Dr. Arny Mindell, a physicist and Jungian analyst, has taken Jung’s work on the synchronistic correlation between psyche and matter to the next level of articulation with his notion of the “dreambody.” The dreambody is more than the physical body, yet includes it as a medium of communication. The dreambody is like a dream from a higher dimension of our being expressing itself in our world through multiple levels simultaneously. The dreambody is multi-channeled; it can express itself in dreams, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, movements, a variety of symptoms, addictions, relationship problems, altered states of consciousness, as well as synchronistically, through events in the outer world. Mindell’s discovery and articulation of the dreambody is truly groundbreaking and warrants our highest attention. Mindell’s dreambody perspective (see www.aamindell.net) has immensely powerful practical applications for empowering us to respond to our world in ways that are creative and transformative.
The dreambody is nonlocal and hyperdimensional in that it is not bound or limited by the conventional laws of third-dimensional space and linear-sequential time. Not constrained by the apparent rules of our physical universe, the dreambody can synchronistically express itself both inwardly and/or outwardly, which is to say that the dreambody collapses the presumed boundary between what is happening inside of us and events taking place in the outside world. The dreambody nonlocally gives shape to our world as well as in-forming our experience of it. An instantaneous feedback loop, the dreambody moment by moment in-forms itself based on our reactions to it, mirroring back to us ourselves in ever new ways. The dreambody is an all-embracing process which includes and connects our body, the inner landscape of the psyche and the outer physical world into a unified field of expression. The dreambody acts as a bridge that couples, or links, the inner world of our psyche with the outside world, while simultaneously being a manifestation of their inseparability.
The dreambody is the mercurial spirit of the unconscious itself. Just like a dream, the dreambody is an intelligent agency that fluidly shape-shifts every moment based on our state of awareness and focus of attention. Paradoxically, the dreambody is continually revealing itself to us in its very veiling of itself. If we don’t recognize the dreambody, our non-recognition is itself an expression of the very dreambody we are not recognizing. Mindell realized that the dreambody is continually teaching and guiding us, as it is our guiding spirit. The dreambody is a channel for, and is inseparable from, our inner voice and genius. When we intimately connect with the dreambody, we find our true “vocation,” discovering what we are here to do.
The dreambody is nothing other than the evolutionary impulse of the universe incarnating itself through us. Through the dreambody we are being invited by the universe to “consciously” participate in our own evolution. If we don’t recognize the dreambody, the dreambody mirrors back our own blindness. Once we see the dreambody, however, the dreambody simply reflects back as well as enhances our own vision.
Existing outside of time, the dreambody is manifesting in our seemingly time-bound world as our experience itself. The dreambody is already fully actualized in a higher-dimension of our being and is magnetically attracting us into itself as it materializes itself through us into our world. The emerging dreambody literally inscribes its signature on events in space and time. Events in linear time become the third-dimensional medium through which the dreambody births itself into our world. We, through the agency of our consciousness, are simultaneously midwifes for and instruments through which the dreambody incarnates itself into the third dimension. Just like a dream at night, we are concurrently the dreamers while ourselves being the living body of the unfolding dream.
Upon contemplating the dynamics of the dreambody, Mindell discovered something extremely interesting. He realized that when the message encoded in the symptom being created by the dreambody wasn’t consciously recognized, honored and expressed by a person, the dreambody amplified its expression of itself, which is to say that the dreambody made the symptom worse. Making the analogy to our physical body, Mindell says, “When a lack of awareness of the body and the meaning of body symptoms continues for a long time the body tends to amplify its symptoms; its symptoms get more violent, angry and produces unique postures and diseases.” When we don’t recognize what the dreambody is revealing to us, the dreambody turns up the heat, until we become fully cooked, so to speak, invariably developing acute individual symptoms or even a collective species-wide psychic epidemic.
Mindell realized that hidden, as if encoded, in the amplification of the symptom or dis-ease, however, is the very key to its resolution. The dreambody is amplifying itself into a symptom to get our attention so as to bring something to our awareness. This “something” is the critical nutrient we need in order to awaken to our higher potential. The symptom that the dreambody is self-generating is simultaneously a symbolic self-revelation of the way to heal it. To quote Mindell, “Here is quite a paradox. Diseases can be self-healing; the dreambody is its own medicine.” Mindell realized that our symptoms aren’t just pathological, in that they are not just illnesses that need to be cured. Our symptoms are also meaningful and purposeful in that they convey messages to us. If their message is decoded, received and integrated, our symptoms can be enormously valuable in expanding our consciousness and spurring our personal and planetary evolution.
Just like we can contemplate the dreambody of an individual person, we can view our species as having a collective, or planetary dreambody. Seeing the deeper, collective planetary dreambody radically re-contextualizes the nature of our experience. With the more expanded meta-awareness offered us by Mindell’s dreambody perspective, we can view the entire planetary dreambody as the patient and the symptom being an increasingly amplified “collective psychosis” that is spreading like wildfire as it is being acted out in a myriad of ways on the global stage. A species gone mad, it is as if we are enacting a mass suicide ritual. We are destroying each other, the biosphere upon which we depend for our very survival, as well as ourselves. The extent of our collective madness has become hard to recognize because it is so pervasive, it has thereby become normalized. Our collective psychosis is an expression of the global dreambody amplifying itself to a “tipping point” where we will necessarily have to go through a “phase-shift,” that is, an expansion of consciousness, in order to survive as a species. The dreambody itself is showing us that the solution to our world crisis can only come through an expansion of consciousness.
In the most holistic sense, the planetary dreambody is in reality the dreambody of the biosphere, which is manifesting a disease in consciousness so as to potentially evolve itself. The dreambody is awakening itself through the very expansion of consciousness which its dis-ease demands of us. We are self-reflective organs of the greater biospheric dreambody, in that each of our personal dreambodies simultaneously reflects and nonlocally effects the greater biospheric dreambody in which we are embedded. Both the individual and biospheric dreambody are “holons,” in that they are each parts of a greater whole, while at the same time, being wholes unto themselves. Both the individual and biospheric dreambody are holographically enfolded reflections of each other.
The biospheric dreambody is transmitting itself both through our individual process, as well as through the underlying pattern in-forming collective world events. The biospheric dreambody’s symptoms/messages are arising in a symbolic script written across our current world crisis. We need to become fluent in the symbolic language of the dreambody, developing eyes to see and ears to hear what is uttered forth by its living unified and unifying field.
The global ecological crisis is a glaring example of the biospheric dreambody being “constellated” in a negative, and hence, destructive manner. Humanity is collectively acting in ways – such as creating global warming – that is destroying itself as well as the larger planetary web of life. The dangers of global warming, with its ever-increasing extreme weather and melting icecaps is an example of a symptom of the biospheric dreambody amplifying itself, literally primal screaming to be recognized. We are not passive victims of the biospheric dreambody; it is reflecting back to us our own participation in creating the very symptoms that we experience as problematic.
We are approaching an event horizon. Our world seems to be getting crazier by the moment. The ever-increasing violence in our world is a self-generating feedback loop with seemingly no exit strategy. For example: First the United States invades the sovereign country of Iraq, a country that posed no military threat to us whatsoever, creating an absolute catastrophe in the process. Our attempt at a solution is to amplify our mistake by adding more troops. In addition, there is now increasingly serious talk about invading Iran. Our insane leaders are simply repeating – and amplifying – their same mistake, only this time the negative consequences will be orders of magnitude greater.
These world events are expressions of the global dreambody – writ large on the world stage – revealing itself to us as it drafts us into its service and acts itself out through us, both individually and en masse. The longer we go without getting the message and thus continuing to act in the same ways, the more the symptoms will have no choice but to amplify themselves through us on a global scale and become more dramatic so as to try to get our attention. We, as a species, are being pushed more and more into a corner, as if we are right at the edge of a very tall cliff. Will we fall off? Or will we wake up in time and see what we are doing to ourselves?
The global dreambody is attacking itself. The question is, are we going to channel the energy that has been animating our self-destruction into something positive and constructive? Paradoxically, we are destroying ourselves as a species as a way of potentially learning how “not” to destroy ourselves. Embedded in the symptom is its own re-solution. We clearly haven’t yet learned how to not destroy ourselves, or we wouldn’t be destroying ourselves and our biosphere.
We have become hypnotized, as if having fallen under a spell, into viewing our world in a limited, circumscribed and literal way. We need to develop the eyes to see through the veil of the ordinarily perceived linear, causal, material world and discern the signal that the atemporal intelligence of the dreambody is sending us. It is simply a question of whether we expand our consciousness and recognize what the deeper pattern underlying the collective insanity that we are acting out on the world stage is symbolically revealing to us. Interestingly, the inner meaning of the word apocalypse is “something hidden being revealed.” The planetary dreambody is calling us into a collective apocalypse as a way of potentially healing and evolving itself.
When we “get the message” that the symptom is communicating, it immediately reveals itself as the symbol that it has always been. A symbol is a psychic energy transformer which acts as a unifying factor in the psyche. Symbols are portals through which our consciousness evolves itself. Symbols are the language of dreams and the dreambody. When the message and symbolic meaning of the symptom has been received, understood and “meta-bolized,” our consciousness has literally up-leveled itself. The affliction then transforms itself into its own medicine, or “meta-cine” (meta-cinema). This is to develop the lucid meta-awareness which recognizes that events in our world are an out-picturing of a dynamic “movie,” the source of which is taking place within the collective unconscious itself. The universe is recognized to be a living oracle, an unfolding revelation that, just like a dream, is speaking symbolically.
Receiving and digesting the critical nutrients of the symbolic meaning that our world is revealing to us, we have accessed what in alchemy is called the “medicina catholica” (the panacea or universal medicine, i.e., a remedy for all diseases, a cure-all). Just like in a dream, once the meaning of the dreambody’s symptom/symbol is consciously received, it transforms itself as it has fulfilled its deeper purpose of inspiring and guiding us into new ways of thinking, acting and being.
This symptom/symbol of the dreambody is a quantum phenomena, in that it has no intrinsic, objective “solid” reality, but exists in a state of open-ended potential at every moment. Just like in quantum physics, where the infinite wave function collapses into a particular manifestation through the act of observation, how our situation manifests depends upon how we are going to “dream” it. Do we “not” recognize what the dreambody is expressing to us, and be unconsciously compelled to amplify our symptom, both individually and collectively, which is to cause ourselves more suffering and continue to destroy ourselves? Or do we recognize what the self-amplifying symptom of the dreambody is revealing to us, in which case it transubstantiates itself into and reveals itself as a living symbol which simultaneously liberates the symptom? Everything depends upon if we recognize what is being revealed. We are truly at a crossroads. The choice is truly ours.
Upon showing this completed article to Mindell, the one comment he felt drawn to add to the end of the article was a question. Reflecting upon how the global dreambody is amplifying its symptom and heating up, Mindell took out his pen and wrote after the last sentence, “So how do we ‘overheat’ and burn up our ordinary selves to learn how to live together?” This, indeed, is the question.
A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. Paul is also a visionary artist and a spiritually-informed political activist. He is the author of The Madness of George Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis,which is available on his website www.awakeninthedream.com. (See the first chapter, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis). Please feel free to pass this article along to a friend if you feel so inspired. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org; he looks forward to your reflections. © Copyright 2010