When fear covers hurt, there is no gateway through that fear except through pain. In this case, fear is a layer with hurt underneath it.
Fear’s job is often to open the door to other feelings. It can be to the unknown; it can be to our passion. When the door opens to pain, this usually reflects trauma that has been repressed. When we are traumatized, we are scared and we get hurt, creating layering.
When we work through trauma and we do not have fear covering for another feeling, then fear can become its own alchemical portal. It can transmute into God consciousness or into essence.
But when fear transfers into a kind of hysteria, we become frenetic in some way – compulsively cleaning or eating, doing good in the world, working, gambling – it can be anything. Underneath the compulsiveness, fear becomes something else – shame or responsibility or depression. They all have the same root.
We want to believe that if we function, and especially if we function well, then we are not depressed. This is not true. When we are Renaissance people, which means we can do everything and do it well, we may be very high functioning, but we may be more depressed than someone who is not functioning. No one would ever know when we are so successful – no one would ever know how much we really suffer.
Renaissance people who do well do not want to be seen. If seen, then the “successful” personas are at risk. In this case, fear that hides pain will mutate into shame.
There can be multiple layers – the alchemical fear can be so deep that we have shame, fear, pain then fear again. When fear reappears after we have worked through the shame, fear and pain, then it can revert to Archetypal fear. The psyche can move into relationship with something more powerful.
To know the Animus through this kind of fear is a deeper transformation or a deeper surrender. This is why we are afraid at this layer. In Alchemy, we always feel fear because the psyche breaks down again. But when the psyche breaks down in this place, under all the layers, it is not to a place of nomenclature referencing trauma, but rather a new nomenclature that references enlightenment and the true gifts of the spirit. The true gift of fear is that it is a feeling corridor that alchemizes into essence and enlightenment and connection to the Divine self.
The release for fear, in this case, is always the same – pain. Once we feel the pain, then the top layer of fear is gone. Then we can move through the pain and get to the deeper, alchemical fear.
When the pain is repressed, we do not get to have our pain about anything because it all gets related to the trauma. But when we go deep enough and the fear arises, the opportunities for spiritual growth can emerge. The pain is still there – it becomes the rudimentary beginning for compassion and our own beingness. In other words, we feel things from ourselves, which is new. When we repress our pain and have trauma around our pain, any pain we may feel will usually be for someone else.
But when the pain is accepted and fear goes to pain, it is simply normal pain, part of a heart that reflects pain, joy, grief, any feeling. It is no longer an issue about the trauma of pain. We feel pain because of what happened, and now it can become just the pain of the moment. Our pain.
When we work through our trauma pain and go into our real feelings – our fear, our pain – our real hearts emerge. We can then truly care for others, but always in relationship to our own sense of loss. It does not come from pity. Instead, when we feel our own sense of loss, we have compassion.
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A big question in the unfoldment process, in spiritual enlightenment, is what happens when fear no longer hides a feeling or opens a door to something else. What does fear do then? When fear is released in this way, it can return to its normal state.
Fear is a mutation of not knowing. We naturally are souls who know the Divine and have the capacity to feel Him all the time. This is our natural state of being. When we lose that connection to our souls, our child selves, and then to the Divine, we become fearful. It is like being a little child and suddenly not knowing where your father is or where you are.
We can manage this, creating a personality that fits in. But like that child, we have all lost our way. This is Alchemy fear.
This fear will become an intuitiveness, an ability to know the Divine. We would know what He wants us to say or how He would have us manifest – which is the same thing that we want.
This is about being who we truly are. When we know who we are as who the Divine created, we are always reflecting ourselves and the Divine.
When we know our pain can take us to our fear, we can get to that underlying experience of love. If we do not know the pain, we can never feel the love. When we do not know the pain, it becomes locked up through fear and then under shame. But we can receive the love by standing in our fear of the Divine. Standing naked in front of the Divine.
The primal self does not fit into society. The primal self sees the lie playing in the world and hates it.
Every generation embodies this energy by rebelling against the previous generation. We have all rebelled. What is the rebellion? The rebellion is the rage against the machine. One moment we are raging against the machine and then we are the machine and the next generation is raging against us.
We all become a part of the pathology. We all grow into adulthood and become the very thing we hated in our parents – although most of us do not have the courage to admit it. Our parents were wrong but we are right and now our children are wrong.
On some level, every adolescent child sees the lie of society. There is nothing a parent can do about it. We have to be parents, we have to help our children adapt to the world, otherwise we are doing them a disservice. Even still, we are supporting an insanity - we do not have any choice as parents.
The bottom line is that the primalcy in all of us wants to say, “I’m tired of it!” That primalcy is in jail all over the world. It is imprisoned in our souls and it acts out in ways that allow the pathology to destroy its very intention. Our rules preclude the acting out part, but the intention of the acting out is to wake us up! The primalcy is connected to the soul, is connected to God in some way and it is saying, “Enough already!”
The world does not like this part.
Often the primalcy is underneath the trauma and we cannot get to the primalcy without cutting through the trauma and all the ways we manage it. The reason we are traumatized is that we have repressed our primalcy.
If we were in the truth of ourselves, we would be free to live our primalcy, letting it be part of the evolution of our souls. If we could grow from that place, we would not have to go through trauma to grow. But instead, the raw material of our souls lies under the trauma.
When we first encounter the primalcy, anger and rage, it may come in the moment when it feels like we are disconnected from the Animus. We may believe that our primalcy is inherently disconnected from the Divine. Instead, in this moment, we are in opposition to the primalcy and it is not the time to look for the Animus. This is the time to let that primalcy take us over.
That primalcy is in fact an extension of the love that the Animus has for us. We always look at the Animus and the Archetypes for a relationship, which is great, but when we are Dying to Self, we are becoming something new.
At this moment, it is not the time for the Animus to come and rescue us. It is the time for us to go through our trauma alone knowing the love is there. The love is resurrecting the soul that was lost. This is a very painful process. The Animus is not leaving us – we simply have to learn to be ourselves.
Sometimes we can use the Animus to avoid finding ourselves because we have Him already. But it does not work that way. We have to not only learn to be in relationship with the Divine but also we have to be willing to become what we lost. We have to become the selves that were lost and then continue to grow and evolve. It is not just about relationship; it is about becoming who we are.
Our relationship with the Animus is never going to be compromised by discovering our primalcy. Discovering the primalcy is just a different kind of work.
We have to die and lose ourselves, but it does not mean we have lost Him. Wanting to just be close to the Animus so that everything will be fine is more like religiosity. Yes, we need to be with the Animus, but we also have to go through our own transformational experience.
The goal of the work is not just to be with the Divine, but also to die to self. The Archetypes do not want us just to be dependent on them. The Archetypes want us to become the Divine inspiration of the glint in God’s eye that created us in the first place.
In a dream, the venom from a snake bite is primalcy. It kills us because the venom/primalcy is so toxic to the psyche that once we receive it, we cannot live in our neurotic, shameful selves. Shame is the very undoing of the primalcy of the snake bite.
Freud called this primalcy the libido or the id, which is on a deeper level of libido. This deeper aspect of libido that Freud referred to as id is, from my perspective, the will of God. When the libido is aligned with God through the soul, then the energy just surges and fumes through us.
In the Divine world or in the Garden of Eden, we knew our innocence, primalcy and passion – we were alive. This is related to the polymorphous perverse state of a child which is simply the fundamental aspect of beingness. Pure being.
There is an aspect of beingness that is essence and a sensitivity to God. Primalcy is something different. The sensitivity is actually imbued with a great energy, a great aliveness, a great power.
Primalcy is really the bread and butter of what flows in our veins. It is what allows the penis to be erect. It is what allows a woman’s clitoris to stand forth.
Children are very sexual. They achieve some form of orgasm. They have tremendous energy in that way and will often engage with each other sexually. Unfortunately, there are pedophiles who prey on this energy like vultures.
One of the worst things that happens to a child who experiences early childhood sexuality is the shame that happens later – it is like leaving heaven all over again. The message is that this thing happened and someone is bad – either the child or the situation or the someone.
It happens when the experience is a rape or molestation but it also happens in children when the experience is with sisters or brothers or friends and the experience was satisfying. These experiences have been called exploratory, but it is really that children are passionate and energized. It is part of who people are. Then they hit the wall of shame later for all the “bad” things they did, which feeds pathology. Shame is its own trigger.
There are so many areas where we lose our innocence. When we lose our innocence and primalcy, the consciousness of primalcy needs to be raised to a spiritual level.
Jung talks about the integrity of the psyche and being moral – that it is important when we are older for it is not about running around like a dog. It is about raising the consciousness of primalcy to a spiritual level.
If our innocence, our primalcy is broken on a sexual or sensual level, then all we have for spirituality is essence. Then we are prayerful or devotional but we do not have the primalcy. Often we are dry, boring, moralistic and pedantic and we make God’s love boring. It is so important to understand that in the psyche, the primalcy wants to release itself into us.
When the snake bites us in a dream, we are allowing all this primalcy to come back through and to us. It is not that shame dies, it is that we become empowered by the Divine, by this energy that in and of itself awakens us and takes us past our shame. It takes us into this aliveness and the Archetypes can come to us in our dreams to meet us in this newfound aliveness.
So much of what we think we are is more or less a neurotic representation of the self that has been lost. We fashion ourselves without the primalcy. We make ourselves up as a reaction to the world, as a reaction to the loss. It is a reaction to the pain. The self that makes itself up has got to die because the primalcy does not make itself up. It is that it is. “I am that I am.” This new self is reflected back in the eyes of the Beloved – the Animus and the Anima.
It is not the knowing of God that is forbidden. That is a side-track. The issue is having relationship with the Divine.
If our personal relationship comes from some kind of iconic knowing or knowing from a place of being lost from our real passion, what kind of knowing is it anyway? What kind of experience is it anyway? But if we are in our passion and our essence and our energy, then the Animus – particularly with women – can come in a conjunctio manner, in a sexual manner. He enters us. This wakens the child to the clitoris. All of this is driven through the primalcy.
Everybody is capable of relationship of some sort. But when we explore the “I” relationship, the relationship of the self, we are talking about only that which can only be understood when we uncover the full passion. The relationship is manifested in a greater knowing of that passion – that knowing of the Divine through the emergence of the self that is passionate. Then there is a knowing of the Divine in a profound way.
Prometheus represents this knowing as the fire giver – the fire is the passion. That kind of enlightenment is so uniquely personal and unknowable – the mind cannot know this. It is conjecture. Many people may believe they have relationship with the Animus, but to have it through the primalcy, through the whole cauldron of the dream process, to be in that soup of the energy that the dreams work within us until it is released, is really what this work is all about.
It is not the knowing of the mind knowing God, it is about the energy and the passion of that life force that becomes part of the conscious experience of the Divine.
That relationship is completely different – this is why relationship is a loaded word. We could all say “being in relationship with Him,” and everyone would know what we were talking about because everyone understands that word. But most of us do not understand relationship through primalcy. We do not understand relationship through conjunctio and the release of that orgasmic self of the child. That is not understood. It is forgotten and lost. It fell back into the unconscious long before a person was even eight or nine years old.
Most of us hate our primalcy or we hate the vulnerability or the passion or the pain or the creativity. There is always something about it we hate.
We all also have some primalcy we adhere to, something that gives us emotion or feeling whether it is sexuality, pain, anger, nihilism. But if it does not have the pure seed of the snake’s venom, it is not all that it can be and we do not really have it. The only one that knows what it really is besides the Archetypes is our Divine child selves.
And that child self comes through dreams. We might think we know what this is because our minds are very good at thinking things about things. Therein lies the bigger lie. The truth comes in our dreams.
Primalcy is the very essence of the ability to live in our lives with the sense of our own identity and the directedness and potency that allows us to feel and experience the world in terms of our own souls. Primalcy is the thing that should wake us up in the morning.
It is how the Animus can enter us and how we feel that power in ourselves. We can then have these feelings of ecstatic presence and excitement and energy and aliveness, which are all aspects of love.
When we repress such radioactive material as this, we can become extremely sick. We can become nihilistic or compulsive or jealous or competitive or depressed or even suicidal. Often we will have addictive behaviors because when this energy is blocked, it kicks back at us. The energy cannot be adequately repressed so it comes out in some other way that is not healthy for us.
We suffer because the very thing that would empower us, disempowers us. It turns into something Freud called thanatos, a destructive desire to die. Something that is actually killing us has its genesis as something wonderful.
The relationship between the soul self that usually comes in dreams as the child and our ego self can be difficult and ambiguous. There are a variety of issues that this can create. Sometimes the child self carries a wound or the memory of feelings that we have long since lost or denied.
The most common way for analysts to address this, including Archetypal Dreamwork analysts, is to point out that this reflects some moment where we lost our child self through trauma or just the process of growing older.
But there is a spiritual issue inherent in the division between the child self and the adult ego self. The child self perceives love not only in terms of its innate vulnerability and need but also in terms of its innate longing for God.
For the more spiritually attuned, if not all of us, there is a side to our own lives, our spiritual lives, that is pregnant and ripe with feelings of love for God. These feelings are as powerful and strong as love for any human being, even stronger.
It is something innate that comes from a relationship known somewhere, perhaps in other lifetimes, that reflects a profound relationship or knowing of the Divine.
The dreamer’s ego, the adult ego that has lost the soul, may feel these feelings from the child self, may feel this energy of Divine love and then mistakenly expect it to be something to claim in the world.
We take this energy and look for God in others, thereby constantly feeling wounded because there is no way that anyone could be that divine, Archetypal, Animus being. Even if the other person is nice, is devoted, it just does not work that way. When we look for God in others, we are lost in this world and are perpetually dissatisfied.
If we could reclaim that soul self, then that love and that need could be requited and fulfilled. Then the soul child could be birthed and we could move forward in our spiritual growth. Then, having both the adult self and the child self, we would know and be able to distinguish between emotional feelings with people in the world and Divine feelings.
The natural balance is to not place people in the world in the position of being Divine, or in the position of being irrelevant. In this other extreme, we give up on the whole thing and just have animals or live some kind of reclusive existence. We may say, for example, “I’ll just have my cat or my dog – that is all I need.” We can go from gushing over every person and getting nothing back to just giving up because of the lack of fulfillment.
When we control a child in a dream, it is our ego controlling our child self. There is no room for the Divine. The Divine is much smarter than we are – any control issues we have just add to the problem. For, with the Animus, we have to surrender control.
It is much “easier” to be with someone in the world who is not going to love us, someone we can blame for everything while we remain in control. Sometimes, we find unrequited love so that we never have to give up control. If we give over to someone so fully and completely, as we would with the Divine, we would have to give up control.
If we want to get close to the Animus, we have to be our soul selves. The ego self, even though it may try, cannot have a relationship with the Animus except through a kind of veneer that some people can manage. But the dreams will show if we are having a full relationship with the Animus. This kind of relationship is extremely rare, but it is possible.
Most of us suffer whether we are religious or spiritual or not. We suffer the vacuousness of separation. It is our souls we need to die to so we can feel the love from that central aspect of ourselves.
Pathology is not personal; it is collective. There is a personal level in which we are all engaged with our personal issues and personal way of being with pathology, of course, but pathology exists as one inky black thing that is tentacled to every person. It is real; it has its own kind of soul. It has an embodiment of identity that is not any one person. It is itself, a force to be reckoned with.
In a way, pathology is in battle with the Divine. There is the idea of heaven and hell, good and bad, the devil being at war with God – what this means is unclear, but it is certainly a metaphor for the fact that there is a power struggle.
It would be easier to think of it in terms of light and dark; that there is a natural phenomenon of consciousness raising, that we are just ignorant and once we lose our ignorance, we can evolve. It would be much easier to think in this nice way.
But pathology is not just about ignorance. This thing does not want us to evolve. It is a deliberate will that wants to keep us from growing. The dreams clearly reflect that it is not just that we have to learn, but that something is here, fighting us tooth and nail. The more we learn, the harder it fights.
When there is an enemy or a war in a dream, the initial layer is that the enemy is our individual pathology. But as we advance in the work, the dreams show that we become soldiers aligned with the Animus. We work for Him, like being in an army, and we are fighting in a war.
The war, however, is not just against our own pathology. At some point, our pathology breaks apart and the war becomes against the bigger pathology.
What does this mean? If we reverse the question, then we are on the side of the Divine and the Divine is bigger than the pathology. It is the love in the universe, the physics that holds everything together. The Divine wants to change the world, wants to plant itself here in this plane. The Divine is bigger than big and has everything behind it, everything it wants and needs to do this. The only thing it does not have is the people to embody it.
If the Archetypes can lay claim to our souls and we join Their army, then the Divine would come forth. He puts us in this position when we are finally listening to Him; He is finally being heard. We are in His army in this way when a dream shows us we are in, not when we believe that we are.
This is quite tricky. There are those who believe they are in the army because they want to believe it. There are people blowing up other people believing that they are doing it because they are in God’s army – Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Jews. Everywhere we look, there are people like this standing for God.
They cannot all be right and they probably are not right. How many people actually stand with God? How many people in religions stand with God? What if the idea is right but the reality is that no one is actually doing it? What if there is no miracle and we do not know that there is no miracle? What if we do not know that no one is standing with God and we all end up wondering, “Where is God?”
This is tricky because most of the people who believe that they are at the right hand of God are not. But what if we have proof that we standing with God in our dreams? What if we have done a tremendous amount of work and have died to self, and then the dreams show that the Divine steps in? If that is true, miracles can happen.
At the risk of being arrogant, I believe that when we start to get dreams where we are fighting and the Divine is there, then we are living that miracle. If we have gone through years of intense work, if we have gone through the dark night of the soul, when the dreams have validated every step of the journey, then we are ready to live that miracle. And living that miracle may affect the entire world.
The risk is that if we are not totally surrendered, then our egos can go wild. But if we are at the pinnacle, if we are living it as shown by our dreams and not based on what we want to believe, then we are beyond the human condition and part of the spiritual solution.
Again, this is tricky. If we are saying the same thing other people are saying, others who are not living that miracle, who are not in the army of the Divine, then why would anyone believe us?
The truth is that the Divine will use us in the way that is right for us and for Him. Of course, people will read this and say, “I knew you guys were elitists, were cultists. I knew it. You lied to me. This is not therapy at all.” The truth is, there are the those who do their work to the point where the Divine can say, “I want to use you; I want you to be part of my army.” We can know this, not because we think it or want to believe it, but because the dreams show us.
This is a frightening thing to say but it is important because gravity will eventually, if we let it, truly pull us all the way, take us to the top of the mountain, to the deepest valley. For those who are truly connected, who have truly done the excruciating work it takes to be connected, there is nothing more terrifying than being the one.
It is not scary to be the megalomaniac who will go up on the cross shouting “Choose me! Choose me!” It is truly terrifying when we are truly with Him. Truly terrifying to step into that abyss, into the archetypal world. It is terrifying even when we have the support, even when we do not have the pride to capture us, because there is no reference point.
There is only an incredible whoosh of wind. It is as if we have gone high enough in the atmosphere to hit the jet stream. This is like the wind we hear, a rushing wind. When we are there, we are part of that energy and flow, not in some fool’s eddy down below thinking we are something, thinking we are somewhere.
It is terrifying to be in that wind, that flow. If it is not, then we are not there and our dreams will show it. It is so terrifying because it is so unbelievable. It is beyond what the ego, and the megalomaniac ego, could ever know.
It is terrifying to stand in that whoosh of power and wind, energy and flow, to give ourselves to it and allow it to move us through the world. It is terrifying to stand there in the face of all the projections that will tell us that we are wrong. The dreams will always tell us what is true. If I am wrong, the dreams will show me, too.
The free will that is conscious choice is linked with the passion and capability to understand our own belovedness or our own passion for the belovedness or our own feeling of the Beloved’s passion for us.
All of this determines a great deal about our will. Why? Because the more we feel into the love, the more our free will to do the right thing – or the thing that He wants, which is the thing that is in the best interest of our own souls – becomes primary to us. This is not a moral or religious realization but a realization from the heart. When we fail to realize this, we have no free will.
Free will is a manifestation of love. The choices we make from that love strike at the very heart of the existential reality of every single individual on this planet. Somewhere inside of everyone is that love and a choice to either turn away from or to embrace the Beloved, despite what pain has occurred in our lives.
This is such a private moment, and it can change. In one moment, we can turn away from the Beloved for unknown reasons even though the passion is there. The next moment, we may turn back. The unfoldment to the place where the passion and the desire and the choice are fully alive is a process.
To accomplish a deeper revelation of our love for the Divine and the Divine’s love for us takes time. It is not a question of making choices, as in doing something our therapist tells us to do.
Of course, if we make choices that are not what the Animus wants us to make, it does not necessarily mean that we are bad students. Maybe it is because we have not gotten deep enough in the passion to receive the revelation of the heart.
The issue of pain is a complicated one, like the issue of fear. There are different types of pain just as there are different types of fear – all these feelings are there for different reasons and often have different purposes. Sometimes, the purpose for pain is obvious, that things have happened in our lives that caused pain or caused the soul to have pain.
Then there are things that we have done to others or to ourselves that have caused us pain. We do not necessarily acknowledge this pain, perhaps because it is too painful or we feel too much guilt.
But when we get past the guilt, sometimes we are able to know that we are forgiven. We are free to feel our failings or to feel the pain of things we have done to others.
To feel that forgiveness, we must step into our pain and our regret without blame, without judgment.
This allows us to catch up with our own souls. What the soul felt in the past about what happened and what we have done, is what we need to feel. The soul feels all of this, even when we do not. We need to catch up with ourselves by feeling everything our souls have felt.
Catching up with ourselves in the past is saying, “Oh, this is what I felt when this happened.” As we do this, we become more and more congruent with our souls. Where we feel shame, where we feel entitlement or where we feel justified around things that are not of our souls, these places become barriers to the real authenticity within us.
Does this mean that we go to the people we have hurt and tell them what happened in the past? If we cheated on someone, do we tell our current husband or spouse? These are tough decisions that cannot be answered for anyone.
Most importantly, we need to feel it for ourselves. Acknowledgment of pain allows forgiveness. And even if what we did was necessary, if we have soul pain, we need to feel this in order to grow. The mind wants to always say, “I did what was right, why should I feel pain when what I did was justified?” The soul does not judge. It only feels. The soul feels what is.
When we judge our feelings of pain and go to guilt, this is not of the soul. Guilt is where pathology comes creeping in. Forgiveness is so important because of this – we can stay in the guilt or we can take our pain to the Divine.
Taking that pain to the Divine ensures that we can acknowledge our pain for what it is. It ensures acceptance of ourselves and our own soul’s hurt for what has happened.
It is through the process of forgiveness and love that takes place when we reveal our pain to the Divine, that the healing of that pain can come. Through this healing, we can come back to our selves.
If we do not allow that process and we feel the pain of our mistakes, we can become trapped in them and fall prey to nihilistic pain. Nihilistic pain is pain without end, where there is no forgiveness and no hope for forgiveness.
The soul always knows forgiveness because forgiveness is part of Divine love. Whatever has happened, it can be felt and it can be forgiven.
Once we feel the presence of the Archetypes, we know the truth. From that moment on, no matter what we do, we are never the same. Even if we run the other way, even if we refuse to face into it.
Once we feel this, we feel what this work can be. Until that moment, it is all in our minds. Our minds can play with dreams and symbols and metaphors and collective unconscious and interpretation forever.
But when we feel that presence, it is like a lightning bolt crashing through our psyches. Like electrocution. It shatters all of our ignorance for that moment. We might forget, of course. We will. We may never remember again.
But in this work, this moment can be the beginning of the end of pathology and the beginning of a new life. If we make the choice to face into it.
Often, when we feel the presence, we may have a follow-up dream that has the potential for the killing of some pathology in us. This does not happen randomly. It does not matter if we are atheist or devoutly religiously – we simply feel it in our bones. This can open the process of Dying to Self because His love provokes us to engage the enemy like nothing else does. This is why the love of the Divine is so initially destructive.
It is like Jacob fighting with the Angel.
One of the steps of this work is that we become like Jacob. We come to a place in ourselves where we fight or we are at war with ourselves. But really, we are at war with pathology; we are not at war with God. It is courageous to be Jacob, no matter how difficult a process, for Jacob never doubted the existence of the Angel.
Once we have a connection with the Divine, even if only for a moment, our illusions are shattered and we feel the truth of that moment, even if we struggle for the rest of our lives to obtain it or to refuse it. That is our choice. We can be Jacob, if we are willing.
If we do not know that feeling, however, if we do not know the presence of that love, we can battle all we want, but we will be like Don Quixote, battling windmills. If we do not know the Divine, then we are just guessing.
Every dream has the potential to show us how we are Jacob struggling with our Angel, within ourselves. We need to be aware of the Jacob factor of our egos. We are not as bad as we think. But we are not as good as we think, either.
We all fight with God. If we think we are not fighting with God, however, we are in the worst shape of all. It is important to acknowledge that fight. We may judge ourselves for fighting, pathology may want to shame us for it, but we are really fighting for our lives.
Jacob is a holy man because he fights for his wholeness. If he did not fight with the Angel, he would be lost.
We all start out lost. We have to realize that our conflict is between God and ourselves, whether we are facing into our traumas, our hurts, or whether we are focused on issues that really do not matter. Perhaps it is the history of our existences, our past lives. No matter what we face, we must have the courage at some point to acknowledge that struggle.
We have to strip off the illusion of how wonderful we are and how terrible somebody else is or how terrible we are – the whole gyroscopic lie. Who cares who is right and who is wrong? The fight is the fight within ourselves.
It is a difficult step. We struggle to reach the place where we are willing to be Jacob, but then we want to be right or wrong, or we want to run. We do not stop and say, “Wow! This is one hell of a fight. Do I really want to be in this?”
Being Jacob is fighting the good fight. We do not have to be perfect. We do not have to figure anything out. This is Jacob’s gift. God’s gift to Jacob. To commit to where we are – to commit to our struggle, to our fight.
How many people are willing to stand in their fear and not react? It is the trickiest thing of all because fear invokes fight or flight. We have been trained through tribal generations who faced lions in the jungle – we get scared and we jump. Our whole physiology is about threat so we associate fear with threat.
But what if fear is not about a threat in the psychological world, in the spiritual world? What if fear is an opportunity to reclaim something lost?
We see fear as a threat because it is new and unfamiliar. How do we train ourselves to accept fear as an opportunity and not jump away from it. How do we retrain ourselves to jump into it instead?
To retrain in this way is critical to anyone who journeys through this landscape. Of course, some fears are trauma rooted – but even in these cases, the only solution for trauma is to face into the feeling of it as the dreams guide us.
At first we may feel into the anxiety of the moment. But as we feel into the anxiety, we are simply discovering ourselves in a deeper way as we journey back to our soul. It is remembering who we really are. The anxiety covers up all the ways that we cope, which creates the false self – not just a persona, but a false self that copes with the anxiety.
When we jump away from our fear, we identify with our false self – the self we create because we do not want to deal with our fear. Reversing that and dropping into the anxiety is the first step of facing into the fear. It is the authentic experience of “I Am That I Am Scared.”
But the story does not end there; it continues. The journey deepens into the next layer – which is what is revealed through opening up to the fear. Perhaps in the next dream, the child self will be revealed. What may be revealed is that we are scared of nothingness, a nothingness that does have somethingness.
Remember, in the Archetypal journey, we fear what we have lost. Pathology tries to convince us, “No, you are scared because there is nothing there.” It is the same thing with dying. We are scared that if we die, we will go into that everlasting sleep where there is zero. But what if it is nothing like that at all? What if it is all about being conscious? We are so trained to believe in nothing that we are scared of peeling back the layer of fear. We are so scared that there is nothing – yet every dream shows us there is more of us than we thought.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. All of the actions that have happened since the beginning of time have caused reactions. These reactions are projections and reactions. Reactions cause other reactions which cause other reactions which cause other reactions and on and on. This is the world.
In this way, everything that ever was, becomes one big projection/reaction, creating an inverted point. The world is a series of reactions that have actually filled up the physical plane with reactions and projections.
The inverse point, the descent through the deep well, takes us to the point before history. We are all going back to the big bang in ourselves, just as scientists are finding a way to go back in time to the universe’s big bang by tracing gamma rays.
Through this work, we return to the big bang in ourselves, to the place where creation began and then through all the reactivity from that point – all the history, all the lies, all the rape, all the horror, all the wounds.
When we go back to the beginning of time, through the deepest well, the deepest wound, we get to the beginning of creation. We get to the big bang, the spark, to that love that begat us all.
Each of us must journey to the dawn of our own time. Not the dawn of time, but our own time, to find that primalcy, that energy. Once we get to that, it is like going back to the past, back to immortality, back to the beginning of time. From this point, the child, the soul, can emerge in the world.
Instead of pathology flooding the world and flooding our psyches, what emerges in the world is all that “bangness,” all that explosive energy, all that incredible love. And when we go back far enough, perhaps it is collective. We reach the place where it is the violation of us all. When we face our own death, we face the death of every person in the whole world. This is what makes good therapists of this work. If we fear our own death and our own pain, we cannot lead anyone else there.
God may have made us, but it is the terrible things that have happened to us that define us. Gravity, therefore, is what pulls us toward this history, toward this past – personal and collective. Gravity does not pull us toward God; it pulls us to our past. We cannot undo the past and find the Divine love if we do not face into the past.
Most aesthetic spirituality tells us that we simply look up to find God. The dreams tell us we need to look down. The belief is that if we look down, then we will be lost. If we face the monster, we will be lost. This is what horror movies show – the terror of the deep! Go deep enough into the ocean, into the jungle, into outer space and we will be devoured. The message is to not go deep – stay on the surface.
Do not go down those stairs. Do not go into the basement.
And yet, every night we sleep, the dreams attempt to bring us deeper or to show us how we are avoiding going deeper. The dreams reflect the gravity, the focus, the calling us back to that one moment of creation.
Gravity runs counter to everything we do because it is the pull to our past. Because it is the pull to our past, it is also a pull toward God, but we have to face that past. It is the pull to the horror of horrors, to the dark night of the soul.
In that place stands the healing, the forgiveness, the redemption for all humankind. All of us are damaged; all of us have a past that is hard to face. The dreams want to go underneath how we cope with it, underneath our desire to be “better” so that we are more functional or likable or noble.
The things that appear to be good and noble are as much a shallow grave as all the ignoble things we do. Aspiring to be noble is not the same as finding God. Being a good person is not the answer. The answer is the result of Divine living.
What do we see when we look in His eye? Our past; the horror of the past. We are afraid to look at that horror, and pathology uses that against us. But if we have the courage to look at the past, then we cannot be controlled by pathology. It is only when we look away from that past that we are lost and the dark force of pathology can then control us.
The monster that we project onto the past, that we believe actually exists, becomes a thing that actually does exist.
This is why in most dreams, when someone is running after us, it is a good thing because it is usually the Archetypes. But we run anyway. We run until we are most certainly lost from ourselves.
When we become the soul child, we are out of history, out of time. We do not worry about our portfolios, the price of gasoline, how to get money. The whole of history is gone because at the core of it, everything that ever happened was really false.
In fact, in a way, ironically, it never happened. When we are healed and we return to the love, all of it is forgotten. When God forgives, it is all gone. First, we drink of the river of forgetting, and then we drink of the river of remembrance. We remember Him and we remember who we are.
Suddenly, the worry and the external issues are gone. At this moment, we can truly be with the Divine, truly be alien in the flesh. We can be the incarnation of Divine love. It is a gift for everyone – St. John of the Cross pointed the way. The steps in gravity take us down into the valley of the shadow of death.
Every dream takes us a step closer toward and eventually into the valley. This is why things often feel worse before they feel better. It is a difficult journey, one we can only take with our hearts open. Once taken, we can never go back. There is no back.
It is like the hobbit Frodo in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Frodo cannot stay in the Shire after he returns from his journey because he knows something more. What is better than the Shire? Divine love. We all feel bad for Frodo when he leaves the Shire, when he heads off with the elves, when he is going into the process of Dying to Self.
We feel badly for him because we are in the Shire, watching him go away. Our perspective is really from our reluctance to go where he is going. We do not go; instead, we watch him leave into the sunset.
There are no answers for us when we are in the Shire – the answers come only when we take that journey. Every hero walks into the sunset because we cannot know or even conceive of what the hero is walking into.