There is something so profound about this work. Like many parts of our life journey, there’s a way that we understand that if we knew what we were in for, we might not have chosen this fork in the path. Thank goodness for the bliss of ignorance!
When we embark on the journey, we have expectations about what we will “get” out of it. But then we learn that Archetypal Dreamwork is not about feeling better, it’s not about becoming a better person, and it’s not about becoming successful in the world. It’s about finding out the truth of who we are, why we are here. Some might say that is enlightenment. I wonder. To be enlightened would be good right? But what if enlightenment is neither good nor bad. What if it is just a state of being that is about standing in the truth of who we are? We try to be good, we want to be good, but Carl Jung says that even the hero must die.
There is a saying that “God is everything, or God is nothing”. It is the choice of faith or hopelessness. If we choose faith, then we know we are choosing not just the love but also the pain, the suffering, the loss. Is there no escaping this condition? We think we want to be enlightened. We think we want to know the truth. But we are terrified of the truth. Somewhere deep down in us all lives this fear.
In my current work, I am standing before the Animus (male aspect, emissary of the Divine) He appears as a man in the dream, but he is not a man. My femaleness, the duality of my human condition, recognizes him this way, but he is something wholly different. My fear is so great, that it is difficult to be with him without projecting that fear out, without wanting to project my entire trauma on to Him, particularly my trauma with men. But who wouldn’t be afraid of something as huge and unfathomable as Him? It would be arrogance to say that I am not afraid. This is an arrogance I have know my whole life. I have to feel this fear and I have to stay. In the staying, other feelings can come in: love, grief, sensuality.
In the moment of being with Him, standing in my fear, I vibrate to a higher octave. This vibration moves me out of my mind, where the projections and reactions can have their way, and into the visceral experience of my beingness. In a way, in the moment, I become something other than what I know myself to be. Right now, my homework is to practice standing with Him in my fear and desire many times a day.
Through the dreams, the work unfolds as a descent. This descent is about moving beneath the egoic construct to find the soul, what we refer to in the dreamwork as The Girl. She is called The Girl because the soul comes to us in the dream as a girl.
The descent is terrifying because lying between the me that I know here in this life and The Girl, are layers and layers of obstruction (pathology) and trauma. Every way that I have had of being in this world is about protecting, defending, hiding, or escaping the feelings of separation from Her that are part of my human condition. Whether it is as the fighter or the do-gooder, it has always been an attempt to avoid the difficult feelings associated with my separation.
But what happens when we turn inward, when the battle is no longer projected outwards? What happens when we start the descent? Well for one thing, what used to be a priority for us shifts. This is difficult for those around us who do not understand what is happening; those whose attachments to their outer world reality are so great and their negation of God so deeply rooted that they are in a deep sleep. In a way, you become like a dream to them, perhaps a terrifying one, or you may appear psychotic. Certainly from the outer world perspective, you have gone crazy! They're just dreams for God's sake! What they don't understand, what they are terrified of, is that the dreams can lead us through, through the layers, through the trauma. We must reclaim and re-experience the difficult feelings, but this time we have the support of the Archetypes.
There is a lot of talk about 12.12.12 and the upcoming 12.21.12. I believe, as many do, that the shift from an outer world focus to an inner reality is what is happening. I believe that the dreamwork is part of this shift. There are many paths that are part of this shift. But it seems more and more people are being called in their dreams. The unconscious is calling to us, desperately trying to get our attention, to pull our focus away from this unsustainable outer world hologram that we think is real and to re-direct it toward our soul self. The place where the love never dies.
Presumably the soul lives in Divine love and knows this love in a way that I don’t. Perhaps all feeling alchemizes to the one feeling of love. My teacher, Marc, has stated that his most recent experience of The Girl is that she is held in the love but lives in a kind of tremulous fear.
Perhaps this is vulnerability. If I stay with the Animus in the dream, vulnerable in my feelings of fear and sensuality, maybe I won’t be taken advantage of, I won't lose Him, the bad thing won’t happen. I can simply be held, The Girl with Him.
And every time I am held, perhaps it is an opportunity for someone else to be held as well. In this way, the descent turns to ascension. We become like the lotus flower rising from the steamy, murky depths, tremulously blossoming toward the sunlight of the spirit, the fruit of our becoming providing the nourishment of hope to others. Not because we seek to become, but because we are here. And those who feel their own desire may also descend and become.