Spiritual Healing in Dreamcraft

wild turkey meeting

I have been working on a practical spiritual modality that I call “Dreamcraft”, and having covered the basics of my cosmology and beliefs, it is time to approach the critical subject of spiritual healing.

I speak from the perspective of someone who is healing from severe sexual/physical/emotional abuse in my childhood. Previously I had studied shamanism for several years but found that it didn’t support my own values. I believe that we each have the power to do the work and joy of spiritual healing ourselves, and so the idea of elite people doing the work for us (as in shamanic practice), just didn’t jive with me.

Spiritual healing, in my view, need not be as esoteric as you may think; indeed, it ought to be practical with results that you can truly notice and feel. My viewpoint is that to heal from past pain, we must build new “skin” over those soul wounds. What truly hurts is the soul, and it must be understood through soul discovery and spiritual exploration.

We all have access to our souls’ powers and spiritual senses, as the soul is ever-present and here with us right now. And our imagination is our greatest spiritual tool, as it is a direct sense of potential itself. Imagination shows us all that is possible, somehow and somewhere. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.” This is something I embrace wholeheartedly: for I journey with my spirit to other times, other places, and other perspectives, as is the power of spirit to transcend these things — and I don’t worry about whether or not the experience is “real”. It is surely real in some way and that’s all I need to know. Even the Q’ero shamans of Peru, who claim a lineage going back to the Inca, like to playfully say that it doesn’t matter if spiritual experiences are imagined and made up entirely in your head, as our whole Earthbound reality is already “made up” by our minds.

I find that spirit exploration is a valuable practice for spiritual healing. Spirit exploration can be achieved in light meditation, or even a daydream — it need not require intense discipline, years of hermitage in a cave, or lengthy meditation in the lotus position. Close your eyes and explore, that’s what your spirit is meant to do. Get in touch with what your soul can sense. You may be surprised at how spontaneously things seem to happen — at times, you will feel that you aren’t actively imagining at all, but simply experiencing.

Where do you start in spirit exploration? This will be the topic of a later post, but you can visit your child-self, at different ages; you can meet other souls — like spirit guides — who may have something to tell you; and you can reach out to your higher self, the one who transcends time itself, for whom all lives and all time happen all at once, eternally and infinitely. The higher self is a concept of your ideal and infinite being, and getting to know this aspect of your soul will teach you things you didn’t even know about yourself now.

We should, I believe, be taught from an early age to explore our souls. What do our souls truly desire and need? Not material things, since soul is immaterial. What do our souls value? What truths do they live by? How do they see existence and how we ought to live? What are our souls’ powers and potential?

Another thing I believe we ought to be taught when we are young is to critically examine the things we believe — for when we are mistreated we learn to believe things about ourselves that aren’t true, and perhaps aren’t even logical. All belief is just perspective. If you have been taught to believe that you are ugly, unworthy of love, a bad person…you need to turn this around in order to heal. I like to use what I call “retrograde perspectives” to show myself other ways of seeing and thinking. For instance, you can go your whole life walking across the land…or maybe, just once, you could feel yourself “walking” by turning the Earth with your feet. You can imagine opposite ways of seeing just about anything. Retrograde perspectives show us new, imaginative ways to get out of “thought ruts” and cast out false beliefs that we carry from old wounds. If we don’t change our thinking, these false beliefs will continue to wound us, and the pain goes ever deeper.

Finally, healing from the past means making your present moment a good, safe place to be. For me, that meant cutting off contact with my whole family (and none, unfortunately, were worth forgiving — I believe forgiveness requires contriteness and/or apology and/or an intent not to continue hurting someone. Forgiveness and compassion are not concepts well-suited for atrocities and extreme behaviour). So one must consider the people that one surrounds themselves with, and the things one is doing in their present life. Are you working towards growth and healing? If you’re barely keeping your head above water, or if you are surrounded by drama, you won’t be able to heal — you need to create a firm foundation in the present first.

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Thought Experiment Stories: Part One

“What do I want to do with my life?”

You avoid thinking these words most nights but the question remains, silently persistent, like a shadow you can’t outrun.

Maybe nothing mattered, anyway.

Maybe everything mattered.

Or both, at once.

“But what do I want to do?”

The question is bigger than you think at first. Who is “I”? What is “want” with regard to yourself? What is “life” and what constitutes “doing” something with it?

You realize you don’t even know who you are, or what you are, in the first place. 

“I don’t care!” you hiss at the shadow, the question in the corner of your mind.

But how do you know you don’t care, if you don’t even know who you are or what you care about?

“Nobody thinks about this stuff. I don’t need to. If it was so damn important…they’d teach it in school.”

But you can’t say you know anything if you don’t even know who you are.

And how do you know what you need if you don’t even know who you are?

You’re getting annoyed. It feels like arguing with someone particularly obtuse.

“I…” you say, falteringly, “I…am consciousness stuck in a body.”

You roll your eyes at yourself, because this, you figure, is the problem: impossible questions and answers that don’t get you anywhere.

Is consciousness not body? Is it material or something else?

Suddenly, like a light flooding a hallway, you feel there’s something to this, like there’s a chance you could actually get somewhere.  “No, I don’t think consciousness is material. It’s something else.”

Are non-material things limited by space? Do they really inhabit places? Is your consciousness stuck in your body?

“Maybe not. But if consciousness doesn’t really live in the body or the brain — if it isn’t even physical at all — then it doesn’t die and it doesn’t have to go anywhere.”

You frown at yourself because you’re just thinking out loud and no one’s allowed to come to their own conclusions like this. Maybe Einstein, when he did thought experiments, but not you.

Still, you can’t help it. It’s like instinct, or some kind of gut-logic. Nobody told you to believe this but it’s what makes sense.

What are you thinking?

“Consciousness doesn’t care if there’s a body or not, so death really doesn’t change a damn thing. It’s like the afterlife is already here — right now — and there’s something going on, something that’s not physical. It’s who I am, at least partly…and I want to pay attention to it.”   

And for the first time in years, perhaps since you were a child jumping off benches half-believing you could fly, you felt encouraged to think — to imagine — to take the universe head-on.

Why not?

Perspectives, Experience, and States of Being

Perspective, generally, consists of the limitations of our belief systems, through which any and every experience is understood. Perspective limits experience by defining it, but we cannot experience anything without some perspective through which to make sense of it. Thus there are no absolutes, no “real truth” or anything of that sort. However, that doesn’t mean that perspectives are somehow bad. It’s how you use them that counts: because your perspective shapes you and your world. If you control your perspective, you control your experience too. 

How do we really know if our perspective is working for us? There are some clues to be had in our emotions — because emotions are to our consciousness what sensation is to our bodies; a way to judge how we are doing. But trying to simply conjure up the perspective of “feeling good” or “happiness” rings rather hollow. That’s why all those well-meaning instructions about the power of positive thinking haven’t helped you yet: you want more than to just feel good, don’t you?

There are four main perspectives to see things from. These four perspectives represent four different states of being. If you analyze your decisions, your desires, your values, and your goals through these four perspectives, you can look for trends or flaws in your thinking. Because the perspective you carry with you now should be a balance of these four states of being: the four perspectives ought to be held simultaneously as lenses through which to analyze your experiences. 

The Four States of Being

  1. Physical Existence. This is the state we feel we are “naturally born into” but it isn’t the whole story. It is the physical experience of the body and what we sense by its physical sensory apparatus. This is a perspective that tells you to tend to your body, your comfort, your health needs, and avoid injury or death. If you stop here and only perceive life physically, you will likely be selfish — wanting only your own comfort, unless benefiting others also benefits yourself. Instant gratification tends to be the rule here.
  2. Consciousness or Spiritual Existence. This is the state of the thinking mind. From this perspective, the body is not all-important, and the needs of the present moment must be tempered by the possibilities of the future. From this perspective, you may feel “ungrounded” or fail to tend to responsibilities that your body or society demands you fulfill. Spirit is not limited by space the way that physical being is; so it sees past what is manifest and possesses the power of imagination. Imagination gives us hopes, goals, and fears, as well as allowing us to worry about how we’re being judged or perceived by others. 
  3. Infinite Self/Higher Self/Authentic Self Existence. This state is imagined by the mind by removing the limits of both time and space from the self. The self then exists all-at-once and does not “need” anything — it is complete, has access to all the learning spirit could do given infinite time, and thus has abstracted wisdom from these infinite experiences. This imagined state provides a unique perspective: what would you desire in life if you had already experienced all there was? What does your authentic self value? What does your authentic self believe? The perspective of the authentic, infinite self allows us to see past the limits of society, the present moment, and everything we think we value, and get down to what the self is all about. 
  4. Infinite Being Existence. This state is imagined by removing the limit of separation between self and other, as well as the previous limits of space and time. All that can exist, does exist, and is united in a single, whole perspective. This perspective helps us see beyond the self and understand that “self” and “other” are just limitations we’ve defined, through which to understand our world. Self and other need not be separate, and this creates the fundamental value of compassion, balancing the purely physical self’s egoic desires and fears with an outlook that values the entire system in which you live. 

The four main states of being offer us ways to look at any situation or decision to be made, and examine it from four different perspectives. A belief or choice should hold true in each perspective. For instance, if you want to do something that will hurt others, you will quickly realize that this conflicts with the “Infinite Being” perspective, and then you can use the other perspectives to question why you thought you really wanted to do such a thing. 

Also, if you feel “stuck” not knowing what to do with your time, you can evaluate your life through the four perspectives and find something that is fulfilling at all levels. 

Your perspective is your god-like power to choose how you will experience it: but the key is to wield this power with a careful balance, satisfying all states of your being and existence. 

Sometimes I Want a Job as a Metaphysics Imagineer

The Poet-Contractor

at CERN

saw physicists kitted out with clockwork swords

and atomic muses, half-mad with an old velveteen dread

from childhood existential ventures

back when monsters were real. As grown-ups they were soldiers-

 

turned-philosophers, knapping their obsidian equations into

the only weapons that could pierce the beasts’

too-vivid eyes, so they might pluck them out and see

through æther into everything.

 

He sucked on recycled air like a cigarette, wired. Around

him, the world rested on levers and valves and electric

angels, in suspense before the first collision: the moment

he was paid to document for the unlike-minded

– but he hadn’t slept lately, he’d stayed up reading dry-erase

boards when everyone had gone, and now hallucination crept

into his overwrought ideas, supersaturated fields of

wild-grown dream-logic.

 

So it seemed to make sense when

he figured colliding particles were like a doubled mind

churning in a violent metaphysical reaction, and the test-run

results were like his kids leaping off the couch,

 

half-believing they could outwit gravity if they really tried.

He wanted to tell his colleagues, but he was a

self-admitted waste of resources,

having nothing to do with the flightpath of quarks

 

or scientific creativity.

The Thrill of Peace: A Different View on Detachment

kassie

Peace, and the concept of detaching from the manifest world, can sound so empty and staid that it appears like a torture of boredom and meaninglessness. When one is craving some earthly pleasure, the idea of defeating that temptation through detachment sounds like grueling self-control in which one attempts to feel nothing at all. However, I have come to understand peace and detachment in a different way. In Dreamcraft, peace is as exciting as you want it to be, for it is created through your sense of imagination.

Firstly, when one attempt to detach from the manifest world, complementary duality insists that one is therefore attaching to the non-manifest world. The non-manifest world is not that of spirituality but that of emptiness, which I equate to potential. For in the greatest emptiness lies the greatest potential — and potential is precisely that which is not (yet) manifest. So I believe potential is the only thing that is truly non-manifest. Everything else, physical and spiritual, if it exists is part of the manifest world.

So detachment and peace occurs when one switches one’s focus to potential. And as I have previously discussed, here, imagination is a direct sense of potential. When you use your imagination, you are directly tapping into all-that-could-be, and instantly, as if magically, gaining knowledge about the infinite realm of all-that-could-be. Peace, then, is achieved through some skill of the imagination. In which case peace becomes a thrilling discovery of potential, not a depressing void of emptiness.

Imagine your eternal soul, the god or goddess that is your infinite ideal, having experienced every life possible to yourself and existing beyond the limits of time and space.  In other words, imagine a version of yourself that has seen infinite eternity, and has been able to abstract from these experiences the most complete wisdom you are capable of knowing.

When you imagine being your soul-self, you are taking up a potential perspective that will aid you in facing this instance of life, this present moment you are living. Ask yourself, how would your soul-self, your own god-self, deal with whatever circumstance you are in? Think about it as logically as possible, understanding that the soul-self has the enlightenment of timeless eternity and therefore a completely different perspective than your typical, daily experience.

Alternatively, imagine being in a state of complete nirvana. What would it feel like? How would you view the world, in such a state? Imagine this vividly and realize the validity of this perspective.

I find it interesting that children are not usually taught to imagine — but we are all born to do so. Meanwhile, we are taught very quickly that imagination means little; it is “just a fantasy” or a game. I argue the opposite: imagination is the gateway to everything.