[NB] John Brown’s Body

A report of Harriet Tubman’s dream:

“She thought she was in a ‘wilderness sort of place, all full of rocks and bushes,’ when she saw a serpent raise its head among the rocks, and as it did so, it became the head of an old man with a long white beard, gazing at her ‘wishful like, just as if he were going to speak to me,’ and then two other heads rose up beside him, younger than he,—and as she stood looking at them, and wondering what they could want with her, a crowd of great men rushed in and struck down the younger heads, and then the head of the old man, still looking at her so ‘wishful.'”

After meeting John Brown in 1958, Tubman knew the dream to be of him, though she appreciated its import only after the failed raid on Harpers Ferry.

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Learning to Live with a Horizon of Error

I had a little back and forth with Blogos and Iago over a mistake I had made in my last post and it was a good reminder about how I tend to operate. I can’t speak to how much this true for anyone else, but it seems like the sort of thing it might be useful to post about.

The ritual demands of my spiritual work unfold faster than my understanding of it, faster than my ability to give it coherent conceptual expression. Obviously, I need some conceptualization so that I am not just muddling around in the dark waiting for inspiration, but I have come to expect that most any conceptualization I am using is an error en route to something more truthful which the spiritual practice will clarify.

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[NB] Dream (B)

The dreamer was in a wild mountain region where he found contiguous layers of triassic rock. He loosened the slabs and discovered to his boundless astonishment that they had human heads on them in low relief.

Reported by C. G. Jung in Psyche and Symbol, 295

If this were my dream

Triassic rock…there is a lot to think about in that alone. This great mountain region in which the memory of an era flanked by mass extinctions has been exposed. That they are contiguous is important, they have been brought up intact from this distant time, preserving their nearness to it.

The astonishment is obvious, but I wonder if I shouldn’t dwell with it, too. These are not remnants of a fossil human, not remnants of a humanity before our own understanding of them. These are the ideas of humans before humans. They are in low relief, not fully formed in three dimensions, suggested only. This is Lovecraft country, where a Great Race may record in its stones the dreams of a people who are yet to be.

Between these other intelligences who carve, who lived contiguous with their own world, and the reality with which I am contiguous, there is a flash of astonishment that joins us one to the other. I am here, they are there, but between us some mystery across which we face each other. Though these sculptors have no face for me, they give to me the faces of my time.

My hands upon the works of their hands.

But beneath that astonishment is a great gulf that we cannot cross. While they dream of me and my fellows, I do not dream so easily of them. Even dreaming, we touch only over the span of millenia, over the remnants of what they have left behind.

Here the great wild mountains loom, here these moments are precious and disparate, here these buried treasures rise but without context. This dream does not satisfy but astonishes.

I want to tell a story, I can’t help but start to tell a story, but the astonishment remembered, the mountains rising high, make the story small, a treasure I can share with those who crawl through these great mountains with me, but not one equal to the astonishment and majesty.

I can tell you a story, doctor, but it is for you and not the great mountains.

[NB] Dream (A)

I’ve been thinking a bit about the four dreams I mentioned in the last post on synchronicity and I want to take a little time with each of them on their own terms. I want to go at this old school, taking this from the “if this were my dream” approach. There is a value in the dreaming, even when it derives from a nameless source because there is no absolutely firm line between one person’s dreaming and another person’s; they aren’t the same thing for different people, but they join us. Friction oracles, again.

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Jung’s Machine Elves and Yeatsian Synchronicity

These days it is hard to get very far in many discussions of magic and spirit work without hearing the term ‘synchronicity’ bandied about. While that term has some roots outside of Jung’s work, pretty much all of the occult applications go through Jung-town. I was flipping around the excerpt from essay found in Psyche and Symbol this afternoon and a few things stood out. This is in progress, pardon the dust.

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Yeatsian Practice, Brief Addendum

I woke up from a somewhat lengthy and discursive dream this morning and while writing it down realized that it was speaking to my treatment of the Intellect and Mask in the last post as ancillary to the Will and Body of Fate. In truth, that is only half correct.

The crises provide a shift between two phases, one in which the individual manages to establish the communication between the Intellect and Mask and the other in which they establish the communication between the Will and Body of Fate. Deceit and Pity are, precisely, the lack of awareness that communication must be achieved rather than simply exist as a given.

During the phase in which Will and Body of Fate are central, the Intellect and Mask are ancillary. But in the other phase, the Intellect and Mask are central while Will and Body of Fate are ancillary. As-if the spirits were fluids passing moved, under pressure, between two sets of chambers.

The order in which this is worked out has a significant impact on the way in which a soul develops (being one of the key points along which souls are gendered male/female), but it seems like this is also a point along which the issue of primary-solar/antithetical-lunar would come into play. I’m not sure the material fully articulates this.


Working a Dream

Way, way back in the early days of my time on the internet (ca. 1994-95), I had the good luck to stumble into a dream interpretation community. It was a simple affair. Every cycle (I can’t recall how long that was, maybe a month or so?), everyone in the group would send in a dream they wanted to work on. The organizer would choose one or two (at random or by design, I can’t recall), and then the whole group would go at the dreams.

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Discharging the Dream

This will be a short post, but I want to follow the last post with a brief observation about how i have experienced dreams. I have carried potent dreams around with me for years and years, an image or phrase from them clinging and needling at me, until I find a path to express the dream through ritual work, to manifest it and pass through it.

Once I find the working that passes through and realizes the dream? Well, the dream ceases to be active for me. It serves more as a memento.

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[NB] Dreams and Visions, C. G. Jung

Jung gets a bad rap sometimes for over-psychologizing religious experience. While the accusation is true enough, it obscures important dimensions of his work. While popular understandings of Jung were skewed by the way they became popular around Joseph Campbell’s use of his work to explain and interpret world mythology, the core of Jung’s method remained active, hands-on. To get at that, I want to look at Jung with different eyes, scrub off some of the accretions that came to define and distort his work.

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