Dream Gates

Dream Gates

When the daimon loves us best

posted by Robert Moss
shore acres sunrise 1.jpg
When we give the best of ourselves to a creative project – accepting the risks that creativity involves – we draw the interest and engagement of supporting intelligences from beyond our ordinary field of connection. There is a passage in Yeats’s essay Per Amica Silentia Lunae (“The Friendly Silence of the Moon” , included in his book Mythologies) that may explain how we can develop a co-creative relationship with minds operating in other times or other dimensions. When Yeats refers (in the first line below) to “fellow-scholars” he is not thinking about people of his own time, but minds that are working and reaching out from beyond time and space:
 I had fellow-scholars, and now it was I and now they who made some discovery. Before the mind’s eye, whether in sleep or waking, came images that one was to discover presently in some book one had never read, and after looking in vain for explanation to the current theory of forgotten personal memory, I came to believe in a Great Memory passing on from generation to generation. But that was not enough, for these images showed intention and choice. They had a relation to what one knew and yet were an extension of one’s knowledge. If no mind was there, why should I suddenly come upon salt and antimony, upon the liquefaction of gold, as they were understood by the alchemists, or upon some detail of cabbalistic symbolism verified at last by a learned scholar from his never-published manuscripts, and who can have put it together so ingeniously?…The thought was again and again before me that this study had created a contact or mingling with minds who had followed a like study in some other age, and that these minds still saw and thought and chose.
When I was writing my Dreamer’s Book of the Dead I often felt the intimate presence of a personality that seemed to be connected with Yeats, and a play of energy and circumstance that was best explained by the notion of a mingling of minds of the kind he described. I also felt – then and in the midst of similarly consuming creative projects – the force of that goading and guiding energetic self that Yeats called the daimon, usually with a capital D.
When the daimon is engaged, I can work round the clock without fatigue, to find after an all-nighter that there is a great ship’s engine thrumming away, somewhere deep in my being, driving the vessel across wide waters. There is the sense of a larger entity that does not permit the ordinary self to slumber when great things are afoot.
Yeats approached the idea of the daimon again and again in his work, and it means different things in different writings. At one point, he used the word “daimon” to describe something like Jung’s shadow, as a composite of characteristics most antithetical to the personality, as an energy drawn to its opposite. Sometimes he used the term to mean “spirit” or “spirit of the dead” as the ancients did, and practiced techniques – inside the Golden Dawn and improvised in his own experiments – for evoking and contacting these spirits. He also seized on the idea (from Heraclitus) that the daimon is the bearer of a personal destiny, with what man is often at odds and yet at the same time at odds.
The Greeks, a certain scholar has told me, considered that myths are the activities of the Daimons, and that the Daimons shape our characters and our lives. I have often had the fancy that there is some one myth for every man, which, if we but knew it, would make us understand all he did and thought 
The Yeatsian daimon I understand best is the one he evokes in these words from Per Amica Silentia Lunae:
When I think of life as a struggle with the Daimon who would ever set us to the hardest work among those not impossible, I understand why there is a deep enmity between a man and his destiny, and why a man loves nothing but his destiny.
When we are passionately engaged in a creative venture – love, art or something else that is really worthwhile – we draw support from other minds and other beings, seen and unseen. – According to the direction of our will and desire, and the depth of our work, those minds may include masters from other times and other beings.
We draw greater support the greater the challenges involved in our venture. Great spirits love great challenges. Whether we are aware of it or not, all our life choices are witnessed by the larger self. The daimon lends or withholds its immense energy from our lives according to whether we choose the big agenda or the little one. The daimon is bored by our everyday vacillations and compromises and detests us when we choose against the grand passion and the Life Work, the soul’s purpose. – The daimon loves us best when we choose to attempt “the hardest thing among those not impossible.”
Adapted from The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead by Robert Moss (Destiny Books)


Spiritual gravitation

posted by Robert Moss

AE Bathers.jpg“Man attracts spirits according to his own temperament,” as William Butler Yeats observed. To “the sanguine, the spirits of fire, and the lymphatic, those of watery nature, and those of a mixed nature, mixed spirits.” While observing that like attracts like, Yeats was also fascinated by the way that opposites may be drawn together, to complement and complete each other, and to spark that creative friction that brings new things into being. 

Yeats’s great friend, the Celtic visionary artist George William Russell (whose pen name was “AE”) defined the key principle at work here as “spiritual gravitation”, and described how it spills over into the play of synchronicity or objective chance. 
Your own will come to you. 
 AE summarized the law of spiritual gravitation in this single thrilling phrase. In his beautiful little book The Candle of Vision he explains
I found that every intense imagination, every new adventure of the intellect endowed with magnetic power to attract to it its own kin. Will and desire were as the enchanter’s wand of fable, and they drew to themselves their own affinities. ..One person after another emerged out of the mass, betraying their close affinity to my moods as they were engendered. 
 In our lives, this plays out through chance encounters, through the dreamlike symbolism of daily events, when we turn up the right message in a book opened at random or left open by someone else on a library table. If the passions of our souls are strong enough, they may draw “lifelong comrades”.
In The Candle of Vision, AE gave a personal example. When he first attempted to write verse, he immediately met a new friend, a dreaming boy “whose voice was soon to be the most beautiful voice in Irish literature” This was William Butler Yeats. “The concurrence of our personalities seemed mysterious and controlled by some law of spiritual gravitation.” 
In his later life, AE found a soul companion in the Australian writer P.L.Travers, the author of Mary Poppins and also a deep student of the Western Mysteries and a world-class mythographer. AE wrote to her about a further aspect of spiritual gravitation: “I feel I belong to a spiritual clan whose members are scattered all over the world and these are my kinsmen.”
“Bathers” by George William Russell (1867-1935) 


What the bleep do you know that you don’t know you know?

posted by Robert Moss

WORLDEYE.jpgWhat the bleep do we know that we don’t know that we know? A sudden shift in your energy or feelings in the presence of a stranger – or a life memory that floats to the surface – may be telling you something about that other person. A sudden twinge or pain that has no obvious explanation may be an inner beeper, alerting you to something that is happening, or will happen, at a distance from you in space and time. Or a song that starts playing on your inner soundtrack. Or a smell that doesn’t have a physical source.

Facts before theories, always. Let me give a few personal examples of how this works. I’ll confine myself, for now, to four modes of knowing that seem to involve somatic cognition  –  of the body picking up something in the field, through the physical senses, before the mind-brain perceives it.

Smelling across an ocean

I’m cooking goulash for dinner when I notice a smell in the house that isn’t coming from anything there. It’s the smell of cheap cologne, laid on heavily. My wife smells it too. We discuss it and agree that it’s the smell of a little-girl pretend perfume one of my daughters bought at the local general store when she was out here on vacation from school in England. She’s now back at school on the other side of the ocean. Is it possible we are both sensing her, across the distance? The next day, when I talk to her on the phone, her first question is, “Daddy, were you cooking that Hungarian dish that smells really bad last night? I was thinking of you and I smelled it in my room.” Seems like this may have been a case of two-way clairolfaction (good luck on finding that word in a dictionary).

The White Queen Gambit

I go to the doctor for my annual physical. The nurse who is checking my blood pressure is alarmed by the size of the numbers, especially since my blood pressure has been well regulated for many years. I tell her not to worry; we’ll see what happens next. Puzzled, she sticks a needle into a vein in my arm to draw some blood – and produces a gusher. Blood goes spurting high into the air and comes down spattering my new linen pants. Horrified, the nurse rushed to get the gusher capped and mop my pants with hydrogen peroxide. I now suggest that she takes my blood pressure again. She’s amazed that the numbers have come down to a perfectly normal reading. I tell her my body has just played the White Queen Gambit. In Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen screams before she pricks her finger, so she doesn’t need to holler when this actually happens. It often seems to me that in a similar way the body knows things before they happen and reacts physically ahead of the event that explains the reaction. An old word for this is presentiment.

Viral fear, over the teacups

I’m interviewing a powerful man for a magazine article and afternoon tea is served. I can’t hold the cup steady and spill the hot liquid into the saucer. I realize that, on a somatic level, I am full of fear. I can’t find an immediate explanation. Though I’m in the presence of an important person, I am in no way in awe of him and am a veteran of hundreds of similar interviews. Slowly it dawns on me that my body has picked up on his fear, and is responding as if it were my own. Within six months, the sources of the other man’s fear became public knowledge. He was ousted from his post, forced to flee his country, and diagnosed with the cancer that killed him. This is one of countless examples of how we move in an energetic minefield of overlapping energy fields. I’ve learned to check whether any sudden shift in my own energy and bodily sensations may be related to picking up another person’s energy state.

The suicide’s bridge

A friend tells me she’s worried about a male acquaintance who is is seriously depressed. Would I be willing to counsel him? I say that I’ll think about it, but rarely conduct private sessions. That afternoon, I have to lie down and take a nap. I wake feeling as if I’ve been shot in the head, with a blurry recollection of pushing away a gray figure that was flapping around like a bat. My friend phones me that evening to tell me her depressed acquaintance killed himself that afternoon – by shooting himself in the head. He did this in the period of my nap. After discussion, we agreed that in his panic and confusion – as he began to realize that suicide is never an escape – he tried to get to my friend for help and, failing to get her attention, then traveled along a psychic bridge between her and me. He did not do this in a wholly disembodied form, but in an energy vehicle sufficiently dense for me to pick up, on a somatic level, what he had done to himself and what followed. This goes beyond our general understanding of telepathy.

There are various models for understanding such phenomena. The great pioneer in this area was the Victorian researcher of the “supernormal”, Frederick W.H. Myers, whose classical education and literary flair has given us many of the key words we use to name and discuss such things – telepathy is his best-known coinage. In his “Scheme of Vital Faculty”, an essay appended to his master work Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death Myers attempted to present a coherent schema of all the modes of subliminal knowledge. Our “official science” (to borrow William James’ phrase) has yet to catch up with him. Theories of quantum nonlocal connection or “entanglement” (which Einstein, shaking his mane, called “spooky action at a distance”) give us some promising ways of looking at some of these phenomena. Our primary requirement, however, is to gather a personal inventory of instances and modes of supernormal knowing that will encourage us to expand our attention and speed the access to consciousness of what the bleep we don’t know that we know.


Tarot cards from the world

posted by Robert Moss

red fox.jpgA frisky breeze is tossing fall leaves into the air in front of my windshield when I turn on the car radio. The commentator on a classical music station is introducing a recording of Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio. He explains that “Kegelstatt” is the German word for a place where you play skittles, and that Mozart came up with this chamber music for viola, clarinet and piano while playing skittles with friends. 

I like the idea that composition can emerge from pure play, in this case in some 18th century version of a bowling alley.[1] This gave me my first message for the day: create through play.
I love the sense that the world is sometimes slipping us a Tarot card, from an infinite deck. On the literal roads of everyday life, I’m often struck by how the first thing that comes on the car radio, or the first vanity plate or bumper sticker I spot on a car, may contain a clue to the quality of the day. Yesterday the first vanity plate I noticed while walking my dogs read WAT U WISH. This got me thinking long and deep about the nature of wishcraft. What we encounter in life has a great deal to do with what we wish – or fail to wish – and whether our wishes come from the head or the heart, from the little self of the big Self.
A friend reported that the first bumper sticker she saw read “I Won the Time War”. That feels to me like an nod of approval from the universe, whether you read it in the mundane sense of managing to get things done in allotted tick-tock time, of in the larger sense of inhabiting a more spacious time in the multiverse (which my friend had been discussing at the moment she spotted the bumper sticker).
The behavior of birds and animals sometimes has the quality of a Greater Trump coming into play. Once when I was speaking about the character of the Trickster in mythology, a red fox appeared on a grassy knoll behind my head, visible to everyone in the group except me. Every time I turned my head, he would vanish, only to reappear when I wasn’t looking, until that session was done. Hard to miss the fact that the Trickster card was in play that day – as proved to be the case, richly, beyond that workshop session.
[1] Due diligence: the history professor in me always needs to check the provenance of stories like this. It turns out there is no evidence that Mozart came up with the Kegelstatt Trio while playing skittles; the title of the piece was added by publishers many years later, However, by his own account a week before writing this piece he was inspired to write 1212 duos for basset-horns (K. 487) while playing skittles; he noted on the first page of that autograph: “Vienna, 27 July 1786 while playing skittles” (“Wien, den 27ten Jullius 1786 untern Kegelscheiben”) So the message on the car radio – create through play – holds good.
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