Posts tagged #heart

Love & anarchy are what keep your dreams high-stakes and thrilling

You're tired of being exploited by systems and institutions that take advantage of your labor and leave you with barely enough to live on.

You're tired of seeing it happen to everyone around you.

You're hungry for change that's real, that's lasting, that's beautiful.

You're willing to do whatever it takes to make that change happen through joy rather than violence.

And you want to thrive along the way.

Me too.

Welcome to Love & Anarchy.

I believe that deep success, real success, entails creating a world where everyone has enough and all our resources and knowledges are held in common.  The kind of success that says, "I've made it big! And all you guys can either go bugger off or pay me lots of money to learn my secrets!" is no success at all.

I'm interested in transitioning to a world without interest-bearing debt-currency.  I'd like to live in a society that engages in sacred gift economics.  I work towards this by offering my book for free and my one-on-one coaching at a low-cost. I'm interested in exploring more of what it means to live in the spirit of the gift.

Revolutions that result in the same-old-same old domination games bore me.  So do revolutions that are just  New Age  metaphors for attitude shifts.  I'm excited by the thought of real revolution -- a fundamental change in the way that we live together and organize our resources.

I'll be offering you stories and helpful ideas from my own path of evolution and from inspiring folks all over the earth.  The days of "personal development" are over.  No genuine personal development can happen in isolation from societal evolution.

It's clear to me that love & anarchy are two primary ingredients of every human soul and imagination.  Our night-time dreams are lawless gifts that come with no price and no condition. They have important things to teach us.

I don't believe we can make cultural evolution happen without giving deep attention and honor to our own inner landscapes of dream and archetype.  Within us are the symbols that will found a fresh world.

This site is a bright hearth for you in the strange and liminal world of spirituality, gift entrepreneurship, and radical politics.

You're so welcome here.





Image: [eflon]

Letters to a Young Dream Warrior - Letter #1


Dear X,


You want to know: how do I thrive in the world while also realizing the deep potentials of my being which seem to have nothing to do with money-making and being respectable out there in the fray?


These are deep questions whose answers take us into the heart of what it means to be a dream warrior, to be one who works to realize the truths of the heart and the beauty of the imaginal realm on this physical plane even in the face of onslaughts from materialism, mechanistic science, and the whole paradigm of separation (a conglomeration of devouring joylessness which I like to call the Nothing).


First, let's consider your dilemma.


Everywhere you turn you find there are gatekeepers: for employment, for education, for anything.  The main thing the gatekeepers seem to want from you is that you agree with them and the world they've created-- and not just a token agreement, but a permeated, soaked-through agreement.  They want you to be as saturated with their ideology as the balls of dough in gulab juman are saturated with sugar syrup. They want to see evidence that your whole life and soul is devoted to it, to them, to the Nothing.


At interviews, in applications, the gatekeepers come up close and breathe you in deep.  They are smelling out how much of you is theirs.  If they find an off-note, a fragrance of dissent or noncompliance in your being, you see yourself shut out from the shelter of their institutions and their money.  If you are a dream warrior, as you are, they certainly detect it and recoil in fear.


So they've sniffed you and you didn't pass the test.  They could sense the stirring of wakefulness in you, the aura of resistance and questioning that you've tried to repress.  They rejected you despite your best efforts to fit in. Now you don't have access to their credentials; their money; their approval.


Is this terrifying? Yes.  But less so if you remember that the institutions and the money are losing power anyway.  The gatekeepers can't even afford now to shelter the ones who have soaked themselves completely in compliance.  There are people being turned down for work and education who have denuded their lives and souls of everything but what the gatekeepers said they wanted-- and now these people, too, are turned out into the cold.


At least you have not done this great violence to yourself.  At least you kept the truth and beauty alive in you, you have fostered it and nurtured it-- so you are not the most unlucky.  You still have this wealth, and this -- though it may not appear so at the moment -- is very great wealth indeed.  Perhaps most valuable of all is your love.  Your love which is not sentiment or romance but rather a form of wise vision, the perception of your heart.


The intimations you have of magic and loveliness, of wonder and agonies, these are precious and these will fuel your life in the new world that you are about to help bring forth.


Right now this is hard to see.  Right now you are full of bitterness.  "I wanted a job," you think. "I wanted to support myself. To contribute.  Now what do I have? What can my perception of loveliness yield me but a handful of poems that no one will want to read? What will magic get me but more scorn and abuse?"


More than anything, though, it astounds you that the people of our world do this to themselves: that they demand of each other and of us only the boring, the utilitarian, the violent, or the prurient.  Not given to violence or extremes of lust, you sought to cooperate by offering the utilitarian.  But you could only go along with it for so long: leaping through the hoops they set up-- and now you find yourself unable to leap anymore.  Your leap failed.  It failed not because of your vice but because of your virtue: your soul is too thrilling, too rich, too deep and too broad to be limited to the prescribed tasks of business as usual.


Now you have a choice of what to do. It seems to you like you only have two choices: Try again to please the gatekeepers and win this time or just be a failure and a burden, someone who lives on the edges of society, someone who goes mad.


It seems like winning or losing are the only possibilities.  You either fool the gatekeepers and reap their rewards or you land flat on your face and get nothing.


But there's a third choice open to you.  You could choose neither to win nor to lose but to surrender completely.


What does surrender look like?  It looks like leaving the game altogether. And what does that mean? It primarily means to stop understanding yourself in the terms of the game.  This is internal work.  This is dream warrior work.  It is very far from being easy and it takes constant vigilance.  But it is work which from the first day you undertake it ignites an enormous shift in your experience of the external world, a shift which only snowballs more and more rapidly.


In order to stop understanding yourself in the terms of the game, you have to give up feeling the least bit of shame, self-pity, or resentment for your present condition.  You must learn to take your sense of self-worth not from success or loss within the game but from your own sense of the strength of your heart. You must become willing to offer love and celebration to everything that seems to oppose you or confound you.


Does this sound easy? Are you ready to say to me, "But I already am proud of who I am; I already know that I am right and that the system and the Nothing are wrong." Dear brother, I would reply that you have not truly let yourself know this if you are still suffering, if you ever feel low or conflicted.


When you are fully in your power, when you are replete with joy for the truth that you are, you will feel no trace of this doubt or reservation about yourself.  You will not worry that your inability to garner success in the external world up to this point reflects some secret defect of your own being.  Instead you will see with crystalline clarity the fact that any difficulty you've experienced up to this point has not been your fault at all but the fault of the nightmare that all the sleepers are projecting, the nightmare of separation and scarcity.


When next I write, I will tell you my own methods for reaching and maintaining this condition of repletion.  In the mean time, I ask you to begin by hurling a strong refusal against all the voices that tell you that you have failed and you are wrong.


Refuse to accept any judgment which would say to you that the gatekeepers' rejection of you signified that you did not try hard enough or did not do well enough.  You did exceedingly well. You preserved the fragrance of beauty and truth in your being.  You are our hope for a future that is truly, radically different from the present.  You are winning at a level that those who are still asleep in the nightmare cannot comprehend.  You, O Dreamer, are perfect.


Love, Carolyn






A Simple Entrance to Synchromysticism

DSC_0129Creative Commons License photo credit: luke_wes


Here's a simple means to turn your life into a symbolic work of art, deliberately linking your conscious experience with your unconscious and thereby activating an intensely fast-moving stream of synchronicity which will carry you forward on your trip.


Experiment Two: Accepting the Heart’s Call


Re-write the letter you wrote from your heart to yourself in Experiment One, so that you turn every directive and every bit of information that your heart supplied you with into a commitment, promise, or affirmation.  For example, if your heart told you in the initial letter to “Raise up the roses to the roof tops” then you would now write a promise: “I will raise up the roses to the roof tops.”  If your heart told you in the initial letter that “You smell like iodine” then you would now write an agreement: “I will smell like iodine.”


As you write, know that these are real commitments you are making.  In order to carry on your journey to ecstatic fulfillment, you will need to meet all of these commitments.  “What?” you might say, “You mean I actually have to raise up roses to roof tops? But why would I do that? It’s nonsense! And why the hell would I ever want to smell like iodine?”  YES.  It’s complete nonsense to you, to your rational mind.  But the soul is larger than you, larger than your conscious persona.  It’s vast and it has its reasons for wanting you to raise roses to rooftops that are more than your waking, ordinary mind can comprehend.  The important thing is that you resist the temptation to dismiss your heart’s instructions or to take them lightly.


In order for the alchemical process to work, you must take on profound responsibility for doing the symbolic, magical, poetic and nonsensical things that your heart is asking of you. “But I don’t even know what some of these things mean!” you may protest.  And that’s true.  There may be things that your heart tells you to do that at the present just boggle your mind or even sound dangerous.  What’s important now is to keep an open mind about those things.  Know that as you continue in the process more will become clear to you.  You’ll gradually come to understand all of your heart’s instructions, and understand ways of fulfilling them that are all completely safe and loving to you and everyone around you.  Yet this understanding only comes upon your prior commitment and acceptance of the “nonsense.”  The heart doesn’t reveal its truths to one who’s not serious about taking its directives.  After you make your commitment to accept your heart’s call in all its apparent whimsicality, pointlessness and danger, you’ll start to get ideas for simple, wholesome actions in the world that you can take to fulfill your promises.


The simple (yet deeply symbolically charged) actions that you will take to fulfill the instructions in your heart’s letter are the first steps of the adventure you’re commencing.


After you’ve written out your acceptance of your heart’s instructions, notice how you feel.  Most of the people I work with feel a sense of wonder and excitement as they contemplate the decisions they’ve made to leave behind the surface level of reality, (where they act only “reasonably”) and to enter the deeper level where action is more than reasonable—it’s imaginative and luminous with meaning.




Now, one by one, take each promise and agreement you’ve made with your heart, and brainstorm about possible ways you can do those things in the real world.  For example, you’ve written “I will raise up the roses to the roof-tops.” How will you do that?


This depends on your awareness of what the persons, places, and things in the agreement mean to you. Maybe a friend of yours has a roof that’s safe to access and she sunbathes on it.  You could call her up and bring her a real bouquet of roses. In this way, you would succeed in “raising up the roses to the roof-tops.” We might say that this is a “literal” enactment of the commitment.  Or perhaps as you’re writing you realize that “roses” to you are a code word for “beautiful things” and “roof-tops” to you means “a place where everyone can see.” Maybe then you understand that your task is to put beautiful things in your life on display, to share them.  We might say that this is “abstract” enactment of the commitment.  Really, the distinction between the literal and the abstract can’t be very strong here, because whatever it is we’re doing when we attempt to fulfill our heart’s dreamspeak instruction is necessarily symbolic and beyond the ordinary prosaic mode of daily life.


I suggest, however, erring on the side of the literal.  Don’t assume that every noun and action in your letter refers to inner qualities which you can understand right now and thus avoid having to deal with actual roses and the actual inconvenience of finding a rooftop—don’t force a “translation.” It may be that you will only understand at a deep level what the “roses” or beautiful things in your life are after you have taken actual roses to an actual rooftop.  As much as you can without endangering yourself or others, take the instructions of your heart at “face value” and interact with the tangible material world as per your heart’s instructions.


Yet ultimately, whether you bring real roses to a real rooftop or put on display some beautiful things where everyone can see doesn’t matter.  There isn’t one “right” way to fulfill your commitment to your heart.  What matters is the intention and imaginative energy you put into your attempt.  The point is that you don’t attempt to slack or shirk your duty, that you give it your best effort. With that intention and energy, your heart can take over and make magic happen that’s beyond your conscious will.


“What magic could possibly happen just from me bringing a bouquet of roses to my friend on her roof? That’s such a mundane, simple thing to do.  I thought this was supposed to be a big dreamy adventure!”


Bringing a bouquet of roses to your friend is a mundane, simple thing to do which becomes a thrilling adventure due to your underlying motivation. You’re not doing it because the mood struck you, or since it’s her birthday, or because you wanted to cheer her up.  You’re doing it because you’ve surrendered a degree of your conscious, rational persona’s will to the extra-rational demands of the heart.  Your bringing of the bouquet is an act of deep humility, of obedience to something more vast and beautiful than your ordinary mind knows.  Not only that—but because the action was dictated to you by this larger and opaque intelligence, you will eventually discover that the consequences of your action are much larger and more positive than you could have ever known or predicted in advance.  You’re now participating in a web of poetry, of divine making, that’s larger than you know, and this participation is magical and full of grace.  Because you are acting at the level of the soul rather than of the mind with the intention of positively evolving, your actions will have beautifully expansive soul consequences.


The simple gesture of bringing the bouquet of roses to a friend’s rooftop will start a chain of energies and happenings in motion which will then themselves lead you further into the mystery of your transformation in a non-linear and non-sensible way that you cannot know or predict in advance.


You might ask yourself these questions about each line of your acceptance of your heart’s call:

How could this correspond to places, persons and things in my actual life?

How could I carry this out? What would it take to fulfill what my heart is asking of me here?

Can I amplify a greater meaning out of this pun or play on words?




There may be now many commitments that you’ve made to your heart that you don’t presently understand how to enact in the world.  Maybe you have a solid idea about just one.  Do that one thing.  Trust that as you act, more will be revealed to you over the course of this 7 weeks about how to fulfill your other commitments.

It can help a great deal to memorize your commitments to your heart.  This way, as your walking around in your life, you’ll be more likely to immediately recognize places or actions that could help you fulfill your commitments.


Posted on August 9, 2011 and filed under Creativity.

Use Dreamspeak to Launch Your Mythic Journey

UntitledCreative Commons License photo credit: Pete Radocaj

My book, Awesome Your Life, contains a series of 7 active imagination experiments designed to lead you through a cycle of the mythic journey. Here's the first one:

Experiment 1: The Heart’s Call

In order to start our mythic journey to uncovering our genius, we need to enter into a real and dynamic dialogue with our hearts. Start by writing a letter to your heart, telling it all that’s going on with you now and asking it for guidance.

Now write a response to yourself from your heart’s perspective. In other words, create a letter from your heart to you.  Your heart knows things that your conscious mind doesn’t.  In order to access that intuitive knowing, it will help if you write your letter from your heart to yourself in dreamspeak.

What’s dreamspeak?

Dreamspeak is a mode of language which accesses the same tools of interweaving and meaning-making that our night-time dreams use.  It’s the language of the unconscious.

Dreamspeak has the following characteristics:

1. No use of the “to be” verb. This means that dreamspeak avoids all conjugations of “to be” including be, being, is, are, will be, was, were, and have been. Similar simple verbs which dreamspeak does allow include become, has, have, do, can, will, should, ought, may, remain, and equal.  Dreamspeak excludes “to be” verbs because such verbs have a tendency to imply stasis and absolutely identity where actually the soul knows that only activity and fluidity present themselves.

2. Metaphoric naming.  Dreamspeak disallows conventional or habitual proper names for people and places.  Instead, dreamspeak invites you to coin new names for people and places based on descriptive or associate qualities.  For example, if you’re writing about your friend John in dreamspeak, you would not call him John but perhaps “The Long-Haired Wanderer.”  If you’re writing about Australia, you might rename Australia “Upside Down Land.” Dreamspeak also discourages conventional or habitual names for everyday objects and invites you to coin new names for those, too.  So for example— in dreamspeak you might call a tree a “spreads-forth” or a “tall green.”

3. Allusions. Dreamspeak invites elaborate and associative references to words and things and places you’ve Experimented in books, films, travel, foreign languages, conversation—and, of course, night-time dreams.  If you’ve dreamt recently about being trapped inside an amusement park closed for wintertime with a pack of rabid dogs, you might allude to those dogs and that park in your dreamspeak.  If you’ve been reading books on yoga and you’re fascinated with the Sanskrit vocabulary of yogic practices, you might include some of those words in your dreamspeak.

4. Portmanteaus. In dreamspeak, we’re free to make up new words by combining elements from already-existing words to create new in-between meanings. So if a landscape is both rocky and boring, we might in dreamspeak say that it’s “bocky” or “roring” or even just “bocking.”

5. Neologisms. Go ahead and just plain make up words and expressions.

6. Sensory Amplification. If you get stuck or slowed down in your dreamspeak writing, you might try amplifying upon something that you’ve already noted by describing it with similes that reference all five of the physical senses.  So maybe you’ve written the word “soil.”  You might go on to say, “The soil smells like tar.  It looks like the spit-up of baby plants. It sounds like insects toiling.  It feels like a soft disaster.  It tastes like the end of a night.”

7. Nonlinear. In dreamspeak, there’s no need for a linear narrative or argument to be present.  Feel free to just riff.  You might spiral around a topic or an idea in several different ways.  You might go on wild tangents.  That’s perfect.

8. Puns. Dreamspeak invites puns.  Puns are simultaneously plays on the meanings and the sounds of words or phrases.  Once, puns were considered a very high form of humor—isn’t that hilarious? Well, I at least find it punny.

9. Free association. Maybe you write down “daffodil” and that makes you think of old Victorian daguerreotype pictures, which makes you remember the guy you dated once who was really into those and hated Christmas, which makes you think of how you really love Christmas, which makes you think of your complicity in American consumer junk culture, which makes you think about the soft pretzels and slushies that they sold at Hill’s when you were a kid and your mom took you there and the popcorn was always stale.  So in dreamspeak, go ahead and write about all that: “Daffodil daguerreotype Matt Christmas junk Mother Hill’s layaway pretzel slushies stale.”

10. No fidelity to “reality” required. In dreamspeak, it’s fine to write about or be inspired by “real” events and things, but you’re not at all limited to describing reality.  You have full poetic license to wildly make stuff up.

So, using dreamspeak and writing as if from your heart to your conscious self, discover the following: What does your heart ask you to do? What does it warn you about? What does it know about your potential that you don’t know yet? How is it beckoning you forward to the gift of ecstatic joy? What sounds, smells, sights, places, visions, scents does it invoke in order to call you onward?  How does it address you? What instructions does it give you?

Write for at least 20 minutes, uninterrupted.

Now read over what you've created.  What does your heart want you to do? If it said "wear lilacs until the sun goes down" I suggest doing exactly that, no matter how silly it might sound.

Posted on August 5, 2011 and filed under Creativity, Life Adventure.