Thursday, November 12, 2009
Painting the Higher Self
I'm still savoring all the rich experiences we shared in group journeying and performance over last weekend on the magic mountain. In one of the exercises, I invited two dozen dreamers to enter a dream of my own in which I visited an artist who was working on a picture of the Higher Self. In the dream, I led a group along a spiraling path up a hill, past immense guardian figures, including a stone lion with a great carnelian in its back, flashing red fire. We entered a domed building that was larger inside than outside. There I found the artist, working on his canvas, which was set up against the opposite wall. At the bottom of the picture he had painted a human figure surrounded by bands of various colors, representing the body inside its multiple energy envelopes. This figure seemed as small as a candle flame in proportion to the shapes above it, which represented the Higher Self, as encountered on successive levels. The finished area of the canvas was minute in comparison to the vast space of the canvas above, which went up and up; it was impossible to see where it ended - if it ended.
I recounted this dream in a way that put the members of our circle on that spiraling path, and invited them to enter that domed building and inspect their own pictures of the Higher Self. With everyone relaxed on rugs and cushions, in comfortable journeying position, I drummed to provide the fuel and focus for our group adventure in expanding our understanding of the multidimensional self. When I reentered the domed building, I was initially surprised that it seemed to have acquired many windows that I did not recall from the original dream, in which the light streamed down from above, from a high skylight or a roof that was open to sun and moon. When I looked more closely, I saw that the new windows were the pictures that were being created by the other dreamers and their own artist selves. Some glowed in translucent colors like stained glass.
After the journey, I was eager to hear what our dreamers had found in their quests for an image of the higher self. Michele reported that when she reached the stone lion, she mounted the carnelian on its back, like a saddle, and rode in this way through the entrance to the domed building. She found herself entering a triune state of consciousness: she entered the painting-in-progress, while at the same time merging with the artist and also maintaining a witness perspective that kept her alert to the activity of the other dreamers. As the artist, "I was painting on a swing hung from an unknown realm that swooped higher as I painted up. Abstract shapes in different colors brushed across the canvas and became pathways, river ways, forests that I could enter. Images from dreams, gods, goddesses, and infinite symbols exploded onto the panorama in full color, vibrant and alive. Inside the world I created my soul song. The experience was fast, expansive and filled with infinite joy."
When Wanda entered the domed building, "I settled immediately just behind the artist and then became the artist but only briefly. I looked up and around me and saw a vast seemingly endless expanse of soaring cathedral-like carvings along a cylindrical wall, shadow lit by the flashing colors of old stained glass. The patterns soared into a space above that seemed to have no limits. The small heart flame glowed on the giant canvas and I entered it. As I entered it there was an explosion of amber/yellow light with glowing beams of carnelian that blazed into a bright white along the edges and flowed upward. My body moved swiftly toward the white flowing light and then - in a flash of white - I saw myself as a young man stepping out of a shallow river. Bright sunlight flashed on the river and flashed back and forth across the face of mountain cliffs on either side of the river. I - as the young man - stood up, carrying a long staff in one hand and a white guitar in the other, and I entered his journey. As the drum sounded the recall, I felt refreshed and felt great joy - nothing seemed to deter my journey to reach my higher self . I don't yet understand why I rose from the water as a young man, or the significance of the white guitar, but it all felt right."
Diana reports: "The painter I encounter is at first a male Renaissance type but then the form disappears and it feels like me. I view a powerful, immense white light, looking something like a wide funnel or pillar, coming down from way high above where the ceiling should have been. Then it is as if I have become immense and the pillar of light is beaming through the top of my head permeating and surrounding me. There seems to be an entity invisible to me at the source of this light; it seems like a female entity. I am given to understand that this light-force holds the form of me in place, both as a "physical" image and energetically. Then I become aware that there are a number such as me attached to her and we are each living out possibilities that She dreams. They are as if attached by streams of light. They return into her when their lives are done."
In Carol's journey: "I saw the smaller flame of the personality. Then I simply went into the painting. I found myself standing on one of the lines of a grid or net. The lines go up and down. I began to walk the grid. I realized that at the intersection of the lines there were other lines or pathways that went "in". I could go up or down and then in. Those "in" lines were paths along different timelines. I walked the times of Jeanne d'Arc. Another line took me to to the times of Jesus of Nazareth. One pathway leads to the dawn of earth. There are so many lines and possibilities. I saw people I do not know. The one I most want to know more about is not in the world we know. She turned toward me. She looked serene. She seemed to be a wise woman, a healer. She wears a beautiful garment, long and flowing. This robe or dress is lightweight, silky, a tapestry of blues and silvery colors, of a fabric unknown to earth. We communicate or make contact in a language I don't know when I'm back here. That contact felt more real than real. I think she can help me. I do not know if I can help her. She was not as surprised to see me as I was to see her."
Sara reports: "I enter the space where the painter is working on a canvas that extends upward and beyond where my eye can follow. I come closer and as I approach the painter turns towards me and motions me over. The painter is me but a me that I almost don't recognize because there is so much light that emanates from her. She motions for me to stand in front of the painting/canvas facing her. She begins to apply the paint on me and with each stroke of the brush I feel myself stretched upward following the rainbow of color that goes up. I'm still the painter, and myself, but I feel my being expanded in a way. I hear the recall and come back. I feel different, more of myself than before the journey."
In my own journey, I was surprised that the painter looked like a figure from an earlier time, until part of my awareness fused with his. I studied the bands of color he had painted around the figure like a candle flame and was prompted by an inner voice to name the subtle energy bodies he had depicted in the manner of the Greek initiates: the sarkon pneumatikon, the sarkon astroeides, the sarkon augoeides. Above and beyond these, my artist had evoked a celestrial body that has to be earned or re-acquired. High above, he had begun to depict a flaming sun-like disk. A shaft of light from this center reached down to the crown center of the figure at the bottom of the painting. Similar rays, or shafts of light, extended to other personalities embodied in different times and places. I understood that this represented a family of selves, joined by a common center - a self on a higher level - who have the same origin and whose fortunes are intimately connected even if they are never aware of each other in ordinary consciousness. They can have contact with each other through their subtle bodies, which are quite mobile, but the key to their deeper identity and life purpose is to be found at their common hub, which in turn is linked to a center on a yet higher level.
Some of the artists in our group - and some who did not previously consider themselves artists - are now working with brushes and paints, or oil crayons, on pictures of the Higher Self based on this journey. Since we don't yet have any of these scanned and ready to show here, I have picked a card from the Servants of the Light Tarot - painted by Jo Gill and designed by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki - as our graphic. This version of the Star trump nicely evokes the connection between the personality, with its denser and subtler energy bodies, and the light of the Higher Self.