a “pastoral care perspective” which is in the title.
There’s a quote I’ve been meaning to send you from the book “Eat, Pray and Love” by Liz Gilbert. It is something along this line; I realized I didn’t copy the quote word for word:
“Two forces are working to bring an oak tree into being: the acorn and the future oak tree. The future tree wants so badly to exist it pulls the acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity.” She took this from Zen Buddism. I can’t say I highly recommend the book, but there were some pearls in it.
I appreciate your sharing of your journal in regards to forgiveness and the breaking of that generational pattern of pain. That fear of abandonment can run deep, as you know. To get to that point of acceptance and ability not to go into that fear so deeply again is truly a blessing. I can see how people can spend their lifetimes always in that pain and fear, fighting, reacting, and truly never knowing why they act the way they act, nor find their way out of the pain.
My website. Please check it out at ******** Let me know what you think when you have the time. It’s been one hour at a time to learn and set it up. There’s a lot of images that I haven’t scanned yet (your scanner sounds awesome!). But, the photo-etching page is almost complete as I only made about 12 etchings, they were so intensive and time-consuming to do.
Oh – one last thing – one of my girlfriends decided she didn’t want to experience the Peer Group Process because she felt she would be very vulnerable and didn’t want to go that deep into her being. I was disappointed to hear that, but I respect her for that. My other friends and I have set up a date in June to get together again – I look forward to that, and yes, I do want to be not only the listener but also the participant!
Thanks again for all your support!
Emily – What a wonderful website you have created. As the fist window opened it was obvious what a lot of skill and talent you have in connection with design, colour and – well – for a first try at site building – amazing.
I think you could earn a living at it.
Thanks for the tip about the ‘artist’s point of view’. I am presently working on the third section of the intuition piece, which is about using it for specific things. So that clues me in to a specific.
Regarding spontaneous voice, there is a huge gap in public understanding of what used to be called psychic experiences, and things like hearing voices and ‘seeing things’ and mediumship. It is almost like most of the public are living in the middle ages, and I don’t know why it takes an uneducated person like me to point it out instead of a college professor.
Here it is in its simplicity.
In dreams you can fly, breath under water, make love, experience other dimensions or other dimensional beings, sing, play a musical instrument, speak, run – and onward beyond your usual limitations. In dreams you experience a completely real world external to you, full of people, animals, places.
While dreaming you are not consciously directing the process. Another level of your total strata of mind is doing it. When you open to that amazing process through dropping conscious will, that spontaneous creative process behind dreaming can emerge into your waking life. In fact you are giving it a doorway and a stage, upon which to express. It can, as it does when you sleep, direct your body to move, your mouth and throat to speak, your emotions to be moved, and your mind and imagination to experience beyond your normal waking abilities. As in dreams you can see things apparently external to you, usually called hallucination. You can hear people speak. All so simple, yet usually considered to be a sick mind.
I am looking forward to hearing about ‘the seed’. Over many years I have been to and through amazing places being the seed. But I agree, it is so much harder by oneself. I can get a trickle by myself, but a torrent and waterfall with another or others.
The oak tree analogy is something I use over and over in what I write. I don’t quite see it or express it in the word a friend does, but again it is one of those simple things that most people have no awareness of – the innate wonder of it.
That you said about your friend not wanting to use the Peer work again is my lifelong experience. It is why I gave up teaching and being a therapist. I had found something beyond believing, leading me into wonderful dimensions of experience, and of course some were painful, some were transcendent. When I tried to share it many people pulled away as if electrocuted. It was difficult for me to understand as entering that world seemed so natural to me, even though it scared me at times and took courage to bear what arose. The rewards were so solid and true I couldn’t see why people would want to stay with things that were giving so much less.
Anyway, it is a truth that few can tolerate what they are inside, or meet themselves in any depth. If there is any truth in what was said about the quickening, we need to use everything we can to evolve to meet the changing world and what it will confront us with.
What I am writing about intuition might lead some people into their own depths slowly.
As ever – Tony
May 13th 2008
Thanks for the kudos about the website! I must admit, though, I can’t take all the credit. Apple has website software (iweb) that has been very helpful for me to use. They have pre-existing templates (as well as blank pages and the slide shows), and I’ve learned to customize them as I continue to take weekly hourly lessons from the Apple Store. You’re right, there is such a sense of accomplishment putting the site together. It will be an evolving project as I continue to add my photographs. Most of all, it’s fun and exciting!
Good news about finding another person interested in pursuing the Peer Dream Group Process from your website. She posts on a Google Forum Dream Group, and she referred to some of your dictionary meanings for certain symbols. I e-mailed her and gave her a link to your website, and the rest is history! She’s very enthused about trying most of what you explain in the peer group processes. But, as my husband and I are leaving for a Galapagos trip on Saturday (exciting, no??), we’ll be gone for two weeks and then the dream group(s) will meet after that. I am so looking forward to it!
Now, the ‘seed experience’. I will type what I wrote after the experience:
“I stood with my hands in the air, uplifted. But, that wasn’t a dry seed. I folded my arms against my body and drifted to the floor. I curled up tightly and covered my eyes with my hands. I wanted darkness, blackness. But I was above the ground, aware of all life and sound around me. I was scared, wanted to push myself into the earth. Was I able to do this myself, or did outside forces – the wind, being stepped on, have the ability to dig me under the earth? I rolled from one side to the other, once, slowly. Nestling in the dirt and waiting. Waiting to feel the earth, the rain, the heat of the sun.
My back arched up a little. It was the first place to feel the warmth of the sun. I was scared, petrified of losing my shell, my protection. But the forces beyond me were working on me. I felt I needed to be stable and maintain roots. That was important – extending the roots. I dug my hands into the ground and the roots grew. Then I slowly raised up to my knees. A sprout grew from my back – my body now the main stem. With my eyes still closed and my arms and hands by my side, still on my knees, I could sense the light in the room.
Then I started to tremble and shake. My whole upper body was shaking uncontrollably. I let it happen. I wasn’t frightened, I felt safe in knowing that this is what my body needed to do. It continued for what seemed several minutes. As I shook, I recalled that shortly after birth, I was given a blood transfusion. My parents’ blood types weren’t compatible – three earlier siblings of mine had been born and died a day or two after birth. Convulsions now, more then mere shaking. The coming into life, but not being compatible with my interior chemical make-up. Shaking as they transfused my blood – draining me of my blood, my own blood which fought against itself, being replaced with a foreign blood that would give me life. No wonder I was scared in that shell. The process of life and death innate in me from the moment of my conception. Fighting against myself. That which would fight for my life (the antibodies) would be the death of it.
The shaking stopped. A sense of peace pervaded my physical self. I was still positioned on my knees, but the sense of having put those roots down first gave me the foundation to withstand the shaking. I had no idea of what this experience would be like (and definitely not like this), but I seem to have gotten rid of something stored in muscle memory.
I recalled my brother Johnny. The first child (I was the third) of my parents to live through this transfusion, recently died. His blood transfusion was the first in the country for the then incompatible Rh-neg/Rh-pos blood, and at the time either enough oxygen didn’t enter his system, or the blood transfusion wasn’t done quickly or completely enough, and he suffered from major neurological and mental problems (and was institutionalized all his life). One problem he had throughout his life was spasms – tics and spasms for his whole life.”
n I was out-of-town, I tried the ‘seed exercise’ again in my hotel room. I didn’t write about it – I got as far as deciding to be an apple seed, and elongated myself on the floor in what my imagination remembered of apple seed. Nothing beyond that. It really wasn’t the best time to do the exercise as I wasn’t centered enough in myself to let myself Be. But, I am willing to try it again, but really, was quite shocked that I had such an experience as the one above.
To cover one more topic, you write: ”It is almost like most of the public are living in the middle ages, and I don’t know why it takes an uneducated person like me to point it out instead of a college professor.”
That sentence got my attention, and I can only respond at the moment and say it takes an intuitive and sensitive person to point it out. I immediately think of the intellectuals and how far removed they are from emotions. I’m grateful you have and continue to point these things out.
One last thing – I recently dreamt of a man putting a curse on a female vampire (who was attempting to fly) and numerous women chanting a spell to break it. These are new images in my dreams, and I think, with what I experienced above, I am getting deeper into my fears and resistances. As you say, we may not like what we see, but I know it’s a necessary condition for human growth.
May 16th 2008
Hey Emily – Take the credit. All web design software has masses of templates. You can even download someone else’s page off the Internet, strip off their text and graphics, and use it as a template. So what you have done is still impressive. And that is without even mentioning the photographs – so full of you. I know there are people who tell your character from handwriting or your birthday, but I am sure it could be done with photographs one has taken also. There are big areas of subtlety and shifted perceptions in your pictures – slightly gazing through the veil of reality into something else???
Thank you again and again for sharing your Seed experience with me. I certainly never thought you would go so fully into it first try – and being alone. You are a very courageous person Emily. I salute you Emily.
The dream work and the Seed all touch and slowly unfold the same thing – the Story of You. So whatever approach you use now will take you steps along the same way. Sometimes we revisit the same thing over and over to deal with different facets of it – or of course if we get stuck. I got stuck for a year once, until I dared to ask my inner process why. The immediate response was, “Tony, you know very well why. If you dare to move on your marriage will end.” I dared. It did.
What I am saying in a roundabout way is that as you move on, if this first part was about dealing with your birth, you will gradually see the part it has played in your life more clearly. And also of course, effects have causes. Gradually you see it as a part of the Life Stream, the continuum. It sounds like quite a big conflict at a very physical level, but the physical is a manifestation of the subtle. I am looking forward to learning more of the story.
The shaking is a big part of the way the process works. It isn’t always that rough. I mean it is often more felt as a vibration like a car engine running. I have seen it happen several times when people first open, that the person feels very cold and shivers. But over time the ‘current’ flows through us and is an extraordinary thing to experience. Mostly it happens at night or early morning, but also during the time you work on dreams or such.
Exciting news about the new person for the dream work. You seem to be acting as a centre for things to happen; maybe a catalyst.
About your vampire dream, I wonder if it shows a paradoxical process. The vampire both sucks our energy away, but can also bring a radical change of being. If you explore the dream I would like to hear where you get to with it as I have very little feedback on these images.
After my years of being a hermit, my own process recently appears to be leading me into a fuller relationship with the world ‘out there’. It is still a bit mysterious as inner and out are linking and I am not sure where it is leading. But that is fine. I had two dreams near in time to each other, in which I have an electric cable and am trying to put a plug on it to connect it to the mains electricity. The cable leads to a hidden appliance that links in some way with my family background. So as far as I have got with the dream, it shows me a facet of myself I have from my father’s family, and have so far not brought to life or given energy.
There are two bits of information I thought you might be interested in also.
I have been trying to dig more deeply into the process of creativity. I see it as another word for God awareness, as I believe at the core of us is that creative something out of which the universe arose. So I am sending this first piece as it links with what you said about the fifth exercise – excitation.
“Researchers exploring how creativity is accessed found that athletes say they are “in the zone” when they are fully physically and mentally functioning. They tell of their vision sharpening, time shifting into slow motion, and their alertness and physical skill reaching a peak. Scientists have dubbed this phenomenon “flow” and recognise it has biochemical causes.
For instance there are special docking sites on brain cells for certain neuro-chemicals connected with the brain’s opiate receptors. Endorphins bind these opiate receptors and dampen pain, and produce the elation-nicknamed the “runner’s high” that is felt after prolonged exercise. The neuroscientist Candace Pert also believes that opiate receptors play a role in creativity. They “filter reality” that allows an altered state of consciousness.
I believe this is why ‘excitation’ can play such an important part in intuition and accessing your potential. During such excitation I at times was able to see how the process worked, and with that understanding learned how to do it myself without the stimulus. So using the approaches described, take note of how you function, and gradually refine it. It needs practice, but so does any great skill.”
This next piece I think explains itself and directly relates to dealing with ones own inner life.
“It is something I often wondered while I was working as a therapist, and saw violence, sexual urges, vulnerability and breakdown of old patterns occur in the person. My wondering was – will the world go through this as it grows up and heals itself?
Jerry Snider: What about our current cultural period? The social climate today has a feeling of hopelessness, of being trapped. People have lost faith in most of our institutions, especially our political institutions. In our urban populations, the rampant crime keeps people feeling trapped. Are we in any single classic stage?
Stanislav Grof: Yes. Many people, who have these inner experiences, take a larger look and see that we have now enacted in our world a lot of the elements you would encounter internally when you are in a transformation process. For example, you would encounter tremendous unleashing of aggression. You would confront destructive and self-destructive tendencies within yourself if you have an inner experience. There is also a liberation of repressed sexuality. This has been happening for years. Just about every aspect of sexual behaviour has been openly presented in the media. There are all kinds of very unusual sexual experiments such as S&M parlours, sexual slave markets, fist fucking – all these things have sprung up. So the sexual impulse is sort of being released and acted out, and also the aggressive. There is an increase not only in criminality but in terrorism as well, all over the world. Then you have satanic elements emerging from the collective unconscious. The deep levels of the psyche are now being ventilated.”
As ever – Tony
Thanks for your reply! I’m in the process of finishing up packing and
will be gone for 2 weeks – just wanted to touch base before leaving.
I’ll reply more later as I reread your e-mail and a few articles/
essays I printed off your website. I look forward to giving more
thought to what you write about creativity.
I was browsing in a used bookstore yesterday and picked up a book
titled “Medical Meditations” by Dharma Singh Khalsa, MD and Cameron
Stauth. My response to it has been incredibly positive - the type of
book that increases your consciousness as you read it. I can’t
encapsulate what I’ve read in a way that does the book justice – it
goes into great detail about body memory, the importance of the
placement of hands during meditation, breath, the important role of
vibrations when chanting a mantra, etc. This may be old hat to you,
but it really is opening my eyes to another form of what Khalsa
calls, “advanced meditation”. I think you and he may be parallel souls
in this life journey, and I just wanted to pass this book title to you.
Ciao for now!
I’m back from my travels and re-settling in. Always a transition, and
all that “needs” to be done upon my return seems either to take
longer, or it seems to take longer because there is more to do.
Thank you for your explanations as to the Seed work and the “current”
which unfolds. I didn’t realize that was part of the process -
perhaps in my case ignorance is bliss. But I am relieved to get the
deeper explanations after the fact. I have not yet done the exercise
for a third time, but when I’m ready I will and see where it leads.
I’ll keep you updated.
You mentioned that you “dared to move on” and perhaps you could tell
me more about that? It was strong and enough and deep enough to end
your marriage. To me, that’s a huge commitment to yourself, to your
inner being. How were you able to do that – keep that commitment to
yourself and to you inner process? And survive the pain of divorce?
I am looking forward to working dreams with smaller groups of people.
There seems to be more of a need for certain people to move beyond
projective work. Already there are two more women interested in
experiencing dreams via the peer group process on your website. I
have no set idea of where this will lead. I don’t want to quickly
form a “dream group” but would rather be available to meet with
others and work with them as time allows. A dream group seems too
restricted right now for me, and these days people can’t seem to meet
more often than once a month. Yes, I will let you know what
transpires if I work with the vampire dream.
It is interesting to read about your dreams of connecting more fully
to the world out there. I may be mistaken, but I don’t recall reading
anything about your father on your website. I sometimes wondered what
your relationship was to him or to his side of the family. I’ll be
curious to hear how you proceed from here, how you may transition
from the life of a hermit into the larger world. Especially if and
how it pertains to working with others again.
I’ve read that the brain waves of those who meditate and those who,
as they are doing art, are one and the same. I’m sure that is also
linked into the “zone” of the runner – how the runner has to be so
single-mindedly focused. Deep brain wave patterns. Dharma Singh
Khalsa, MD also refers to Candace Pert’s work in the book I
referenced in my last e-mail. That she discovered that neurochemicals
don’t dock with the receptors per se, but rather that they vibrate
towards activation (my words, not his or hers, from my understanding
of how this works). Thus, I am discovering Kundalini Yoga and
I enjoyed reading what Stanislave Grof states about the releasing of
aggression and other impulses. How it happens both individually and
collectively. I can only pray that the ultimate outcome will be a
cleansing, a baptism of our collective spirits. A final release of
all this tension and pain, which will bring a greater, benevolent
consciousness. A Star Trek earth where war has been eradicated. But
can we really accept that? Do we have the “ego strength” to get to
that place beyond fear and aggression?
I look forward to hearing back from you. Take care,
June 5th 2008
Hi Emily – That makes two of us. I have been moving around too. A New Zealand friend who I travelled to NZ with invited her parents over. As they were so good to me over there I spent time taking them to the Chelsea Flower Show and parts of Wales.
Then a friend asked me to run his Grapefruit Seed Extract stall at a Vegan Fayre in Bristol. That was right after being friend to friends. So I got back Monday night, and like you, have been catching up. Also felt very tired.
Moving on – well, parts of our life link with so many threads. Looking back makes it a bit easier to see. I was so damaged in some ways that I had no love in me. So I married to have children. My wife didn’t know how to love either. Our marriage wasn’t awful, but it didn’t have the warmth I would love to have given to my children.
At its simplest level when the seed of growth started pushing to express more of who I am, there was a tremendous need to grow up. Emotionally I was still about the age of five or six. This felt like an imperative, and so in my second marriage I went through starting to feel the childhood level of love and slowly growing up into teenage and beyond.
Looked at like that it was very necessary, and my first wife related to me in a way to hit out at the vulnerable child I was trying to allow to grow. But it was at the same time a terrible thing to do as I left my children. So it was both agony and also wondrous growth. Maybe I have mentioned that in the past.
Life is like that I suppose. Even spiritual growth at times expands us so fast we can feel our skin bursting.
The reason I dared to ‘move on’ was because my life was like a torture and I was ready to do anything to move out of that sort of pain. I was literally ready to die if necessary, so I dared a lot of things.
The pain of divorce? Well, I had never loved my first wife in the way people mean when they use that word – love. There was agony, but it was about my children. But the agony led to realisation and finding of the life beyond – liberation. Unconditional life. Freedom.
I am not perfectly in that liberation as it is a strange place. However, I am not sure I can ever love again in a way that leads to pain. Emotional dependence melts away. I love people but it doesn’t seem to matter if they come or go. Death is the same. I have not felt grief or loss at the death of my parents. Whether that applies to my children I don’t know as I have not been tested. My best friend died a few years ago and I never experienced grief or loss. At his funeral though I wept because I could feel the heartbreak of some of the people there.
In fact I felt a continuing relationship with him for some time till he disappeared. He told me he was going to be born as a girl child, and I would meet her before I died. No signs yet.
I often use other names when I describe things, so there is a mention of my father if you go to http://dreamhawk.com/dreamage.htm and find mention of Clive’s dream. It really describes a dream and what I uncovered in connection with my father.
Some years ago, while allowing the dream process to emerge while awake, I went through experiences suggesting that Tony is the dream of his Spirit. The Spirit sleeps and dreams a body and a life in the body. Yet as Tony it all seemed so real, and he was so identified with it, taking it all so seriously. Thus all the pain. But that is life, and through it we learn.
How is your inner life at the moment?
As ever – Tony
June 7th 2008
Thanks, Tony! This looks extraordinary – I will read through it in the next couple of days – I’ll be involved in an all-weekend art faire this weekend, so will respond to your e-mail and this link early next week. One third of Liz Gilbet’s book in Eat, Pray and Love takes place in Bali. Thanks again, Emily
Hi Emily – I just came across this yesterday and was excited because it links so much with what I was saying about excitation, shaking, life force, etc. I am going to investigate – get involved – to see.
June 10th 2008
Over the weekend, I had certain things I planned to respond to in
your e-mail and your article “Age and you Dreams”. All that changed
when I received an e-mail early yesterday morning that a friend at
church had died in a horrible traffic accident on Saturday night. I
felt my “grief response” kick in – an all too familiar feeling now.
The first is a physical numbing of my body, then the inability to
think clearly and not finding much pleasure or meaning in the mundane
things in life like cooking a meal, etc. The strength of the response
is in proportion to how well I knew or loved the person or animal.
But, the pattern for me is the same. So, that’s where I need to start
today. With grief.
During a dream group session a while back, I was working a dream of
mine in which I had scars all over my body. The subject of grief
came up, and a medical person (I don’t recall in what capacity he
worked) stated that when we grieve, our brain releases a chemical
that numbs us. I sort of knew that, but he continued to say that this
chemical can reside in our bodies for many, many years. I understood
that to mean we physically can carry grief with us. Thus, the adage
that if you don’t grieve a loss, then that grief builds up each and
every time you experience a loss. So, once one begins the grief
process, any loss one had is grieved along with the present one.
I’m not sure how comfortable you are talking about grief, but I have
to admit it’s a subject near and dear to my heart. When my brother
died, I talked a doctor into giving me some valium so I could get
through the funeral services. Thus, I never experienced my grief for
him until many years passed. The valium did a perfect job of further
numbing my already numbed feelings. I couldn’t cry then, and today
it’s a really extraordinary event if I do cry.
So, when I read you hadn’t experienced grief with the death of your
parents and your friend, I was surprised. I can only wonder if the
grief is hidden somewhere else. In Clive’s dream, you “wept with
agony”. That would be my best guess as to where the grief could be
buried, along with the numerous other feelings you wrote about at the
time. But, you know yourself well, and like dream interpretation,
only you know whether or not you experienced grief with these losses.
I can only share my experience and/or book knowledge with you.
Meanwhile, I read through the website on Ratu Bagus Network, and one
of the first things that crossed my mind were the two brief
descriptions of your dreams – getting connected with the larger
world! And, you say you’ll be getting involved – that’s wonderful!
When you have time, please do let me know how you are moving on this.
I’m intrigued. I am grateful I had that Seed experience with the
shaking, for this makes it real. It seems so much to be about who you
are and yes, what you have been writing about all of these years. I
wish you the best of luck and success in your endeavors!
Finally, you ask how my inner life is. I had to think about that, or
feel what it is really is right now. I honestly am not sure what the
answer is at the moment. The dreaming continues, so much so I can’t
possibly “work” all that arises in them. This Thursday night, I’ll be
with some friends and we’ll once again experience the peer group
dream work process. As there will be 5 or 6 people in group, if you
have any suggestions as to how to work with so many, please let me
know. My main concern is that the dreamer will be overwhelmed with
questions. I am hoping to work a dream, something I’ve yet to do
since I worked the one with you. But the interest grows – yet another
woman wants to try non-projective work. She paints from
her dreams – she does really great work with archetypes. I don’t
know if I ever told you, but I love the art work you use on your
website. It fits so well and it’s so expressive.
“I am the dream of my Spirit”. What a profound waking dream you had.
Thank you for sharing things like that. It adds a lot to my life.
Hi Emily – this is a brief response as I am away from home with limited time.
Grief – well, I felt an enormous amount when my parents died, but it wasn’t grief as other people describe it. But I have met death so deeply within I can’t see anything to grieve about. Having opened myself to enormous feelings hundreds of times I feel grief arises out of unmet inner situations from childhood and from not having really faced death. I had already faced the fact my parents would die. I have faced the fact I am dying. I know so deeply all of life is uncertain. So why the shock?
I lost my mother when I was small. That I felt deeply, enormously, angrily, my body contorting with it like an epileptic fit. I lost my father when young. That you read the agony of with ‘Clive’. So I had already lost my parents and felt the agony. No need to feel it again.
What most people have not done is to gradually move through their own total history to their birth and do their housework.
If you get to the bottom of your grief now, I am fairly certain you will find deeper issues – old wounds that have, are being, touched again and bleeding. So I do not commiserate with you, but say, heal yourself when and as you gain the strength to face who you are.
What I do feel is the suffering other people experience in their loss. I see mothers who have lost children, and people with little or no inner resources to deal with such loss. Because I appear to have found a life beyond such pain I give it all I can to explain how it is done. Not an easy path, but the rewards are wonderful.
Years ago when I was in agony of guilt about leaving my children, a hippy guy said to me when I explained my pain, “Why do you keep doing it to yourself?”
I could have hit him I was so angry. Why the hell would I keep giving myself agony – over years? However, he was right, and I started pulling myself up out of those habitual patterns of pain.
I guess it is the Rough Track you are on. Difficult but with so much to learn and grow from.
God be with you – Tony
June 13th 2008
Hi Emily – I am back home again after a really extraordinary day with the author Dina Glouberman. We plan to write a book together.
I was a bit hurried with the last email and realised there were a couple of things missing.
One is that when I was in my late teens I trained as a nurse and later nursed old men who were dying. So I saw death quite often and also helped get them ready for burial. Each death I witnessed was quite amazing – for me anyway. The person could be in a coma and look completely gone, but at the moment of death an instant change comes over them. Something very obvious had left them. So it has always seemed to me, even from early teens, what a wonderful release to drop the body away. That has led me to see death differently to many.
That is how I felt when my mother died. She was like a ship battered on rocks from stroke after stroke. So it was a joy when she died. My wife and I had nursed her to the end rather than put her in hospital. Because I had worked out my trauma feelings in earlier years, and told her I loved her, there didn’t seem anything to grieve about or regret.
With my friend Kevin, I followed him into the death state for ages. He explained the stages he was passing through, and I learned a great deal from being with him in that way.
The other thing that struck me is that somehow people often feel it is natural to feel pain and distress. Yet at the same time they may be Christians or Buddhists. But does that mean that the Buddha’s smile is only there if a friend or family does not die? Did the peace that passeth understanding only exist for Jesus if his mother or brothers and sisters did not die?
They both offered a path that led beyond darkness of spiritual blindness and pain. It is there for you.
As ever – Tony
Sorry I didn’t respond about the dream group way of working with numbers. I was in a bit of a whirl. Bowled over actually, with the meeting with Dina. She approaches every task like a business woman and also like a seer. So not only did we explore intellectually, but we leapt into the inner world exploring intuitively. For me it was like being a race horse that hadn’t been out of the stable for ages and was really put through my paces. Amazing.
Anyway, for future reference, firstly, in a sense you have a new group. So I wonder what you did with it.
I used to ask for a volunteer to demonstrate the steps of working. Because it was a demonstration I would interrupt wherever necessary. It took a while to wean some people from interpreting the person’s dream. Also, as you said, it takes a while to allow space for the dreamer to explore their feelings rather than just respond verbally. So I would point this out as the helpers worked if they jumped in too soon.
Also if the dreamer had got a strong response often a helper might try to take them off on another direction instead of waiting and then questioning in a way to further what the dreamer was experiencing.
Sometimes the group was as large as twenty, and after the initial demonstration I would put them in groups of about four or five and let them use the steps by themselves. I would wander around the groups or be ready to be called if needed. This was often in Greece at an alternative holiday centre and I had the group for two hours four times. What was amazing was how wonderfully skillful the groups got within about the second or third day. They did real work as deep as most therapists, and often deeper than many. If possible I restricted the groups to four so each group member could work a dream even if they took the whole session.
Also Emily, you know I am always ready to phone again and look at another dream or simply talk about the process.
June 14th 2008
I just want to encapsulate a few more thoughts that have been roaming
around my head these last few days. Here goes.
I am reminded that the ultimate transformative aspect of grief is
Acceptance. I am grasping with the notion that this Acceptance can be
a continual state of mind, thus one does not the need to experience
grief each and every time a loss occurs. I think I am getting what
you are saying and how you view death. Not dispassionately, but with
Acceptance. I realized a lot of the death that has occurred in my
lifetime has been sudden and traumatic. Thus, the initial responses I
wrote about before. I haven’t had the experience of relating to
someone who is dying and knows he is dying. That would be a whole
other story and experience – your story with Kevin. It sounds like he
blessed you with his sharing his dying experience with you. I think
as a culture here in the States we deny death and the dying process.
We are missing out on so much by continuing to do so.
I also have learned from my 12-step groups that as we go through our
inventories and stop blaming others for our pain (among other
things), we can reach that point you speak about in regards to your
mother. Acceptance. And, because of that, the love can flow. We can
be present for the person, no matter how sick they are in spirit or
body. I honor that you and your wife cared for your mother at home. I
understand that there wasn’t a reason to grieve or regret. I wish
that many more of us could get to that stage.
I attended a session given by Kelly Bulkeley and his mother at the
IASD Conference last year. His mother has done a lot of work with
dreaming and with Hospice. I will always remember her saying that the
greatest gift a parent can give their child is to die well. She
didn’t use the word Acceptance, but that’s what I think she was
saying. Do not fear death. And why fear if we truly believe there is
a continuation of spirit after death?
My pastor, Kim, told me that being with someone who is dying is the
same type of experience as being with someone who is being born. It’s
holy. In addition, she said that Hospice workers (generally?) don’t
stand at the foot of the dying person’s bed because that is where the
already departed souls wait for the one who is passing, in order to
lead them into the world beyond.
As far as dreams are concerned, I meant to mention to you that one of
the woman in dream group the other night brought a copy of your Dream
Dictionary. Another had purchased one for her mother and she
mentioned she didn’t know if it was good or not at this point. It was
a joy to see this – your writings are becoming known in this area,
with people who are studying to become ministers, counsellors,
spiritual directors, or by those who are currently in other dream
groups. This is huge for me, because for the past 4 or 5 years I’ve
been involved with others in dream work, none I had come across were
aware of your work.
So, I’ve decided to attend a week long Dream Retreat at the Haden
Institute, in part to see if I want to partake of the dream
certification program. Around here, it seems one needs some sort of
“authority” or “certificate” to be taken seriously in anything. I
also have to balance that in myself – do I feel I need a certificate
to be an effective dream worker? How much does my self-worth have to
do with having or not having a “certificate”? So, I am hoping that
attending this retreat will help me sort out that answer. I remember
your words on this issue – how much you have been able to accomplish
on your own.
I want to thank you for your offer of working another dream with me.
I would love to do that again with you. I was grateful for having
done that with you as I could that process into these new dream
groups. I remember at the time you asking if I’d work one of your
dreams. I was hesitant as I felt I didn’t have the experience or
expertise. But now my confidence is growing more stable, so perhaps a
time will come when I can work with one of your dreams if you so desire.
Thanks again for everything. Best of luck working on your new book,
and I look forward when Eye of the Dream is available in the next
month or so!
June 14th 2008
You are such an incredible person! Congratulations on your writing a book with author Dina Glouberman. I had not heard of her before and looked her up on Amazon, and she got quite impressive reviews on The Joy of Burnout. What a tremendous combination of insight will this upcoming book have! It sounds like you got a workout you needed and were able to keep up with. Good for you!
Please don’t ever worry about not getting back to me right away. I do appreciate you take the time to do so, and if necessary, more time to follow-up. Please do whatever works best (least stressful?)for you!
I think in a sense I do have a new dream group. And hopefully, another one with some of the same women will form to meet during the day as well. Things are still in the making. Last night there were 5 women, including the three of us from the last meeting. So, there weren’t as many people there as I thought there could be, so 5 was a good number. I was the “facilitator” so-to-speak, there to review the steps, move on to the next step when ready, etc. I had intended to share a dream, but the other woman, she had a dream to share, needed the time, and we were able to give it to her. I found I was glad to do so!
A huge difference we found between these peer group steps and projective work is that the dreamer has the time to process the feelings. In projective work projections can come at you from literally all directions (especially if the group is sitting in a circle). My friend Sheila needed the time to process. Her dream was simple, but symbolic. The location was a dock, inside a warehouse or a Customs House, and water was seeping up from beneath the dark floor, not from an outside body of water. At the beginning she stated she hadn’t any idea what this dream was about.
She imagined herself as the water, and she did an amazing job. She stayed with it; we all asked questions and gave her time to process and answer the questions. A whole lot of insight came out for her as she summarized her experience of being the water in the dream. This is when she was able to link the words she used as the water to her waking life event of loss. She was brought to tears. Although two of us suspected what some feelings of the dream were about, we didn’t state them. Sheila discovered them for herself, and experienced them for herself. I don’t think she would have gotten to this depth had we used the projective method. And, suffice it to say the underlying feeling for her was grief, but hope and the giving up of old ways of (negative) thinking was there as well; she lost her partner 5 months ago.
I don’t think the steps you wrote could be any clearer – I want to thank you for that! We felt the summarizing on the part of the dreamer and the reflection back to her from the listeners was quite powerful. I have been with her in dream group numerous times, and have never seen her go this far into it. She felt so good about herself in that she was able to obtain such depth last night. It was a huge boost for her. The helpers were sensitive to her need for the processing, and I felt there was a great flow to the evening. As a teacher, one of the things that moves me is the instant a student “gets it”. There’s light in their eyes, and you know what they just learned they will always remember. That’s how it was for Sheila last night. I couldn’t have asked for more from her!
So, I wanted to at least get this e-mail off to you today. Tomorrow, I’ll have time to write a bit more in regards to the other e-mails. On Sunday, I leave for the Dream Conference in North Carolina and will be there through Friday. I will tell you more about it tomorrow.
I need to close for now as I have to be somewhere soon. Thanks again for keeping in touch!
June 22nd 2008
Late last night I returned from the Haden-Institute Dream Conference
held in North Carolina and wanted to write to you before the
intensity of the experience fades. But now I find words are difficult
to explain such experiences – the same way that writing a dream down
doesn’t capture all the dimensions of the dream. But, I will try.
Synchronicities flowed. They tumbled one upon another and haven’t
stopped yet. Never in my life have I experienced so many of them, and
I am left in awe of this world outside of myself from which they
come. Confirmation and affirmation that this dream conference was the
place my body and soul were meant to be.
I think the most profound thing for me was a lecture on Quantum
Physics and Spirituality. I know you’ve written much about these
things, and I am finally beginning to understand this much larger
picture, or “field” as one scientist put it. (A website that is
supposed to be good is www.livingthefield.com, and the book “The
Field” highly recommended.) I feel I am just entering this larger
consciousness, this God-Consciousness on a level I didn’t know
existed. Emotions and feelings flow out of us into this field of
‘everywhere and everywhen” on a quantum level, and things come to us
as well. I can understand better now how you may have your
Experiences. You seem to tap into this flow, or any of the other
words you’ve termed – Life Stream, Coex, etc.
20 clergy were there for the duration of the conference, including a
former Episcopalian Bishop from Arkansas. A major reason for them to
hold this conference is to have clergy and others trained in dream
work. Many counsellors, healers and spiritual directors were there as
I have to admit some of the ways the leaders run a dream group were
difficult for me. Each night we had a different leader. When I worked
my dream (the one with the vampire – actually I should say “sense of
vampire”) I dissociated for a few moments. Haden’s method did not
include the dreamer once the dream was handed to the group, I had to
keep my head down as I took notes as people talked about the dream
and could not look at them. For it was their dream, not mine. I had
gifted it over. At one point, I glanced at the dream I had written
down in my journal as the group discussed their/my dream. For
several moments I couldn’t figure out whose handwriting was on the
page. Then I came back into myself and realized it was mine. A very
weird moment. I do not like this method of dream work which requires
the dreamer to distance himself from the dream.
The next night Jeremy Taylor was our group leader, and despite all my
current reservations about projective dream work, I was relieved and
grateful with the way he ran our group. He includes the dreamer
throughout the whole discussion of the dream. And his insights and
understanding of dreams are surreal. A projective dream group with
Jeremy present is an extraordinarily different experience than one
So, this is as far as I can get right now as I am tired and still
overwhelmed with all the experiences of the week and the fellowship
and the worship and the presentations and the workshops. At this
point it seems to me I’ve barely covered much of anything about the
week, but I suppose this glimmer or glance that I’ve gotten to this
larger Force around and through us is a major breakthrough. I find I
have to trust, to yield, to let the Christ within become alive and
real in my body.
Thank you for helping me on this journey.
June 22nd 2008
Hi Emily – As I said – the time of the Quickening.
I have read The Field. Wonderful book, worth taking time with.
Please watch this video. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/229
Yes, I did look at the video clip you sent a few days ago – really quite amazing. I was quite taken by her as she talked about her brother with schizophrenia and going to NAMI meetings and living in the Boston area. Another synchronicity – my younger brother who died suffered from schizophrenia and I spent many years in the Boston area. I am hoping to find out more about her research in this area. Everything fit well with that video – A Stroke of Insight, that it happened the damage was done to the left hemisphere, and her being able to keep her wits about her during the experience. It does shed new light on consciousness. Of course, like some of the people who made comments about the clip, I have questions which may never be answered. Thank you for sending me the clip – I wish I had heard her being interviewed with Terry Gross of NPR, but seeing the video was quite moving. Peaceful, beyond self.
I am reading a book “Natural Spirituality: Recovering the Wisdom Tradition in Christianity” by Joyce Rockwood Hudson. The basis of her belief, in my opinion, is for Christians to be focused on dreams and life’s synchronicities. Of course, I do her no justice as she’s a very good writer and actually writes about two areas with which she takes Jung to task.
“Defined Infinity” does seem like an oxymoron. But, for some reason I don’t doubt that math will at some point have a formula for it – our knowledge is not quite there yet. And even if there were a formula, it wouldn’t make any difference.
As I reread what you wrote about the Universe, I can’t help but be reminded that the Universe started in a void, so those moments between the flashing moments is a connection back to the Mother Void. A tendril so to speak. Umbilical cord.
And I am reminded of the lecture on quantum physics – its emphasis on a holographic view. One needs only a fraction of a hologram to “see” the whole picture. In addition, you could photograph a bear on a hill, then put in its place a dog, and yet again in the same place, take another photograph of a cat, say. Then, as you shine your laser through the hologram “film”, you move the laser from the bear a little bit and you can see the dog, then move it a little further away and then you can see the cat. Although all 3 were photographed in the exact same place at a different time, the hologram holds them completely within itself. Everywhere and everywhen, as the lecturer said.
So, I suppose the question comes up yet again – it is spirit taking form or form taking on spirit? I have yet another appreciation for synchronicities as they arise from the unconscious and make their appearances in the external world. It seems to me this is the spirit making itself known, reflecting in our waking lives another truth of our lives. It’s a recognition of the patterns and for me, being reminded God is more that I could ever think him/her to be.
I agree in the many facets of his/her nature, the ever-changing constant of his/her existence. I’m not sure I’m so much holding on to these glimpses as to experiencing them in some slight manner – or perhaps its all the same thing.
I’ve got to be off – working at the jail today.
On Jun 26, 2008, at 6:28 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Hi Emily – A Jewish friend of mine recently showed me a book called something like The Many Names of God. The point of it I believe was that the Infinite is Infinite.
Just lately I have really travelled into this in outward and inward ways. I watched a BBC TV documentary called Dangerous Knowledge. It was about how several mathematical geniuses tried to define infinity using mathematical formula. Nobody had ever managed this before, and one of them, Georg Cantor, thought he had done it. But then every time he checked he realised he hadn’t quite managed it.
I explored this inwardly and what I came across, and actually science states this in some ways, is that the Universe, the infinite, is constantly flashing, changing. In between each flashing minute change is an emptiness, the void, silence.
Of course this is just me trying to put something into words, but God, the Infinite can never ever be defined because it is always recreating itself anew, and each new shift is unique, like finger prints and snowflakes. It is all so obvious really. All around us, all over our own unique body and soul.
I say all this because of what you said about your experience and quantum physics. There are an infinite number of ways to look upon that glorious face. And if we see it, we have only taken a photo, a single click of its ever changing being. That is also why I would love you to watch the video I sent a link to – another view of that wonder.
Also, if we hold onto any aspect of that flashing change, we make it real in the world of the body. We all take part in the creative process in every moment. Click. Click. Click. Click.
You just took part in the creation Emily. Whatever you were holding in mind became more real. And the billions of us are all the time creating a different world. Maybe it is only infinitesimal changes – but here it comes again. Click. Click. Click.
Sharing the infinite with you. Click. Click. Tony
Considering what I have seen holding people away from connecting with the power that heals, that wipes away pain, guilt or grief, I realise that many people are so frightened of losing control, of being engulfed by past pains, of not being able to deal with what will happen if they surrender. But it appears to me that if we cannot open to what I experienced as Life itself, as the creative wonder expressing as our universe, then we are victims of our pain, you are possessed by fears, strange ideas and conflict. You are actually overpowered already by what had failed to let go on.
When I offered to help some Christians to really surrender, one of the big fears was that the Devil would then take them over. I said to them, “But if you have actually given yourself to Christ or God, what is there to fear?”
It seemed to me at the time they were already held prisoner by fear and what they call the devil. The Devil, if there is such a thing outside the imagination and fears of the person, must have been having a real laugh.
So, what I see as the necessary skills or qualities in becoming whole, are firstly, a real trust in what gives you life. You want to name that God – then a real and sustaining trust in the power and love of God. With such trust you can totally give yourself. Can totally surrendered to the action of Life/God when you let go of your own self control, your habits, ideas and beliefs, resistances and fears?
So you could say this meeting with what arises is a challenge of faith. Do you really believe, or are you just playing at believing in God? Perhaps you have dressed for the part but put on your swimming costume, but you dare not get into the ocean.
It is to avoid the many dead ends people get themselves into. These are typified by the roles people believe are so import – leader/follower – top dog/under dog – authority/lay person – lay person/disciple – guru/disciple – famous /ordinary – successful/failure.
Problem with these is that ultimately we are all expression of something beyond understanding, and to really believe we are a role we are active in, it limits us and others.
The other side of this is to learn about the human condition. It’s not so you can become an authority but to be able to work with what we meet in yourself, and perhaps enable others to do the same.
Suggestions for help things to understand are:
Habit – memory – decisions – relationship – repeated experiences.
General the old and adage is still true. “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and everything you need will follow.”
Some other things that are worth passing on to Emily are as follows.
Four levels of expression – symbolic expression – or maybe each level needs fuller description.
Energy flow – inwards/outward, and then how energy flow moves into different questions such as sex – abdominal sensations and hungers – chest and emotions – holding on and letting go – speech with sound – head, thought, curiosity – spirit and out of body experiences. Thinking about spirit it seems to me the best way to define it is an experience GE has in it quality of timelessness, formlessness, huge awareness.
There needs to be some mention of past lives also.
July 27th 2008
Thanks for taking the time to write. I’ll write while the dream group experience is still fresh, and look forward to your reply after you return home.
The teary aspect – bear with me as I try to give the pertinent details and I will probably get wordy. I’ll describe the scenario which led to the tears:
The enactment was between two of us. A female character, whom I played, walked into a room dream ego had been happily painting in, and called a color the dream ego was painting with pink. Dream ego took a lot of umbrage and said it wasn’t pink, it was a darker color than that (which it was – a dark magenta), but dream ego didn’t have the word for the color at that particular time. The female character and dream ego immediately got into an ugly mess, with neither of us willing to see the other’s point of view. The more I said it was pink, the more she said it wasn’t and she couldn’t tell me what color it was. I didn’t purposely try to antagonize her, but I kept pushing my point of view, as she did hers. Physically, we both backed away from each other, and I thought I could discern a lot of discomfort in the two other helpers who were watching this play out.
Then, still in the dream character, I wanted to soften all of this – come to some sort of agreement, resolution, understanding (in the next dream scene, the two characters nodded to each other in silent acknowledgement). But my friend stayed as the dream ego character and wouldn’t budge. Very, very, stubborn. This is what brought me to tears. I was willing to try to see if we could both express our points of view and try to understand each other, talk about color and how we can see the same color differently, but she flat out refused to talk about it. I felt rejected, misunderstood, shut off and shut out from her by her own defenses. I felt somewhere along the line maybe I was asking for all this to happen, and that somehow I was being passive-aggressive and had antagonized her enough to get her to this point, and purposely had called the color a color I knew would provoke a reaction in her (although the dream doesn’t support this).
That’s when the tears started to surface and the question arose in me: ”How much does one have to hurt before others know you?” I realized yesterday that the question I was really asking was “How much does one have to hurt before others know that you are hurting?”
As I shifted in my dream role, I was hoping Cecilia would to, so that we could work through this impasse. But, she didn’t play along with me. She stuck to her role. I suppose if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced those tears. And yes, it was easy to bridge this into my waking life. Those angry and frustrating feelings I’ve been trying to change and transform to ones of acceptance. This doesn’t happen consciously, as much as I wish it could. So much that doesn’t happen consciously, and if it did, would we be better off in this world if we could change these inner negative feelings at the drop of a hat into positive ones?
20th August 2008-08-21
I’d just like to briefly let you know there was a small group of women
here tonight for Dream Group. There were 5 of us, including my
Spiritual Director, who came to see how this process worked. We worked
her dream, and now she is part of this group! All went well, and we
find we continue to refer to your steps as we progress through the
evening. They are so well-thought out. There are times someone wants
to digress, or asks a “leading question” or wants to project, but yes,
we gently bring them back to the dreamer.
The dream tonight was so full of hope – “snuggling with God” – taking
in the Breath of Life. At the time, the dreamer had no idea what the
dream meant, but as she went through the process, insights and
associations came to her. A legend Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes about
came to mind for her – “Skeleton Woman” where the skeleton woman
drinks in the tear of the Inuit man and is brought back to life. It
was so analogous to her dream of taking in the Breath of the man she
lay with. It was all quite wonderful.
So, I share this with you to thank-you again for all you have written
in regards to dreams and dreaming, and giving us such a wonderful way
to experience the dream. I believe I mentioned before, that at the end
of the process, we share our projections, which the dreamer usually
does want, and they are so much more insightful due to all that the
One last thing before I forget, I don’t know if you received an e-mail
a while back. Part of it referred to specific spice images which
appeared in some of my dreams. I only mention it again because I think
it would be so useful to have some of their meanings in your on-line
21st August 2008
Hi Emily – I can’t remember any email with mention of spice in it. In fact I searched as I keep a record of all our communications. So please tell me again or resend the email if you still have it. I am trying to fill in the gaps in Dream Dictionary when I can.
Thank you again for sharing news of the Dream Group. Wonderful to hear yet,
frustrating because I so love to fully take in such work and being so far away I have missed it. I am so full of questions.
What I mean is I try to fill in the gaps – the richness of the actual experience of the dreamer.
However, because I am working with the woman – Tiziana Stupia – I am sharing and experiencing a lot. As usual I am both leading and following, Supporting and also exploring. Some new ground appearing for me. I don’t understand it well yet.
Also, the stuff I am writing is taking me into new areas. Here is a small scrap.
This is so obvious why am I pointing it out?
Well, this is the world we live in and it is obviously quite a dangerous world. The US National Centre for Health Statistics reports that almost fifty percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Adult use of antidepressants has tripled since 1988. Their use with children has soared, and a large number of people taking antidepressants used them to commit suicide. Alcohol related deaths have more than doubled in the UK , and in Scotland the problem is so serious the government has introduced rulings attempting to change a national problem.
Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated one in four adult Americans aged 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Breakdown in our society is immense. Compare this to the Kalash tribal people who have no crime, all house doors are forever open, and whose happiness is not broken by the amount of mental illness and breakdown we experience in the west. Such comparison shows that our society is very sick, and we need to understand how to survive it.
It is therefore helpful to assess how we personally deal with living in what could be described as a ‘toxic society’. If we take time to clarify the situation it may help to see how to meet it in a creative and less personally destructive way.
As ever – Tony
Thanks for your reply. I can really get rather depressed thinking of all the evil and toxicity in the world. However, over the last few days I’ve felt that Life/God/Nature doesn’t give up on us. Although I’ve missed some actions I could have taken, I know more opportunities will appear in the future. Thus we have to believe that Good will overtake Evil. As for India, it’s heartbreaking to hear of that evil. That shadow stuff that underlies our humanity, either individually or as a society as a whole. I have to believe that as I work through my stuff and try to be an example of compassion (which is rather hard for me at times) that may in turn have an effect on someone else. As I get in touch with my demons, perhaps I’ll be able to expel those of others by my example.
Years ago, on a trip to Guatemala, children were waiting for us to finish dinner. I thought they were going to beg us for money, but no. They wanted the chicken bones off of our dinner plates! It became clear to me that I could give all my money away, and there would still be poor people. On another trip to Guatemala years later, a young teenager entered the restaurant where only my husband and I were eating at the time, walked over to my plate and grabbed my chicken right off my plate and walked out the door eating it! Will we ever be able to serve the poor properly? Especially as the population increases and resources get more scarce. Scary. As I presently think about these two right now, I believe they are speaking to me now – to help address the needs of the poor. There are avenues I can take. I will need to take more action on this.
Your own experiences growing up testify to this madness of greed, these horrible cravings to satisfy the emptiness inside. Such horror in India – and I hadn’t put two and two together and realize that the “spiritual practices” in India have to do with killing out the ego to avoid pain. It wants to make me cry. I do want to read what Tiziana writes about it.
Herbs – I hadn’t put the mythology and folklore together on that yet, either. It makes a lot of sense. I will let you know if I or if someone else wants to share what they have done with the dreams of images of herbs. I haven’t worked with the images of my dreams. Meeting once a month is so difficult for me – we are only able to work one dream a night, so it’s so slow going.
Oh – the good news! An intern counsellor at the Low-Cost Counseling Center at my church (I am proud to be a member of my church – we have extraordinary outreach efforts) was referred to me. She has a teenage client who is having nightmares and wanted to talk to me about them. This teenager was abused as a child. You have so many references on your website to nightmares, is there anything in particular that you feel would be most useful to her? I was able to refer her to another Jungian Counsellor to talk to, but you have so much information on your site I want to direct her there as well.
And, the upshot of this referral is that the Counseling Center wants me to give them a presentation about dreams. Only one counsellor has had experience with one of Jeremy Taylor’s workshops, but the rest of them are newbies to dream work. Exciting, no?? This is the group that I’ve been wanting to work with to start a dream group, but the Board of Directors voted that idea down. Now, a year later, it looks like they are much more receptive. I have some ideas in mind how to proceed, but if you think there’s any one or two major points that I should emphasize, please do let me know. I do plan to emphasize that “dreams come in health and wholeness”.
So – that was the Good Thing. We have to remember to think about the good things. Slowly but surely Life offers us more opportunities to spread the love and goodwill to others. Some people we can touch, others we can’t. Only God can show them that non-judgement and love that we mere humans aren’t at times capable of (I speak of this in terms of my family – as much as I “want” to be compassionate, anger and other negative emotions rise up instead, for which I feel so awful about – awful because I can’t seem to be able to be compassionate and loving when I most want and need to be.).
On Wednesday I’ll be out of town a few days, but will be able to pick up e-mail. Next week my husband and I are going backpacking, so I’ll be out of touch for 5 or 6 days. I so look forward to this trip – we went so many times early in our marriage, and we haven’t been in the Yosemite Wilderness for almost two years).
So, I am grateful for the good things, and may the gratitude extend beyond my boundries.
August 26th 2008
Just a quickie as I have been having such a lazy time I want to work today – maybe!
I know the last email was looking at the dark side of society, but that is a balance we need to do fairly often to stop ourselves floating away in a pink cloud. However, I have never been a pessimistic person despite living through WW2 and the atomic bomb anxieties. I feel I was born to learn lessons particularly about love – I had killed it in the past – and to give a message. One of thousands of course.
The times I have met the great beings in other dimensions they never seemed worried about what we are doing, though of course they did tell me things needed to be done – as I think I must have pointed you to in Visions in the River of Dreams.
Have you seen the book The Great Turning, by David Korten? He has enormous experience of the outer things that are happening in the world as we gradually turn away from the awful top down structures of government, religion and industry. You know, the guy(s) at the top tell everybody else how it’s to be – or else.
As far as one or two points – well here are a few so take your pick.
Experiments where dreams have been stopped by waking the person as soon as they start a dream – REM – led them quickly to mental breakdown. Animals in the same experiment in which they could continue past the breakdown point all died. This suggests dreams are vital for physical and psychological health.
People do not realise we have two levels of will – conscious will, and the will and creativity that shows itself in the dream process. This has been known for centuries but we seem to play it down in our top down society. The head, rationalism, rules. This despite the fact we do not exist without heartbeat etc, all governed by the deeper will. We see that in animals, but until recently – remember Darwin – we insist we ARE NOT animals.
The fact of death at dream cessation points to a central self or core self from which dreams arise. It also point out how vital it is to keep open to the action of that core self/God/Life within. The less we are aligned with it the less healthy we are in body and mind. And it isn’t just going to church that keeps this alignment. In sleep we completely surrender body and mind, and are moved very fully in all ways – body, emotions, sexual feelings, creativity, self assessment, etc – because of that surrender. But even so, as Freud found out, we STILL manage to resist the full action. Surrender is not complete unless we manage it consciously as well. The ego/personality holds out against the inner will.
Sent: Thursday, 9 October, 2008 20:57:55
Subject: Back in touch!
I hope all is well with you! I apologize for not writing sooner. We’ve moved my Mom into assisted care now. She is a 4-5 hour drive from us, and I’ve had to make the trip several times these past weeks. But, she’s settled now and likes where she is. However, now I’m the one worried and depressed about where her Alzheimer’s will take her. I can see how she is less able to care for herself each time I see her, and that’s so difficult to face. But I know that’s life, or the progression or regression of life’s forces, and I can only meet it the best I can.
So, I am creating space to breath again, getting back in touch with others who are important to me, and trying to delve back into creating art (during this period, I dreamt an art teacher told me I had a lot of potential in art, but if I didn’t use it I’d be asked to leave the group, which would have been devastating to me). It’s been a journey so far, both inner and outer. I’ve also started taking a Kundalini Yoga class, which has been extremely beneficial so far.
Tonight is the night where I will give a talk at the Low-cost Counseling Center about dreams. I’ve just reread the prior e-mails you sent, which is a good basis for this talk. I’ve compiled a list of books for them to read and various websites for them to visit. I also read your Visions in the River of Dreams, and was deeply touched by the writing and the circumstances surrounding it. I can certainly agree with what you write.
I don’t think I mentioned a person by the name of Larry Maze to you. He’s a former Archbishop of the state of Arkansas. He presented papers and did workshops at the Kanuga Dream Conference I attended last June. I mention him because we used his papers in a short class at church. (Unfortunately, we never got to the dream portions of the conference like I had hoped we would. My pastor stayed with the theological questions). I thought you may be interested in his papers – I’ve attached them below. I especially like his presentation on The Matter of Evil. There’s also a website www.seedwork.org you may want to check out. Many audio tapes of prior conferences can be downloaded. But you cover so many issues like these as well it may not be very new to you at all.
One final topic. We had another dream group meeting. However, the work was a bit messy as much of the conversation veered into projective work rather than the dreamer staying in her role in the dream. So, we were faced with a lot of intellectualization and very little in the feeling mode. I don’t know what this bears for the future, but as a group we need to meet and talk about side-tracking off into projective work. I suppose being trained or introduced to projective work first (as we all were) make it that much more difficult to experience dream work via the peer dream work. It’s frustrating for me – I think the bottom line is some people want to “discuss” what their dream means rather than experience it for themselves. Maybe dream work is different for introverts and extraverts. Or for intuitives and intellectuals. Or for people who accept responsibility and those who are more passive in life.
Hi Emily – I seem to have slipped out of time for a while. I can’t believe I got your email on the 9th. Exciting time though. I went to London to work with my friend Dina on the book we are doing. It is a bit of a whirlwind being with her, but after the debris settles there is real creativity and innovation. So all is well.
Are you feeling adjusted to your Mom being far away now? A friend in LA did the same thing and was involved in keeping on contact for quite a long time.
How did the talk go at the counselling centre? Ages ago now, but would like to hear.
The woman, Tiziana, who has been studying with me has had long exploratory discussions with me about money and being in a helping profession. I am fortunate enough not to have to charge, but obviously some people need to and then occasionally make a big thing about valuing themselves and charging a lot. We came to a middle way of charging people what they earned an hour for an hour of ones time. Then it didn’t exclude anyone.
The book I am working on is really about The Visions in the Valley of Dreams. The present economic turmoil is, I believe a part of it. But if the vision is correct, I see this is just the beginning. It isn’t just a high tide of change, it is a Tsunami. So the book is about what that means and about how we all have within us the innate powers to deal with it – if we dare meet who we are.
I read some of what you sent before I went away. A very thoughtful and wide visioned person. I had the feeling of how much care had been put into what was said so as to educate gently without banging people’s sensitivities.
The dream group work – well yes, it is work. People are somewhat stuck in interpretation instead of exploration. When I was teaching it I got really told off on occasion because I wouldn’t let someone tell the dreamer what their dream mean. They were sure they knew exactly what it meant and got quite angry with me. It isn’t easy either, for people to realise just how deeply you can help someone by doing very little. I think a lot of people have a secret aspiration to be an ‘expert’ or authority, and gain prestige. I did meet that in myself too, and saw with a shock that I needed it to deal with low self esteem. I almost gave up the work when I realised what I was doing it for. Managed to carry on with a bit more humility.
Also I think you are so right when you say – It’s frustrating for me – I think the bottom line is some people want to “discuss” what their dream means rather than experience it for themselves. Maybe dream work is different for introverts and extroverts. Or for intuitives and intellectuals. Or for people who accept responsibility and those who are more passive in life.
I tried to run a dream group in Melbourne, Australia. Quite a few turned up the first night. The second meeting there was only one person. I believe they wanted to talk about dreams or have me tell them what they meant.
As ever – Tony
November 8th 2008
Thank you for this apropos e-mail. It comes at the time that I am dreaming about healing experiences (both physical and emotional). Healing opportunities/events are now being manifested in waking life. I look forward to reading more.
I am enjoying your book Eye of Dreams, in particular the latter chapters – “Secrets of Mind and Spirit” and “The Way In”. I need to read and reread them slowly. A lot of depth for me in those chapters. This all fits together.
On Nov 7, 2008, at 2:53 AM, Tony Crisp wrote:
Just a quick ‘aside’ Emily – I am working on something and looking for information, an example of conversation with a dream character.
Anyway, I came across your description of your first lucid experience and the blackness after the eye blink. It reminded me of the following and wanted to show it to you.
More Later – Tony
William Lilley was a spiritual healer. He lived an extraordinary life, uniting in his practice the use of ordinary medicine, herbs, massage, manipulation, sound therapy, vibration therapy, along with a clairvoyant ability to look into the body and diagnose sickness. He was able to consciously ‘leave his body’ and visit the ‘Beautiful Place’, where he met the dead. His description of this is typical of many other people’s even to the ‘going through the mists’, but it contains an unusual element not often given – but he can describe it best:
When I am going into trance, I breathe in the Yoga method shown me by Dr. Letari. Immediately I get a sensation as though I am falling, or being pulled backwards. As this sensation comes to a climax, I seem to be travelling through space at terrific speed.
I have opened my eyes many times at this point, but the only vision I have is of passing through a dense fog. Then, quite suddenly, the fog clears and I am at a stile. I climb over this stile and immediately there is a voice speaking to me over my shoulder. This voice is always with me, explaining everything I see and everyone I meet. The stile seems to be on the edge of a large field, which rises gradually to the form of a hill. I walk up the hill, and beyond it I visit many places.
I have been to the Children’s Land many times and have spoken to children with whom I used to go to school, many of whom I did not know had died until I met them. I have paid visits too, to the Halls of Learning, which seem to me more like the Acropolis at Athens.
It is always the same stile, the same hill, the same voice, and it just seems like a large country with so many different towns to visit.
The most interesting and remarkable experience I ever had during these visits into the Spirit, happened before I went into trance. Several people had been speaking of consciousness. They had asked me to describe the Spirit. Was it solid? Did I appear solid? I promised them that if I could, I would find out.
I arrived at my stile, the voice came to me, and it evidently knew my desire, because it said “Feel the earth!” I did. It was solid. “Feel the grass beneath your feet!” I did. That was solid too, and even had dew on it. “Smell these flowers!” They were perfectly natural and had the usual perfume. In fact, everything around was natural. Then I was told, “Feel your body”. I did so. It was as solid as I am materially.
‘The voice then said, “Close your eyes; make your consciousness passive”, or as you would do when preparing for a trance state. “Now feel the earth beneath your feet!” There was nothing. “Open your eyes”. It wasn’t dark, it wasn’t light. “Feel at your body”. It wasn’t there. “Such is Spirit” said the voice. “Just a consciousness holding within it all experiences of your lifetime, all the joys and sorrows, your desires, achievements and failures, whence comes spiritual evolution. In your world of the material, you are able to examine matter; everything is matter. When you think of the spiritual, naturally you build in your consciousness another material world.”
There are very few comments on spiritualism, by a renowned spiritualist, quite as descriptive and cogent as this. But before we approach it, and the other quoted experiences, I will mention two more examples to complete the evidence, so to speak.
November 18th 2008
I just wanted to quickly check in and say hello. I hope you are doing well, and that your newest book project is going well.
I have finished reading Eye of the Dream and have found it to be quite profound. Your writing intrigues me as much as ever. However, I have about come to the conclusion that, although there are those many levels of consciousness waiting for one to experience, the soul/spirit/mind in the body I have may never reach the depths of experiences described in the so many wonderful examples in the book.
That leaves me – well, almost wordless at this point. It seems to me that much is required of someone to reach these incredible stages of higher consciousness.
Although I may deeply “want those experiences” (and I do), I think I have to accept that in this present lifetime of mine, they may not be accessible. Perhaps because I feel so alone at times in my attempts to further my inner experiences, either through the various exercises you outline, or through the various meditations, there is no one physically walking this path with me or guiding me telling me how I can do what I am doing better or differently. Or so I feel at the present moment. I do have to say, I am appreciating the kundalini yoga more and more as I already can sense the inner calm that is growing within.
But, I have come to appreciate so much that I have such remarkable dream recall (although no lucidity). I suppose that counts for a lot – I know so many people who may recall only one or two dreams a month. So, I’m grateful that I have the “thin boundries” as Ernest Hartmann would say, to have so much recall. I also have and take the time to record them. Now, to just be able to work with them more! There is no dream group this month; the next one will be mid-December. But I do go back and review the dreams, think about them, see the threads that unite them, and watch the ebb and flow of the symbols.
Speaking of symbols, I am hoping that you can expand on the dream interpreter definition of “man”. Specifically, a man with woman’s breasts (in the dream, he had 4 breasts, but I’m curious even if it’s two!). In the same vein, if you could expand on “woman” with male genitalia. I can intellectually relate to the feminine in the masculine and vice versa, but I’d love to hear your own words for this paradoxical dream image.
Hi Emily – I am trying to catch up on my emails today, but as usual, I get caught up with other things. Anyway, here I am back online.
Thanks for taking the time to read Eye of Dreams, and to comment on it. As for you never being able to access the many levels of being, I have come to recognise that the thought is part of the problem. Whatever we think has a reality in its own realm.
Some weeks back I went to France with the woman, Dina, I am writing a book with. She is keen on an intuitive approach when exploring ideas. I said to her that I thought I had somehow lost most of my intuitive ability. It had been very pronounced at one time, but now seems almost gone. That didn’t phase her at all. She simply said, “Let’s try.”
In fact the response was amazing. It hadn’t gone, I had just put doubts in the way.
I notice this all the time with people. They say, “I am sure I couldn’t do that.” Or perhaps “I don’t have that ability.”
Also, I never had a teacher except in dreams and books – and experience of course. As I followed what my dreams showed me it led to a fuller opening. What I experienced in that way was a teacher. So there is another one of those things we tell ourselves – I haven’t got a teacher. How can I progress?
Life is the teacher in daily events. We learn by listening with as much of ourselves as we can. I have attached something I wrote recently about this. I think maybe you have read these ideas before from me, but I have put them slightly more simply this time. It is a chapter from the book.
Definition of man? That’s a big one as it depends so much on context and who is dreaming.
I suppose one of the most striking things I experienced in recent years is that a dream image is just a ‘front’ for massive data banks of experience and information. For instance, supposing we liken your memory to a huge filing system – rooms of it. Within those rooms there is a whole section marked ‘MAN’. Within that section of ‘MAN’ are countless folders with experience and information in about particular men in your life – from father onwards. Apart from that there is a big file or system of files dealing with what you inherited culturally about MAN, and also what you have absorbed from mother and other women. Then there is the media and books. So much.
What particular aspect of all this a dream is expressing depends on how the dream presents, clothes, acts, speaks and relates as the man. So the dream image is a communication between your waking awareness and those massive files of information, and dealing with a particular aspect of your life and development. There is a whole book here somewhere.
As for the female male, and the male female, this is one of those lifetime areas of growth we each face and achieve in lesser or greater degrees. Fundamentally we are without a particular gender, but in connection with our body we often have very marked female or male characteristics and responses to life. However, as we move through the major problems we are wrestling with we start meeting our other half and finding symbols of blending. Eventually the male and female are one in us, though we can easily continue to live as a male or female.
I believe that a lot of homosexuality isn’t arising out of that, but out of undealt with factors in early life.
So what happens when you let yourself experience the male female or the female male?
Did you see my piece the Bliss of Becoming One?
All for now – Tony
From: Emily 23 December, 2008 19:38:35
Subject: A time to reconnect
I was just going to ask how your health is when I checked your website and read that you had a stroke on Dec. 5th. I am so relieved to hear that you are recovering well. I pray that you are able to continue with what is most dear and near to your heart, your writing, your working with others, and your ability to move and express yourself both physically and intuitively.
It has been a month since you have e-mailed and alas I have not replied. I know you are full of forgiveness, hence there is no need of my feeling guilty for this oversight of not being better in touch. I thought I would wait until three dream meetings had taken place this month, and to fill up an e-mail with descriptions of the events. So, I’ll do so now.
I think the most amazing people doing dream work in California are those who live in the Berkeley area, and several attend GTU (Graduate Theological Union – a description from their webpage: Located in Berkeley, California, where the diversity of cultures and faith traditions reflects our own, study at the GTU is intellectually challenging and rich in resources. Our union is a pioneering educational environment: a graduate school that is a consortium of nine theological seminaries and eight centers and affiliates. We are blessed with one of the finest theological libraries in the world, an uncommonly large faculty of distinguished scholars, and a close collaborative relationship with our neighboring institution, the University of California, Berkeley. The proximity of our member schools, multifaith centers, and interdisciplinary programs creates a dynamic intellectual community that draws scholars from around the world.
Thus I met with a jazz singer, and a woman working on her PhD. To me, it appears that a group of 3 seems to have the deepest ability to stay tuned to the dreamer. There is little chance that distracting questions will be asked of the dreamer. I have learned not to ask “why” questions. By doing so, it seems the dreamer comes out of right brain activity and into left brain analysis. Asking why questions asks for interpretation, not exploration. The other woman had the ability to bring the woman deep into the image by asking wonderful questions – ah, the power of asking the right questions. Whether in dream work or faith work – the right questions are so motivating and exciting and draws people together to build upon the next question.
The next group was as pure as a projection group that can be. Earl is an ordained minister now, just having graduated from Starr King UU. He has been involved in dreamwork for a very long time. Another man, Rik, is a medical technician. I’ve yet to hear him share a dream but he always shows up to group to work with the other. There were two new women whom I’d never met. They had attended a seminar with Jeremy somewhere in the area, and came to be with other like-minded people. In 3 1/2 hours we were able to “work” three dreams. Two of the dreams involved descending – one down a cliff with a quick way out by climbing some nearby stairs, and the other riding very scared in an elevator going down in a speeding manner. The other dream of a woman who cannot find a place in a ladies room to urinate, and finds a beautiful red lizard in a sink. The balance of dream work went well, and we conversed with the dreamer as we projected, unlike at the Haden-Institute in North Carolina where the dreamer, once the dream is shared, no longer participates in the group.
The final dream group was once again with 3 women. This time, all of us artists. All of us taking time to think about our questions to pose to the dreamer. The dreamer, taking a lot of time in describing her role, and a lot of time in answering the questions. I was aware of our long “pause times”. In my waking life, I rarely finish my thoughts before someone else chimes in the conversation because they aren’t aware that I pause to think about what I am going to say next. Others don’t seem to recognize this varying “pause pattern” in people. So, to be in a small group where the three of us all had that same need to pause between thoughts was like the ugly duckling finally finding his home.
The dreamer in this dream group had a little trouble with how to transition from the dreamer’s role of being the image back to the waking life (Step 7). She wasn’t able to tie the dream very well to her waking life, it was difficult for her to summarize what she had learned from playing her role or how to bring it out of the symbol into her everyday life. When we summarized what she had said, there still wasn’t much ‘aha’ to her experience. But, in the end, that was ok. She said she felt like she was in a trance, and wasn’t sure at first whether she could pull a lot out of the character, but she did and was pleased with the exercise. It was the first time she had tried the process and she is willing to try it again.
So, Tony. This e-mail is perhaps longer than you are able to focus on right now. I hope and pray and actually know that you are in good care with family and friends to support you and love you as you regain your health. May the light surround you all.
Hi Emily – Thanks for the lovely response.
I cannot deal with words very well at the present, but I can manage to make myself understood. I have only managed to write this sort of sentence since a few days ago. This was my attempt earlier in the week.
Darling – I sense you feeling in a new pathway – in your footpath – your
foot and your heating in your sole. You will giving the trackway and your
breathless as it follows.
There are only colours and tries that we collect from the many thinksing ine
Now the wind move and I am stand in the darkness and quietness.
I see what a emotions whirling about in frigtened. I see the hands and faces
as them small by we all.
And I takes their hands and held them cross to me. For that it we tell us if
If that is love, then I take it and it give and take and another not time
Tony. Tony I call .
So, Emily, take it and give it.