In this episode I share my reflections from a recent online gathering I hosted in which I looked at the present coronavirus pandemic through the lens of dream work and placing it within the context of the emerging consciousness of oneness and interdependence.
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Hello, evolutionaries. The following is a recording of some reflections that I offered during an online gathering that I recently hosted on the topic of the coronavirus.
Again, I want to thank you all for being here and I wanted to just share with you my take on this current situation with the coronavirus and what it looks like from where I sit.
I know that we’re each experiencing this in our own ways. And the way I see this moment is it’s a moment that’s fraught with all kinds of challenges, obviously, and all kinds of potentialities and opportunities.
So I wanted to share with you first of all what this to me looks like within our global context and, if you’ve followed my work at all, or if you’ve read my writings or followed my podcast, you know that I’m looking at what’s happening globally within a context of the dying away of one paradigm or consciousness and the emergence of a new consciousness, a new paradigm.
And the consciousness or paradigm that’s dying away is that mindset of separateness, that paradigm that believes that separateness exists. And that paradigm of separateness is the foundation of the world that we’ve created.
We’ve been dwelling in that consciousness for millennia. And we’ve built up a whole world around it. We built up political systems and economic systems, and we’ve related to one another as though we’re separate from each other and separate from the Earth and separate from the source of our being.
And of course, that has led to a lot of suffering, a lot of exploitation. And we see now with the Earth, that we’ve reached a point now where the Earth can no longer sustain that paradigm. It’s a false paradigm. It’s an illusion in our minds, that separateness exists.
So we’ve built up a world that’s based on an illusion—separateness—and we built up a world then that is unsustainable, a world that is out of sync, out of alignment with reality. Reality is inherently interconnected.
And so we’ve reached a point now where that old paradigm simply cannot continue, the Earth can no longer support it. And so we now are in this moment where that understanding, that paradigm, that consciousness, which I often refer to as the egoic consciousness, or ego mind, that is the thing that is that is dying away.
And we’re watching now the world that that paradigm created beginning to fracture, and the institutions that were built upon that understanding of separateness now are beginning to fracture. And so we’re seeing that in the political system, in the economic system, and certainly in our relationship with the Earth.
So we’re in this moment where this old paradigm is dying away, this idea of separateness is dying away, but it’s not going gently into the night. It’s sort of like. . . I sometimes liken it to a star that goes supernova.
You know, a star, once it has expended all of its energy, if it’s big enough star, it doesn’t just disappear. It it goes supernova. It takes whatever is remaining left of its fuel, and it just flares out. And that’s the way I see what’s happening right now, we see this flaring out of that egoic consciousness. And we see it in the political realm. We see it in the present administration. And I look at this through the lens of dream work, and I’m going to get into that in just a moment.
So we see this flaring out and this sort of last gasp of this egoic mindset. And at the same time, this arising realization of our inherent interconnectedness.
So we happen to be living at this moment which is quite incredible. We are on this planet at a very incredible moment where this transition is happening. And it’s an astonishing time. And it can be a very frightening time if we are unable to see it from a broader context.
So what I want to offer and what I hope to offer this evening is to give you a context within which to view what’s happening that will enable you then to respond to this moment in a creative way and in a way that enhances this arising consciousness of interconnectedness, which is really love. That really is the reality of love: the reality that all are interconnected, the reality of interdependence or interbeingness.
So that is the consciousness that’s arising, and because we are at this juncture right now we each can help that transition happen by our own thoughts and by our own actions. We can, in essence, embody this new consciousness that is wanting to come forth. And we can further it and give it energy and amplify it.
So, I, for a long time, for decades actually, have done dream work. And that’s been a very central part of my own spiritual practice. Doing dream work, working with my dreams, has been core, actually, to my spiritual life and my journey, and I have been blessed with getting just really extraordinary information from my dreams.
And there was a point in my life, in my own spiritual journey, where I had a very profound and tumultuous sort of Kundalini kind of awakening experience in which I could see very clearly that this world that we are in is a form of dream, and that we are acting out the contents of our unconscious mind in a global way. We are in a sense in a dream trance, if you will. We are not fully awake, we are not awake to who we are, we’re not awake to reality.
So we’re sort of in this dream state or this trance state. And so I look at this world sometimes, especially when things like this are happening, I put on my my dream work hat and I asked myself, why this, why now?
And I’m asking that in regard to the coronavirus. Why this? Why now? And that’s the same kind of inquiry I want to make with a nighttime dream. Why am I having this dream now? Because dreams, of course, come to us with content, with information that it is time for us to become conscious of and to assimilate and to integrate into our awareness.
And so I see this virus and I see everything actually that’s happening on the political landscape right now as an opportunity for unconscious material to become conscious so that it can be integrated, so that we can really move into a different way of being, a different understanding.
So when I’m doing dream work, I always draw on the model of the person that I studied dream work with who is Jeremy Taylor and he wrote many, many books on dream work and worked with dreams for most of his life. And he would always say that all dreams come in the interest of health and wholeness. All dreams come in the interest of health and wholeness. And that includes nightmares. And actually, he would say that nightmares are bringing such important information for us that they do it in an extreme fashion. So that in a sense, they’re startling us awake to the thing that we need to know.
So we’re in this time right now globally where we might feel like we’re in a bit of a nightmare, and that’s because there is information now that it’s very important for us to get, and to accept, and to integrate.
So I’m looking at the coronavirus as a component of this sort of nightmare scenario that we are finding ourselves in. And when I’m doing dream work, of course, dreams. . . when you’re doing dream work. . . there’s there’s the literal level of the dream. And when you’re in a dream, you’re in the dream, and you’re interacting with the literal understanding of the dream. But when you’re doing dream work, you are stepping out of the literal understanding of the characters and the events and you’re looking at them through a symbolic lens.
So when we are now in this coronavirus dream, if you will, we are engaging with it at the literal level. We are doing literal things like social distancing and washing our hands. We’re engaging with it at that literal level which is very, very appropriate and important.
And we can also then look at it on another dimension, on the symbolic, with a symbolic dreamwork lens and ask Okay, so what is the information? What is the information that wants to be integrated by us now? Why is this happening now? Why this dream and why now?
So the thing that has interested me from the beginning when I first heard about this disease, this virus breaking out in China, was I was intrigued by the name of it: coronavirus. And so when I’m doing dream work, I unpack information like that. Coronavirus. And I think about it symbolically. And I think, corona. That’s very interesting.
What’s corona? Well, corona, of course is the Latin word for crown. And we know that this virus is called coronavirus because it looks like a crown when you look at it under a microscope.
So the crown. Okay, so what’s a crown? What does a crown symbolize?
Well, if this were my dream, and it is, it’s all of our dream, but as my dream I would say, well, Okay, in my understanding a crown is a symbol of a monarch. It’s a symbol of a king or a queen. It’s a symbol of the person who is set apart and special and has dominion over all others. It’s the symbol of a hierarchical order.
The crown is the quintessential symbol really, of the egoic mind, the egoic paradigm that sets people apart. The ego mind wants to be special, it wants to have dominion, it wants to have control. So all of these things are depicted in my dream with a crown. That’s a perfect symbol of the egoic mind. So we’ve got this crown virus now in my dream.
I was also interested that the coronavirus, this virus of quintessential egoness, ego thinking, that the outbreak happened simultaneously with another dream element, which was the impeachment process of a character in my dream whose name is Donald Trump.
And Donald Trump also in my dream depicts sort of a quintessential embodiment of ego mind. So it’s interesting as I do dream work on this that this coronavirus is breaking out at the same time that there is this question about: is one person endowed with absolute power or not?
So there’s this conversation happening, and I see that as emblematic of these two paradigms that are in conversation right now and in tension right now.
So we’ve got the coronavirus which is depicting this egoic mind that is now spreading out across the world.
Now what’s interesting though, is the egoic mind, of course, is based on the fallacy of separateness. And what is this virus actually revealing to us? It’s really revealing to us the undeniable fact of our interconnectedness. It now has become absolutely evident, that we are interrelated. And more than that, we are interdependent. So you could look at it as this virus that is affecting our bodies is at the same time healing our minds.
Because we have this other kind of coronavirus, the coronavirus of the mind, this idea of separateness that is far more devastating and far more deadly than the coronavirus that affects the body. It’s the coronavirus or the pathogen in the mind, this idea of separateness that has resulted in and is resulting in vast suffering of people and planet. It is resulting in vast inequality of wealth, of vast exploitation of the environment. And all of that is the expression of this idea of separateness.
So it’s really, the way I see it, the coronavirus of the mind is the thing that is ironically, being healed as a result of the coronavirus that is sweeping the globe in this literal and physical way.
So, it is now officially a pandemic and and the word. . . Okay, going back to dream work. . . pandemic. That word comes from the Greek and it means all people. All people. And so this crown, this regal state, this capacity to be considered royal is now sweeping across the planet. It is a pandemic. It includes all people. No one is set apart and special. It is a pan demic. All people.
So, I’m really fascinated by how this literal, physical virus is healing our minds and we’re seeing it now in such an amazing way. There’s such an outpouring now of concern for one another, for concern for people who are marginalized, who don’t have the resources, people who are being financially compromised because of this epidemic.
And you can just see it and you can see it in our social connections. And in my dream again, I find it very interesting that this pandemic is hitting right at the time when we have this other capacity to connect globally, so that we can be in isolation literally, and yet at the same time be very cognizant of our interconnectedness, just as we are experiencing right now. In this moment of connection, even though we’re practicing physical isolation, physical distancing.
So in my version of the dream, I’m also really interested that the first public figure, the first big name in the US, the big US name who got this virus was Tom Hanks. So when I’m doing dream work on this, I’m thinking, Wow, that’s really interesting. Tom Hanks is the first one who’s a confirmed case of this virus.
And in my dream, in my version of this dream, my perspective on this dream, my immediate association with Tom Hanks right now is I just saw him recently in his most recent role, which was, of course, playing Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers, the most beloved man in America. And what is the theme song for Mr. Rogers? Please, won’t you be my neighbor? I mean, how perfect is this? Please, won’t you be my neighbor? And so we’re having this outbreak of neighborliness in the midst of this pandemic that is also on a literal level a nightmare.
So I’m also interested in this other name which is. . . so this is where I go when I’m doing dream work, I really like to explore these things, get very very curious. . . this other name of COVID-19. You know, I just play when I’m doing dream work, I just play with these things. Is there anything there ? And sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t.
But I’m like COVID. That’s a really interesting name. Co of course is together, co-worker, together. And VID. Vid is the is the Latin word for to see. So Isn’t that interesting? And we’re on a video, right? So that’s seeing.
So COVID. Seeing together. Like we are seeing together now our interconnectedness, and this pandemic is making it possible for us to see something that has always been there, which is our interrelatedness, it’s always been there, but not in such a visible and obvious way.
And so this pandemic, this virus, this COVID-19 is making something visible for us so that we can see it together. We can see our interrelatedness, our interdependence all together.
So, it’s actually an extraordinary, extraordinary time that we’re in the middle of. And, as I think about that we’re not just talking about the literal virus, the physical virus, but we’re also more importantly talking about the virus in the mind, the coronavirus in the mind, this idea of separateness.
And when I understand that in a sense we’re all infected with that coronavirus of the mind. . . we for the most part, all of us have been been operating out of and living out of this idea of being separate entities, separate beings, separate from one another, from the Earth, separate from the source of our being. We’ve all been infected, if you will, with that virus.
And so now I’m taking this as an opportunity to really be as mindful of my thoughts and what I’m harboring in my mind as I am of what I touch, and as diligent about washing my mind of that erroneous idea of separateness as I am practicing diligence in my hand washing.
And being attentive to the symptoms of the coronavirus of the mind, this idea of separateness. The symptoms of that are things like judgment and making enemies of others, attacking and belittling and all of those are the symptoms of this idea in the mind.
So I’m really working with this right now in my own practice, as a call to become more and more diligent of the thoughts, the thought structure, that I’m noticing, the thoughts that I’m noticing in my mind, and really practicing.
And actually, I’m doing this quite, I would say literally, but sort of imagistically in my mind. When I notice a judgement thought coming up, I’m noticing it and then I’m visualizing washing my hands—and we’re all getting plenty of practice seeing that, right? seeing ourselves washing our hands—I see myself washing my hands in my mind as an expression of my willingness to let go of that way of thinking because I know that that way of thinking is actually the more deadly virus. And if I can help eliminate that from my own thinking, and if I can help stop the spread of that and the contagion of that, then I’m making a significant contribution.
And also, we understand now that in this particular pandemic, none of us on our own can stop this pandemic, this literal coronavirus. And at the same time, we know that each of us plays a very important role. And I see it the same way with the coronavirus of the mind. We can’t any of us alone obliterate it. That would be coronavirus, egoic thinking, right? To think that any one of us can do it, like “I’m the one who can fix this.” It’s total ego mind.
But to recognize that we can each play a very significant part. And that whatever contribution we can make, we are helping the whole, because we are all interrelated. That’s just a fact.
So as I recognize that we are all infected with this coronavirus of the mind, when I see that playing out in other people’s behavior, when I see them, for instance, attacking or sort of blowing off the need to be cautious to protect other people’s health, when I see that active in other people’s behavior, it helps me be able to step aside from judgment because I can recognize that that person, their thinking, has been infected with a virus, the virus of the ego mind, the virus of separateness. It’s not who they inherently are. But we all really are carriers of this virus of the mind.
So also, the other thing that I want to emphasize is, I really do see us right now as at a moment of global, you know, we are in a crisis moment. We know that with global warming, climate change, we know that with economic inequality, we see it with refugees and wars and, vast devastation. So we know that we are in a crisis moment, and we know that the Earth cannot sustain this behavior any longer.
And so, crisis—and we’ve all probably heard the understanding of it in Chinese characters as dangerous opportunity. It’s sort of become a cliche. But I’m also interested in the actual word crisis in English.
The word crisis comes from the Greek and it means decision. A crisis is a moment of decision. And I was interested to learn that the first time that the word crisis was used in English, it was used as a medical term. And it referred to the moment in a disease, where the disease will either progress along a path of recovery or towards death. It is a moment, a decisive moment, in the progression of a disease where the status quo can no longer hold, it’s going to change for better or for worse. That’s what the crisis is. It’s a moment where this situation is going to change for the better or for the worse, for recovery or for death.
So I see us right now as in that kind of a crisis moment. It is a moment of decision. And one of the wonderful things is that we have the capacity to make the decision. We are not helpless. This is a crisis in which we make a decision about which way this virus, this disease of the egoic mind, is going to take.
So, that’s a decision that we make, and also, I know that might sound scary that we’re in a crisis. But actually, when I’m when I’m really tuning in at a spiritual level, I can sense so much love energy that is available to us right now. And that also is part of the healing of the mind, the healing of our sense of separateness from Source, our sense of separateness from non-physical or non-visible reality. And there are energies and entities that are here to help us. And so we are not in this alone.
And so I know on the ground and at the literal level, it can seem very frightening. And yet, I sense that this is an amazing moment. And it is an opportunity for an extraordinary outbreaking of love. And we are actually beginning to see it. We’re beginning to see that love expression coming to the fore. And actually we see it on a daily basis. It’s like this snowballing effect that’s happening now. So I see it as an extraordinary moment, and a moment in which each of us can play an extraordinary role.
So those are some of my reflections on this particular moment that we find ourselves in.
And so I actually am actively inquiring of myself: How do I want to be present in this moment? How do I want to support and amplify the outbreaking of love? How do I want to embody it? And how do I want to bring it more into visible form so that people can see it and believe in it? And I suspect that all of us on this call feel that like we want to be part of this, what Joanna Macy calls, the Great Turning, the great turning, this planetary shift that’s underway of this consciousness, this new consciousness of oneness, coming forward.
So I’m actively asking myself, how would I like to help that energy be amplified and magnified? And what can I do in my own unique context, given my own background, given my own relationships, given my own skill set? What can I bring to bear in this moment to help amplify this wave of energy that now is sweeping the globe? So actually convening this group felt like something that I could do. And so this is an example of a way that I wanted to participate and help this energy really magnify.
So those are some of my reflections, and I know that we each will have our own take on this experience. And I want to also recognize the fact that we all probably in our own lives are facing our own unique anxieties, or challenges, and our own situations.
I understand that just like dreamwork, nighttime dreams, all dreams are multivalent. They have many layers of meaning. So I’m just sharing with you my perspective from where I sit. And I recognize that that’s one perspective among billions, literally. But I wanted to share that with you all. And I wanted to also give you the opportunity to reflect on that question for yourself in this moment, this global moment that is extraordinary, that has come upon us quite suddenly, that none of us anticipated: What would you like to do given your particular context? How would you like to support and amplify the outbreaking of love?