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dream interpretation Archives

The only dream expert is YOU

posted by Robert Moss

You are the final authority on your dreams, and you should never give the power of your dreams away by handing them over to other people to interpret. Yes, our dreams can be confusing and opaque, and we gain greatly […]

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Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future […]

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The Books of Night and Day

posted by Robert Moss

We have direct access to sacred knowledge, in our dreams. Our dreams are a personal oracle that reveals the future and helps us prepare for it. We must not let anyone tell us what our dreams mean or stand between […]

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Where Homeric singers appoint their successors in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

How you know a dream matters among the Kyrgyz One of the markers of the dream that is also ayan, an omen, is that sensory impressions are unusually strong, including the sense of smell or taste, and that these impressions linger […]

In the dream kitchen

posted by Robert Moss

In my night dreams, the place of creation is often a kitchen. I don’t do a lot of cooking, but I love the image of the kitchen — where we are fed and nourished and we mix things together and […]

Back to Basics (4) We Dream the Future, All the Time

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams are constantly coaching us for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us on the roads of life. It’s possible that we rehearse everything that will take place in the future in our dreams, though we forget most […]

Back to Basics (3) The dead are alive in our dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Contact with the deceased, especially in dreams, is natural and easy if we are open to it. It’s a very common experience. Our dead may still be around, because they have not yet moved on and that can be problematic […]

Advice from a dead movie star created the star of “I Love Lucy”

posted by Robert Moss

On the day the Obama administration announced that it intended to seek to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, a friend reported dreaming of Lucille Ball, the star of “I Love Lucy.” She wanted to know why she was dreaming of […]

The departed are dreaming with us

posted by Robert Moss

One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let […]

Holding on to your dream handbag

posted by Robert Moss

I  don’t carry a handbag myself, but I have come to know a bit about women’s purses and pocketbooks, and especially how they feature in dreams. I have talked with hundreds of women about their dreams of handbags over the […]

Play the Lightning Dreamwork Game

posted by Robert Moss

After a lifetime of exploring and sharing dreams, I have invented a fun way to share dreams, get some nonauthoritarian and nonintrusive feedback, and move toward creative action. I call this the Lightning Dreamwork Game. It’s like lightning in two […]

Smellie’s school of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

He was the first editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and his racy style and talent for aphorisms made it an immediate popular success. He was a friend of the poet Robert Burns, who described him as “that old Veteran in […]

Dreaming with the deceased

posted by Robert Moss

Many of us yearn for contact with departed loved ones. We miss them; we ache for forgiveness or closure; we yearn for confirmation that there is life beyond physical death. This is one of the main reasons why people go […]

The dream path to healing

posted by Robert Moss

In our dreams, we have access to a personal doctor who makes house calls, provides an impeccable diagnosis of our physical, emotional and spiritual condition, and doesn’t charge a cent. If we are not in touch with our dreams, we […]

Questioning dreams in ancient Mesopotamia

posted by Robert Moss

Our earliest records of the work of a dream interpreter come from ancient Mesopotamia. Here the person you asked for help with your dream was called the “questioner”. On clay tablets from Assur and Nineveh, the “questioner” is usually a […]

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future […]

Harriet Tubman and Ashanti traditions of dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

When I was writing my book Dreaming True, I asked for guidance from the night on how to bring the gifts of dreaming to a broader audience in our society. I dreamed I was teaching the history of the Underground Railroad […]

The “What Part of Me?” Game and its Limitations

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams make us whole. They show us the many aspects of ourselves and help us to bring them under one roof. That is why it is often useful to ask “what part of me” different characters and elements in a […]

Dreams may be memories of the future

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams are constantly coaching us for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us on the roads of life. It’s possible that we rehearse everything that will take place in the future in our dreams, though we forget most […]

Where the Hidden Folk can stop a highway or name a baby

posted by Robert Moss

Icelanders make a practice of listening to the larger reality. Construction of a new highway south of Reykjavik is currently on hold while the supreme court considers a law suit filed on behalf of elves. A group called the Friends […]

Three broad bands of dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

  In our contemporary society, when analysts and dream “experts” take dreams seriously, they usually approach them from just one perspective, as sets of symbols to be decoded. Certainly our dream life is rich in symbols. Etymologically, a symbol is […]

First feelings are first clues to a dream

posted by Robert Moss

I really don’t want to talk about anyone’s dream unless I know their first feelings on waking. Feelings inside the dream are important, but feelings right after the experience are even more revealing. They are likely to convey whether the […]

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future […]

Memories of the future

posted by Robert Moss

You have dreamed the future. You say you don’t remember? Think again. Surely you’ve had the experience of déjà vu. The cat crosses the street in front of you, the tall guy steps into the restaurant, the light shimmers on […]

If it were my dream

posted by Robert Moss

Don’t let anyone tell you what your dreams mean. And never do that to anyone else. This is the golden rule of dream-sharing. One of the great contributions of the American dreamwork movement has been to insist that dreams belong to the […]

Dreams of losing teeth

posted by Robert Moss

I would love the Tooth Fairy to give me a dollar, or even a nickel, for every dream of problems with teeth that I’ve heard over the years. When I opened this theme for discussion in one group of dreamers, […]

The waters of dreams

posted by Robert Moss

In drugstore dream dictionaries we are told that water, as a dream symbol, is about emotions. Well, ye-es, it maybe, but what you find in your dream waters and what I find may be very different things.   As with […]

The gift of “boring” dreams

posted by Robert Moss

I often hear from dreamers who complain that their night dreams are boring or mundane. They feel they are missing the movies. “I’m forever dreaming of arguing with my mother,” writes one dreamer. “I’m fed up with having long-winded conversations […]

Claiming the gift of a nightmare

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams are not on our case; they are on our side. This is one of my personal mantras about dreams and (yes) it applies even to nightmares. In my personal lexicon, a nightmare is not only a “bad” or scary […]

Loving the enemy in the rest room: emotional healing through dreams

posted by Robert Moss

When I was in my 20s, I had a terrible enemy, a man with whom I fought many battles. The balance of blame is not something I choose to determine now; each of us was no doubt at fault. Years […]

A Renaissance magus’ Rx for true dreams

posted by Robert Moss

Many things unknown, and unwished for, nor ever attempted by our minds, are manifested to us in dreams, also the representations of unknown places appear, and the images of men both alive and dead, and of things to come are […]

Dreaming in Bali, Part 2

posted by Robert Moss

Dream teacher Jane Carleton, who spent two years living and teaching Active Dreaming workshops in Bali, has contributed a second installment of her narrative of sharing dreams with Balinese. Guest blog by Jane Carleton Gathering Flowers of Sleep, and Throwing […]

Hopi dream bundles

posted by Robert Moss

I am endlessly fascinated by the etymology of the words for “dream” in different cultures. Often the root and alternative meanings of these words suggest a lively understanding that more is going on in dreams than is widely understood in […]

A dream warning from a dead smoker

posted by Robert Moss

Here’s a spooky but instructive story of a dreamer who received a caution about her cigarette smoking.   She approached me for help with a dream that had scared her during one of my workshops. In her dream, she is with […]

Dreaming 9/11, before and after

posted by Robert Moss

One of the lessons of the horror on September 11, 2001 is that we need to rely on human intuition, as well as technology, to safeguard our liberties and our loved ones. Especially the intuitions that come through in dreams. […]

Give me a straight-up dream

posted by Robert Moss

Confused by your dreams?  You could try asking tonight for a straight-up dream. Let me explain. Some dreams take a lot of tending. We need to walk with them and around them for a while, letting different layers and possible […]

Freezing in front of the future channels

posted by Robert Moss

A friend dreamed that I had a very special television set delivered to her house. It was stylish and had many features she had never seen before. When she inspected the set more closely, she was astonished to find that […]

Back to basics Q&A #2: First steps in working with dreams

posted by Robert Moss

What are the first steps we need to take to work with our dreams? First, consider your feelings on waking. Those feeling will be your first and best guidance on the nature and meaning of the dream – whether it […]

Back to basics Q&A #1: dreaming is waking up

posted by Robert Moss

How do you define a “dream”? A dream is a wake-up call. It takes us beyond what we already know. Dreams are the language of the soul, and they are experiences of the soul. There are “big” dreams and “little” […]

When you’ve got a gorilla on the back seat

posted by Robert Moss

She’s driving, and she notices in the rear view mirror that there is a very large gorilla in the back seat. When she gets to the family house, she takes the gorilla inside with her. Her mother and sister are […]

Dream the future and change it for the better

posted by Robert Moss

Our dreams are constantly coaching us for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us on the roads of life. It’s possible that we rehearse everything that will take place in the future in our dreams, though we forget most […]

When your guardian angel is Garfield the Cat

posted by Robert Moss

“Can I meet my guardian angel in my dreams?” The question came from an elderly woman with a kindly but careworn face. She approached me during the break in an evening dream workshop that I had agreed to conduct for […]

“You’re dead because I’ve spent your insurance money”

posted by Robert Moss

“I’m forever meeting my husband in my dreams,” she told me. “But he died three years ago. I keep telling him, ‘You’re dead’, but he won’t listen to me.” I asked where her dead husband appeared, in these dreams. Sometime […]

Marriage counsel from the hermit crab

posted by Robert Moss

“I keep dreaming about hermit crabs,” a woman artist told me. “What’s going on with that?” I asked her to describe a hermit crab to me. “Talk to me as if I have just arrived from a distant galaxy and […]

Dream messengers shouldn’t shoot the recipient

posted by Robert Moss

“Don’t shoot the messenger,” is a precept familiar since Shakespeare used the line in two of his plays. If you are going to be a good dream messenger, it’s rather important to bear in mind that you not only want […]

First rule for understanding dreams: truth comes with goose bumps

posted by Robert Moss

To understand a dream, start by considering your first feelings on waking from it. When I say “feelings”, I would include body sensations and general energy level. Let your heart and your gut guide you on what was going on […]

Literature begins in dreams of the Goddess

posted by Robert Moss

The raw sexuality of her call to her lover is wild and shocking.  He plunges into her like a wild bull. When they couple, he is the green life of all growing things and she is the Queen of Heaven. He […]

Dream sharing in the time it takes to brush your teeth

posted by Robert Moss

I had great fun on my “Way of the Dreamer” radio show yesterday. It was a live show with callers, and I agreed with the producer that we would seek to keep everything tight and swift by allowing just four […]

The Incredible Expanding Dream House

posted by Robert Moss

One of my favorite recurring dream themes is the incredible expanding house. It has many variants, in my personal dreams and in hundreds of dreams shared with me that feature this theme. It might go like this: You are in […]

Egyptian ritual for dispelling bad dreams

posted by Robert Moss

An Egyptian dream book inscribed in the reign of Ramses II, in the 13th century  BCE,  contains a ritual for turning away the negative energy of “bad” dreams and the psychic forces at play in them. The hieratic papyrus classifies […]

Share dreams with a partner

posted by Robert Moss

Regular dream sharing is wonderful fun, builds heart-centered relationships, brings us fresh perspectives on our issues and helps to nudge us towards taking appropriate action to honor our dreams. You’ll want to begin by creating a safe space where you […]

Dreaming oil

posted by Robert Moss

He lived with his large and imposing wife Violet in a blue and white house overlooking the Gulf, with a verandah on the upper level to catch the sea breezes. Under the fierce desert sun, he went shooting in gaiters […]

Daniel, an active dreamer in the Bible

posted by Robert Moss

In yesterday’s article, we saw how Daniel found a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar II claimed he had lost. Scholars suspect that the content of the symbolic dream of the composite statue was invented in Hellenistic times, perhaps around 200 BCE, […]

When dreams tell us it’s breakup time

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams can introduce us to Mr (or Ms) Right. They can also show us when a relationship has gone wrong, and it’s time to put things right or get out of an unsatisfactory situation. Of course, breaking up is hard […]

How dreams get us through

posted by Robert Moss

During an interview I did for Wisconsin Public Radio, the callers produced a harvest of personal examples of how dreams help us to get through life. A songwriter described how he has woken in the middle of the night with […]

Dreaming in foreign languages

posted by Robert Moss

I am very interested in how dreams prompt us to expand our vocabulary, setting us learning tasks ranging from the language of quantum physics to the identification of different types of hermit crab. Even if we decide not to take […]

Dreaming Back: Yeats on how the dead get their stories straight

posted by Robert Moss

To understand the important things and live that knowledge, we need poetic clarity. When I was writing my Dreamer’s Book of the Dead, I turned for that often to one of my favorite dead poets, W.B. Yeats. Yeats’s fullest account […]

Wolf doctor and other cases of dream diagnosis

posted by Robert Moss

Our bodies know what is going on inside them, and they speak to us about this in dreams, which often diagnose developing illness before physical symptoms are detected. By working with these diagnostic dreams, we can often deal with a […]

Nine ways dreams can wake you up

posted by Robert Moss

Here’s an open secret about dreaming. It’s not fundamentally about sleeping. It’s really about waking up. Here’s how:   We solve problems in our sleep  If you want to solve a problem, or need a fresh perspective, sleep on it. […]

Dream archaeology: the Assyrian priest who solved a mystery

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams guide us to the necessary past, to the history we need to know and use. Dreams may also trigger and direct specific lines of research, as in the case of an archaeologist whose dreamed the solution to a mystery. […]

“You’re dead because I spent the insurance money”

posted by Robert Moss

Tess often met her husband Bill in dreams in the three years after he died. In these dreams, she kept telling him, “You’re dead” but he paid no attention. Sometimes they met in the house they shared. Often she visited […]

Dream celebrities: Explaining Lady Gaga to a space alien

posted by Robert Moss

So you dreamed you were partying with Lady Gaga, or in bed with Brad Pitt, or being kissed by Ava Gardner, or dancing with the Queen of England. Quick pause for a reality check. We need to make a basic […]

Vampire chastity belt and dreams of the undead

posted by Robert Moss

Vampires are probably more popular today than at any other time in history. And they continue to get more glamorous and sexy, thanks to TV series like “True Blood” and the BBC’s Being Human, and of course the Twilight series […]

The future of imaginal healing

posted by Robert Moss

As we reclaim the skills of dreaming, imagery for healing will become central to our medicine. Advances in hard scientific research, especially in the fast-expanding field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) have helped to provide the mandate, because they supply overwhelming evidence that […]

Be your own dream interpreter

posted by Robert Moss

Don’t let anybody tell you what your dream, or your life, means. Dreams are power-full, and you don’t want to give this kind of power away. Similarly, an awakened life requires us to become the authors of meaning in our […]

The best way to understand a dream is to go back inside it

posted by Robert Moss

The best way to grasp the meaning of a dream, and to determine what action the dream requires, is to go back inside the dream and recover more of the story. We should never confuse a dream report – what […]

Dream symbols: intruder at the door

posted by Robert Moss

Someone’s at the door. It’s the middle of the night; this can’t be right. You’re trying to hold the door shut, but what’s on the other side is strong. You try to call for help, but maybe they don’t hear […]

Put fish bones in the cuckoo clock & other dream guidance

posted by Robert Moss

Last night I received a ton of help in bringing my books on Active Dreaming to a wider audience. We launched a new multimedia project and several e-books, I filmed an important documentary, and I still had time to give […]

Sex with Sgt. Pepper and other dream entertainments

posted by Robert Moss

I’ve been leading online e-courses in Active Dreaming  for almost four years, and I am still amazed and delighted by what wonderful fun and discovery we share, especially in the highly interactive forums, which bring together a passionate global community […]

When the war is inside your body

posted by Robert Moss

In one of my workshops, a  woman I’ll call Lois shared a dream titled “War”. She was very agitated and upset as she retold it.  I am on patrol with six women dressed in green uniforms. We are all riding […]

St Jerome Bewitches Dreams and Dreamwork

posted by Robert Moss

For many centuries, the pretext for official Church hostility to dreams and dreamwork was the deliberate mistranslation of a Hebrew word in the first Latin version of the Bible. This was known as the Vulgate, and was the official Catholic […]

Adjust the dithering

posted by Robert Moss

Great dream sharing going on at my new online forum. Quickies can be good, and there is a short dream report from Mogenns just now that really speaks to me. I am looking at a computer display that is not […]

Of souls and Sole Sisters

posted by Robert Moss

When I hear dreams of shoes, I often ask whether they mirror what is happening to the dreamer’s soul. Shoes have soles, and we hear the echo. When they are missing or damaged or mixed up or don’t fit, we […]

Dreaming with kids in schools

posted by Robert Moss

More on the theme of dreaming with kids. Dream teacher Jane E. Carleton interviewed me on the subject of bringing dreaming to schools. Here is part of our conversation: JC:  In bring dreaming to schools, to say a school assembly, […]

Dream Q&A

posted by Robert Moss

I am going to start posting some of my responses to questions on dreams and dreaming that I am constantly being asked to field.  This first set of questions (from a high school student writing a paper on dreams) cover […]

Saving Spock – a dream way to handle the inner skeptic

posted by Robert Moss

“I dreamed I was Captain Kirk, in command of the starship Enterprise.  Spock was outside, and in trouble. I went to his aid, though I realized when I got through the airlock that I wasn’t wearing a spacesuit. I sucked […]

Memories of the future, from the dream self

posted by Robert Moss

Our dream selves are forever traveling ahead of us, scouting the roads that lie before us. They can show us challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, of which our waking minds know little or nothing, if we are willing to […]

In praise of circumambulation

posted by Robert Moss

I am in favor of circumambulation. This is quite different from going around in circles in the sense of mindless or frustrating repetition. It’s a matter of looking at a central issue or symbol from many different angles. It’s circling […]

Dreaming in foreign languages

posted by Robert Moss

Dreams prompt us to expand our vocabulary, setting us learning tasks ranging from the language of quantum physics to the identification of different types of hermit crab. Even if we decide not to take more than a few steps in […]

Dreaming your exam questions ahead of time

posted by Robert Moss

I used to do very well in high school exams. One of the reasons was that I frequently previewed the exam questions in my dreams. When I mentioned this at a talk to the Bermuda Rotary some years ago, a […]

The Istikhara app and everyday dream incubation

posted by Robert Moss

If you are a Muslim in need of quick guidance on a decision, you can now order an app for your cell phone that gives you the Istikhara prayer. As described here yesterday, Istikhara is a method of praying for […]

“Seeking the best”: dream incubation in Egypt

posted by Robert Moss

I am reading a wonderful contribution to the anthropology of the imagination by Amira Mittermaier, a professor of religion at the University of Toronto. She has spent many years studying the way that Egyptians today dream and interpret dreams and […]

If it were my dream

posted by Robert Moss

Don’t let anyone tell you what your dreams mean. And never do that to anyone else. This is the golden rule of dream-sharing.  One of the great contributions of the American dreamwork movement has been to insist that dreams belong […]

Every profession has its own anxiety dream

posted by Robert Moss

The great ancient dream interpreter, Artemidorus, insisted that the meaning of a dream symbol is connected to the life situation, and especially the occupation, of the dreamer. Losing a tooth or having sex in a certain position means something different […]

Pay attention to dream hangovers

posted by Robert Moss

Even when we don’t remember our night dreams, we are likely to wake with a dream hangover. This can be a good thing. For example, we rise with renewed energy and a sense of clarity and direction about a life […]

Dream symbols – Tsunamis and Monster Waves

posted by Robert Moss

You are facing a killer wave, rushing at you like a moving mountain of water. You are fleeing from it, but you can’t escape and it crashes over you, pushing the air from your lungs and you surface from sleep […]

Dream show LIVE on Tuesday January 10th

posted by Robert Moss

Calling all dreamers: My next “Way of the Dreamer” radio show on healthylife.net will be LIVE with call-ins next TUESDAY, January 10th. Please call in with dreams and questions to share. We’ll play the Lightning Dreamwork game and explore the many ways […]

Sex in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

You’re in bed with someone you’d never consider having sex with in regular life. You have the biggest orgasm you’ve ever experienced while peeing in church. You broke off a relationship seven years ago, but again and again you find […]

Santa’s Belly: Food dreams in holiday season

posted by Robert Moss

Food is going to be a major theme in many Western families over the next week or so. While the original Santa, a reindeer shaman, was probably a lean and wiry fellow, our holiday habits have projected a copious belly […]

The biography of a dream symbol

posted by Robert Moss

If you are keeping a dream journal, a great game to play from time to time is to track the evolution of a familiar symbol or theme.  You’ve been dreaming of the bear, or the fox, for years; how has […]

Dreams require action

posted by Robert Moss

Unless we do something with our dreams, we will not dream well. This is indigenous wisdom, and I believe it was understood by all of our ancestors when they lived in cultures that valued dreams, and the dreamer. As my […]

Dream symbols – Naked in public

posted by Robert Moss

It’s your first day on the new job, and you’ve done your best to be ready. But wait – you forgot to put on your pants. You’re in church and the minister is clearing his throat, ready to start the […]

Dream symbols – Excremental issues

posted by Robert Moss

“Shit is good!” The elderly Italian grocery store owner’s eyes twinkled as she bagged tomatoes and homemade pasta. “If you crap in your dreams, it means money.” Her reading is an ancient one, still alive in many family traditions. The […]

Dream Symbols – Snakes

posted by Robert Moss

A woman enters a clear mountain stream to bathe and finds it is teeming with snakes. She regards snakes as allies rather than adversaries, but there are so many in the water that she becomes fearful. When a huge snake […]

Dream compensations

posted by Robert Moss

“I had a full-body orgasm last night,” reports a woman who divorced several years ago and has not dated since. “I thought I had given up sex, but in my dreams I’m with a series of fantastic lovers, doing it […]

In the dream house, there are many mansions

posted by Robert Moss

What’s going on in your dream houses? I find that (to spin a famous Bible text) in my dream house, there are many mansions – extra stories and hidden rooms and basements, and wings of possibility. The state of a […]

Three broad bands of dreaming

posted by Robert Moss

When analysts and “dream experts” take dreams seriously, they usually approach them from just one perspective, as sets of symbols to be decoded. Certainly our dream life is rich in symbols. Etymologically, a symbol is something that “brings things together” […]

Previous Posts

In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways
The British visionary artist Chesca Potter says that when she moved to London, she had a vision of an immense goddess figure, dressed in green and gold, over the church of  St Pancras. This is the oldest church,  in the city, founded ...

posted 8:15:05am Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

The only dream expert is YOU
You are the final authority on your dreams, and you should never give the power of your dreams away by handing them over to other people to interpret. Yes, our dreams can be confusing and opaque, and we gain greatly from other people's insights, ...

posted 11:00:05am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Dreaming is practice for immortality
There is a people of the South Pacific who say that there are as many afterlife situations as there are human imaginations. They may be right. What we encounter on the Other Side is conditioned by our desires, our courage and our imagination (or ...

posted 5:05:33pm Jun. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side
Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ...

posted 1:22:38pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A short history of soul flight
In many human cultures the most profound insights into the nature of the divine and the fate of the soul after physical death ...

posted 12:09:30pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

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