I am in a small room off the North of Eden School classroom. I am doing something that is for a class, like transcribing or filming. I feel separate from everyone. I hear Marc teaching and there is music sometimes. Everything is improvisational. Scott F is the conductor of the music. Marc says something really amazing and then Scott starts riffing with the music. I can hear all these different instruments all coming together in the most amazing way, and I think, Oh my God, this is what Scott used to be like before he forgot who he is. I run into the main room because I just want to hear it. I think I am probably not supposed to be leaving my station and my job there, but I don’t care. The lighting in the carriage house is dim and warm, like it is a living room, not the cold, white lighting of the class room. I see Marc & Christa and other NOE people. I don’t see the musicians, but I close my eyes and feel myself smiling. The music is all around me, orchestral…incredibly passionate and beautiful, all completely improvisational. And then I feel all the ecstatic sensuality rising in my body and I feel so happy. I wake up in this feeling.I really just love this dream...it is a very spiritual dream for me, for it shows me who I am before I forgot who I am: a sensual being, in the flow of the universe. This is who we all are.
What if the music rising is really the way life could feel coming at me when I am standing in the truth of who I am as a sensual being? What if this is what it feels like when people, places and things are happening all around me and I am not in reaction, projecting from the place of my trauma? What if the mystery of life is in this incredible, seemingly random, but beautiful improvisation? This is an exciting possibility since in the dream what I feel is all the Kundalini sensuality rising into my body. Here, I feel the love. If I had no trauma, maybe people, places and things...what happens in the world, would not trigger me, and I would just be in myself, in the flow.
In North of Eden, we refer to the practice of standing in the field of projection/reaction and knowing where we are in relation to our spiritual program (our dreamwork homework) as the glass bead game, a reference to the Herman Hesse novel published in 1943.
The NOE version is not the intellectual game of Hesse’s Nobel Prize winning novel, but is instead a feeling game which is about each one of us who enters into the North of Eden community becoming central in our own work, such that everything we do becomes about where we are in relationship to our personal transformation in our felt spiritual journey. Each member of the group stands in for others, much as the Archetypes do in our dreams, as we work through the process of reaction/projection bringing it back to our own work as informed by our dreams. This means we commit to "outing" our pathology. We commit to helping each other see all of the ways that we are living, reacting/projecting, that do not serve our soul work. In this way, it is always about the central bead and each member is a central bead. Each one of us is The One, for the soul truly doesn't care about NOE. She cares for nothing of this world; she exists in me and is of God.
I am with a man (the Animus). We are talking about mandalas. I feel like he is teaching me something. I tell him that sometimes I see a whole mandala in my mind’s eye.The glass bead game may sound narcissistic from the outside point of view, but it is really about the spiritual axiom of “every time I am emotionally disturbed, there is something going on with me.” Becoming a member of the North of Eden community has provided me with a supportive container and a surface to work this axiom in a radical way.
Thus NOE, whose mission is to bring Archetypal Dreamwork out into the world, is not really about The Girl soul, but about each one of us, as the central bead finding our soul, finding our calling. It is about me as The Girl and so NOE ends up part of the field of projection, the surface of the outer world reality that my girl (and my NOT girl) is interfacing with. And, it is a community committed to standing in for each other as we work through the reactions/projections that get trigger every time something brushes up against the wound of our trauma.
Here in the grand theater of the dreams, there is the possibility of feeling the improvisational creativity that arises in the sacredness of the work we do, instead of being in the the lock down of trauma reactivity. I can't possibly manifest the girl soul directly, since truly I live mostly outside of her and have built a powerful ego structure that blocks me from her. I have to get to her by stripping away all of the NOT me, so she can emerge. This is why the glass bead game is so important for me in my training as a student of Archetypal Dreamwork. It supports the stripping away.
But it goes further, for it is not enough to practice the glass bead game in my work as a student of North of Eden. I must bring this practice out of my work with NOE and live it in the world, with my family, my friends, my co-workers, and in all my relationships and interactions. This is the way of the Bodhisattva. We travel to the depths of our souls, through trauma, through our projections/reactions, beneath the false persona we have constructed to survive, to find our connection to God. But then we return to share, through our own transformation, what we have learned.
I've always understood that I have trauma, but it is from the dreams and through this work that I am learning how often I am in it, what it looks like when I am the NOT Me, and the possibility of what it might be like if I were not reacting to life happening around me and were simply in the flow, in the love.