A Day in a Life: The Value of Repetition

Today, I continue writing about my dreaming experiences with the women shamans of don Juan’s line, which I began blogging about last week in Being-in-Dreaming. But first, I must mention that I am struck by the synchronicity of Jeanne’s message on Monday as related to the process I am writing about. Even though my dreaming experiences took place several months ago, as I write about them now Jeanne’s weekly messages seem to be in synch. These evolved beings, the women shamans and Jeanne, are really all talking about the same thing: the process of recapitulation.

As regards Jeanne, I refer to the three stages of detachment reaction that she spoke of the other day as being essential during the process of recapitulation. During my own recapitulation I learned to step back and view how I normally reacted to the events in my life. As the process of recapitulation unfolded I learned that my first reaction, to a memory for instance, always needed to be challenged. Even though I was initially confronted with very familiar, comfortable and conventional responses, I had to find out where they came from. Did they really come from me or were they from something I had been taught, heard, or assimilated from outside of myself, perhaps falsely? Were they spoken in someone else’s voice, having absolutely nothing to do with me? Was I just mimicking something I had not really ever questioned? Was I being judgmental, dismissive, or prejudiced? Was I operating out of fear, denial, or self-pity? Was I getting the memory right from my perspective or was it from someone else’s perspective, long ago ingrained?

The second level, going deeper into the self, was a lesson in finding my own voice, connecting to my own truths and learning to pay attention to them. This level involved interacting with a different me, discovering that I really was that someone inside I had always known existed but never really allowed to be fully present. This was the level of waking that self up and allowing her to speak, allowing her to relive the past, fully aware now, without the veils, the conventions, the old voices. This was the process of continually pushing away the old ideas of self, facing the petty tyrants, and staying connected to the inner self, no matter how painful, how frightening, how annihilating. This was the process of forging a new connection to the inner self and allowing the old self to slowly break down, no longer useful or necessary, as eventually my world changed along with me and the old self became the one who didn’t fit, who didn’t feel right anymore.

By going to the third level that Jeanne spoke of, to utter calm certainty of self, I was able to recapitulate fully and truthfully, detached from the conjuring mind, accessing the knowing mind that I wrote about last week. By achieving this deeper place of recapitulation I was able to fully own my life, my experiences, my actions and reactions, taking them on as my personal truths and experiences, full of meaning for me as an evolving being, detached from expectations and judgments of self and others. From this place I was able to go even deeper, into the unknown that lies beyond the self.

So, you might see, as I suggest, that the first message in dreaming that I received from the women shamans was that first level of reaction that Jeanne suggests we must confront in ourselves, because this is the step in learning to distinguish between the two minds, the outer conventional voices and the inner true voice. Today, I address the second level that Jeanne mentions, which is right in alignment with my second night of dreaming with the women shamans, which I wrote about in my journal on October 22, 2009, as follows:

Once again I asked the female shamans to teach me something in dreaming. Once again I placed the dreaming pillow on my lower abdomen and I asked to be taught the next step in learning to be a shaman and this is what I got (which I wrote in my journal while sleeping, in automatic writing):

The value of repetition.
That which appears
boring and mundane
holds the key to
something important.
Do not dismiss
any signs
. (End of journal entry.)

Repetition is one of the facets of recapitulation that I found most annoying. However, going over a memory or studying a behavior countless times, to the point of boredom, was a most essential process. It not only neutralized the memory or behavior, but allowed me to further gain access to the new me. By constantly confronting the old me, the old petty tyrants, the old memories, the old behaviors and feelings, the old ideas of self and others; by constantly reasserting that I was no longer there, no longer that person, no longer thinking, acting, behaving in the old manner and, yes, by facing my own boring self over and over again, I gained surer footing in the new me.

In that second level of reaction, as Jeanne calls it, the women shamans contend that we will find that which is the key to the self. This is the part of the process where we make the connection to our potential self. This is our awakening step, where, as the new self begins to emerge and we chip away at the old self and the old world, we are granted glimpses of what is to come. It is only through repetition, in making the same mistakes countless times until we are totally bored by them, that we truly will change. I learned that change does not happen over night, that it takes a lot of work. It takes daring. It takes confronting the old self, the old petty tyrants, the old conjurers in our midst, facing our issues until we are done with them, completely and fully.

This part of the recapitulation process is where the bulk of the work is done. It is where we meet ourselves in our most vulnerable, our most fearful, our most confused, our most false and our most truthful states. It is where we face our petty tyrants over and over again. It is where we discover who we have become and who we might become in the future if we dare to keep going. If we can do as the women shamans instruct and value the repetition of our lives and our recapitulation process, repeatedly facing even the most boring and mundane of issues regarding ourselves, we will discover the key to where we are going, to something important about ourselves.

In fact, if we can stay with the process of life itself, and not dismiss any signs, but value everything that comes to us, even our need to continually stay in old places, old relationships, old habits, old patterns of behavior we offer ourselves the opportunity to change. And when we are ready to fully recapitulate, we discover that the key is within. To each of us that key offers deep personal meaning, personal revelation, and personal experiences that have the potential to take us far beyond this world, to better balance between worlds, to grant us the daring to keep exploring our selves and all that this world truly holds.

Next week, I will write again about my dreaming experiences with the women shamans. It will also be interesting to see what Jeanne offers us next week, and Chuck too in his blog this week. We tend to speak on similar topics, though without forethought or planning. It’s just the way it works!

Dream, do inner work, ask for help. As you can see, I always seem to get exactly what I ask for, though it may not arrive in the form I imagine. If you care to comment, please feel free.

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