Healing From Within – The Journey of the Spiritual Seeker-Symbols of the Unconscious
Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Greg Bogart
In today’s episode of Healing From Within, your host Sheryl Glick author of The Living Spirit: Answers for Healing and Infinite Love which shares amazing stories of spiritual awakenings, spiritual communication, healing energies, miracles and ways to go within to find your authentic self, welcomes Greg Bogart author his newest book Dreamwork and Self-Healing. Greg is a psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco Bay area and a lecturer in the department of Psychology at Sonoma State University, California.
Greg will help us explore the work of Freud and Jung and show how analytic work must balance the dream with transference. We will discuss how Jungian dream work can be applied effectively in brief-term and long-term therapy, couples counseling, group process work, and as a catalyst for personal transformation. Properly understood dreams enhance the dialogue between the therapist and patient about specific problems in living and add to the growth of the patient’s self understanding. We can see that dreams reveal both the source of our wounding and paths to healing.
The function of a typical dream is to cope with difficult situations such as the end of a relationship, loss of a loved one, and the healing of childhood wounds. Dreams are potent catalysts of change. Their luminous images ignite the light of consciousness within us and become a source of energy and guidance: an axis of spiritual sanity. Dreams are transformative when utilized in psychotherapy or by couples and friends who work with dreams together to assist and support one another and to enhance their knowing of one another. Dreams are healing symbols of the unconscious or in Sheryl’s estimation of the inner or soul essence. They make emotionally charged material accessible to consciousness quickly and safely and provide clues to the origins of symptoms and core life issues. They have a unique capacity to promote healing from within.
Sheryl relates a story to Greg about a dream she once had and says “I always thought dreams were the way to work through the challenges or miscommunications of the day but I came to know another kind of dream. About 20 years ago I was very sick with the flu and while I was in a fitful sleep felt an energy or shadow on my right side…It was my grandfather who was in Spirit for about 30 years and he said to me, “ You have to write something for your father.” I woke up and was confused as I had not had a dream about my grandfather before nor was I particularly thinking of him at that time. The next day my mom called and said my Dad had passed and without putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, I simply wrote my Dad’s eulogy…Years later in reading a book by a medium I discovered that I had a spiritual visitation not a dream….”
Both Freud and Jung believed in the value of working with dreams. They viewed dream interpretation as a primary tool for psychotherapy and a source of transformative insights that breathe life into the therapeutic process. Therapeutic attitude seeks healing and emotional truth. Dreams are like icebergs rising out of the deep waters of the unconscious..Some refer to the past helping us understand early traumas and undigested memories (retrospective). Some are integrative and enable us to perceive and reconcile our many conflicting feelings and sub-personalities. Some are prospective or anticipatory harbingers of the future depicting what is emerging and what we have the potential to become. Looking backward and forward simultaneously the dreams function is to expand the aperture of consciousness and our sphere of identity.
Greg relates that the dream Sheryl talked about was prospective in terms of anticipating a future event and helping Sheryl to move forward in her own exploration of healing and developing latent gifts in the years following this dream.
Carl Jung believed more in helping his patients or clients to move beyond their fears and limitations in order to leave the past and live in the present and to manifest and create their most joyful creative and positive life experiences..He was more spiritual in his understanding of the important issues faced by each individual and less inclined to dwell in rigid terms of illness or labeling of conditions. He was interested in releasing emotional constraints and creating new patterns for positive growth and transformation. Jung believed that dreams convey the transformative wisdom of the unconscious which leads us forward in our individualization: the process of unfolding our uniqueness and becoming who we really are. Jung himself, worked through a difficult psychological crisis by self investigating a series of dreams. Through these methods he found that we discover mythic depth in dreams, which are structured by recurring patterns of organization called archetypes. For example dreams show us images of the hero mother and death and rebirth and help us relate present day issues to patterns that are eternal and repetitive.
Sheryl Says, “One case study that you used was about the 6 dreams of a depressed woman who had a history of incest with a stepfather which of course explained how caged and what little autonomy she had in her marriage. One of the dreams showed a little girl playing on the lawn running and catching fireflies laughing and shrieking with joy and then a small buffalo comes over and starts bumping his head against her. She’s not in danger but feels anxious and wishes he would go away. There isn’t anyone around to help her….Ann’s dream of torment by a buffalo evoked childhood memories of sexual violation by her stepfather and her inability to protect herself and being abandoned by her mother. The theme of innocence it’s loss and recovery are a central theme here.”
Sheryl tells Greg, “I usually have coincidences to share with my guests and my son’s name is Gregg and I always love when Carl Jung comes up in discussion as I feel he was so spiritually attuned to helping his patients access their inner or spiritual needs and understand that their progress and ability to work with any challenge came from within their own personal resources and not from the outside world..so blaming others or looking for help from repeated discussions about the past were not as productive as reawakening their own awareness of Self and a higher consciousness for new improved behaviors As a Reiki energy practitioner I help my clients connect to this inner source of wisdom and personal power and as a host of this show have interviewed many people who have had near death experiences and have returned with heightened intuitive abilities and gifts…Jung also had his own near death experience and was aware of the universal energetic continuance of life and Consciousness…. so I believe he was a great seeker of spiritual truths and helped his patients in a unified way to see themselves and the world in proper perspective.”
The core Jungian constructs –archetypes, complexes, persona, shadow, anima animus, individuation, and synchronicity, amplifies major elements of Jung’s theory with illustrative dreams.
Ultimately, initiation leads the spiritual seeker to find the teacher within and this can naturally lead to teaching others. Spiritual teachers have been described in a number of world religions We may reach a number of conclusions as a result.
- Spiritual apprenticeship begins with a personal relationship with a teacher who tangibly affects our awareness and inspires us to practice a contemplative discipline in order to attain enlightenment.
- Initiation connects the student to the influence of a spiritual lineage that transcends the individual teacher.
- The student-teacher relationship involves the mutual meditation of the student and teacher on each other and may entail the deliberate cultivation of a form of psychic merger or unity which can have a transformative effect on the student.
- The relationship may involve experiences of grace in which the teacher functions as a conduit for transmission of transpersonal forces.
Sheryl says “As a Reiki Master Teacher who has taught the ancient healing art to many…all the above conditions are necessary for the transformation of both teacher and student.”
Greg wrote, “In India the spiritual teacher has played a central role in the culture since ancient times…a Sanskrit verse reads….Gurubrahma gururvisnur gurudevi mahesvarah—“The guru is Brahma and Vishnu and Lord Shiva too.” Like Brahma, the Creator, the guru creates a new life within us, molds our character, initiates us and kindles the light of consciousness inside us. Like Vishnu the preserver the guru sustains and protects us over the course of time until we reach the final goal. And like Shiva the destroyer the guru destroys our limitations, our identification with the ego and physical body our fears and our cravings so that we can experience a state of freedom and expansiveness.”
The nine stages of the spiritual seekers journey and the ultimate benefits for the soul that one discovers along the way are;
- Choosing A Teacher-In Search of a Trustworthy Guide
- Initiation- The Kindling of Spiritual Life
- Discipleship -Absorbing Instruction and Developing a Spiritual Practice
- Testing- Trust Surrender and Refinement of the Personality
- Grace and Guru Yoga- Receiving the Teachers Spacious Gaze
- At the Threshold of Awakening -Glimpses of the Goal
- Separating From a Spiritual Teacher – Maturation and Autonomy
- Finding the Teacher Within- Creating Your Own Synthesis and Paths of Self-Liberation
- Teaching Others – Sharing Knowledge Gracefully
As we know, dream work offers a wealth of insights and messages that help us live more fully…Begin to apply the principles of dream work with 3 Basic Steps:
- Write down all remembered dreams and dream fragments Even the smallest detail is important
- Sense the emotional quality of each dream How does it make you feel. Pay attention to images that are especially charged
- Don’t be afraid to explore dreams that are scary and disturbing. James Hillman wrote “Far more dreams are unpleasant than pleasant…Disturbing dreams indicate the unconscious trying to get our attention, to make us conscious of a memory or feeling.
- Ask questions about every detail of the dream especially details that perplex you. What are you doing in the dream? What are the issues and conflicts What are the contrasts and similarities? What symbols are important to me What relation does this dream have to what’s happening right now in my life? Something in my future? Who or what is the adversary? What is being wounded? What is being healed? What would I like to avoid in this dream? Who or what is my companion? What actions might this dream be suggesting I consider? What choices can I make as a result of working with this dream? Why have I dreamed of so and so right now? Where are my helpers in life and in this dream?
- Remain open to alternative meanings. Don’t be in a rush to find a definitive interpretation.
Dreams perform three functions that are essential to our growth in consciousness They help us evolve our social adaptation and self-presentation in the world, which Jung called the persona. They illuminate unconscious beliefs, behaviors and feelings which Jung termed the shadow. And they reveal the central tasks and challenges of our personal individuation, the process of actualizing our unique potentials and identities.
In the course of personality development certain aspects of personality are banished from awareness as we attempt to conform to social conventions. We adopt the norms and values of our families and social groups and develop a social mask…or persona. It is important to develop an appropriate persona or we may feel rejected and ostracized.
At some stages of life our persona image is challenged by the emergence of dreams containing images of the shadow representing qualities that are foreign or forbidden to our conscious sense of self. The persona may be especially threatened by our urge to express anger or sexual drives we believe unacceptable. An encounter with the shadow makes it possible to integrate these qualities or feelings ….we must not run from them.
Greg Bogart delivered in this show and in his books a most engaging and illuminating view of dreams as an inspirational approach to delve within the subconscious and hidden levels of our essence experiences traumas and challenges so we may move beyond restrictions and fears to allow for our full human potential to emerge. Greg has shared how dream analysis is a valuable tool for unlocking the mysteries and desires of the human heart and mind and reveal the wounding and the many paths to wholeness unity and a greater love of ourselves and life.
Greg wrote “The spontaneity of dreams lights up something unexpected inside us. Dreams are a helpful and creative evolutionary force. Dreams are an ever expanding spiral an axis of new consciousness. No matter what the nature of our particular emotional or spiritual malaise, dreams can guide us, expand our perceptions, excite our sense of possibilities.”
Greg and Sheryl would invite you on your journey of self investigation and the mastering of your emotions for health and progress: BE a dream keeper and when you go to sleep each night ask for a dream to clarify or validate your hopes and dreams. Be ever eager to explore your mind and heart through this medium.