Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Unfinished Portrait of the Higher Self


Picture this: You are walking a spiraling path up a hill, past immense guardian figures, including a stone lion with a great carnelian in its back, flashing red fire. You enter a domed building that proves to be larger inside than outside. 
     Across the space you see an artist, working on an immense canvas that is set up against the opposite wall. At the bottom of the picture the artist has painted a human figure surrounded by bands of various colors, representing the body inside its multiple energy envelopes.
    This figure seems as small as a candle flame in proportion to the shapes above it, which represent the Higher Self, as encountered on successive levels. The finished area of the canvas is minute in comparison to the vast space of the canvas above, which goes up and up. It is impossible to see where it the picture in progress ends,
 if it ends.



I walked that spiral path, to the artist at work on a portrait of the Higher Self, in a dream.  It had terrific energy, plenty to share, and I felt that others might like to walk that path and meet their own version of the artist. In a workshop, I spread my dream over and around the group as a tent of vision within which we could visualize and explore successive levels of soul and Self.
      I invited the members of that circle to take the spiraling path, meet their own artist and inspect their own pictures of the Higher Self. While drumming for the group, I journeyed back inside my dream. I felt the great lion stirring, and the heat of the carnelian flashing fire. I reentered the domed building. I was 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 actually pictures that were being created by the artist selves of other dream travelers in our expedition. Some of these works glowed in translucent colors like stained glass.
     After I sounded the recall, and allowed a little time for people to make notes and sketches, I was eager to hear travel reports. One traveler 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, she said, "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."
    Another traveler reported: "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."
     A third traveler reported: “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 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."

     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 celestial 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.
     

    The reports other dream travelers brought back from this group journey, were no less extraordinary. Traveling with them, while drumming for the circle, I was privileged to see them creating their own portraits of the Higher Self. Our shared experience confirmed some of the central insights of Active Dreaming. A dream is a place. If you have been there once, you can go there again. You can invite others to come with you. When you travel into the dream worlds, you don't have to go alone. And you can learn to maintain consciousness in two or more realities simultaneously.


Photo of lion in the Louvre by Robert Moss

1 comment:

Sandy Brown Jensen said...

I do think the insight that a dream is a place is profound. Think of the dreams that novelists and filmmakers make real for us—the world of Pandora from Avatar, Alice’s Wonderland, the home shire of the Hobbits...