Tag Archives: crossing

Chuck’s Place: Crossing The River

The crossing... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Crossing in sight…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Crossing the river is a powerful symbol of change. To leave solid ground, to traverse a powerful current of liquid energy, to consolidate oneself on new uncharted ground, succinctly illustrates the phases of change.

So compelling is this image that the I Ching’s closing hexagram, #64, Before Completion, that marks the end and the beginning, is pictured as a fox crossing a river. In Greek mythology, securing the ferryman to cross the river Styx is the journey into Hades, land of the dead. Even the sophisticated modern texter might notice a ping in the pit of the abdomen as they prepare to drive across the bridge of a mighty river. The ping in the abdomen is the body’s archetypal recognition of the tremendum that crossing the great abyss represents.

Perhaps the great change we must face is as simple as closing our eyes and saying good night to the world. What guarantee do we have that the sun will rise or that we will open our eyes to the light of tomorrow as we drift and fall into the cliffhanger of dreams? What monsters, terrorists, sirens, and entities will we encounter in the underwater current of dream sleep? Will we safely rejuvenate and consolidate on firm ground tomorrow, or will our thoughts interrupt our smooth passage into a new day?

Perhaps our solid ground is the quiet calm of our aloneness. The sudden intrusion of a ring or a ding sparks fear in the throat, our sanctuary lost as we are thrown into the river of needs and expectations of another. Can we find our way to new ground that includes both self and other?

To leave the security of our car, wade across the parking lot, and enter the vast ocean of a store, with its sea of humanity, may evoke a furor of dissolution of self. In fact, every simple action of the day, from waking, interacting, leaving, working, eating, and returning, poses challenges for the smallness of self to navigate the bigness of everything.

In days of old, the rituals of the great religions tapped into the tried and true archetypal bridges of our deep nature to facilitate our crossings from one phase of life to another; crossings from childhood to adulthood, solitariness to relationship, life to death. These rituals literally transformed one into a new sense of self, confident to take on a new ground in life. These rituals bathed the ego in the deep wellspring of unconscious resource that reshaped the conscious self.

In our time, these rituals have largely petrified through the ascendence of rationality and the failure of religion to authentically provide a numinous crossing experience. Today, the individual must turn to the dream, which still offers the ritual crossings to new life. Conscious participation in dreaming can access those transformative crossings. Often the dream uses the river or the ocean, with all kinds of helpers and challenges, to facilitate the necessary changes to successfully effect a safe crossing.

Use of an oracle, such as the I Ching, can offer the guidance of a dream. In Hexagram #64, Before Completion, it offers the following guidance for making the crossing:

  1. Don’t advance too rapidly just to get it over with—you may not be ready, it might not be the right time.
  2. Be patient. Develop the necessary strength—the vehicle for the crossing. Don’t lose sight of the goal.
  3. Sometimes it’s time to cross but you’re not ready, you lack the requisite strength. It is necessary to get help. Be humble. Ask.
  4. You must battle the forces of inertia, regression, avoidance and doubt. Be resolved. Respect the power of the dissenters. Lay the foundation for mastery by consolidating intent.
  5. Once the crossing has been effected, keep exuberance in proper measure. Intemperance can drown all one has worked for.

These cautions steer the ego to be in the right relation with the deeper self that then provides its transformative energies to transport the ego solidly and happily across the river to new fertile ground. Remain awake, poised, intent,  patient, and calm. Know that the way will be shown. Perhaps the sea will part, perhaps the right floating log will appear. Simply know that you will cross.



A Day in a Life: Crossing The Bridge

I dream of old places…

Sleep is a time of rejuvenation, of quieting the mind, but also of spiritual exploration in dreaming. And so, for the past two nights I have set my intent according to the advice of the channeled message on Monday, which you can read here. I ask my body to acquiesce to sleep as a healthy and invigorating necessity, to accept the cyclical nature of it. I ask my mind to shut down but my awareness to keep tabs on the lessons of my dreams. And then I allow my spirit free reign to take me on journeys.

The first night I dreamed of being in old places, in the house I grew up in, but I was there with Chuck. Men were outside the door, telling us we had to leave for 24 hours while new gas lines were installed in the street and into the house. It was demanded that we leave immediately so they could get on with their assignment. There was an infant in the house with us. We were not allowed to take her with us, and so we prepared to leave her to her fate, to be euthanized by the gas that would surely leak into the house and kill her. It was simply taken for granted that we must do as told; without question we simply acquiesced. We did give the baby a sedative though, to soften the blow, and arranged for one of the men to give her another in a little while. As we prepared to leave the house, I saw the gas men standing outside in their white lab coats, with their clipboards and their hoses ready to hook up, and suddenly I knew we couldn’t leave.

“No, this is wrong,” I said. “We have to go back in, we can’t let this happen, it’s wrong. It’s also wrong to leave the baby to this fate.”

And so we turned back into the house, roused the baby, and sat down with her in our laps, both of us realizing that we had almost done the unthinkable; we had almost let our baby be killed because someone told us she could not live. Magically the gas men disappeared at this point, no more outside pressure was applied, no need for us to comply.

As I pondered the dream, I began to understand that everything in the dream was about changing from an old to a new way of listening, thinking, acting, and reacting, and for taking full responsibility for what we know is right. New methods of energy must be invested in if we are not to kill our spirits—individually and collectively—the spirit of our earth, as well as our inner spirits. I understood that what we do with our minds and our bodies, what we allow our governments to do, as well as what we are doing to our planet, is at a crucial point. If we are not alert, everything we care about will be destroyed. On many levels, my dream was telling me that we must think differently now; we must refuse the missives of the petty tyrants, and move forward in completely new directions. Nothing that is old is acceptable anymore. It just isn’t going to cut it.

I refused to be sabotaged by outside energy in this dream, and in refusing it so abruptly it turned away without further incident. We were no longer bothered; the petty tyrants of the world could not budge us. At the end of the dream, Chuck and I were left holding a happy baby, eyes bright and focused, letting us know we had made the right decision. All that matters now, in the dream and in reality, is that we continue to focus on our spiritual selves, making decisions that are right in advancing the vibrant life force in all of us, so full of real potential.

The next night, last night, I set the same intent, to let my body rest while my spirit took me dreaming. I dreamed all night long and when I sensed it was just about time to wake up I asked my awareness to tell me of my dreams, for even while still asleep I sensed no recall. Suddenly I found myself standing on a bridge, a small bridge that crossed a desolate gray landscape, murky and swampy. I knew that my dreams of the night were out there in the swampy landscape. I could see them, including some wooden wagon wheels, sticking up out of the mud. I knew that the details didn’t matter at this point, that everything I had dreamed, the messages of the night, were already inside me. I knew that the only thing that mattered was the bridge I was on.

“This is the only awareness you need,” I said to myself. “You’ve learned what you need to learn, it’s all inside you. It’s time to take it forward now, to cross the bridge, to leave everything else behind and make the crossing.”

No view of what is to come…

I had no view of where the bridge was leading me, into darkness as far as I could see, but I had no doubt of the necessity of crossing the bridge. It’s time to cross the bridge. This was the imperative of my awareness, as it instructed me to leave the details behind and go forward.

As I took my first step across the bridge, the horizon lightened, and in the next step it lightened some more. By the time I woke up I had walked to the middle of the bridge and the sun was just beginning to rise. I could see that I was making the right choice. It is time to cross the bridge!

We’re all standing on the same bridge, it’s 2012 after all, and the energy of this time of change is undeniable. It’s our responsibility as beings of awareness, as seekers of what is right, to take what we’ve been learning, in waking and dreaming, and cross the bridge, knowing that everything we need is inside us. Our teachers have taught us well, our inner teachers and our outer teachers. Now they are asking us to become all that we have worked so hard to become, to become the teachers now too and lead the way to a new world. It’s time to stop listening to the gas men, to the pundits and the old guard knocking on the door, telling us that we must do as they say. We must listen instead to our hearts. We must refuse the old ways, the old thoughts, the old ideas that are no longer viable in today’s world, and turn to what is right for now. We must all accept responsibility for moving us forward.

We must accept that we are the student, the teacher, the infant, and the bridge too, but we must also acknowledge that we are the gas men and the old guard as well. But the energy that we channel and our dreams are telling us that we must live through our spirits now, accepting full responsibility for them, allowing them to grow in the real world by taking them out of our dreams and taking them across the bridge that now lies before us.

Crossing the bridge means living out that spirit to the fullest, telling it like it is, refusing the old, waking up—even at the last second, as we seem to be doing at this critical time in the evolution of our world—and accepting the grand opportunity that lies before us: to enact real change. One person at a time, by refusing to live our lives according to someone else’s plan, by taking a path of heart, we can change the world.

We do all stand on the same bridge now. It’s time to take all that we’ve learned is wrong and turn it right, not by looking back or going back, but by moving on to something new and totally different. With compassion for all living beings, we must do what’s right.

I take my dreams seriously, for I know they are my deeper self, my ancient self, speaking words of wisdom and truth. I have been trusting their guidance for a long time now and in my own life I can say that taking the bridge to change has indeed led me on amazing, transformative journeys. In fact, I am living in a totally different world now. By aligning with my spirit’s intent for life and taking the path that appeared before me, I changed my entire world. Now it’s time for all of us to take it to the next level, I see that in my dream.

I treasure you…

I must personally take the next step, the same step that we must all take. I am not only me, an individual, but I am also you, and what I do impacts you. This is the lesson of the ancients, the lessons of my dreams, and the lessons I have learned as I have traveled the paths of a seeking life.

Cross the bridge now for self and others. Don’t stop. Each step lightens the way.

Crossing the bridge,