The Book Of Life – Dream 20

I woke up three days ago remembering the end of a dream.  I knew there were two dreams but only the last part of one of the dreams found traction in my early morning memory dream catcher.

In the dream I am looking at a pile of papers stacked one atop another.  There was a man to the right of the pile and he was holding one piece of paper above the others.  I saw his torso and arm. 

Two things stood out in the dream.  The first was the quality of the paper.  This was not everyday paper that can be bought by the reams.  It was off white, cream colored and was of a heavy bond.  The thought was that it was manuscript paper; something to be used for an important document.  The other fact which caught my attention was that the paper had nothing written on it.

The man was holding the paper.  He was not holding a writing implement.

~~~

I kept the dream fresh and alive during the morning and later.  I did that by fanning it with attention, curiosity and a sense of receptivity.

This is what came to me.  It was a book, an incomplete book.  In fact it was my Book of Life.  What has happened, what has been done, what is unfinished and incomplete, that is all already written. 

But it is not yet finished.  The blank page is yet to be written.  The writing is waiting for something, namely, what has happened, what is experienced from this time forward.  That writing will not be fiction created in the present, it will be fact based on the reporting of what choices and actions will have been made and their consequences. 

I recognize that the book can be completed with a page which remains blank.  But that was not the sense of what the dream was about. 

Who is writing the book?  An unknown scribe.

~~~

As I was initially reviewing this dream it came to me that the book had a name.  The name was my name.  I initially said my customary name: Timothy Joseph Hodgens.  But immediately I realized that the real name was Timothy Aloysius Hodgens.  More about that in a later posting, but for now it is important to have my given name, not the cover-up name which distracted from what I had originally seen as odd and different, on my Book of Life.

~~~

What also comes to me is that the papers which are already there in the “pile” can be seen as the end of that chapter, that “dream.”  And the unwritten page is the beginning of the next stage, next chapter, next “dream.”

An Awareness Which Supports the Birth Process of an Individual

An Awareness Which Supports the Birth Process of an Individual:

“Insofar as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one.

Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally shortsighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman… People go on blithely organizing and believing in the sovereign remedy of mass action, without the least consciousness of the fact that the most powerful organizations in the world can be maintained only by the greatest ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans.”

Wise words from my friend C. Gustav Jung; The Undiscovered Self

On Transitioning To Being A Person (1)

No one wants to appear inadequate.  If we do, it has the potential to raise the experience of shame, and shame in it’s intense expression is like torture for a social creature.

We live in a world where we are deluged with images and sound-bytes which offer one opinion after another, all expertly expressed.  Implied in that incessant presentation is a conditioning process which creates inadequacy if we can’t similarly respond.  The expectation which is laid down is that we have to have an opinion, a thought, a clarity of understanding, and an unflappableness when presented with any and every situation.

We can train ourselves to do that, and in the first half of our lives we often do just that.

Consider yourself fortunate if you wake up to how those “thought-realities” are most often not based in direct experience, and as such, contributes to the continued wounding of truth.

Annabelle: “You speak from experience don’t you?”

Oliver: “What else do you speak from?”

Annabelle: “Bullshit, like most people, but not you.

The quote comes from The Collectors, written by David Baldacci.

For Patrick

“How you fix what’s past?” Breeze asked, incredulous.

“You redeem the past,” Colton said, “by redemin’ the future.”

“I need the evil in me to do what’s good?” Breeze once asked Steve in confusion.

“You can’t discount your devils,” Steve had said, “without throwing out your angels.”

Quoted with permission from Robert Gleason: End of Days

Put Aside But Hardly Forgotten

A while back a conversation simply started with a new friend.  We’ll call him “Right There.”  I knew little about him other than he was a teacher and was previously a master mechanic.  Nice easy-going style about him.  Large dragon tattoo on his forearm.  Dry sense of humor.  Just the right amount of crustiness.  Oh, and he told me that he was working on a writing assignment about the next phase of his life.

There was no rush to the conversation.  I just knew we were going to talk, to have conversations.  A quote attributed to Isak Dineson came to mind:  “To be a person is to have a story to tell.”

I was leaning against my car when he came over.  We were both tired.  I said: “Man, you look tired.”

He said, easily, “I don’t sleep.”

I knew there were health issues with his mother so I asked, “New developments with your mother?”

“I haven’t slept since my 20’s,” he replied, again without any fanfare, but I figured it was also an invitation.

“VietNam?”  To which he nodded.

“Nightmares?”

“Not really, just a lot of very real images.  When I get up in the morning and my wife has put out a large breakfast, that’s her way of telling me that I had a real workout the night before.”

I don’t remember the next few parts of that conversation but I think it went towards my asking if he remembered them during the day.  What I do remember, however, is that he told me a story of how he ran into a psychologist who was also a VietNam veteran.  That man volunteered his time to talk with veterans if they wanted to talk.  the Vets would say of him: “He can be trusted.”  That is high accolade, indeed, and not lightly given.

He asked him “Why after all these years are these thoughts coming back to him now?”

He said:  “Well, think of it, there you were at 18 or 20, smack in the middle of a situation where you are seeing things and doing things the reality of which you were never really prepared to see or do.  So what do you do?  You put it aside as well as you can and you get on with it.  Then 20, 30, 40 years later the brick wall starts to crumble.”

That’s a nice explanation, isn’t it?  It offers an answer to an honest question, it doesn’t get lost in detail, it validates horrific events without drawing attention to them and it perhaps gives a person time to consider that it’s “crumbling” and that he (or she) can figure out how to deal with the coming storm.

I’m reminded of a phrase from one of the movies about the VietNam war; it could have been from Platoon, or Full Metal Jacket.  In the scene, one of the soldiers is starting to fall apart.  One of his buddies starts saying:  “Don’t mean nothin’.”  Then after a few repititions, they both start chanting the somewhat healing words…”don’t mean nothin’.”

Well, maybe not quite healing.  Maybe some rough masonry work to protect their core from something too raw.  Temporarily put aside, but hardly forgotten.

Showing Up And Being Welcomed

My grandson had a meltdown last night.  It came after he showed me many of the new things he can do and what he has learned in the past few months.  He was so pleased showing what he can now do – joy to my heart.

When it came, it came full blown and out of the blue – pow!  It was really intense.  We had some speculations about some recent changes in his world which may have made him a bit more vulnerable to the storm, but there was nothing that we could pinpoint as the cause.  Perhaps tincture of sleep would help with the reset button for a fresh start tomorrow.

Someone must have failed to let A.C. (Mr. Alarm Clock) in on the plan because we were awakened with a full-volume siren-quality outburst which started earlier than usual and lasted longer.  The message that was to have been delivered eventually arrived and he promptly recognized the value of the plan and he then slept deeply.  Upon awakening he was treated to his favorite breakfast, enjoying it in a most leisurely manner.  All words were superfluous.

Refreshed, he was back in his element.  Routines were re-connected with, and he further fortified himself for the day with a dose of medicine labelled cheerios and raisins.  A change of clothes, kick the ball a few times and before you know it, it was time to visit with his friends at school.

He settles in but his head is down and he’s facing away from the others.  They are all aware of him in their own wide eyed manner.  Some doing, some not, but all seemed attuned to slight changes.  His “girlfriend” takes the initiative and makes the first move by bringing over a lawnmwer, roller-ball, noise maker thingee. It helps since it gets him moving.  Somone mentions his name and she picks the beat up again and starts to point out pictures of him on the wall. Still no cigar but it’s moving in the right direction.

The big person suggests to the group that the “welcoming song” was a good idea since he had just come into the room.  Looking down again.  Plan B was to sing it anyway, but inserting the names of all the others one at a time.  When it came time for each to show his or her stuff by dancing, they would and then everyone clapped their hands, all of this to the beat of the tune.  Not looking up but he applauded each for showing up and dancing.  His turn came, still looking down, but up he went and showed some nice moves and accepted the applause.

The next round of tears didn’t come from him, it came from grandad.  Yes, it takes a village.

What This Website Is All About

1. This website is about The Journey; the journey which is here for each of us to recognize.  It is a present for each of us, whether we acknowledge it or not.  It will reflect what our experiences are, how we deal with the opportunities which are contained in the events, our stuckness, our incompleteness, our personal dirt or tarnishings, and our growth and development.

All of what was just said is there for the picking by each person.  But The Journey takes on a life of its own through recognition and choice and investment of our own life force.  When we look at the events individually we look at the historical facts.  We can create a story which makes for an interesting linking of events and that can either be total fiction consciously chosen, or clear or unrecognized mirage. In that sense it is a way to present ourselves to “the world.”  It can also be used for entertainment – think Hollywood, or the theater of the political realm.

However, when we look for, perceive, listen to the murmurings running through the events and then add our own interpretation and explanation, we are moving towards our narrative.  The source of this comes primarily from within; from something more inwardly authentic.  It can be elaborated into our own unique compass rose and as such it carries implied and chosen compass readings which can help with our directions and choices in life.

2.  There is a further interest pursued in this website.  It is in the transitions along the way.  It may be as simple as a before and after the shifting.  It may be about the awareness that the journey is about the events, like different sea shells strung together into a bracelet, or, about The Journey which recognizes the shells but within a context that there is something much deeper and more robust which engages us further.  That aspect of The Journey also draws us into mystery and leads us to recognition of purpose, gifts, meaning, luck and relationship to Self, other, and potentially to the whole universe.

3.  There is a further focus on the events of how a person shifts from one historical state to the possible beginnings and enhancement of another. One part here is explored in what I am calling “The Dark Nights Of The Soul Project.”  Not dark in the sense of nasty or malevolent, but rather in the sense of a deep sense of lostness, separation, incompletion, and recognition that what has developed in our life is what is summarized with the words, “I / We have come to recognize that the life we have been living, going through, supporting simply isn’t working any more for us.”

4.  And, finally for now, there is the discovery of the traces left by others of how they came to deal with their “dark nights” and the steps they took to move on towards their second birth.  That part of the website will be explored in another project which I am calling “The Footprints In The Sand Project.”

5.  This will all be described in a context of exploration, sharing, elaboration, hinting, hunting and asking.  I will be sharing from my own experiences and will try to convey the essence of my “events” but it won’t degrade into the trivialization of a “reality show tell-all.”

6.  Please feel free to walk away from this.  Equally, feel free to comment and share as you wish.  If you have any comments on where you would like this discussion to go, feel free to leave your input directly in the comments section or to email me back channel.

7.  Finally, a disclaimer; some may come to this website through a professional connection.  If you expect and / or need me to be totally all together, without doubts, without baggage, without fault, etc., then you’ve got the wrong cookie here.  As I say in my sessions, “we talk here, we do as well as we can, and it’s an imperfect world.  If you’re interested, hop aboard.

…twenty plus years later…

In the previous post which I named Inward Trouble, I jumped right into the middle of an extended period in my life in which I was coming to terms with what was then an un-named inner ache.  It gradually clarified into a sense of separation, sadness, aloneness, emptiness, disconnectedness and loss.  It took time, much time, and it only became clear when I kept revisiting those images and feelings and understandings.  I actually came to look forward to those internal conversations around deep murmurings.

I was telling some friends about what I wrote and they said that I sounded depressed.  Yes, I was depressed then.  In fact, it was the first time that I had ever come to name and claim the experience in myself.  Mind you, not the first time that I was ever depressed, but the first time to have named and claimed it.  I did nothing to run from it.  I needed to ruminate over it; not to actively perpetuate it but rather to plumb its depths.

There was reluctance on my part with the friends to let the discussion be limited with the clinical label: Depression.  The label would have ended that conversation, it would have made it too easy to hang the whole period of my life on a coat hook reserved for the Big D.  It would have objectified it.  It would have separated me from it, and them from me, and avoided further discussion of a perhaps universal experience which all have at some time in their lives.

I said: “Yes, I was depressed then, for sure.  Yes, it was what in many ways could be called a Major Depression.  I was fortunate that I was able to keep working during that time.” One dividend of all this was that the inner exploration actually helped me to be present in my work with an awareness which was not as prominent before then.  I kept it concealed from all.  There was, however, one glaring exception; I didn’t conceal it to myself.  In fact, I held onto that Inward Trouble – held on as if for dear life itself.

This is not to split hairs.  Depression is the short hand label which appears to describe, yet it misses the mark from the inside.  Of far greater importance, and this I said to my friends: “it was a period which marked the shift from before to after.  It was a shifting bourne of necessity from the inside.  It arrival was announced with a silent wail.  (With a burst of insight I am right now connecting that wail to another silent whale which in a dream I pulled to land.  More on that at a later time but the play on words and sounds connecting the experience I was having then and how it was also being telegraphed in a dream astounds me, now.)

~~~~~~

There are many steps between then and now, and the steps are experiences along the way, experiences of Being Into The Journey.  Each of those experiences is connected to a story, as it should be, because stories have the potential to really communicate on so many levels.  Stories are what people can identify with.

For now, let me jump into the present; stories will come later.  Where am I now?  I am in a place where I recognize and accept that the most important question that each of us has to address (after the bare bones structure of survival and how to carry our weight in our society, earn our keep, build our resume, etc.) is to answer the question: “Why am I here, What is my essence, what is my purpose, what is my mission, and, most importantly, How do I become my unique Self and connect that with my talent(s) and gift(s) in a meaningful way?”

This question is the most important question we can feel and answer.  It is a private journey with implications for those we meet and touch along the way.  It is not a resume building process but rather a building of our personal legend of genuine learnings and expressions and events and problems solved along the way.

One further thing for today.  This journey is the journey that everyone has an opportunity to experience.  We are free to mess it up, or to make it significant.  And, most importantly, I take it for granted that these basic questions are the same questions that were asked by the first people on the planet and continuing up to the present with you and me.  Equally important, I take it for granted that the tools are always there and are not dependent on status, or class, or education, or economic situation.

It is the one question that really matters.  All else will flow from that.  Oh, and one more thing…tick tock, tick tock.

Inward Trouble

How did this journey begin?  This I will tell you, it didn’t start in sunshine and soft green pastures with a bubbling brook winding its way through it all.

It started in an ongoing state of  stubborn stuckness-and-movement.  It started with an unvoiced ache.  It started with a deep sense of disconnect from inside.  It started with a giant hole in the universe.

It started with conversation; honest and very private conversation between me, and myself and the stranger

No one told me how to carry that conversation or where it should go or how it should be conducted.  I only knew that I had to keep the conversation going.  I had to keep circling back each day and re-enter it with a freshness and openness.  I knew, I should say: “I came to know,” that the most heart-felt parts of the conversation had to be voiced aloud.

In those early days it was part soliloquy, part picking up a feeling, a sense, a moment, past or present, and to closely examine it.  Honest discussion with myself.  At the time I had my hands full just staying present and exploring those deeply shaded places.  Only later, much later did the conversation, still private, open towards The Other.

Yes, this journey began with inward trouble.  There was no beaten path there to follow; only haze and shadow and deep valley with bursts of dark lightning.

Not till decades later did I realize how fortunate I was that I could not even see any footprints to follow…

%d bloggers like this: