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Archive for January 7th, 2019

As far as I can see, for just over 20 years I have been given hints of various kinds and have responded with varying degrees of understanding. The picture at the head of this post gives one example. Not till now though do I feel I have reached anything close to a full understanding. By now I mean mid-November 2018, the time of writing, rather than January 2019 when this post has been published.

There was an unexpected insight, which came to me first on the 7th of November last year. While I’d been clamouring, for months before that, for guidance about what I was meant to be doing with the rest of my time in this body, I discovered that my ‘calling’ had been staring me in the face for at least two decades, and I’d been more or less unwittingly following it in part at least for even longer than that – in fact, since at least 1982 if not completely unconsciously moving along the right path since 1976.

I just hadn’t had a name for it and was only aware of it in parts rather like the blind men with the elephant.

As I will explain shortly, even when I found the name for it a couple of years back I still didn’t completely understand what I was talking about.

The Dream 

A rag rug

My hearth dream was probably the first prompt I received. Readers of my blog will be familiar with this but in case not here is an abbreviated version of my most recent effort at decoding it more fully.

This is the dream: ‘I am sitting on a rag rug, the kind where you drag bits of cloth through a coarse fabric backing to build up a warm thick rug.  The rags used in this case were all dark browns, greys and blacks. It is the rug, made by my spinster aunt, that was in the family home where I grew up. I’m in the living room, facing the hearth with its chimney breast and its cast-iron grate and what would have been a coal fire burning brightly. I am at the left hand corner of the rug furthest from the fire. To my right are one or two other people, probably Bahá’ís, but I’m not sure who they are. We are praying. I am chewing gum. I suddenly realise that Bahá’u’lláh is behind my left shoulder. I absolutely know it. I am devastated to be ‘caught’ chewing gum during prayers but can see no way of getting rid of the gum unobserved.’

I want, for present purposes, to focus on what for me has become the core of the dream’s meaning, a meaning which is still evolving even though this dream is now more than 20 years old – still in adolescence really so there’s probably more to come.

Taking the imagery first, the image of the hearth is richly significant. The word ‘hearth’ is comprised of several other key words: ‘ear,’ ‘hear,’ ‘earth,’ ‘art’ and most powerful of all ‘heart.’ All of these words were separately of huge significance for me though I had some sense of how they might all fit together. I’ll skate over all but the heart for now.

This only got me so far though. I needed some other way of decoding the full import of the dream.

When we are doing dreamwork, we need to remember how each dream element is part of the dreamer and we can unlock the meaning of the symbolism not only by tracking our associations with it, but also by pretending to be the element in the dream and speaking as though we were it.

The result in the case of the fuel burning in the hearth was dramatic. I had been really struggling to make sense of this part of the dream. What had a coal fire got to do with my situation, except as a memory of childhood with relatively little relevance? I decided I needed to sit right in front of the hearth of the house I was living in at the time and speak as the fuel itself.

The Fuel: I am peat. You dig me from the earth and I burn. You feed me to the flowers and they grow.

Need I go any further really with what I said? The pun on my name is enough, really. That first moment contains the key to unlocking a whole treasure chest of meanings.

On the 26th April 2003, at least five years after beginning to work on the dream, I wrote in my journal, trying to summarise some of my insights:

I’m part poet/writer, part psychologist, part educator, (both subsumed by the term mind-wright) – the words wright and writer catch one part of my essence – my tools are words by and large – mind does not quite catch the other part – soul is too grand and beyond my competence – the nearest I can get is being a wordsmith and a heartwright. The word heart helps because it includes in itself the words art and (h)ear, an essential combination of skills or qualities entailed in heartwork. It leads back to my concept of heart-to-heart resuscitation. Hearts have to connect. That it also links with my archetypal dream of the hearth, where the fire of spirit burns to give warmth to the mansion of being, makes it all the more powerful a word to use in this context. The essence of my being – peat – is to fuel this process. An additional thought: 28.04.03 – if you place Heart and Earth overlapping you get Hearth. Each is also an anagram of the other. In the Bahá’í Writings the heart is often spoken of as a garden and of having soil. Also I have prayed for God to ignite within my breast the fire of His love and Bahá’u’lláh refers to the ‘candle” of our heart. Hearth eloquently combines these notions of the heart as a garden and as a container of fire. What does this mean in practice?

At this point, while I was aware that being a poet or a psychologist etc failed to capture the whole story, I had no real idea what the whole story might turn out to be.

At one point, I tried to capture the essence of all this in a poem, meant really for my own consumption, but it might be worth sharing here:

From my heart’s earth,
peat, my hearth’s fuel,
yearns to give warmth
to the chilled soul.

Even so the penny that dropped in November remained suspended in the air at that point. More about the penny’s descent on Thursday.

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