in process of being updated
About the name of this website:
Dreaming: The Book of Revelation is a symbolically dense text and most people in the West rely on interpreters, mostly literalist white men, who have collaged the apocalypse scenario over time. As such, the idea of apocalypse as the mega-violent end of the world is part of the dead white male legacy.
In his book The Dream and the Underworld, James Hillman posits the necessity for and reality of an imaginal / underworld ego, as well as a dayworld ego, for full human development. He posits that is the imaginal ego that dreams, and dreams for its own reasons, not merely in service of the dayworld ego.
Please note that when I say imaginal, I’m not referring to imagination in service of fantasy. I’m referring to the conduit used by soul and Mystery to communicate with the human psyche. In the Christian gnostic tradition, this is called the luminous epinoia, and in the gnostic Garden of Eden story, the luminous epinoia was Christ’s gift to Adam and Eve to help them find their spiritual way home.
The imaginal aspect of a human being offers the possibility of numinous, lucid living.
Whether in the dayworld or the imaginal world, to dream is to create, to collage the symbols within our psyches into meaningful mythopoetic art, story and direction.
Apocalyptic A symbolically dense text like the Book of Revelation doesn’t have a chance to offer up whatever treasures might be embedded in it, in a literalist culture where most depend on literalists to interpret such a text. If one looks around at current cultural ideas about apocalypse, with its intensifying and violent damned/saved polarities, and lack of concern for the planet as a living being, one can see the danger of this.
Imaginal ego, the part of a human being that’s fluent in symbol language, has been exiled in maintstream American culture, leaving people in a state of symbolic illiteracy, vulnerable to the exploitive behavior of advertising. Through art, film and storytelling the imaginal ego sends messages in bottles through the ocean of the collective psyche.
Tango: Apocalypse, in its literalist version, is the final battle between good and evil. Many traditions have God in primary relationship with a Goddess, a consort, an inseparable lover, the One becoming Two becoming Many. The God of the Bible as we commonly know Him has an enemy as His primary relationship. That says something important about our predicament right there: it’s way easier, and culturally sanctioned, to be haters rather than lovers: lovers in the sense of compassate interbeing.
Tango is an improvised dance of passionate engagement with partner, music and environment, a leaning in while also maintaining one’s balance. Tango is an intimate body poem of love, passion, heartbreak, life and all its elements, sometimes between men and women, sometimes between strangers, always about making art with the polarity of leader and follower ( sometimes pluralities of that polarity). “Apocalyptic tango” contains within it a vision of making art and beauty with our polarities / differences to end what I call ‘the self/other war.’
No easy task! The mind habits that lead to prejudice, hate crimes and eventually genocide, begin with ‘us and them’ distinctions that dehumanize ‘them’ by making ‘the other’ less than the puffed up “us.”
In the riddle of self / other, the slash line isn’t merely a device showing a boundary, but the space in between, a vital part of the equation: Open that slash line / liminal / space between us, so that we might enter it like a new territory.
People tend to get scared of such unknown places, because of stories about the evil and danger that lurks there, but there is a needed gift in that banished place, that place that is neither fully self nor fully other, a place where perhaps the mystical tango can happen. (Tango is often referred to as one heart and four legs — a unique, poetic creature birthed in a moment of self, other, atmosphere and music.)
Donald Trump got elected in part because of the comfort some find in someone calling it in black and white, and decrying the grey zone as a place of “politically correct” confinement. I am calling for exploration of the diversity and ambiguity of the grey zone, out of love for evolutionary possibility.
IF part of our problem is a lack of intimacy with the imaginal realm, and a lack of fluency with the symbolic literacy that is part of our indigenous humanity, and IF the divinely ordained mega-mess known as the Apocalypse is a collective story collaged over time by Western white men possessed by a seriously delusional, dualistic story of good / saved and evil / damned, and IF it’s possible that we have internal resources that will aid us during these times, and help us change the collective story into something that contains more intimacy with the Mystery that underlies our lives and all that we can perceive, THEN it seems worth exploration, even love and devotion.
I believe that one deep human medicine we must access at this time is to boldly call out what we see, and look out for each other, as feral boddhisattvas — you don’t have to be Buddhist to recognize the truth that we are all in this together.