In part one of this essay I discussed the fact of the dream, which is an instance of the ongoing primary imagination working within us, and how this imagination which we experience in dreams, can help us to reframe our waking experience.
A few weeks ago, the “coronavirus’ crossed over from my waking life consciousness into my dreaming-poetic consciousness and I wrote this prose poem.
The virus — a fierce engine of poetry — writes itself in every cell but can only say one word. No cry of help warning squirt of ecstasy just me repeated in a row of me. A lover so egotistical he can only see himself in the other — an image in a mirror stripping its skin to nothing. I can’t breathe the patient said– the virus did as commanded and multiplied.
In this poem the virus is wonderful: it is a poetic engine. The virus is terrible: it will multiply when the patient can’t breathe. The virus is “commanded” by its own relentless engine, like an egotist– and yet we can also admire and even learn from the virus’s intensity, its will to live and reproduce. We can go from the higher corona to the lower corona, from the ideal to the grim fact. By feeling the image, we can learn from the virus to continue to create, to write ourselves into every cell of life… for the virus is a poet. Even though all it can say is “me me me.”
The virus is wonderful and it is terrible, just as images in our dreams are wonderful and terrible, and we cannot really separate the higher from the lower, they are two coronas that are one. In the command and control of the waking life ego we separate experience into what is good to us and what is bad to us. What is high and lofty and “spiritual” and what is low and earthly and to be shunned. We look at every experience from a simplistic point of view, is it good for me or bad for me? This is our survival mode and this is what we are experiencing right now in our fear and anxiety. And sometimes this distinction is necessary to our survival. But not if it becomes a wooden habit. Then we have quarantined ourselves from life itself.
So many speak of dreams and of nightmares as if they were entirely different. But they are all just dreams. We say good dreams and bad dreams– but they are all dreams– all produced by primary imagination for us to experience.
We cannot separate the good from the bad, without losing the whole. In Natural Dreamwork when we are with our clients and their difficult moments in dreams, we suffer with them, we sit with them, and we acknowledge that each image, if it carries a strong feeling must be felt.. which takes a lot of courage, but in the long run is worth it. We learn to practice the difficult feelings: pain, terror, disgust– We learn to feel the deep and wonderful feelings of love joy and excitement.
It is how we become whole. We want life whole, not half. We want both coronas, both crowns. The crown of the highest, and the crown of the humblest.
I also wrote this little poem and now I realize that the dream carried into the poem, the dream of two coronas became the poem of two suns… for we speak of the corona of the sun, of the sun as having a crown of light that surrounds it.
Two suns make one sun. Then we knew what light was. It shines through us all the way to being. Have you seen being? It is at first a light at a distance like a lonely beacon then it is suddenly through you–shining everywhere at every point. You are the light and you are the sun in this new dark world. Everything adds up. We make two suns together. Two reappears as one. One reappears in two. Much love. Much love.
The working of imagination within us is like a sun that is always rising. And dawn is always the hour of beginning a new day, of waking with a new inspiration. At dawn I write these little prose poems in the wake of my dreams, in the perfume of the dream. I write my dreams and then write the poems or write the poems and then write the dreams.
I see the crown of the highest and of the humblest and I stand before the process of primary imagination with wonder and gratitude, as I stand in life including the virus– for it is ever-evolving.
Much love. Much love to you all.
–Rodger Kamenetz founder of Natural Dreamwork works with clients in a program of spiritual, imaginative and creative development through the contemplation of your dreams. His recent books of poetry include Yonder (Lavender Ink) and Dream Logic (PURH). If you are interested in this sort of work, please contact him at email@example.com