CASE STUDIES IN CREATIVITY
Some split between the inner world and the outer world is common to all human beings; and the need to bridge the gap is the source of creative endeavor.
(The creative process) is the emergence in action of a novel relational product, growing out of the uniqueness of the individual on the one hand, and the materials, events, people, or circumstances of his life on the other.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Creativity may be conceived of as an exercise of the configurative powers of the whole psyche, involving all its substances, the play of its entire energy.
Nature is constantly unfolding new forms, in the tangible physical world, and in the imaginal world of the psyche. Dreamhealing means navigating the ever-flowing river of imagery which wells up within us all.
Of course, the best way to learn dreamhealing is through apprenticeship. But to provide some guidance and to demonstrate the scope of the method, we have included several of Graywolf's sessions with various clients.
These journeys show the different depths of working. Some are entered through the drumming, others use dream doorways, symptoms, or feelings for entree. Each seems to focus around a specific issue. Comment is included for some sessions, while others simply speak for themselves.
Within these transcripts you will find many of the signposts of dreamhealing theory, such as colors, chakras, the four elements, snakes, and other symbolism. They are common enough to appear in this random sample of issue-oriented sessions.
RELATIONSHIP TIDAL WAVE
In this session a young woman, who has been separated from her alchoholic husband for some time, recounts a dream which comes up when her divorce proceeding go to court. During the session she re-owns her projected ANIMUS (inner male) and finds new power in her center. Graywolf's comments are recorded in ALL CAPS, while her responses are lower case.
WHEN YOU ARE READY TO LET THE DREAM COME IN, JUST ALLOW IT TO ENTER INTO YOUR MIND...THE IMAGES...FEELINGS...AND SENSATIONS. THEN, WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE READY TO SHARE THE DREAM, DO IT...BUT TAKE YOUR TIME.
I can see John lying on the couch...all I can see is the couch and him. And he's pretty drunk...he can't sit up. I wish he'd just pass out...
BE THIS DRUNKEN MALE...BE THAT BODY...BECOME...AND AS YOU BECOME, SHARE...[she describes her state of consicousness ending with the word "toxic"]...THAT IS A VISCERAL SENSATION...THAT TOXICITY. FOCUS ON THAT NOW. WHAT COLOR IS IT? WHAT SHAPE IS IT? WHAT CONSISTENCY DOES IT HAVE?
It's a yellowish-green, sort of like a blob...sort of frozen. WHAT KIND OF BLOB? IN YOUR IMAGINATION, NOW, BECOME THIS BLOB...THIS YELLOWISH-GREEN BLOB. EXPERIENCE YOURSELF...AND WHEN YOU ARE READY...SHARE WITH ME WHAT THAT EXPERIENCE IS LIKE. [She gives an obviously mentalized description so the therapist urges letting go and she becomes "blue-green"]. SO YOU'RE FEELING THE POTENTIAL OF THE ENERGY? LET GO OF MIND AND INTERPRETATIONS...AND JUST FEEL THE ENERGY AS ENERGY. JUST NOTICE HOW YOU FEEL NOW.
There's a huge, huge tidal wave...STAY WITH IT...STAY WITH THE ENERGY...There's things floating in it, obstructions...there's a lot of power in it...WHERE DOES THAT CARRY YOU? STAY WITH THAT AND TELL ME [Graywolf] WHAT YOU NOTICE...Down at the bottom are little things that swim through it, small particles at the mercy of the tide...little things...(AT THIS POINT WE DON'T KNOW IF SHE WILL REGRESS INTO THE HELPLESSNESS OF CHILDHOOD OR DISCOVER SOMETHING NEW).
BRING ONE INTO YOUR MIND NOW...BECOME ONE OF THOSE REALLY TINY THINGS...They're like little pieces of grass, and... BECOME ONE...It's really pleasant--the force--swimming...I AM...I am...FEEL THAT...I am absorbed by the tidal force, it's like a spiral. I DON'T KNOW QUITE HOW TO SAY THIS, BUT BECOME BOTH THE STUFF FLOATING IN THE BOTTOM OF THE TIDAL WAVE AND THE WAVE...THAT RELATIONSHIP...BECOME THAT VISCERALLY. It's very physical...GIVE IN TO THAT PROCESS AND EXPERIENCE IT...JUST NOTICE, AND REPORT WHEN YOU WANT...[long pause].
I see a shiny black thing...its like an opeing I can go into...it opens into another place..and it seems to open into forever...JUST FEEL...THE SENSATIONS...THE VISCERAL THINGS...WHAT IT'S LIKE IN THERE...[pause]. STAY WITH IT AS LONG AS YOU WANT...WHEN YOU'RE READY TO BRING IT BACK JUST TAKE TWO OR THREE DEEP BREATHS...DON'T HURRY...TAKE YOUR TIME...
It feels like everything is in there [she indicates her abdomen, her power chakra]. THIS IS ABOUT EXPRESSING FEAR...Its like some huge ocean..in there...like in Journey to Center of the Earth, when there is that giant ocean...with power....
AND THERE IS A SENSE OF MALENESS IN THERE WITH THAT, TOO?...Yes...BE AWARE THAT YOU FOUND THAT POWER IN THE PART OF YOURSELF WHICH YOU GAVE THE SYMBOL OF BEING A DRUNK EX-HUSBAND...Rejecting maleness?...UH-HUH! OUT-OF-CONTROL MALENESS...SCARY, LIKE THE TIDE. FROM THE OUTSIDE, IT LOOKED TERRIBLE, BUT WHEN YOU WENT INSIDE, YOU FOUND SOMETHING. I WOULD SAY THAT SOMETHING ON THE SURFACE, YOUR PERSONALITY AND YOUR EGO, KEEPS YOU FROM THIS PLACE. IT IS AS CLOSE TO BEING ABLE TO FOCUS ON IT. IT IS ALREADY IN THERE, IT IS YOU...IT IS A STATE OF YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS.
I CAN'T TAKE YOU ANY PLACE THAT ISN'T IN YOU ALREADY. YOU'D BEEN SCARED OFF BY THIS POWER WHICH WAS HIDING BEHIND THIS IMAGE OF A DRUNKEN MAN. That's right. Now my whole body breathes with it. Being in the blob was not a pleasant thing...later it felt good, but I didn't see colors at that time. It became pleasant when I became the tidal wave. The pain turned into pleasure. THAT IS CHARACTERISTIC OF THE DREAM JOURNEY. YOU HAVE TO GO INTO THE PAIN, FEAR, OR DISTRUST TO FIND THE POWER.
*We are a really a powerful form of energy which takes on the form of a mind and body. That form is based on the kinds of experience this life energy encounters, and it stores that experience in the form of images. Essentially that is the essence of this work, to go to those images, and change or transform those images, to make the energy available for us. In this case, the toxicity was where the energy was being held.
As we hit traumatic experiences in childhood, they rob us of some of our power, manifesting as defenses which just keep us from getting there. In the image itself is where all the stuff is stored. The purpose of the work is to get to that image. For this client, this was tied up in the image of the drunken man. Within that was this image of toxicity or poison. The poison had the shape, the essence of an unpleasant green color. What that yellow-green told me was that it has to do with love expression and power expression.
That fits in with the fact it was expressed as a male power-figure she was once intimate with. That is an image she had carried around in her. She chose to express it that day as a sort of blue-green, which when she became it, gave her access to the tidal power.
Those images that we store need to be transformed, because when we restructure the images, our personality and body take on the actual new shape of these images. Change the image and you change the attitudes associated with it. If you only understand it intellectually, it just changes the defense systems. We go deeper into the image, into CHAOS, and shake it loose. That brings catharsis.
This client ("Ed") was seeing Graywolf every second or third week. Prior to this session about a month had gone by, due to travel on their part. When he arrived, Ed was aware of being extremely tense, very stressed, to the point where it was bothering him quite badly. He had a large number of dreams since the last time Graywolf saw him. But two of them stuck out in his mind very clearly. They were both essentially dreams of global destruction.
There were common features to the dreams, on the surface at least. In both dreams during the global destruction, he was in a city, one time Portland, the other in the Berkeley-Oakland area. There was a divine or religious aspect to the dreams. In both dreams he was in contact with divinity, with God, in his mind. Graywolf considered it a "Noah archetype," a profound piece of personal mythology. It was up to him to try and save people and help people through it. But he did not have any information about how to do that.
As for the difference, in the Portland dream, the destruction was by means of nuclear attack. The most interesting feature of this dream turned out to be a sense of "a dry, gritty dustiness." That becomes important because it existed in the other dream, except at a different level--that same sense. In the second dream, the Berkeley dream, Armageddon was going to happen by means of an earthquake.
One feature struck Graywolf most and became the symbol he chose to go with. Ed said that all of the buildings were made out of a limestone or sandstone. There was a sort of color to them, an opalescent, sort-of pearl color. When Graywolf asked him to become that limestone and that color, Ed said it had a timeless feeling about it.
But it was not a particularly good feeling. In a sense it was one that made him feel "almost nauseous." At the same time he felt shifting throughout his body. He could feel muscles shifting from the tip of his toes, right into his neck, but it did not seem to include his head. As he stayed with the image, he bacame aware that the opalescence had a grittiness to it, a gritty feel after the timeless feel, then the nausea.
Of course, I had him become the energy of the nausea, which was a black, black hole. In the middle of this hole was, I think, a very bright yellow. I just had him move towards the hole. As he got closer and closer to this hole, he felt an increase in energy until it just sucked him right in.
When he was in there, deep in this, I asked him what he was aware of. He replied something about a checkerboard pattern surrounding him. A checkboard band, that was slowly rotating around him. He said it was alternately black, red, and green, or yellow-green in color.
I asked him to become that pattern and then become that rotating. Firstly he was aware of the interplay, almost the dance of the black, the red, and the green. The second thing he was aware of was that in the essence of experiencing that image, he became a spiral--yet not really a spiral--more of a HELIX.
Rather than the normal kind of spiral I usually encounter in this kind of work, it was a very slow moving, a very deliberate motion. It was not really circling, because it never came back to the same place. It was a spiral and it never tightened in on itself. It was just that--a spiral. I had him experience the dance of black, green-yellow, and red.
I had the sense that essentially we were looking at an experience of self at the molecular and genetic level. In my mind, the black is associated with the carbon atoms, the red is associated with the hydrogen atoms, and the green with the oxygen atom. They are essentially the building blocks of life. The way they dance in a spiral is the basic genetic pattern.
I think the dreamer was experiencing a sense of his genetic self, a sense even of his atomic self. There is, of course, no way to prove this allegation. However, in the dream journey he could really identify with the notion. He did admit that confirmation of his subjective awareness was reassuring during the dream journey. He had actually perceived it that way to begin with. But when he came back, the rational mind said, "no way."
All that eventually gave way to a pure green. The only words that described it were "primordial ooze." And he just stayed there, and this is as far as the journey went. I kept him there. He came back out feeling much better than when he arrived. For me the interpretation usually comes after the journey, and even then it is far from complete. But I put together from that journey that he came with a really heavy discomfort and distress. Somehow it appeared in his dreams which are probably the true, underlying cause of the stress--this sense of Armageddon, a sense of global cataclysm.
He has expressed this many times, both verbally in sessions and in social situations. He always feels pressed for time, even though his life is not scheduled to clock time. He feels like there is not enough time for him to deal with all of it, and to help keep it from happening. Of course, he takes this all on as a very personal responsibility, and of course, it is quite stressful. He seemed to drop some of that sense of pressure through this journey.
What struck me was the perfectness of the image for paradoxical healing. One of the things I mentioned to him was that perhaps he was touching a timeless part of himself, touching the part of his creation where inanimate matter such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen came together in a primordial ooze to form the basic building block or genetic structure that all of us have as part of our evolutionary heritage. Each one of us has parts of those original life molecules that first formed into that primordial ooze and DNA spiral, which gave rise to "Adam," or life as we known it.
In essence, that is what he most needed to touch. That part has always survived. That part of the self has survived all the cataclysms of the world--the death of the dinosaurs, cataclysms of the ocean--life has survived, though not necessarily in the same species form. To touch that part of oneself, to actually experience oneself at that level of awareness has to be a very empowering thing. For me, it takes the sting out of the prospect of the species not surviving as a race, which is something we all have to face as a potential future reality.
POWER VS. STRENGTH
This dream journey deals with one man's issue surrounding the distinction between power and strength. As a lifelong weightlifter, he had spent much time in the pursuit and exercise of his strength.
In the dream, he was talking to a friend on a two way radio. The friend was flying in an airplane with his wife. They were in fog, and they were not instrument-rated. Their instruments were not working anyway. They were going to crash...
In the dream, the client's main frustration revolved around talking to someone who was about to die, and there was nothing he could do about it. [He is a private investigator in real life, with a specialty in investigating mitigating circumstances for those accused of capital crimes]. He felt impotent, so I had him go into the feeling of being totally impotent. He's a big, tough, macho guy. Psychologically, a lot of that is compensation for feeling impotent.
As I had him go into it, he expressed feeling really uncomfortable. I asked what color it was, and it was white. So I said, "let's focus on the white. What do you see, and what do you notice about the white?" He said, "Well, it is taking the form of a ram's head..."
He noticed at the beginning of the journey that the whole feeling of impotence was through his neck and shoulders, which is where he has most of his physical problems, like rheumatism. And the impotence was like a shaking, a trembling.
When I had him go into the white, he saw the ram's head. I said, "What is the ram doing now." He said, "It's tearing my skin off. It is exposing the muscles over my right chest. Interesting, it's changing now into a horse, and the funny thing is it doesn't really feel bad. The horse is pulling the muscles away. He is stripping the muscles off the bone."
I said, "Become the whole system that is the muscles and horse all together." He replied, "Actually, it feels good. It feels like being freed or something. It feels like the lifting of a load." I suggested, "Really be the horse now, and just experience what you notice."
One of his complaints is the problem caused in nearly all of his joints from weightlifting. He said, "As the horses I can feel mostly the hooves, pounding on the earth, which is hard and solid. And it feels like it's fluid power. [This is an approximation of what was said]. It is shaking the muscles, and it feels really good." I invited him to be with that for a while, to experience really "being the horse."
Well, he was silent for nearly half an hour on his experiential journey. When he came back, he expressed how phenomenal this journey was for him. He met this other horse, a brown horse which he nuzzled. They felt like old friends. Perhaps this indicates meeting someone, previously known or unknown, yet like this brown horse. It probably suggests he is becoming ready for a really good relationship. This has been one focus of his work.
As the horse, he just felt free and fluid and powerful. He also encountered a bear. In his last session, during his journey he had found a really intense yellow color, focused in the midsection area. This journey also revolved around the distinction between power and strength. This image was for power. The bear in the following vision had a golden yellow chest. He may choose to explore that in the future. As the horse he encountered that, but he didn't want to be that. He wanted to stay as the horse.
I think he has found a totem for himself now. He likes it. He relates to it. He feels good with it, comfortable with it. It is freeing for him; he is free with it. I asked him how he could bring this horse into his everyday life. One of the things he can do in situations is to ask, "What would the horse do? As the horse what would I do?"
Instead of being his normal confrontative self and irritating others, he imagined that the horse might shy away. He commented, "There is no dishonor in that." This is not the old person speaking. He noticed having two voices inside for some time. One was saying, "F--- them, go get 'em," and the other saying, "Take it easy, be calm." He concluded, "that other voice is my horse, and I just have not been listening to it--but I think I'm going to now." His other voice seems to have lost a lot of power.
[Chiron was the mythic centaur, half man/half horse, who was teacher and adoptive parent of Asklepios. This horse taught him the healing arts]
I learned about the difference between strength and power as an engineer. When engineers talk about strength, essentially what they are talking about is the relative strength of materials, a system, or an object. What force does it take to break it? Really that is the measure of strength, the measure of its resistence to breakage. It is a form of rigidity. When engineers talk about power, they are talking about a fluid ability to do something. Power is energy that is put to useful work, rather than tightening up in order to resist breakage. To me that is really profound.
Some people spend all their time trying to be strong, in the engineering sense. By trying to be strong they end up tightening themselves and defending themselves to prevent breakage. They tie up all of their power in this strength, rather than letting it flow. You can't really hurt power. It flows, it is fluid, it moves around just like water. To me, that is the difference, and it is a big one.
In a prior session with this client, strength was represented as a frightening whirlpool, sucking him down, while strength was more of a golden spiral and sphere. He ended up in a place of golden light, centered in the solar plexus chakra. The same analogy came up in this dream journey as the horse. He perceived the stripping away of the muscles as the stripping away of the armor, the strength. He had worked on building those muscles and that armor for a very long time, investing lots of emotional as well as physical energy in holding up/back the flow of his true power. It became a process of letting go, trading in armor for true power.
AN EXAMPLE OF PROCESSING SYMPTOMS
The dreamhealing process can also be applied for giving physical symptoms a voice. Rather than beginning with a dream image, you may begin a journey from a feeling of discomfort, or an actual physical ailment. Sometimes clients will not come with a dream ready for processing, but they can still generally find some area of either chronic or acute dis-ease.
One client presented a physical problem for processing which involved long-standing lower back pain. Her chronic backache comes and goes, and is sometimes stress related, but also come on without stress. It began really intensifying and became noticeable during her first (and only) pregnancy. It has become much worse since then over the ensuing four or five years.
As I continued asking questions, we went a little bit further in regard to her general health. It turned out that she also gets these canker sores in her mouth, and they are very painful, too. I noted that mentally, and kept asking her almost medical-type questions, as well as psychological questions. This was not because I needed most of that information, but, as she noticed, I was "just fishing." That is one way my intuition works. I ask informational questions because I was trained in more conventional psychotherapy to be scientific in the interview. However, I mostly use it as a "ground" for my intuition.
During one of the questions she indicated an urge or desire for stretching. She felt like she needed to stretch. It seemed both physical and metaphorical. Right away I suggested she move deeper into that desire for stretching, and she spoke of feeling really confined, and so on.
In the next stage of her journey there was an image of whirling, of spinning, and that led to an image of a canker feeling in her jaw. As she moved into that image, she said it was like the feeling of a dentist drilling through the dense tooth. I had her stay with it long enough to drill right through the tooth and into the gum. The hardness of the tooth made a sharp contrast with the softness of the gum.
At that point the image transformed into a totally different image of a very, very tiny dark black hole, which suggested an image of the canker sores. That image actually became a black hole, in physics terminology. She had the experience of entering into a black hole. I said, "Enjoy this new reality, this new universe you are in which conforms with a physics theory. It is a connection between alternative universes."
She went into this black hole which was a total absence of all things, and the blackest black she has ever seen or experienced. One kind of black is a nothingness, but there is a black so deep that it pulls everything into it. That was her subjective description of the experience. As she went into that black, there was a feeling of totality, completeness, and depth within it. She felt power as she became that black hole.
When she came back from her journey several things happened. First, her back problem had eased. Her back had been really sore, but upon return she barely felt any twinges. Being in the blackness, for her, was like velvet. She said, "I feel like velvet!" It was very sensual, one of the most sensuous experiences of her life. It involved such total physical stimulation, this wrapping of velvet, being that velvet. Such total receptivity is a very sensual thing. Stimulation-wise, all receptors were open and responsive.
That led to the thought that THIS WAS HER FEMININE SIDE, her feminine self, that total receptivity. A black hole may be seen as part of the feminine expression of the universe, as is infinite space. In ancient Egypt, this energy was known as the goddess Nuit. That journey put together the hole in her gum, the canker sore, with the back pain. She then saw the relationship.
For most of her life, she had put away her femininity, and behavedin a masculine manner. She began armouring early in her life. When she had her baby, she could not ignore her femininity on a very deep level, and that is when the back problem exacerbated. It brought forth the dis-ease. Even though her chiropractor told her it was a genetic deformity, it never was a problem until them.
She came up with her own unique healing which we never could have consciously come up with for lower back problems. In this journey, she experienced her femininity deeply. She decided she wanted to go home and really do something to ground the experience. She did not want to paint it, since it was not that visual type of imagery. We agreed she could just spend time meditating, and being there in that space. Being is feminine, while doing has a more masculine quality.
CONCEPTION DREAM JOURNEY
This healing took place over a two-day period during our annual gathering on CHAOS AND CONSCIOUSNESS. This is a mature, cosmopolitan woman, with a beautiful poetic spirit. She recounted her dream the morning after her arrival.
I go into a bedroom where Jeannie Eagle is sitting on a large bed in a flowing white dress. Her dark locks of hair fall around her shoulders, and the contrast is like a photo negative of Mt. Shasta. I go forward and lightly kiss Jeannie on her forehead. There is a shadowy presence in the room that I take to be Graywolf.
Graywolf initiated the process: JUST LIE DOWN AND GET COMFORTABLE...START BY JUST BREATHING...RELAX AND ENTER YOUR DREAM...RE-EXPERIENCE YOUR DREAM...AND THEN WHEN YOU'RE READY, WALK ME THROUGH THE DREAM WITH YOU.
I'm approaching the bed...slowly, not cautiosly...just very confidently...I'm seeing a person sitting on the bed [a woman]...I'm experiencing contrasts...the pristine whiteness of the clothing, and the very somber, dark and black hair...I'm feeling...ahhhh, the edges of the white and the edges of the black meeting, kind of jagged...
JUST GIVE OVER TO THAT SENSATION OF JAGGED MEETING PLACES NOW...JUST EXPERIENCING...AND TELL ME WHAT YOU NOTICE...I'm coming to where they...ah...possibility of interchange...the black becomes white and the white becomes black. JUST EXPERIENCE THAT...BE THAT...FEEL THAT AS YOU BECOME THAT AND GO THROUGH THAT...FEEL IT VISCERALLY...WHERE DO YOU NOTICE THAT IN YOUR BODY? In my stomach, here. BRING YOUR ATTENTION TO THAT SENSATION OR FEELING...DOES IT HAVE A SHAPE?...ANY DISTINGUISHING THINGS YOU NOTICE ABOUT IT?
It's like it comes and it goes...The black is blacked and the white is frozen...JUST GIVE OVER TO THAT NOTION...THAT THOUGHT...LET GO NOW OF ANY OTHER SENSE OF SELF YOU HAVE...AND JUST BECOME THAT FLOW...FEEL YOUR SIDES...YOUR LEFT SIDE, YOUR RIGHT SIDE...JUST FEEL THE FLOW NOW...BECOME NOTHING BUT THAT KIND OF MOTION...
The black side's getting very violent like dark waves lashing...its like shark's fins, the jagged part. GIVE IN TO THAT BLACKNESS, THE SHARKNESS, THE ANGRYNESS...BECOME IT...LET GO OF THE REST NOW AND JUST BECOME THE BLACK...THE SHARKNESS...Feels like a sword...darksword...FEEL YOUR ESSENCE...BECOME IT NOW...TRUST YOUR IMAGINATION. I press into soft flesh...BREATHE DEEP...IS THAT IN YOUR STOMACH, TOO? It's in my legs, in my thighs...GIVE OVER TO THAT...FEEL IT NOW...STAY WITH IT...I'LL GO WITH YOU INTO THE PAIN...COME WITH ME INTO THE PAIN.
It feels like penetration...OK...JUST EXPERIENCE THAT NOW...It's very painful...STAY WITH IT...I feel I'll cry...IT'S OK...It's myyyy...JUST FEEL...DEEPER, DEEPER...FEEL...WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW? I'm feeling like there's a knight with armor on...it's black...all of its black...BECOME THAT...BECOME HIM...COME INTO YOUR SHADOW WITH ME...STAY WITH IT...WITH ME...IT'S OK, I'M WITH YOU...STAY WITH IT. Hmm...I'm seeing a lot of yellow flames; its like I want to jump in...DO IT!...I walk in and its just like red coals (YEAH) and I feel like a devil dancing on them...FEEL THAT ENERGY...FEEL YOUR HEAT...Horns!...I'm all red, and...STAY WITH IT.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW? It's all turning into ashes and turning into snow!...it's a lot cooler ...FEEL THAT...it's very soft to touch...Hhhmmmm...I'm going into the ground like a seed...FEEL IT NOW....JUST FEEL IT VISCERALLY...hmmmm, roots...going down ... deeper ... DEEPER ....deeper...ALL THE WAY NOW, WITH THEM...AND BECOME THE ROOTS...
I'm finding gold down under the earth...it's some kind of light...BECOME THAT LIGHT NOW ...MOVE OVER TO IT ...LET GO OF BODY, LET GO OF FORM...BECOME THE LIGHT...DEEP, DEEP LIGHT...It's all like a ball, very white, and all around is the darkness...like a void...and the lower I get, the lower it goes, and I can't quite reach it...but I'm trying...JUST STAY WITH WHERE YOU'RE AT...EXPERIENCE THE VOID...BECOME THE VOID...LOOK IN NOW...BECOME THE VOID ...FEEL YOURSELF AS THE VOID...WHAT YOU'RE EXPERIENCING...[she breathes very deeply]...SHARE WITH ME...
Ah...I was there...I think I thought that if I breathed it would go away, but it's still there, and I could breath and it's still there...WHERE ARE YOU?...I'm like in a...ah, a quarry hole all filled with water and the sun shifts down it, and I'm inside it and I don't need to breath, and I'm just like part of that water, and at the same time, its like air...it has a lot of little motes...motes...STAY WITH THAT...JUST ACCEPT THAT...FEEL...THIS IS ONE OF THE GIFTS OF THE DREAM TO YOU...IT'S A HEALING PLACE FOR YOU...
MY THOUGHT IS THAT THERE IS A SENSATION OF TINGLING WITH THIS...yes!...JUST ALLOW THAT TO BE...LET THAT WORK ON YOU...THAT'S THE HEALING...IT COMES FROM WITHIN. Wow!!!...hmm,hmmmm that was the primal energy! Oh, I can feel it in my whole body as I said that, all the way up my legs! I can feel my whole body tingling!!!
THAT'S THE HEALING...JUST STAY WITH IT NOW...Hmmmm....STAY WITH IT, AND FEEL IT AS LONG AS YOU NEED...WHEN YOU ARE READY TO COME BACK, BRING THE HEALING WITH YOU...AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS JUST TAKE THREE DEEP BREATHS AND LET YOUR EYES OPEN...BUT DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU'RE READY...WHEN YOU DO COME BACK JUST COME BACK TO THE SURFACE OF THE DREAM, AND I WILL MEET YOU THERE BECAUSE THERE IS ANOTHER PLACE I'D LIKE TO TAKE YOU.
I feel like a very fuzzy caterpillar...MMM-UHUH....that's eaten a lot...it's so fat and it's soft....hmmmmm. ARE YOU READY TO GO BACK UP TO THE SURFACE OF THE DREAM NOW?...hmmm...Uhuh. THERE'S A PRESENCE IN THAT DREAM...A GUIDE...DO YOU FEEL IT? I'm seeing all of her now...a woman like a fairy with butterfly wings. DO YOU FEEL THEM ON YOUR OWN SHOULDERS?...Yeah, Ok, Ok, uhuh...they're sprouting...irridescent wings! OK...STAY THERE...those wings, its like the same irridescence as those motesMOTES [spoken simultaneously]. [NOTE: in Greek, PSYCHE means butterfly]
GO JUST A LITTLE BIT DEEPER NOW...AND FEEL THE ENERGY THAT YOU RADIATE...THESE COLORS...Uhuh...what's in my mind is that passing over the clouds over the mountains coming into Medford there is a double circular rainbow around the shadow of the plane...below. The shadow of the plane is in the exact middle always, and I'm sitting right beyond the wing, and I'm looking down and seeing this rainbow...and it's now like I'm in the center of that rainbow...mmmm-huh...two rainbows...I see all these colors over here. JUST LET THEM ENTER YOU...FEEL THEM...FEEL THE CENTER...I'm the center spot...MAY I TOUCH YOU?...Yeah...[touches heart center].............[long pause]........[eyes open]...WELCOME BACK!
Now I'm feeling...oh, I'm feeling like integrating the feeling of the movement of the plane and all those vibrations...and at the same time the rainbows and the shadow of the plane are constant. That's what I'm feeling. I'm feeling like there is a constancy in the movement, you see? UHUH...It can't be but it is...THAT'S A GOOD LESSON, ISN'T IT? Yeah, yeah...yeah....THERE IS WISDOM THERE, YOU'VE TOUCHED SOME WISDOM THERE...Yeah, I'm a very wise person...YOU BET...Oh wow!
THE STRUCTURE IS THE ILLUSION; IT'S THE MOVEMENT THAT IS THE REALITY. THE STRUCTURE OF THE PLANE, THE THINGS WE THINK ARE PERMANENT, THEY ARE THE ILLUSIONS. Yes. FEEDBACK....COMMENTS?
Thank you...I've got my mama's tit again. When I was saying I'm a wise person, I usually can't say that, like its not good to be presumptuous, right. And it's like its OK to be yourself...UHUH, THAT'S A NICE GIFT FROM THE DREAM, TOO.
She recalls her song where she wrote, "Woman trust your body's wisdom..." Graywolf asks her if she has had trouble in her legs. She says "No," but refers to month-old distress on the bottom of her forearms, slight arthritis, etc.
THE TINGLING IN THE BODY, THOUGH, THERE WAS SOMETHING WITH THAT. Oh, [emphatically], the tingling was...SEEMED INTENSE...yes, it was very intense, yea. At the beginning of this session I was asking myself what this is about. And its about coming here. It's about my mother going 50 years ago to Farther South Camp, a forerunner of Outward Bound.
I stayed home on the farm to cook, sweep, and wash for my father and brothers. And my mother went galavantin' off, just like I am now. Only no one has to cook and sweep for me. My kids are grown. Still, though, I was having the image of the woman going off to the wilderness to find herself. THAT'S SOMETHING OF THE ESSENCE OF WHY YOU'RE HERE THEN. Hmmmhuh. And I was hearing this morning a poem that my mother loved, I think by William Blake or John Dunn, someone of the mystical faith. It goes:
Every morning lean thine arms upon the windowsill of heaven; And contemplate thy God. And then with a vision freshen thy heart and go forth into the day.
I am not knowing if I have permission to lean my hands on the windowsill of Heaven. [she rubs her arms where she has complained of the distress]. YOU JUST DID...SO YOU MUST...Like I just did right now...So I do...So I don't need that! [She makes shaking motions as if to let go of that energy].
SO AGAIN, JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR IS THE POWER. JUST ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FEAR AND THE PAIN. JUST EXPRESSING THE FEAR AND THE PAIN DOES NOTHING MORE THAN HONOR IT...IT DOESN'T TAKE YOU TO THE OTHER SIDE OF IT. ALSO, THERE WAS AN INNOCENCE OF SHADOW IN THIS DREAM. YOU WENT INTO THE SHADOW SIDE IN THE SHARK...aimed at the light...I had a momentary flashback to a time when my husband with Alzheimer's tried to make love to me. It was scary, but I saved myself from that situation. Before that fear of my father that summer my mother went to camp.
I'D LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT YOU EXPERIENCED EVEN ONE LEVEL DEEPER...THIS IS CONJECTURE AT THIS POINT...I THINK YOU EXPERIENCED THE MOMENT OF YOUR CONCEPTION. Hhmmm...the sperm, yes...going into the egg...the motes. I HAD VERY MUCH THE FEELING OF THAT WHILE YOU WERE THERE. Uhuh, uhuh. That thought was the penetration there--that's very interesting--AHA! THAT'S WHERE SOME OF THE INITIAL IMAGES WERE FORMED. SOME OF THE VERY MOST PRIMAL IMAGES THAT SHAPED YOU. Hmmmm.
Graywolf...Now that I just am this ovum being penetrated by the sperm, I'm no longer violated...how about that! I'm created, I'm not violated! THAT'S A BIG CHANGE IN IMAGE, ISN'T IT. Uhuh, tremendous! Tremendous, tremendous. ITS A VERY FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IN YOURSELF IN TERMS OF WHO YOU ARE NOW. I feel like Jesus when they pierced him in the side...aha, aha, aha. That tingling...now its in my back and it's in my arms.
I was still resisting until now that sperm penetrating, and until it did, I couldn't be whole. Now I'm feeling like I'm in the Fallopian tube, and going into the uterus, and I can implant, and grow to where I am now. Its a wonderful feeling, because I can be inside my mother and here at the same time. I can be in all of those places. It's wonderful!
What's New with My Subject?
CASE HISTORY: Larry Heals the Masculine and Feminine
Larry is an easy subject, in part based on his background as an actor, screenwriter and producer. It is easy for Larry to engage his imagination in the journeys and let go of existing structures. In his outer life he has found that easy to do also and has had many unusual careers and experiences from truck driving to pumping iron and running a gym-health spa. He is currently working as a private investigator, investigating for mitigating circumstances in death penalty trials. He is also working on a screenplay, and making plans to pursue a career involving shamanic and other consciousness forms of healing work.
I first met Larry about eight years ago when he came to a men's consciousness group that I had started. He was going through a divorce, a rather painful divorce, at the time, but in that group was looking more for solace than to make changes within himself. We lost contact for a number of years, until he called asking what it would take to become an apprentice shaman.
I invited Larry over for an interview. During the interview we discussed the idea of the wounded healer and that any powers that he would have as a shaman would come from his ability to heal himself. In this sense I undertook a dual role with Larry, to be his teacher and his therapist.
He sought this path after the break up of a relationship with a woman with whom he had been living for some time. He had come to see a pattern and the "fatal attraction" that drew him into harmful relationships. He was rebounding into what his intellect knew was another disastrous relationship with a woman less than half his age. So our earliest contract revolved around exploring his relationships with women.
He also found that in the relationship he had with his clients on death row, that they came to trust him and treated him as their friend-father. To a large degree he found he was helping them more than any therapists and he sought to sharpen these skills and become even more effective in that role.
His trust in more conventional psychotherapy was low. His last relationship was with a psychologist and his relationships with other psychologists through his profession had soured him to the effectiveness of more conventional therapies. Yet his experiences with another more "spiritual" healer had been quite positive but limited. He contacted me because of his previous experience with us.
Larry's dream life was very active and so we have naturally worked mostly with dreams during the sessions we've had to date. In the first sessions we spent considerable time just talking and establishing trust often for as much as one to one and a half hours before we would actually begin to work on one of his dreams. During these sessions the trails all lead to his relationship with his own ANIMA, his feminine side.
He had a basic distrust of women who he felt were all manipulative and would somehow end up hurting him. This existential view of himself and the feminine side of the world, of course, was based on his early relationship and experiences with his mother.
We did spend sometime discussing some aspects of that. However the dream work took him to some very experiential understandings of his relationship with the feminine side of himself which in turn was being projected onto the women around him and represented the type of woman that he was attracted to and sought relationships with.
Larry has come to the understanding that to a large degree he would enter into these relationships with "flawed women like his mother" to somehow heal them and get what he had missed from his mother. During these first four sessions as a result of his dream work, he has become much more comfortable with the feminine side of himself as his images of that side of self changed.
He is now finding himself less and less attracted to "rescuing", and less attracted to the type of women he would normally be attracted to, and more and more adopting a neutral position with respect to women. He is currently at a point where he has decided not to seek any further relationships with women to feel complete within himself or to heal them, but is open to healthy relationship should it come along.
Sexuality represented an important part in his relationships with women, and during the dream sessions in the first four appointments an intensely sensual-sexual state of consciousness was part of each journey. These sexual states of consciousness involved both experiences of his feminine and masculine sides of sexuality. The experiencing of the latter suggested to me that there was work for him to do on his male side. In our discussions it came out often that his relationship with his father also left very much to be desired.
The dream had two parts: 1) grandiose with S&M erotic visions, and 2) a naval scene in which he is boarding the other boats and searching there, directing the boat people to do his bidding.
I invite him to be the potentate in #1, and he is having everyone do his bidding but as he goes deeper he feels a falseness, and feels as though someone will find him out. This reminds me of the naval part and so I invite him to partake of that.
The scene continues and he becomes the "potentate" boarding the ships. The scene unfolds and he is aware of one trouble maker. "I want to kill him like a precise surgical cut," he says. "I have a gun in my hand and I'll shoot him."
I invite him to become the gun, the bullet, the explosion.
"It is like I'm a stroboscopic flash. Now I'm passing through the barrel, the air, and I hit him in the chest, the breast bone."
The client then tries to move on but I don't pay attention. "Now become the man who was hit," I urge. "Feel the wound, the impact of the bullet."
The dreamer begins to grimace, his face contorts. "The blood, I feel guts spilling out and falling all over."
"Stay with it," I urge, as he begins to choke and cough. Tears stream down his cheeks and drip off the end of his chin. His whole body goes limp and somehow rigid at the same time.
I gently touch him on his breast bone as the "fit" continues. In a few seconds that seem to last forever it passes. Soon a look of ease melts the muscles around his eyes and jaw.
What are you experiencing now?" I ask.
"I see an image of a valentine's heart," he says.
"Become that now, its colors, the essence of how it affects you! Feel with all your senses," I invite.
"I'm now experiencing a warm pink color that seems to fill my chest," he says.
"Relax into it...yield to it...........What do you now experience?" I ask.
"It is now two colors. A chartreuse that fills here [he indicates the upper portion of his head], and the pink fills here," as he sweeps his hand over his chest and heart. "Its warm and soothing," he says.
His face and body are now soft and a smile plays with his lips.
"This is a gift of the dream, a healing state," I tell him. "Enjoy it and feel its effects on your head and in your heart...When you are ready to move, let me know."
Several minutes pass, and his eyes finally open. He stares at me, and I ask, "What's happening now?"
"It was good," he says, "but the color in my head...I feel a sharp pain in my rectum."
"Take your awareness there now, sink into the pain, deeply...deeply."
His face once again reflects pain but soon turns to fear and puzzlement. "What's happening now," I say.
"I am walking through a large hall," he says. "And I'm surrounded by electric blue gargoyles. I feel small and diminished, almost threatened," he reports.
"Now become those gargoyles, become the essence of their colors, the energy expressed in their faces."
There is silence for a few moments and then with a deeper and softer voice, he begins. "I feel a deep enduring quality and wisdom that stretches back through the millennia. I'm very old...very, very old."
"Sink deeper," I invite, "deeper...and deeper....into the sense of what you are now feeling." It is in you, it is a state of your being, this wisdom...not words, or thoughts, but an even deeper wisdom."
"I am now connected to the whole planet," he reports. "My sense of self and age is connected to all that is here."
"The healing is not only for you, but at this moment embraces our entire planet." His already relaxed body lets go even further.
"I see a striped cat."
"Become it. Feel what it feels, sense as it senses."
"I feel the jungle around me, its dampness and its life. I am safe and secure..."
His body begins to stretch and his hands and fingers take on the energy of claws as the king of the jungle stretches in relaxed readiness.
This goes on for a while and then he reports passing visions of naval history, the Phoenicians, the Vikings, the Europeans, and once again the pirates.
"I have a couple of phrases for you," I offer. "If they fit...wear them. I AM PREDATOR...I AM WARRIOR.'
He smiles, "I am in the hall with the blue gargoyles, and there is a peace. We have communicated."
Eventually, his eyes open. We will talk further about this, but for now I watch a warrior cat glide out of the chair and into his dinner.
LATE JUNE, 1991:
This session presented his animus, or inner masculine side, for work. It is quite long and involved. It begins with a fairly detailed dream sequence:
I'm in an apartment, or motel, not my house...I was naked...I didn't have any clothes on...two guys came into that room and they wanted to fuck me up; I think they wanted to kill me...and they were dead serious. And they grabbed me and, uh, I remember I was scared...and I didn't have any clothes on...that's even worse. They started to get me and somehow I got away from these two guys, and I went running out of my apt, motel or whatever it was, and there was a restaurant.
I ran into this restaurant, and I was stark naked, and it's full of people, and it's pretty bright in there. And I'm yelling "Help! Help, they're trying to kill me, help." Well, in this restaurant all the people that are in there fortunately were like rebels, some kind of revolution thing going on, you know. Not like Fidel Castro, but some kind of underground revolutionary thing going, and these were like anti-social rebellious people.
And I distinctly remember, when these two guys came in there chasing me there was a female, a girl, sitting down at a booth. And she had a shotgun or rifle laying down across that table. These people were armed, and it was crowded; they were all of the same mindset. And they did help; I remember that gal specifically. I don't remember any other specific people. I remember that gal and that shotgun rifle she had. And that stopped these guys from getting me.
And then a guy, one of these rebels, grabbed one of the guys that was after me and killed him with a pocket knife, like a Swiss army knife. Out of this dude's throat, or something man, righteously killed him. And I remember the thing that struck me about it is he didn't give a shit...he did it easily. I mean he didn't easily kill the guy, but he didn't even think twice about it. And he threw the guy's body outside. And I remember the knife was covered with blood. And he threw the knife out the door with him.
Then, I got real brave. I figured I was surrounded by my people here. So, the guy that was left, I wanted to find out why these two guys were after me. Why they were trying to kill me, who they were. I started questioning this guy, and I started torturing this guy sitting in a chair. I started jumping up and down on his legs, and bones, and putting a world of hurt on thisdude. And I was getting into it. I was enjoying torturing him. And he wouldn't talk. Everytime he wouldn't talk, I'd do something worse to him.
He wouldn't talk. Well, finally all these rebel-types, these revolutionary types started admiring this guy's ability to hold his mud, and not talk, after I really put the hurt on him. And they turned on me. And I was the bad guy now, you know. This guy was the good guy. So I let the guy up, and I remember that when I let him up he had a big smile on his face, and he said his name was Gus McGinnis???, something like that.