Dreams of Defense

Tuesday August 22nd—I keep thinking it’s Sunday. It has affected my actions all day long. Which means I am operating from the past. It’s very humbling and has given me many opportunities to laugh, but more than anything I have found it disconcerting. The car broke down on Sunday and what was expected to happen that day for me didn’t. It seems I am stuck in a moment that I can’t get out of!

My nocturnal dreams have become increasingly active. It feels like there is a lot playing out at speed in a way that would be very rough through day-time life. I guess because there is a belief in consequences in linear time. Nightmares are anything but linear and the worldly false cause and effect continuum becomes confused and disintegrates. The narrative can be entirely absent while the plot has more twists, turns and suspects than a Miss Marple murder. The focus rests entirely on how we feel. A jumble of scenarios in quick succession invoking mixed heightened transitory emotions. As we jump from scene to scene trying to fix how we feel. I would say the overriding experience of any nightmare is lack of control and the attraction of any fantasy is power.

I would say the overriding experience 
of any nightmare is lack of control 
and the attraction of any fantasy is power.

Night after night the theme is the same harried hurrying and franticly “trying” my best. Perhaps these are last ditch attempts to “fix it”—the self concept, “defend it”—the one who has been unfairly treated, and to “succeed at it”—being a person in the world. Well that is a loosing battle! Some attraction must still remain however so it is there I shall place my attention and prayer today. Addiction is continually repeating something designed to bring immediate relief that actually prolongs pain.

In all the drama and love stories of the world they never talk about this personal self obsession. Possession is a synonym for control. Mine! My guilt, my problem, my responsibility! Dispossessed of this false belief in personal power and governance the “I” is at a loss. It’s “role” however noble is brought into question. Defiance and the fight for dominion ensues. You don’t even have to believe in God, any “other” will do!

I watched the movie “Multiplicity” this week and was stunned at the profound shift in identification once Michael Keaton’s character became cloned. In order to survive each facet—clone 2, 3, and 4—had to be slightly different and complimentary to the original 1. This naturally occurred once a shared experience was no longer possible. Each one contained all the same memories and personality up to the moment of cloning or separation, when the perception that the “original one” was trying to control them began to breed resentment, rebellion and people pleasing.

I noticed as number #1 waved “himself” off to work that I would have checked up on #2 more. Even though his sole purpose was to give number one time to step back, I noticed that I thought he was too trusting! Division of labour it seems brought up in me an increased need for regulation. Again this movie made it so clear to me that it was a lack of trust in my one self. It was an out-picturing of my own constant self monitoring and self criticism.

This incessant pro-active monitoring/judgement for safety has shown up for me as quite perfectionist at times when collaborating on a project. When you speak from this space communication becomes very muddled, and absolute clarity detours into exacting control. It can be terrifying because with that much fear present you can’t feel if you or anyone else is doing “it” right because you suddenly have a form goal. A desire for an outcome other than peace has arisen and you are no longer following. With this level of protectionism you are unconsciously cautious and contracted with a focus on right “doing” instead of being done through. You feel like your life depends on it. In the extreme even wanting to be right about specific guidance out of fear of blame rather than simply being right minded and at peace!

This latent supremacist tendency is why A Course in Miracles advocates “Trust not your good intentions.” Whether day time or night time dreams, it is like a really bad horror film where the crazy murderess keeps coming back to life. That is the ego self—that last ditch attempt to remain the hero of the dream, to come good in the end. That is the ego’s dictate, “survive at any cost.” What is the cost of survival? We loose awareness of our inheritance; invulnerability and innocence. Shame is the real predator a judged feeling that stalks us. We fear to die of shame and in trying to outrun this most insidiously repressed emotion we loose awareness of Love’s presence. This hamster wheel runs the entire wrong minded world view.

Addiction is continually repeating something designed to bring immediate relief that actually prolongs pain.

The choice is between possession or presence. It’s a question of identification rather than trying to control behavior. The more the madness is lifted to the light the easier it is to see “it” and choose not to protect or condemn “it.” We must live shamelessly. Accepting every invitation beyond pseudo comforting tweaks in form to the ultimate Comforter who will safely watch with us. Remember you can pause the movie any time and pray with the Spirit instead of running around in circles trying to resolve the problem.

Today I am hyper sensitive, jumping and reactive to every sight and unexpected sound. I keep thinking it’s 3-days ago. My friend said, “It’s Groundhog Day.” Experientially it’s unnervingly more like Repeaters. Forgiveness is definitely the Answer. 16-years ago today, one month before I found the Course I finished a feature film script called “Running to Standstill” where the main character would literally dash away, every time she got into intense or intimate situations. 

I must remember to welcome the frenetic dreams that are bringing the shame to awareness for this seemingly perpetual defense motion to cease.

Controlling the behavior achieves nothing, only observing the thinking from which it springs with the Spirit allows true Correction.

Allow, allow, allow.

As I finished this blog I turned on the TV and there was the heading for a show that had just been on, “Running for her Life.” I started laughing grabbed my camera to take a picture before it switched to the next show as the ads were already on. At the exact second I took the shot a “No Running” sign simultaneously flashed on the screen, part of an ad campaign about people not liking to be told what to do!

I used to rely on cleverness to comfort me, hypothetical ways in which I could circumnavigate any possible incident or event. But that’s not very relaxing. It won’t help me sink into Presence and realize I am an Innocent Child of God. It is simply an obsessive compulsive desire to be in control. No more evasive action. For me in moments of fight or flight the invitation is to remember I am not in a panicked situation that requires immediate resolution, but a panicked state of mind that requires prayer.

My friend Michael said that I have been so determined to handle “it”—the threat of shame. That it was like watching a maiden battling the dragon on her own, without armor, while reassuring the knight who had come to her aid that she was “fine!”

So standing still I pause, and pray—even if the flame of shame threatens to overwhelm me!


P.S. As I go to post I become aware that Peter Cetera is singing “I am a man who would fight for your honor, I’ll be the hero you’re dreaming of.” Wow this is a lifetimes work of devotion to Awareness! Rescued or rescuer it’s just the multiplicity of history repeating—and I’m going to allow for that. 🙂


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