A Source of Spiritual Insight: The Appearance of Animals in Dreams and Intuitive Insight

Jesus likening himself to a mother hen

Image via Pinterest.

The animal-human relationship has had a big influence in human psychological development. One way this can be seen is the deep attachment and communication that can happen between a pet owner and the pet. Even with animals in the wild, humans have long looked on magnificent and tiny creatures and wondered at their various gifts such as speed, flight, cunning or strength. It is no wonder that animals often appear in our dreams or intuitive insight. Perhaps we are either being given, or given insight, into that animal’s energy to meet a particular challenge of the moment. It is no wonder that ancient people worshiped animals. They wanted the particular energy associated with that animal to face the tasks ahead so they called upon the spirit of that animal to help them.

Even Jesus recognized the special energy that each animal exhibits. In Luke 13:34 he resonates with the deep caring nature of the mother hen as he compared himself to that humble bird who gathers who her brood under her wings. He could have compared himself to a grand animal of any sort like an eagle or a horse. Instead, he feels great compassion for his people and wants to protect them from the many dangers. Perhaps he is calling on this energy within himself for the tasks lying ahead for him.

Notice when an animal appears in your dreams or meditation. Ask yourself what energies you associate with that animal and then ask why you might need this energy at this time in your life. As a follow-through, try to act with the energy of that animal to meet the challenge facing you.

Toward a Theology of Love’s Energies: A Second Discovery of Fire

Using Dreams and Intuition to harness the energy of love

Harnessing the Energy of Love

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Reading this quote this morning made me more aware that a future direction of Christian theological reflection will be, as it is in physics and medicine, on the nature of energy.  Energy is what underlies everything.  Energy is what make the universe tick (e=mc²), energy is what gives life to the body and creates abundant health, and energy is the active component of both intuition and love.

I personally believe that as we explore the depths of human intuitive capabilities as they are grounded in empathetic love rather than in the showy but superficial distractions of ESP and some other extraneous psychic phenomenon, we will rewrite a new theology.  Just as Thomistic theology and liberation theology represent significant philosophical and political points of view, I believe there will be a Christian theology of energy that may one day unite religion and science.  Developing intuition and observing nature as concurrent and equally important tasks, along with being inspired by revelation, will be the keys for this unfolding.

Everything we have ever learned and will learn will come through our marvelous bodies which are receptors and communicators of healing energy.  As humans we also have the ability to observe and reflect upon that energy and how it works, especially through intuition and dreams.  They tap us into the universal power source and inform of us of this underlying energy that drives us both as individuals and as beings who are connected with every other being in the universe Our challenge will be to integrate our new understandings of energy, especially the healing and loving kind, with divine revelation.  Just as we have learned to harness atomic power, I do hope we learn to harness the power of intuition and dreams and use the insight we gain in the service of love.  Then, we will have harnessed an exponentially greater fire than our ancestors did.

Visions: A Form of Healing Intuitive Awareness

ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation, 1437-46 (2236990916)

Mary’s Vision: The Archangel Gabriel

During times of crisis, especially when serious health related issues are at stake, the occurrence of visions or other paranormal phenomenon is not as unusual as one might expect. Many people have been led to believe that seeing a vision either indicates saintliness or insanity—not a comfortable point of view to hold when an angel drops by! As a result, people tend to be very cautious about sharing their experience of visions. However, I found that quite a number of average people have visions. In my classes, many students recounted seeing visits by supernatural beings like Jesus or angels or the presence of a comforting divine light. For the most part, these experiences come at traumatic or life changing times in someone’s life.

These phenomena can be thought of as expressions of pure intuition, healing energy that breaks through when the veil between this world and other realities is made thin by the magnitude of a mind-bending reality a person is facing. The reality to be encountered can be traumatic such as life threatening surgery, a sexual assault, or death of a loved one. However, it may not necessarily be negative. It could be something profoundly wonderful such as the gifting of a special and life changing calling as Mary experienced with the visit of the Archangel Gabriel who heralded her role to be the mother of Jesus.

At these times, visions come to tell the distraught person that the overwhelming reality encountered is not all there is and will not have to be born alone—that something more abides giving comfort, love and insight. In Mary’s case, she was told she had found favor with God and that the power of the Most High would overshadow her.

Luke 12: Radical Intuitive Awareness as the Way through the Worries of the World

Field of Lilies (222275926)Perhaps one of the biggest challenges Jesus makes of his disciples and to us today is written in Luke 12: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.” There are very few of us who have never worried ourselves silly about any one of these things. To actually make the choice to NOT worry about these things, and be able to pull it off, requires a deep trust and a profound intuitive insight into the love that provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields as well as each of us.

Caught Up in Dualistic Thinking

Asking what gets in the way of being able to trust so deeply challenges us to dig deep to recognize our fears—fears that indicate our waking consciousness with its limited understanding is ruling the day. Waking consciousness is governed by the rational mind which sees only dualism: right and wrong, life and death, health and disease, strong and weak, rich and poor, insider and outsider. It is the outcome of the human condition, of eating of the Tree of Knowledge, knowing good and evil. We can be blinded by our fears, producing anxious greed, insecurity and endless striving for what we think will help us. If we do get what we want, we become like the rich man who thinks he is on top of the world with his riches that will last him for years, not knowing his riches will be worth nothing when his life is taken that night. Caught in this duality, we will always prefer and strive for one over the other, not recognizing there is another way of understanding the world.

Intuition as the Road to move beyond Dualistic Thinking that Traps Us in Worry

Intuition is the awareness of oneness, that we all part of the whole and, as a result are informed and supported by the whole. This awareness as expressed in relationship is love. The more we can rely on intuition, the greater the result. Edgar Cayce said in reading 792-2, “The more and more each is impelled by that which is intuitive, or the relying upon the soul force within, the greater, the farther, the deeper, the broader, the more constructive may be the result.” ‪ A developed intuition, one that has been tested and proven true, can trust that the Spirit will come to inform us in times of crises, and that our needs will be provided, freeing us to recognize the needs of others to be just as important as our own.‬

Jesus was well aware that his teachings which are based on the radical intuitive awareness that we are one with each other is not in accordance with the ways of the world. He said his words would pit mother against daughter and father and against son. And yet the radical intuitive awareness known as love is the way out of the limitations of dualistic thinking.

Luke 11: The Lord’s Prayer as a Chakra Visualization Meditation

Jesus Teaches Prayer

The Sermon on the Mount —
Carl Heinrich Bloch

Luke 11 begins with the Lord’s Prayer.  Edgar Cayce, Dana Williams and Philip St. Romain, among others, have commented on the correlation of the seven chakras of Hinduism to phrases in the Lord’s Prayer.  Here is my version of an extended Lord’s Prayer which makes a reasonable correlation to the seven chakras, perhaps in a different way suggested by others.  The words in bold are either the original words to the Lord’s Prayer as it is often said in Christian communities or a close proximity with more added to show a correlation to a chakra.  The words in italics suggest the chakra indicated with the suggested correlation in bold following.

Our Father Who Art In Heaven, help us to see that the greatest service we can give to others is to continually transform ourselves into clearer images made in your likeness.  When we feel the emptiness inside, it is so tempting to seek without for the wealth, power, and recognition needed to help us feel more assured in our service to others.  Instead, help us to see ourselves as we truly are: beings of light and energy already complete with our own God-given power, creativity and blessings which only need to be lit up brightly by Your love—and appreciated by ourselves.

(7th Chakra: Center for Spiritual Purpose)
In hallowing and making holy Your name we allow the fullness of Your grace to flood into us from Your home above into the top of our heads, making space for

(6th Chakra: Center for Spiritual Vision)
Thy kingdom to come inside our minds, and then…

(5th Chakra: Center for Decision Making and Communication)
Delightfully invade our throats so that we can commit to and make the most courageous proclamation possible: Thy Will Be Done, which is only to make us ever more like the impossibly loving, powerful and wise You.

(4th Chakra: Center for Joining the Energies Above and Below to Heal and Relate)
At this point You have gone further into us, invading our hearts like an insistent lover, truly commingling the divine with the human so we can truly say, “On earth as it is in heaven!

(3rd Chakra: Center for Managing Power and Structure)
But because we need earthly bread and other good things as well as heavenly bread, we can now ask freely and confidently of you, “Give us our daily bread” to fill the aching stomach and other earthly wants and needs.  As a lover, it is Your joy to grant our wishes.

(2nd Chakra: Center for Creativity within Boundaries)
Still your loving does not stop.   It reaches further into our most creative places where we give life and make love prosper in our relationships.  Here, the loving comes easy, but the temptation to trespass on others’ boundaries is great and the experience of being trespassed and betrayed is all too frequent, making us need to ask for the grace of forgiveness for ourselves and others.

(1st Chakra: Center for Security and Survival)
By now, You have thoroughly penetrated our innermost recesses even to the very bottom of our spines where Your loving presence seeks to cast out any remnant of temptation so that you may deliver us from all evil, and let us know the most blessed peace and well-being.

Now that You are so thoroughly within us, we are ablaze with light.  Let us shine our light on each other and the world in our work and in our relationships with others.   Let us send light and loving energy to all who are sick, lonely, and hurt by war.  For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever amen.

To learn more about methods of healing imagery, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Luke 10: Choices of an Empathetic, Intuitive Heart

Story of Martha and Mary

Jesus With Martha and Mary — Tintoretto

Luke 10 is about preparing and sending the disciples out in the world to heal and to preach. The stories told within Luke 10 illustrate the values based choices necessary for someone called to participate in Jesus’ mission. The Parable of the Good Samaritan defines what it means to love my neighbor and the Story of Martha and Mary shows what it means to sit in the presence of divine wisdom. Both involve choices that come from an open, empathetic and intuitive heart.

Treating the Stranger as Oneself

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan (who was thought to be inferior in class and moral values to the Jews) is ironically the one who treats a stranger beaten and robbed as he would want to be treated—quite unlike the priest and the Levite. The Samaritan is the one who is operating from a moral perspective which recognizes that this is a human being just like himself. Since he wouldn’t want to be left hurt and penniless by the wayside, he simply makes the choice to help the man. This is empathy in action. It shows a heart open to the needs of others.

To Do or to Be Still and Receptive: The Better Choice

The Story of Martha and Mary clearly describes the state of mind of each one of us at any given moment. One part of us is busy, running about taking care of errands, serving others and the performing the tasks of everyday life. This is the doing part of ourselves that make us feel like we have “to do” something in any situation, and often make us feel good when we have done something. The other part of us—which wants to sit quietly, patiently and attentively to hear what comes from silence— however, is often ignored and disparaged in our action-oriented society as being lazy or useless, “navel gazing” with no productive outcome. Jesus makes clear this latter choice to sit in the presence of divine wisdom is the better choice. It is a reminder to us to put aside the busyness of the day and sit in intuitive reflection, open to what comes in the silence.

Luke 9: An Intuitive Perspective on the Road to Transfiguration and Beyond

Raphael's Transfiguration of Jesus

The Transfiguration by Raphael

Luke 9 is about bringing the disciples to the mountain top, literally and figuratively, and then sending them into the world while letting them know what the cost of discipleship is all about.  In the process, a growth of intuitive insight occurs among the disciples to the point where they can see the full revealing of Jesus as He is, beyond the carpenter from Nazareth.  They can see his essential energy field in all its glory and wonder, as well as those of Moses and Elijah who set in motion the forces of spiritual tradition that led to Jesus.

A Call to Let Go

After having chosen his disciples, Jesus sends them out with little in the way of backup support to proclaim the Good News and to heal.  In a sense, it is the pulling away of the usual supports we are accustomed to for a greater good.  The call to grow one’s intuition often involves a call to let go of the things we previously relied on for support.

A Discovery of Miraculous Abundance

Early on in the call to open the third eye of understanding, the seeker becomes aware that highly developed spiritual persons can summon and bring abundance of resources and good health, defying our common perspective that the pie is only so large.  The disciples witness this so many times they begin to believe it themselves.  They begin to see that life can be lived on different terms.  There will always be enough with the grace of God.

The Recognition of God’s Presence among Us

Jesus constantly asks His disciples who they think He is, testing their depth of spiritual awareness.  When Peter answers that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus knows Peter’s eyes have been opened.  In a sense, all of us are constantly being asked the same thing.  Can we see the presence of God in our lives?  If Jesus is the God for us, can we recognize Him here among us now?  As with Peter, when we can see God even in the lowliest person, we have reached a significant point of spiritual development.

Before the disciples recognized Jesus’ true nature, the demons inside possessed people were the only ones who recognized Him.  It is much the same within ourselves, our demons torment us, and make us aware until we can recognize the divine and be healed.  Their coming to the fore is almost necessary to precede the healing call of the divine.

The Mountain Top Experience

Like Peter and the apostles, we are usually relaxed, half asleep or in a state of meditation when suddenly there is a shift of consciousness and we can see auras and energy fields.  In this state the disciples witness Jesus in splendor, along with the great spiritual leaders who preceded him.  Like us, the disciples want to capture this precious moment and make order out of it by constructing something to make it permanent.  They want to build booths to contain the wonder they have just seen just as we want to write about, paint, sing, memorialize or “churchify” our spiritual experiences.

The Need to Go Out Into the World

Jesus knows it is not only about the mountain top experience.  It is also about acting as His disciples at a time when he won’t be around, spreading the news of what they have just witnessed and doing the miraculous things He has done.  He explains what this entails: the profound insight demands an equally profound and unconditional call to action.  It is the basis for the call to action.

Luke 8: Pay Attention to How You Listen

Parable of the Sower

An icon depicting the Sower. In Sts. Konstantine and Helen Orthodox Church, Cluj
Courtesy Sulfababy of en.wik

In Chapter 8: 18 Luke quotes Jesus as saying, “Pay attention to how you listen…” The Zen masters used to say that enlightenment could be seen in a person by how he walked, talked and thought. Anyone can cook a meal, but not everyone cooks it in a loving manner. Anyone with the money can build a huge building but how it is built—the quality of the labor and materials put into it, the kind of funding used to build it—tell the real tale. In the how of things lies the soul and the truth, the indicators of integrity, the operating values and the state of consciousness of a person’s mind.

The accompanying stories in Chapter 8 of Luke illustrate the point that faithfulness shows itself in the how of things: how we listen, how we trust, and how we live out that faith in behavior and actions. For example, Jesus was well aware that people responded differently to his message, depending on how they heard it. His explanation of the Parable of the Sower describes in allegory the various outcomes depending on how his message sunk into the mind, was received and allowed to bear fruit. The story of the Woman Healed of a Hemorrhage shows how faith such as her heals while the story of the Calming of the Storm shows how failing faith can sink us, unless saved by Jesus. Jesus placed so much emphasis on how to do things that he even defined his brothers and sisters along these lines: they were the people who did the will of the Father in the manner He did. He becomes the ideal both in which to trust and to imitate. For Christians, He is the how of it. Paying attention to how we do things tells us a lot about ourselves, and one good way to do this is to meditate.

Meditation Asks Us to Pay Attention

Most of us are so caught up in the action to achieve some purpose that we lose track of how we are doing it. This is why learning to meditate by sitting quietly without thinking thoughts often strikes the beginner as a meaningless exercise until he or she wakes up to the fact that it is not so much about listening, seeing and doing as much as it is about how to listen, see and do with loving care, attention, and perseverance as in the model set by Jesus. It means learning to tune out noise and listen for the inner voice of intuitive guidance.

Luke 7: The Empathetic Power of the Open Intuitive Heart

Empathy

Energy of the Empathetic Heart

Veronese

Christ and Centurion – Paolo Veronese Courtesy Wikipedia

Luke 7 contains stories that show intuitive understanding at work in the world and show where it is not, and what happens as a result. As the Master, Jesus Himself was capable of a great deal of intuitive love. His empathy, which is the driving force of intuition, picks up on the devastated state of the Widow and compels Him to bring her son back to life.

Consider the stories of the Centurion and the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet. How did they get the insight that Jesus could help them? Luke doesn’t tell us. Theologians would probably say it was the gift given in time of need. This defines intuition exactly—a gift of understanding and awareness given when needed, either for one’s own self or to help another. This gift comes from a source beyond the capabilities of the waking mind and rational thought and it comes when the heart is in the right place: open, caring and loving.

Empathy Sees Into the Heart of the Matter

The Centurion and Woman who washed Jesus’ feet were remarkable but very different people sharing two things in common: somehow they knew that Jesus had miraculous power to help them and their hearts were in the right place.
In the case of the Centurion, from his line of work he understood the nature of authority and command. When an order was given by one authorized to give it, the order was done. But that doesn’t explain how he knew that Jesus had authority like no other, so much so that he didn’t feel qualified to see him anymore than he would feel qualified to stand before the emperor of Rome. However, he was a good man who helped build the synagogue. He had a sick slave he cared a deal about and wanted to help. It may have been the open goodness of own his heart that empathized with Jesus, recognizing in Jesus a commanding goodness that was able to help in a way that he himself would help if he had the power and authority to act in such a way.

In the case of the Woman who washes Jesus’ feet, again we are not told how she knew Jesus was someone in whom she could trust her whole being. We only knew she sensed her sins were forgiven by Jesus’ love and understanding and responded accordingly with great love and gratitude. Her actions show her uninhibited expressions of love, unlike the closed, tight actions of the Pharisee that hosted Jesus. Hers was a heart that was utterly open to love. Perhaps the Woman empathized with the power of Jesus, seeing in Jesus someone who loved and forgave as she was capable of doing.

The Superficiality of Judgment Replacing Empathy

Where empathy is absent, casting judgment based on superficial input rules the day as in the case of the Pharisee who only saw the Woman washing Jesus’ feet as a sinner. It is not surprising then that this Pharisee also did not open his heart warmly to Jesus as his guest. By his own heart not being open, he could not see into the heart of the Woman or the heart of Jesus and acted much like the Pharisees who refused to accept John because this prophet was not dressed in silks and living in a palace.

Luke 6: It takes an Intuitive Heart to Reach Out to the Outcast

The sixth chapter of Luke tells about Jesus picking his disciples and setting the standard for what it means to be his disciples. It is the first thing any great leader does in a given situation: define the operating values which will govern the activity or endeavor at hand. What is being asked of the disciples is that they discard their accustomed ways of viewing the world, their ideas of right and wrong, likes and dislikes and see the world in a whole new topsy-turvy way that can only be understood through the eyes of an open intuitive, loving heart. Logic and our usual calculated ways of thinking strain to understand this new world view.

Jesus presents his standards in the Sermon on the Plain where he clearly states—contrary to what we all have been taught and led to expect by society—that it is the poor, the hungry, the sorrowful and the hated who are blessed. However, none us, if we believe what society thinks, wants to be included among this ragtag lot and so spend much of our lives avoiding being identified with such a group. Instead, we align ourselves with the very group who Jesus calls woe upon: the rich, the well fed, the happy and those with sterling reputations. The questions are 1) why do we do this, and 2) why does Jesus call us to do otherwise?

I think we identify with the rich and well off because we ourselves are afraid of being poor, hungry, sad and hated. We know that deep down inside there are aspects of each of us that feel want, loss and dislike—inner outcasts we all would rather avoid and deny.

Intuition is knowledge arising out of empathy and compassion

It takes an open, loving intuitive heart to understand why Jesus says the poor are blessed. Unlike rational, waking consciousness which separates and divides while delineating likes and dislikes, intuition knows the full spectrum of what it means to be human and sees it all as one. Unlike psychic ability, intuition is a form of profound awareness about another person that arises out of empathy and compassion. When I see someone through an intuitive heart I understand this person is no different from me, and is actually part of me and I am part of her or him in an interconnected, mystical universe. Therefore the intuitive heart sees the other, no matter how strange, awful, disgusting, fearsome, or loathsome as not only someone out there but as someone representing an aspect of myself which needs accepting. When I can accept that in myself, I can accept it in others.

Acting intuitively means reaching out to the outcasts in our own selves and in our neighborhoods

And this is why I believe St. Francis’ defining moment on his spiritual journey was the embracing of the leper. Lepers represented to him everything he feared and loathed. Embracing the leper meant dissolving all that separated him from his own deepest Self and from a group he had previously avoided. People who seriously embark on a spiritual journey at some point must drop their conventional thinking, see the world in a new, intuitive way, and embrace their own leper in order to be at one with their deeper Self and others. Reaching out to and identifying with the poor, bereaved and oppressed are ways to embrace the feared lepers in our own selves. These outcasts hold the key to our own transformation on the spiritual journey