Part One - The Journey And The Discovery
This is about dreams, it is about daring visions, about the power of growth and creativity within a person which attempts to burst through the restrictions and fears hemming in ones transformative power. It is for the person who throughout their life faces the ferment of discovering what their life means, and what understanding they can gather from the world around them. It is for those who do not mind the discomfort of doubt and of conjecture, because they are alive in spirit and forever taking in the new and restructuring their perception of life.
Very often we treat our own native genius, our own thrusting, living and magnificent perceptions like dangerous beasts to be held at bay lest they tear apart our attempts at building a safe world. But there is a natural bond linking us with these untamed forces in us which arise from the very process of our life. The bond is that the unconscious processes of our being constantly strive for survival, and part of that striving is in the area of feeling, of knowing, of understanding. The struggle we see in our cells to maintain their equilibrium and identity exists also in our soul and mind. In finding an alliance instead of a state of war with this process within us, our life is enhanced, perhaps transformed.
During forty years of seeking the wild wondrous beasts of the soul and spirit, I have dared my own inner adventure. But I have also travelled with other people, sharing their experience of fear and wonder as they unveiled and set loose their own fountain of perception. I have trod countless dream pathways, traversed the timeless with those using drugs, and wrestled with the vitality of the body as it mimed and shouted its deepest intuitions through movement, dance and voice. I am writing of all these journeys, all these ways of seeing life's richness and variety. I am writing about the new wine pouring into the spirit of people today. A wine that sparkles and renews us if we partake of it. It is consciousness resurrected out of the grave of deadening materialism, out of the mirage of the profit motive or the fanfare of the identity supermarket.
I am certain that what I have gathered from looking at the world through the eyes of dreams, of people's usually unconscious inner life, through the incredibly dynamic processes of mind which, when we have strength to receive, integrates experience and creatively presents it, is as wondrous a vision as that of astronauts who for the first time achieved a new view of the world, and saw the splendour and fragility of it.
Just as the view the astronauts presented to us through camera and their own personal feelings, was the same wonderful world we all know seen from a different place, so the world of inner vision is not new. Thousand of men and women have moved through the lands and skies of their inner life throughout history. But they viewed and described their findings from the platform and perspective of their own times and perhaps their own religious beliefs. Because our own culture has access to so many beliefs, so many cultural viewpoints, and yet is not held in thrall by any of them, I believe there is a new form of information arising from what I am calling the vision. The information is no longer couched in symbols, in religious dogmas or scientific certainties. It partakes of all aspects of human knowledge and clarifies much of what humans developed in the past, and influences them so much today.
At a completely practical level I believe that what is being learnt by people today who dare to look within enables those who use it to achieve a more satisfying and balanced life. They are enabled to achieve more than they could without the skills presented through the vision. Through this it brings the ability to navigate the shifting experience of the outside world, of ones own fears and weaknesses, potentials and opportunities with the skill of a surf-rider. One can literally ride the lightening of life's ever shifting action.
The New Wine
I wish to make as clear as I can what this 'new wine' or 'vision' is. The term is evocative because it is an image, but it describes nothing unless it is defined, and the clearest definition is to say it concerns information gathered by looking at human life and nature in a different way.
We all know that a very rational person would look at an event quite differently to someone who is very emotional. Also an engineer would see or have a personal response to a structure quite different to an artist or a child. Although it would be ridiculous to say one of these views was right and the other wrong, as a culture and as individuals we nevertheless often fall into the trap of building our personal and social life from
limited viewpoints. Some of the most prevalent are the rational, the economic and the egocentric viewpoints.
It is well to remember however that along with the economic, rational and egocentric view of the world, there is also the scientific, the religious - and each religion and sect has its own view - the political, the biological, the artistic, the musical, the cosmic, the irrational, the personal, the impersonal, the criminal, the military, the intuitive, the emotional, the sensory, and so on and on.
In this regard it is an interesting exercise to realise that if our physical size were radically different our view of the world would be completely changed. To be the size of a molecule, or a planet or even an ant would shift our values, and therefore our assessment of things. And it is worth reiterating that none of the viewpoints are by themselves totally holding all truth, and none totally without any truth. This is the very first level of freedom and creativity offered by the new wine - release from old viewpoints and old dogmas.
The information I wish to present is from a more inclusive viewpoint than any of the above taken separately. I believe it is taken from a level of human consciousness which synthesises personal and cultural experience. How this happens, what the view of life is when it happens, and how it relates to everyday life, will be the theme of this book. The aim is also to make the information presented transformative in the very reading, a
work book without enormous labour.
Nevertheless the views presented are still only a view of life, as any ideas are, and they are largely personal in that I am the one who has explored and formulated what is presented. So there is no need to argue their truth or infallibility. I offer what is said only as my best, gathered from years of search in a strange country, the motherland of the
Much of the following material is put together from many people's description of their inner, perhaps very subjective experience. The material has been gathered over thirty years. Much of it has come from people's dreams and their investigation of their dreams via an entry into the emotions and themes the dreams portrayed. I am not talking here about interpreting their dreams, although with some of the material this has
been done. The investigation I mean is where the dreamer is willing to allow and explore powerful and unexpected emotional response to the symbols of the dream. When this feeling response is well under way, exceptional insights or experiences often arise in which the person arrives at new perceptions of themselves, their behaviour, or the world around them and within them. (i) I also include in this synthesis of human experience, the descriptions of people who have used drugs to enlarge their perception of themselves, or those who have used special approaches to the unconscious such as meditation. In fact over twenty five years of my experience was gathered from personal use, and through teaching, a technique described in my books Mind And Movement (ii ) and Liberating The Body (iii), in which one can explore the unconscious while awake and without drugs, by allowing spontaneous movement and feeling expression, much as Carl Jung describes in his commentary in the book Secret of the Golden Flower. I observed hundreds of people using this approach from 1972 onwards, and it greatly enriched my experience of the unconscious activities and perceptions I believe we all have, usually untapped. (iv)
Through The Eye Of A Dream
There has been a conjuring trick performed in regard to our view of who we are. It is almost as if we have stepped into a photo booth, and instead of a real image of ourselves being produced, we are given one with most of our features missing. The strange thing is we usually accept this distorted image of ourselves as a fact. Though most of us feel odd about it, and some of us actually get around to searching for a different image.
What I mean is that we have the notion from the current popular mythology that we are produced by the combination of our parents sperm and ovum. The genetic combination is, we believe, the blueprint of who we are.. I know this is a massive simplification, and I am not saying it as a criticism, simply a statement of popular belief. Nevertheless it is a belief that shapes the image people have of themselves. But the sperm and ovum, the genes, do not provide language, they do not give us culture, books, music or religion, despite any connections there might be.
The myths of our times also suggest that our personality is either God given; or it is formed out of the whims and neurosis of our parents and events during our infancy; or perhaps it is just made that way like a piece of equipment stamped out in a factory or by the position of the stars at our birth, and there's not much one can do about it. This modern myth goes on to suggest that the only eternal life any of us can hope for is that arising through procreation. It is only our genes, we are assured, that will live on if we successfully procreate and our children survive and prosper. Because of this, it is further explained, the tremendous sexual urge drives us all forward into the convoluted avenues of heterosexual relationships. And these are also factors influencing how the image of ourselves comes out strangely distorted.
I sometimes think there is an odd quirk in human nature that makes us want only one answer to any riddle in life. It is as if there can only ever be one right thing, one truth about anything, and everything else is thereby false. This is a, 'if religion is correct, then science is wrong' type of reasoning, as if they are both looking at the same piece of the cosmos. It is like the Indian story of the blind men describing the elephant. One has his hands on a leg, another on the trunk, and so on. None of them get an impression of the WHOLE.
Therefore one must beware of the urge to avoid insecurity by hanging onto the tail of the elephant and feeling one is safe because at least we know what the beast is. It is in fact dubious whether we can ever know the 'the beast', though it might be possible to have an intuition or sense of it. Hopefully this is so, because it would then rid us of the arrogance of supposed knowing.
Coming back to the distorted image we can arrive at of ourselves, if we actually take time to consider our origins, it immediately brings us more of a feeling of wholeness and sense of reality. For instance it is obvious and wonderful how the bodies of our parents, through their gift of their own genetic material, have shaped our own body and its inclinations. This much is now demonstrable, but where I want to go from here is to look at common human experience in an uncommon way, through the eye of a dream.
The Voice Of My Dead Forebears
The dream is that of a man in his mid forties.
"I am walking along a cobbled road going slightly down-hill. I know as I dream that I am in Italy. I do not feel a stranger there, and am learning the language." Ron.
Ron describes his working and insights into the dream by saying, "This was a very short dream and I didn't think it had any real significance, but I was regularly working on my dreams, and it interested me because I couldn't understand what it referred to in showing me learning the language.. "When I relaxed and allowed the free flow of my associations and feelings the first part of the dream was easy. My father was born in England of two Italian parents. So being in Italy, a country I had never visited myself I could intellectually understand as referring to my family on my father's side.
"I felt myself falling deeper into the dream. It was something I had learnt to do over a number of years. I not only kept the question ticking over quietly of what does the dream indicate, but at the same time I relaxed my control of my thoughts, body and emotions. This is like being half asleep in a state where the body can twitch spontaneously, and perhaps I can even hear myself making slight vocal sounds, and yet I am wide awake watching what arises. Because of this state a flow of memories began to arise about my father, and I realised something I had only been partially aware of before.
"My father had taken over the family greengrocery shop when his father had died. The shop was in London, just over a mile away from the old Covent Garden fruit and vegetable market. Most days my father walked, pushing a barrow, and eventually drove to the market to buy produce for the shop. I often went with him, helping carry and load, and perhaps push the barrow. Although in my youth I wasn't aware of it, now in my flowing memories I realised that my father was very distant or cautious in his dealings with the market sellers and porters. A distinct and overall realisation arose out of the many memories and impressions, it was that my father was expressing in all his dealings with other men a particular type of caution. Put into words I described it as keeping who he really was secret - keeping his head down.
"As I saw this in my father it hit me with great power that this attitude had passed to me, and although I had expressed it in a different way, I had inherited it with equal strength. Why? And How?
"The perception that was taking place was not like my normal thinking. It comprehensively gathered memories and put them together in a way that made patterns and themes stand out. So as the process of insight was taking place I saw just how the urge to keep my head down, not stand out in the crowd, not getting involved with people had influenced my actions. For a start I had never voted in my life. This was because I could never identify with groups pushing for power. I had avoided everyday social activity, although relationships with individuals were not threatening.
"Now I started seeing how this attitude had passed to me so strongly. My thoughts as I had witnessed the flow of memories was that perhaps such information was genetic, because my father had never talked to me much at all. He had certainly never urged me to keep out of the limelight - to keep my head down, and until now I hadn't been aware that he had been doing it himself, so it wasn't simple emulation. I can only say that I 'saw' how it had happened. What I mean is that through the still flowing memory and feelings it was as if I could actually look into the heart of things and see how they worked. The insight I achieved was that we as humans, like other mammals, in our earliest years particularly, still learn like most animals do, and that is not verbal at all. A massive amount of information is absorbed from our parents without any effort or
What Ron realised is that just as a fox 'learns' from its parents how to hunt, so we absorb the deeply etched survival strategies of our parents simply by being around them. If genes come into it anywhere, they perhaps create the reflex response which instinctively draws in the survival tactics that perhaps even our parents themselves have never really been aware they live by. In doing this the higher animals learn what cannot be passed on as instinct. They learn what to be afraid of, what to eat, how to hunt, because the lessons learnt by pain through many generations are exhibited by their parents in dealing with events. The experiments with apes in Japan, where Imo the macaque learnt the ability to wash rice to remove sand grains, show how this was passed on from this one female to the whole group, and then to subsequent children, and illustrates how survival information is passed on non verbally for generations. An important aspect of this is that whatever the information is in the present generation, it is an accumulation of skills and responses learnt over many generations, and is the fundamental survival strategies of that particular family or group line.
Ron goes on to say, " The degree of this was staggering to me. It led me to wonder just where my father had got the information from, and although this was obvious from my own perception of where I had received the messages from, the resulting experience profoundly moved and impressed me. It taught me things about myself I don't think I could have learnt in any other way. A flood of impressions rushed into my awareness at such a pace I can only record the main ones.
"Suddenly my mind let the power of the messages my father had carried and passed to me speak as if they were alive. I experienced what appeared to be a direct connection with my far ancestors. This may sound strange, but my father had handed to me a cassette, as it were. He and I had been impressed with the cover and it had led us to live in a particular way. But now I had put the cassette on the tape player and the ancient originators of the tape expressed their own message.
"Obviously this is only an image to convey the experience, but in some way the message played out in me from centuries back. My forbears had lived in Italy during a period of great religious and political tension. The pressures to conform had been enormous. Not only were they told to believe in a particular sort of God, but also to accept leadership from people they might have no respect for at all. If they did not live this belief and
submission they were killed. In their own words I heard them saying to me something like 'The worst was they did not kill us, but they cut our vine at the roots. They burnt our land and they killed our children. If you want your sons to live, teach them not to hold their head up, but to keep their eyes on the ground.'
"And out of that trauma the message had been passed to me many generations later. It was survival. I was still living it, but perhaps it was time to reappraise."
I Am An Ancient Thing
What Ron does for us is to help us look at what is a common experience, and an established observation in biology, in a different way. It is common knowledge that animals learn through example. It is common knowledge that traits pass on through generations. What is added here is the power of such passage of survival behaviour traits in communicating information beyond their basic response to situations. Looking through the eye of dreams we see a psychological or psychic (v) realm which extends beyond the mere transmission of behaviour. It includes or leads to meaning, to understanding the roots of oneself. This may seem mysterious or unfeasible if one has not actually experienced the way the dream process puts apparently abstract experience into imagery leading to insight. (vi) If one has witnessed this process at work, what Ron speaks of does not seem remarkable.
Looking through the eye of a dream there is a suggestion that aspects of Ron's personality did not begin with his birth. Parts of his personality preceded his birth, being carried and passed on by his father. This module or facet of Ron's character had been formed hundreds of years previously, been part of the lives, and been carried by, his forebears.
Of course, Ron is only seeing his connection with his father. There would also be packages of behaviour and information handed to him by his mother. (vii) So not only can one have a 'gene pool' from which ones being is formed, there is also a 'behavioural pool' acting as a similar resource, not so much shaping the body, but certainly giving form to the character and responses. In fact unlike the genetic passage where a set of genes in the mother is united with a set from the father, the behavioural pool may have several 'sets' or packages which can be triggered by different environmental circumstances. My experience suggests that the behavioural packages from the mother and father certainly do not splice as do the genes.
The behaviour Ron observed in himself, in his father and grandfather, although according to Ron's insight arising at a particular period in history, obviously rested upon traits already existing in the family from an even more ancient past. So the trauma of persecution may have modified existing traits rather than set in place new ones.
In this case another family would have responded quite differently to being subjugated. They may have pushed for dominance rather than anonymity. They may have aggressively opposed, sought opportunity to join the ranks of power, or actively supported as a subordinate.. This is supposition based on insufficient observation. But if the basic idea of the passage of behaviour is correct, it shows human nature as having several dimensions, almost like different streams from the past meeting in the person, and some passing on into the future, perhaps separated again.
If we use Ron as an example, there is certainly a transitory and short lived aspect to him, in that his body and many of his character traits will only exist during his life. But facets of Ron have existed for millions of years - in the genetic stream for instance. And even in his personality itself, one of the most ephemeral things in life, there are parts which have had a long life before Ron woke to his personal existence.. This makes nonsense of the myth that we only have eternal life through procreation. It also suggests that if Ron identifies with the aspects of himself that are short lived, such as the transitory aspects of his body, his less permanent character traits, his changing likes and dislikes, he will meet death. All that he thinks of as himself will perish. In this sense he cannot urvive bodily death.
In fact it seems as if Western society faces the issue of death in a much more catastrophic way than other cultures. The reason being that many older cultures see the personality as transitory anyway, and identify more fully with the family and the longer lived aspects of life.. Coming back to Ron though, it might be argued that as the behavioural traits passed on to Ron preceded him, he cannot really identify with them as himself, so cannot link with them as an aspect of himself which has a long life. The problem here is that hardly anything in the personality is unique except perhaps the exact mixture of traits and responses, memories and dreams that make up that particular person. Everything is taken from somewhere else, or a mixture or development of what already existed. We all identify with the contents of our mind, our language and our traits, yet these are not new with our own personal awakening as a self. So we cannot separate Ron from what he has inherited. It is still him. If it has a long life, then we must say parts of Ron have a long life.
Once we grasp this idea of the passage of behavioural traits from generation to generation, I believe it can be observed fairly easily in everyday life. Much of folk beliefs suggest it without filling in the details. Such sayings as 'like father like son' have the belief implicit in them. The generally held view that each nation has a different cultural identity also suggests it. In fact we often use the word culture to describe the behavioural traits peculiar to a particular group of people, in reference to their observable behaviour traits which are passed on from generation to generation throughout the group or nation.
I have frequently observed family groups out shopping, and seen the intense mimicry of a child for its father or mother, even to certain positions of the hands, or posture of the body. Such passage of very particular behaviour traits are especially noticeable in the learning of language. The unique sounds of certain words, even within one language such as English, are mimicked extraordinarily by children, creating a local dialect in which sounds are made which are often quite difficult for people outside of the area to make.
It is innate in us to soak in and mimic the behaviour of those close to us. That is obvious. All I am adding to that is the suggestion that deeply seated personality traits, and the shape of our psyche, is also radically influenced in the same way. Not only do we soak in actual behaviour, but we are capable of transforming the messages coded in behaviour into personal psychological experience such as described by Ron.
I Speak Therefore I Am
That our often closely guarded personality is made up of pieces of behaviour that existed long before we did may be a strange idea to many people. The way we present our film stars and pop idols as special, or particularly talented; the way we often think of ourselves, is as hermetically sealed units that have been influenced from outside by environment and people, but on the whole we are our own being. Sometimes people even adopt a superior attitude, as if to say 'I am vastly different to the rest of humanity'. This makes it difficult for us to actually observe our origins.
If we think of an acorn, it is easy enough to believe that if we planted it, a tree would grow from it that would be very much the same as the trees from which its genetic material arose. In its particular growth however, factors of soil, weather and events would shape it to its own uniqueness. With human beings we think similarly, except we commonly leave out factors of great importance, factors which contribute to our personal existence in such a major way that to forget them is to be like the blind men with the elephant once more.
Particularly in past centuries, when there was a much closer relationship between humans and wild animals, it was noticed that if a baby was lost and raised by a creature of the wild, such as a she-wolf or bear, the child never became properly human. Being human is not innate. Something rubs off from functioning mature humans onto their babies to make them into human beings also. The major differences are that the baby raised by an animal lacks self awareness; it cannot speak any language other than that of the animal it was raised by, and it lacks a sense of time; and in many cases there is a deep sense of connection with animals and the natural environment. Its reactions to surroundings are those of the animal it was raised by. Thus the behaviour traits it learnt were not those of the human animal, but of the mammal that mothered it..
The autobiography of Helen Keller helps in understanding what may be the difference between an animal and a human being with self awareness. Helen, made blind and deaf through illness prior to learning to speak, described how she lived in a dark unconscious world lacking any self awareness until the age of seven when she was taught the deaf and dumb language. At first her teacher's fingers touching hers were simply a tactile but meaningless experience. Then, perhaps because she had learnt one word prior to her illness, meaning flooded her darkness. She tells us that "Nothingness was blotted out." Through language she became a person and developed a sense of self, whereas before there had been - nothing.. This 'nothingness' described by Helen Keller is difficult for most of us to imagine, having all our life been exposed to other human beings through speech. Helen describes it as having no awareness of personal pain or events. She says that perhaps things happened to her, perhaps they were painful, but as she had no personal self to appreciate this, they were merely passing tactile sensations. She was not personally disturbed by them because she had no 'person-hood' to be disturbed.
The learning of language is the pivot around which Helens self awareness revolves, with its attendant ability to think, to have a sense of 'I' or 'me' and all the personal relationships with others and the world arising from this. Without the learning of a complex language which holds in it the concept of 'selfhood' there is apparently no possibility of self awareness. Without the passage of the 'behavioural pool' from a human being to a human infant, there is no possibility of a self aware human maturing from the baby.
The information gathered from the many cases of 'animal children' suggests that not only do the behaviour traits of the fostering animal pass to the child, but also the state of soul can be thought of as a form of behavioural response which is also learnt. In other words, self awareness, which is so taken for granted in our own life, is passed to us as a learnt response by the humans who are our role models and mentors. The story of Imo the macaque ape mentioned already, helps us imagine a possible first scene for the emergence of self awareness in the human species.
There must have been a gradual development of the complexity of language bringing the pre-human to the point where self awareness was ready to emerge, but hadn't quite been realised. Then, perhaps an event, or a particular situation in the life of the pre-human triggered the new awareness. Suddenly the pre-human ws self-aware and stepped into human experience.
This must have been a momentous experience for the individual it occurred to. If compared with the descriptions of people in our present times who achieve a new state of awareness such as Maurice Bucke describes in his book Cosmic Consciousness, it was probably a 'religious' experience - something appearing to have been visited upon the individual from a power exterior to them. In such cases the experience, the new state of awareness, usually only lasts a short time, but may become more prolonged as the individual is further exposed to it. One might even speculate that just as animals will repeat an action that provides food or pleasure, so the experience of self-awareness in early pre-humans may have led to ritual performance of actions, or the re-creation of circumstances, that were part of the first experience. These I imagine as the roots of religious ritual.
The following dream of Joan C. illustrates and further describes the collective life of early humans, and the experience of developing from it to self awareness. Joan's work on the dream provides us with another example of the information possible to gain through the eye of dreams.
"In my dream I was in the garden of a large house. To the right of the house, my right, that is, I saw the garden had been changed. I realised that I knew the garden from childhood, and there used to be a large pool by the house in which we all bathed when young. The ground sloped up from the house and was rough, but part of it had been dug over. The care and skill with which this had been done deeply impressed me."
"There were no direct associations I could make with the house or the pond, so I started using Inner-Directed Movement to enter into the dream, allowing my unconscious to roam freely and show me out of what images and feelings the dream had been fashioned.
I started with the pond, and had the most unexpected set of fantasies and feelings bubble up from within. The garden when we were children referred to the Garden of Eden. It was about the history of our development as human beings. It showed that in the early stages of evolution all human beings lived in a state of awareness in which they had no sense of separation from nature itself. They had no sense of individual existence either, but lived in a sort of paradisical state where there was no idea of birth or death or right or wrong. They felt at one with each other in their small groups and with the forces of nature.
When I experienced this I understood at last what the story of Genesis meant. It was about stages of psychological development, not physical or mythical history. Humans had come out of the pool though, out of the collective awareness, and at that point I experienced a mass of impressions and images I still cannot completely understand. The images suggested that at first, maybe one or two humans reached out of that pool, and they left a mark. They climbed out and put one stone on top of another.
I understood this to mean that one or two humans had achieved self-awareness. In that state they realised something about themselves - they could say 'I am'. They could ask 'Who am I?' That had never been possible before.
I need to say what arose from my unconscious were not those words or memory or vision of definite events, but a sense of touching or experiencing an overall memory, an overall process. So I am trying to put into words what I sensed. It was such a wonderful thing, so full of experience, to see this that I want to try to describe it. At the same time, it was an
immense process and difficult to capture.
What I felt was that the pool was a collective consciousness such a Jung speaks of, existing now in our unconscious. At the early stages of human development though it was the everyday experience, but the individuals who attained self-awareness began to build a new dimension of human life. They left stone monuments, carvings, paintings in caves, stone circles, pyramids; each person, each group realising deep down that this new level of awareness was a thing to be given and built.
This is where words are difficult, but the dug ground in the dream depicts it. If the son of a farmer takes over the farm, his work and achievement are built upon what his father did with the land. The father's work was also built upon, and was a continuation, of what his father did. Even if one were to take a piece of land which had never been farmed before, one would farm it with tools, experience and attitudes developed gradually
throughout thousands of years of human effort. I saw that my self consciousness, although I am not usually aware of it, is formed out of the ideas, words, attitudes, pleasure and pain left to me as a heritage by millions of people. If I had not been raised by self-aware humans I would, in fact, not have developed an identity. My identity is a gift to me from the great river of human beings who left a mark, one stone on top of
another, a concept enshrined in art, a struggle or love immortalised in stone, a realisation and transcendence depicted in a religious ritual or in a new word.
The garden, the dug plot was my own self, my personality. But my personality, the attitudes and reactions of its very foundations and structure, the words with which my mind realises its existence, are the living remains of countless other lives and their endeavour, their love, their ignoble failure, their genius and their prayers. That I have also dug that plot by my work on my dreams, by trying to transform the unwieldy loam of myself into finer stuff, gives me a place in the river of life, in the eternal process of continuity.
Most important of all, perhaps, in such simple acts as writing out this dream, I leave a mark. I etch upon the world the sign of my own realisation, the changing lines of transformation. For self consciousness is a sort of collective consciousness which forever depends upon giving, and upon physical records of living beings to enshrine its existence. Without living beings who carry the words and responses gradually developed
by myriad ancestors; without books, paintings, music, science and architecture, we have no existence as people. In one generation we could be swallowed up by that pool, that sea of self-forgetting symbolised by the waters that swallowed Noah's contemporaries. Even now, without the love of giving, that sea can swallow us. That was my dream."
THE VIEW SO FAR
Looking through the eye of dreams and human experience, such as Ron and Joan's dream-work and the account of Helen Keller, a situation is described stating that our personal identity rests on -
1 - The passage of behavioural traits from adults to the new born..
2 - The learning of language..
3 - A collective consciousness. This is created physically by the written and spoken word, but also by all other works of humanity such as music, art, architecture, and of course social structure. It's fundamental base is living human beings who have learnt language and carry ancestral behavioural traits..
4 - The interaction between people affirming personal identity..
i See my books Mind and Movement and Liberating The Body for a fuller description of the method of accessing the unconscious, and the results of such access.
ii Mind and Movement - The Practice of Coex was published by Daniel in 1987.
iii Liberating The Body was published by by Harper/Collins in 1992.
iv Although much of my own experience has been used, I have not used my own name to avoid embarrassement to my family or self.
v I am using the word psychic here to mean something relating to the psyche, the mind and emotions of the human being.
vi W.V. Caldwell, writing about the way Van Rhijn has defined the levels of consciousness says there are four stages:
The deeply unconscious physiological process, such as cell generation and digestion. Problems which cannot move more fully into consciousness and so are held at this level, become psychosomatic pains or illness. This becomes clearer if we consider human life in relationship with other life forms. A plant for instance might have some sort of bacterial illness, but would not be able to bring that to awareness. In a sense many things which occur to us, although they are very real and definite, never become a part of our conscious life, but always remain in the `plant' level. If they are to move from 'deeply unconscious physiological process' to becoming known consciously, there are stages such events go through..
As the physiological or psychobiological process moves nearer consciousness, its next level of expression is postural or gestural. Thus we may express our deepest hidden feelings in an unconscious body posture or movement. Not only our feelings express in this way, but also our physical tone or health shows in our postures gestures and movements. Even the plant droops if it needs water. Next, when something moves from the gestural to the next stage of expression it becomes a dream or a symbol, which although it may not be understood, is now entering the arena of awareness. This is a very important stage, and is perhaps the earliest level of 'thinking' known to animals and humans. This is a half way stage which depicts the deeply unconscious event as images or feeling tones.
At this stage, what had been deeply unconscious, then symbolised, now becomes known enough to be verbalised or thought about and analysed. If one had attempted to verbalise something in level two it would have been so far outside of consciousness as to defy description. Also, when looking at these levels or stages, they suggest that the dream process is a means by which deeper stages can be portrayed to awareness in order to make them known. Therefore, by working with the dream process, we can tap deeper levels of awareness and make them known.
vii Because there is the possibility of unfolding the passed traits of behaviour into personal insight, I use the word information.
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