Your mythic life: mythological musing #2

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 2 blogs :

Your mythic life
Myth Stories

Your Mythic life

To be aware of your mythic challenge in life is to understand that the meaning of your life is bigger than your day-to-day drama. Getting in touch with your cultural and ancestral roots will renew your sense of self.

“Personal myths are laden within the hopes and disappointments of prior generations. Your mythology is your legacy from the past, as well as a source of guidance and inspiration for the future.” Personal Mythology David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner.

mythic
Personal Mythology

The book Personal Mythology suggests a process of five sequential steps:

  1. Recognizing when a guiding myth is no longer an alley.
    I recently had a sleepless night looking back at my life and realizing that I always felt like the odd one out. Lying awake I could feel and see how this had been a comfortable feeling: being the artistic unappreciated one. But I also felt how I alienated myself from others by being shy and introverted in public. The first step is realizing that you are in a mythological pattern and recognizing that this pattern does not fit you any more.
mythic
Hephaestus

In mythological terms I always felt like Hephaestus, being lame and mocked at. I am used to working so hard to gain approval but I never did right. Time to change myths.

2. Bring the roots of mythic conflict into focus.
The second step into writing your own fairy tale is writing a solution to the conflict discovered in step one. Richard Gardner‘s method of story telling is used as a way of guiding you through the next step. He asks a child to tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. He retells the story to the child with another ending. It is kind of like the way we usually deal with nightmares: we retell the story in a positive way.

3. It is time to conceive a new mythology. In the workshop Stanley gave in Utrecht the Netherlands we danced, visualized and wrote down a new vision. We were guided into a meditation to meet our tribe animal (mine was the deer: strong but gentle).

mythic
photo desibucket.com

4. From vision to commitment.
After re-writing your personal fairy tale it is time to feel it in your body. Like Catherine Wikholm said in her interview with me about her book the Buddha pill: you need to involve your body to grow spiritually. You can’t go sitting around meditating all day.

5. Weaving this new mythology into your daily life.
Right now I am very aware that I keep engaging in conversation in social situations. I keep alerting my self not to wander off during conversation that I do not find extremely interesting. I always engage by asking people to tell more, so I can make sure to ge engaged.

These are five wonderful steps and it is worth to go through the process on a regular basis. Especially when you are in a crises. And because the book is so good and I really want you to buy one (if it is not in your book closet already, I have some extra comments for you. A Mindfunda bonus.

Your mythic life and epigenitics

When it comes to family you also have to take epigenetics into account. Lately a lot of research has shown the conditions of the environment are being passed on from generation to generation. “It means that a parent’s experiences, in the form of epigenetic tags, can be passed down to future generations”.
Sometimes it is so much easier to understand the behavior of the family you grew up in terms of genetics or epigenetics.

When I got a workshop in personal mythology from Stanley Krippner we got an assignment. We had to step back, literally, into the feet of our ancestors. If you do that think about the following questions:

  • What are your major concerns?
  • What are your primary sources of satisfaction?
  • How do you understand your position within society: its limitations, privileges and responsibilities?
  • If you look at a nonhuman authority to explain human destiny, what is its nature?

I have found these questions to be very insightful. I have done genealogical research into my fathers’ as well as my mothers’ family. So it was relatively easy for me to step back into the shoes of my ancestors.
Being farmers their major concerns had to do with having enough food. They worked hard. That is the spirit I grew up in: I have to work hard. I always run around doing things. And I like it. I do not like lying on the beach in the sun for more than two days. I get bored. After two days I want to go out and explore. See new things.

Your mythic life and your inner shaman

Stanley Krippner and David Feinstein propose in their book that dreams are the portals of your personal mythology. And that dreams are either supporting a new personal myth or an old one. Having been through all the exercises and been tought by the master (Stanley Krippner) in a workshop myself I can assure you that looking at your life from a bigger perspective is good for you.

 

mythic
connect with your inner shaman

 

The book invites you to take your culture, your ancestors and your own personal history as a starting point. Looking at your own life in terms of a fairy tale will enhance your love for yourself. The best gift I can give my clients is to ask them to tell me their life story. They are almost always surprised about their inner strength. The way in which this book connects you with your inner wisdom: your inner shaman will be a precious gift for the rest of your life. No matter what you believe in:
in a god,
in science or
in atheism, connecting with your inner wisdom will always help you.

 

I have several ways in which I ask my inner shaman for help in times of crises. I envision my third eye as a window and I draw open the curtains. I feel or see the thing that is right for me. Yes, your inner shaman can only be a feeling.

mythic
picture: Iona Miller on Jungiangeneology.weebly

Sometimes my inner shaman is the old man archetype. At the workshop Stanley was very clear about shamanism: seek your inner shaman. There is no need to travel into distant countries to be educated as shaman. You are free to search within.

Your mythic life and your dreams

David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner suggest that dreams either represent an old personal mythology that does not function anymore, or a new personal mythology to replace the old one.

“...You can learn to sense the relationship between patterns you find in your dreams and your developing personal myths. Dreams serve to mediate between your daily experiences and your underlying myths. Working with your dreams can reveal changes in your personal mythology that are occurring outside your awareness” (Personal Mythology).

I had a dream about my image of god, one that I have talked about in my stories about reading the Red Book. Stepping back into the shoes of my ancestors made me realize that they were very religious people. I was raised in the Catholic faith. Both my grandmother and my mother had a child every year.
One night I had a dream about one of my ancestors, my grandmother Sophia. Sophia is also the name of the Goddess of Wisdom, the wife of God, the eternal mother.  In my dream I leave a party. I walk outside and in the shade I find a lake. At that lake is a woman. She looks familiar. She looks like the lady who raised my father: Sophia. She puts her hand into the lake and grasps out a fish. According to Jung, the fish or ichtus was a symbol of religion. She takes the fish and smashes its head against a stone. The eye of the fish flies up in the air. In my dream i am very angry at her for destroying an innocent life like this. I grab the fish and put it back into water. But it is death.

This dream was the onset of a changing vision of religion. I explored the concept of “the god within”. Humans are wired for religion. The idea of something bigger than us organizing things, the idea of your life as being part of “The Plan” it can add value to your life. It can add value to your happiness.

Your Mythic life: writing your own fairy tale

One of the nicest things of this book is that it encourages you to write and re-write your life. You are the hero of your own story. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis is used as a model to structure your own story. Adam and Eve lived in paradise. And one day, they lost it.

If you look at your life, there was a time when you were a child that you lived in paradise. Than a crises occurred, and everything changed. Paradise lost.
Start writing part one, and don’t criticize yourself. Let the story unfold. Start with the magic words: “Once upon a time...”.
The book is loaded with exercises to help you through this process. To help you use your dreams to clarify your own mythology.
Than write the second part of the story. How your paradise was lost. What crises occurred? Your original mythology had to be replaced. What was your new mythology?

Each crises makes you want to re-define your mythology. Obstacles need to be transformed into opportunities. The book gives rituals, dream incubation, shamanic techniques and movement to help you through this transformation. Needless to say that I am a big fan of the five steps the book gives to guide you through this process. Identify your mythology, identify when an old mythology does not fit anymore, discover a new mythology, bring the new vision into your daily life and tending this new vision into the community you live in. I have used this book over and over again and still find new treasures.
One tiny bit of criticism: I do not think that every dream represents either an old or a new myth. I am always aware that looking at dream with only this mythological scope does not serve the magnitude of significance you can attach to a dream. But if you want to start working with the guidance that myths have to offer you, this is the book for you. “Myths are not legends or falsehoods. They are rather, the models by which human beings code and organize their perceptions, feelings, thoughts and actions“. Diving into your personal Mythology will bring you at the root of your being.

< Jumped in from elsewhere? Start at part 1 part 1

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! Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being.

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
Join me on Facebook
Twitter @susannevandoorn

 


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 Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

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


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Mythological Musings: 2 Mindfunda’s to discover mythology in your own life

Remember when you were young? How your history teacher would tell you with radiant eyes- about the Greek mythology? Mythology seems far away. How are mythological stories relevant in your life today? Mindfunda explores mythological themes in 2 blogs :

Your mythic life
Myth Stories

Mythological themes in your mythic life

Personal myths structure our awareness and point us in the direction that becomes our path” as June Singer describes it in the foreword of the book Personal Mythology.

mythological
Personal Mythology

This book written by David Seinfeld and Stanley Krippner, might change the vision you have of your life and your role in it.
The writers invite you to look at your life as a fairy tale and to describe your role according to the hero’s journey. This blog will identify the steps you can take to start writing and re-writing your own story.

Mythological themes in stories

Films and television series: the hero’s journey has become a concept for any scriptwriter. Almost all of us know how the hero’s journey has guided George Lucas in creating Star Wars.

mythological
The Hero’s journey

If there is a film or a television series that resonates with you, there is bound to be a mythological theme hidden that will guide you on your path. If you look at the success of films like the Matrix or Sense8 you will know how alive mythological themes still are. We will also talk about some old gems and their mythological perspective like my fair lady and apocalypse now.

Gaming also uses mythological themes. In gaming you use an avatar while being present: a dream like state of awareness. In that way, gaming represents a form of awareness you also experience during dreaming: a third person’s perspective. You identify with the avatar/dream image, but you are aware that you are not your avatar. Stepping from this third person perspective of awareness into a first person’s perspective will broaden your horizon.

Mythological themes in culture

The culture you grew up in. every culture has its own sense of mythology. Most of us are familiar with the Greek and Roman mythology. we know the Greek and Roman names for several gods: Zeus for Jupiter and Hades for Pluto.
Ralph Metzner has told us how most Europeans and Americans are descendents from the warrior tribes that invaded Europe.

mythological
the well of remembrance


Having a horse and carriage gave them the chance to defeat the original tribes. The third Mindfunda blog will explore the different cultural mythologies.

Mythological themes to resolve crises

Crises: that is when you need the lessons of mythological stories the most. When you fall in love, leave your parents, lose a job, when you feel that the whole world is against you. We have all been there. Mythological stories tell about how sometimes you need some help from a magical creature. They tell you to look for the strength within. This blog will look at leaving home and becoming a (wo)man, about finding true love and about loosing your loved one.

Read on in Part 2

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! Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being.

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
Join me on Facebook
Twitter @susannevandoorn

 


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 Mythofunda:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths” Joseph Campbell used to say. This part of Mindfunda shows you how your personal mythology can create peace in your life.

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


(Ready for more free Mindfunda content on ‘#MYTHOLOGY‘?

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Let's celebrate the start of spring together! I want to invite you to join me on Mindfunda for a spring dream time celebration. This celebration is a part of my ...
Read More

Joseph Campbell: 5 Secrets to Yield Your own Yoda

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Trickster Gods: Tricky Ways to Discover the Self

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Today I like to tell you more about our online course Mindfunda Mythology. This is the fifth ...
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The 5 Finest Fundamental Female Ways to Become Authentic

Do you want to understand more about yourself, your dreams and the struggles of your life? Today I like to tell you more about our online course Mindfunda Mythology. This is the third ...
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Yggdrasil, Tree of Life in Norse mythology, is an appealing topic. Several years ago, I was part of a panel discussing this tree of life. During this panel, any people had ...
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4 Secrets about Male Mythology: What you Should Know Before You Get One

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Read More

The Amazing Animal: The Animal in Mythology

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From Genesis to Big Bang: a Mythological View on Creation Myths

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Read More

Mythological Themes and Modern Movies

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Read More

Film Feature: Four Stories about Gender

I want to thank Jungian Author Susan Scott, artist Brenda Ferrimani and Psychoanalyst Lou Hagood for their advice on Mindfunda Movie. It is the season to watch a film. Days are ...
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Comments or suggestions? Share your thoughts:

We hate Spam as much as you do, your information is safe with us and we will not provide your data to others. To authenticate you are human, you are kindly asked to opt-in on periodic updates as the Mindfunda Monthly.

Please check the appropriate boxes below.

keep me posted on newsno mail please

3 ways to unlock your creative potential (and a free bonus)

Sometimes you feel stuck... The same life, the same love, the same children, the same work. Here are three ways to get you out of your routine to get some creative sparkle in your life.

We all know those people who are incredibly creative. Artists, poets, painters. They produce work that is so good that we all feel that we will never be able to match it. But you don’t have to produce another Nightwatch. There are three things to bear in mind, if you want to live a more creative life. Simple things.

Being creative #1

Don’t expect to be another Rembrandt. One is enough.

creative
Rembrandt van Rijn

You have your own style, your own expression. An artwork, a painting, a poem is never going to look as good as the one in your head that you try to re-create. So this self-disappointment is part of the deal. But you will discover unexpected things about yourself. You will resolve creative problems that you did not even knew they existed. So be open-minded.

Being Creative #2:

Become your own best friend and supporter. Talk to yourself in a kind and gentle way like you would talk to your best friend.

creative

Supporting, always looking for the good things in your creative expression. Did you choose your colors wisely? Did you dare to combine colors, materials, themes that nobody else has ever thought of? Did you dance like nobody was looking? Please don’t stop doing that.

Being Creative #3:

Let your curiosity lead you. Not your passion. I know this might surprise you. Bur curiosity is a gentle energy that leads you to paths you never would have explored. Passion is like a hurricane sweeping away the things that you know. Passion make you want to sell your home and live in the desert. Curiosity makes you want to explore being in nature, exploring sun and sand.There is nothing wrong with passion. But it is not a very solid pillar to build your life upon.

Being Creative: bonus

Make an effort to remember your dreams. Your dreams are a portal into new worlds. Your dreams can unlock creative potential.

creative

This picture shows some of the art works I created based on my dreams. I know a lot of people always want to interpret their dreams. It is not always necessary. The mandala on the left side of the picture I made when i read the book Personal Mythology written by David Feinstein and Stanley Krippner.

Creative
Personal Mythology

The book takes you on a journey. you get exercises (like making a mandala) so you are able to look at your life from a different perspective. That is creative…

The drawing in the middle is a picture of my soul: the veiled one. I made it when I was reading Jung’s Red Book and I was incubating dreams about it. It made me ask myself very interesting questions like: “if I have a soul, what does it look like?’

The clay work on the left side of the picture is the image of Odin. I met a one-eyed man in my dreams once. I thought he was a wanderer. I got into a supermarket to buy him some really nutritious food. We got out and he looked at me. One of his eyes was gone. it was a powerful dream.

One last bonus tip: the Psiber Dreaming conference, an online dreaming conference has an art gallery each year, just waiting for your submission(s). I submitted an artwork once, a drawing I made of a man standing next to a tree. He was teaching me about dreams. Psi means that there is a connection between two people, two spheres that connect in dream time. This is an online conference with two presentations each day. the presenters are available online to discuss their topics. The theme this year is to leap into the mystery. That is where you can find creativeness.

creative
Leaping into the mystery

So, being creative is being gentle with yourself, being curious, and dancing like nobody is watching (or singing like nobody listens).

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! Soon I will be interviewing Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
Join me on Facebook
Twitter @susannevandoorn

How Rolling Thunder redefined shamanism

Today's Mindfunda wants to celebrate Rolling Thunder's birthday, September 19. Rolling Thunder, whose birth name was John Pope, was a self-proclaimed shaman. He had a huge following, with famous people like Bob Dylan and the Grateful Death among them. But most of all he was in touch with nature. He had a remarkable ability to tune into the energies of nature.

Shamanism and healing

shamanism
The Voice of Rolling Thunder

On the cover of this book, written by Stanley Krippner and his son Sidian Morning Star Jones you see a bird in the hands of Rolling Thunder. Before the photo was taken that bird lay wounded on the ground. Rolling Thunder picked the bird up and nurtured it. Soon, the bird started to come alive again and at that moment this photo was taken.
Even though there is question whether Rolling Thunder indeed had an Indian heritage, fact is that he was in tune with nature. He seemed to have an ability to pick up on nature’s rhythm and align his own energy with it.

Shamanism and pop culture

Rolling Thunder was popular with artists. He inspired Bob Dylan who did a Rolling Thunder tour. It is not clear if Bob Dylan named the tour after the healer, but Rolling Thunder is said to have appeared in some of the concerts to perform ceremonies. It was completely in line with the time frame: pop musicians like the Beatles in the seventies took people into the modern times but wanted to dip into the ancient wisdom. The Beatles introduced meditation by hooking up with Maharishi Yogi. Bob Dylan, but also the Grateful Death twirled around the magic of Rolling Thunder. Mickey Hart devoted a whole album to Rolling Thunder.

The archetypical qualities every pop star must have to become popular, have a magical appeal to the public. Rolling Thunder aligned with that appeal. I think he was able to do that because he seemed to be able to pick up energies so well.

Shamanism and energy

Rolling Thunder seemed to have this illumed power to tune into energy. i know that sounds vague. It is like buying a tooth-brush because it has thirty percent more hair in its brush. It can not be the ultimate success factor of this shaman. Let’s listen to Rolling Thunder himself in his foreword for Song of the Siren:

What scientists call physic phenomena, American Indians would refer to as “other world”. These phenomena are very important. In fact, they are the most important aspects of our lives. They have to do with life and death and sickness. They even have to with the rise and fall of governments.
Everything in the universe rises and falls and travels in cycles. These cycles are energy patterns created in the universe itself, then in the bodies of everyone living and everything that has a life. I think as scientists go more into explorations in this area, they will find that these energy patterns explain a lot‘.

Now this is a romantic view of life. It is something we crave. We know we have lost this connection to the earth and we grieve its loss every day. Looking at pop music today, it seems to have lost this bridge function between the old and the new. The new stars do not seem to have mentors. Or have I just become older?

Shamanism and you

I think that whenever you take a quit moment and you align with the natural rhythms around you, you can become your own shaman.
I think that Rolling Thunder had this great appeal to people because he had this genuine desire to unveil the secrets of the earth. And I think that we all long for this. That is why we all are moved by the words of Chief Seattle, of the Suquamish Indians. In his letter he writes:

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself“.

Like Rolling Thunder, he calls this alignment between the earth and the humans into being. And we live in a life that seems to have forgotten how much we are part of the earth. How we live, breath and are the earth itself. and how we will become part of her again after we leave this life.

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! Soon I will be interviewing Evan Thompson about his book Waking Sleeping Being

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK
Join me on Facebook
Twitter @susannevandoorn

Living the dream

Mindfunda's Susanne van Doorn was invited by the Societas Studiosorum Reformatorum Eindhoviensis or SSRE in Eindhoven to give a presentation to celebrate their 58th anniversary. The motto of their anniversary was Living the dream, so they reached out to me to talk about dreams. This Mindfunda is a transcript of the 'Living the Dream' presentation of September 14, 2015.

Living the dream, a cultural perspective

When I went away to University in the eighties, I had the Western idea of Living the Dream in mind. I was going to live on a beach somewhere, with lots of sun and lots of swimming. I would find myself a nice hunk to spend my life with and I would find a challenging job that payed well. It looked a bit like this:

Brad Pitt
living the dream

 

living the dream
The Best Job in the World

I know a lot of you share that view on ‘Living the dream’ with me. It is a cultural phenomena. A Western cultural ideal. How can we use something as individual as a dream to help us reach that goal? Let’s define dreaming using physical and psychological elements. I will give two techniques that will help you direct your dreams in a certain direction. They will help you reach your goals. Finally I will give you some great examples that will convince you that dreams can help you with Living the dream.

Let’s get philosophical

Are you dreaming right now? Do you ever wonder during the day if you are dreaming? Patricia Garfield did some research into common dream themes. Getting educated (by reading this blog) is one of the most common dream themes. So are you quite sure that you are not dreaming right now?

You could perform a reality check: count the fingers of your hands. Carlos Casteneda wrote about it in the seventies and lots of people learned to lucid dream by looking to their hands before falling asleep. Hands are always with you. Looking at your hands before you fall asleep and telling yourself to look at your hands during your dream to remember yourself that you are dreaming seems to be a sure technique to reaching lucidity in your dreams. Robert Waggoner used this technique to acquire the basic principles of lucid dreaming.

living the dream
Descartes

 

The question ‘are we dreaming right now?’ is the inheritance of Descartes. Descartes thought us to question everything. Yourself, your body, reality. we get taught to think that way in our universities and high schools. Descartes claimed that he existed because he was a thinking person: cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am. But that caused us to make a distinction between our mind and our body. And that is how I am going to define a dream. I will define three elements of physical dreaming and three elements of psychological dreaming. After doing that we can go back to “living the dream” and see how we can dream ourselves a way into this Western ideal.

Living the dream: technique #1

So how do you know if you are dreaming at this moment? There is a technique, introduced by Carlos Casteneda in the seventies. Looking at your hands and counting your fingers. When this becomes a habit you start to do this in your dreams. In your dreams your fingers look different.  And you always have your hands with you. Before you go to sleep: relax your body, look at your hands and say to yourself: I will look at my hands in my sleep and realize that I am dreaming.
There are more reality checks: looking a watch or a clock two times. The second time the clock hand will point at a different number.
Turn on the light: in your dream this is not possible.
Go back in time: wonder what you did before this event. In a dream you will not be able to remember a natural sequal of events.

So with this technique in mind, let’s define dreaming. I will cut up the dreaming process in physical and psychological elements.

Three Physical elements of dreaming

living the dream
suprachiasmatic nucleus

#1: The supraciasmatic nucleus takes care of our day – night rhythm. It regulates your body clock. Light reaches into your eye, and regulates this nuclei. It is one of the reasons why you better not wear sun glasses in the summer. And why you should dim the lights at night. When people can not fall asleep, I often give them the advice to talks a walk in the dark. Movement and darkness are ways of resetting the supraciasmatic nuclei. Darkness is the sign for the tryptophan in your body to be transferred to melatonin, which make you fall asleep. So don’t buy melatonin in the supermarket. Turn out the lights on time and go out for a walk in the dark!

#2: Brainwaves are a certain indicator of your state of awareness. Especially the Delta and Theta waves are present during sleep. REM sleep occurs during Theta waves.

living the dream
Brain waves

During Delta waves there is Deep Sleep. Sleep with no awareness. the total darkness. I will be interviewing Evan Thompson for Mindfunda soon. in his book Waking Dreaming Being, he devotes a whole chapter on this kind of sleeping. Where is the Self, The I, the awareness during this state? Is it a kind of ‘death’? or is there a sense of awareness?

The Rapid Eye Movement (REM sleep we got to know and love during the fifties appears in the Theta sleep. It was during REM that Stanley Krippner woke up his dreamers in his telepathy projects. He wanted to research of dreamers could be influenced by an outsider. In his experiments he got art, he got a dreamer and he got a sender in his dream lab. An artwork was randomly selected, the sender started concentrating and the dreamer started dreaming. Whenever the dreamer reached REM sleep he was woken up and a dream report was written down. This report was judged by an independent jury and scored on various points. Krippner published some amazing results, dreamers did manage to report dreams that showed fragments of paintings in a very accurate manner.

#3Inhibition of the spinal motor neurons. We do not move in our dreams from the neck down. We can turn around in our bed, but we do not get up and act out our dreams, because of this inhibition. Here you can see a dreaming cat who is acting out its dreams. Now you can see why this inhibition has been an evolutionary advantage.

So now we have defined the physical elements of dreaming. We are buckled up, let’s go ahead and explore the psychological elements of dreaming.

Psychological elements of dreaming

#1: First of all, you dream in images. In 2012 Japanese researchers could provide us with images we are dreaming, as you can see in this film. Impressive huh? What a work that must have been. The decoding of the human brain will leap us into new mysteries to be explored. Did you notice the beginning of this film is a scene from Inception? Leonardo di Caprio is a lucid dreamer, not only on-screen but also in real life…

#2: The second psychological element of dreaming is: you dream in symbols. this little film I found tells you more about it.
I only have three remarks about it. Being chased is not necessarily a bad thing. It can lead to lucidity. A very well-known lucid dreamer had nightmares when he was a kid, He was being chased by a monster. He was so frightened he did not dare to go to bed at night. But his nother said to him: why don’t you just turn around when you see that monster again and ask him what he wants from you? So the dreamer did just that and found out that the monster was not meaning any harm. The monster said: “I want to tell you something, but you always run away”
Falling in your dream does not have to symbolise failing. It is also a reflection of the energy level of your body decreasing. Just let yourself fall down and start to fly. Enjoy the process.
I know that it is a common assumption that all characters in a dream are reflections of you. But not always… I did some research (you can download it here). I had several dreams about meeting people who had dreamed the same. So one day i decided to do an experiment. I got 15 couples. Every couple of dreamers were supposed to meet each other in a dream. One had a gift, the other was the receiver. After the night of dreaming I collected all the dream reports. And… Several couples indeed had met each other and reported the right gift in their dream reports.

The third psychological element of dreaming are emotions. A lot of people see emotions as the key to giving meaning to a dream. Te film Inside Out gives such a good representation of our basic emotions. Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness and Joy. When you look at the world we live in, only a few of these emotions are tolerated. Joy is accepted as a public emotion. Anger is tolerated when it comes out as dominance or sarcasm. But you must never be to angry, too sarcastic, too sad or too fearsome. Showing disgust makes you an arrogant person. So most of us have gotten used to hiding our emotions. Dreaming is reconnecting with your emotions. To get to know yourself better. To accept that those emotions are just part of life.

Now we have defined the elements of a dream, it is time to tell you about the second tecnhique you can use to dream your way into a better future.

Living the dream technique #2 Incubation

Dream incubation is an old technique. It was used in ancient Greece in the dream temples of Asclepius. You concentrate on what you want to dream about. You write down your problem. preferably before going to bed. And you end with writing down one positive formulated sentence. A sentence that reflects your dream question in a positive way. “What is the best for me right now?” or “What do I need to know about …?” And while you are in bed dozing off, mumble that sentence. Do not forget to tell yourself that you will remember and understand your dream each time after mentally stating your dream request.
You might not remember a dream your first night. And maybe even the second night. But you will remember a dream if you keep doing this. The more you practice this technique the better you will become.

Living the dream by using your dreams

There is one technique, besides lucid dreaming that I have not talked about. It is called incubation. The ancient Greeks used it in their dream temples when they wanted guidance for their health. And so can you. Here is what you do.

You write down a specific wish/problem/subject you want to dream about. during the day and again before sleep. You write down what you what to dream about and you finish with one clear positive sentence that states your request. ‘Tonight I will dream about … in a way that I will remember an understand’. Mumble those words as you doze off to sleep.

Living the dream consists of three things that go well in your life: love, your career and your health.  I will tell you stories about dreams that have changed the lives of people in those three areas that are so important. All three areas are a reflection on who you are or on who you want to be in this life that you are given. These dreams will make you see that by dreaming, you can turn your world around for the better.

Living the dream: love

Justina Lasley found the man of her dreams by remembering a dream. In her book Wake up she tells us:
My dreams and intuition were instrumental and informative as I met and married Chad Minifie, the man of my dreams. One day I had tearfully shared my previous night’s dreams with my very intuitive friend Cathy. The dreams were brimming with sadness about not having met the man with whom I would share my future. She stopped me, saying she sensed from my dreams that I already had a connection to the man I would marry. As strange as it still seems to me, she was right. I followed her suggestion: I closed my eyes and tried to connect with the love I yearned for. I quickly felt a connection to both New England and England, which seemed very bizarre. I didn’t know many people in New England and had never spent time there…
The feeling of that experience stayed with me for several weeks. After a month or so, on e-Harmony (how can it be?) I met a man who lived on Hilton Island and decided to meet him for dinner in Charleston. Soon after being seated I asked, “Where are you from originally?” I am still in awe of his answer: “Well, I have spent most of my life in New England, but my family comes from England”

Dreaming and intuition are twin sisters. If you want to hear Justina tell more powerful stories about changing your life for the better using dreams as a guide you can watch the Mindfunda interview with her.

 

Living the dream: Career

living the dream
Einstein

It was a dream that guided Einstein towards his theory of relativity. When he was 16, his grades in school were bad. His father said: “Son, I am giving up on you. Why don’t you become a plumber!”. Einstein was  very upset because he felt he was smart. That night he had a dream that would nurture him into his fertile future. The dream that had all the ingredients of his discoveries.

‘In my 
dream I am on the top of a hill, covered with snow. My friends are with me and we all have sledges. We start to glide down and we all laugh and have fun. But my sledge is going down real hard and soon I go with the speed of light. I leave my friends behind me. When I look up to the sky I see the light fall apart into a spectrum.’

Einstein told this dream at the end of his life. This dream had been a secret inspiration for him. He told the interviewer that whenever he felt down or uninspired, he remembered the feeling of this dream.

Living the dream: Health

A dream can save you life. If you listen to the podcast of my dreams and health panel for the IASD conference in 2013 you can hear impressive examples.
But the story of Rita Dwyer and her colleage Ed Butler is one of the most impressive stories around. Ed had several dreams about saving Rita from a fire. He opened the door (we all know that you should not open a door when the door handle is hot or smoke comes out of the doorway. The flames will burst out because of the oxygen coming in). He got into her burning laboratory and got her out alive. Against all odds.

When they were in hospital Rita asked him: “Why did you open the door, and put your life in danger? You know it is against all formal regulations?” And he told her he had saved her in recurring dreams. “I knew I was going to survive this. I knew what I had to do, I had done it before in my dreams”. And that is one other good thing about dreams: they rehearse possible futures. You are able to dream the future. Perhaps it is better to say: dreams will rehearse several possible futures for you.

I want to thank SSRE for inviting me, and my colleague Hans van Nuland for his contribution to my ‘Living the Dream’ presentation.

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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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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 Dreamfunda:  
Everything you need to know about dreams. Practical How to’s, the latest scientific research, the most commonly used ways to attach meaning to dreams. This and more is given to you for your everyday use in this part of Mindfunda

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


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3 ways to look at your Animal Totem

When you call upon the power of an animal you are asking to be drawn into complete harmony with the strength of that creature’s essence

Animal totem in ancient times

In ancient times, an initiate, seeker, or person needing guidance would come before the elders.  The elders were usually six in number and sat in the North. The elders were wise, not only because they had les a long life, but because they knew the inner secrets. They understood the Wolf trails of the mind, experienced many powerful visions and owned their powers and gifts’.
Jamie Sams & David Carson in Medicine Cards

animal totem
Medicine Cards
Jamie Sams & David Carson

People used to know each other because of the animal their family was associated with. The Raven people, the Wolf men… I used to see hypnagogic images of wolves for a long time when I fell asleep. The elderly people in the tribe as Jamie Sams and David Carson describe it in their book had the ability to tap into the wisdom and power of several animals. Here is how they describe such a council:

Picture, if you can, a roaring Council fire and six elders sitting in the North under a new crescent moon. The crescent moon is drawn to the Earth in corn pollen. Three elder men sit on the left as you approach from the South, and three elder women sit on the right. You sit in front of the second, or middle, man. His fierce birdlike eyes hold you like a vise. He holds up a beaded medicine bag or pouch. It is covered in symbols and power designs and it is fringed at the bottom…

The middle man motions you to reach inside. You do so. You pull out, perhaps, a Wolf tooth or a Bear claw. He tells you to place it on the ground between the two of you, in a specific position. You do so. Then you take out other items from the pouch and place them with the first item. Each position or direction has a meaning and each object is a lesson or a talent.

The middle woman looks at the objects you have selected and at the figurations you have placed them in. She begins speaking to you in a soothing voice. She seems to know all about you. She seems to reach inside your very soul. She is a guide and a wise counselor. She is able to tell you if and how you parted from your trail.

The need for this type of guidance exists today. We live in an age that has severed itself from nature and magic. The Medicine Cards are a method for remedying that dissociation.
Jamie Sams & David Carson in Medicine Cards

Animal totem now

When Stanley Krippner (click here to read more about him) guided me and my fellow students of his two-day workshop Personal Mythology into a guided meditation to meet our power animal I met the deer.

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I once had a dream of antlers that were born from my stomach so I already felt kinship with the deer. In my meditate state I ‘felt’ the softness of the skin of the deer while I also felt its strength. The deer could protect itself with the antlers. It uses the antlers to defend but also to connect with a higher energy, serving as a catalyst between heaven and earth.
Jamie Sams and David Carson call this card: Gentleness. ‘Deer teaches us to use the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are trying to keep us from the Sacred Mountain. If the Deer has gently nudged his way into your cards today you are being asked to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. Stop pushing so hard for people to change and love them as they are‘.

Animal totem: going back to nature

Did you know there has been a man called Adrian Boshier who went back to Africa and lived the way people did in the old tribes? He connected with the wisdom of animals, plants and stones. In his workshop Personal Mythology Stanley Krippner told us about him.

animal
Adrian Boshier
photo credit williamjames.com

There is a very good book written about his live that is very worth while to read if you want to know about connecting with your animal totem.

animal totem
Lightning Bird
Lyall Watson

‘Many people identify with a particular plant or animal believing that there is a group spirit or soul, a collective identity that is equated in some way with this totem. “What do you dance?” the villagers asked when Boshier became a part of their lives. At first he did not understand, but later he learned that this is always what people in Africa say when they want to know the origins of a stranger. The replay “I dance the owl” for instance means that the visitor comes from a community that recognizes the owl as its totem and is not only related to the bird, but historically to all the clans which know the same siboko’.
Lightning Bird Lyall Watson

Adrian had a special thing with snakes, the cobra in particular. There was something going on between him and cobra’s. Something beyond words. Do you know that movie about that lady that has to kiss a cobra three times? In this film you can see the magic and the magnetism between the two. You can see the concentration and the care with which the lady chooses her moment.

“In Africa, snakes are regarded as reincarnations of the spirits of the ancestors. Snakes are imbued with supernatural powers of wisdom and the secret of eternal youth. They represent the forces of life and regeneration, exercising a profound influence over fertility and good fortune’
Lightning Bird Lyall Watson

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Snake in Prague

I think, when I was kissed by a snake in my dreams I was reminded of this power element of my totem animal. Like the woman kissing the cobra I was, in my dream, completely fixated at being in line with the snake. Carefully measuring his energy, feeling with my ‘third eye’ to see if it was the right time to come close. Like Boshier I felt my spirits lift and my back straighten. It was like a coming home. What about you? How do you connect with your animal totem?

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Can I quote you on this? A list of the 7 best quotes

 

quote
Today’s Mindfunda is about quotes. Don’t you love it when you are reading a good book and a chapter starts with the perfect quote? In this Mindfunda I will give the top list of my favorite quotes.

Quote #1

‘There is no such thing as spiritual integrity without emotional integrity. Like it or not, we need to own up to our honest feelings and figure out what to do with them’.

quote
Jean Raffa

Jean Benedict Raffa in Healing the Sacred Divide (click to read more about Jean and her work). To see her interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #2

‘No sailor controls the sea. Only a foolish sailor would say such a thing. Similarly, no lucid dreamer controls the dream. Like a sailor on the sea, we lucid dreamers direct our perceptual awareness within the larger state of dreaming’.

Robert Waggoner in Lucid Dreaming Plain and Simple. (click to read more about Robert and his work). To see his interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #3

‘When you look into a mirror, you know on some level that you are seeing the reverse reflection of yourself. However, the apparent accuracy of the reflection convinces you that you are seeing the real thing. When we look at our dreams without our sisters, we look into a reverse mirror. As dreamers we must know when we are seeing in reverse.

quote
Connie Kaplan

Connie Kaplan in The Woman’s Book of Dreaming (click to read more about Connie and her work). To see her interview with Mindfunda click here.

Quote #4

‘Myth is not an empirical science which has yielded considerable information about the natural world; indeed, it appears to be its polar opposite. However, the same shamans who told their communities imaginative stories about the origins of the world also used trial and error, as well as logical deduction, to determine which herbs had healing qualities, which substances would alter consciousness, which path hunters should pursue to find game, which changes the weather might take, and which direction would be the most propitious when it was time for a tribe to relocate’

Stanley Krippner in ‘Introduction: Some Perspectives on Myth’. The Humanistic Psychologist 22 (2), 122-123 Click here to read about Stanley Krippner. To see my Mindfunda interview with him click here.

Quote #5

‘Alchemy was the secret tradition which taught that the priceless treasure spoken of in so many myths and legends of the ancient world lies within our own human nature – unrecognised, despised, neglected. It transposed the images of mythology and in particular the myth of the sacred marriage and the divine birth to the human soul. The alchemist descended into the depths of his soul to experience a death and rebirth, to be transmuted from lead into gold, to redeem the treasure buried in the primal matter of his instinctual life and to be reunited with the divine ground of the Soul personified by the feminine image of Divine Wisdom’.

quote
Anne Baring

Anne Baring in ‘Dream of the Cosmos.’ Click here to read more about Anne and her work. To see my Mindfunda interview with her click here.

Quote #6

‘The Gods themselves require additional knowledge, gained, it seems , from the underworld, to interpret great and significant dreams which indicate the destiny of gods, kings and man’

Hilda Davidson, quoted in ‘The Well of Remembrance’ written by Ralph Metzner. Click here to read more about the Well of Remembrance. To see my Mindfunda interview with Ralph Metzner click here.

Quote #7

‘The only real death that ever occurs is when a dream we cherish dies’

P.M.H. Atwater. Click here to read more about all her work on near death experiences. To see the Mindfunda interview with her click here.

 

quote

 

I would like to encourage you to sign up for my youtube channel: Two more interviews will be uploaded soon. Justina Lasley talks with Mindfunda about her methos of working with dreams and her new book ‘Wake up to your dreams’. Make sure you have your own dream(s) ready because she will take you through her easy method of finding out more about your dreams.

Catherine Wikholm will talk with Mindfunda about the merits AND the dark side of meditation. She has used meditation and yoga as a way to improve the life of prisoners and did scientific research about the results.
You can subscribe using this link.

Twitter: @susannevandoorn

 

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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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 and Stanley Krippner. I will be doing an interview with Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill very soon so be sure to sign up!

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
If you use this link to by an honest liar you will support Mindfunda

 

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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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 and Stanley Krippner. I will be doing an interview with Catherine Wikholm about her book the Buddha Pill very soon so be sure to sign up!

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Summer solstice: when the sun does not seem to move

summer solstice
art @ginnygaura.com

Summer Solstice. The day in the year that the sun seems to hang still in the air. Solstice originates from the Latin word Solstitium: sol = sun and stitium is to stand still.

Summer solstice

It has been celebrated ever since agriculture came into fashion, about 10,000 years ago. We all know that solstice was celebrated in places like Stonehenge. But what does it mean for dreams and dreaming? Do you remember the Mindfunda on Earth day? Here you can read it. Solar flames trigger the earth magnetic field. The earth magnetic field influences dreams and dream content. Stanley Krippner, professor of psychology at Saybrook University (see an interview with him here) found out that during the times of high solar flames the earth magnetic field responds and dream content changes. In his extrasensory perception experiments he found out that dreams that where telepathic often occurred on days with a low magnetic activity.

Summer solstice: research

Other research has been conducted by Russian researcher Shumilov. He looked at activity in the Earth’s geomagnetic field from 1948 to 1997 and found that it grouped into three seasonal peaks every year: one from March to May, another in July and the last in October. You can read more about this research here.

Some people can be very sensitive to the earth’s magnetic field. According to a man calling himself Harry Magnet you are more sensitive if you have a psychiatric disorder. That is a little troublesome, but I can understand his reasoning. Just like a magnet has poles, Harry assumes people also have magnetic poles that can be pulled by disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field. This is what Harry has to say about the summer solstice: “The general pattern was that my symptoms would get progressively worse for a month or two before the solstice (both winter and summer), then get better after the solstice. If your depression, mania, anxiety, or any other symptom changes with the seasons, this can be a sign of geomagnetic field sensitivity”.

Summer solstice: this year

At this years summer solstice (2015) the activity of the sun will be low, the highest activity are moderate flares. You can find out all about the strength of solar flames using this link here. So this solstice is good for telepathic dreaming. For engaging in your own mutual dreaming experiment (more info see here).

Enjoy your summer solstice. Honor the light and the dark in your life. they need each other. So much of our time is waisted trying to be perfect. Be like the sun these days: hang still in the air. observe, be nurturing.

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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 and Stanley Krippner. I will be uploading an interview with P.H Awater about near desth experiences very soon so be sure to sign up!

GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK

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Astrology

astrology

 

Astrology is a very ancient way of dealing with crops. The Indo European people (More info here). As far back as the third millennium before Christ people have been searching meaning in the sky. But in the current day astrology is associated with those fragments in the newspaper: “Aries: today you will meet a tall dark handsome stranger and he will mysteriously disappear again”.

Astrology vs science

Science doesn’t like astrology either. Look at this film fragment from the amazing Randi about astrology. intuitively we know that the moon influences us and our dreams. Look and listen to the wisdom of Connie Kaplan about the influence of the moon on dreams.

Recent research however shows that a birth month correlates with certain diseases.

astrology
@Tatonetti lab

Analyzing data from over 1,7 million people, scientists of Colombia University deduced that May is a relative healthy month to be born in while being born in October is relatively unhealthy.

Astrology and science

Stanley Krippner writes in his Song of the Siren:
The Gauquelines examined the planetary positions of the French Academy of Medicine. There seemed to be an odd preference of people who were later to become doctors to be born at the moment when Mars had just risen over the horizon or cumulate at the meridian“.

 

astrologu
Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior: The Planetary Factors in Personality

Based on detailed analysis of 16000 names and dates of birth of famous European man and woman they concluded that planets do have an effect on personality. People born when Mars is rising or at its upper culmination are active and eager, even quarrelsome. People born with Jupiter temperament are at ease and ambitious. People with Saturn temperaments are formal and  reserved. And finally people with Lunar temperament, born when the moon was on the horizon or the meridian, are amiable and friendly.

In 1968, Gauqueline’s insights were reproduced by a research done at the Belgium Committee for paranormal phenomena. They analyzed the birth data of sportsmen. Most of them were born when Mars was culminating.

My own experience with astrology was when I had the data of my mutual dreamers analyzed by Maria Cernuto. Bob van de Castle connected us after I had read an article on the astrological details of people who are good in dream telepathy. You can read our report about it here.

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Psychology professor Stanley Krippner about dreams myths and visions

psychology
Stanley Krippner

Mindfunda had the honor of interviewing Stanley Krippner, professor in psychology on Saybrook University about his life. You can watch it on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to sign up because I will be uploading lots of interesting interviews.

Stanley Krippner is a featured speaker on the conference of the International Study for the Association of dreams (IASD) where he will be talking about his work on ptsd – post traumatic stress disorder -. *)

It was a dream of mine that triggered me to sent him an invitation for an interview. I dreamed that I was performing a ritual with my hands. I had to move my hands in synch with Stanley Krippner in my dream. I knew exactly what to do, intuitively and I woke up very happy. With a new sense of trusting my inner self.

psychology
Stanley Krippner A life of dreams, myths and visions

If you purchase this book using this link, you will support the good work of Mindfunda

In this book Stanley Krippner, a life of dreams myths &  visions, a picture is painted of a psychology professor who combines a very analytical skill with tact and diplomacy. A rare combination. A lot of well-known scholars contributed a chapter to this book: Allan Leslie Combs, Jurgen Werner. Michael Winkerman, Charles Laughlin, Jean Millay & Suzanne Engelman, Deidre Barret, Daniel Deslaudiers, Faribah Bogzahran, David Feinstein and Deidre Barrett to name a few. This book is filled with wisdom.

Stanley Krippner has explored the field of psychology in all possible realms. He has a special interest in dreams. He has kept a dream journal from a relative young age. His article about how the magnetism of the earth influences dream content is just one of the ways he shows his love for the earth. Growing up in a farmer’s family he was involved in ecological agriculture at an early age. Slug the Bug! was his first ecological product that he sold himself at the local market. He always is very aware of his connection to the earth. His advice to students of psychology is: to stay grounded

psychology
@nldreamtime

This connection to the earth must get nurtured by a believe in magic. In the Mindfunda interview Stanley Krippner talks about how his good friend Rolling Thunder surprised him with some magic. One day a bird was brought to Rolling Thunder, a Cherokee medicine man. His wing was broken. Rolling thunder just took the bird in his hands and it flew away, healed.

psychology
Rolling thunder

If you buy this book using this link you will support the good work of Mindfunda 

In the Mindfunda interview you will hear Stanley Krippner talking about that event. The picture on the cover of the book was taken shortly after.

psychology
photo @zoom.nl

The interview with Stanley Krippner made perfectly clear that psychology needs grounded people who base their conclusions on observable facts. But that only observable facts are not enough. You have to be open-minded for the magic to do its work. Otherwise the earthly facts would be too dry to consume.

His knowledge about magic (he used to study and perform magic tricks) came into good use when he investigated several paranormal events. A haunted house got analyzed by Stanley who deducted that every time something happened the grandson of the couple that lived in this haunted house was present. It turned out that the grandson wanted a place of his own and creating a story about the house being haunted made people crazy enough to experience weird things.
Magic also played a role when he conducted his experiments with Montague Ullman and Alan Vaughan concerning dream telepathy. The laboratory where he investigated dreaming persons using electrodes to measure their brainwaves was checked by magicians. It are those kind of details that make this man stand out.

I know Stanley Krippner not only from the books he has written but also because I invited him to perform a workshop Personal Mythology in the Netherlands. In the Mindfunda interview Stanley says that finding out your Personal mythology is important. Getting to know yourself better is vital for liking yourself. Liking yourself creates inner peace. inner peace creates the ability to give back to the world. If you want to join the Facebook group Personal Mythology I initiated click here. In this group we talk about mythology, mythological themes that penetrate our lives, we talk about dreams and how we have evolved from old personal mythologies into new mythologies.

There is one thing I have not mentioned yet. Shamanism. Deidre Barrett, in her contribution to the book “Every Tribe’s Wise man” talks about how a supervisee, Amaro Laria found shamans in remote places who all asked him once they heard he was from America: “Do you know Stanley Krippner?”

Stanley talks in the Mindfunda interview about how he used Carlos Casteneda’s hand method to aquire the art of lucid dreaming (for more info about lucid dreaming see my interview with Robert Waggoner).
Like Ralph Metzner he researched and experienced natural means of expanding consciousness and has written several articles about it.

Stanley Krippner gives psychology a new two-sided face. On the one hand he is about facts: analyzing data, reading the latest research. On the other hand he always keeps an eye open for magic. “The one thing I wish that students would do is gather facts about precognitive dreams” he stated in one of the interviews I saw while preparing my Mindfunda interview. Facts, sprinkled with a little touch of magic.

psychology
Post-traumatic stress disorder

*)  purchase this book about PTSD, and support the good work of Mindfunda

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GRAB YOURSELF A FREE E-BOOK AND LEARN ALL ABOUT MUTUAL DREAMING USING THIS LINK

Earth day: the magnetic field of the earth

Earth's magnetic field
Earth’s magnetic field

On this beautiful picture above you can see the magnetic field of the Earth. To me, the earth looks like a Spider. I am not surprised that the oldest mythologies about the origins of the universe talk about the Spider Grandmother who created all.
So what exactly is the magnetic field of the earth?

The earth its core is composed out of iron and nickel. These function as a magnet. The Earth’s magnetic North Pole is in North Canada and its magnetic South pole is in Antarctica. This field enables you to use GPS on your cellphone (and find your parked car back in foreign cities). This magnetic field is generated by the flow of liquids in the earth, and changes due to solar wind.

In 1996, Stanley Krippner of Saybrook University published an article about the influences of the changes in the magnetic field of the earth on our dreams: “Dreams and Distance Target Material”. In his article he states that “there is more telepathic dreaming during decreased geometric activity”. But also finds that “visual apparitional experiences occur more frequently on days with enhanced geometrical activity”.

In a more recent stud, in 2009, Darren Lipnicki, a psychologist formerly at the Center for Space Medicine in Berlin, Germany compared his dream content with the Earth’s magnetic field and found that during periods of low activity his dream content was what he called “bizarre”. In a seven-year period he collected 2,387 dreams and scaled them on bizarreness on a five point scale. Then he compared it with the K-index, a scale used to characterize the magnitude of geomagnetic storms.

If you want to know more about the Earth and its magnetic field this is just the book for you:

Earth
The Magnetic Universe

It tells you all you need to know about the history of the Earth, the formation of the magnetic field and magnetism.

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You can connect with me on twitter: @susannevandoorn
and grab yourself a free ebook about mutual dreaming.

 

10 Dream books you should read

I have been working with dreams for several years now, and I read a lot of dream books. But sometimes there is that one book that really has a special edge. A way you have not looked at dreams before. Here is my list of 10 dream books you should read i.e. I can recommend all of you to buy and read. Please let me know if you agree with my choices. If one of your personal favorite dream books is absent, let me know by using the comment section below the blog.

  • Dream books tip #1: ‘Creative Dreaming’ by Patricia Garfield:
    Years ago, in the eighties, I read this book, in one night. It was the first book ever that discussed dreams as creative material. I fell asleep and had my first lucid dream (a dream you have while being aware that you are dreaming). This is not only about lucid dreams however. It is about getting the most out of a dream to make your life better. Patricia was criticized for not being scientific and for not having visited the Senoi people she wrote about. But that does not change the fact that this book gives you a method you can use that will change your dream-life. Patricia was on the panel I organized on the conference of the International Organisation of the Study of Dreams (IASD) in 2014 click here
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #1
Dream books tip #1: Creative dreaming – Patricia Garfield

 

  • Dream books tip #2: ‘Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them’ written by Stanley Krippner, Fariba Bogzaran and Andre Percia de Carvalho. This book gives you such a good insight in all the different types of dreams: creative dreams, Lucid dreams, Out of body dreams, healing dreams, mutual dreams… It is carefully organized and there are a lot of references to very good research about dreams. There is even a paragraph about “Working with dreams within dreams”.  I have only come across this phenomena in books about dreams in Frederik van Eede’s Dromenboek  (A Dutch lucid dreamer and writer who was in the same circle as Carl Gustav Jung).
    This book will give you so much information about dreams, your head may spin. read it one chapter at a time so you will digest all the information in it. After all these years it is still a source of reference for me.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #2
Dream books tip #2: Extraordinary dreams and how to work with them

  • Dream books tip #3: ‘a Branch of the Lightning Tree’ Stanley Krippner came over in 2013 to do a workshop Personal Mythology in Utrecht. Identifying mythological themes in your life and your dreams can give you so much more understanding. About yourself, about the situation you are in and about the steps you can take. Reading  a Branch of the lightning tree written by Martin Shaw has taught me a lot about distilling mythological information out of stories. Dreams are stories told by the night. So even though this book is not about dreams, it will help you understand them better.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #3
Dream books tip #3: A branch from the lightning tree

 

  • Dream books tip #4: ‘Active Dreaming’ – Robert Moss is an excellent writer. He knows how to tell a story. When he came to Utrecht to give a workshop Active dreaming, people were glued to his lips. His books are filled with useful well researched information. Robert has written a lot of books and they are all good. I have chosen Active dreaming because I like the exercises in them. There are coincidence games in it, the mapping of your energy path, a low maintenance plan for your health… It is just a very good book. A dream is something to act upon and Robert gives you the keys to unlock the secrets in them.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #4
Dream books tip #4: Robert Moss Active Dreaming


  • Dream books tip #5: Another book that changed my way of looking at dreams is the ‘Woman’s book of dreams’. The knowledge Connie Kaplan shared about the moon and dreaming is something I have never read before in any other book.  She connects dreaming with astrology. It made me grab my dream notes and look at what sign the moon was in while I had these dreams. In that way I made discoveries about myself, my dreams and their content that I would not have been able to make without reading this book. She also discusses a way of working with dream groups that I have used several times. One time, before doing a workshop with pregnant women and their dreams I took this book out of my closet in a dream. It made me change my workshop in the “Connie Kaplan” way and it was a good decision. In the workshop some very profound discoveries were made and people were able to engage with each other on a deeper level because of the method I used.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #5
Dream books tip #5: The woman’s book of dreams Connie Kaplan

 

  • Dream books tip #6: ‘Lucid Dreaming’ – Robert Waggoner is a very experienced lucid dreamer. But what is so intriguing about this book is that he helps you to shift perspective. He asks you who the writer of your dream story is (you can read more about this perspective here). A lot of people who are involved in dreaming are against lucid dreaming. A dream should take its natural course. Don’t mess with it because that would be messing with the natural psychological process that dreams are made off. But Robert simply asked “Does the sailor control the sea?” and shows us that no lucid dreamer ever fully controls the content of the dream. And he has some other thought-provoking suggestions and experiences to share.

 

Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #6
Dream books tip #6: Lucid Dreaming Robert Waggoner

 

I have not read his newest book ‘Lucid dreaming plain and simple’ yet.
He wrote it together with Caroline McCready. But it is on my list. I plan to do an interview with him and put it on this blog, so stay tuned!

Mindfunda.com: dream books runner-up
Dream books runner-up: Lucid dreaming plain and simple Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready

 

  • Dream books tip #7: Robert Gongloffs’ book ‘Dream Exploration’ changed my way of working with dreams because he taught me to take a step back. In this book you will find a matrix that enables you to look at the theme of a dream. Not focus so much on the meaning of a single symbol but look at the greater picture.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #7
Dream books tip #7: Dream Exploration Robert Gongloff

 

  • Dream books tip #8: I used to think alchemy was mighty interesting but beyond my understanding. So many old manuscripts, very hard to read and even more difficult to understand. Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of Monika Wikmans’ ‘Pregnant Darkness‘. She leads you through the alchemical process using dreams and symbols. Reading this book gave me so much more understanding of the path of transformation we all have to travel in live. It is well written and the examples she shares with us make us reconsider our own dream material.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #8
Dream books tip #8: Pregnant Darkness Monika Wikman

 

  • Dream books tip #9: Communing with the Gods’ is a well documented anthropological exploration into dreams. Charles Laughlin takes the reader on a journey to explore his neuroanthropology of dreaming. An attempt for a cross-fertilization between neurology, psychology, sociology and anthropology. Ambitious yes, but very interesting. I wrote about this book before you can read it here. The way Charles Laughlin builds the evidence for his Neuroanthropology of dreaming will give you a new way of looking at dreams.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #9
Dream books tip #9: Communing with the gods Charlie Laughlin
  • Dream books tip #10: Last but not least, my translation of Vasily Kasatkins’ classic ‘A theory about Dreams’. You can hear my presentation about it in this link. The reason why this book will change your vision on dreams is that it makes the relationship between the body and the dream content crystal clear. Even a hard-core scientist as psychiatrist Vasily Kasatkin was convinced that dreams are the early indicators of physical illness. A dream can safe your life.
Mindfunda.com: dream books tip #10
Dream books tip #10: ‘a Theory about Dreams’ – Vasatli Kasatkin translated by Susanne van Doorn

Did you enjoy this list of Dream books? Please use the comments box below to share your thought!

 

Brain waves can move objects

There has been much debate about brain waves and telepathy. Science was not in favor of the idea, disposing of the subject as being “Accidental”. Almost all of us remember the laboratory experiences of people like Robert van de Castle, Stanley Krippner and Montague Ullman in the ’70s. There was a lot of debate about the accuracy and the repeatability of the experiments.

Brain waves can move objects

More and more science seems to meet magic. We all loved the fact that science helped a paralised lady to drink. The latest inventions use brain waves to make objects fly. The Puzzlebox Orbit, a former Kickstarter project has gone viral, and raised 74,799$.

 

Joshua Marcias has a background in electrical and biomedical Engineering. His business partner Steve Castelotti from Puzzlebox is a computer scientist. It is about time science and magic meet. Take a look how using brain waves makes the helicopter fly. Concentration is needed to create the brain waves that keep the helicopter floating. Puzzlebox is marketed as a tool to learn people to focus, meditate and concentrate. The more one uses these abilities, the more the brain gets familiar with it. Even though this is not a proven fact, it is a very cool gadget to play with.

The Puzzlebox orbit helps you to concentrate and clear your mind. If you are focused, your mind produces a specific type of brainwaves. These brain waves are picked up by a control set.

puzzlebox-orbit-mobile_edition using brain waves
On the right side of the picture is the headset that captures your brain waves

 

If brain waves are able to set a material object, a drone, in motion it make you wonder what else brain waves are capable of.  Sending out waves to another mind? Your brain is used to the brain waves of your spouse (that is why a lot of people are not able to fall asleep when their loved one is not around). Connecting with other people, or even worlds like the ancient people thought? Would it be able to create a fascilitation device that enables you to connect with another brain?

Anyway, this is a very cool gadget, I would love to have one!
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