To master and ride our nightmares

“The Feeling of Power must be projected in a thrust towards the future. To feel it in the present is to come to a halt…

Man synthesizes in himself that which in the world has unfolded in time. The synthesis of the events assembles in him and becomes an actual event in his consciousness – thus he overcomes the limitations of time” – “Leo of the Ur Group”, in the chapter of Aphorisms, Julius Evola’s Introduction to Magic

Dreams are tricky things. Silk like smooth, ethereal, they settle lightly upon us and slide away when we try to catch them.

What are dreams… really? Some believe them to be random misfires of our neural circuitry, simply random play of brains at rest. Others believe them to be attempts by the mind at a cognition of reality, but a mode of cognition simply different from daytime perception, in which the brain explores what it has seen, gathered, and stored, of the world, without logic’s bounds. And still some believe they are glimpses of other worlds, or other dimensions of reality.

Whatever dreams are, they are, however, meaningful. Even amidst their contradictions. It is possible to see the relevance of our dreams to the external world we live in, and experience, whilst awake.

The Sufis know of a concept called “Qabd wa Bast”, that is constriction and expansion. That is, our psyches experience cycles; cyclical alternation between states of elation and expansiveness, joy and ecstasy, and then states of constriction, depression, and contraction – in which we shrivel up within ourselves, feel vulnerable and exposed. Dark and heavy can be the winds that blow around us. This is called the “Dark Night of the Soul” in certain esoteric streams of Western Christianity.

Basically, there is an existential void, and abyss. The void within our beings can feel like, and be experienced as, a tangible place, a location. This can become acute in dream-time, during nightmares.

“When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” – Nietzsche

“The Abyss is empty of being; it is filled with all possible forms, each equally insane, each therefore evil in the only true sense of the word – that is, meaningless but malignant, in so far as it craves to become real.” –Baudrillard, in “Confessions

There lie inside of us deserts to cross.
Deserts of fear, and of insecurity. We experience these dully whilst awake, but more intensely in our dreams at night. We may sleep fitfully, disturbed by phantoms and wisps, terrifying drops, weights and pressures upon our chests. A nightmare is a dark mare, a horse in the night treading wildly upon our souls. Is it possible to master her, and ride her according to our wills? So that the monsters we once faced are no longer frightening, but amusing?

I have a friend, who has left this life behind. The abyss conquered her inwardly, and outwardly she collapsed into it. At night she only dreamed of two things, severe destruction, and sex. She dreamed of the world ending in fire and blood, she dreamed of abysses full of empty depths and blasted landscapes. She dreamed of intense sexual passion. And that was about it. She was a little volcano that exploded one night.. she never learned to master her dreams.

My father, when attacked by little demons in his dreams, would sing loudly and harshly at them. They so disliked his singing voice they would flee.

Is madness the edge of a dysfunctional genius, and the loss of the ability to hold on to the edge of an ordered perception of the world?

The abyss exists to be crossed, I believe.
There are dark urges within, shall we cower in night fright? The darkest of urges and longings in our souls are to be faced, and their compelling power mastered.

I think this is the key, to embrace our inner darkness and evil without being embraced by it, and to control our emotions and urges, and not be controlled by them. To choose to take our pleasures, and not to be taken by them.

Churchill once said, if you find yourself in the middle of hell, keep walking. You can choose to cross the abyss, if you die crossing then at least you died on your feet. If you make it to the other side then what have you gained? A rare mastery, of yourself. It is time to choose. Defeat? Or victory?

As Dervishes worldwide all say, “La Hawla wa la Quwatta illa Bi’llah!”

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