Archives for posts with tag: projection

The story of the night in shining armor has a shadow side that we often prefer not to look at. 

I was one of those people-pleasers who grew up with all the right family dynamics to bring this trait out in me. What begins as a desire to make the life of a depressed or bereaved parent or sibling’s life better can set up a pattern that gets carried into relationships later in life. Most of this is unconscious behavior, so it is neither recognized as it’s being felt or acted upon nor experienced. This is most often experienced as what some call the “karmic merry-go-round” where certain behaviors and personality types come into our lives repeatedly (hint: we are attracted to them without fully knowing why…and this is why I say “karma creates chemistry” for all you twin flame and twin-souls out there).

 For every man who wants to come to the aid of a damsel in distress, there is a woman who wants to be saved. Notice I didn’t say “needs to be saved.” We do these things because they satisfy a deficit in ourselves. The deeper problem is that there is a brokenness in both people, allowing themselves to be drawn into a relationship that is highly codependent. The question becomes, why does that “knight” need to save anyone, and why can’t the woman save herself? The answer, or part of it, lies in our inability to be truthful about how we feel. The man probably feels innadequate in some way and saves people to make himself feel better about himself. The woman, incapable of accepting her own feelings of inadequacy, relies on others to fix things she believes she is powerless to affect.  Both are relying on someone else to give them what they lack within themselves. I don’t need to tell you that such relationships don’t end well unless both are equal in their respective need or dysfunction. The moment one grows or changes is the moment this delicate house of cards can fall.

It’s common for us to point to childhood as the genesis for these behaviors, but this is short-sighted when you bring in the issue of karma. In all of my experience in releasing karmic blocks, all of them emerged from a central point within not just me, but within my larger being on a reincarnation-based scale. What I am saying is that many of these glitches come about not through a linear progression of lifetimes lived, but outside of time and most often trouble multiple lives at once.I say this because I have had access to numerous lifetimes and I have seen how these issues often repeated in some lifetimes (but not all). The themes predate life here, ad in going to their root, I did not find a Genesis here, but “elsewhere.”

 It appears that we come back over and over to work through a number of different themes, some which can be very different from each other. 

Some cycles in reincarnation can be fairly straightforward in the sense that a soul comes in as a woman, man, father, and mother. These encompass the entirety of our possible relationships (including siblings when we are a part of a family). For others, a soul with a more expansive interest will come back in a variety of cultures in order to get a larger perspective. It’s possible to develop many major currents in karma as well as sub-currents.  All of these come in with you while the soul is drawn to the very factors in life that will help activate these patterns, even when they are negative. Once a soul on the planet begins to be self aware, these deeper patterns begin to be more noticeable and they can be worked through. Healing these patterns actually can have an effect on past lives as hard as that might be to believe. I have seen this happen in my own experience when my spiritual guardian awakened me in the wee hours of Good Friday seven years ago to show me a vision of how all my past junk was being shoveled out through my lifetime now. I stood outside in the cool night air at 4:00 a.m. as he motioned for me to look off to my side. I saw a long hallway appear going off into the woods behind my house. He told me to watch and the hallway tilted downward while the other end tilted up and I saw the doors to each room (a lifetime) fly open and the refuse contents all came sliding out. Hopes, dreams, fears, upsets, all repressed emotion the self was unwilling to deal with, all of it, came sliding out. Sandalphon turned to me and explained that this was part of why I had come here, to be that life where this material was cleared for lifetimes. This wasn’t just from my life as a child, this was from my soul, a pattern that was being made right again. If you understand how something you do here and now can impact your existence both forward and backwards in time, its easy to get very “hungry” for wanting to clean that kind of mess up in your life.

The result of these changes I was going through in the early stages of my awakening put me on a collision course with my then-spouse who was unsteadied by the forces at play in my awakening. Angry over the changes taking place that made me less reactive to her codependent behavior, I had to move forward with the forces in my awakening regardless of the ramifications it might have had for my old life.
I learned that I was drawn to these damsels who, I would learn, were engaging in a form of destructive behavior known as projection. Projection is a type of lie we tell ourselves, a lie that we completely believe….

Projection is an observed behavior that both Freud and Jung wrote a lot about. Jung ascribed the need to project to the Shadow Archetype in the self, a part of us that does not reflect on itself. Jung explained that when the person affected by their shadow self has a deep enough fault or a deep enough misgiving about a fault they have, they will turn this on others and believe that the fault lies with the other person. This is more than blaming, it is the result of a rift within the shadow self that can make this possible. While we all appear to project from time to time, those with neurotic tendencies or who are pathological, will most often do it regularly. For people such as this, projection becomes a way of life. I know because I married one and because of how traumatizing it was, I was drawn to yet another person a few years later who had all the same traits. Because I was awakened, the karma fueled a powerful connection which I attempted to work through a number of times with no success. People like this woman who are serial projectors are said to have either narcissistic tendencies or have a condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder. My first clue about this was when I drove with a friend to a neighboring state to pick up a car she had bought online, and while we were going, I talked about my ex-wife. My friend, who was a licensed counselor, said that my description of her behavior was consistent with BPD and narcissist tendencies. 
As a result of our discussion I did some research into these designations and found that I had not just one run-in with this kind of person, but two. Remember that merry-go-round I mentioned earlier? That’s what I mean. I was drawn to another person who would repeat all the same behaviors as my ex-spouse! And the crazy thing about it was after a few weeks of knowing this person and seeing how she let down her guard and began showing her true self, I had already begun to suspect, even was able to predict what range of behaviors I was likely going to see come from this person, assuming at the time that this was a karmic connection modelled on my ex-spouse. And I was right. To make all of this even more entertaining, I actually thought I needed to work this karma out with this person so I could put an end to this extremely hurtful pattern once and for all!

One of the most difficult part of being with these kinds of people are the lies. In fact, when I saw how both of these women were psychopathic liars, I was accused of being a psychopathic liar. Living with someone like this is like living in a hall of mirrors. Everything that is theirs gets put onto you and then they begin isolating you and trying to alienate the healthy people in your life so your relationships with them are ruined. 

My wife said I didn’t love my children and said this directly to them numerous times. It was a cycle of denigration that had a destructive impact on my life, my sense of wellbeing, not to mention how it effected my children and how it strained, unnecessarily, my relationship with them. It was a nightmarish kind of experience. This second person said I was online seeking to seduce women using my “kundalini powers,”writing publicly and creating an air of drama and conspiracy.  These were the tame lies, and they got worse from there. All of the lies she told appeared to me to be efforts at character assassination in order to isolate me from friends and family, or from colleagues professionally. The really crazy part to all of this was how this person worked in a professional capacity dealing with issues of harassment in the workplace. Talk about a fox in the hen house. 

What makes these lunatics believable is how functional they appear to be. How can they be psychotic when they hold down jobs that require a degree of responsibility? In truth, the narcissist and the Borderline personality type have a public face and a private face. No one saw how the Borderline personality would behave at home, ranting and raving at family, or at themselves. “I talk to myself like this to calm myself” she would say when we would get out of public and into private. The truth was, for as composed as she seemed, she was really repressing a huge amount of emotion second by second and on a few occasions would simply go into a temporal meltdown that would be the reason why she would have to leave a public place because she couldn’t hold it together long enough. 

All I ever saw was that this behavior and the words she used were not about finding peace, but as a way to keep the tension in place. We say that venting helps, but all venting does is it serves as a way for us to justify our upset. If venting is done without being defensive then, yes, it can help release stored anxiety. But this wasn’t what was happening. She was putting her neurosis onto me.When she claimed I was hiding her presence in my life by not friending her on Facebook, I was instead not wanting her to have access to my friends for fear she would use them as she had used me in her need to shirk her responsibility for her feelings and reactions. I feared that she would do to my friends what my ex had done to my children. She complained about my not introducing my family to her, but the truth was, I suspected she could use them the same way my ex used my own family members to try and distance and alienate them from me. The jealousy I’m talking about here is beyond anything anyone would call within normal bounds. It was scary. The “clusterfuck” of emotions she claimed marked my emotional state were the result in large part to her own raw emotions and upset, which was vented directly at me. She would get upset if I looked a female cashier in the eye and thanked her by name for checking out my groceries. I was dressed down for being playful with wait-staff at a restaurant. Behavior that was just me being nice suddenly took on a sinister tone. I found myself being punished for being me. What was happening was that she was putting her own hard emotions on to me , the guy so eager to help. The result always felt like having someone pooping on you and then saying what a mess you are. It was beyond upside-down.

It’s hard because people like this do not see how they are creating the crisis they claim others bring to their lives when it’s all their own doing. In fact, the victims of this form of emotional abuse often wind up being enablers by being afraid to speak out against these kinds of people. I was accused of having sexually assaulted “all” of my female art students at my work. When I confronted her with this lie, she pointed out how she had not used my name which is the definition of slander and libel. She then said that had a Constitutionally protected right to write anything she wanted. I have the email. 

The problem is that in our society when a woman makes an accusation like this, people tend to believe the woman. In this case, it was another in a long line of lies. People don’t stop to consider the pain that this causes men who are often stuck in roles that expect them to just “suck it up” and go on. It’s a deadly double standard that assumes women don’t lie about these things. My experience has been that they do, and do so in spectacular fashion.

So how do you make sense of all of this? How do you deal with people who project? What are some of the symptoms and the backgrounds of people who engage in behavior like this?

Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics they find unacceptable in themselves to another person. For example, a husband who has a hostile nature might attribute this hostility to his wife and say she has an anger management problem.
In some cases projection can result in false accusations. For example, someone with adulterous feelings might accuse their partner of infidelity. Considering how much the woman I knew engaged in affairs while being with other men, it began to make sense that she was putting on to me her own inability to control her sexual appetite. She claimed that I had broken up her marriage when she actually said to me privately that she divorced her husband because she was not happy with him. She said that you don’t go looking unless things aren’t alright at home to begin with (I have screenshots of those texts). Months later, she was blaming me for her own broken marriage. She was also claiming that I too was married at the time, but I was not. I had been separated for over two years by the time I met her and my divorce was finalized the following year.

According to the psychiatric community there are types of projection. Like other defense mechanisms, projection is typically unconscious and can distort, transform, or somehow affect reality. A classic example of the defense mechanism is when an individual says “She hates me” instead of expressing what is actually felt, which is “I hate her.”

There are three generally accepted types of projection:
Neurotic projection is the most common variety of projection and most clearly meets the definition of defense mechanism. In this type of projection, people may attribute feelings, motives, or attitudes they find unacceptable in themselves to someone else.

 

Complementary projection occurs when individuals assume others feel the same way they do. For example, a person with a particular political persuasion might take it for granted that friends and family members share those beliefs.

Complimentary projection is the assumption other people can do the same things as well as oneself. For example, an accomplished pianist might take it for granted that other piano students can play the piano equally well.

What Is the Purpose of Projection?
Sigmund Freud believed projection to be a defense mechanism often used as a way to avoid uncomfortable repressed feelings. Feelings that are projected may be controlling, jealous, angry, or sexual in nature. These are not the only types of feelings and emotions projected, but projection most often occurs when individuals cannot accept their own impulses or feelings.

In modern psychology, the feelings do not necessarily have to be repressed to constitute projection. Projection can be said to provide a level of protection against feelings a person does not wish to deal with. Engaging in either complimentary and complementary projection can allow people to feel more like others or relate to them easily.
It is fairly common for people to engage in projection from time to time, and many people who project their feelings on occasion do not do so as a result of any underlying issue. In some cases projection can contribute to relationship challenges. Projection may also be a symptom of other mental health concerns. In my case, projection was part of a personality disorder.
Projection and Mental Health Concerns Projection, one main mechanism of paranoia, is also frequently a symptom of narcissistic and borderline personalities. A person with narcissistic traits who does not respect their partner may say to the partner, “You don’t respect me or see my true worth.” Some individuals with borderline personality may be afraid of losing the people they love and project this fear by frequently accusing friends or partners of planning to leave. However, individuals who project their feelings in this way do not necessarily have either of these conditions.

A person in therapy may be able to address these projections with the help of a qualified mental health professional. When a person can explore the reasons behind any projected feelings, it may be possible to prevent or reduce occurrences of this behavior in the future.

In the end, there is no “working” with a person like this. Instead, you learn when enough is enough. I thought I could heal a troublesome pattern, but I learned that this is not possible with someone with neurotic and delusional traits. In the end, it was far more productive to work out my stuff instead of tossing my junk into a cauldron with another person’s junk and expect anything good to come of it. But I knew this already. I was stupid. I was foolish. I learned you can only do this work quickly and productively on your own. Everything else is an invitation to the tar pit of karmic entanglement no matter how much that karma revs up your pranic engines. The result is I am genuinely happier, feeling safe, free, and ready for the next big adventure I’m about to embark on, and it finally looks like a dream come true.

References:

American Psychological Association. APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009. Print.

Corsini, R. J., & Wedding, D. (Eds.). (2007). Current Psychotherapies (Eighth ed.). Brooks Cole.

Perry, J. C., Presniak, M. D., & Olson, T. R. (2013). Defense Mechanisms in Schizotypal, Borderline, Antisocial, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Psychiatry, 76(1), 32-52.

Projection. (n.d.). Changing Minds. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/projection.htm

When the mirror of the self is cleansed of all pretense, bias, and belief, we are free to begin to truly see. 

image

This world has the openness that allows us to choose how we see it. In my life I have seen how a seemingly ordinary world transformed itself into a sheer miracle of a place. What gives?

The truth was, the world had always been this way. It was I who had shuttered my perception, not letting in enough of the light. I could not see it for how I felt.

This is, though, how all of our lives are. We each have a choice-to own ourselves and our feelings, or not. But when we choose to not fully own what is ours, a very curious thing happens.Psychologist call this projection.

Projection can happen in a variety of ways, but the effects from doing it are always the same. When we don’t fully own our feelings, we project those feelings onto things. Anything will do; people, places, and things. We will see a person as having the very troubles that lie within our own hearts and minds. Carl Jung, the noted psychologist explained that when it comes to projection, the person who is projecting swears that the fault lies in the Other….be it their neighbor, friend, or family member.
The thing to understand is that as long as we are engaged in projecting, we don’t realize we are the ones who are doing it.

One really good example of mass projection played out on a national scale when Germans believed that Jews were a problem back before Germany invaded Poland. As we all know, the Jewish people weren’t the problem at all. The real problem that gripped so much of Germany was a deep seated dislike of something within themselves. There was a fear of this self, over how it might not be controllable, and this was projected as loathing for the Jewish people. As we can see, the Jews became the first column in a larger effort that was conceived in madness. Liberal, educated, and lovers of culture and art, the Jews were what the Germans, many of them, believed they were not, or perhaps more accurately, feared they were but could not allow themselves to be. The irony in this story is that Hitler sought to steal art work from the Jews and from the countries that he invaded. Hitler was a failed art student who had been deemed unworthy of schooling by a….Jewish teacher when he was younger. You might think this was just about a twisted form of “payback,” but it goes deeper than that. Unable to deal constructively with his own creative drive, Adolph turned his creativity on its head so that it became aggression instead of what creativity otherwise does when used in a positive way, which is that it unifies. We all know how that turned out. The hate within was turned outward onto an innocent people and one man’s madness enlivened the splinters in a large part of his nation so that they became extremely exxagerated. The nation really did believe that the problem were the Jews. They believed this so much that they went to extraordinary lengths to justify their own projections. What the Germans hated in the Jews was actually what they hated about themselves. This had nothing to do with the Jews…but by projecting, the Jews became the skapegoat. Sad, isn’t it?

We see this tendency everywhere when we observe how one person doesn’t “get” another person. They misperceive things about them, or interpret what another person does based less on what is true for that person and more on an inner script that is playing in the mind of the person who is doing the projecting.

To learn how to stop projecting is quite easy. You simply learn to own your life and your feelings. You can stop projecting by bringing awareness into your life because projection always happens when there is a lack of it.

When you feel that twinge inside of you that tells you that the fault is in another, this is the moment that you should ask yourself if this is really true. There is something in each of us that I call The Watcher that gives us the means to step back and examine what is happening, in a dispassionate way, that can unlock the doors of our native perception. You just need to reflect within, gently and quietly, in that moment and then feel deeply within yourself for the truth about where your feelings are coming from.

The truth is that our feelings come from us. We each are choosing to react to any given moment in our lives. Look for any feeling that reveals a sense of resistance, tension, or tightness, in either your mind, heart, or body. If you feel this tightness, then you are resisting seeing and acknowledging a deeper truth about what is happening in the moment. I can tell you that were you to know the truth about why you are resisting and getting ready to think it’s all the problem of another person, the reason fully known to you simply would erase your feelings of resistance. It is always this way. Always.

The resistance happens because  our mind thinks one thing and our soul know another. Since the mind is like the surface of a lake and the soul is its depths, the mind can forget what the other part actually knows. But being so focused in our minds, we don’t realize that there is another side to the story. There is always another side to the story!

Ceasing to project means listening carefully to what is being said to you by that knowing self within so that you can hear what is being said to you by others. When we “read into” people’s words, all we are doing is actively projecting onto them our own inner script.

Everyone has their own story….and deep down we actually DO know the story, were it not for all the surface static that our minds create.

This static comes from our beliefs about a host of things. “People are just rude and uncaring” might be one. This belief will cause your mind to leap to conclusions that lead to all sorts of problems. So that person who cut you off in traffic? They might have not even seen you, or maybe they needed to pee so bad that they were just trying to get home or to the gas station across the street. We interject this material all the time, often without even realizing it. We just aren’t being aware enough.

I have found that people who engage in finger pointing are most often hiding the fault, or a very similar one within themselves. I was once married to a person who did this a lot. What I was able to see was that the fault she falsely tried to seed into the minds of my children wound up being the very fault that she was exercising in that moment. Deep down, by saying to my children that I didn’t love them, she was revealing her own inability to love in a big hearted way….a way that I had always had loved them. If her live had been big like mine had been, she probably would not have said such ridiculous things like she did. But suspecting or perhaps fearing that she didn’t love them in a big hearted way, but also being unable to consciously admit this to herself, she saw a “truth” that resided outside of herself in another person.

What this woman actually saw was a man who felt alienated by her behavior and the pain that it caused. It wasn’t a lack of love, but because it had been so abundant and had gotten crushed. THAT was the true story, and as long as her script was running in her head, it has kept her from being able to see what was real.

Projections can come from the most broken part of ourselves. It can blind us to what is happening in front of us. I have seen how I have done this….jumping to conclusions that had nothing to do with what was there, or seeing events in such a way that they mirrored what was going on inside of me instead of the way they actually were. And because the soul can feel this, the people around me can pick up on this and they respond, at least in part, with that soul-knowing…along with their own interperative scripts.

Step back and feel into the source of the resistance. Do you feel angry? Most often, this is a script from your past that is about a hurt you never got over. This is a perfect moment to begin healing it by letting yourself to drift deep into the feeling like drifting in the water of a deep lake. Just relax and stay neutral. Tell yourself that you are not your feelings. Your feelings are based in choices you make about how you want to feel. Drift into them and let yourself feel deeply into whatever the feeling is. Pretend you are a visitor to the lands of your subconscious and ask yourself what the root of that feeling is. Don’t let yourself fall into resistance. Fall into yourself and let the Watcher learn to see. Use your intuition, which is tied to feeling but isn’t the emotions.

Feeling deeply like this, you can begin to access the nonlinear feeling self that knows. If you find yourself feeling defensive, this is a sign that you need to let go more. Then, just let whatever cones to mind surface…no matter how easy it might seem or how quickly you might want to discount it. “Oh, it couldn’t be that” we often tell ourselves. For this moment, let anything come without trying to mediate it in a judging way. Let yourself be willing to free associate. It’s very likely that you grasped something that your rational mind could not.

The key in all of this is when you feel the tightness. This is not the world doing this, it’s you. By owning it, you can gain significant awareness necessary to begin healing or erasing this pattern from your mind. When you see the world as it is, your body does not resist. Yes, there are terrible things that happen in our world, but when you can see the truth behind the horror, the soul always floods in and the heart opens because they both know that the horror is there only because of a stored hurt in another that just needs a little more love to heal. The soul flows in moments like these because it knows that the answer is NEVER resistance, but surrender. Our souls know it because every soul is a spark from a still larger flame. The soul does this because at a deeper level it knows that we are all one.

Doing this work frees and liberates. It is freedom. It lies in true compassion, which requires us to be willing to see beyond our own inner scripts in order to bridge the gulf between all of us.

Nemasté.

This article was too interesting not to reprint here. I think any time that we can use different tools to understand a given phenomenon, it can sometimes yield unexpected results or information that can serve to help us to understand  things better.  While the results may suggest that the woman was merely thinking she was moving or out of body, I think the research helps point to how the brain handles this kind of data.  I hope researchers are not quick to reach conclusions!  More information is probably needed, and this is a good start!  The article is below in total. Sadly, there is talk of this experience being like a hallucination….which troubles me because it continues this bias some have, many have, that consciousness cannot exist beyond the body (it is huge if it does, so let’s not toss out the baby with the bath water alright?).  It is just as possible that the brain is recording information that is existing BEYOND it…..and if it IS then that is HUGE!  And yet, I am very glad that this research is being done.  Being able to have robust discussion is important so people like us can bring our own ideas and proposals to the table for consideration.  Nonlocality would be a giant step or leap for humans to recognize in this kind of work!

 

Business Insider

By Jennifer Welsh March 7, 2014 6:27 PM

It may sound like the plot of the Twilight Zone, but a psychology graduate student at the University of Ottawa says she can voluntarily enter an out-of-body experience. This was a lucky break for scientists, who were able to scan her brain during the episode.

Usually out-of-body experiences are a part of, say, a near-death experience. A patient may float above their own body as surgeons work on them. These experiences are usually attributed to the drugs in a patient’s system, or the hormones released into their system by trauma.

A unique experience

The study — which only involved this one person — was published Feb. 10 in the journal Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed open access publication. The researchers are members of the School Of Psychology at the University of Ottawa.

According to the paper, this woman enters her out-of-body state right before sleeping, visualizing herself from above. She started doing so during naptime in preschool, they write. She currently only does it sometimes.

The researchers wrote in the paper:

She was able to see herself rotating in the air above her body, lying flat, and rolling along with the horizontal plane. She reported sometimes watching herself move from above but remained aware of her unmoving “real” body…

She told the researchers:

I feel myself moving, or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving. There is no duality of body and mind when this happens, not really. In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving. I am the one moving – me – my body. For example, if I ‘spin’ for long enough, I get dizzy. I do not see myself above my body. Rather, my whole body has moved up. I feel it as being above where I know it actually is. I usually also picture myself as moving up in my mind’s eye, but the mind is not substantive. It does not move unless the body does.

The brain out of the body

The researchers did a fMRI before and after asking her to enter her out-of-body state to find out what that looked like in the brain. They compared these to when she was imagining, but not actually entering, the state.

Interestingly, the pathway that seemed to be activated during her out-of-body experience is also involved in the mental representation of movements.

brain scan activated areas

Andra M. Smith and Claude Messier, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014

Brain regions activated by the out-of-body experience include the supplementary motor area, the cerebellum, the supramarginal gyrus, the inferior temporal gyrus, the middle and superior orbitofrontal gyri.

Some parts of her brain involved in interpreting vision were turned down in activity, as shown below:

brain scan inhibited areas

Andra M. Smith and Claude Messier, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2014

Brain regions inhibited by the out-of-body experience include the visual cortex.

She didn’t have any specific emotions surrounding this experience, and i t seems to be a kind of hallucination she can turn on at will.

What’s happening?

Even if there is no soul stuck in our bodies, this woman isn’t making this up. There’s obviously something happening in her brain that is making her experience the world in a different way — but researchers can’t yet say exactly what it is.  Plus, this study was about one woman’s out-of-body experience, not all out-of-body experiences.

Still, the changes they observed could be similar to how the brain can be trained using meditation. The researchers even suggested that this could be something many kids can do, but that with practice could be carried into adulthood.

Interestingly, the researchers suggested that this kind of experience may be much more common than we thought. The woman in question actually “appeared surprised that not everyone could experience this,” the researchers wrote.

They compared it to synesthesia — the condition in which people hear colors or smell sounds — which was thought of as “out there” but has become widely accepted in the last few decades.

The article appears HERE

icebergThis idea of dreaming is near and dear to me.  It is near and dear to me because along with a spiritual journey since age nine, I have been fascinated with dreaming and what this very significant amount of time we spend each day is used for.  I have also been fascinated with dreaming because I have had what I consider to be quite fascinating events take place within my dreams and I am also brave enough to simply tell you what I have found and also what I think as part of a CONSIDERED opinion (which stands apart from an opinion that may not be based on significant evaluation of ones own dreaming).  I also like dreaming because its MINE. It is my own landscape, my own stuff. I get to go into the temple of my OWN dreaming and no one else’s.  I can explore and discover and learn.  I have spent years studying my own dreams, by the way, so I know a few things about it that are not in the mainstream and bear mentioning….

The thing I think that is so great about understanding dreams is that we each have the opportunity to be experts with our own dreamscapes.  Since we each dream, just as we live a life, we ourselves can learn a lot from our dreams. I did this by keeping a dream journal starting in high school until I was married, which was a period of approximately ten years.  We want, though, to wait on what others have had to say about dreams in order to understand them, but even the supposed experts haven’t been that great at coming up with a theory that works for how and why we dream.  Freud said dreams were unfulfilled wishes.  Excuse me, but my dreams have had healing elements, points of resolution, I have had what appear to be out of body experiences, and I have also had dreams that have clearly shown the future.  So if the supposed “experts” can be so off on all of this, it stands to reason that our own observations might well be a little more helpful in helping to progress our understanding of dreaming.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fascinating information out there from REM being a way to nourish the cornea with oxygen, to dreams being an expression of unexpressed wishes and desires (thanks Sigmund). It is all sounds very nice, I just think it is woefully incomplete.

It’s probably a problem of clarity, though, why we have so much trouble being able to figure out what dreaming is….. for the simple reason, most likely, that WHY we dream is so broad that any one theory will have trouble containing it all in a neat tidy way that will make a scientist feel good about his or her work and reason for being. It is a bit like asking me what the purpose of LIFE is.  Do you have a few days to have a seat and talk about it?  really, I don’t think you can sum it up in a few sentences, and if you do, it will probably be so hopelessly simplified as to bear very little meaning.   So having said that, I am going to tell you a few things about my own experience in the same way that a tourist might come back and show you a few pictures of a trip, say, to Tuscany, or Greece, or Neptune, or somewhere near the Dog star….

One thing I can tell you is that dreams can be precognitive.  Not maybe, but certainly.  Not only that, but my dreams have not only been clearly precognitive, they have also shown a most interesting phenomenon that an old friend named Rodney called “periodicity” when I walked into my Wednesday night jam session and explained how I had uncovered something incredible about my precognitive dreams. What you should first know is that I have had these precognitive dreams my whole life and second that they have been very detailed so as to eliminate any guesswork over whether they were just a lucky guess or actually seeing “remotely” the events that would take place later.  What I had uncovered in my journal work was a very distinct pattern in my dreams that all showed precognitive elements.  This phenomenon showed that my precognitive dreams all took place on very specific days, and this was tied to the lunar cycle.  Now for some, this might sound a little crazy, but to a scientist, this suggests other forces at work.  What those are, I don’t know, but in the same way that the moon has an effect on tides, it apparently has an effect on seeing the future as well….and as a result may well help us to better understand HOW to bridge the gap between now and the future.  For those who aren’t sure what precognition is, it’s simply being able to anticipate future events. Now I know that for some, such a thing seem preposterous and flies in the face of everything we think we know about time and space.  Well, clearly, we don’t know everything there is to know about time and space or else I would not be going around having these dreams about the future!

But so you can appreciate what I am talking about, let me give you a few examples of my precognitive dreams.  When I was a pre-teen I dreamed that my neighbor was pregnant with twins and that these twins were born and had blonde hair.  The twins were a boy and a girl in the dream. Now the thing to realize is that the mom and dad were both very dark-haired people.  The father had this jet black hair without a hint of gray in it and the mother had chestnut colored hair.  At the time of the dream, there had been no talk about their having children.  They were without children at the time of the dream that I had.  In just a few months, I did find out that the mother was expecting and while I did not pay much heed to the dream, I found that she gave birth to twins who grew up to be blonde, both of them, which was itself a bit odd since there was so much dark hair in the family.  Skip forward in time to 1985 when I have a dream that I am floating above the earth and witness an explosion at a facility in Russia.  I hear the voice of a t.v. anchor narrating the events taking place. He says that there was an explosion over Russia that sent a plume of radioactive gasses into the atmosphere.  I watch as I see a white cloud rise and spread.  This cloud spread to Europe and rained down as radioactive snow.  I watched as people were herded onto freight trains in order to get them out of the area quickly. I saw an odometer type device that was showing the current count of the number of people who had been evacuated from the area.  At the time of the dream I saw a number around 80,000 as it continued to climb.

At the time of this dream, I was more focused on the out of body aspects of the experience, which involved me flying over the earth and walking across a bridge that floated in the sky.  The experience with the  news broadcast began after I observed that the entire scene turned to snow or static and was replaced by a new scene.    At the time, though, I described the entire dream to my roommate, Joe, who in three weeks called me into the living room to watch a news broadcast about an explosion over Russia in the area now known by the world as Chernobyl.  Each element in the dream was exactly as the Chernobyl event several weeks later.  There was a radioactive explosion (not a leak—this was an explosion that sent a cloud up into the atmosphere). This cloud menaced Europe in the dream, which did happen in the Chernobyl event.  People were herded quickly onto freight cars both in the dream and in real life as a way to get them quickly out of the area.  The count I had seen was over 80,000 had been evacuated, which suggested this was a city or town area.  When Joe called me in as he sat amazed at the news report, they said during that report that as many as 80,000 people had already been evacuated from the area.

These are the kinds of dreams that I have had over my life.  They have been specific enough in the ways I have explained to you to be more than merely plucking a good guess out of the air.  The level of corollaries between the dream and the events usually within a month of the dream, have been extraordinarily good in my view.

Now I know what some people have said to me about this in the past, which have been along the lines of “Well, Parker, its easy for YOU to have dreams like this, but you aren’t LIKE other people…”  and to this I have to carefully explain that in each person’s life there is some evidence for unexplained phenomenon.  Maybe you don’t have dreams that came true, but perhaps you find yourself thinking about someone and find that they were mentioning you at the exact same time, or perhaps you get a feeling of foreboding only to find that at the same time a loved one was involved in an accident.  Perhaps you experience this in dream, or waking, or both.  You see, to my mind, dream and waking are all part of life and both serve important roles in our lives. Me, I just don’t ascribe to dreams just being random firings of the brain as it sifts through the days’ material.  I know that dreams are therapeutic, quite literally releasing trauma from the past, working through issues within the emotional landscape as well as deeper soulful issues.  I also know that dreams are a kind of window into other dimensions, dimensions we travel to by traveling not through space but through our own awareness.  You see, we ARE the window to other worlds and that window CAN be found by expanding consciousness.  It is curious that in dream we do the same things as those who meditate and are able to let the ego go in order to experience cosmic consciousness.  The cool thing is that ego is dispensed with the same way you take off a pair of socks or pants as you get ready to go to bed.  In fact, you can’t really do most of your dreaming with ego still all around you.  But when you let go of ego, some quite remarkable things begin to happen.

Now as an aside I will explain why I am talking about ego. I mean, how on earth do I KNOW that we let go of ego when we dream?  My work during my awakening of kundalini has shown me quite clearly that the concept of “ego death” (a term I absolutely dislike for how incorrect it is) goes hand in hand with being able to experience similar KINDS of things while still awake that the mind does -normally- when asleep.  I have also observed how ego has been lain aside while awake in order for certain dream-like phenomenon to arise much like what some people do in meditation or in shamanic practice.  The main feature of doing this is that you are more free to tap larger portions of awareness that naturally get filtered out by the controlling agent called ego.  To show what I mean, perhaps you can remember starting to dream and then realizing that you are dreaming.  What happens when you do this?  In my experience I always stop dreaming.  I have become self conscious.  I have suddenly taken on ego as “I” identifies that “I” am dreaming.  Ego and dreaming don’t work together.  You need to have a loosening of the ego in order for the part of you that can create those dreams to operate properly.  Part of it has to constructing a kind of creative scaffolding where your imagery can spread out and play. This play, though can be mulling feelings over, venting, thinking, hallucinating, seeing the future, and traveling out of body (OOBE) somewhere quite interesting.

The ego can be quite the wet blanket, you see.  It’s a very useful thing, but you have to learn how to put ego aside so you can begin to experience the broader realm of your being.  I promise you that ego limits you absolutely.  And this is, of course, why I LOVED dream so much.  It let me go ego-less during a time when I was simply not yet ready for this thing called ego death (which I experienced during my awakening process).

But this isn’t about seeing the future.  Not really.  I am using seeing the future as an example of what CAN be done.  I figure if I can show you some rather fantastic examples of what has happened to me, you might just realize that you too have the same opportunities.  (Jesus said something about others doing even greater things than he did….) Granted, you might not be so keen about time travel.  Maybe for you its something else, like experiencing the effects of shifting from one brain state to another while “awake” in the dream state.  Clearly the static I saw in the dream of Chernobyl where once scene shifted into another was itself the shifting from one brain state to another.  I have actually been able to fool my brain into thinking I am asleep when I am actually awake and the exact same thing will happen, and I am able to observe it while I am awake and it is VERY much like a wall of static filling the view and my body and I simply vibrate into a different state and scene. It is, I do think, a way for the brain to travel dimensionally by changing its own energetic signature via its brainwaves. it turns out that this technique has been used for thousands of years by Tibetan monks and is a way for them to dream awake, or to have lucid dreams while being fully awake instead of asleep. You might think that dream and waking are fundamentally different, but I am telling you that you can and will break down the barriers between waking and sleeping when you begin to become more inclusive or broader in your awareness of these different states of being.  And don’t worry; all will not be chaos.  Instead, what will emerge is a sense of unity of awareness.  You simply wont see dream as some strange land anymore.  It will be understood as a very useful tool for relaxing, sleeping, as well as having all sorts of adventures both fictional and nonfictional.

Dreaming can be a way to expand your own energetic signature and mobility of consciousness.  The more aware you are of what you do in dreams and HOW you FEEL in dreams can lead to being able to relate to certain energetic states that correspond to deep shifts in consciousness within those dreams.  If you can learn how to FEEL the way you FEEL in a dream, you are actually that much closer to being able to experience an expanded state of awareness while awake.  You don’t need mantras, you simply have to remember.  The more you do, the more likely you are to see the phenomenon in a dream begin to make its entrance into waking.

I recently read a comment someone made about dreaming and meditation and the person described meditating as a form of self-hypnosis.  The sense I got from the commenter was that this was somehow bad or not desirable.  But really, the vast amount of self-improvement that we do, whether in meditation or in the therapists office is actually attributed to hypnosis.  What many people don’t fully realize is that MOST hypnosis today is done while the subjects are completely awake. Hypnosis might work at deeper levels of the self if you are put into a deep state of relaxation (the “trance” as it is called) but everyone in the psychiatric field knows that this is by no means a requirement. So anytime you want to change, you simply make he suggestion to yourself that you want the change.  That is the nature of suggestion.  You can go into a deep state of relaxation, you can even make hypnotic suggestions as you lie down to sleep that you will use the dream state to do lucid work in that dream.  This is much like I did when I experienced Quetzalcoatl in dream work from the same year that I had the Chernobyl dream (1985).  In THAT dream, I was attempting to use the dream state as a way to springboard into an OOBE. The technique I used worked really well, and that technique was as simple as a suggestion I made prior to falling asleep.  You can read that entry HERE.

As an aside, my observation about out of body experiences (OOBE’s) is that they can allow you to experience broader states of awareness than you might otherwise.  In some ways, it can be a catalyst for greater change because it seems to me that once free from the body to a great degree, the experience of energy is so much larger, or broader.  The reason for this, I sense, is that the consciousness is not so tied to the body.  The body itself, not just the brain, is a series of blocks of an emotional nature that inhibit the flow of prana or universal consciousness.  When these channels are cleared sufficiently, there can be a powerful flow of energy released which the Hindu call Kundalini and what we often simply call “awakening.”

To some, this is kind of the holy grail of inner work since kundalini acts as an accelerating catalyst for inner change. This is nothing more than life force now flowing in abundance, but the effect this prana or life force has on you is that it stirs every inch of you and if you surrender you feel freedom and bliss and if you hold on, you feel paranoia and pain.  The stirring, though, is the stirring of the old blocks that reside in your body.  When these blocks are cleared, you experience the moment differently than before. Think of it as a kind of cosmic tune up that involves releasing lifetimes of pent up karma that has been recorded in your light body and is stored in your physical body.  It is itself a powerful process and can be akin to riding a roller coaster; you get on and there is no getting off until the ride is through.  But I suspect based on my own experience is that OOBE’s can provide the same unlimited flow of energy as in awakening without bringing it into the body.  This could have some advantages.  It COULD be used to gradually acquaint you with what its like to have this kind of energy flowing through you, to overcome what seems to be some anxiety or fear of such incredible flows of energy coming in and learn how to cope with it.  Now I say this based on my own experience with the out of body state, which was nothing short of a grand face to face experience with significant amounts of energy.  And where there is energy, there is consciousness.  That means your consciousness will expand. That sounds a bit like some of the goals of meditation, right? Find out who you are, what you are, what you are capable of?  Your birthright, right?

There are many ways to reach what it is you are looking for.  We are all in some way looking for it, even when it seems dysfunctional.  The thing we seek is what this prana force is.  It is love. I will just tell you now and get it over with because in time, if you clear the way, you will feel it so utterly that it will be entirely obvious.  But when that day comes, you will know this love less as a thing you feel for someone as it is a force as gravity and the wind are forces in nature.  It might be hard to imagine how love might be a force like that, but it is.  When you clear the way then you will feel love in all of its different dimensions or aspects.  And this is good because in doing meditation work based on curiosity about what you are, you discover the most beautiful thing about yourself. And that is a whole lot of good!

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