Inertia creeps…

To paraphrase the great Sir Isaac Newton: in the absence of some applied external force, a body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion…

Sir Isaac Newton: Three Laws of Motion, and they even named the Fig Newton after him!  [NOTE: Fig Newtons are actually *not* named after Sir Isaac, but rather take their designation from the town of Newton, MA, USA...]

Sir Isaac Newton: Three Laws of Motion, and they even named the Fig Newton after him! [NOTE: Fig Newtons are actually *not* named after Sir Isaac, but rather take their designation from the town of Newton, MA, USA...]

So, here’s why I bring this up: in my own immediate context, this here blog has been a body at rest for quite some time, and in the absence of an applied external force — such as the blog’s author infusing some energy back into it! — it will tend to stay at rest.  I’d even go so far as to ask Sir Isaac if a body at rest will possibly even tend to stay at rest with increasing sloth-like tenacity, the longer it’s been at rest…?  We’ve all probably experienced the feeling of resolving to climb back onto a given metaphorical horse after a long absence from the saddle, and feeling how insanely difficult the prospect is.

But regardless of difficulty — because as we’ve all heard, it’s rarely the things that are easy to do that are worth the doing — I haven’t been unmindful of this space, and am setting it back in my sights once again.  I’m ever aware of Time’s winged chariot racing along, and unlike Sir Isaac, I haven’t even coined one Law of Motion yet, much less three, so there’s no shortage of work to be done!  In terms of getting this blog back into “body-in-motion” shape, I’m aiming to update at least once or twice per week, moving forward, and please do feel free to write in with any questions or requests for topics.  If you’re looking for me, I can often be found under that big tree over there, watching out for falling apples…

Join me under this fruitful thing if you like, although maybe wear a helmet if you do...

Join me under this fruitful thing if you like, although maybe wear a helmet if you do…

“I release you.”

Stress is bad for us.

I can’t imagine this will be anyone’s first time encountering this notion.  We all know this — it’s hardly a closely-guarded secret, locked away in some clandestine power bloc’s deepest, most blast-proof vault somewhere impregnable and subterranean.  Stress is bad for us…  We’re probably even almost unanimously agreed on this one…and we humans don’t easily get unanimous, not in large numbers.

But knowing something, and then acting upon it in sensible ways, are two very, very different prospects.  If anything, we often seem to not only not avoid the sources of our stress — we seem to quite regularly want to even cling to them, until our knuckles go white with the strain of it all…

"Sure, I know it's a problem...but it's *my* problem!"

“Sure, I know it’s a problem…but it’s *my* problem, and I ain’t giving it up!”

And I don’t pretend I’m not as guilty of this as anyone.  But I’ve come up with a quick little ritual that I now use, to try to help me to conquer this kind of self-destructive tendency (at least for smaller kinds of annoyances and such — true sins still warrant real attention, and are not necessarily covered here…).  It’s the phrase I used as the title of this post: “I release you.”

Basically, I try to remember to invoke this concept whenever someone or something appears in my daily path, and seems to want to block my passage or slow me down.  Instead of reacting with immediate anger about it…I try to silently, mentally address this obstacle-person or -thing, and in my mind, I kind of just stop for a moment and acknowledge that this wasn’t how I’d hoped things might ideally unfold in my travels, but with no ill-will, I am officially letting go of any negative feelings about the encounter that a less centered version of me might have had.  “Person or thing in my way: I release you.”

It’s sort of a mental/emotional mechanism for me to allow that person or thing to be what they are, to understand that they/it probably never held any malice toward me in the slightest, and then to go on with my day without hanging on to any kind of draining weight from the incident.  It frees me from the contact, casts off any binding threads (an accumulation of which can add up to ponderous, unbreakable chains after a while!), and enables me to devote far more of my finite supply of energy to the things that I actually do want to feed in my life.

“I release you.”

Dear traffic offender, inclement weather, insensitive pedestrian, mechanical failure, example of unfortunate timing, forgetful relative, momentarily insensitive friend, bad dream, plummeting blood sugar levels, flaw or error of my own, hurt from out of the past, whatever…”I release you.”

"I release you!"

“I release you!”

Silent Lucidity

I may have had a bit of a Lucid Dream experience last night (I’ve decided to capitalize the phrase here just so as to emphasize that I view it as something especially significant).  For those unfamiliar with the term, a Lucid Dream is what occurs when you’re in the dream state, but then you actually realize that you’re dreaming, yet you manage to sort of recognize this state of affairs without then waking yourself up…and so you go right on dreaming, aware that it’s all a dream.  The extra-cool thing is that since you’re now in this mode of “dreaming while knowing that you’re dreaming,” you can even begin to exert control over yourself and your dream-world surroundings in this Lucid Dream.  With practice, it’s said that you can come to effectively control that dream-reality on a grand scale…

In a Lucid Dream, you're no longer at the mercy of the amorphous dreamscape, so much as you can become its willful architect...

In a Lucid Dream, you’re no longer at the mercy of the amorphous dreamscape, so much as you can become its willful architect…

Many people profess to have had these Lucid Dreaming experiences, and some even claim to be able to enter the Lucid Dream state at will, pretty much anytime they feel like it.  You can find books and websites on the topic, and many sources will offer techniques for improving your ability to 1) recognize that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming, 2) succeed in not ejecting yourself from the dream-state the instant you realize that it is a dream-state, and 3) control the goings-on there in that dream-world.

Personally, my experiences with this Lucid Dreaming stuff have been pretty limited.  I’d like to claim otherwise, but who would that benefit, right?  While the concept interests me greatly, I’ve so far now only had a grand total of three (3) experiences that I believe can rightly be deemed Lucid Dreaming.  Also, in the interests of full disclosure, I need to state clearly right up front that the first two occurred not when I was deep in REM sleep in the middle of the night, but rather while I was meditating, and apparently drifting beyond “light trance” and on into “snoring and insensate.”  It could be that there are Lucid Dream purists — who am I kidding, there must be — and they would shout these instances down as not having been “true Lucid Dreaming.”  I’m okay with that — I know that they were pretty phenomenal experiences for me, especially the first one, and if my own personally held definitions vary from those of other people on some subject or other, it won’t be the first time…

But anyway, last night’s experience was different from the other two in that I wasn’t meditating when it happened.  I had, in fact, gotten into bed long after midnight, and was preparing to doze off after a bout of furious writing at the computer.  I felt like I was tired, but not yet near sleep.  My eyes were closed…but then a vision of sorts began to form.  Interestingly, it was far clearer and more detailed in its way than anything I can ever manage to produce when I’m conscious, and trying to visualize things behind my closed lids — on those latter occasions, I almost always manage to conjure the idea of the thing I’m trying to visualize, but it’s at least as conceptual in my brain as it is visual in my mind’s eye, if that makes sense.  Last night, though, what I beheld was very, very visual.

Oddly, this tableau presented itself in a sort of modified black-and-white format, except it would more properly be termed “black-and-red.”  The scene was very dark, and wherever there might be white or gray in a B&W image, here there was some shade of red.  It was like I was seeing through my closed eyelids and into the darkened bedoom beyond…except I realized almost immediately that the room I was seeing didn’t correspond spatially to the real physical room I was in.  The wall in front of me and the wall to my right were both significantly farther away from me in the black-and-red image than the actual, physical walls of the room would have been if I were to open my eyes and look at them.  Also, the angle of what I was seeing would have been accurate if I’d been sitting up somewhat from the bed…only in physical reality, I was still lying flat on my back.  On top of that…there was a figure seated before me in my “dream,” and rather close by at that, but there was no one actually sitting on the real bed in that location…

So...was I dreaming, or was I awake?  What was really there?  What wasn't really there?  Was I seeing a ghost for real, or was I seeing a ghost in a dream?  Was a ghost dreaming of me??!

So…was I dreaming, or was I awake? What was really there? What wasn’t really there? Was I seeing a ghost for real, or was I seeing a ghost in a dream? Or was I the ghost in somebody else’s dream??!

This person in my black-and-red dreamscape was close enough that I could have reached out and touched her — and while it was obvious from the get-go that she was wearing some kind of mask, it was also clear that this was indeed a female.  The vision became more and more detailed, as if it were being rendered with ever-greater resolution even as I watched.  The woman seated before me was gazing off to my left, and I had a bit more of her than strict profile to look at.  The mask she wore was some sort of thing made of hardened mud or clay, very textured and bumpy, and it had large eyeholes, such that I could see her eyes very clearly.  Despite all the red and black of the vision, I felt that her eyes were blue, even though I didn’t exactly see them as blue…

At this point, I had to state firmly to myself that yes, my actual, physical eyelids were still closed, even if it didn’t feel like they were or look like they were, and I was not, under any circumstances, to open them to double-check this — I was to take it on faith, from myself to myself, that this was so.  It was good that I issued this warning to myself, too, because I was totally on the verge of opening my eyes, and blowing the whole deal.  I had the presence of mind to then sort of mentally whisper to myself that, “Dude…this is a dream!  You’re Lucid Dreaming!”

I then also understood down to the core of myself that soon — any moment — the woman in the mask was going to turn and look at me.

I’m not sure if this realization was exactly scary — that might not be the right word.  But I knew it was definitely a momentous thing, that’s for sure.  Something about her looking me in the eyes, and me holding that eye contact, would be huge in whatever way.  So huge that I again had to caution myself not to look away, and above all, not to open my real, physical eyes, when she met my gaze with her own…

And as my resolve settled in — as I managed to steel myself for that galvanizing moment of eye contact almost upon me…the vision began to suddenly lose coherence.  I didn’t break my concentration, and I didn’t open my eyes — I was still there, still present, and still watching, observing.  It’s just that the woman, and the dream-version of the room I was in, they all began to grow diffuse.  The details faded, the resolution dissolved, and the picture began to swirl away like smoke.  I stared at the woman in the mask until the very end, until the mask was no longer a mask, and she was no longer a distinct being, or even a distinct shape, and the black-and-red image devolved into just a mass of darkness behind my lids.  The woman had never turned to fully face me, and she never looked me in the eyes after all.

Maybe it was enough that I was ready, though, in that dream-moment, for her to do so.

Anyway, while I didn’t exactly bend the events or the setting to my whim as they say a Lucid Dreamer can do, I still count it as a Lucid Dream: I was dreaming, and I was aware I was dreaming, and I went on so dreaming without rousing myself out of the dream.  It was pretty great — more of a mystical happening than I’m maybe getting across here, and I hope to have more such episodes with which to decorate these pages.

And how about you: I’d love to hear any stories any of you might have about Lucid Dream experiences…??

“Reality is quite subjective…”

That’s a line from a song I once wrote: “Reality is quite subjective.”

I hadn’t yet gotten all actively metaphysical at the time, but even then, I understood on some level the notion that there’s a very subjective element to this Universe of ours.  Now, it’s true that in large part, we all share the same area bounded within time and space, and we will greatly agree on the way that it maintains itself in terms of physical laws and such.  Some people call this shared experience of the world our “consensus reality,” which is a pretty great and accurate term…because we sort of come to a tacit agreement as to how the Universe seems to function.  We assume our agreement is so sweeping, in fact, that sometimes we lose sight of that wild, subjective element.  We’ll say with mad confidence, for example, that when solid objects are dropped, they’ll fall downward rather than up, and we’ll hold that the boiling point of water is 100 degrees Centigrade…that sort of thing.  And virtually 100 times out of 100, such things seem to hold true…

A boiling lake in Yellowstone National Park, USA.  It's a pretty safe bet that the temperature of the water here has exceeded 100 degrees Centigrade...*pretty* safe...

A boiling lake in Yellowstone National Park, USA. It’s a pretty safe bet that the temperature of the water here has exceeded 100 degrees Centigrade…a *pretty* safe bet…

But remember that old adage about how if you get a crowd together, it’ll always be the lowest common denominator among the individuals making up that crowd which will prevail.  Like water tending to seek the lowest ground, the overall intelligence level or maturity level or whatever level of the crowd will sink to that of its member with the lowest individual helping of such attribute.  So similarly, since reality itself is in some respects a “crowd” of which we are a part, wouldn’t reality then be obliged to offer itself up in whatever way would be comprehensible for all of us who are present?  Reality would have to adhere to the lowest common “understandability level” among those on hand.

However…what if we then consider isolated people, cut off from the world at large?  Could reality do some really weird things if the only observer on hand happened to be a huge believer in the supernatural (or maybe it would be helpful to refer to it here as the “trans-natural” — but you probably get the point)…?  What if there was a lone woman wandering in the desert…and she happened to be the type who held a deep, abiding belief in UFOs and extraterrestrial lifeforms?  And what if, after a day or two of perilous wandering, that woman stumbled into the nearest town, babbling about having been scooped up by a flying saucer, and probed, and communed with — generally laying down all manner of other Area 51 kinds of verbiage?  Would her rambling stories necessarily be nothing more than the fancies of a presumably more-or-less rational mind that had succumbed to things like hunger, thirst, fear, exposure, and heatstroke?  Or could it be that since she was the only one around for a great distance in any direction, the only one observing anything going down in that blasted stretch of desert…could it be that a flying saucer maybe really had appeared and interacted with her?

Can UFO sightings actually be as real for the people sighting them as non-sightings are for the non-believers who don't sight them??

Can UFO sightings actually be as real for the people sighting them, as non-sightings are for the non-believers who don’t sight them??

We’ve all heard that timeless question about whether a tree falling in a forest actually makes any sound if there’s no one there to witness the event (and we might even further question whether such a tree can fall at all…)…  Here’s another one: if the tree falls, and there’s only one witness present…could the tree fall but still not make a sound?  Or could the tree not fall, yet somehow still make the sound of a tree falling??  The person would have no one else with whom to reality-check at the time, so would she or he know for sure what had just happened in any objective/absolute way?  It’s likely that upon returning to civilization, the person’s story and/or belief in the events of that story might morph, becoming more in line with what the general human consensus could get behind (“No, I know I must have just been tired, and dreaming it or something, because a tree can’t fall silently…although it sure seemed like it did for a while there…”).  But that doesn’t negate the possible unique and bizarre nature of the occurrence — maybe the events really did happen in exactly the improbable manner that the observer witnessed, and because that observer made up a consensus of one in that moment of observation, maybe there was no need for the event to render itself in the more “realistic” kind of fashion that would have been necessary if beheld by a large crowd.  Maybe local reality has more chance to be truly weird than does more global reality…

Reality is quite subjective.  And never more so than when you’re alone…

Happy Anniversary to Us!

So I received an unexpected notice late last night from WordPress, telling me that the one-year anniversary of my opening my account here has tolled!

WordPress did not actually send me this balloon...but the sentiments were there!

WordPress did not actually send me this balloon…but the sentiments were there!

That’s right: it has now been exactly one year since I signed up here and started blogging.  Put another way, the Earth has now come back around to exactly that same position in space relative to the Sun that it occupied when I first broke posting ground here…which is the same kind of landmark we celebrate with any other kind of annuity-based achievement (birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc.).  It’s been an excellent year here, too, even if I’ve lagged quite a bit since around New Year’s (another annual celebration!) in terms of generating content.  Still, to borrow from The Four Seasons and The Spinners: I keep working my way back to you, WordPress, and will strive to continue doing so!  I sincerely appreciate the forum here for jabbering on about all things metaphysical, and the feedback I’ve received over this year just finished.

Looking forward to the next trip around the Sun, and all it brings — thank you, WordPress!

[And I'm happy to report that just as I was about to hit the "Publish" button on this post, from my open window, I heard the distinctive cawing/croaking sounds that mean that one or more representatives of the Raven family have decided to wander into the vicinity...and sure enough, a look out that same window confirmed that a pair of the always delightful Corvids were wheeling about in a large circular track in the sky just to the north of my home (like...two black planets orbiting an invisible Sun...??) -- for me, this is like receiving approval from Huginn and Muninn themselves, which I'll always accept rather joyfully...]

The great Norse God, Odin, accompanied by his two Ravens, Huginn and Muninn...not to mention his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, and his magic spear, Gungnir (although I only saw Ravens here today, not God-Kings, Horses with any number of legs, or spears...[yet...])...

The great Norse God, Odin, accompanied by his two Ravens, Huginn and Muninn…not to mention his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, and his magic spear, Gungnir (although I only saw Ravens here today — I haven’t seen any God-Kings, Horses with any number of legs, or spears…[yet...])…

Panther Wishes and Casino Dreams…

As promised in yesterday’s post, I wanted to memorialize the most recent Panther-related dream that I was fortunate enough to be treated to — this one went down maybe a bit over a week ago now.  I’ve written up a few of these already, including one that featured a winged Black Panther, and I’m still deeply gratified at each new recurrence of this particular dream imagery…

All these dreams...I'm starting to wonder if it's not so much me dreaming of Black Panthers, as maybe it's the other way around...?

All these dreams…I’m starting to wonder if it’s not so much me dreaming of Black Panthers, as maybe it’s the other way around…?

In this latest dream, I was arriving as one of a new small wave of visitors to some kind of casino — the kind where you not only gamble and gorge yourself at buffets, but you also book a room and spend a night or two in-house.  I was aware that my fellow arrivals and I were each toting or dragging various pieces of luggage, and we were being received by a casino employee, who was giving us some kind of standard welcome shpiel.  This mundane, canned intro speech suddenly seemed a bit other-than-standard, though, when the casino employee informed us that oh, yes, right, this particular floor of the casino that we were on was home to two very large Black Panthers and a Tiger, all of whom roamed the hallways pretty much free and at their pleasure at all times.  And not to worry, the grinning employee continued — the Big Cats were all exceedingly friendly and well-behaved, probably even more so than most of the human guests (ha ha: nervous chuckles all around…).

Anyway, I was still digesting this odd bit of information, when one of those Black Panthers appeared from out of the milling crowds…and it almost immediately oriented on me, and ambled over, not hurriedly or with any active menace about it, but I had definitely been singled out as the object of its focus.  I admit to feeling a bit of trepidation as the magnificent, but also gracefully fearsome and downright HUGE feline creature approached…

Imagine this great beast if it was so large/tall that its head was about even with the bottom of your ribcage when both of you were standing upright -- *that's* what came over to greet me in my dream...

Imagine this great beast if it was so large/tall that its head was about even with the bottom of your ribcage when both of you were standing upright — *that’s* what came over to greet me in my dream…

And then when this semi-enormous Cat reached me, it sort of gently butted me with its head such that I was impelled to seat myself in a large plush chair immediately beside me, and then as the casino employee geared up to resume with the welcome speech, the Panther sat down on the floor next to the chair, and very comfortably and with an air of great familiarity, took my left forearm into its mouth…and just held it there, in this very warm, sweet, companionable way.  It was like the Cat was telling the Universe, “I choose this human.  He has my protection.  We’re now officially bonded.”  It was kind of amazing.

Then, as the welcome tour continued, the Panther would release my arm so we could all walk along with the casino employee, but every time we paused, the Panther would again nudge me to sit down so it could resume holding my wrist or forearm carefully and lovingly in its mouth…

And after a few repetitions of this, I awoke, feeling kind of oddly blessed, and sort of like I imagine a Chosen One in a movie must feel.

I’m not sure why the casino backdrop.  Certainly Siegried & Roy proved to us in tragic fashion that Big Cats and casinos don’t always blend well together, so a case could be made that the dream holds an element of warning.  Then again, Roy was mauled by a White Tiger, not a Black Panther, and none of that incident had actually run through my conscious mind in ages at the juncture when I had the dream.  More likely to me is the notion that the casino represents the world at large: vast, frenetic, clamorous, filled with hordes of distractions and possible dangers…but then the Black Panther seems to be a very clear indicator of a protective Spirit of sorts, asserting its presence, and its willingness to watch over me.  Dreaming that dream was an overwhelmingly positive experience, that’s for sure…

And I also found in the past that whenever I would start to document my dreams here in this space, subsequent night-visions would start to grow more vivid and involved in the time that followed, and I began to remember more and more of their details.  These are more good reasons to record them, and I encourage anyone reading this to try the same exercise.  We spend nearly half our lives in the sleep state, so who’s to say that what happens to us there is any less “real” than what we experience in the waking world…?  With all that in mind…what have you dreamed up for yourself lately…??

Blogging & Blogging…

So I slipped badly in my consistency here as a faithful blogger, then returned to post about how I was back in the game…and then I immediately slipped badly again.  And sure, there have been some worthy distractions here (most of which I won’t bore you with), but I also do feel that I need to be keeping up a much more regular presence in this space.  And events of late here in my corner of Existence have been helping me to circle back in general, and they’ve also been providing pretty good fodder for posts, as well…so in the wake of last night’s Blood Moon/Lunar Eclipse, the time feels right!

I figure I’ll start in a small-scale way for now, though, and then swim out toward deeper waters after I get warmed up again.  One of the things I’ve been diverting my energy toward in recent weeks has been the generation of what will be a series of posts for a different blog — one that’s run by someone I met on a Tarot-based website that I like to frequent.  The blog is called Jude’s Metaphysical World, and the owner of that blog — Jude, as you may have guessed — fills it with all manner of fascinating metaphysical work, including posts falling under the umbrellas of such broad topics as Tarot and Crystals.

Go check out Jude's righteous blog!

Go check out Jude’s righteous blog!

Jude’s site can be found here:

http://www.judesmetaworld.com/

For my part in that blog, I’ve begun what will be a series on the Twelve Houses of Astrology.  I’m two posts in so far, and grinding away at #3 as I write this here update.  Please do head on over to Jude’s site to take a gander if you feel so inclined, and then take a tour through the other terrific information on display there — the articles on Crystals are especially packed with excellent information!!

And in coming posts here, I have more dreams to relate (I had yet another fantastic one featuring a Black Panther!), more instances of Synchronicity, more Animal Spirit musings, and some contemplation of the idea that Music and Drumming are either linked with what we think of as “Magic” or are possibly indistinguishable from that concept…  Stay tuned for more!

It's true: I made an appearance in this human's dream.  He wanted to share details immediately following, but he was too verklempt.  Not that unreasonable a response...

It’s true: I made an appearance in this human’s dream. He wanted to share details immediately following, but he was too verklempt. Not that unreasonable a response…