This is a free study group on the Role of Dreams and Dream-like Experiences in Spiritual Emergence Processes. It is based on my book and various materials connected with that. It is not necessary to buy the book, as I will introduce free materials along the way. For the first day of the month, please write a paragraph, or a few, introducing yourself and letting people know what drew you to the group—perhaps something you saw on the web site or heard in the interview. I will look for responses every evening and return posts to you/the forum, accordingly.
I would like the group to flow freely and organically. I will comment and respond to questions faithfully. We can use Teleseminar if folks are interested in phone sessions or slide presentations to turn this into a webinar, so if you'd like to schedule that anytime during the month please pick a weekend day and time to propose to the group. We can also have weekly live discussions this way, so long as folks are available on weekends. Alternatively, we have a "chat" function, so we could also schedule a live chat at a certain time on weekends, if anyone would like to propose a particular hour for that. I am on Pacific Time.
If you do want a teleseminar or a slide show rather than simply chat times and online discussion, please consider donating accordingly. While this is not a requirement for participation, I imagine it costs a pretty penny to offer such services. Otherwise, we can just go ahead with what’s available immediately for free. Please state your preference in your introductory paragraph. In any case, let’s do have fun with this opportunity for some psycho-spiritual growth as we enter the realm of the dreamtime.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you all, and thanks for joining us! Be sure to also check out the upcoming Events page on this site for information about my workshop coming up at the IASD conference in Berkeley, CA this June.
Now, let’s get our Dream On!
Darlene and all,
I just want to take a quick moment as May comes to and to offer a profound thanks to all of you for the beautiful and often touching discussion that has gone on here. I haven't been able to participate as I would have liked to this month, but have followed the discussion and often found myself contemplating the vastness and significance of the the archetypal energy behind psycho-spiritual emergency. One of the members here alluded to the feelings of isolation that often accompany such experiences--and indeed that is one I relate strongly to myself--but I also feel a warp and weave of a fabric that runs throughout this group and into each of our own individual experiences that truly makes us connected. (If only we could access that in the throes of crisis! :).
Meanwhile, Darlene--I feel such gratitude for your wonderful work and your broad scholarship on this topic. The resources you have provided and your capacity to respond so clearly to each comment have been a joy to see, and I personally look very much forward to meeting you in person at IASD in June. I don't know what your plans are for the group--if you will formally close it at this point since it was initially meant to run through May---or if you would like to (or have the energy and resources) to keep it going. I feel it's highly valuable as a container and a resource. The archives will stay here indefinitely, of course--so future members can access the content. It's your call, and many thanks again for all you've done.
Thanks, so very much Bonnie! I couldn't have done this without you. I am willing that if others return to this resource I will respond immediately as long as I am able. I am also willing to allow this month's journey to come to its natural closure. I hope everyone will find their own individual way to mark this juncture as they see fit. For me, I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful and inspiring participation we've enjoyed together and to invite anyone interested in further dialog to simply put out the call. I remain a part of the community, and I can't wait too, Bonnie, to meet you in person especially. Anyone who comes to the IASD conference toward the end of June, look me up! I will be offering a workshop there and looking forward to engaging with anyone in Berkeley who came from here!
Ooh, good, I would love to see what you come out with--do share whatever you can whenever you find it appropriate!
Getting out in nature seems to work well. It also helps to be in contact with other people. It seems the process turns itself a little lower, so as to enable me to be of service to another human being. What also helps is putting my hands on or near my head. Maybe their energetic field neutralizes the process in my head.
I'm very fortunate to be able to do my work, still. It feels as if the process doesn't want me to get out of normal life completely - and I don't want that either - and keeps the process as high or as low as I can handle. For this I'm very grateful. Writing has been low these last days, but this evening (at my place) I will put myself again before the laptop, and start typing again. Not very much dreams lately, but if I have one I'll surely share it with the group.
Light, Life and Love,
Darlene - I love all your suggestions. You have an unusually good grasp of the isolation endured by many people undergoing altered states of consciousness -- unlike some professionals who would have us think appropriate help is available from the nearest psychiatrist. In looking back on my own ASC, I can see the crucial importance of the knowledge I brought to the experience, especially Jung's books that I stumbled across by happy accident. Jung introduced me to a completely novel concept: that the Unconscious can be the source of both good and evil, both madness and wisdom, and that the experiencing of this can be the beginning of maturity. I had to have some inkling of this before the boat left the dock, so to speak, because after that it would have been too late. This is a round-about way of saying that I would hope to make my book interesting not only to people who have had an ASC, but also to those who haven't. I'm not quite sure how to do this, but I'm trying!
I hope you do get to paint or draw your dreams, Pieter. I found it very amplifying to do so for myself.
I wonder what Chrism recommends for alleviating head pressure? I think I would try massage, breathwork, dance, tai chi chih, swimming, or getting out in nature. Thanks for staying in contact through it all!
Well, Darlene, since meeting my soror mystica and the start of my kundalini experience / awakening / process, I write al lot of it down in a diary 'spiritual development journey'. If I were to write a book I would describe about all my experiences, to help other people going through the same process. But at this moment I find it to early to write that book: the kundalini process is still going strong, and I'll just have to wait till a new phase starts. Remembrances, Dreams, Thoughts, Feelings, Poetry, maybe Imagery (still not made a painting or drawing of my experience, maybe I should to alleviate some of the pressure in my head). And maybe to also view the experience from the psychological point of view, and how to work with it in daily life.
Light, Life and Love,
Darlene - thanks for your comment on the Grofs. Yes, they certainly would have been help to me back when I was wondering whether I was having a spiritual or psychotic experience. The fear and confusion I felt then has left me with a longlasting interest in the first hours and days of (what shall we call it?) a profoundly altered state of consciousness, especially when this befalls one suddenly and with no readily apparent reason -- as it did with me. It demands a response, and the nature of that response can drastically affect the course of one's life. My response was to keep quiet and not try to talk about it, but to follow Jung's advice and write about it instead, and this kept me out of a mental institution. Many others are not so fortunate. Jungian or Grofian therapists are few and far between, and a profound ASC leaves one in no condition to search for one. If you were writing a book of advice for such people, what would you put in it?
I would put in it lists of all the Jungian associations where one could look for Jungian therapists, the link for the Spiritual Emergence Network for finding transpersonal therapists, and an annotated bibliography of all the books that are already out there for dealing with spiritual emergence. I would also repeat the advice about writing or drawing the experiences, even dancing them, rather than talking to mainstream medical personnel. I would give people words for talking about what they're going through, such as calling the first few days of the emergency the "critical phase." I would give them safety tips for grounding themselves. How about you, what would you put in such a book?
They rarely train anyone for any of this at any university, but there are a few where one can come close: Saybrook, Pacifica, ITP, CIIS.
Hopefully, sharing can reduce apprehension! What do you think of the experiences shared here so far--are you able to relate to any of them? In what ways are they associated, and in what ways are they unique from your own experiences?
Thanks for chiming in with us!