|Leonora Piper, William James's "White Crow"|
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Speakers for the living
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Pink silk road
Waking, I remembered an encounter with a curious figure in a thriller of a dream I recorded in August 2006 - a huge bear-like man dressed in a pink frock coat with an amazing pink tie that grew to any length he imagined.
Yes, I know Freud will be stirring now but I suspect there's much more going on, so I'll follow the pink silk road in my dreams and beyond.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Rose Gate among the stars
When I get my body settled on the sofa in order to slip out of it, the Lady has vanished. I search for her in the field of stars. I see something like a pink rose, out there in the wild blue. Is this her sign?
The rose calls me, unfurling its soft petals, revealing a portal. I slip into the heart of the rose. Now I am sliding down a chute that might be its stem. I make a soft landing in a gentle scene, a Victorian garden where a table is set for high tea. A handsome, very properly dressed Victorian lady is pouring.
I roam the garden, wanting tounderstand why I was drawn here. Young children are playing here, including agirl on a swing. A pleasant clergyman in country tweeds is playing with them. I know at once that this is the Rev. Charles Dodgson, known to countless readersas “Lewis Carroll”.
Dropping between the smallest of particles, I enter a universe as big as the one I came from, a cosmos contained within a speck of a speck of a speck, something you couldn’t find even with an electron microscope. This revelation is as simple as cracking your head open. It’s about finding the infinite in a grain of sand, as the poet did. It’s about universe hopping, pearl by pearl, on the necklace of Indra.
Guard yourself, says an inner voice I have learned to trust. With this, an impermeable, transparent shield goes up, and I know I am safe, and invisible to whatever intruded.
I will go there on another journey.
For now, I am content to come back to the body on the couch, settle in, and stretch and wiggle around to make sure I did not leave too much of myself out there in the field of stars..
Friday, December 16, 2011
Where's the Hitch?
Fare well, Christopher Hitchens. You denied God and gods, and spurned the heaven of religions as a "celestial North Korea". You are now entering a larger geography than you knew in the 60-some countries from which you reported. May your many gifts, and your delight in the dance and slash of words, serve you on the road of this immense journey. May you avoid leaving any part of you stuck in a bottle of Johnny Black. May you file fresh accounts from new territories, and find native guides who will help you to understand what you are experiencing. May your paths be open.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Life as Marcella
I am Marcella, called the Songbird because of my voice and because I can make men’s bodies sing. I can write my story in my own hand, because my father paid for a tutor. He was a merchant who sailed to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.
Bruno brings me figs and young green olives of Lucca, the best of the new harvest. The cloth of gold that trims my dress belonged to my mother. The mad monk of Florence tried to kill her for wearing it, under his sumptuary laws. Witch, they called her, as they call me, though none dares to raise a hand against me so long as I have the favor of the bishop. I confess that I sewed the mouth of a toad shut to punish a calumniator for speaking against me and to silence his abuses, and that I melted a wax imago of Cosimo’s organ after he raped me.
I will never marry, but I know men and they know me. There is no one in the city as practiced in the arts of love, though there are acts I will not perform, not even for the bishop.
Bruno will guard my body with his life, and he is as strong as a bear. But I know I will not be allowed the fullness of my years. I have no wish to survive the withering of my body, still firm and juicy as a maiden’s after forty summers.
I will heed the wishes of my sisters of the Hive. We are about in all the countries of Christendom and in many that have never heard of Christ or accepted his message.
I wrote these lines after leading a group journey to a Chamber of Mirrors where you can look into the lives of personalities in other times who are part of your multidimensional family. Participants in the workshop were asked to write an autobiographical statement in the voice of a personality of another time. The voice that wanted to speak through me was that of Marcella. Her reference to her mother's persecution by a "mad monk" (evidently Savonarola, a Dominican who ruled Florence and staged the notorious Bonfire of the Vanities before he was excommunicated and executed in 1498) suggests she lived in 16th century Italy. I am glad to know her, because in most of my impressions of past lives closely associated with my own, I have found myself linked to men, typically men of power.
Where are the women? I have often asked myself. Oh, there is that woman of the future; I feel her even now, as I write. She is a priestess and a scientist, working to restore our world, seven generations into the future. Dreaming is central to her practice and that of her Order, and I am driven by a sense of obligation to her, the obligation - through my work as a dream teacher - to help make her possible.
Perhaps Marcella and I will now be able to share gifts. In psychological terms, such episodes may mean that I am getting more deeply in touch with my female side, and I would be happy with that. Except that the encounter also feels transpersonal. Jane Robert's Seth insists that "the entire reincarnational framework must involve both sexual experiences. Abilities cannot be developed by following a one-sex line. There must be experiences in motherhood and fatherhood." Perhaps I am making a little progress.
Marcella hints at an Order of women content to call themselves a Hive. I have encountered this language, and similar women, in other times and other lands, "in all the countries of Christendom and in many that have never heard of Christ or accepted his message", just as Marcella says.
Detail of a 16th century portrait of an unknown woman (sometimes identified as Lucrezia Borgia) by Bartolemeo Veneto.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Robin Hood, Changing Woman & the Battle of Britain
I am walking with companions across hills and fields with a view to
There is no sense of panic. The falling planes and pieces of metal seem to be coming down very slowly, slowly enough to dodge them even if they are coming straight at us. I do this several times. Their substance also seems softer than shrapnel or metal. I feel I could push them away with my hand as if they were merely cardboard or felt (and may do this too).
I lead my group down into
I lead the group in singing an old song of Changing Woman
There is a woman who weaves the night sky
See how she spins, see her fingers fly
She is within us from beginning to end
Our Grandmother, sister and friend
She changes everything she touches
Everything she touches changes
I notice with clarity, for the first time, the devices set up on the post that is now facing me; I think this is on the north side of the circle.
There are the words “ROBIN” and “AIR”, separate, and in capitals. There is a symbol that at first appears to be an anchor but I think is a bow and arrow. With a thrill of excitement I realize that these devices are related to Robin Hood and that the square was the scene of a drama from his life. With this recognition comes the sense that we are succeeding in calling up ancestral forces to help with the battle that has been raging in the skies and could soon reach the land.
Now I hear the great voice, loud and merry, of an Englishman who is coming to join us. I can now withdraw from leading the people and leave him to take charge.
Feelings: Excited, stirred.
First thoughts: I feel like I was a time traveler in the period of the Battle of Britain. Though I appeared substantial to those around me, I seemed impervious to things that would ordinarily wound or destroy a body – perhaps because I was moving in a subtle energy body, or had unusual powers, such as the ability to slow the experience of time (so the falling planes appeared to be coming down in slow motion) and to thin and loosen the molecular structure of objects.
Was I in my present body, or in the body of a contemporary person? Not sure.
It seems one of the key assignments of my dream self was to help call up ancestral forces, to awaken the sleeping powers of the land to support the living in a struggle for survival. An incident in the “psychic Battle of Britain”, perhaps…
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Bear tracks to the cave of the vanishing god
My day began with my little dog pushing his bushy face against mine as I lay back on the pillow. I petted him and sang to him. Without considering the content, I found I was singing the Romanian version of a song to call the spirit Bear that is a favorite in my workshops.
Don't cry little one
The Bear is coming to dance for you
The Bear is coming to dance for you
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Knights of dreaming
I am with a group of gentle but fiercely dedicated people whose cause is the Earth and the other species with which humans share life on the planet. One of them is a man who spends most of the year in the far north, monitoring changes in the oceans and the ice cap. He is troubled that the survival of a certain genus of giant whale may now be at risk. He shows me video he recorded during close-up, deep-sea encounters with two of these whales. Fascinating to watch their mating habits. Troubling that Earth changes generated by humans may be threatening their survival.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Proof that dreaming is more than hot air
A Russian friend living in New York has just provided proof positive that dreaming is more than hot air. She received an email from her mother, who lives in St Petersburg, recounting a dream.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Trying to record in the night museum
I am delighted by the detailed reports dream travelers have brought back from a journey to a museum where they can find secrets from other lives and other times.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Dancing with the Bull of the Midi
Pomegranates are red in the tree.
I have not tasted the seeds, this time.
A blue gate creaks on its hinges.
I may go through it when the sun is high
in a stir of dust and juniper
on thundering hooves the black bulls come.
No keeper can contain them
when they are called to the sea.
My heart leaps at their running.
I leap on the back of the strongest bull
laughing like a Minoan boy dancer
who has found his ride to the Goddess.
a black tide over the white foam
that throws up the great dark breaker
Persephone may have known. The memory
of a thousand corridas is red in his eyes.
as the reaper swings his scythe
in a field of Van Gogh yellows.
He takes me over the kidneys
and tosses me over the sea. Is this Death?
thrown into the sky. Can he be so young?
My second self is swallowed by fire.
No, he has gone through. He is born again
from the yolk of the sun. He is not the same.
Now he is dressed to kill, in matador garb.
He is on his way down, flying, not falling.
His stiff arms, held before him, give me
no time to consider, or check
Monday, November 7, 2011
Dreaming four selves on the Brazilian shore
Praia Morro das Pedras, Santa Catarina Island, Brazil
Friday, November 4, 2011
Dreaming giant waves of change
Morro das Pedras, Santa Catarina Island, Brazil
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Soul and dreaming in Brazil
Praia Morro das Pedras, Santa Catarina Island, Brazil
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Doors, shutters and gates at the Hameau were painted in the colors of memory, nostalgia and sweet yearning, tested and tempered by the seasons.
Even the doors to the rest rooms were Provençal blue.
I would have loved to have plunged into the deep blue dreams of the splendid pool at the Hameau, but it was a little too cold for that in late October
After the training, I found my way through a chaos of tram lines under construction to the heart of Montpellier and stopped for a beer at a cafe in a quiet square in the university quarter. Here the doors were a deeper blue.
On my last day in southern France, I visited the magnificent medieval city of Carcassonne, the scene of mass tragedy when a Pope ordered a crusade against the Cathars in 1209. On a high terrace within sight of the donjon, with the noise of a brass band rising from the street, I lunched on a cassoulet of white beans, duck and Toulouse sausage, and found the blue trim of a window another invitation to go dreaming.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I've been enjoying a new riff of Turkish synchronicity this week.
First, I received the image of the cover of the new Turkish edition of my book THE THREE "ONLY" THINGS.
Second, within a minute of that, I received an invitation (from a different person, someone I have never met) to lead a workshop at a beach resort town on the Turkish coast next year.
Third, within 30 minutes, a friend posted a comment at my Dream Gates blog in which she mentioned that she will be in Turkey next summer and has been dreaming that a tiger will be her guide in this trip. At the exact moment I read her post, I was cutting the picture of a tiger from a greeting card I had received to use as a bookmark.
Sometimes it's hard to avoid noticing that there are things that WANT to happen, and forces at play (in the play of coincidence) that help us to get that message.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Finding the green book in the tree library
Rhinebeck, New York
Art: "Message Tree" by Annick Bougerolle
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Solving things in the solution state
As I lay in bed early on a rainy Saturday morning, it occurred to me that the drifty state after waking can sometimes be - quite literally - the
I did not initially have narrative dream recall. Instead, I found that my mental field was like an ocean of clean, translucent oil, in which many images and ideas were floating and bobbing. I could reach around and choose some of them to mix and match, and to bring into clear resolution. As I did this, I was given very clear solutions to a number of specific problems and imagery sequences I could now develop - or allow to develop - into movie-like sequences, with plot lines and voiceovers.
I was in the realm of hypnagogia, specifically in the hypnopompic zone that follows sleep. In my Secret History of Dreaming I report how creative breakthoughs in all fields have often been accomplished in this twilight state of consciousness, when connections that escape the daytime mind are made fluidly, and solutions arise.Experiences of this type take place in a matrix that could be called a "solution" in the sense that many elements and possibilities are suspended in it - and that creative people have the ability, in that state of relaxed attention (or attentive relaxation) to enter the Solution State to bring through solutions.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Dreaming with Nehallenia
Her other close animal companion is the dolphin. In my dreaming, she is the patron of astral as well as physical journeys, just as Elen of Britain is the maker of roads as well as dreamways. For the Celts, the happy afterlife on the Islands of the Blessed requires a crossing by water. And in ancient Europe (as in Polynesia) one of the favorite forms of transportation for the Otherworld voyage is the dolphin. Ripe fruits are often carved over the top of Nehalennia’s shrines. She offers abundance and ever-renewing life, as well as safe passage through the Otherworld, before and after death.
I am glad for the presence of this kindly Death Bringer and Lady of the Sea, here below sea level, where it sometimes feels like the Netherlands is also the Nether World.
Friday, September 30, 2011
The Dream People are waiting for you
You are on the road of your ordinary life, maybe on the morning commute, by car or subway or on foot. Things are not moving swiftly or smoothly. You are worried you’ll be late. Now it seems you may not be able to get through at all, on your familiar route, because there is a major obstruction ahead. The way is torn up, or blocked. Hard to see whether this is because of new construction or an accident.
Weary and frustrated, you notice an amazing being, slipping with a dancer’s grace between the stopped cars or people. There is something familiar about this figure. As it approaches the mouth of a tunnel, you realize, incredulous, that this figure is you – that is to say, an amazingly supple and youthful version of you, radiant in its beauty. The figure proceeds to fly up the tunnel, which leads upward. How can this be? Oh, that’s right. You must be dreaming. Wait – if you are dreaming, you can fly too. How could you ever forget?
Now you are flying up the tunnel, exhilarated by the speed and your freedom from the clogged traffic you have left behind.
You come out in a high, fresh place in the woods. A clean, sweet wind lifts your hair and shows you your way. You come to a meeting space, a lodge among the trees constructed from what the forest gives willingly. A great circle is gathered on the dirt floor, around a fire. The people here live very close to the Earth. The firelight reddens their skin as they sing and drum together. You stand, hesitant, in the door of the lodge, not wishing to intrude.
But an elder rises from the circle and indicates that you are welcome, and that the Earth people have a place waiting for you. You sit with them. You sing with them. You feel the depth and comfort of being welcomed home.
After a good long time, when the fire is gentle, you rise from your place and move to the center of the space. You bow to the fire, and stretch out on the ground next to it.
One by one, the Earth people approach you. One of them takes glowing coals from the fire and places them over your eyes, saying, “We do this to open your eyes, so that you may see clearly.”
Another places glowing coals over your ears, and sings, “We do this to open your ears, so you may hear clearly.”
One places a hot coal on your mouth, saying, “We do this to open your mouth, so that henceforth you will speak only truth.”
The wisest of the wise places a red-hot coal on your heart, and you feel it sear a passage through your body. The wise one sings, “We do this to open your heart, and to open the passage between your heart and your mouth, so that henceforth you will speak and act only from the heart.”
When you rise from your place by the fire, you are not the same. You go out among the trees, and you promise to the wood and the wind and the stars, “Henceforth, I will speak and act only from the heart.”
This is the story of a watershed experience in my life that put me on a path for which there is no career track in our culture: the path of a dream teacher. I have retold the story, as I do in my workshops, so you can make it your own, if it calls you. For more on the tradition that was opening to me, please read my Dreamways of the Iroquois.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Rescuing my lightning-struck friend
Friday, September 16, 2011
The Goddess with weapons in her hair
New York City
The "Mother India" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan is a must-see. This finite, elegantly curated gathering of Goddess images from India opens us to the almost infinite, ever-changing forms of the Great Mother: as creator and destroyer, as life-giver and death-bringer, as warrior and source of regeneration.
To balance all the fighting goddess images, we have voluptuous yakshi - this one is identified as a tree spirit - curvaceous celestial maidens, generous Lakshmi figures pouring gifts from cornucopias, and an absolutely beautiful Saraswati, giver of knowledge and music, playing the vina. This Saraswati was painted in 1947-8 by Y.G. Srimati.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Through the Moon Gate
I have known since I was a very small boy in
When I was nine years old, I was woken up to these possibilities during a crisis of illness. I was rushed to hospital in
Under anesthesia on the operating table, I found myself hovering above my body, somewhere up near the ceiling. I decided I didn’t want to watch the bloody work with the scalpel and flowed through the door and along the corridor to where my mother sat hunched and weeping. I couldn’t stand her pain, so I drifted off to a window, to the brightness outside, to the colors of spring and the laughter of young lovers seated at a sidewalk table, drinking each other’s smiles. I felt the pull of the ocean. I could not see the beach from the hospital window, so I floated through the glass and out onto a ledge where a blackbird squalled at me and shot straight up into the air. I followed the bird and sailed over the rooftops.
I saw a huge moon-round face, its mouth opened wide to form the gateway to
I fell into a different world. It was hard to make out anything clearly in the smoke of a huge fire pit. A giant with skin the color of fine white ash lifted me high above the ground, singing. The people of this world welcomed me. They were tall and elongated and very pale, and did not look like anyone I had seen in my nine years in the surface world. They told me they had dreamed my coming, and raised me as their own. For the greater part of my schooling, I was required to dream – to dream alone, in an incubation cave, or to dream with others, lying in a cartwheel around the banked ashes of the fire in the council house.
Years passed. As I grew older, my recollection of my life in the surface world faded and flickered out. I became a father and grandfather, a teacher and elder. When my body was played out, the people placed it on a funeral pyre. As the smoke rose from the pyre, I traveled with it, looking for the path among the stars where the fires of the galaxies flow together like milk.
As I spiraled upward, I seemed to burst through the earth’s crust into a world of hot asphalt and cars and trams - and found myself shooting back into the body of a nine-year-old boy in a
It was a little hard to discuss these experiences with the adults around me at that time, and we did not yet have Raymond Moody’s useful phrase “near-death experience” to describe an episode of this kind. One of the doctors said simply, “Robert died and came back” – with memories that made me quite certain of the existence of worlds beyond the obvious one, and of the fact that consciousness survives physical death.
There is great contemporary interest in the NDE in Western society, and this is a very healthy thing, because to know about the afterlife, we require first-hand experience, and need to be ready to update our geographies and itineraries frequently in the light of the latest reliable travel reports. In ancient and traditional cultures where there is a real practice of dying, near-death experiencers – who may be called shamans or initiates – have always been heard with the deepest attention and respect.
There is a Tibetan name for such a person, delog, pronounced “day-loak”. It means someone who has gone beyond death and returned. The famous Tibetan Book of the Dead, with its detailed account of the possible transits of spirit after death, emerged from the experiences of such travelers.
But to have first-hand knowledge of what lies beyond death, we do not have to go through the physical extremity of an NDE. We can learn through our dreams, the dreams in which we receive visitations from departed loved ones and others who are at home on the Other Side, and the dreams in which we travel beyond the body and into their realms.
Our dreams open portals into the multidimensional universe, including the places we may travel after physical death. As we become active dreamers, we come to realize that dreaming is not so much about sleeping as about waking up – to a deeper reality and a deeper meaning in life, and death.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I loved toy soldiers as a boy and still have some on my desk, and in my games they would come alive. I also remember breaking some of my favorites when I was too ill to hold them on a hospital tray; one of those injured toy soldiers has been a important link for me in reaching to a younger self to support him in a time of pain and loneliness.This relates to my long-running dream series (going all the way back into childhood) of living dioramas. Over and over again, I find myself looking into a miniature building or landscape - and then discovering that everything in the scene is alive. I can move the "pieces" around, or shrink myself to their scale and observe or interact with them on their own stage, which often proves to be a place in another time or another country