Useful Link: 7 Dream Blogs That Inspire Me

I have been blogging about dream related subjects for almost two years now. My first blog was published in February 2015. Today you read blog post number 235 and I wanted to give you an oversight for blogs about dreams that I often read. The order of the links is at random, and 7 is my favourite number. Do you miss a link? Let me know in the comments…

 

Link #1: Jean Raffa’s Matrignosis

I know Jean because of the invitation she got to be a keynote speaker of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) annual conference. I read her book Healing the Sacred Divide and asked her to do an interview with me.

link
Healing the Sacred Divide
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Her blog is called Matrignosis, A blog about Inner Wisdom. Matrignosis means the knowing of the Mother: the creating principle. Jean wrote a guest blog for Mindfunda: Inanna: Myth of Descent. Inanna the Sumerian Queen of Heaven, who was trapped in hell, a paradox that every woman has experienced in her life,

Jean her perspective on dreams and dreaming is wise and I always learn from her. If you like dreams you will certainly love her films about dreams. What I like so much about her blog is that Jean continues to put every day life experiences in a greater perspective. If you are a fan of the Goddess, like I am, this is a blog that is worth reading.

 

Link 2: Elaine Manfield: Grief is a sacred Journey

Elaine has such an expansive knowledge about dreaming that you can spent hours reading her blog. I was deeply honoured when both she and Jean wrote a guest blog for Mindfunda, about their joint presentation on the decent of Inanna: The Redeeming Dark.

Just like Jean Raffa, she is a skilled author, who wrote Leaning into Love. She did an inspiring Ted Talk about Grief.

link
Leaning into Love
Support Mindfunda and buy this book using this link

What I like so much about Elaine, apart from the fact that she is a very skilled writer, is that she is not afraid. She faces death, grief and how live continues without the persons we held so dear. In her vulnerability you can see how strong she is. She is a model for how I want to encounter life with all its ups, downs and dreams.

Link #3: Delia Puiatti: Dreamgazer

Delia is an awesome dreamer. But what makes her special is that she interprets her dreams not in the ordinary way. The ordinary way being: “What is your first association with … (name dream symbol)”.

Delia looks for patterns. Literally. Delia is an artist, and that has its reflection on the way she looks at dreams. Reading her blog will inspire your own dream life and you will soon detect new perspectives. Looking at geometrical patterns in dreams for example, and not only at symbols. I like to be challenged by that way of thinking about and working with dreams.

 

link

 

Link #4: Kirsten Backstrom: Compass Dreamwork

Trained by Jeremy Tailor, Kirsten has got such a clever way of looking for that one special angle in dreams that you yourself would have never thought of. I met her a number of times at the annual dream conference of the International Association of the Study of Dreams, IASD, and she stood out because of her intelligent questions. Each time, I thought to myself: “what a brilliant thought”.

 

Link #5: Ryan Hurd: Dream Studies

I have the secret wish that Ryan Hurd will become my mentor.  I admire what he has achieved!  I always want to learn from the best. I remember one day participating in one of his lucid dreaming challenges: we dreamers had to go to the Roman times and participate in a gladiator fight: “let yourself be surprised by who your opponent is”.

If he is not busy lucid dreaming, he is doing research about dreams (for example his latest research about galantamine and dreaming), writing about dreams, blogging about dreams and changes a diaper in the process (of his newborn baby of course).

link

 

Link #6: Robert Moss: Way of the Dreamer

Robert Moss has a way with the word. He has written many books. The last couple of decades, his emphasis has been on dreams. They are all a joy to read. His blog is well-known, but I share it with you here because this guy is so original. Each time I am pleasantly surprised by his vision on things. He has the capacity to elevate common subjects into mythological struggles and carefully analysis the way the shamanic energies interact with each other. Never a dull moment when you are reading Robert Moss.

 

Link #7: Tony Crisp: DreamHawk

A Hawk is a messenger from the spirit world. On this blog you can find a wealth of information. If I am ever in doubt about a specific meaning of a symbol, or an archetype, I usually end up here. Tony, I have never met you but i hope you and your blog will be around for a long time.

 

#8: …. and some shameless self promotion at end; Mindfunda.com

 

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I would love it if you would follow my blog op WordPress.com.

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go to the Mindfunda Monthly sign up page

 

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THIS CONTENT IS CREATED BY SUSANNE VAN DOORN, AUTHOR AND OWNER OF MINDFUNDA; MAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PSYCHOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY EASY TO USE IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE!

What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

Read more about Mindfunda here, or visit our Courses Page.


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 of Beethoven

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The Redeeming Dark

In the month of December Mindfunda will publish a series of blogs about the descent. Today’s Guest blog, written by Elaine Mansfield, is about The Redeeming Dark.

  1. The first one was about depression as descent.
  2. In the second Guest blog, Jean Raffa explored Inanna’s descent as a personal myth.
  3. The third blog will focused on the common themes found the Descent Myth of Inanna and Sleeping Beauty.
  4. This last Guest blog, written by Elaine Mansfield, will talk about Redeeming the dark.
dark
Elaine Mansfield

Elaine Mansfield’s memoir Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief (2014) won the 2015 Gold Medal IPPY Award (Independent Publisher’s Book Awards) in the category Aging, Death, and Dying. Elaine has been a student of Carl Jung since 1970 and has studied mythology for thirty years. She writes for hospice, facilitates bereavement support groups, and gives workshops and presentations. She gave a TEDx talk called “Good Grief! What I Learned from Loss.” She also writes a weekly blog about the adventures and lessons of life and loss. To learn more about Elaine’s work, please visit her website. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

LECTURE AND WORKSHOP JUNG SOCIETY

You’ll enjoy reading Jean Raffa’s “Myths of Descent”, another Mindfunda article about the Descent of Inanna. Jean Raffa and I will co-lead a Friday night lecture and Saturday workshop about dreams, mythology, and descent at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota, FL, March 11-12, 2016. I hope you can join us.

Listening in the dark

“From the Great Above she opened her ear to the Great Below.” 1

The descent of the Goddess begins with listening. Inanna, the Listener, is the Great Goddess of Heaven and Earth (~3500 – 2500 BC, Sumeria/Mesopotamia). Her story is the oldest written goddess myth, and what a goddess she is: Erotic, wise, powerful, conniving, loving, fierce, courageous, and ruthless.

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Inanna, Burney Relief (Flicker—creative commons photo) 1800 BC, British Museum

In the Sumerian language, the word for ear also means wisdom. Inanna is called to listen to the Great Below because, despite her many powers, she lacks something. Without knowledge of mortality and unconscious realms, she is not whole. Without some relationship with inner depths and darkness, we are helpless when faced with forces beyond our ego’s control.

When my husband Vic was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2006, I knew I had to listen. I bought a new notebook and recorded our experiences from medical to psychological, from hope to anguish, from spiritual peaks to deep despair. As Vic neared the threshold, I wrote and reflected at his bedside. I wanted to remember. I wanted meaning. It was my job to remain in the Day World or the Great Above. Vic needed me to be conscious and competent, just as Inanna needed her trusted female advisor Ninshubur to witness her descent and call for help.

After Vic’s death, exhausted and filled with disbelief, I faced a new descent. Grief, Death’s companion, became my new teacher.

In the descent myth, Inanna tells the gatekeeper to the Great Below or Underworld that she wishes to attend the funeral of the Great Bull of Heaven, Ereshkigal’s husband. Ereshkigal is the Underworld Death Goddess and Inanna’s Dark Sister. Inanna intends to witness a death, not face her own. That was my plan, too…

Inanna arrives in full queenly regalia at the gates of the Great Below. I had arrived in the oncologist’s office with my notebook, my numbered list of questions, my suggestions, and my fierce resolve. My mission to save my husband succeeded—until it failed. When Death won, my personal descent began.

As Inanna passes through each of the seven gates on her way to the Great Below, she is stripped of a garment symbolic of her power. For example:

When she (Inanna) entered the first gate,

From her head, … the crown of the steppe, was removed.

Inanna asked: “What is this?”

She was told: “Be quiet, Inanna, the ways of the underworld are perfect. They may not be questioned.” 2

Hadn’t I given up enough? I thought when the stripping began. Apparently not. As long as my husband lived, I retained position in the world and community. I had a job to do.

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Inanna worship/ Bringing Gifts to Inanna, c. 3100-2899 B.C., Hirmer Verlag, Munich (Wolkstein/Kramer, p. 105)

With his death, I lost my role as wife and partner in a deeply satisfying relationship. I was demoted to widow, a social label for the scorned and abandoned feminine. I had been a women’s health counselor, but lost my own motivation. My erotic life disappeared—not only sexual, but daily intimacy with someone I loved. I lost my sense of proportion and could no longer measure where I was in life. My notebook felt useless. My ego and persona crumbled. I was stuck in grief. Like Inanna, I was “naked and laid low.”

When Inanna reaches the Great Belowshe steps toward her sister’s throne. For this last remnant of pride, she is condemned by the Eye of Death and Eye of Wrath. She is pronounced guilty for refusing to honor a power greater than her own. Then, Inanna is hung on a hook. Dead. In this startling image, day world abilities are useless in the face of the Destructive Dark.

So there they are, stuck in the Great Below. Ereshkigal cries out in rage and pain. Inanna hangs on her hook. All is dark depression and stasis. Nothing moves. There is no hope.

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Door to the Underworld, 1600 BC, Louvre (Wolkstein/Kramer, p. 55)

Is there a divine force that can save Inanna and us? Ninshubur, Inanna’s trusted and grieving advisor, sends for help. Enki, the God of Wisdom creates two small mourners from the dirt under his fingernails. These seemingly insignificant mourners have one skill: empathy. They see the suffering of Ereshkigal and mirror her cries.

“Oh! Oh! My inside!” 

“Oh! Oh! Your inside!” 

“Oh! Oh! My outside!” 

“Oh! Oh! Your outside!….” 3

The mourners provide compassionate witnessing in a long call and response. As it does in therapy or close friendship, empathy creates a miracle of transformation. Ask the Dalai Lama what power is equal to Wisdom. He’ll say Compassion.

Ereshkigal, the neglected, unloved, and shunned, grieves for her husband, but we now learn that she is also crying out from the pain of giving birth. Within the deep darkness, something new is being born. Perhaps Inanna. Perhaps you and me.

Ereshkigal asked (the mourners):

Who are you,

Moaning—groaning—sighing with me?

If you are gods, I will bless you.

If you are mortals, I will give you a gift. 4

They don’t want all the riches and resources of the world. They want the corpse which they sprinkle with the water and food of life.

A sliver of light has penetrated the Dark and released new energy. Birth will follow darkness. Seeds quicken after Winter Solstice. Light returns. The Goddess of Heaven and Earth rises and the cycle continues.

As Inanna ascends, there are complications. Aren’t there always? Demons cling to her and demand more sacrifice to appease the judges of the Great Below. We learn that another cyclic round is always waiting in Feminine Realms. There is no end to death and trauma, but there is also no end to compassion and rebirth.

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Inanna with date palm, c. 2400 B.C. Staatliche Museum, Berlin (Wolkstein/Kramer, p. ii)

 

I returned to life, wild and humbled, displaced and dismantled. I wept uncontrollably about my fate, even though I knew loss was everyone’s destiny. My forest, the kind mirroring of those who witnessed me, and a search for meaning were my water and food of life. I bowed to Inanna’s wisdom and Ereshkigal’s necessity knowing that death and destruction fuel a new cycle of life.

We descend, not because we want to, but because we must. Descent is an integral part of the Great Feminine Round of Life and Death. We are mortal. We are vulnerable. We live in a world of catastrophe and chaos, personal loss and social threat. We are thrown down. We are helped up. Miraculously, we find our way to life again.

NOTES

1. Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth, Harper and Row, 1983, p. 52.

2. Ibid, p. 57.

3. Ibid, p. 65.

4. Ibid, p. 66.

Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 25th and January 6th, I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient belief says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.

Sleeping beauty as modern day Inanna

In the month of December Mindfunda will publish a series of blogs about the descent. Today’s blog is about the resemblance of the story of Sleeping Beauty with the Descent Mythology.

  1. The first one was about depression as descent.
  2. In the second Guest blog, Jean Raffa explored Inanna’s descent as a personal myth.
  3. This third blog will focus on the common themes found the Descent Myth of Inanna and Sleeping Beauty.
  4. The last blog, written by Elaine Mansfield, will talk about Redeeming the dark.

Sleeping Beauty and Inanna

The story of Inanna was the greatest and most influential of Bronze Age myths, apart from the Epic of Gilgamesh” say Anne Baring and Jules Cashford in their “The Myth of the Goddess”, still one of the best handbooks around when it comes to Goddesses.

sleeping beauty
“The Myth of the Godess” – Buy the book using this link and support Mindfunda

Anne Baring and Jules Cashford write in their chapter about The Descent of Inanna: “While Inanna is in the Underworld, during the three days of darkness, it is as though a spell has been cast in the upper world. Fertility is suspended; everything falls asleep. The imagery of the Sleeping Beauty comes irresistibly to mind. Was the story the origin of the fairy tale whose lunar princess, together with the parents and the court, falls asleep on her fifteenth birthday and who is awakened by the prince, who restores her and the whole court to live?”

 

sleeping beauty
Sleeping Beauty: Disney

 

The sleep was the result of a spell of one of the wise thirteen women who was not invited to the party, celebrating the miraculous birth of the couple that had been infertile for years. To conceive a child, the couple gets help from a frog. But this kind of dark side magic comes with a price.

So here is the Dark Mother Goddess.  A spinning Goddess, who spins out life, giving form to new ideas, new creations. The fifteenth day of the cycle of the moon is the day the moon begins to wane. So the Goddess not invited has to be the Goddess of the Dark Moon. To quote Anne Baring and Jules Cashford in The Myth of the Goddess: “The Mother Goddess begins to loosen the threads of the cloth she has woven”.

Sleeping beauty and number 13

Thirteen is the exact number of full moon’s in a year. And it was Apollo 13 who got into trouble in 1970: “Houston, we got a problem”. It is an unlucky number. Friday the 13th is the day that, according to legend, Jesus got crucified. That sacrifice, giving up his consciousness for his belief in an afterlife, is exactly the same as the sacrifice in the Quest that Inanna undertakes in her journey to the Underworld. The Mother Goddess Inanna, travels to the realm of her Sister Queen Ereshkigal. The Earth becomes infertile. Like the Kingdom of the parents of Sleeping Beauty became infertile, when the curse casted by the uninvited Fairy  was completed.

The Sleeping Beauty and the Waste Land

So here we have a theme of a King and Queen, and their daughter sleeping. The Kingdom goes to waste. Every sign of growth is put on hold. The land has become a waste land. We have seen this theme in the Grail Story. Like Sleeping Beauty, the Grail story is a story of enchantment and disenchantment. Like the Wounded King, Sleeping Beauty gets stung. The King by a lance, Sleeping beauty by a spindle. Both are unable to fertilize anything. The wounded King is wounded in his thighs, suggesting that this is the reason for his infertility. The father of Sleeping Beauty has this same  fertility issue. And now, at the onset of her own menarche, the wounded princes falls asleep. Postponing her entrance on the marriage market for a staggering 100 years.

 

sleeping beauty
Waste land
toppixgalery.com

 

We have all been there. We have all been so hurt by a stinging remark of somebody that we fell sleep. Our light, vividness, sense of humor was gone. Trapped in an infertile land. New thoughts, new creative ideas did not have a chance to reach maturity, just like Sleeping Beauty.

I remember the hurt and humiliation I felt when an older Dutch person who works with dreams said when he read one of my books: “You need to go out and get some life experience”. I have never tried to write a book again, feeling quite sure that it could not be good enough. In that way I am Sleeping Beauty, who needs to be kissed awake.

Innana’s myth of the descent is a tale about life after death. Inanna visits the Kingdom of her sister who hangs her on a meat hook. Like Sleeping Beauty she is paralyzed for a short while. Striped down, hung out ty dry, with all the creative juices dripping out of her flesh. Like Sleeping Beauty, who is rescued by the prince, Inanna receives help from her animus as well. The King of Gods, Enki, creates beings from the dirt underhis finger nails.

Sleeping Beauty
Enki
Photo: Wikipedia

 

The integration of the animus in a woman is in both stories the way to turn the tables. Getting out of the helpless stage, embracing your own masculine side is an important step before one can enter any marriage market. Theater you want to propose to your boyfriend, or if you want to court a new idea for a book, a play or a writing.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

REMEMBER: the CHRISTMAS period IS a VERY SPECIAL TIME FOR DREAMING, SO JOIN MINDFUNDA FOR THE HOLY NIGHT DREAM INCUBATIONS.

Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 24rd and January 6th, I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient belief says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.

Inanna: myth of descent

In the month of December Mindfunda will publish a series of blogs about the descent. The first one is a guest blog about the Journey to the Underworld.

Inanna
Jean Raffa

Today’s Guest author is Dr. Jean Raffa, a former television producer and college professor who -with the help of Jungian psychology- began following her passions for self-discovery and writing during mid-life. Jean has written several books: “The Bridge to Wholeness”, “Dream Theatres of the Soul” that got her invited to make a keynote speech at the International Associations for the Study of Dreams. You can see her videos about this book at her own YouTube channel. Her newest Wilbur Award-winning book is called “Healing the Sacred Divide“. Next week, Elaine Mansfield will write about the darkness of the descent.

On March 11-12, 2016, Jean will appear with author Elaine Mansfield at the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota for a presentation on descent, loss and grief based on the myth of Inanna.

Myth of Inanna: 3 kinds of Descent

A psychological descent can take many forms. Sometimes it shows up in strategies to escape painful present realities by regressing into past memories. We’re consumed by a bittersweet yearning for the “good old days” when we were young and innocent. Life was easy and we were on top of the world.

 

Inanna
Picture: viewsfromtheroof.com

 

We were a handsome Apollo, a confident football star and president of the high school student body who is trying to recapture our youth by driving a sporty new car or finding a younger wife. We were a beautiful, innocent Persephone, an entitled daughter and gifted student who has been pulled into the dark realms of obsessive binge eating, shopping sprees and plastic surgery.

A second kind of descent is forced on us by circumstances beyond our control: an accident, illness, divorce, loss of a home or job, death of a parent, child, or spouse. These can plunge us into the depths of a depression where grief and sorrow are constant companions.

 

Inanna
Picture: huffingtsonpost

 

Then there’s the existential descent into meaninglessness which appears uninvited at mid-life. Suddenly the beliefs and ideals that served so well in the first half of life no longer work, yet questioning them feels dangerous. Worse, we’ve met our shadow in feelings and urges we can no longer ignore and our naively positive self-image is irretrievably damaged.

Captivated by the archetypal Hero’s widely publicized and deeply satisfying rise to success, we are rarely prepared for our conflicts and losses. To an ego that has prided itself on being in control and doing everything right, it can feel as if we are adrift in a chaotic sea. Kris Kristofferson described this painful experience in his song, “Shipwrecked in the 80’s.” For some, the metaphor of falling into an abyss and plunging into what St. John of the Cross called a “dark night of the soul” is more apt.

Inanna

 

From the age of 17 I derived all the meaning I needed from my religion. Then at 37, I experienced an existential descent. On the outside it was business as usual, but inside I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Nine years later I was rescued by Jungian psychology. After committing to a regular practice of study, reading, self-reflection and dreamwork I finally began to understand what had happened. My ego had been brutally assaulted by unconscious instinctual forces in my psyche. Brutal? So it felt to me. Nonetheless my ordeal was life-serving. Without it, I would never have willingly explored my unconscious and been rewarded with the elixir of a revitalized life-force and the gold of affirming self-knowledge.

Inanna and the Descent Myth

Myths from every culture and religion are allegories of psychological and spiritual truths. In them, we can find guidance and healing meaning for our lives. Seeing the similarities between my story and the Sumerian descent myth of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, brought me great comfort.

 

Inanna
Inanna Queen of Heaven
unkown artist on easy.com

 

The first half of Inanna’s life was, like mine, fairly predictable. We both struggled to create a comfortable home, affirm our individuality, and establish our authority. Inanna accomplishes this by having a bed and a throne made for her. Then she cleverly tricks Enki, the God of Wisdom, into giving her the gifts of civilization, which she shares with the city she rules. She tops it all off (she assumes) by courting, seduction, bearing children, and fulfilling her Queenly duties.

I, too, gained knowledge through my cleverness:  enough, at least, to get a college scholarship. I earned two degrees, met, courted and married my husband, established a home, and birthed a daughter and a son. Eventually I earned a doctoral degree and a college teaching position. I’ve done it all, I thought with a measure of self-satisfaction. That’s when I learned that cleverness, knowledge, possessions and physical comfort do not define success or insure fulfillment.

My descent from Inanna’s “Great Above” to the “Great Below” began when my shadow broke into my awareness with a moral conflict between two intolerable choices.  I was profoundly tempted to break a rule that had always been sacrosanct to me, and appalled at myself for considering it. I spent sleepless nights praying to the God I had been taught to believe in, challenging beliefs that felt outdated and meaningless while fearing retribution for my audacity. I found little joy in living. My stomach hurt much of the time. I lost 20 pounds. At times I knew there was meaning in my ordeal, but my knowing provided scant relief. Mostly I felt alone and miserable. Like Inanna and Persephone, I was introduced to the dark underbelly of the unconscious beneath my naive “good girl” self-image. The shock was devastating.

Inanna is a “good girl” too:  a loving wife to Dumuzi, a mother, and a sister to Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. At mid-life Inanna descends into the underworld to, by some accounts, attend the funeral of Ereshkigal’s husband. Or was her call, “Let him come. Come, man, come!” an invitation to her animus, her unconscious masculine side?

 

Inanna
Inanna courting Dumuzi
Image: Beyondpottery.blogspot.com

 

On the way down she is humiliated by being stripped of all her earthly possessions: symbols of her beauty, success, femininity and the power she has worked so hard to attain. Humiliation is a crucial element of descent myths because crisis and suffering are the only powers that can destroy an ego’s belief in its invincibility.

The story of Inanna in body and soul

If we look for it, we will find that every detail of a myth can have psychological and spiritual meaning. For example, the number three in myths and fairy tales heralds the arrival of Mystery. Receiving three wishes, asking for help three times, or being the third and youngest child to attempt a difficult task signals our readiness for an initiation that will force us out of childhood innocence into mature responsibility and consciousness.

 

Inanna
I Tjing hexagram 3: Difficulty at the Beginning

 

Sure enough, three shows up in Inanna’s story too. At the bottom of her descent she is met by Ereshkigal who, perhaps jealous of her sister’s charmed life in the world above, has her hung naked on a meat hook where she suffers for three long days. I hung on my metaphorical meat hook for three years, plus another six during which my suffering gradually diminished.

Like Inanna’s descent, mine was a painful physical, emotional and spiritual experience. But, unwilling to give up or make a terrible mistake, I persevered in my outer life and stirred the contents of my inner world over a low, reflective fire. Ever so slowly, this alchemical opus brought about lasting changes.

My body awakened to instinctual energies I had long repressed. My ears heeded my soul’s cries of pain. My heart felt compassion. My ego’s center of gravity shifted from a place of control and resistance to a place of surrender and acceptance of forces far more powerful than my puny will. My eyes were opened to my sovereignty over my own life and my childish dependence on others dissolved. I began to make my own choices and take responsibility for them. Death took up its abode on my left shoulder and Choice on my right, each whispering daily reminders to savor every moment.

Hero myths have healing meaning too, but “happily ever after” does not tell the whole story.  Descent myths do.

On the third day, Inanna is rescued by her loyal priestess, Ninshubur, and Enki, the God of Culture, and she returns to life in the world above. There she faces new problems, but now she has the awareness to handle them with wisdom and balance. With Inanna’s help, I’m getting better at that too.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Remember: Christmas is a very special time for dreaming, so join Mindfunda for the Holy Night Dream Incubations.

Mindfunda invites you for a Christmas celebration you will remember. For just 10 dollars you get exclusive access to a restricted private area on Mindfunda during the Holy Nights. Each night between December 24 and January 6 I will share a dream incubation. We will talk about and reflect on our dreams. Ancient belief says that during these nights the veil between the worlds is thin. Register now as Mindfunda More Member, to experience the depth of your dreams.

 

The lean mean dream washing machine

What if we could create a database filled with dreams about dreaming? Dreamed up by people who seriously look at their dreams for inspiration? I would buy a copy of it right away! Here is the first onset to it.

I wonder how working with dreams would change if everybody who seriously works with dreams would submit their dreams about dreaming into a giant database. In the ideal world someone clever would analyse those dreams and perhaps we could come up with a whole different view about dreams and dreaming. This is one of the dreams I had that tought me something about dreams: I dream about a man explaining to me that dreams are like washing machines.

dream

 

You take dirty clothes (your way of acting in the world) put them in the Self: did you ever notice that the door of the washing machine is mandala shaped?

dream
mandala

 

You choose the temperature. What emotional temperature do you need to wash your emotions clean? Clean enough to handle them during the day time? Is it going to be nightmarish hot so all the conducts, all the habits of waking life are washed up and sterilized? Or will it be a smoothly wash just to get your way of living refreshed?

You add detergent. An aide to resolve the dirt on your way of acting in the world. To wash away the smell of living day by day. What is your detergent? And how much are you going to use? Are there any stains on your clothes that need some extra care? A solvent that gets the difficult stains out? Some books about dreaming can help you do that. The most recent one I read was written by Justina  Lasley.

Wake up to your dreams

Justina her detergent is the Dream Synergy method. Emotions (the water in the machine), Characters (the stain-solution) and Beliefs (the temperature you choose). For more information see my interview with Justina.

But there are many more good dream detergents. Dream groups like Connie Kaplan mentions.

Woman’s book of dreams


If you are lucky enough to get involved in a dream group (several of them are online) you get different views on your dream. That gets your creative juices flowing. Connie’s second method of interacting with dreams is tuning in with the moon. She talks about how the moon and the woman (wo-moon) merge energies. The energy of the moon colors the meaning of your dream.

Ok back to the washing machine. So you picked together your filthy clothes, choose a temperature, added some detergent and… It all starts tumbling! Everything is jumbled upside down. Meshed around. Beaten up in a steady rhythm. Gently, but firmly. There is no stopping our mean lean washing machine.

In the middle there is… A mandala. the symbol of the Self in Jungian terms. The dream selves tumble round and round, while the mandala closes off the process, so no cloths fall out. Jean Raffa told me about the Mandorla: two mandala’s enclosing.

Healing the sacred divide

 

This middle place where light and dark touch is where the healing begins she told us.

At the end of the washing process the machine begins to turn around real quick. It is in its spinning cycle. Spinning tales, spinning connecting energies. In such a fast way that all the water, all the emotion is pulled out. Things are often put up side down in dreams. To spin your head around. To make you see that different angle that you otherwise would have missed.

Wanna share a dream about dreaming with me? I might just put it in a database and create that dream book we all are longing for.

Do you like this post? Feel free to share!

Please sign up for my YouTube channel to enjoy all the beautiful Mindfunda interviews with inspiring people. People like Jean Benedict Raffa, Anne Baring, Connie Kaplan, Ralph Metzner, Stanley Krippner and P.M.H. Atwater, Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill and Justina Lasley about her book Wake Up to Your Dreams: Transform Your Relationships, Career, and Health While You Sleep!

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Mindfunda 100, a look behind the scenes

Mindfunda’s #100 !!

Today I celebrate the #100th blog post of Mindfunda.
The number 100 is a special number. All ratios can be brought back to 100 using a percentage. 100 was considered to be the desired age for a human being in the bible. 100 represents eternity. (Don’t worry, I don’t plan on writing for Mindfunda that long).

Behind the scenes of Mindfunda the blog

Mindfunda started in February with a first blog post about Valentines day and a scientific method of making somebody fall in love with you. That was what I want for Mindfunda: fun articles with a different edge. To make you think. To make you stop. To make you wonder. To encourage you to reconsider your own beliefs. I usually want some scientific data to back up my story. That means research. And research. And research. Jotting things down on paper, usually my notes look like this:

notes
I call Mindfunda the walking website. Because after I have done all this work I usually walk. Nothing can bring notes and thoughts more into perspective then a walk, while thinking about what I want to say. I think about how I am going to say it, why I am going to say it and why my readers would want to read it. I think my Ray Kurzweil post is one of my favorites. I put so much effort in researching Kurzweil (I really got to like him), his life, his determination, his brilliant mind that I had to contemplate how to convince you of his brilliance without coming across as a love-sick puppy.

My post about a dream that alerted the dreamer to a heart condition is one of the most visited posts, according to statistics. We live in a time that many people suffer from heart conditions.

Behind the scenes of Mindfunda YouTube

After two months of blogging I wanted to publish an interview. Being a book addict I wanted to let writers tell about their books. I wanted people to engage with them, like them, see them, hear about their struggles, their solutions, their happiness but also about their failures. Because failing is not a problem. Failing is a side road to success. I created a YouTube channel for Mindfunda.

One of the books that had intrigued me the most was Dream of the Cosmos written by Jungian author Anne Baring.

behind the scenes
Anne Baring

In April 2015 I taped the first Skype interview with non other than Anne Baring. She, in my eyes, is a star. Having read her “Mythology of the Goddess” I was severely impressed with the intellectual depth of this lady. She has read so many old books about Kabbalah, about Sacred Geometry, she traveled the world: she is like an intellectual rock star to me. After emailing her she agreed to an interview on Skype. I was jumping tables, filled with joy. Unfortunately she had to cancel the interview. Twice. That is not good for your self-confidence. At an earlier age in my life, when I was about eight year old I really wanted to be a journalist. And interviewing people comes close. So having interviews cancelled for any reason is not good for your self-esteem. And she mailed me she did not like my questions. So I decided to jump in at the deep end and skip the questions but to ask her to tell about subjects. She agreed to that (and now you know the reason why I do not talk very much in that interview). But she was indeed my intellectual superstar. She gave such an inspiring talk that I was glowing with enthusiasm after I hang up the phone on Skype.

I usually give the authors my questions at least a week before the interview, so they can prepare. I like to start with a personal question about a dream, or a life changing experience. Most viewers don’t look long at interviews so you have to catch them early on to capture them. So that personal question, where the interviewees show a vulnerable, likable side of him or herself is very important.
When the introduction is done, my job as interviewer gets a bit harder. I have to listen, I have to scan the answers to see if the people watching have gotten an answer, and I have to prepare the next question in my mind. I can tell you that is a lot of work. I am not very good at multitasking…

The interview that surprised me the most was that with Ralph Metzner. He was in a good mood during our Skype conversation. We had a time mix up being 10 hours apart, I called him too late or he called me too early. But he gave an in-depth analysis of Western culture. He talked about Russia, with its Bear totem animal. He talked about ancestry, about Odin. And when I closed the interview after 50 minutes he said surprised: “Are we done already?”

Robert Waggoner was a delight to interview. I just admit to you that I am no good at multitasking and Robert thought along with me. He recommended research, he gave reading tips, he summarized.
I called him in his early morning and he was sharp. He is an early bird.
I did not have my headphone working while I did the interview with him, that is the reason I edited myself out of the video. And besides, Robert is far more interesting when it comes to lucid dreaming. I only have about 3-5 lucid dreams a month so I do not consider myself to be an expert on the subject.

I was so glad when I saw one of my friends on Facebook was a friend of Connie Kaplan. Her ‘Woman’s book of Dreams’ influenced me very much. We could have talked for hours. But keeping my interviews around 50 minutes is my aim. Preferably shorter, twenty minutes would be my favorite length. Experts say an ideal interview just lasts about three minutes. Connie talked with ease and felt really comfortable. She displays so much joy and wisdom in her film that you have got to fall in love with her.

I was really afraid that Jean Raffa would be far too busy to be interviewed by me. I heard such good things about her books especially ‘Dream theatres of the Soul’ and the ‘Healing the Sacred Divide’. But she was delightful, down to earth, but jet very spiritual. But she was happy to do the interview, even at a time when she was occupied with her keynote speech for the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) annual conference where she was invited to be the keynote speaker.
I usually engage in a talk before I do the interview (I edit this part out) and we discovered we had mutual Facebook friends and that we both had this longing for a spiritual depth that we could not fulfill using the traditional spiritual methods. So I ended up telling her everything about my “Reading the Red Book project” something I am working on now. I use the Red Book as a tool to incubate dreams to guide my own inner experience of religion.

The last interview I uploaded (I have not uploaded my interview with PMH Atwater yet) is that of Stanley Krippner. Stanley is a highly intelligent man who always impresses me with his knowledge of books and research. There is no subject to be discussed with him, or he can give you a good book written about it, or some excellent research for you to read. The only thing he is not able to give you is the ISBN number of the book. The interview went very well even though he was very hungry (It was his one-o-clock that I interviewed him). During this interview he showed a magnificent shamanic drum he once got, I was very impressed by it.

Now I am busy editing PMH Atwater’s interview and preparing questions for Catherine Wikholm who is one of the authors of the Buddha pill.
PMH Atwater is a writer and dyslexic, a combination that is very impressive. During our interview she was very direct, very scientific and very down to earth. The thing I had to get used to is that she likes to be called PMH. She considers that to be her first name. It was easy to get used too, because I became quite charmed with her energy. She has been researching near death experiences for a long time. Like Jean Raffa, she is has re-defined her personal religion. Now she is searching for people who had a near death experience at an early age and she does an appeal to you to connect with her and tell her your story if indeed you had one at an early age.

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Twitter: @susannevandoorn

James Randi, honest liar, let’s us focus on our own spirituality

James Randi
James Randi

 

Recently, I watched the film honest liar (click to watch the trailer) about the Amazing Randi. James Randi, former magician and escape artist is very honest about the fact that he deceits people. But being a skilled magician he could see through tricks that famous mediums engaged in. He made it his life effort to expose fraud mediums. Yes, even the ones that truly thought they were gifted like child whisperer Derek Ogilvie.

 

James Randi
An Honest liar
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Stanley Krippner (see my blog and interview with him) a professor in parapsychology used to be a magician too. Not by profession, but never the less he had his maimonides lab for sleep research checked by magicians. Krippner and Montague Ullman performed several experiments exploring ESP in dreams. A dreamer was selected, a painting was randomly chosen. There was a “sender” who looked at the painting and tried to submit the picture to the dreamer. If there was sign of REM sleep, the dreamer would be awaked. The dream was written down and analyzed for similarities between the images in the dream and the image in the painting.  James “The Amazing” Randi, perhaps the world’s most prominent skeptic, also offers Krippner his benediction: “There are so few things in this field you can depend on, and there are so many people who are prejudiced and biased. But I can depend on Stan. And I don’t think he’s biased at all.” (quoted from sfweekly.com)

The film takes us back to the glory days of the Amazing Randi who could escape out of every trap. We learn that James Randi always deceits. When he battles fake mediums, he trains magicians to act as a medium. When he wants to proof that Uri Geller is a fake, he trains magicians to manipulate scientific tests, the way Uri Geller has done it. He battles using the same ingredients. In a way he is performing the principal of homeopathy: using the same “poison” as the thing that got you sick (or fooled) in the first place. In his battle against homeopathy he has gone out o his way to make sure people were aware of the absurdity of the homeopathic principle (click here to see a Ted talk about it) The film gets an interesting plot-twist when he suddenly finds out that his partner has been using a fake id all those years.

What has James Randi tought us? Always be skeptical. Always be aware that you can be biased yourself. A heartbreaking story in the documentary is when two by James Randi trained magicians have tricked a film maker into believing they have paranormal abilities. They tell that it was so very hard to tell them that they had used tricks. “It was like he (the film maker) discovered the Holy Grail only to find out it was not the real one. We are believers. We need magic. It is time to discover, maybe even rediscover our own believe. Our own faith. Our own magic.

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