Part Five: Self-initiation
the bridge between worlds; what drains the power of dreaming
© 2005 Antero Alli (updated 2/13/17)
ON THE BRIDGE BETWEEN WORLDS
Ongoing paratheatre practice opens a door to direct experience of the Infinite. We stand awestruck and astonished in a state of enthralling enchantment. However, this very enchantment can easily seduce us into assigning it with a priori status by making it more meaningful than our mundane existence. Though these ritual events can feel more truthful and significant, after the ritual is over everyone still returns to their daily lives and responsibilities. And, then what ? There is no escaping mundane reality. Or is there?
Perhaps the most challenging part of paratheatre work is applying it to daily life. Insights, realizations, and epiphanies erupting in paratheatrical processes can go for naught if they cannot find a life beyond the workspace itself. Without the integration of insights into the daily workings of our mundane existence, these rare experiences slip away like fading photographs. For paratheatre work to have any lasting value, there must be some active process of building and maintaining a kind of bridge between inner and outer worlds, between the soulful experiences of the internal landscape and the daily toils of our mundane existence. How to arouse ecstatic moments amidst daily drudgery? How to integrate the asocial experience of verticality within our social community ? Questions worth asking...
Escapism remains integral to the human condition. Us humans have always, and will always, seek out and invent new ways to alleviate boredom, get high and/or attempt to transcend the banality of our mundane toil. Yet most escape attempts do not, cannot, succeed. Many escape attempts lead to dispersion and self-destruction, where no true escape happens at all. If this spiritual need for escape is integral to our human condition, how can we truly escape? Escapism itself is not the problem. The problem is this naive assumption that we can escape from reality. Nobody escapes reality. To truly escape, we need only to shift the context from trying to escape from reality to escaping into reality...to escape into and through the very heart of our human condition. By choosing to escape into the existing conditions of our lives, rather than away from them, we tap into the pulse of mystery at the very heart of existence itself. In doing so, we weave the ritual thread of numin into the fabric of our daily lives and infuse vertical presence into our horizontally-based activities. The cosmic exists within the mundane and visa versa. However, great courage and a certain kind of power is needed to maintain this bridge between (inner and outer) worlds.
It takes a strong, supple, and flexible ego to traverse between inner and outer worlds. Like the ancient Greek god Hermes, we are capable of moving between the upper world of our daytime activities and the underworld of dreams and the soul's subterranean domains. However, this bridge-building process between worlds requires a certain kind of power that must be earned; it is not always a given. I refer to the power of dreaming...dreaming ourselves awake, the power to dream ourselves into existence, the power to make our dreams come true. This power can be earned by first exposing where and how it has been drained.
There are many unconscious habits of power loss. Once we become conscious of how we are losing power, we can empower ourselves simply by exposing, minimizing and/or eliminating these drainage points. Since most habits of power loss are self-imposed, they can be self-eliminated. Once our power drains are exposed and removed, the power of dreaming returns on its own volition and presence. Nothing else has to be done. Remove the drains and power returns. This return of the dreaming power helps to sustain the bridge between worlds and expresses an ongoing ritual of Self-initiation.
HOW THE DREAMING POWER IS DRAINED
Perhaps the two greatest drains to the dreaming power -- our power to dream ourselves awake and into manifestation -- are: 1) The Victim Syndrome and 2) The Courtship Compulsion. Both ravage the energetic body, the chief conduit for the power of dreaming.
The Victim Syndrome corrodes and destroys the will of the individual. This power drain is driven by self-pity and any immature refusal to accept one's personal shortcomings, inadequacies and flaws, a self-denial often accompanied by constant complaining and whining about feeling "not enough". Poor Baby! When afflicted by the Victim Syndrome, we become as emotional vampyres feeding off the sympathy of others while hosting a Pity Party in private and with other Poor Babies. The Victim Syndrome expresses a disempowering cycle of debilitating self-indulgence that shrinks the decision-making muscle, resulting in the self-made anguish of immobilizing indecision. The mass culture of advertising feeds and controls the Poor Baby syndrome by appealing to the unmet needs of the emotionally immature consumer, i.e., you are not enough without our product.
The Courtship Compulsion weakens the heart and wastes the imagination. This more complicated power drain occurs with any increasing emotional investment in an idealized image of the "dream lover", or any obsessive preoccupation and search for "The One" or the "soulmate", or any psychic projection of charged emotion onto any external person that matches one's inner "dream lover" - what Carl Jung refers to as "the Anima" in men and the "Animus" in women. These power drains require tremendous psychic energy, belief and blind faith to maintain themselves. They also occur, for the most part, unconsciously - while we’re not looking and, as if, by themselves.
The Courtship Compulsion veils a sophisticated sadomasochistic ritual of self-torment where love is always wanted but never truly found. The mass culture of advertising also feeds and controls the Courtship Compulsion by the Beauty Myth that oppresses every woman and man who mistakes glamour -- the mirror reflection of the self -- for true beauty. Glamour casualties become absorbed and assimilated into a vapid world of appearances while draining the inner life of all life and substance. This narrowing of consciousness feeds the negative spirit, or emotion, of Envy and its endless cycle of meaningless comparisons of oneself with others that fuels a meaningless life.
The Courtship Compulsion is rooted in the yearning for unconditional love brought about by any significant loss of verticality -- the greater the loss of vertical connection, the greater the yearning. By restoring our vertical integrity, through devotion to "God" or 'divinity', this courtship compulsion shifts from seeking love outside of ourselves to knowing love as true nature. Love may not be something we need, as we have been conditioned to believe, but who we truly are at essence. Realizing our true nature as love, we can engage more openly and fully in romantic liaisons and longterm relations with ourselves and others -- not from any desperate need or search for love but from the offering of self as love. This is not the same as losing oneself in the other but realizing how the other is also love at essence, an essence that can never be lost. The imagination, once previously projected and wasted on unattainable and self-tormenting fantasies, becomes liberated to dream more freely from the fertile source of love itself. When nourished by love, Imagination resurrects from the dead and makes a home for the soul. Why is it that those bereft of Imagination also seem bereft of soul? For those who have not heard the news - Imagination death precedes the death of Soul.
Part One: Orientation
culture, paratheatre, verticality, asocial intent
Part Two: Integrity Loss and Recovery
the force of commitment, what feeds the being
Part Three: The Performer/Audience Romance
talent and skill, the total act, the No-Form technique
Part Four: Self-Observation and Ego
function of ego, embracing contraries, the emotional plague
Part Six: A Cultural Overview
a mass hallucination of a society gone mad