In the 1960s, the dream of space flight became an exemplary expression of technological achievement. For the first time in human history, we could see from the moon the image of earth rising in the inky darkness of space. I remember being mesmerized by that image. I also remember being dismembered by how the paradoxical tension of that image turned upside down my taken for granted assumptions about who we are as a human species and what our place was in the cosmos.
Longing is a strong, persistent desire for something seeming unattainable or distant. It is related to hunger, yearning for family, partner, group, or self. Psychologically, longing relates to a primal human desire, the need and impetus to overcome the ego alienated from the unconscious, to feel inclusion, not exclusion, acceptance, not rejection, and love, not hate.
Memory can be a path of exploration, a backward glance which, returning one to the moment where the present started, can make one present to the present moment in another way–where one might, as Eliot notes, come to know it for the first time. Are not such returns necessary, especially in moments of change and crises?
Every day seems to bring in its wake a creeping sense of apocalypse that is haunting our individual and collective lives. Apocalypse is one of those harrowing words that seem to foretell disaster. Are we on the edge of a global catastrophe? What is in a word, and specifically such a loaded word like apocalypse?
“Who are you? Who are you?” At the time, it seemed a simple question, which I posed to the young woman in the lucid dream. But this simple question led to profound lessons in lucidity and taught me much about the nature of transformation in dreams, lucid dreams and waking.
Our existence is fundamentally interpersonal. Human beings are not isolated, free-floating objects, but subjects existing in perpetual, multiple, shifting relationships. Life is defined by these myriad interactions – by the push and pull of inter-subjectivity as well as the overt and covert social contracts. Through them we realize our incompleteness and vulnerability.
Lucid dreaming is an ancient and revolutionary psychological tool for exploration, which has been scientifically confirmed in recent times. By understanding it as a relational tool, you can move deeper and deeper, achieving new and more powerful realizations. I taught myself how to lucid dream in the spring of 1975. This turns out to be the same spring that researcher Keith Hearne recorded the first ‘eye signal’ of lucid awareness in the University of Hull sleep lab from the sleeping lucid dreamer, Alan Worsley.
In the last few years a resurgence in the nature of narrative, of story and personal and collective identity has gained widespread attention. My interest in one’s personal narrative is tied to the nature and structure of myths, both personal, national and global. So what is it to make a myth and to live by a myth?
A tall, dark-skinned, successful professional woman, Anya grew up feeling she was “too much”. Her body size, feelings, and needs were “too big”. When I’d ask her about her feelings, she reported keeping them “shoved in her body” where she “held on tight”. This manifested in stooping to reduce her height, gathering her shoulders up around her ears, and collapsing in her chest.