Dreams of Strangeness

When I saw this image on Facebook, I thought, “Wow, this is beautiful, but it also looks so familiar. Where have I seen…oh yes, it was in the vampire dream.” (a few posts earlier)dreamchapelvamps.jpg

Now how weird is that?  This looks exactly like the large chapel-type setting in that dream, just before the space ships began flying around outside and the vampires landed doing their vampire thing.

But also along with the image on Facebook, this was the caption—a quote: “Tell me what you yearn for and I shall tell you who you are. We are what we reach for—the idealized image that drives our wandering.”

~ James Hillman ❤

Considering my previous post on identity and this image so closely matching the vampire dream, I’d say the coincidences are a little too amazing. So then according to the quote, I have to ask myself:

Do I yearn to be a vampire slayer?

Hmmm.  Well not in the most literal/physical sense, but perhaps in the metaphorical one.

If vampires represented ignorance and that cruel darkness lurking within each of us that tries to destroy our life force, I could easily yearn for defeating that in myself and for helping others to do so.

Guess I’ll need that ‘nut-cracker holster’ on my belt after all.

 

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Defining Identity

Who are you?   Who am I?who are you pic.png

Does it matter who we actually are?

Not sure in one sense, but I am sure that it matters who we believe ourselves to be, because that is the defining subconscious program used for our auto-reactive behaviors.

I’m writing about this subject because I just listened to Kaypacha’s latest astrology report of “dying to our old self” which I will list if anyone wants to hear it: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3w5diSVxCY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3XCCveJbdIsyVgIOnWqJQvdsKObh6osPnZpFf64wkfXgwp4G4ZQFt16fA )

Here are the more important points (to me) that I gleaned from it:  

“Our childhood gives us patterns, conditions, insecurities, fears that are challenging—(they are) blockages.  It is no mistake that few of us remember not only our past lives, but details of our first 3-5 years (of age).  This is an automatic psycho-spiritual survival mechanism.  We are so sensitive coming out of that womb. Vulnerable, open, unformed baby just emerging (into the environment) and into the energy around you. ….A lot of things happen to us (at that vulnerable time) that we suppress. We suppress the hurts, the wounds, the sadness, the grief, the losses, the fears that we felt in these early childhood years when we were beat up, or stepped on, or ignored, or neglected…”

(Next part is paraphrased here)  The world around you hits you all at once in your blank-slatedness—and some things that affect you early in your explorations of life are childseeingselfmirror56pleasant and make you feel good, but other things are NOT pleasant about those earliest experiences; and the NOT pleasant things during early brain formation from baby first emerging into the world until we develop that cause/effect reasoning at 3-5 years of age, are often the suppressed memories of early childhood that have affected us surreptitiously.

Those memories were so deeply buried that when something in the present happens adversely affecting us, we may react strongly with no visible basis for that reaction; meaning we can’t seem to match our automatic reaction to the affecting incident with a rational context for doing so.  Or in another example, we can’t see a reason for the discomfort we suddenly feel when walking into a room, or a rational reason for the deep-seated fear that might erupt in us over something in our present that seems to be so innocuous or innocent to others.

 “None of us were born into the perfect reality—the perfect family. And yet the early taboo is that ‘thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother’ where it’s not cool (allowed) for the child to hate or blame the parents for (the behavior s/he is experiencing from them).”

(Paraphrased) So if we, the child, think that if the parents can’t be to blame for his/her serious discomfort back then, then it must be US.  What’s wrong with me? Why don’t they love me? Why are they treating me like this? I must be bad. I must be unlovable. They can’t be wrong because they are the parents—so I must be wrong to feel what I’m feeling.

But in truth this present astrological time period that we are in, is the time to look closely at those suppressed early-childhood feelings and expose them for what they really are.

We need to honor our true feelings. Honor our inner child without being judgmental about why that child felt what s/he did at the time.  Honestly acknowledge that we are truly feeling what we presently feel, and allow ourselves to be who we truly are, despite who we may erroneously believe that we are. Only after this careful self-assessment can seeingtheinnerchild345we then shed our old skin to be the NEW being that moves onward from this day forward—leaving our old skin behind in the tall grass as evidence that we were once there, but we aren’t there any longer. We have chosen to move on with our lives.

Then from that place of honest reassessment for valid reasoning existing for your suppressed childhood feelings, you have to leave the ‘old you’ behind and nurture that NEW ‘baby-YOU’ into the person that you want to become with you as the loving parent that you may not have previously experienced.  You must let go of the old behavior patterns that you developed for whatever reason you once believed helped you to survive your past, and now choose a new mode of operation that matches your new vision for your life.

He says that this is the time of ‘karmic return’ for all of us—meaning what you have put out previously into the world around you is now coming back in your face.  It’s time to deal with your old behavior patterns—especially if they are not working well for you in the present.  Example being: If your life partner is saying ‘Stop doing this or that because it hurts me and it hurts us.’ Then they are really saying to you:  “Look at your stuff—you are making a mess here—stop doing that!”

So again I ask: Does it matter who we really are?

Yes, it definitely does.whowearequote34

 

Life-lessons from Dreams

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Dreams are sometimes considered the night-time, acting-out of our subconscious mind—trying to boldly go where in daytime ‘we’ will not venture. Other times it is our higher self trying to get our attention with messages and lessons for us to ponder or to consider about our current situations.

I have no idea what early-this-morning’s dream was attempting to do to me or for me, but it was fairly reflective of our present world-wide mayhem being promoted by the biggest mayhem maker of all in the oval office.

The setting: I was with a group of people I did not recognize and we were studying something like human anatomy in a classroom.  I was assigned to dissect a cadaver (oh yes, it got nasty fast) and collect tissue samples for analysis by the professor. Why I am in this role, I have no idea…I don’t even like CSI shows. But I did what I was requested to do.

So it then morphs into flying spaceships (2-person) zooming around outside the large smallspaceshit66.jpgbuilding/huge room with glass walls that a bunch of us are now in, and it then seems to be a chapel-like setting with pews and a podium whose glass-exterior provides a view of a massive outdoor setting—although not a particularly well-kept one.

In the dream, I am confused by all of this strangeness, seeing no purpose or context for why this is occurring, but just going with whatever is presented to me because when you are stuck in a dream, that’s what you do. Then the people in the spaceships land and emerge as tall vampires with evil intent and bloodlust.  They attack a few folks—do what vampires do—and move around the rest of us like it’s no big deal.  We’re all kind of in shock—what was that????  What is happening????

Me, …not one to just sit around through all this nasty mayhem and eventually get bit, I grab a very large knife (?) and a little cup of honey, because we all know vampires like honey (?) and set it outside the deck area as a trap to spring on an unsuspecting, extremely-dumb vampire with a sweet-fang.

There is a woman with me now who seems to have my back in all of this and she grabs a Bible from the pew and uses holy water to make crosses on my hands and arms before I head out to battle with my 10” blade.

I see a vampire approaching the honey (He towers over me by the way), and I get ready to leap out and slash his throat when he reaches for the honey-trap (little humor there).  As I start to slash, the knife flies out of my hand to the left and I reach for it but insteadantiquehairbrush.jpg some little person down on the ground hands me an ancient, roundish, well-worn hairbrush, and I look at it and say, metalnutcracker.jpg“Seriously???”, but then s/he hands me a “nutcracker”…yes, standard issue, pecan-buster type nutcracker.  I am perplexed again, but have no time to argue.

Armed now with my trusty hairbrush and standard issue nutcracker, I realize the vampire has discovered my honey ploy, saw my slash-his-throat misfire where I lost my knife, and it is now standing over me, towering  above me, …. ready to just lean down and take that savory bite out of my unprotected neck, …when I reach up in defiance and brush his creepy, hairy leg with the hairbrush—3 strokes. 1 – 2 – 3. vampiresonthescream.jpg

He stops mid-lean and looks confused at what I am doing, …that’s when I grab his nuts in the nutcracker and squeeze like the dickens, twisting it in the process, and he screams and then “poof” he disintegrates into a cloud of dust.  WOW!  Total success!

Who knew????

***

So this year, I’m giving out nutcrackers for Christmas, and no one will truly understand why, but me.

(Or maybe YOU if you’ve read this.)

Brigit Anna McNeill’s Prose on “Winter”

“We are approaching the threshold of winter.

Life is being drawn into the earth, painlessly descending down into the very heart of herself.

And we as natural human animaljessicaboehmanearthpic.jpgs are being called to do the same, the pull to descend into our bodies, into sleep, darkness and the depths of our own inner caves continually tugging at our marrow.

But many find the descent into their own body a scary thing indeed, fearing the unmet emotions and past events that they have stored in the dark caves inside themselves, not wanting to face what they have so carefully and unkindly avoided.

This winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this period of descent into our own darkness was so necessary in order to find our light. That true freedom comes from accepting with forgiveness and love what we have been through and vanquishing the hold it has on us, bringing the golden treasure back from the cave of our darker depths.

This is a time of rest and deep reflection, a time to wipe the slate clean as it were and clear out the old so you can walk into spring feeling ready to grow and skip without a dusty mountain on your back & chains around your ankles tied to the caves in your soul.

A time for the medicine of story, of fire, of nourishment and love.

A period of reconnecting, relearning & reclaiming of what this time means brings winter back to a time of kindness, love, rebirth, peace and unburdening instead of a time of dread, fear, depression and avoidance.

This modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, bad food and consumerism.

And yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and people are left feeling as if there is something wrong with them, that winter is cruel and leaves them feeling abandoned and afraid. Whereas in actual fact winter is so kind, yes she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards the darkness and potential death of what we were, but this journey if held with care is essential.

She is like a strong teacher that asks you to awaken your inner loving elder or therapist, holding yourself with awareness of forgiveness and allowing yourself to grieve, to cry, rage, laugh, & face what we need to face in order to be freed from the jagged bonds we wrapped around our hearts, in order to reach a place of healing & light without going into overwhelm.

Winter takes away the distractions, the noise and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth.”

  • illustration by Jessica Boehman
  • words Brigit Anna McNeill

Identifying Perimeters

leafcapillaries.jpgThis image fascinated me—the intricacies of the water dispersion system in the leaf itself.

Of course it wasn’t the first up-close view I’ve had of a leaf’s moisture-dispersal system, but it was the image that so clearly defined the leaf capillary perimeter that caught my eye.  Look closely at that perimeter.  What told the leaf to create that particular perimeter border and to stop spreading those veins outward into infinity?

Recognizing that leaf perimeter is so important because it actually defines the origin of the leaf— it represents the tree species that created the leaf.

See the next image to better understand that a leaf petreeidentifyshapes83.jpgrimeter is indicative of the plant’s DNA and the growing environment that produced it. 

And while there are many leaf shapes for all those multitudes of tree DNA, all have the same function on the tree.

“Function of leaves leafcotoosystem

 

The function of leaves is to help the plant produce food by converting the energy in sunlight into chemical energy that the plant can eat. Chlorophyll is the molecule in the structure of the leaves that takes the energy in sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide gas into sugar and oxygen gas. This conversion process is known as photosynthesis.  The structures within the leaf convert the energy and make it possible for the plant to get food. … The leaf also has veins that can help to support the leaf by transporting food, water and minerals to the leaf and to the plant.”

So while I am mid-research into leaf function and leaf shapes, I find the shape that most matches the original image above showing the elaborate capillary system appears to be a leaf from the Bodhi tree.bodhitreewithleaves.jpg

Okay. What is significant about that? Well, to Buddhists the Bodhi tree is extremely significant because it was the location chosen by Siddhartha Guatama to meditate under until he reached enlightenment. He sat there supposedly for 49 days and endured unimaginable difficulties during the process before he transcended earthly existence and experienced the purity of Source itself; and was forever changed by it.

“Bodhi Tree – Fig Tree

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The Bodhi Tree, also known as Bo, “peepal tree”, or “arasa maram, was a large and ancient sacred fig tree located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher who became known as the Buddha, is said to have attained enlightenment or Bodhi. In religious iconography, the Bodhi Tree is recognizable by its heart-shaped leaves, which are usually prominently displayed.”  (Wikapedia)

So I’ve suddenly realized that my initial intention on writing about the intricate leaf structure and its defining perimeter has gone astray with educational sidebars.  Now I’m even into the tale of Buddha. Does this still pertain to my original intention of showing that a tree’s DNA defines the majesty of the tree’s stature/shape and the shape of its identifying leaves all while I miraculously segue into how our own DNA shapes the perimeter of our lives and defines us, only if we let it?

Well, maybe or maybe not.  It’s not the most direct route taken to a conclusion. But that’s part of the point here, I think.

We, as individual leaves growing outward from our Soul Source are defined to some extent by our DNA, by our ancestral history of nature and nurture, and by our karmic debts from all other lives. Our personal leaf perimeters are somewhat distinct and defined because of those factors mentioned. You even know which tree we grew from by our shapes and functional life success.

But at the same time, we have potential for unimaginable changefor breaking through our pre-defined perimeters.

Take the Buddha himself. He wanted to be enlightened so badly that he was willing to sit in meditation until he ceased to exist in this world or until he reached the Source of All Knowledge and Wisdom itself.  Fortunately for him and for the rest of us, he tapped into that Source and survived to share his experiences with the rest of us.

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the enlightened mind or what it took/takes to reach that state of awareness. And some would argue that Buddhism isn’t actually a religion as much as it is simply a philosophical path toward enlightenment. That tangent is not my concern today.

It would appear that during this leaf examination I have spread my word capillaries far from original intentions and only reined them back with a fragile border of pertinence.

The only other thing I know for certain is that my Bodhi tree still awaits me.

foster_bodhi_leaves.jpg

 

Sunday Chuckles

I am a fan of NASA’s Facebook page because they post such amazing images of our solar system and beyond.  So this morning, they posted this fantastic image of Jupiter up close and personal; and it got personal to a few folks out there which made for some much needed laughter.

nasalodo987.jpg  NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 “Inkblot test!    What do you see in this image by NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter? We keep finding new shapes hidden in Jupiter’s swirling clouds. Look closer: https://go.nasa.gov/2qMt8ih

jupiteratmosphere56.jpg

To which the viewership responded in hilarious fashion:

  • Scott Dew I see our lord and savior Cthulu
    • ( according to Urban Dictionary: “A character in Lovecraft’s tale ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. Cthulhu is a monstrous entity who lies “dead but dreaming” in the city of R’lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean.Cthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of the human race.”)
  • Марио Колев Here come the religious people, even if their god is fictional….
  • Daniel Harden It’s a lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich.
  • Liz Gaffney Air quality in Los Angeles right about now due to fires. (So sorry California.)
  • David Jobling I’m not religious but I can see the full nativity here, which is a bit of a head trip.
  • Arun Krishnarayan A Bird of prey on the right and Gandalf with a bad cold.
    And at the bottom is a shark with a wide open mouth & woman lying face down in the middle.
  • Saranda Tessera The only true god is Zeus.  Scripture tells us so. Anyway the picture of Jupiter (Latin for Zeus) is breathtaking. What a chaotic creation.
  • Steve Parkinson Keep your sky pixie nonsense off scientific fact pages please.

At least the comments made me chuckle. 🙂

Our minds constantly associate familiar memories to objects and items that we are unfamiliar with in an attempt to identify the threat or safety of them before we proceed further in encountering them. And likewise, if you want to see something that others may not see in a burnt piece of toast, you will do so mainly because you are looking for it no matter where you look.

Unimaginatively I see an amazing image of Jupiter’s atmosphere with wild weather interactions.  (But I totally concur about the lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich–it’s clear as day.)

The River of Feelings

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“There is a river of feelings within us, and every drop of water in that river is a feeling. To observe our feelings, we sit on the bank of the river and identify each feeling as it flows by. It may be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. One feeling lasts for a while, and then another comes. Meditation is to be aware of each feeling. Recognize it, smile to it, look deeply into it, and embrace it with all our heart. If we continue to look deeply, we discover the true nature of that feeling, and we are no longer afraid, even of a painful feeling. We know we are more than our feelings, and we are able to embrace each feeling and take good care of it.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo: © Yvonne D. Williams

For some reason this Thich Nhat Hanh quote stuck in my head when I read it because I know what he is referring to—I’ve felt it myself—the stepping out of intense feeling, no matter how painful it may be, and simply watching it flow over us as we remain sitting on the bank in silence before the enormity of the water passing through on its journey elsewhere.

If you aren’t sitting a part from it on the bank, that “River of Feelings” is a flow we continually ride—sometimes in a kayak gliding above the water and sometimes in an inner-tube with half our body immersed into it.kayakriverswirl67.jpg

So for us to say that we do not “feel” something emotionally is to say that we are riding the kayak as we skim the waves while still feeling the froth of turbulence. We may bob around a bit with emotion, but we’ve elevated our heads above the water and as long as we remain upright, we know that we won’t drown.

Inversely, when we are immersed in the feeling, we become the feeling and may struggle for our lives; clinging tightly to our inner-tube to keep our heads above water—for fear it drowns us with wave after wave of intense, gut-clenching emotion.

tube on river67Grief is an inner-tube type feeling. So is rage. It’s easy to be swamped when you immerse yourself in those feelings.

Some would say depression is such a feeling, but I believe that depression isn’t really a feeling as much as it is the result of losing the inner-tube completely and accumulating body fatigue from continually treading water without relief in sight.

So what is the difference between riding the kayak and sitting on the bank?

The kayak provides an experiential option for riding the feelings we naturally have during the course of our lives. It gives us buoyancy and distance from the worst of the emotional waves sloshing about us.

The bank is an entirely different perspective on emotional impaction. From the bank you do not participate in the feeling, you only observe it as it comes and goes, and try not to judge its rightness or wrongness; its power or onriverbank45.jpgaffectation on you.  You acknowledge it as it impacts you and note what is being felt, but you let it go—you let it move on and away without clinging to it—without wallowing in it or calling it back to re-experience, over and over.

It’s not easy sitting on the bank and observing your own river of feelings; and sometimes it’s hard to even find a kayak from which to navigate the powerful river of emotions that we feel.  At times when life takes a tumultuous turn for us, we feel fortunate enough to simply have that inner-tube to help keep our heads above the overwhelming waves.

What I think Thick Nhat Hanh was saying in this quote is that observing from the bank (meditation) is the far safer option for dealing with intense feelings, because it allows the greatest perspective on the river of emotion itself that we must experience over the course of our lives.

As humans, we will have good days and bad ones—people will come to us and then leave us through disagreements, grievances or death.

During the course of our lives, we make efforts to achieve or acquire what we do not have, and those efforts are sometimes successful and sometimes not.

We love and we lose love.

We agree and disagree with others, and feel both great joy and great fear at many aspects of life, including our own mortality.

joadriversanger56

But during the course of our lives, that river of feelings flows on and on, over familiar ground or new ground—but it keeps moving onward until we individually feel no more and merge again with the Great Ocean of Consciousness that logs “all feelings” as simply a part of the living experience.

So keep your inner-tube always handy, and find a kayak when you can do so to keep your head higher above the waves; but if possible, try instead the view from the bank for its safer, broader perspective, and simply allow that emotional river to flow on by without judgment or clinging.

I know—easier said than done—but it IS possible to do it. Trust me on this one.