Dream: My inner fire

A firefox (kitsune) from Japanese mythology, envisioned by me and Midjourney (AI-generated image). This one has cat-like features since that’s what Merlina transformed into in the dream.

I find myself in London and in the place my (waking life) partner and cat live. They have both transformed and live on their own. The cat is larger and fully orange, almost like a mythological fox-cat being. My parter has bright orange hair and is younger. My partner is angry at me. She has to do something, and I go for a walk. I realize I forgot to make a note of the address, and get somewhat lost in the streets of London. I receive help from a few men who feel like friends. I remember I have my phone and that my partner’s phone number and address may in the contacts.

This feels like an especially important dream.

Being lost and disoriented has been a theme in my dreams for a while now. It comes from the dark night I have been through and feeling shattered and disoriented as if hit by a bus. Further back, it has its roots in leaving my inner guidance on a major life decision (when I got married the first time). And it may go even further back, to my childhood and not feeling completely grounded in love and acceptance.

I was initially a bit confused about this dream, although found something through active imagination. (A technique from depth psychology where I go back into the visuals of the dream, interact with the different elements, and ask questions and listen for the answers.)

Using active imagination, Merlina (the cat) said she was my inner fire, my animal fire. Similarly, my partner said she was my feminine fire. And London, to me and in this context, represents creative passion and fire.

My fiery part is angry at me for having given up on it. I had a lot of passion and fire in my teens and twenties, and it served me and my life well. Then, when I got married for the first time, and abandoned my inner guidance on major life issues, I gradually started losing contact with that passion and fire. And it’s been difficult to refind and embrace it as fully as I know I can and to the extent that feels right to me.

Now, that I finally have my own house and land and an amazing project (rewilding 14 hectares), I feel I have the stability to refind my passion and fire.

I told my waking-life partner about the dream. And went back into the dream images to ask my partner why she is angry at me. She said it is because I have given up on the fire and abandoned it. I am identified with being lost. That identification keeps me separate from the fire and passion that’s here.

When I then asked my waking-life partner the same question, and she gave the same answer. She said the anger is because I am identified with the dark night and the characteristics of the dark night. (Which includes feeling lost.)

I now also realize that the mythological creature our cat transformed into is a firefox, Kitsune from Japanese mythology.

This theme of refining my connection with my inner fire feels like a major theme in my life, something I continue to explore, and something very much on the horizon.

My recent explorations into AI-imagery is a part of this, as is continuing work on the house and rewilding project. All of this has to do with my inner passion and fire.

And I want to keep exploring my identification with the “lost” identity. What does it tell me? How does it play out in my life? What are the reversals, and the truth in them? How would it be to be free of this particular identification?

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Dealing with one’s pain through a passion

I am watching Tony Hawk: Until the wheels fall off which is a reminder that real-life, when filtered and presented in a certain way, sometimes has every bit as good dramaturgy as any fiction story.

A few times during the documentary, he and others suggest that he deals with his pain through skateboarding.

A RELATIVELY HEALTHY WAY TO DEAL WITH OUR PAIN

Of the many strategies we can use to deal with our emotional pain, that one is relatively healthy.

There are many worse ways to do it, including drugs, anger, depression, mindless entertainment, bigotry, fundamentalism, and pouring our energy into less life-centered careers.

Skateboarding is also something obviously he loves. It has given him a successful career and a way to provide for himself and his family. And it has given inspiration and joy to many.

And this strategy, like any strategy that doesn’t deal with our pain directly, doesn’t heal the wounds. They’ll still be there and they will color our perception and life until they are dealt with.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DEAL WITH OUR PAIN MORE DIRECTLY?

What happens if we deal with our pain more directly and find healing for our pain? Does our passion fall away?

As so often, the answer may be that it depends.

When there is less need to deal with the pain through a passion, other motivations – existing or new ones – come more in focus. If we have a deep love for it, as he seems to have, then that love will come even more to the surface. We will likely still engage in our passion, perhaps even as much as before, although from a slightly different set of motivations.

And if there isn’t much love for what we are doing, we may decide it’s not worth it or we may find another set of motivations that make sense for us. I am reminded of the difference between athletes here. The ones who do it for their love of the sport often continue even after their professional career is over. And the ones who did it for less heartfelt motivations often quit. (And may even swap it for smoking and eating as exemplified by a well-known female Russian skier.)

A NOTE ABOUT DANGER

Towards the end of the documentary, they talk about the danger inherent in what they are doing.

The sensible choice is to take it easy and don’t risk so much. And yet, going full in is that’s what gives them joy and a sense of meaning. Life is not always about being sensible.

Enough people live sensibly, so there is room for people who stretches it a bit further.

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Childhood fascinations

When I was little, what was I fascinated by?

I had two big fascinations. One was nature and the universe, and the other was adventure and exploration.

I loved nature and nature programs on TV, and especially the ones by David Attenborough. I also loved anything that had to do with the universe, and Cosmos by Carl Sagan and Ann Dryan. And I loved adventure and exploration books, especially the classics set in exotic locations.

How does this relate to my life now?

I can find all of this very much alive for me. I still love nature and science, and my sense of adventure and exploration is happening right here in my exploration of who and what I am, and my life in the world.

Can I bring my childhood fascinations more into my life now?

Yes, by remembering these fascinations and bring that sense of adventure and aliveness into these explorations.

How is it to remind myself of these childhood fascinations?

I find that my childhood fascinations still are very much alive for me, bring me alive, and enlivens my activities here and now.

EXPLORING CHILDHOOD FASCINATIONS

Why would we explore our childhood fascinations?

The essence of our childhood fascinations are still with us. If they connect with something in our life now, it tends to enliven what we are doing. If we cannot find it in our life now, perhaps we can bring it into our life? Perhaps we can infuse it into what we are already doing? Or reprioritize and bring a new activity in?

Childhood fascinations tend to reflect our natural inclinations and passions and are often expressed in a more pure form in our childhood, which is why it helps to remember what fascinated us as a child.

What do you find? What were your childhood fascinations? How does it relate to your life now? Can you bring it more into your life now? How is it to remind yourself of your childhood fascinations?

Note: I have a vague memory of Jung talking about this, but couldn’t find a quote when I did a quick search.

When you practice fire the right way

When you practise fire the right way, it helps to reduce or stop the wildfires. They will still come but are not as bad as the wildfires we are seeing. If you burn the right way you will also get the next generations of food, habitat and trees. Fires are a critical part of koala country.

– from Our ancestors managed fire country for millennia. We yearn to burn once more by Oliver Costello in The Guardian

And so also with our own fire, the fire in our own life. When we practice fire consciously, the wildfires are less strong and they do less damage.

This can be the fire of anger. Of the warrior. Of the beast. Of passion. It takes many forms. And when we practice this fire consciously, when we align with it, when we allow it consciously, the wildfires may still come but they are not as bad.

These days, I am exploring anger. I connect with it in my system. Feel and get to know the energy. Notice how connecting with it gives me strength, focus, and determination. Rarely does it take the form of anger. Instead, it fuels and supports my activities in a very beautiful way.

Connecting with the anger intentionally and consciously in this way allows the fire to burn without burning down or damaging anything, and if or when the wildfires come, they are less strong and damaging.

What happens when we practice fire? It helps us get to know the energies. We become familiar with them. We learn how to make use of them in a more conscious and supporting way. We – metaphorically – burn up a lot of the flammable material so the wildfires have less fuel.

Why so passionate about healing and awakening?

Why are some of us so passionate about healing and awakening? Why are we, in the words of someone I talked with earlier today, spiritual terriers?

It may be that I need the healing. That I know the liberation on the other side. That I wish for a clear and deepening awakening because it’s like coming home to what I already am. That I see healing or awakening as a way to escape discomfort. That I have developed a compulsion around it because I don’t want to face my pain. Or any number of other reasons.

In reality, I don’t really know. Why do we develop a passion for anything? Why do some of us develop a passion for music, or chess, or a sport, or drawing, or anything at all?

We can say that it makes sense evolutionarily. It helps the survival of our species for some of us to develop passions for skills, understanding, and certain experiences.

We can say that it’s a confluence of innumerable influences, stretching back to beginning of time and the widest extent of the universe, and it’s impossible to account for all of them or even a significant fraction of them.

We can say that it’s the divine passionate about experiencing and exploring aspects of itself.

And although there may be some truth to each of these, we don’t really know. But it is something we can make use of when it’s here. It adds flavor to life. It can give a sense of meaning and purpose. It can sometimes be used to support our own life in terms of making a living. It can be used to support other people, in this case – of passion for our own healing and awakening – in aiding their healing and awakening.

I should add that when it comes to any compulsion, including in spirituality or awakening, it’s good to look at where it comes from. Is there a belief? An unexamined fear? A sense of lack? Those are all helpful to look at and invite healing for. Then we can approach it with a bit more clarity and sanity.

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Drama and passion

I held satsang with the drama part of me earlier tonight. Here are some of the things that presented themselves:

What the drama part desires is really passion and engagement, and also to be met with respect, understanding and love.

I was also reminded that I have trouble with some people, such as PL (the SE guy), because I see them as drama queens. And that’s a good indication that I have disowned the drama part, it’s pushed aside and not included in my ordinary human identity.

In my twenties, there was plenty of passion and engagement in my life, and less drama. Recently, there has been less passion and more drama. It’s as if what’s behind passion and drama is the same, and one is owned (passion) and the other is disowned and seen as “other” (drama).

Dream: Friendly lion

A lion has escaped. It is one that I know well, and it seeks me out and is very friendly and playful. I am a little concerned at first, but then realize it is all OK.

Day residue: I was in Ashland this weekend, noticing the banners of a golden lion on a red background. (or the Shakespeare festival, I assume.) I mentioned to Jen that the banner is similar to the coat of arms of Norway. There was also a toy store we walked by a few times with lots of stuffed lions and lion books in the display window.

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Dream: snow on fire

I see a snow covered mountain landscape with the snow on fire. A voice also says “snow on fire.”

I woke up from this dream image, and when I fell asleep again, it came up again, with the same voice saying “snow on fire.”

The snow covers the whole landscape, apart from some peaks, and is fresh and white. The flames are clear, calm, tall and stable.

This reflects what comes up in daily life these days: passion with a depth of clear calm peace.

This depth of peace is partly the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising, and it is partly the luminous blackness (two aspects of the same.) It is the nurturing peace of Spirit filtered through the belly center, balancing out the fire of the head center.

More about this:

After a long period of dryness and lack of passion during the dark night, there are now more moments of passion surfacing, a passion with a deep calm depth, beautifully reflected in the dream image of snow on fire. The passion is the fire, rising out of the depth of peace, void and stillness. (I am amazed of the creativity of what they in Process Work call the “dream maker”, the source of the dreams. This is an image I would not have come up with consciously.)

Exploring it more consciously, I see that the peace has two distinct (although closely related) aspects. One is the void, ground, emptiness, which is the depth of anything arising. The other is the fertile darkness (composting) and the luminous blackness, with the same void, ground and stillness, but also nurturing. Both allows passion to arise, with a depth of peace.