• Each FRIDAY, guests join me in a conversation.
• Come back each Wednesday
(on “Hump Day” aka Midweek) for a brief Soul School “lesson”–something for your interior world and common life.
HOW FUNDING WORKS: Even though listening twice a week is free, Spark My Muse costs hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket each month to create, produce, and host online–and takes 25-30 hours of work per week too–which keeps me from making income to pay my own normal bills like food, electricity, and water. The good news is that Listeners, like you,give so kindly (at over 3 times the average!!) to support the show. LISTENERS make the BIG difference – Thank you for helping too!
Today’s guest is lucid dream expert, Robert Waggoner. We discuss remembering dreams, overcoming nightmares, PTSD, trauma, grief, and how to lucid dream (gain consciousness and control of your actions and dreams themselves while you are dreaming).
Scientific proof for lucid dreaming (discovered in sleep lab studies)
REM sleep (the brain state where dreams happen)
Robert’s dream life from childhood onward
Precognitive dreams – Dreaming something before it happens.
Robert feeling that dreaming maybe tapping into God in a timeless realm.
Half of people don’t seem to recall their dreams at all.
Keeping a dream journal
3 Reasons you don’t remember your dreams
Important reasons why we might delve into working with our dream life at all?
Using dreams for healing.
Mutual lucid dreaming
Dreams for healing phobias, anxiety, emotional healing, to aid in mediation, bad habits, obsessions, etc.
I was a sweaty, nervous wreck on my first periscope.
It’s comical…did anyone ever see Broadcast News (the movie)?
I needed two tissues for my sympathetic nervous system.
(Some technical difficulties threw me just before broadcast and I talked SO VERY fast.)
If you didn’t get to see it here you go!
THE #1 Myth about the SOUL…
is that we have one.
But first….we should get on the same page…
WHAT IS A SOUL?
(what are we talking about?)
This is how I’m describing it:
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for soul is nephesh. We might use it this way, “1,517 souls were lost in the Titanic disaster.”
SOUL ≠ dead BUGS BUNNY …like a floating ghost and that sort of stuff.
Not a faint rendering of bugs bunny leaving his body to play a harp on a cloud with Porky Pig. Not something that is ghosty and haunting a house or helping Demi Moore on a Pottery Wheel. (Patrick Swayze-style..google it, young people.)
Ancients thought of the mind and heart differently (the will and the emotions)…
Maybe these verses come to mind…but you’ve been thinking about them in your own context instead of the ancient context from which they were written.
Remember this one?
The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things JER 17:9
(Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
….The writers of these scriptures were not talking about emotions and feelings when they said “heart” (like we associate the heart today…they were talking about the HEART as one’s will and control center of a person…(the thing we now associate with the mind.)
For them, the emotions (the heart for us in our context) were associated, instead, with the bowels. Perhaps a bit gross..but there is some
MEDICAL TRUTH/correlation : anxiety and stress are closely associated with disease and problem that happen in the intestines…like….ulcerated colon, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (bloating, constipation, gas, and other fun things), digestion issues, food sensitivities and problems in that part of the body. These are extremely related to one’s emotions and levels of stress.
The GEM MODEL of the Soul (my version)
Think of the SOUL as a gem and the facets are ways to see the soul.
You can go as far as saying other things beyond these are facets:
family of origin, social economic situation, skin color (if that has been a defining factor in your life)
education, the country you live in,
Even Christianity is a facet. A worldview is a facet that we can gain a kind of look at who we are.
Grace is central to Christianity, for instance. We can look at our soul through the facet of grace.
When light is added to a stone you can see its flaws and imperfections and you can see its quality (color, cut, clarity, caret)
UGLY soul? Is that possible? what do you think?
In his book Care of Souls, David Benner writes, “We can define soul care as the support and restoration of the well-being of persons in their depth and totality, with particular concern for their inner life. Soul care is done in the context of community.”
The vantage point of Soul Care views struggle or failings not as fatal flaws or illness to be “cured”. Not therapy or self-help.
It’s a sustaining endeavor for our interior lives and our relationships, like water and food is for the body. Incidentally, caring for the body falls within the bounds of Soul Care.
Ten Signs that You Need the Renewal of Soul Care
1. Fruitlessness. Are there observable deficits in the enacted your Fruit of the Spirit? That means, is there any lack or slack in the
areas of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control? (If not, I think E.T. went home without you. Phone again. You might want to text, and retweet as well.)
2. You find yourself perceiving things others say as personally offensive, or as direct attacks.
3. You are “venting” more in person or online. 4. You feel unloved. 5.You feel increased frustration, restlessness, or disconsolation.
6.Your fears and anxiety are more prevalent.
7.You have increased tension in relationships.
8. You struggle with one or more of the “seven deadly
sins”: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
9. You have problems sleeping or bad dreams.
10. You’re in a creative slump.
THE #1 myth about the soul is that…. you have one. You don’t have a soul you are a Soul. You have a body. George MacDonald, in 1892 (C.S. Lewis quotes him and the quote is mistakenly attributed to him sometimes)
Think of the Soul as “the real you” the essence of you. contained in a body, yes, but made up of everything about you in a pure sense.
Some might say the soul gets extinguished or goes to paradise or gets absorbed into the great Life Force (God) …but in terms of what you need…you always need Soul Care, because you are a soul and that include both the visible and the invisible.
All this more and much more is available in my book. Shame-filled plug.
Shane is a Soul Friend (Spiritual Director) with a focus on artists and creatives, be they “yuccies”, “slashies”, painters, musicians, or any one in need of deeper and more sustaining, soul-level communing.
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Dreams are something that have interested me since I was very young. I came across this poem and thought it captured the mystique and intrigue of dream life and I just had to share it.
by Mark Strand (April 11, 1934–November 29, 2014)
Trying to recall the plot
And characters we dreamed,
What life was like
Before the morning came,
We are seldom satisfied,
And even then
There is no way of knowing
If what we know is true.
Hums us into sleep,
Withdraws, and leaves us in
A place that seems
Always vaguely familiar.
Perhaps it is because
We take the props
And fixtures of our days
With us into the dark,
We are still alive. And yet
Nothing here is certain;
With one another, houses
Are never where they should be,
Doors and windows
Sometimes open out
To other doors and windows,
Even the person
Who seems most like ourselves
Cannot be counted on,
For there have been
Too many times when he,
Like everything else, has done
And as the night wears on,
The dim allegory of ourselves
Unfolds, and we
Feel dreamed by someone else,
A sleeping counterpart,
Who gathers in
The darkness of his person
Shades of the real world.
Nothing is clear;
We are not ever sure
If the life we live there
Belongs to us.
Each night it is the same;
Just when we’re on the verge
Of catching on,
A sense of our remoteness
Closes in, and the world
So lately seen
Gradually fades from sight.
We wake to find the sleeper
And the dreamt-of is someone who did
Something we can’t quite put
Our finger on,
But which involved a life
We are always, we feel,
About to discover.
I was listening to a new podcast called Invisibilia and the hosts were discussing the topic of unwanted thoughts. (“The Secret History of Thoughts” is the episode title)
Any thoughts from the emotionally self-injuring ones, to violent ones, to obsessive thoughts and worries. Everyone has them and some people develop dysfunctions that make life difficult or unbearable. Anxiety has a lot to do with it too.
What thoughts really are and how meaningful they are has been up for debate by professionals over the last 100 years.
Here are the top 3.
• Theory 1: Thoughts are very meaningful and are red flags of something deeper and sometimes something more sinister. (Freud and his ilk)
• Theory 2: Thoughts are not as meaningful as we thought and the key is to compensate or overcome them with opposite (reforming) thinking over a period of time (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
• Theory 3: Of the three top theories, a third one in particular is getting momentum right now. To me, it seems to have an “ancient/new” quality to it…
The advice goes something like this.
“Keep the good thoughts and let the others float away.”
Does that sound flaky?
Think of it as laid back. Chill.
• The idea flies in the face of modern psychology that has us dig around a lot and examine every negative thought. Analyze it, get to what you think is the root, dig some more, and pick it all apart. See if has something to do with a repressed issue, a dark secret, the bad parents we probably had, or primal urges to kill and hump, and whatnot.
• The third theory also is a very different tact than what happens with theory #2.
Maybe thoughts are like clouds.
Your thoughts are nothing to worry about. Probably.
So the new tactic for dealing with unwanted thoughts is about training our focus and being gracious with ourselves. Sounds like a spiritual discipline to me!
It’s a recollection of the ancient idea that what you feed, grows and dominates.
Some proverb like…
“There are two wolves fighting inside each of us. One is good and one is bad–and each one wants to rule the other. Which one will win? …The one you feed.”
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you. ref.
Some times I assume my passing or repeating unwanted thoughts have larger meaning and import, but maybe they just move in and around like the weather. I make them weighty like rocks. Maybe that’s not helpful. We take these rocks and place them in a pile, sometimes, don’t we?
We worry about our worries. We worry about what is wrong with us. We make a big, sad pile to stand for something, like a reminder…or…
we make a cairn. But, the wrong kind. A cairn should be a trail marker or situate like standing stones marking the best of ourselves or our dreams. A cairn is about hope.
Your repetitive thoughts aren’t stones, they are clouds.
The good thoughts can get a upgrade to something more substantial…let the others drift away.