Inrterpretation of Jane's Dream

"I climb, ascend as in my imagination should be a building. Having climbed very high, I expect to find a storey, an apartment, at least doors leading to a big platform. Instead of that I find difficulty in getting on the tiny balcony, carrying my satchel on my back, which gets stuck in the strings attached to the sides of both corners, almost causing me to tumble and fall from enormous height.
Then I find instead of doors leading to halls or whatever, kind of a mirror (at first this seems barricaded, as if I've got to push some big black bear or other animal aside), but it's not a true mirror though. This tiny balcony, me having climbed all the way over here, apparently with full expectation, and now acrobatically having to climb all the way down. And... most astonishing: what first was supposed to be a high storey building, turned out to be a brownish closet with open shelves... So I go like an acrobat, one hand then the other, one shelf then the lower and lower... There's no end to it it seems.
When I arrive ground floor the dream proceeds with the topic it originally had, namely 'my piano recital'...
OK... For some reason I think I get the message, but it's awfully scary.
I want to get direction in my life, being completely devastatingly damaged, and all I get is dream symbols which only point to the fact that: NO YOU WON'T GET THERE WHERE YOU WANT."
Could someone shed a different light on this weird fragment?
I was just rereading an essay by Marie-Louise von Franz called The Discovery of the Self in Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche. In it she says (p371):
Perhaps someone facing an imminent and problematic decision might come for a consultation. S/he wants to get a divorce, for example, but not give up hir children. And what do dreams do in such cases? They do not touch upon the burning issue at all, but they comment on the dreamer’s rationalism or obstinacy or other secret character defects. To begin with there is disappointment, even shock, that the unconscious took so little notice of the urgency of the current situation. Only later in retrospect does one discover that, in avoiding a confrontation with the rigid position of consciousness, by ingenious subtlety the unconscious was pointing towards dismantling some rigidity in the dreamer’s approach – that would result in the problem resolving in an entirely unforeseen way.
However, even after the study of 40,000 dreams, I would never predict what a person’s dream ‘should’ be like regarding a given situation. Each dream composition is always so creatively unique. The intelligence of the dream can only be compared to the other miracles of nature: the ingenious organisation of DNA, or the processes of molecular biology, or the development of higher organisms altogether. [I have adapted the writing to gender neutrality.]

I dont know if <the topic it originally had, namely 'my piano recital'> means that you are a pianist, or whether this is merely a performance anxiety dream which expresses itself this way? 
   Looking now at your Burglary Dream I see this is so. 
But speaking as a musician I know for myself the intimate relationship between psychological experiences and one's own craft or art. 

What I find your dream evokes in me is the sense which I sometimes have that 'if there were any justice in the world' something I have done should be recognised. I may have ascended to a great height within /as a result of my endeavours - yet am deeply disappointed to find this doesn't produce the response in others I had hoped for. And why? Look at the baggage I am carrying, which causes me to get hung up - and ultimately to stumble and fall. Fall from what? From my expectation of what should occur - as if I can control the outcome, the responses of others, as I seek to control my own performance. (Damn them!) 

So what do I have to do? I have to climb down, to re-ground myself. Is this humiliating? It shouldnt be, unless we have a puffed up ego, and the whole experience is like a pin to a balloon. Well, we had great hopes, but were they realistic &/or were they congruent with our soul/psyche? Did we want to make a great splash, and have a virtuoso career? All well and good if this is our path (often q a superficial and limiting one) or has our inner dynamic or daimon/genius some q other pathway for us to follow. 

We will always be at our most potent and strongest if we're standing on the ground to which our soul/psyche has led us, for there the complex resonances of our personality will acquire an amplitude and resonance they cannot have where we dont 'belong'. That place of belonging/home is the lifelong search of we born into the deracinated culture of the West, for only the lucky few are born with the network of meanings that come with membership of a peasant culture.

Look, in this dream instead of a high storey building (eminence/celebrity) we find <a brownish closet with open shelves> and guess what? In this secret recess of the soul 'the cupboard is bare'. And brownish? Well, you may not like this, but in the period of my life when I was creatively blocked I had a tremendous number of dreams about pooing accidents. For our lives to shine on the outside, they need first to shine on the inside, and that means cleansing ourselves of the stinky grievances /wounds /grudges that fester in our hearts. Once one engages with that process, miraculously, mysteriously, the cupboards are no longer bare.

Is there no end to it? Yes there is. And it can stop the moment we accept we're in the right situation for us right now. If we go on thinking we have to find out how to be someone in order to be acceptable, then yes, it's an endless climbdown. But once we say to The Powers That Be, yes, Im here, this is me. Im ready to work from my true centre - then we immediately discover 'the ground of our being' and are in a position to building something real and lasting where we can give of our truth to the world without pretence or the charades involved in trying to have a career simply by virtue of being identical with a class of person or performer.

I'll tell you just a little bit about my own journey. There were several points in my early life & career when I thought yesss! Im on the inside. Now I can do it my way. One was when I did my first studio recording for the BBC. I thought the gates of valhalla had opened for me. It all went well, everyone was pleased, but thereafter nothing got easier. Then about 12 years later one my first day as a BBC music producer with my own office and a secretary I thought: now I can make things happen. Only to discover that the nearer you get to the centre the more intense and cut-throat the competition is for artists /studios /slots etc, and the clearer your position in the pecking order is made.        

I did good work that Im proud of today, but all the experiences of my career made me realise that for me to sing my heart song I must stand alone and decode my own inner mental patchwork, independent of anyonelse. This led me into a dark 20 year wilderness, where in the silence I did truly encounter my authentic Voice (for there was noonelse's there) and learn how to use it, and bring much of my own inner darkness into the light by marrying up some of contradictions – a never ending task.

And then when Id done all that, and thought I was composing stuff that had integrity (so, to a degree, I thought I was inboard once a again) I had to face the disappointment that the new language Id evolved meant nothing to anyonelse. And that has been the hardest part - but you know? that just brings me back to the crucial thing about authenticity: it doesnt matter what it means to others (the small business of earning a living aside) it's what it means to yourself that counts. If you know youve nailed it, that is its own reward; and that certainty is what connects you seamlessly to Bach—did any of his contemporaries ever see why his eternal masterpieces were different from from everyonelse's?—or whoever your gods are. 'Justice' in artistic or legal terms is rarely quick: but if you know youve put the work in then simply trust in your inner connexion that transcends time. When ultimately the quality of everyone's workmanship is revealed, at 'the latter day' if not before, yours will stand the test of time: because it's time itself that winnows away the chaff. 

Once you're truly on your own ground, you cannot be shifted by man or earthquake - until then breathe the words accept and allow. I went throu 5 years of my life in mortal dread, and as each new blow struck I would simply say 'they will be done.' And my reward? I found myself weightless in eternity, no longer falling, no longer rising, with the exhilaration of having come throu a hailstorm of epic proportions, and realising that not only was I still alive but nothing other people did to me could hurt me. And there is no greater reward than that.  


A technological reminiscence

Today it took only about 20 minutes to upload footage of my pupils performances from the camera cards to my computer.
When I started recording my pupils’ concerts 20 years ago it was on a borrowed Hi8 analog tape camera. Editing was impossible, but I got quite an ace at dubbing off pupils’ performances onto each family's own dedicated piano VHS tape. At this time we used to have our concerts in the drawing room at Pyt House, when it was a retirement home.
The next stage was when Pyt House closed and the concerts moved to Port Regis. Initially they were recorded by a  film-maker mum on an expensive early Sony MiniDVtape camera, which involved realtime camera playouts to upload. I edited on iMovie 6, before moving to FinalCut. Around that time DVD emerged as a consumer format and, ever the early adopter, I wrestled with producing each concert onto DVD. Nowadays DVD production is a piece of cake, but then I called it DVooDoo, because in the early days there were so many user-programmable settings and, being before rise of Google, NO way to find out what they all did except by sucking & seeing; and hoping that you remembered what setting you'd chosen if it came out OK.
Then in 2006 two things came along to make everything easier. One was that I began uploading the videos to uTube; and the second was that Simon Davison and the Nadder Film Club got 2 sassy Sony MiniDVtape cameras.
Over the last few years I've invested in new cameras and portable digital recorders myself, including the handsome prosumer Canon used on this occasion.

I was always fascinated by the relationship between reality of performance and the process of capturing it. What is the most marvellous thing is that in my lifetime everything I wanted to do when I was 17—but couldn’t because it was far far too expensive and required technicians and none of the technologies linked with each other—I now can do pretty much single-handedly in my studio, thanks to digital.
My techno-memories go back to the very first Ampex multitracks. The first time I saw a 12” spool of ¼” tape, called a NAB hub, in a professional studio I just thought it was the most exotic and beautiful thing Id ever seen. I think they cost £4,* which was a lot of money in 1971. And the 12” spools of 2” tape used for multitrack recording were about £36* - and to me were more wonderful and alluring than anything else in the world. (*around £55 & £500 in today’s money).
Once Id seen the inside of a recording studio I knew I never wanted to do anything else with my life. I was totally in love with all forms of recording technology. I still think the smell of opening a can of film when rushes are delivered straight from the lab is about the most intoxicating perfume I know - the simultaneous hope & fear of being about to see what you did the day before makes the headiest cocktail.

Why then did I leave that world? And the answer is the filters which increasingly came to restrict the kind of programming you could make. Academics talk about the ‘discourse of broadcasting’ - by which they mean the consensus perspective that expresses mainstream political/cultural/moral perceptions while simultaneously marginalising alternative ones.
As my life and career progressed I became increasingly aware of the savage contrast between the potency of the technology to achieve positive effects on society and the lazy cowardice of those who were only in it for the money/fame/status. Despite some successes, I realised that I too was as trapt as anyonelse by the very luxury of the technology itself, and eventually I came to feel that if I wanted to reach my own creative potential I needed to reenter the roughness and imperfection of the analog world.
And that is how I come to be teaching the piano in Tisbury, where nowadays I feel I can do much more lasting good in a small area of the world than I could within the adverse currents of the big wide one. But what I learnt still comes in handy; and my hope is that in the long run fellow educators may look at the body of work I've created in these videos and ask themselves if there is something about motivation in the approach they could learn from?


Thoughts about the Celtic World

Studying the intense ornamentation of the BM's Celtic Art Exhibition gave rise to its diametric opposite, and made me wonder about the relationship between the emergence of the ornament-free International Style of architecture in the early 20thC and beliefs in the triumph of rationality. In that era they believed the Nietzschean proposition that the intellect would ultimately triumph over the anarchy of the unconscious by eliminating sentiment and superstition and thus a new world order would arise from the ancient chaos with the human will in place of gods. Well, in a way it did—for that was the intellectual seed-bed both of Communism and Nazism—with consequences nobody imagined. It must have seemed at the time that the simple certainties of science, medical progress and reason offered a radical route-map to sweeping away disease, squalor and the inherent corruption of capitalism.

Aside from the irony of this perspective a century later, after the destruction of the Arab social order by Western militarism and consequent tide of refugees now sweeping into Europe—not to mention the backwash of terrorism—it's strange how psychically uninhabited Modernism now seems.

Spending time with the Exhibition Catalog studying the intensity of the Celtic craftsmen's cornucopious use of ornament embellishment and symbol has led me to think a lot about the world as they saw it. Nowadays our imaginations are circumscribed by ease with which smart devices and the visual familiarity of mass reproduction trumps what we can laboriously produce unaided. It is the very extent of our knowledge that disempowers us and, paradoxically, the very ease with with which we can produce images that devalues them.

Before the 18thC there was no restriction on anyone's imagination because there was no body of knowledge accepted as objectively true: no one knew what the land mass of the earth was, and few had any conception of life in the remoter parts of their own continent. Prehistoric technologies like farming and metallurgy were regarded with awe and but also with wonder. Yet in this world everything was possible: to their kinsfolk, rich and poor, every storyteller, every smith, was a magician whose power was limited only by their capacity to convince.

To me the fabulous artefacts of that complex, diverse yet illiterate, civilisation transcend time to speak to us of an engagement with the energies of the natural world – that wide, mysterious, psychically-inhabited darkness bordering their small enclaves. Those who left this vivid record did so in the face of an unpredictable and deeply unsafe environment, where survival itself couldn't be taken for granted and where each had first to invent the very tools and technologies which they employed to such memorable and harmonious effect.

Thus it seems to me that it was the very difficulty—the hard grapple with the very grain of existence—that imbues their creation with such extraordinary numen and vertu. If they were going to make it at all they needed to make it beautiful not merely because it occupied weeks, if not months or years, of intense labour on which their entire economic future might depend, but also because each object, being unique, represented a score card of the skills they had acquired. Therefore the motifs and symbols they used needed to be those which were most valued and potent within their communities.

Looking at them now you can sense a chaos of overlapping belief and value systems whose vigour and syncresis formed a folk art tradition that was still visibly alive in the gargoyles and misericords of medieval church craftsmen. Consider this seventh century Bible where, in place of a cross, the cover is plastered with the triskeles, a primitive trifold symbol of energy surviving to this day as national icons of Sicily and the Isle of Man.  

The exhibition brought home to me again the numen / psychic resonance / artistic power we have lost by the ease and safety of our lives and art. We may have gone a great way towards eliminating religion, disease, discomfort and physical distance - yet in the process Westerners have also lost almost everything from which the Celts derived authenticity: the indefinable magic of identification with a landscape, the intense bond of tribal identity and its cultural certainties, the intuitional qualities of shared belief and ultimately a dynamic relationship with the natural world. It was a wonderful way to reconnect with the way out weirdness that was the Celtic world.

We cannot turn back the evolutionary clock, any more than we can reenter childhood, but we can revisit and cherish these primitive parts of our collective psyche in a similar way that we can reinvigorate our minds by contact with the freshness of children's minds.

This is perhaps one of the great functions of scholarship – and the one we are in greatest danger of submerging by requiring all education to be market-driven.


Behind the Scenes

Those who go to a concert probably think that the musicians turn up on the day, possibly rehearse a bit, and it's all over. So I thought it might be interesting to know a little more about what goes on ahead of the event. Being butler, doorman and bottle-washer it’s my dubious privilege as both performer and producer to be responsible for both the big picture and the niggly details.

Two and a half days last week were spent hand copying orchestra parts from the score for Catrine’s arias. Why is this necessary? Because some of the pieces we’re doing don’t have hireable or downloadable sets of parts, and even for those that do the cost of hiring quickly mounts up; and the object of the Cherubim Mozart Plus Weekend is to make money for Cherubim not pay publishers.
    I started my professional career in 1970 as a copyist for Sandy Faris, who at that time was doyen of the West End arrangers. It’s amazing how skills you pick up over a lifetime become relevant again. In those days there was no tippex, and the neophyte copyist’s friend were rolls of self-adhesive blank single stave (5 lines), newly arrived from America, you could stick over errors and rewrite. Photocopying was new, prohibitively expensive and there were only a few specialised bureaux that did it. Even tho life is infinitely easier these days with scanners and music writing software, sometimes you still just have to roll your sleeves up, get out the quill pen and cover sheets of manuscript paper with legible dots and dashes. Easy-to-read parts = happy musicians = good performances.

You can hear the result on Saturday 5 September at 1930 in Tisbury Parish Church when Catrine Kirkman is the soprano in a programme titled Obbligato Extravaganza, where each song also features an instrumental soloist, accompanied by Cherubim Chamber Soloists and directed by myself.
    For example Handel’s famous Let the bright Seraphim showcases oboist Mana Shibata. A highly unusual aria by Cherubini (patron composer of Cherubim!) from his opera Medea features bassoonist Cat McDermid. We have Gilda’s exquisite Caro Nome aria from Rigoletto by Verdi featuring the two flute of Suzie Watson & Octavia Lamb. And for fun we need no excuse to finish with Johann Strauss’s delightful Laughing Song from Fledermaus. Do follow these links to hear the music.

    The second half is a performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet featuring Joseph Shiner and the Consort Quartet.

To find out about the music over the whole weekend: http://cherubimtrust.org/

Tickets from £9, children free. To book http://cmt.eventbrite.co.uk/ (card fees apply) or in person Tisbury Post Office


A Dream Journey interpreted

The dream is ranged left. My interpretation is indented.

I was walking along what seemed to be inside a huge blood artery, not knowing where to go nor why I was even there at the first place. The only thing I somehow knew was that if I stayed in one area too long, a horde of mutated flesh eating insects would crawl out of the little holes around the artery and eat me alive. Therefore, I kept walking forwards, hoping to find a miracle.

It wasn’t long until I went into a ‘Y’ intersection. One would get me out of this strange place and the other would lead me to my doom. It was at that time, a tall and skinny young man with short red hair and neatly trimmed mustache and beard appeared from behind me. He was wearing a business suit with a light blue shirt with a beige jacket, pants and dark brown leather shoes. Without saying a single word to me, he walked passed me and went right into the right tunnel. Even though I’ve never met that gentleman, somewhere in my gut feeling that this man could lead me out of the artery. Therefore, I had decided to follow him. After a short journey, I saw an onramp to my left which led us out of the artery. I followed him onto the onramp and exit the artery. 
As has been said, arteries carry life-blood. They are crucible in which oxygen is integrated and dispersed, and disease eradicated. As such they¹re not comfortable places to be. And so it is when we¹re in crisis - when, paradoxically, one of the things that most seems to attack us is the freedom of choice we have in those moment when ordinary rules are suspended. That seem to be where the dreamer starts ­ and can't wait to get out of it: to lock his world back down to its conventions and certainties.

Questioning and choice always involve fevered blood /anxiety. It's all too intense. So when he sees a businessman, emblem of normality and unquestioning venality, he's only too keen to escape. Well, we can all understand. Wasn¹t it St Augustine who prayed ŒO Lord save me, but not just yet¹? At one level we desire change, but at another we¹re terrified by actually doing it.

Insects to me are autonomous somatic reactions we feel yet are often apparently trivial and remain below our mental radar so that they BUG us, and make us irritable because we can't master and suppress (ie kill) them. Would they eat me alive? Or would they instead guide me to hidden correlations in my behaviour patterns or thought processes and certain consequences in the external world that my better self would wish to change?
Just as understanding how certain foods produce reactions we may not at first see as related. Also I see insects as being analogous to doubts that nag at my peace of mind.

But whatever is going on in this cauldron of blood is too much for the dreamer.

The scene here was absolutely beautiful. The sky was clear and the weather was perfectly warm with a cool summer breeze. I then found myself standing on flat ground on top of a cliff looking down at a perfect valley below with green trees on the side and a calm river in the center with another set of high cliffs on the other side. I kept following the gentleman along the clifftop until I arrived at the edge of the cliff, and he disappeared.
Just when I thought I was lost, I noticed a very attractive young lady sitting on a huge rock to my right side while looking towards the valley away from me. She was about 5’4” with long black hair down to her bra / mid-back level, was wearing a silk white v neck dress with front slit, and was barefoot. As I approached her, she turned around and smiled at me. She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Without thinking, I went on and introduced myself to her. Her name was Sabrina

Sabrina: Lovely, isn’t it?
Me: Indeed, but where are we?
Sabrina: Where do you want to go?
Me: I have no idea. In fact, I don’t even know how I got here. All I remember is that somehow I got out of this creepy place that looked like a blood artery, and I am here, looking at a beautiful scenery and a perfect angel in front of me.
Sabrina, blushing: Actually, I’m not what you think I am. I am a yaoguai (translated as spirit in Chinese mythology), a moth, to be exact.
Me: Then you must be a beautiful moth. I don’t think I’ll be afraid even if one day I see your true form.
Sabrina smiles and gets up: Anyways, you can’t stay here for too long. You need to get to the cliff across from here. If you just follow the trail on your left…
Me: If you’re a moth, you must be able to fly. Can you please help me? Besides, I would love to have you by my side from now on.

Sabrina nodded. She then approached me and told me to hold her tight. As we held each other, she spread her wings and we took off across the great valley. Even though the valley must have been very beautiful, I just couldn’t take my eyes off her. I felt like I was already in heaven and there was nowhere else I would like to be except with her.
After a long flight, we have finally arrived at the other side of the cliff. As soon as we landed, Sabrina told me that I should find a weapon to defend myself as this area was not as safe as the other one. I took her advice and started searching for one. This place was a little different from the previous one. While the other clifftop was a flat land with only one rock (the one Sabrina sat on), this place was like a pile up of large rocks. It wasn’t long before I found a cave to my right. We embraced passionately with a kiss, then I headed for the cave, promising that I’d be back and I’d take her with me wherever I go from now on.
Beauty, or rather, glamour, is often a great distraction, isn't it? Big business uses it as a way of selling us things that are not in our best interests, because our poor little brains can't disentangle the mental processes that lead us towards harmony, pattern and symmetry (simplicity) from the ways in which the clever manipulation of such symbols and our own biologic urges often entrap us into patterns of behaviour which are devilishly complex - be it debt, sex or addictions. This is the very raison d¹être of adland and the media corporations.
Here the dreamer is contemplating the world into which he must descend if he is to real-ise himself, and thinking I could really do with a soulmate I could share all this with. When lo & behold his wish creates the reality. But what reality is it? Does he create a real woman with needs and a mind of her own? No, its a fantasy woman - as is indicated by her name. Were you aware that Sabrina is the latin for breast? She is a masculine projection of the feminine whose only job is to gratify his wishes and stroke his ego. And what is her surname but (Cunni)ling(us)? She's a sex doll.

And now this seductive anima-projection offers him the ultimate fantasy of not needing to go down into the confusing valley of full incarnation where one cannot see the wood for the trees and the path of certainty peters out before it reaches the great river of destiny. Just like a super-salesperson leading the dreamer to fantasise that all his problems will be solved by buying the super-expensive gadget of his dreams, he is hooked. What are moths drawn to? So who is the moth here?

Unsurprisingly, by choosing not to descend to engage with his anger /aggression /confusion the dreamer finds it all there on the the next peak he reaches, and a ready way of expressing to hand. Why was it not as safe as the previous? Because every time we don¹t take an opportunity to deal with our stinky stuff it gestates and magnifies itself as we delude ourself that someonelse (someone who represents otherness in our life) is actively preventing us from reaching our goal/s.


The cave was wet and dark. After a few steps, I found a hunting rifle with some bullets beside it. I took it immediately and noticed something strange – a torch to my left lit up, revealing a huge brown moth creeping up from above me, and it seemed ready to attack. Because I noticed that Sabrina’s wings were white, that would not be her. Besides, Sabrina was outside waiting for me. So, I quickly loaded up the gun and blew its head clean off, then watch his body fell down onto a pile of rocks in front of me.

As I was about to head back, I noticed another small tunnel to my left. This one was covered with shining gold powder. Without hesitation, I went and scraped as much gold as possible and stuffed them into the pockets of my blue jeans. After having my pockets filled with gold, I headed back outside just to find a giant white moth standing with its back towards me. Without thinking, I fired 2 rounds at the right side of its body, mortally wounding it. As I approached it, I realized I have made a grave mistake – I just shot Sabrina! I immediately rushed to the dying moth, just as it morphed back to its human form (Sabrina), and held her tight in my arms, telling her how sorry I was. She gave me a heartbroken stare, then closed her eyes and died.
I was grief stricken, but somehow I was unable to cry. I fell to my knees, holding her lifeless body in my arms wondering why I was stupid enough not to recognize her wings. After a short while, Sabrina’s body disappeared. Without any other options, I had to move on.

Why did the dreamer need to enter the cave? Because the cave is the fertile womb, the unconscious where change /metamorphosis happens, a safe space where we can release one mindset and allow another to form. Was this what happened? No, it felt like the dreamer to a very unsafe space and accordingly he latched onto the classic male response. I think it was GB Shaw who said that the first thing a principle does is to shoot someone.

The thing about change is that it involves intense cognitive dissonance, and this can bring on or accompany exactly the kind of psychosis that makes men shoot others, either literally or metaphorically by pumping logic bullets into the soft flesh of those who think and respond differently in order to eliminate the perceived source of the cognitive dissonance.

And here we have to bear in mind one of Jung¹s greatest dicta: the unconscious always shows us the face we show it.

Was the brown moth(er) attacking? Do moths attack? No, it¹s a human projection because we attribute the same motive to others as we ourselves hold. But it¹s OK to shoot a bad brown moth - surely? Just never shoot a white moth. But here we see the classic madonna-whore dichotomy. Some women /people /things are bad and deserve what¹s coming to them; others are above reproach, unique, too good to be true, immortal. Our dreamer thought it was OK to blow the head off the dark moth, but actually such were his compulsions that he couldn¹t help blowing the head off his true love.
Thereby demonstrating the truth of Oscar Wilde¹s stanza in the Ballad of Reading Gaol -
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Given what the dream is seeking to show the dreamer, is it surprising that he is so preoccupied by filling his pockets with gold that his shooting of the white moth appears to him an accident? This pursuit of outer goals, be it money /career /or legitimate ambition is often how men kill their relationships without even knowing that they're doing it ­ by not recognizing from their wings.who their partners actually are.


After another long walk, I came across the entrance of an abandoned amusement park. The entrance gates were all rusted and there were some blood stains on the windows of the security booths. I immediately went to a defending position with my rifle in front of me just as I saw a huge Siberian tiger jumped right out at the gate, growling and staring at me. However, before any of us could launch a first strike, a familiar male voice was heard from the back, “Buddy! No!”
The tiger sat down quietly as the man walked out of the gate and I was very surprised to see him – it was my cousin Edward. I went forward and gave him a brotherly hug.
Me: How the hell did you get here?
Edward: I don’t know man, I just know this place is fucked up, and I found this tiger stuck in some cage in that damn circus(?) (pointing to a large circus tent on the left), so I rescued him and now we are friends. Anyways, did you meet any unusual friends on the journey?
I was silent as I suddenly thought about Sabrina, how we spent our short time together, how I foolishly killed her without recognizing her wings. Edward patted me on the back as if he could read my mind.
Edward: Forget that I asked, now you got me and Buddy. Let’s go.
With that, we went through the gates and into the park.

The amusement park was one of the scariest places I’ve ever seen. It was like walking through a theme park in a horror game. The concrete floor was cracked with weed and fungus all over it. Right after the entrance, there was two ways through the park with a worn out wooden sign in the middle. The road to our left would lead us to a circuit and an aquarium while the right would lead us into the booths and rides. Edward told me that he just came from the left and it wasn’t pretty (which he didn’t explain why), we went through the right and quickly arrived at the booths section. The game booths were completely empty. The food stands were empty with spilled ketchup, mustard, and relishes all over the booths. Although this part looked scary, we didn’t find anything hostile in this area. After a few blocks, we entered the rides section of the park.

The rides section was even scarier than the first one. The Ferris wheel on our left was completely rusted and was slanted slightly towards us. There were only 12 dangling passenger cars left and the wheel was slowly turning in a clockwise motion, making an eerily squeaky sound as it turned. To our right was a large bumper cars ride. Like the rest of the park, it was abandoned. There were 6 cars scattered on the lot and the colors were as follows (starting from the one closest to us): RED, LIGHT BLUE, YELLOW, LIGHT GREEN, PURPLE and ORANGE. The cars were all rusted and the seats were destroyed (like they had been clawed by wild animals). What caught my eyes though, was a mysterious narrow doorway at the end of the lot. It was then I remember that I had seen this arena and the doorway before in my previous dreams. The doorway that led to an endless maze scattered with booby traps and flesh eating zombies. As we went passed the doorway, we started hearing moans and growls coming from the inside of the doorway. I quickly got myself in a defensive position with my hunting rifle while Buddy the tiger got himself on full alert. However, since 3 seconds have passed and nothing came out, we have decided to make a run for it.

The last section before exiting the park was a gigantic roller coaster. The tracks were huge, it was about 600 feet high and around 8,000 feet long. The tracks were of red steel and like the other rides, it was rusted all over. The train, however, was made of wood and was able to seat 18 people in rows of 2. It was dilapidated and there was mold all over the train seats. It was at this time a heavy fog suddenly descended onto the area. Sensing that something was terribly wrong, we had decided to make a run for the exit (Another rusted steel arch like the entrance).
There¹s another useful maxim here. The sharpness of our moral vision is a direct consequence of the karmic choices we have made in life. Have we shirked them, and remained pygmies, or shouldered them and grown in stature and clarity of perception?

It's pretty grim this so-called Amusement Park, isn't it? Nobody has been amused here for a long while.The idea of pure pleasure always contains the seeds of its own downfall, because pursued for itself it¹s ultimately pointless. When it¹s over, what has been gained? Just an emptiness waiting to be filled again by more pointless pleasure - like a drug, preventing one from awakening and taking control of one¹s life. There¹s another thing that strikes me, each of these rides is an image of reincarnation. What goes around comes around - until we can learn to step off the roller-coaster of pleasure-pain, excitement-despair and learn to walk calmly to the exit sign. The 12 dangling passengers also speak of this - 12 being the number of a completed cycle (an octave in music, a day or night by the clock) in the duodecimal system which was universally used in the ancient world.

Here in this derelict environment the dreamer encounters not merely his alter ego, but also his killer instinct, his truth. And between them all in these unpromising circumstances some spiritual traction occurs. Of course his fears manifest but at least here he finds the resource to confront them. (BTW I assume the word circus is meant where circuit is given). Then the dreamer sees a way out, not a final solution, but at least a way forward; and its significance is its insignificance. Not only does it remind of that
Œstrait (narrow) is the way, and narrow the gate that leads to wisdom; but Marie-Louise von Franz points out somewhere that all truly great moral revolutions start at the margins of society - Christ born in a hovel, etc ­ because Œshit is gold & gold is shit¹. It's only the outcasts who have the psychic energy & need to overcome the inertia of the insiders. We saw earlier in the dream what the pursuit of gold led to. Now we¹re seeing the dreamer fully immersed in a really shitty place.

What does stepping throu the door lead to? A maze. Are we amazed? No, because life only seems to be a maze as long as we cling to our illusions. Once we surrender these and allow ourselves to fall we realise that in the ultimate scheme of things there is no good or bad, up or down, or duality - there is only being in the present, and using our inner truth to navigate the apparent choices we face.


After we left the park, we continued on until we went through a long narrow wooden suspension bridge with 2 rows of steel towering over an endless fog. In fact, the weather was so foggy that we could hardly see anything in front of us. It would be another 15 minute walk (or so I guess) before we finally hit solid ground and the fog began to lift
Here we meet The Cloud of Unknowing. (Check out the book of this name by an  anonymous 15thC english mystic - it¹s one of the most beautiful and timeless books of all spiritual literature, and speaks to us even more vividly now, because we admire the author for not surrendering to the object-based religious perceptions of his age). He says this cloud (depression) is there for a purpose and that we have to beat against it with the darts of prayerful longing for a sight of God(dess)head. The wonderful thing about this Œbridge over troubled water¹ is not only that we are reassured that others have walked this way by sight of its soaring (cloud-capped) towers and majestic stability - but here we see how ridiculously short the time was which seemed an eternity when we were in it.

As the fog lifted and the sky became clear, I found myself back to the flat ground above the blood artery. We walked to a giant hole in front of us and I looked down and was dismayed to find out that it was the artery tunnel I came from.
ME: Shit! That was where I started. What now?
EDWARD: Well, we are going down there with or without you.
ME: I wouldn’t go down there. I don’t know what but something isn’t right there.
EDWARD (smirk): So what? Look, we can do whatever we like as long as we are man enough to take the consequences, right?

Before I could react, Edward and Buddy leapt down towards the hole and immediately, screams of fear and agony was heard from them. Then, all was silent. “Fucking idiots!” I thought to myself. Now, I am alone with the hunting rifle, so I continued walking straight until I saw the exit I came up from. There, I saw the same red headed gentleman emerge from the exit and kept walking straight, and so I followed him to the same edge of the cliff where he disappeared again. I then stood there dumbfounded, wondering where to go from there, staring at the same rock where Sabrina used to sit.

I warmly salute the dreamer for maturity that he has acquired on this journey. Because  when he returns to the point of departure, as we invariably do, for instance at a Saturn Return, he demonstrates that he has been transformed by completing a revolution of the spiral rather than just gone round on a funfair ride & ended up back where he started. Altho his conscious mind remains fearful of the intensity of the transformative journey (the anarchy of the wild blood) his wise inner self and his instinctual nature are both prepared to engage further with the evolutionary process.

I’ve just started to reread Marie-Louise von Franz’s Alchemical Active Nature. And in it she writes something relevant to the dreamer’s dilemmas. 
…people get caught in a trap. They enter a castle and the door shuts behind them, and that always means that now they are in the Self [transpersonal otherness or Soul]. Now they have reached that point in their psyche where they can no longer run away from themselves. Now they are in for it, and the ego, which always flirts with the idea of getting away from what it ought to do, knows that it is caught in the mousetrap and has to fulfil the requirements of the Self and will not be released before that it accomplished.

In all fairy tales and mythological patterns one is always [ultimately] released […] but only after one has done the heroic deed. Trying to run away is no good, for you cannot escape [until you complete the task and are thereby released from it].
Origins of Alchemy p24

It's noteworthy that the dreamer cannot release the idea of ego protection, the gun. Observe how the truly powerful people of the world, such as the Dalai Lama, require no protection – their spirituality is confidence enough for them. In this context it’s clear that the dreamer is at risk of losing the integration that the dream exhibits if he doesn’t stay true to /follow his higher self and instincts. It is only within a further encounter with(in) the crucible of his own blood that he is likely to encounter to encounter his true inner feminine, and thereby be ready to manifest such a person in reality.

I close with another quote from Von Franz. This time from The Interpretation of Fairy Tales, which contains this lapidary paragraph.

There again loyalty to the reality of the psyche gives the only possible solution, and generally the anima tends to maneuver a man into a situation which is meant to be without issue. Jung said that to be in a situation where there is no way out or to be in a conflict where there is no solution is the classical beginning of the process of individuation. It is meant to be a situation without solution: the unconscious wants the hopeless conflict in order to put ego consciousness up against the wall, so that the man has to realize that whatever he does is wrong, whichever way he decides will be wrong. This is meant to knock out the superiority of the ego, which always acts from the illusion that it has the responsibility of decision.

Naturally, if a man says, “Oh well, then I shall just let everything go and make no decision, but just protract and wriggle out everywhere,” the whole thing is equally wrong, for then naturally nothing happens. But if he is ethical enough to suffer to the core of his personality, then generally, because of the insolubility of the conscious situation, the Self manifests. In religious language you could say that the situation without issue is meant to force the man to rely on an act of God. In psychological language the situation without issue, which the anima arranges with great skill in a man’s life, is meant to drive him into a condition in which he is capable of experiencing the Self, in which he will be inwardly open to an interference by the tertium quod non datur (the third way, which is not given, that is, the unknown thing).

In this way, as Jung said, the anima is the guide toward the realization of the Self, but sometimes in a very painful manner. When thinking of the anima as the soul guide, we are apt to think of Beatrice leading Dante up to Paradise, but we should not forget that he experienced that only after he had gone through Hell. Normally, the anima does not take a man by the hand and lead him right up to Paradise; she puts him first in to a hot cauldron where he is nicely roasted for a while.


Is there a 'Posh Ceiling'?

There was a series of article in Guardian G2 about this on 16/6/15. This letter is a response.
I went to a public school but ran away when I was 15 and chose not to go to university, yet have somehow survived the vicissitudes of 50 years as a freelance in a largely graduate environment. People take me to be an upper-middle-class graduate, which I’m not. As a result I see both sides of the ‘posh’ argument, simply finding both as useful guises for achieving certain objectives.

The distinction between governors and the governed comes down to one phrase: awareness of choice. Those whose education has involved any time at an independent school become aware of how they have choices—regardless of their parents wealth or status—by the simple fact that they have escaped the ‘one size fits all’ mental sausage-production-line that is modern state education. They also escape the constant movement of goalposts, beloved of all Gove-rnments, which so harm coherent teaching; and thus learn with more depth and continuity.

From this pupils with any wits assimilate the basic lessons of thinking outside the box - which is what makes them exceptionally employable at an executive level. That is the open secret of private education … and poshness. The British class system is far more permeable and nuanced than the articles allowed; and the key to it is a kind of mental flexibility which is almost impossible to learn within the rigid framework of the National Curriculum. Successive Education Ministers believe that ‘standards can be driven up’ by diktat and testing. In reality this covers up a sophisticated mechanism for manufacturing conformity and consent among those destined to be governed. Independence of thought is a cultural transmission that can only be taught by those who have themselves been raised within its liberal traditions. And my regretful conclusion after a lifetime of commitment to egalitarian ideals is that scholarship, public service and cultural continuity are better served by those educated within what is thought of as a posh environment, where traditions of cultural awareness and free-thinking are preserved, than one driven by targets, educational fashion – and cuts.  

Put another way: we could have a society where everyone is encouraged to achieve personal excellence, be it academic or technical, but this would involve levels of state resourcing comparable to that private education commands. (The ILEA came closest to this, and that made it top of Mrs Thatcher’s hit list.) It would end the myth of poshness in a generation, but time and again the British public is mesmerised by the chimera of lower taxes—which serve mainly the rich—to vote against its own longterm interest.


Towards A Theory of Piano Learning

This topic is so all-embracing as almost to defy reduction by categorical analysis; as well as equally hard to distinguish from the bigger picture of aesthetics /theory of performance piano and musicianship in general. Even if one were to succeed in defining such a theory satisfactorily, it would be as dry bones compared to the living breathing emotional reality of successful performance. Thus we may say that ultimately the goal of learning to perform music is to unify the separate aspects of performance (emotional /aesthetic /physical) into a compelling unity of expression designed to enhance its reception by listeners, and – as a bproduct – to enhance the self-awareness, self-confidence and psycho-somatic integration of the performer.

The difficulty in attempting an analysis by category is that the emotional /the aesthetic / the physical cannot be considered in isolation from each other. Nevertheless, as a shorthand we can consider issues within these topic areas:

  • Dexterity: velocity /finger control /gestural expressivity
  • Dynamic balance
  • Energy
  • Fitness (maintaining muscular health)
  • Musical sensitivity (restraint)
  • Rhythmic poise

Mental – subdividing into Æsthetic
  • Awareness of cultural /historical context and style
  • Conscious detachment /overview /pacing
  • Literate fluency
  • Memory development & recognition
  • Musical sensitivity
  • Rhythmic poise (ability to keep in time with others)

– and Emotional
  • Emotional depth
  • Experience /maturity
  • Conscious engagement: intention /attitude /focus

  • Memory (releasing emotional blocks)
  • Musical sensitivity & responsiveness
  • Psychological acuity
  • Rhythmic poise (there is a direct correlation between positive ego development and rhythmic self-confidence**)

The next question in relation to a theory of learning is teleological. If there  is an endpoint, what is it? How far is an individual student interested in and capable of developing?
    When people come to me I form a view fairly early on (based on my experience and intuition) about what musical style is likely to engage them as they reach ‘years if discretion’ and also how important this is likely to be to them, and then endeavour to place them on a trajectory that is scaled to these perceptions. At it’s most basic this might be the ability to play 12 bar Blues, at its most extreme to enter music college with a view to a career. The requirements for each end of the spectrum are different only in degree, yet all need to be grounded in developing a love of making music and the physical skills to do it to a level in a way that feels natural and satisfying to the individual.
    I have a saying that ‘all music needs to work for a youngster in the playground’ (in terms of earning the kudos of their peers) for that is what keeps motivation keenest. The significant factor here is that the dynamics of the playground at St Johns CofE Primary in Tisbury function very differently to those of Wells Cathedral School. Yet the principle is the same, I believe.
    It is all too tragically easy for love to be squeezed out of the picture by the demands of developing technical excellence, and the whole ’scientific education’ mindset has a disastrous bias towards assessing the quantification of musical performance (technique /accuracy) ahead of its qualification (emotional depth). Only those who have true greatness of soul overcome the mean-ness (averageness) of professional music training, by refusing to surrender their focus of love and motivation. [The same is true in medical training and almost anywherelse using the Western scientific model of education.]
    ** I saw a fascinating examples of this process at work when I taught at the Junior Royal College of Music. I would notice that by the age of 17 (our top year) some of the most highly-educated boys had become almost completely divorced from their own sense of body rhythm, under the pressure (& very possibly, inclination) to prioritise intellectual learning above emotional integration. This phenomenon was far rarer in less educated boys, and almost entirely absent in girls.
    [There are other very interesting gender differences I have observed in the 20 years I've spent piano teaching: notably the way in which emotional issues arising from instinctive engagement with dexterity & tool use in boys/men is almost entirely absent in girls/women. In simple terms: I've encountered boys crying and men becoming angry when encountering handicaps, which I've never seen in the supposedly emotional gender!]
Because of the immense complexity of the issues to be mastered and the individual’s own unique psycho-somatic (dis/)advantages there can be no single pathway to developing the desired skill level since no two individuals have exactly the same needs. Some will have difficulty reading music, but none with dexterity. Some vice versa. Some will be challenged by a range of possible physical deficits, the most common being a dyslexic reversal of left-right &/or high-low, weakness of fingers, finger address, etc, and thus be frustrated from realising the mental vision they have of the music – while others posses intuitive gestural memory, excellent auditory responses, perfect pitch, and the necessary intellectual capacity to handle a high level of complexity.

Early stage learning involves A) music-reading, B) physical coordination, & C) a sense of metre – yet it is impossible to predict the way/s in which beginners will or should acquire them, as learning has to be led by what the pupil finds easiest with the other elements receiving remedial attention to keep them in balance.

For me the virtuous circle of the learning experience is to engender 1) rapid progress, by small graduated steps, which creates 2) a sense of achievement, leading to 3) enthusiasm; which then return as 1) accelerated progress, etcetera.

Broadly speaking I see the key stages as follows
1. G1 basic musical competence
2. G5 modest amateur achievement
3. G8 high amateur attainment

4. Music degree - professional musical competence
5. Public debut recital or acceptance into recording/performance scene
6. Solo work
7. Acclaimed mastery
    Most people I teach won't get beyond KS2, a few to KS3. In my present position if I can deliver them to KS4 then I've done my work.

For further reflexions on the learning process see http://msteer.co.uk/edu/1ndexEdu.htm


Why I w/couldn't teach a friend

Dear L
    Here's a slightly more serious answer about why I find it very hard to teach adults piano.
   Their learning process is totally different to kids. Kids know they don’t know and have no issues around being told. Adults think they know (or feel inadequate if they know they don’t know) and have big issues around being told!
    If you can find a kid’s blue touch paper and set it alight s/he will go like a rocket, regardless of how much else they have on. That simply doesn’t happen with adults, and you have to smile sweetly when they tell you they haven’t been able to practise, but the reality is that they're not sufficiently engaged to prioritise the activity.
    I also think it would be a mistake to teach someone I know socially, as it might well contaminate both relationships. I recently turned down a 'Dad' I’m very friendly with recently for that reason. There are also fascinating differences in male /female learning patterns which make the former a lot harder to teach as their brains are hard-wired to tool use (seriously!) and they have tremendous ego issues around dexterity, which women simply don’t have.
    Also a teacher needs that small bit of leverage that being a stranger provides, which is lost when you’re mates and the pupil can take the piss without fear of retribution.

There’s a further thing I've discovered and that is I've not succeeded in teaching non-literate musicians. My attempts have been fascinating encounters in which I've learnt a tremendous amount about the raw structures of memory within the brain; and how, in the absence of literature, strophe is the natural form of memory storage and retrieval. But my mind doesn’t work that way, and you need a teacher who is immersed in the world of intuitive music-making, because the last thing you wants is to get hung up on trying to read dots when all you want to do is play.

Great fun with you guys on Friday night; and I don’t want to spoil a good friendship.


Brhadaranyaka Upanishad - Book 4. Chapter 3

This extraordinary passage follows on from the previous post. The word Brhadaranyaka means literally Œdeep forest; by which one is to understand that it embodies an esoteric wisdom appropriate to those who have differentiated themselves from the common herd, but also as an Upanishad, or
song of praise, that it should turn meditatively in the mind, mindful of the great Mind by whom it was inspired.

7] What is the self, Yajñavalkya?
Among all the senses there is an inner consciousness which consists of intelligent understanding, like a light within the heart: this is the self. A constant presence, this consciousness, which ultimately transcends death, moves freely between the two worlds in sleep, transcending our physical constraints by appearing to contain both the power of thought and movement.

8] At birth this consciousness is formed within temporal reality. At death it relinquishes it. 
9] This consciousness has two states: that of this world and that of the other world. Yet there is also an intermediate state, the twilight world of sleep. From it we see the other two, this world in which we live now, and the other world that is beyond it. Entering the intermediate /dream state we see into the other world and encounter both positive and negative messages.When you fall asleep, you carry with you all the matter of your waking experience. (But within dream) it is actually your own self which creates and destroys whatever appears. And here the light of your own consciousness is your guide.

10] There are no chariots, no distances, no roads; yet within there appear chariots, distances and roads. There are no joys, no pleasures, no delights (yet you experience them nonetheless). There are no baths, no lotus-pools, no rivers; yet you find baths, lotus-pools and rivers - for your self is the creator.

11] On this there are these verses:
In sleep you sift and blend physical sensations: 
and conscious in the world of dreams you see all. 
Like a lonely crane on a long flight you absorb 
this pure energy and so return to your body transformed.

12] Having placed protection around your earthly nest (your sleeping body) 
you are free to soar to the realm of the immortals. 
Wherever you choose to go you are that high-flying bird 
searching for transcendence and transformation.

13] In dream you visit both heavens and hells with the powers of a god – 
amazing the manifold forms of which you’re creator. 
You take your pleasure with partners, laugh – 
or else encounter nightmares: everything appears real. 

People you know may appear in this world at your pleasure: but you they never see.

14] They say you should not waken a deep sleeper - for someone whose spirit doesn’t reunite with hir body can become deranged. Some claim there’s no difference between sleep and waking – for one sees similar things whether awake or asleep – yet everything you see in sleep is created by your own imagination.

Worthy sir, continue! said King Janaka. I will give you a thousand cows for guiding me toward liberation.

15] Serene in sleep, you follow your bliss and encounter many experiences, both good and bad, yet before returning to your body you will have encountered truth (whether you recognise it or not). Here whatever you see does not imprison your soul, for this state is free from all attachments. 17] Awake, you [also] follow your bliss and encounter many experiences, both good and bad, before returning to your dreamworld. 18] So as a great fish swimming freely hither and thither between the banks in sleep your consciousness swims freely between the other world and everyday life.

19] Eventually, as an eagle tired after a high flight folds its wings and swoops back down onto its nest, so too this inner self hastens back to your sleeping form, desiring nothing further and forgetting what it has seen. 
20] A 1000 times smaller than the arteries (hita) of the heart are the meridians down which the body’s energies run – [which we call] white, blue, yellow, green, and red.
Now when it seems you’re about to be killed, or captured, or chased by an elephant or that you fall into a pit this is only the ignorant mind reliving waking fears – but when, like a god or king, you experience wholeness then that is the highest state of being. 21] This is a person’s deepest place, beyond desire, free from evil, free from fear.Just as someone making love to their partner is oblivious of everything else, so in this inner embrace of self and soul humans experience the fullest wisdom of which they're capable. Here all wishes are fulfilled for one is preoccupied with the transcendent self alone, and thus having no material desire no sorrow follows as a consequence.

22] Here the father is no longer a father, mother no longer a mother, ecstasy no longer ecstasy, the Vedas no longer Vedas. There a thief is no longer a thief, an abortionist no longer an abortionist, an outcast no longer an outcast, a mendicant no longer a mendicant, an ascetic no longer an ascetic. Each one now attracts good not misfortune, for all are beyond heart-sadness.

23] Tho in this state your eyes cannot see, yet in your inner vision there is no distinction between seer & sight since both are part of one integrated being. For there is nothing else, nor can anyonelse see what you see.

25] Tho in this state your cannot taste, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between taster & what is tasted, since both are part of one integrated being. There is noonelse to taste anything.

27] Tho in this state you cannot hear or speak, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between what is heard & what is spoken, since both are integrated. Noonelse can know what has been uttered.

28] Tho in this state you cannot think or touch, yet in your inner world there is no distinction between thinker & thought, or toucher & what is touched, since both are one integrated being. Noonelse’s senses or understanding is involved.

30] Similarly, encountering wisdom within oneself is an indivisible experience. 31] When someonelse is present you can compare your comprehension of what you’ve experienced. 32] But in great ocean of dreams you become one unified being, without duality: this is the world of Brahman (universe /universal consciousness). This is at once the highest path, the highest attainment, the highest reward and greatest satisfaction a human being can know. It is this bliss from which all other activities borrow: yet in those, people declare themselves thrilled by the merest fraction of what can be encountered within.

The Great Symphony

This is a sequence of dream and interpretation posted on https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/The_Dream_Catcher/. It began with my dream.
The earliest written music is being rehearsed in a large gothic church or cathedral. It’s very light with lots of sunlight casting patterns & colours of the windows on the floor. The piece is, or begins with, the chords G Em G A. I am in an organ loft while it is played by an orchestra in the nave below. I have a score but it is indecipherable. However having heard it rehearsed I figure the chords. The conductor stops the orchestra to complain that theyre not nearly loud enough so I pull out all the stops (which are arranged in a very strange way in little groups all around the organ cabinet) & join in with full organ when they start again. I play a wrong note in the pedal but luckily the conductor is too busy correcting the orchestra to bother with me.

It felt very exhilarating to combine successfully at full blast since organs are normally a played solo (I am, or was, and organist) even if I made a slight slip. Why is the conductor (the facilitator) remote? Evidently not integrated, tho he has the ability to ‘orchestrate’ the whole thing.
Guy Huntington replied to a further comment:
I am an energy soul who inhabits a body and not a body that has a soul.  There is a difference.  If we are souls who inhabit bodies than we exist at other energy vibrations at the same time as we lower them to occupy our bodies. This is a very different perspective from folks who think their body is the main vehicle and that they have a soul that is freed after death.

I am also being taught that we carefully construct our personalities before we incarnate.  We effectively wear “belief suits” that filter our reality and “creates” our version of reality.  These suits effectively make us forget who we really are.  Somewhat ironically, we then spend each incarnation struggling to recall who we are.  That’s the point of the earth plane we live on. It’s like a gigantic test lab for ourselves to learn about choices we make.

Dreams play a big role in this.  They continually let us know who we are i.e. the spiritually “bigger” us.  From my perspective, we come from our dreams.  We occupy many different universes simultaneously.  Our ideas, creativity and modelling probable realities all occur in our dream state.  

Regarding music, Paul Mccartney woke up one day with the song “Yesterday” all composed in his mind.  He had to create the words BUT the music was all there.  In my perspective, he choose a set of beliefs to create his personality where he was more “in tune” with himself!  He would let music creativity flow through him from the other vibrational levels to his physical self. 

My take is that many people have very “narrow” or “tight” or “restricted” belief filters that effectively block out most connections with their greater self. They then are left to sort of wander around the dreamscape trying to make sense of it.  These folks interpret their reality from their physical bodies point of view.  AND, it is a a TRUE REALITY for them since that’s what their belief filters produce.

So, from my perspective, music, creativity et al comes from our dreams.  There we play, create, test out realities, etc. What we recall from our dreams is limited by the “belief suits” each of us is wearing.  
To which I responded
Guy¹s comment is one of the most concise, coherent and meaning-full summaries of ultra-consciousness I've read. I've lived my life as what (for want of a better description) might be called an intellectual visionary, a person of faith who is also an intense rationalist. I¹m a scorpio: my blessing/curse that I always have to know why.

After nearly 30 years studying my dreams I am convinced they are Œthe missing manual¹ supplied at birth, but cast aside during the acquisition of conceptual skills. If we can master what Marie-Louise von Franz calls 'the puzzling Chinese nonsense' we can learn to return to the perceptual language of our birth, and throu reenter mystical union with all-that-is.

As a meditative exercise recently I made my own version of the Tao. And #28 is a  relevant paragraph.
Wood grows as a natural resource:
when cut it can be transformed into objects, tools, paper.
The intelligent see the underlying unity of all matter and make use of its many forms, without attributing uniqueness to any one manifestation.
When we accept nature on its own terms the great circle is complete.
But that isn't what made me write this response. It is that despite intense skepticism I am driven increasingly by cumulative events & my own half-memories to accept the truth of the cardinal principle Guy articulates. If we have come to feel clearly that the universe is not a morally neutral space (by which I mean to say it is zoophilic, it nurtures animate life) and that there is both a unifying principle and evidence of a creative dynamic which manifests in twin channels, evolution and love, then to me it makes complete sense that the Consciousness which it embodies would also have provided a means to decode our relationship with our existential environment. 
But I also believe that this Power is Œ'dumb'. It exists as a molten stratum of Mind, like our unconscious, which lacks the power of differentiation and articulation, and can only manifest in the material world throu animate lifeforms. And thus like we humans can only truly come to know itself by the reflexion others feed back to it ­ be that by affirmation or indifference. It is in this sense that we are co-creators of the universe: for if we feed back affirmation (what used to be called worship) we give rise to positive energy ­ as-it-were solar radiation ­ in our environment; whereas if we feed back indifference or hostility we are diminishing that very Power which could alleviate the very isolation we assert. (Isn't it interesting that self-absorption is actually like the energy of a dark hole preventing the emission of light?)

In a work-in-progress about Dreaming and Consciousness I've written this: 
The Inner Otherness is Œthat of God within¹, the radioactive core within the psyche over which the Ego can never claim ownership. It is also the Œ'not-I' at our deepest point wherein lies our intuitional link to all that is beyond rational understanding.
Also to be observed within this sphere are the subconscious roots of the Ego, which is commonly call the Soul, described by Jung as the (true) Self. Much that is problematic in a person¹s conscious life has its origins in unacknowledged disharmony between these components of the deep unconscious.
The Mundaka Unpanishad (c.1000BC) depicts the relationship between these elements of our bicameral consciousness as being like two birds sitting on the same branch, one attracted to bright objects in its surroundings, the other content to express itself throu song. Thus we have an image of the  characteristic that separates homo sapiens from all but its closest genetic relatives: the competing demands of inner & outer-directed perception. Many writers see life¹s big issue as being the encounter each of us faces (or avoids) between the ego /I and the inner otherness, the 'not-I' from which alone can flow an authentic and harmonious balance between them.
I agree with Guy, the ego comes with the body: it¹s the Œintel inside¹ that
coordinates and manages the vehicle in which the true I (what Jung called
the Self) reposes for its earthly transit. Hence the number of dreams about
motion in the many forms of conveyance we know today. The more one
penetrates the symbolic language of dream the more one has a sense of
soul-experience not being limited to a single lifetime or a single
Id like to conclude this far-too-long email with an extraordinary passage
from Book 4. Chapter 3 of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad c.4500BC. The word
Brhadaranyaka means literally Œdeep forest¹; by which one is to understand
that it embodies an esoteric wisdom appropriate to those who have
differentiated themselves from the common herd, but also as an Upanishad, or
song of praise, that it should turn meditatively in the mind, mindful of the
great Mind by whom it was inspired.


Giving and receiving Gifts

It's a strange thing to find oneself with the power to create beauty yet be unable to get it to land in the outside world - as each of you may know - when so much rubbish lands so easily.

I seem to have found the power to help others make things happen (which feels an awful lot better than making nothing happen) yet I can't translate this into working for my core reality - which at nearly 70 you'd think I should be able to. In all my many setbacks I've always taken the wily route of the survivor and used my belief in my ultimate victory /vindication as a source of energy. This, whatever it is, is very much bound up with my sense of calling (/dharma) & that 'inner otherness' where ideas arise, which in turn is part of the experience for which there is no alternative to the word God.

I feel a duty (/dharma) to deliver this 'thing' in my lifetime; indeed I feel giving this gift to an indifferent world to be the purpose of my life, and it has therefore always been incomprehensible to me that there should be so many barriers. But what doesn't kill us makes wilier.

When I was young the inability to communicate my vision made me angry and when this energy didn't work it resulted in deep depression. In describing my life as a crescendo of happiness, the main component of  this change is figuring out what happens under the bonnet & seeing how to wire up different bits of experience to produce the results that you want. Learning how others learn (AKA teaching) & acquiring the bizarre mixture of soft skills necessary for running Cherubim have shown me how to articulate what people want but can't articulate for themselves. This is perhaps the real meaning of service.

From all this I see that most people don't understand what is in their own best interests - and that even what is ultimately good for them must be patiently spoonfed. Which can all be intensely frustrating since even the slightest hint of impatience produces a negative reaction & takes you back to square -1, unraveling everything woven to date. Yet it all feeds back into the best advice I know: don't get mad get even. If you fail, learn the deep lesson/s and then you'll be ready when the cycle comes round again.

I really did think that the BBC choral carol competition had my name on it - but the result proved yet again that people can't see what they can't see. I feel there are deep karmic issues here for me, which I've been working throu my entire life. When I was 13 and contemplating suicide because of my total inability to communicate my inner (musical) world I had a strong sense that I'd already done that once, and that the only consequence was that I d been sent back to try again - and that if I did the same thing wd happen again, yet at the same time I was shown that at the end of my life people would accept from me what they cdnt hear then. And that is broadly proving true.

All karma means is (right) action. Each positive (truthful) action we take eventually builds up into a wave of energy within us that is ultimately unstoppable (alas the opposite is also true, which is why we have to be constantly alert). This business of grounding my inner vision/audition in the outer world is my last uncompleted life assignment. Why it shdv been so hard Heaven alone knows - but When I've completed it I shall be free to drift off to where  I shall be able to understand the reasons (if there are any)!

There are many verses from the Psalms that have stayed with me but one has always fortified me on the sometimes stony path "yea I had almost said even as they, but then I should have condemned a generation of thy children." At the time I was nowhere near such prospects but I took it as an encouragement that my struggles were about overcoming things that were of significance to more than just me - if I could do it Id open a door that would make it easier for others.

I feel I've already composed a lot of the music I'll be remembered for, and that when it comes out it'll have an uplifting power which will help to define a new era and lead this rotten age to wither away - but /& that it may be the very blindness which grips this generation that blocks my path. It is hard to stay open-hearted when the gift you offer is ignored but (as outlined above) that is the game, if you butt out of your only chance of winning your prize.

There is no other choice but love. I used to think the universe a hostile environment but I've realised that all it does is mirror back our own face/s. Presently we've constructed the most hideously greedy face which our environment is faithfully mirroring back - yet I've come to see that evolution is love in action,& vice versa. So I know that change is possible. What my music /life is is just a tiny contribution to that process. I have to leave the timing of its entry to the great conductor.

These are thoughts from the wee small hours, caused in part (if not entirely) by wind arising (or descending) from a delicious raw red cabbage and nut salad. I hope they may be useful to others experiencing the same things.