An Introvert is a person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.
Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to "recharge" afterwards. The word "Introvert" has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.
introvert survival in extrovert world
When I was about 8 years old, my parents had to come to my school. The teacher used to have talks with the parents of each child in the class, in Dutch it is called “10 minuten gesprek”; a 10 minute conversation.
Mythology of the Soul
A Research into the Unconscious from Schizophrenic Dreams and Drawings
by H.G. Baynes
Routledge 2015, $61.18 paperback, Kindle $49.46 ISBN 9781138852334
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn
Edited by Christian Gerike
The Routledge Tayler and Francis Group started an initiative to re-publish works of distinguished authors that were no longer available. The initiative is called Psychology Revivals. Mythology of the Soul is one of the re-published books, it was originally published in 1940.
Inspiration is a volatile thing. I just came back from a very inspiring holiday. I traveled through England and France for almost three weeks in search for the Arthur Myth (see my online Mythology course: the final lesson is dedicated to what Gustav Jung claimed was the mythology of the Western society: The Arthur Myth).
Now, even if the children have gone back to school and I have got plenty of books to review, it is still hard to get inspiration. So in today’s Mindfunda I will make an effort of suggesting ways to get inspired.
The Power of Ritual
by Robbie Davis Floyd and Charles Laughlin
Daily Grail Publishing, 2016, $26.95 paper, ISBN 978-0-9874224-9-1
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn
the power of ritual: introduction
Do you remember the eighties when Joseph Campbell talked to us about “The Power of Myth”? It was magic on television. His engaging way of telling a story combined with the way he glued it to the challenges of that time, it made us all feel that mythology was very much alive.
Three decades later, authors anthropologist Robbie Davis Floyd Ph.D., and neuroanthropologist Charles Laughlin explore the Power of Ritual.
In the foreword Betty Sue Flowers, editor of “the Power of Myth” says:
“In The Power of Ritual, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Charles D. Laughlin have done for ritual what Campbell did for myth-tell stories, personalize the study of ritual, and relate ritual to the concerns of everyday life”.
Even though it is not written as a textbook, it has an academic thoroughness about it. It explores all the facets of ritual: the brain of the Homo sapiens, mythology, the “hardware” of ritual: the drivers, the techniques and the place, the “software of ritual: the emotions and the transformations it can sustain in a certain society.
Where myths are the stories that make us come to terms with the world, rituals are a sword with two edges. Ritual helps you make sense of the culture you live in and it can help you change that culture.
the power of ritual: giving structure
They give a list of 9 core characteristics that constitute the anatomy of ritual, based on Ronald. L. Grimes’ The Craft of Ritual Studies. (Grimes put Ritual Studies on the academic map). This list is the guideline that is used throughout the book.
“Ritual is one of the oldest human activities-often considered as important as eating, sex, and shelter. Why has it persisted so long? Why does every attempt to suppress it result in creating it anew? What makes ritual seems at once so foundational that even animals do it so superfluous that Protestants once imagined they could dispense it altogether?”
In eleven chapters there is a diligent search for the power of ritual. In every corner, every room, every symbol, every core symbol is interpreted as a part of a ritual. A ritual can be positive as well as negative. A ritual is dualistic: it has to sustain a culture and its rulers, but it must also be a vehicle for social change.
Not an easy subject.
But it is clear that a ritual gives structure, and it needs a certain place, a certain time, with people acting in certain ways, dressed in certain clothes. Even if a ritual has no effect, people usually blame this on something they themselves have done wrong.
the power of ritual: Personal stories
What sets this book apart from other books are the very personal stories the authors use to illustrate the values that are part of any ritual. The authors take the daring step to share some very personal stories to illustrate the 9 principles of ritual and in doing so they dare to break boundaries. The only thing that was unclear to me as reader, is who is telling the story.
Almost every personal story is told in the third person perspective. To me this was a little confusing at times. There are two authors: has one author told the story, and has the other written it down?
In the final chapter, Robbie Davis finally dares to write in the first person perspective, as she tells the story of the celebration of her deceased daughter.
Her daughter died in a car crash, one of the most heartbreaking experiences any human being can ever experience. And telling it from the first person perspective makes it strong. I was there too, celebrating the life of this vibrant young girl. Being a mother myself, I feel the loss, the desperation and the celebration about the short, but beautiful life she had lived.
“When I was called to attend the lightning of the candles on the birthday cake, I told the caterers to STOP and hold it for a little while, and then I took my sweet time to walk around the beautiful gardens to note how friends and relatives had clustered to eat and talk about Peyton-forever engraved in my memory are the shining candles and my equally shining family and friends. I had learned not to simply ride the ritual train, but to stop it for a little while. so I could simply bask in the moment to drink in from the ritual every single thing it could give me.”
What is the verdict: to buy or not to buy? pro:
The book gives a very good analysis of ritual, and frequently surprises you with new data and insights. For example: have you ever conceived giving birth in a hospital as a ritual? Have you ever realized that a ritual is like an unstoppable train? Have you ever realized that there must be a combination of internal as well as external drivers to change consciousness when performing a ritual? This book gives so much information and so much examples that you will feel more knowledgeable once you have read it.
I really like and admire the fact that the writers share personal stories. Having the guts to step outside the scientific anthropological point of view, they practice what they preach. You can not study a phenomenon without having experienced it yourself.
There are many models and theories discussed in this book. Nine aspects of ritual, states of consciousness, a cognitive matrix, the cycle of meaning, four stages of cognition… A multitude of ways to analyse ritual.
The book is quite easy to read.
There is a lot of attention for mythology and dreams in this book. Charles Laughlin is an accomplished practitioner of Tibetan yoga and talks about dreams and dream incubation with ease, and he even shows the box he created to sleep in.
There is much attention to the birth process of human beings. Lots of Western women (like me) never get proper educated about it because our grandmothers, mothers and sisters are too traumatized to discuss the process.
“An electronic fetal monitoring machine, which Robbie has interpreted as the primary symbol of hospital birth (Davis-Floyd 2004), also speaks with many voices, promising to provide full information on the strength of the laboring mother’s contractions and the contraction of the fetal heart rate, representing the vast corporation that created it and the technical know-how that went into making it, and giving women a sense of psychological and emotional trust in the information it provides” (page 57).But this machine also sucks up the attention: the mother is no longer the centre of attention: the machine is. Having given birth twice in the hospital (I was obliged to do that being diabetic) I know from experience that when the heart rate of my second baby dropped significantly, this became the center of my attention for several agonizing hours.
All the models and theories can become quite confusing. I had some trouble of allocating some concepts into the picture the authors are trying to describe. There are nine major characteristics of a ritual, there are four stages of cognition, there are the twin axes of instantiation, there is the cycle of meaning, there is the technocratic, humanistic and holistic paradigms of medicine there is a cognitive matrix… It can be a bit confusing to get the big picture the authors are trying to paint for you as reader.
Unfortunately, there is no e-book available (yet).
Edited by Ben Pestell, Pietra Palazzolo and Leon Burnett.
Legenda 2016, hardcover $120.00 kindle $37.22 ISBN978-1-910887-04-2 (hbk) 978-1-315-54320-8 (ebk)
Reviewed by Drs. Susanne van Doorn, edited by Christian Gerike.
Translating Myth is a book that attempts to scientifically define myth. Or at least, come to describe 5 aspects of it: how to translate it, how to create it, how to establish it in a a new country, how to sing its poetry and how myth is related to politics. The book clearly establishes that myth can not be measured nor captured, but it is only possible to study the ways in which one can enter the realms that display myth to an individual.
Me and my family recently came back from a holiday visiting places connected with the Arthur myth. King Arthur is the mythological king that would unite England. I write more about Arthur and the Grail Mythology in Mindfunda’s Mythology, on online course to help you understand more about mythological themes in your life and in your dreams.
Mythology seems to be lost in society. “Mythology consists of stories about half-naked Greek Gods running round doing crazy stuff and getting away with it”.
I used to think so… Untill I had a dream that showed me that stories are not always just stories…
Arthur in dreams
Sometimes, mythology just comes knocking on your door in a dream. For me, that happened several years ago. In a dream, I heard a voice over say: “You belong to the court of King Arthur”. I said back: “No that is only a story”. I was wrong about that. Mythology is about solving life’s problems. Mythology is about learning to live with life’s problems.
In the Mindfunda Mythology Course, I created a lesson about Arthur. It is called: Mythology of the Grail, Pulling Out the Sword. This is a quote:
“The Grail in the Arthur myth is about a spiritual kind of love, felt deep in the soul, where it touches upon the waters of life. Whenever you experience “a dry spell” in your life, a depression, you know you have to find the grail again. And according to the Arthur myth, you need to ask the right question on the right moment to find the grail and heal the fisher King“.
But sometimes mythology is hidden in themes that play a role in your life that is obvious for an outsider, but not for you. That is why each lesson has open-ended questions so you can re-interpret your stories, as well as your dreams. I will give you another example from the course:
“If you look at dreams you had about your mother and reinterpret them as dreams about mother earth, does their message change? How is mother earth talking to you? Is she protecting you? Is she urging you to change your life? To change your nutrition?”
The Arthur lesson is the last one of six. Together they make a perfect line up of the trouble that one comes across while living life. The first lesson: “Creation Myth: Genesis and Big Bang” re-writes modern society as a contemporary myth. It’s exercises will give you clues into re-interpreting your dreams with new mythological meaning. The second lesson “The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology” will help you connect with and accept the animal part in your own personality. The third lesson “Mythology of Men” will help you understand men more. Whether you are born in a men’s body or in a woman’s body. The same is true for lesson number four: “Mythology of Women”. In lesson number five I invite you to a private party. I invite you to a private party. “Trusting the Trickster: Hanging With Loki and His Friends“. The focus of this lesson is to recognize and embrace the Trickster in yourself. We have already discussed the last lesson: “Mythology of the Grail: Pulling Out the Sword” in more depth in this post.
Each lesson consist of 26-30 pages A4 filled with text, exercises and a literature list filled with good inspiring books. I hope to see you soon at Mindfunda Courses.
Life is about problem solving. You just conquered a problem. Before you have a chance to lay back and enjoy your peace of mind, another problem is calling to be solved. Deirdre Barrett Ph.D, who teaches at Harvard, wrote a book about how dreams can be used as tools for problem solving.
Ariadne is the goddess of passion. She is the daughter of Midos, King of Crete, and Pasiphae. She helped Theseus battle the Minotaur who was stuck in the labyrinth. Ariadne gave him the clue to escape out of wandering around in a pool of possibilities. A simple woollen thread, that enabled him to find his way back. But she did not only show him the path, she also helped him to concur the monster that was hiding in the dark, by giving him a sword. She did all that for the promise of marriage. Theseus promised to marry her as soon as he came back from his mission. But he left her. Poor Ariadne…
Dionysius married her and they allegedly had two children: Stapylus and Oenopion. Continue reading Ariadne’s Clue, a guide to the symbols of humankind
Mindfunda Talked with Bill Domhoff about the Cognitive Dream Theory. In the Mindfunda Online Course Dreaming about the Brain, this is one of the three models discussed. The other two are the psychodynamic model of Mark Solms and the Activation-Input-Modulation of Allan Hobson. The latter being the most widely accepted theory of dreaming by scientists.
The Shaman is usually the Wise Man, who has the ability to travel to different realms of being to guide his tribe through difficult times. A healer, a wise man, a trickster sometimes, if that is necessary for the healing of a soul. Shamanism is the oldest religion known to men. Well, actually the first religions were animist, a religion that attributes a soul to plants and objects. But that is a shaman way of thinking.
The shaman is male
Most of us are familiar with the concept of a guy-shaman. Think of Michael Harner’s Core Shamanism as he has described it in his book “The Way of the Shaman“. Think of the Shamanism of Robert Moss, who modernized the concept in a professional manner. Think of Michael Smith, Ph.D. (aka Mikkal) with his Crow’s Nest. You know what they have in common? They are all men. Wise old man. Even though in ancient times there where many female Shamans. The word shaman derives from the word ‘Shamanka’, a female shaman.
“The Goddess and The Shaman, The Art and Science of Magical Healing” isn’t a historical document about female shamans. If you are looking for that you should try a classic like “Woman Shaman’s Body” written by Barbara Tedlock Ph.D.
The Goddess and the Shaman is a personal story of a woman, taken over by the voices of the Elphame, The Elf World.
Kent describes how she became “taken over” by the other realm, the Elphame and had what she calls “an Ontological Shock”. She writes: “When the path found me, I discovered that I had a surprising array of psycho-spiritual abilities that emerged fully formed. It shocked me, frightened me, and caused me to doubt to doubt my sanity”.
She goes on to describe a process of Out of Body Experiences that occurred as epileptic seizures during nap time. Because her brother had read Monroe’s “Journeys Outside of the Body” and lended his copy to her, she began to feel more confident. She was not the only one experiencing this. She began to experiment, to travel outside her body.
The way to get to the Elphame is to perform a ritual. Rituals are very beneficial for the human psyche, as research has shown. Rituals create a doorway to the Elphame. Going to your therapist each week is a form of ritual. Going to the doctor is a form of ritual. Each ritual has its dedications, its energy, its own sacred language. The ritual circle is discussed but there is also the warning to protect oneself for bad entities.
But most of all, the ritual of re-connecting with nature is emphasized. There is a link to ecopsychology, that I had never heard of and seems very interesting. The view on “madness” is examined through stories of her patients. She shares a lot of personal dreams visions and experiences with her third vision.
What I like about the book is that the Goddess speaks to J.A. Kent in dreams. Dreams are the door to what Kent calls “The Elphame”.
I also like the very personal writing style of J.A. Kent. She talks about how her experiences made her question her mind. Being that vulnerable in a book takes a lot of guts.
This is a really informative book that gives you lots of insights into shamanism and into the pagan revival of the goddess. An important revival of honoring the female energy in a predominant male oriented society.
I was a bit disappointed about the information on how to reach in for your inner goddess. Do not expect this to be a workbook. It is more a personal story, filled with information about the goddess and its manifestation forms.
The way J.A. Kent leans on the Core Shamanism principle as defined by Michael Warner is either a big complement for his ability to reach his inner goddess, or a lack of creativity in J.A. Kent. If you dedicate a book to the Goddess and the Shaman, why not take the female line of shamanism. The Chukchee shaman women, or the Chinese Wu, or the Artemis Perasia in Anatolia, ancient Turkey for example. Maybe that will be a subject for a next book.
Do you want to learn more about the Mythology of the Goddess? Enroll in Mindfunda’s Mythology course. An online course that will help you understand the mythology in your life and in your dreams.
Kelly Bulkeley’s new book: Big Dreams, The Science of Dreaming & The Origins Of Religion is, a sometimes personal, story of the treasure hunt for the Black Swan.
The scientific study of dreams has collected dreams in laboratories. But most dreams are forgotten. But everybody has had a dream they could not forget. A dream that was so profound in vision, in emotion and in impact it changed their perspective on live. They are called “Big Dreams”. In his book Bulkeley investigates those Big Dreams, the Black Swans of Dream Research.
Mother’s Day, a day to honor all mothers around the world. Including the ones that did not bear children. I n this blog I will tell you about how I became captured by the archetype of the mother. And how it influenced my own relationship with my mother.
Jeffrey Bennet is the author of a new book about Albert Einstein his theory of relativity. He writes in his introduction: “Prior to studying relativity, I had misunderstood the basic nature of space and time”. That sounds intriguing doesn’t it? If you are like me, you have this eagerness to learn more about the hidden laws of nature. And Einstein seemed to have uncovered some of these laws and was well on his way to compose the theory that explains everything. In this blog I tell you more about the book What is Relativity? An intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Idea’s, and Why They Matter and I encourage you to find laws of the human psyche together with me. Because if nature depends on laws, the human psyche does too.
Six percent of the population regularly suffers from a nightmare. But a nightmare is a blessing in disguise. No other dream gives a dreamer such a strong impulse to act upon a dream. It is like a dream urges you to change your ways. Literally, or symbolically.
I was invited by the Dutch Rivas Organisation to give a presentation and a workshop about dreams and nightmares. An invitation I gladly accepted. I spent an evening listening to Professor Kerkhof, who was the main speaker for the evening. His expertise is Sleep and he works for the University of Amsterdam and the Sleep centre of The Hague. After his presentation, people gathered to visit several workshops. Here is a brief summary of my presentation that evening. Continue reading Nightmare and Dreams: a presentation for Rivas
Being raised as a Catholic I was always taught that conversion was a gentle process to help people to get their souls saved. Believing in one god was the highest thing, and the only thing that could bring salvation.
"I am in a garden, outside, and I see a stone. A grey stone. When I pick it up, a whole range of grey little elephants come crawling underneath it. accidently I drop the grey stone and see the elephants running away, bringing themselves into safety"
Given that it is the week before my birthday, I always am alert to dreams that might tell what the next year of my life will have in store for me. In my Mindfunda Mythology courses I give much more information about the archetypical meaning of symbols.
Being Conscious to me is knowing who you are. Having a concept of self. Being type one diabetic I have experienced first hand what can go wrong with this concept of self due to low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia). I remember how I, at one point in time, felt that I could not walk anymore in a straight line. I fell down.
Some teenagers started laughing because they thought I was drunk, or a drug user. I remember clearly how my brain reported back to
Online courses are the most convenient way to keep learning. In your own time, at your own convenience. In your pajamas with a cup of coffee, or when your housemates are away so you have some peace and quite. Mindfunda proudly presents two online courses about dreaming. Continue reading Online Courses from Mindfunda
“Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
James Joyce and mythology
Mythic Worlds, Modern Words, On the Art of James Joyce, edited by Edmund Epstein for the Joseph Campbell foundation tells us how we can use James Joyce as a guide for interpreting mythological material. The book discusses the interpretations given by Joseph Campbell during the course of his life. In different lectures, workshops and presentations he has told about the effect the writings of Joyce had on him since he discovered them in 1927 in Paris.
st. Patrick’s day… The Irish people remember st Patrick on the day he allegedly died. March 17. Who was this guy and what did he do with snakes? Why is everything green on st. Patrick’s day? And why should we care about this folklore event? Read on to find out.Continue reading st. Patrick’s day, three reasons to join the fun
It is International Women’s Day. A day I would like to thank all the women who have supported me. I have so many lovely sisters/mothers/friends that have taken care of me. Who supported me when I was down. When I doubted myself. Who cheered me up when somebody was rude to me. I am going to name a few ladies who have been so supportive. But the blog would be too long to list them all.
Lately I have been watching the series The Mentalist on Netflix. The show features a good-looking blond guy who drives (and there my heart melts because it is my favorite car ever) a DS. A Citroen. In America. How cool is that?
Watching the show I can’t help but notice some similarities with another very bright and rude characters: that of Gregory House and Sherlock Holmes in the series Elementary. All three men ar white and have women in their work that support them in the trouble that they have caused by being their brilliant self anti social self. Is this the the new hero? Continue reading The Mentalist: the New Hero
I was invited to give a presentation about dreams at the Kenniscafe in Haarlem, the Netherlands. This Mindfunda is a blog about that presentation. Here you can read the presentation in the Dutch Language.
If you look at this film you see some balance artists. We feel like this often in life. We have to balance between what we want and what we can achieve. We need to balance between our finances and our hearts desires. Sometimes we have an inner balance struggle between our rational brain and our intuition. Sometimes, like the people in the beginning of the film, we just stay standing on the side, looking at others.
Valentine: even though research shows most women consider it to be a cliché, we all want our partners to make some extra effort. taking us out to dinner or to the movies. Few of us really dare to ask an unkown person on a date. I only once had the experience that a secret admirer sent me a bouquet of flowers (a wonderful surprise I must admit). Continue reading Valentine Dream – Love Connections
You might know Brene Brown from Oprah’s Super Soul Saturday. Oprah Winfrey’s soul mate, after promoting gratitude, she now promotes vulnerability. And if you are like me, you don’t feel at ease displaying your vulnerability. I remember getting fired after sending out an email that said: “please give me something to do”. And I also remember how embarrassed I felt when a next door neighbor started to tell me intimate facts about her wedding. So what is to gain from being vulnerable? if you are vulnerable, you dare greatly. And if you dare greatly, you will get results you could not even imagine.
The Chinese New Year begins today, February 8th 2016. The Chinese calender is a lunar one, the New Year starts at the second new moon after the Winter Solstice. 2016 is the year of the Monkey. Continue reading Chinese New Year
Shamanic dreaming is a discipline you can learn. Paul Overman Ph.D, Founder and Director of the Shamana Institute and The Dream Listener, will tell you how in an online course in Integral dream yoga, rooted in the yoga of Sri Aurobindo.
Today Mindfunda gathered the 6 most interesting links this month. Dream news about mythology, spirituality and other things that are good for your body and health.
Dream News #1:
The first dream news was found in a recent article of Current Biology, where researchers of the University of Wisconsin have suggested that the slow waves with neuronal OFF periods, typical of NREM sleep, occur in REM sleep. At least, in mouse they did. This on/off pattern interferes with the transmission of information in the brain and disrupts the communication among different brain areas. So that might be the reason why we remain in sleep and are not aware of our surroundings.
Dream News #2:
Inspiring Dreamer and Pop Musician David Bowie passed away this month. How is this dream news, I hear you say?
“Being imbued with a vividly active imagination, still, I have brilliantly Technicolor dreams. They’re very, very strong. The ‘what if?’ approach to life has always been such a part of my personal mythology, and it’s always been easy for me to fantasize a parallel existence with whatever’s going on. I suspect that dreams are an integral part of existence, with far more use for us than we’ve made of them, really. I’m quite Jungian about that. The dream state is a strong, active, potent force in our lives.The fine line between the dream state and reality is at times, for me, quite grey. Combining the two, the place where the two worlds come together, has been important in some of the things I’ve written, yes.” ~ David Bowie Mindfunda payed credit to him with a tribute to David Bowie.
Dream ESP is the key to creating a partnership between your subconscious and conscious self, is the promise on the backside of the book. A big promise. But you won’t get it without using your heart and soul.
As most of my readers know, I am fascinated by dreams and I have experienced some bizarre Extrasensory Perception (ESP) related experiences. ESP is defined as the ability to know things (such as what another person is thinking or what will happen in the future) that cannot be known by normal use of the senses (source Merriam-webster.com). So you can imagine that I was thrilled that publisher Llewellyn Worldwide honored my request for a review copy. Continue reading Dream ESP, the secret of prophetic causal dreaming
Helix is a series that is available on Netflix. It features two brothers. Both doctor. Both brilliant. Yet the oldest one, Dr. Alan Farragut always was the smartest, the most desirable and the one “favored by God”. Helix is not a religious series. By “favored by God” I mean that he was clearly the one most desired by others, most worshiped by fellow scientists. His brother Peter Farragut always wanted to achieve the same as his brother. Both brothers had an abusive father. Much like Yahweh is an abusive father for not giving his love and affection to both of his sons.
David Bowie died January 10 2016, to the effects of liver cancer. He was an alien, a weirdo, who gave all of us the courage to express ourselves without holding back our creativity. Three thoughts on the mythology of David Bowie:
Patricia Garfield, author of Creative Dreaming, once said to me that mythology isn’t gone. It is right in front of us, in the movies we see, and in the stars we like. And, in all his weirdness, David Bowie was likable. Maybe even just because he was so odd.
David Bowie as a mythological hero
I liked him because I am usually considered odd. I have gotten used to the pain of people telling me “You are not like the others”. For years I have craved to be like the others. But not David Bowie.
He was flirting and flaunting with his two-colored eyes and his androgynous style of clothing. In the seventies, in an open marriage with Angie Bowie, he announced that he was gay. He started performing under the name of Ziggy Stardust. Like a prisoner escaped out of Plato’s Cave he tried to describe a different world to the public. In Plato’s cave, people are chained, and only able to look at the wall of the cave. A fire behind their backs shines a light so they only see shadows projected of people passing by. When one man is freed and taken outside, he has to get adjusted to the sun (remember that scene in the movie The Matrix where Neo had to adjust his eyes to the light?) The Matrix was also based on Plato’s cave. He comes back and tells the rest of the chained people about the world outside but they think he is mad.
Ziggy Stardust was like the epiphany, the man dragged out of Plato’s cave. He told everybody about the strange big new world out there, but few believed him at first. But when Ziggy became a big hit, he put his alter ego to rest. Following Campbell’s Hero’s journey. He had traveled the first part of his journey, it was time to go underground again.
One day, at what is now known as the Retirement Gig, July 3, 1973 David Bowie burried Ziggy Stardust. Only to be reborn in Berlin. His marriage was falling apart. New music, a new lover, new adventures. Like any shaman, he used substances that enabled him to enter other realities. He made three albums there: Low, Heroes and Lodger. On this site ultimateclassicrock.com he says: “In some ways, sadly, they really captured, unlike anything else in that time, a sense of yearning for a future that we all knew would never come to pass.
David Bowie as shaman of love
In his third live, in the eighties, David Bowie reincarnated as heterosexual superstar. In a duet with Freddie Mercury, another alchemical shaman of the modern-day, he sings:
Sat on a fence but it don’t work Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn Why – why – why? Love love love love love
Sitting on the fence: it reads like a clear reference to Plato’s cave. Sitting in a dark cave, looking at shadows, not being able to do something about the madness of everyday. Love was the answer, our two shaman hero’s sang to us in their staccato rhythm. It was the gospel aimed against the strict regime of Margaret Thatcher. But it was also the lesson Bowie had learned. He did a complete turn around. From ionized outcast to accepted pop star who embraced rock.
He managed to launge a new career that restored his financial crises and he sucessfully courted super model Iman.
David bowie as shaman of death
A year and a half, he was suffering from liver cancer. He knew he was going to die. This disease has a poor survival rate. It is usually diagnosed very late. Judging from his last album Black Star. The album Black Star is as experimental as his album Low. Remember how lost he was when he made that in Berlin? He was in a transition fase back then: loosing his marriage and trying to fight his addictions. His last transition phase reflects his fear as well as his acceptance of death.
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar) I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
Black Star: Saturn, the Shadow. David Bowie knew them all. Longing for a future that would never come to pass. And David Bowie embraced his shadow. I hope he will live on for a long time.
Family: I was born in a big one. A Catholic family of nine, including my parents. January 8th 1926, the day my father was born. In his life, all the ingredients were there to construct a Hero's Journey. And my father lived his heroic life to the end. Looking back on his life yesterday, I wondered how his story affected mine.
Family: the absent father
In the society we created, women usually are the ones working part-time and men are usually working a full-time job. My father’s mother died while giving birth to her fifth child. She left behind a hard-working farmer, who was not capable of taking care of a new-born and four toddlers. My father was not officially adopted, but brought into the family of the school principal.
The school principal and his wife could not conceive children, and they were thrilled to have this lovely two-year old. A smart kid. Problem solved. But: my father was always hurt that his biological father had given him away. And his new father was not that interested in this little child either. He was an intellectual man, reading about great philosophical problems.
The way my father solved this problem was to integrate his fathers’ lives work and make it his own. His father had a public school in a Catholic village. The school he founded run empty when the priest, who ran the village together with the mayor, had said in church that is was sinful to put your children in a school that was not Catholic. Soon after that sermon, people started to take their children from the school, leaving my fathers’ father no other option as to close it.
Now my father, when he was an adult had a chance to start his own school. Like his father, a school in a small Catholic town.
Family solution #1: realize that there are patterns
The pattern I see in my fathers’ life is that he, subconsciously wanting to conquer the love and admiration of his father, made his father’s dream a reality. He left the town he grew up in, he left his mother behind (he was always very aligned with his mother and he got out and build himself a prosperous career. When his own mother died he was heart-broken. But she had gave him permission to go and grab this special chance.
As an outsider, you can easily see the pattern here. The absent father gets courted by the neglected son, who gives him the dream he had always dreamed about. Even after his passing, because my father’s father never experienced his ultimate success.
What are the patterns in your family? What are the challenges your parents had to face while growing up? Was making a living easy for them? If not: how did they solve the problem? And what lessons did you learn from it?
Family: the mother
Whenever there is a father and a mother present in a family, a diversion of roles is inevitable. One is authoritative the other submissive, one is more knowledgeable about the material aspects of the world, the other knows more about psychological aspects…
In my family, my father was the extrovert. He was the one who was talkative, who was always around (I never had an absent father). My mother had a world of her own that made her very mystique. She was not busy with spiritual stuff however. But she was in a world of her own.
She gave me what I have come to call: “barbed wire love”. Parents can be critical to their children, and it is always because of their best interest. To prevent them from getting hurt. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that criticising your child is good. It is in hindsight that I understand that she gave me what she thought was good for me.
Mother is also associated with the Big Mother. Mother Earth, Gaia, Sophia, Baba Jaga, Inanna. Lots of names for the same principles. The Big Mother is nurturing, but also destructive. The Virgin Queen born out of the sea, but also The Ruler of Death.
Every child has to break loose from his mother at one point in life. A daughter has to create her own identity. This process of breaking away can be painful; but it is necessary.
If you dream about your mother she could represent the energy of Mother Earth, the energy of nature. Analysing those dreams can give you a clear view on your on shadow.
Family solution #2: use dreams as vital information
I have written a lot about the Goddess on Mindfunda. When people ask me “How can I connect with the Goddess in my dreams?” I always invite them to look at their dreams that feature their mother. If you view those dreams from the perspective of the Goddess, you can see what her message is for you. Is she the Dark Goddess, the possessive mother, who does not allow her child to make its own mistakes? Is she the fertile Goddess, promising fertility and new projects? Or is he the wise old Crone, listening with a gentile smile around her lips?
If you look at your life as the story of the hero(ine), what story can you tell about your life theme and your role in it?
Family: brothers and sisters
Most of us are born with brothers and/or sisters. Our position in our native family influences our characters. The oldest child usually is the smartes one, research says. If a child is surrounded by older persons, he/she gets more responsibility, and plays a role in raising and educating the younger children in the family.
I was born in a large family of 9 persons, my parents included. Looking back on my childhood, I can see that there were three families: the three oldest children, the two middle children and the two youngest. My brother, the oldest one, was the one child that was smart enough to get accepted in all three of these families.
Next mindfunda: more about family: the Cain and Abel effect
Rudolf Steiner, who re-introduced the concept of the Holy Nights in the 1900s, based the 12 nights on the spiritual lessons of each astrological sign. In his spiritual view on the world, the sign travels through the signs each day, and the human spirit travels through the lessons of the sun sign each month. So the 12 days were the initiations of the spiritual lessons of the coming year.
I have taken a slightly different approach, by focussing on how the moon is connected with dream content. The Moon has traveled through six signs these past 12 Holy Nights, and I have focussed on one aspect of these six signs each night.
Looking back on the dreams we have gathered together I focused on our group as a dream community and asked myself the question: How did we dream as a dream community? Did common themes that prevail? Did mutual dreams occur? Did common themes emerged and evolve?
Our dreams started out quite big. The Fisher King, The Spider Goddess, the Great God Pan, they all said hello to us. Mutual dreaming occurred in my eyes around the Tree of Life. It was important in my incubation and almost all of us seemed to gather around in our dreams under the Tree of Life. The color Gold was also dreamed by multiple people, as were mandala’s and circles. Dreams about art and creativity: plays, books and drawings were shared. We striped down in our dreams to our naked selves, even if we sometimes did not like it. We went back to the essential Selves we ought to be.
The Mother Goddess was abundantly present: manifested as mother Mary, as the Spider Goddess, as the Wolf with magnetizing blue eyes. The Mouse was dreamed upon for its totem qualities for precision and refinement.
I would like to hear your interpretations on the series of dreams you had. Because I only made your dreams my dreams, it is just my vision I have given you the past few days. Thank you for participating and making this such a joyful and inspiring event.
Tonight the moon is in the sign of Sagittarius. The teacher’s teacher. This night we focus on the month of December 2016. Preparation for a New Year. Dreaming with the Moon in Sagittarius is associated with knowledge, so tonight we will incubate a dream about what our souls need to know right now. Use the day to meditate on the incubation and make it your own. (accessible exclusively for logged-in MoreMindfunda members!)