Dreamtime: how to interpret your dreams

In the first Time is Art film, we explore dream interpretation, with Dream worker, Toka-Pa Turner in which she works with Jennifer’s recurring dream about people drowning in the ocean. For the second film, The Frequence of Love, we are currently recreating a profound dream Omboy Rome has with Jose Arguelles, the teacher and philosopher who inspired this movie series and wrote about the idea that time is art. 

Dreams are mysterious and fascinating. It takes years to understand how to work with and decode your dreams. They have a powerful effect on your state of mind and if one learns to dream consciously, dreams can be as crucial to your mental and spiritual well being as meditation. 

Interpreting your Dreams By Amelia Bert 

When you sleep, your unconscious mind takes over. Whatever thoughts, memories, and ideas you have stored within your subconscious, it reveals itself through your dreams.

Do you remember waking up to confusing, yet interesting, dreams that included various people and events? It didn’t make much sense, didn’t it?

Those thoughts and ideas do not bring any message to you, but they leave your subconscious in order to be released from your memory, which means they must first pass through your attention to release their energy and any impact they may have on you as they leave your energy. 

Because of this, it is not ideal to try and make sense of it because of its randomness. Some of these thoughts aren’t even important. There are those dreams, however, that do bring you a message and this is what I bring to focus on today. 

Dreams can bring spirit messages

Every person is different. They have various experiences, memories, and interactions, therefore; the way they interpret any event is different based on their perceptions and memories.

For this reason, dreams are often explained differently from one to the other. This is why you cannot rely solely on dream interpretation books to understand your own dreams. We all have our own symbols and meanings. 

The truth is that any dream that tries to convey a message comes through in such a way that can be understood by you. The same message, for instance, to another person will come through in a completely different manner.

Dreams come to you in such a way because you have your own way of interpreting them based on your experiences, perceptions, and memories. But let’s discuss the main question you might be thinking right now.

Who is it that brings the dream messages?

As you rest, your ego is finally silenced, and you become open to Divine communication.

The truth is, you can gain Divine communication whenever you quiet your mind, however, when you sleep, you let go of fears, concerns, and doubts. This way, any loving spirit can easily pass on their messages to you.

Usually, the dreams that bring a message are derived from your spiritual team. Your spiritual team is a set of lighted beings like spirit guides and guardian Angels helping you from the Ether.

This team tries to help you reach your desires and your life’s path. They bring you guidance, assistance, inspiration and ease.

Didn’t you ever get a great idea, while you were sleeping? Or have you finally remembered what you were trying to recall a few hours ago?

Perhaps you finally understood a question that someone asked or discovered a solution to a problem.

These may occur later because your team helped you out. They knew you were thinking about it or trying to remember something in particular.

They knew you needed help with a new project, idea, or a solution, so they reveal it to you when you pay attention the most, when you are about to drift to sleep, or when you are with your subconscious dreams.

But how do you interpret those dreams? Here’s an easy guide for you to follow. If at first, you are unsure, don’t worry. With practice, you will get better at knowing what is right.

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Unsplash

8 Steps To Interpret Your Dreams

Step #1

Upon waking up, your subconscious is still active which is why it’s best to write down your dream straight away. This way you won’t forget any vital detail. When your conscious mind becomes fully awake, you may block these dreams.

Step #2

Before your next dream set your intention first:

“I intend to fully capture the message of this dream as it was given to me in my sleep. I ask my spiritual team to help me understand it. Thank you, and so it is.”

Step #3

Did the dream somewhat make sense to you? Was it vivid? Meaningful? Did you have a strong emotion whilst you were experiencing it? If not, this may be one of those random and unimportant dreams.

When this happens, relax. Remember that whatever happens in the dream does not always need an interpretation. Sometimes, it is just a releasing dream. 

Step #4

Are you the protagonist in the dream or are you observing someone else? If you were not the subject of your dreams, then perhaps you were meant to help that person or pass on the message.

Step #5

Make a list of the people in your dream and what they mean to you. For instance, did you see your mother? What emotions did this person bring to you? Write them down.

If you didn’t recognize the people or you don’t remember who they were, try to remember how they made you feel then associate them with a person that makes you feel that way. The message is usually connected to them.

Step #6

Do you have a sense or a knowing of what this message might be? Try to give it a thought. Connect the people and events in the dream and try to find what it means to you. Do not associate them with any universal dream interpretations.

For instance, if you saw a dog, try to find out what that animal means to you. A companion, a friend? Perhaps it means time to play or have fun. It may even show you someone that is genuinely happy to be around.

Step #7

What was the event or situation that occurred? For instance, if you were dreaming of a dog, consider if the dog was sad or ill.

Having a character that is sad or ill might mean that you are missing some time to relax and play, or you feel the need to connect with someone that understands and is happy to see you.

Your spiritual team can help you to understand this through a dream.

Step #8

Make a list of all possible dream interpretations, then follow your intuition.

Which one do you feel is the right interpretation of your dream? You can never be wrong since you already know the answer. Your spiritual team shapes the dreams through your own experiences, memories, knowledge and emotions.

You are the only one who is able to figure out the interpretation of your own dreams.

Dreams also include many settings from our other past lives.

As your subconscious travels through time, you recognize settings within the dreams, but you don’t often remember or grasp its entirety once you awake. Such dreams may be your ability to fly.

If, for example, you dreamt that you were flying and you are aware of how you’re doing it, this might be a skill that you can possibly acquire in another life.

Sometimes, your lost loved ones can also send you dreams in order to soothe you. 

Nightmares may also arise as a result of a bad experience you went through in another life.

For instance, when my fiancé was still a child, he kept having the same recurring dream of being sucked in by a tornado. He was inside the eye of the tornado and was swirling around with many objects. He was completely terrified.This might possibly be a past life experience that was imprinted in his subconscious wanting to be released. Nightmares are not intended to be scary. Those dreams that bring messages might have gotten out of hand and got confused by your egoistic self that may have misinterpreted the messages and brought you frightening thoughts. An example of this is from my own experience. As a child, I kept having the same dream that my father was still alive and living in the house with us. The dream came every year and I seem to have recognized it every time, however, I did not remember dreaming about it when I woke up.

In the dream, there was a woman wearing black or gray clothes and stood near him wherever he went. Neither of them talked nor looked at us. In the dream, I was confused and I was asking my mother what was my father doing in the house with us.

As the dream was guided by spirit, they chose the one person I was most comfortable with to explain. “It is normal, your dad misses us and he asked Mother Mary to bring him every year so he can see us.”

As a teenager, I was terrified of spirits and ghosts. As soon as I realized what was happening, my ego began to send fear to me and I woke up scared in the middle of the night.

I was frightened because I felt like I wasn’t alone. Such a beautiful soothing dream, yet the ego holds our fears, so as I began to awake, the ego kicked in and fear took over.

As I crafted my spirit communication abilities, I connected with my father and he said: “It wasn’t my intention to scare you.” Of course not, I did that, not him. Needless to say, I didn’t have that dream again.

These are simple steps that you can follow to interpret your dreams. You might not feel comfortable in practicing these steps on your first few tries, however, in time, you will feel that you get to understand how to interpret your dreams with confidence.

Interpreting your own dreams is just one of a number of things that you can do to nourish, strengthen and control your inner power.

A Synchronistic Encounter: Where Dreams and Waking Life Intersect

Stacy Fahey - Dandelion Dreams
Stacy Fahey – Dandelion Dreams

by Paul Levy

Life can be so dreamlike. In the late 1980s, I was working as the Book Service Manager for the C. G. Jung Foundation of New York. One day, one of my customers asked me how come I didn’t carry his books. Wondering who he was, I asked him and he replied, “I’m Dr. Montague Ullman.” Astonished, I realized I was talking to one of the world’s leading experts on dreams.

Being passionately interested in dreaming, this apparently chance meeting was deeply meaningful and synchronistic for me. As we got to know each other over time, Dr. Ullman and I realized that we actually lived quite close to each other in the suburbs. One time when I visited Dr. Ullman at his home, I shared with him the intense shamanic initiatory illness that I had been going through since the late 70s. I described to him the overwhelming experiences I had been having where the boundary between dreaming and waking was dissolving. As if I was living inside of a waking dream, my inner process was externalizing itself and synchronistically manifesting itself literally, as well as symbolically, through what was occurring in the outer world. It was as if some deeper part of myself was configuring events in the seemingly external world so as to express itself.

I knew from Dr. Ullman’s work that he was not only a psychiatrist but was very open and interested in the paranormal. So I told him about many of the out of the ordinary experiences that were happening to me. Events were happening in my life that were supposedly not possible in this universe of ours; stuff that could only happen in dreams. Just like a dream, it was as if a deeper, inner process was revealing itself to me through the medium of the outside world. The seemingly “outer” world was manifesting like a living oracle, an instantaneous feedback loop, a continually unfolding revelation that was speaking “symbolically,” which is the language of dreams. People’s fearful and judgmental reactions to what I was experiencing had caused me to become a bit gun-shy, making me hesitant to share with others what I was realizing for fear of being patholgized and told I was going crazy. I explained to Dr. Ullman how I was struggling with trying to integrate what I was realizing about the dreamlike nature of this universe with somehow being in the world and making a living in a way that supported my spiritual unfoldment.

I knew that being the Book Service Manager at the Jung Foundation wasn’t my true calling. Even though I enjoyed the job because it allowed me to study Jung, the job itself felt like a suit that fit too tight. If I amplified this experience like a dream, having a job in consensus reality felt like a part of my soul was being killed. I knew Jung had said that the cause of suffering and neurosis, both of which I had plenty of, was not finding our true vocation. He points out that, etymologically speaking, “vocation” comes from the word “calling,” which comes from the words “genie” (as in “I dream of…”) and “genius.” And the word “genius” comes from the word “daemon,” which means the inner voice and guiding spirit. Jung makes the point that if we don’t honor our daemon, however, it constellates destructively and becomes a “demon.” The point is that if we follow our inner voice we will find our true vocation, snap out of our neurosis and heal our suffering, or so says Jung.

Dr. Ullman was in strong agreement with Jung. I will never forget one thing he told me, something that no one else had ever said to me in response to my problems with integrating my mystical experiences into this seemingly mundane, physical world, which demanded that I “make a living.” As if giving me a prophecy, he said that my healing would undoubtedly have to do with if I could creatively find a way to build a bridge between the two worlds, to assimilate the deeper spiritual process I had fallen into in such a way that I would then be able to make a living out of this very process of integration. He told me a story of a student of his who had managed to do this, teaching workshops which were the vehicle not only of getting across whatever she was realizing, but the workshops themselves were the very container that deepened her own process of realization. She was living her dream and dreaming it in a creative way that came from deep inside of herself.

Over the course of years, Dr. Ullman’s prediction has become true. The unique work that I’ve developed in dreaming is the very thing that both supports me in the world while simultaneously deepening my healing. I have developed what I call “Awakening in the Dream Groups“, in which people who are awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality come together and creatively discover ways to help each other to deepen and stabilize our shared lucidity. As if in a dream, we view each other as “dream characters” – embodied reflections of different parts of ourselves – who are not separate from each other but rather are interconnected parts of one another. By what I call “following the dreaming,” which simply requires being in the present moment, recognizing the perfection of what is presenting itself, and seeing that whatever is happening we are all collaboratively “dreaming up,” conjures up a (dream)field which is lubricated for our shared healing. Just as in a night dream, if any of us in the group have an unhealed, incomplete, unconscious part of ourselves (and who doesn’t?), over and in time this unconscious content gets dreamed up in the alchemical container of the group and in a very natural (as compared to fabricated) way gets acted out as the group process. Instead of playing this out unconsciously in a way that would reinforce the wound, however, the group adds the light of consciousness to this unconscious energy that is playing out in the field and is then able to dream into and unfold this energy in a way which metabolizes and integrates the unconscious content. By fluidly following the dreaming with no agenda or technique, we find ourselves incarnating full-bodied dreamwork in real-time, the present moment, in a way which liberates the unconscious energy which was bound up in the compulsion to recreate the unhealed wound.

Seen as a dreaming process, my encounter with Dr. Ullman was a reflection of a deeper, atemporal, inner process taking place deep within my psyche that was getting dreamed up and played out in linear time through the canvas of the apparently outside world. Synchronistic phenomenon like this seemingly co-incidental encounter with Dr. Ullman can oftentimes illumine the underlying dreamlike nature of things. We can view this chance meeting with Dr. Ullman as a dream in which “central casting” sent Dr. Ullman to pick up and enact a crucial role in my inner, dreaming process. In Dr. Ullman, it was as if I had “dreamed up,” in actual embodied, materialized form an inner wisdom figure and guide. Being unconscious of the inner wisdom that he re-presented at the time, I had to project it seemingly outside of myself, dreaming it up into actual form, to begin to develop a conscious relationship with this part of myself. Like Jung says, the unconscious always approaches us from seemingly outside of ourselves, which is to say that we dream up this world of ours to (potentially) wake us up. If you were to tell me that I am just imagining or dreaming that this is so, I would say, “Exactly!”

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. Please visit Paul’s website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul atpaul@awakeninthedream.com; he looks forward to your reflections. Though he reads every email, he regrets that he is not able to personally respond to all of them. © Copyright 2014.

Five Ways Jung Led Us to the “Inner Life”

carl jung

by Gary S. Bobroff via The Mind Unleashed

Lying behind much of the way we talk about the inner life today is the work of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung. He revolutionized how we discuss dreams and archetypes and gave us our words “introvert,” “extravert” and “synchronicity.” However, what made him a true psychological pioneer was that he looked inside himself in a way that is still unique today.

#1) Dreams

From earliest beginnings of human civilization, we have considered dreams a doorway to the soul. Jung saw that they showed us parts of ourselves that were being rejected by our waking consciousness: strengths unexpressed and shadow figures run amok; qualities that we were missing about ourselves; and desires that we’d rather not acknowledge. The mission of dreams was to balance us, to compensate for our often one-sided attitude toward life and lead us to integrate what we need for health and growth. We know today that dreams can have messages for us that are not only psychologically relevant, but even biologically urgent, relaying information about illness. Jung introduced the term “wholeness” to describe the aim of the unconscious: the further filling out of ourselves; an increasing completeness in the unique being that we are.

#2) Personality Types

Jung saw the differing pathways in our personalities. He observed that some people got energy from interacting with people, while others were drained by it. Introvert or extravert, intuitive or sensate, thinking or feeling; he described these differing forms as Psychological Types and they led to today’s MBTI categories. In normalizing different kinds of personality, Jung helped us to get over our natural biases against other types.

While he recognized variety in human personality, Jung believed that there was no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. He saw each individual as having a unique blueprint for growth, an untold inner story, and he knew – from his own experience – that one man’s medicine is another’s poison.

 “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – C. G. Jung

#3) Archetypes

Jung also saw that the unconscious sometimes conveys information beyond the personal. He saw that the dreams of his patients sometimes echoed mythological motifs from far-flung foreign cultures. He saw the action of peoples’ lives following forms depicted in Greek tragedy. He discovered ancient, even timeless, pathways that energy flowed into: toward some things and away from others, attracted to some things, repulsed by others. This level of the psyche is beyond the personal and Jung called it the collective unconscious.

“I thought of Jung as a noetic archeologist, [he] provided maps of the unconscious.” – Terence McKenna

The collective unconscious shows us eternal, dynamic qualities in our nature: they are alive and timeless. One of these archetypes is our inner opposite sex figure and soul guide–what Jung called the Anima or Animus. We encounter it both in our dreams and when just the right person walks up to us and we fall in love at first sight. Even though we experience this figure through others, but it is ultimately up to us to integrate it for ourselves.

Once we’ve learned to recognize these archetypes, we see them throughout classic literature and film and even in modern sitcoms. However, we may not really discover them for ourselves until we’ve been battered and bruised and are wondering how we got into this mess (again). Usually we need a little help to gain sight of these figures in our own lives.

“You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it.” – Robert Stetson Shaw

#4) Synchronicity

Jung’s psychology is only really understood when it is a lived experience, and nothing exemplifies this more than the mystery of synchronicity. Jung coined the term synchronicity to refer to extraordinary moments when outer happenings reflect inner states. What we see in such a coincidence of events is a meaningful interplay alive in our reality. The notion that there’s a deeper principle actually operating in the world can be frightening to people from a culture that believes that it’s the only conscious force in the universe. Yet at the same time, discovering that there’s more going on can be experienced as a profound relief. In order to get through our resistance to such experiences, it helps to hear others’ stories and share our own (and you can do so here). Incorporating the meaning of these experiences for ourselves requires something authentic from us – a real inner change, the genuine achievement of a new attitude.

It is addressing life in the present that cleanses and heals a festering wound.  Jung never tired of saying this.  After the past is explored, additional inquiry into yesterday does not lead to further healing.  A change of attitude into the present does, and this change of attitude is exactly the business of a synchronicity.” – J. Gary Sparks, At The Heart of Matter

#5) Our Inner Life is Real

Tending to the unconscious, to dreams and to the inner voice are the acts that define Jungian psychology, but it’s not just the act that’s definitive, it’s the attitude. Jungian psychology recognizes that we’re more than just our ego and that there is more to the psyche than just the conscious mind. With this in mind, engagement with the inner voice is pursued not as a form of inner housekeeping, but rather in the humble service of the development of a relationship with an intelligence present within us but greater than our own. Committing to that service means relating more deeply to our inner nature; its only end-goal is the whole-bodied, whole-hearted, full blossoming of who we really are.

Dream Yourself Awake

Toko-pa is a dreamworker that provides a crucial ark in the story of the hero’s journey, the moment midway through the film, ‘Time is Art’, where Jennifer confronts the dark night of the soul. Toko-pa guides Jennifer through her recurring nightmare and helps her to understand the meaning behind such disturbing images of death and destruction. One of the most powerful scenes in the film, we get a real sense of the importance of understanding our dreams. In this clip from one of her talks at the Synchroniciy Symposium, also featured in the film, Toko-pa provides us with much needed insight and wisdom into what it means to truly belong.

An authority on Dreams, Toko-pa blends the ancient, mystical traditions of Sufism with Western psychology in her approach to dreamwork. Following a three-year internship at the Jung Foundation of Ontario, she returned to her roots to study mysticism, mythology and shamanism. She founded the Dream School from which hundreds of students have now graduated and wrote Awake and Dreaming, a documentary series for Vision TV.

“Dreaming is a kind of archaeological process where we enter the landscape of the soul to unearth the forgotten or undiscovered parts of our selves. As we begin to do away with unconscious, habitual behaviour, we awaken to a new way of being in the world. We begin to walk the dream – turning inspiration into action. In this class we will learn techniques for engaging our co-creative abilities in both dreaming and waking realities.” – Toko-pa

Toko-pa is also facilitating The Dream Lodge, an 8-week online mentorship program (May 19th – July 7th, 2015) for graduates of her Dreamwalking course.

In this intimate group of 13 women, each dreamer receives personal guidance with her own dreaming practice, learning to better understand and nurture the dreaming impulse which is working to align her with well-being & belonging.

She will also be refining the skills she learned in Dreamwalking in this practice-based program which focuses on the wisdom of the circle, partaking and contributing to its conversation, synchronicity and creativity, just as an ecosystem would:

The Dream Lodge is a council of women dedicated to the practice of dreaming together, honouring the wounds that shape us uniquely and moving through the impediments to embolden our creativity in the world. REGISTER HERE>


Time is Art Co-creator: Justin


Justin Gray Morgan is an art director, designer and illustrator living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Almost three years ago the film crew flew out to Oakland, California to film what was initially, an experimental short film. Justin lives on Portal street which was fitting, and the two hour conversation at his home turned out to be utterly fascinating, proving a key turning point in Jennifer’s quest for answers and compelling enough to inspire the filmmakers to make a feature documentary film.

As part of an on-going series of blog posts on the co-creators in the forthcoming film, Time is Art, we put together some compelling questions so you can learn more about them. Enjoy Justin’s fascinating answers.

Has a dream you had ever come true?

I have dreams or elements from my dreams that come true or appear in my waking life on a regular basis. I dream every night and usually remember at least some part of my dreams the following morning. On one level just given how often I dream I inevitably encounter some of the things or aspects of the dreams I dreamt the night before during my waking life the next day.

At other times I’ve had truths or things I hadn’t yet consciously recognized, reveal themselves in dreams before I had realized them in my waking life. This is usually in regard to people, situations or problems in my life but sometimes occurs in other ways. An interesting example is once I was trying to memorize a long passage. I practiced it for several days but never quite got it. That night while I was sleeping I recited the passage perfectly for the first time during my dream and when I woke up the next morning I was able to recite it fully.

But then there still have been a few occasions where I had a dream a series of events that almost exactly played out the same way the next day that I really have no logical way of explaining. Though this is not something I necessarily believe, I think its an interesting idea that just as we can dream about the events of the previous day, maybe we could live the events we dreamt of at night the following day. I think it would be an interesting subject for a sci-fi movie or novel that our dreams are us downloading the reality we are going to experience the next day.

Medicine Man by Justin Gray Morgan

What’s your most memorable synchronicity?

One of my favorite books is The Secret Teachings of all Ages by Manly P Hall. A few years ago I was showing it to my parents when I happened to flip open to a page showing an illustration of a masonic apron. My mother’s face lit up and she exclaimed “Oh my! Well maybe you will know what this is!” She went up into the attic and after a time returned with a framed hand painted masonic apron. She told me that it belonged to my great grandfather. They had found it among my grandfather’s belongings while cleaning out his house after he passed away. They didn’t know what it was but kept it assuming it was some sort of painting. It had been in the attic for many years and if I hadn’t happened to randomly flipped open to that page it would still be hidden away up in the attic today.

Furthering the synchronicity, I am the first born of all the grand children in my family and I was born on my great grandfather’s birthday. Also the first-born female of all the grand children was born on my great grandmothers birthday. Though I never met my great grandfather, I find it meaningful that I’m interested in some of the same subject matter he was into and I’m glad that my grandfather and parents kept his apron safe all these years. Although it is not uncommon for Americans to find out that someone in their family was a Freemason and many joined strictly for fraternal or social reasons instead of an interest in the esoteric, I feel a strong connection to this synchronicity.

Do you believe in the afterlife?

On the most basic level there is the somewhat overused reference to the Law of Conservation of Energy saying that energy cannot be created or destroyed, so the energy that we are as living beings will continue to exist after we die in some form or another. While I would like and in a way hope that we carry on some kind of personal existence as an individual through many lifetimes or in an afterlife I sometimes think that is a selfish way to look at life and whatever may come after it. In my opinion, much like our body returns to the earth, decomposes and finds new life in various plants and animals I believe our spirit or energy returns to a great sea of energy, is reabsorbed and finds new life in various other beings. While this idea in a way seems threatening because it suggests the annihilation of our personal self, I think there is a deeper meaning that we can find comfort in. While we presently identify as the “drop” which makes up our spirit as an individual our true identity is that vast infinite timeless ocean itself. While we are alive we are living a temporary and limited temporal existence. When we are no longer alive we become infinite.

I think this also could speak to the process in which something that is truly infinite would create. By being infinite it would be impossible for it to add to itself by addition. When children are first introduced to the idea of infinity some will inevitably make a remark about “infinity plus one” or “infinity times infinity”, but the truly infinite remains unchanged no matter what is added or multiplied to it. Considering this dilemma the only way for the infinite to create or change is by subtraction. I believe this is why the limited self emerges from the infinite, although a part of this larger whole, the limited nature allows it to work within a set of boundaries giving rise to new experiences, exploring forms and a unique process of creation within a given set of constraints.

While I tend to favor the more mystics outlooks in regard to life and death I think it is also worth considering that there may in fact be nothing after we die. Maybe like a battery we have a charge while we are here that we hold for a while and output our energy into the world, in hopefully worthwhile pursuits. Then one day our physical form is no longer able to hold the charge and we burn out. But even in this somewhat negative outlook we still live on in a way through our actions and impact we have had on the lives of others and the world around us.

Either way the fact that I am alive at all in the first place amazes me everyday. While I hope to live a long life, even to be alive for one day is so incredible I don’t ask for anything after this life, though I imagine what may come next will be so incredible it defies all comprehension.

Justin gray Morgan, Time is Art
art work by Justin Gray Morgan

Would you like to know about all your previous lifetimes so you can learn from your mistakes?

As I mention above I’m not entirely sure I buy into a personal individualized reincarnation, but I do think the idea of genetic or ancestral memory is powerful. On a mystic level if we were to look at life outside of time, life as a whole and the process of evolution would look like a great tree. The winding “branch” that is our life would connect to our Mother’s branch and our immediate family and eventually back to all life on earth. In a mystic take on reality I think it is possible that there is some level of communication or passing of information, memories experiences or knowledge down through this tree and we could learn from it in some way. Im many cultures honoring and communicating with the ancestors played a central role in their societies.

On the more basic level there is a direct passing on from generation to generation of behaviors, attitudes and traits. We mirror our parents from an early age and pick up things that they picked up from their parents which they picked up from their parents and so on. There is also the genetic level where genes play an important role in all aspects of our lives. While I don’t believe we are entirely bound to our genetics, their affect on us is undeniable. Both in terms of behavior and genetics it is important to recognize how in additional to positive aspects these passed on behaviors include mistakes, errors and dysfunction. So in a way, learning from these “past lives” involves learning how to overcome these mistakes or limitations to the best of our abilities. If we are successful at all in doing this we are not just learning from but correcting the mistakes that were made in previous lifetimes.

If I could full learn from all the many, many mistakes I’ve made in just this lifetime I would be pretty well off. A big part of my good fortune in life is that I’ve taken a lot of risks, failed often, learned from it and moved ahead. But despite its importance one of the lessons I’ve had to learn is not to dwell on the past. I often dwell on past mistakes and failures and agonize on the things I wish I had done. I’ve found in thinking back on my life that I usually either think of times I felt or thought I was amazing, giving rise to a grandiose sense of self, or times of pain and failure which leads to a greatly depreciated sense of self. Though I still do both of these things, I try to remind myself the truth lies somewhere in between and things weren’t really as bad or as good as I think they were. If you have ever return to a place that you only experienced as a child you will realize things aren’t exactly dramatic as you remembered them to be. The giant tree you used to climb isn’t as tall as it seemed in your memory and in the same way the mistakes aren’t really as big as we sometimes choose to remember them.

While this is a natural part of life, I try to balance time for reflection with living in the moment so I can make new mistakes and hopefully experience new successes.

Justin Gray Morgan, Time is Art
Artwork by Justin Gray Morgan

How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

The freest I have ever felt is during timeless moments while working on art or out in nature on a perfect day under the sun or stars. Often times these moments occur when I am by myself or with a small group of people, but I also have to consider freedom within the larger context of living in a society and operating within a system.

Along with art and design one of the most rewarding things I study are the 7 classical liberal arts consisting of the Trivium – Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric and the Quadrivum – Arithmetic (symbolic number) , Geometry, Music and Astronomy (Physics). On one level these were the subjects that free men had the luxury of studying, but the deeper meaning is that the study of the liberal arts formed the basis of true freedom.

The somewhat lost idea behind the Classical Trivium is a method of thinking. Grammar answers the questions who, what, when and where, Logic roots out contradictory or erroneous information and Rhetoric is the process of then forming your argument, opinion or plan. It is important to consider this as a whole and not skip over parts of the process or your will end up with errors in your thinking or form a false opinion.

This way of thinking is important because unfortunately the main threat to personal freedom in our world is individuals or groups that wish to control others for their personal gain. Although there is certainly an element of physical control present in our reality this is done largely through deception and the manipulation of information. Even just a brief study of the Trivium, especially of logic will make your head spin next time you hear a politician, new age guru or used car salesman speak. While I place high value on emotion, intuition and feeling, these must be guarded and are easily manipulated to control and enslave. Believing something to be true only by what feels right or wrong and not based on any facts can easily cause one to be lead astray. While there is certainly an illusion of freedom that goes along with doing whatever you want based on how you feel, this is really a form of ignorance and not true freedom. Even more importantly this method of thinking can allow you to find errors in your own thinking and understand the ways in which we deceive ourselves because often times it is ourselves who keeps us captive more than any outside force ever could.

I’ve found that using this method of thinking provides the best means of defending against this kind of manipulation from others or ourselves and gives us the ability to exercise our true freedom based on knowledge wisdom and understanding. It’s not a coincidence that Liberty and Liberal (arts) share the same root.

What makes a person beautiful?

I find a lot of meaning in the idea of existing as a limited piece of a greater whole. I think it is the unique set of limitations that give rise to our personal voice and when a genuine effort is put for to express ones self these limitations make the person unique and beautiful in a totally unique way.

A problem I struggle with especially in regard to creativity is trying to be a perfectionist. I think sometimes this is done out of fear and the hope that if I can create something that is perfect it will be immune from criticism or that others will automatically love my work. I’ve had to learn to embrace the imperfections in my work and realize that it is the flaws that give character and style to a piece. In the same way I find that beauty in a person usually arise from the unique and sometimes flawed aspects of them. It is not to say that one shouldn’t strive to overcome limitations, work to better themselves or foster growth in meaningful ways, but that its little imperfections make them who they are.

In contrast I think it is interesting to consider that most people are ugly in the same way. We all have a shadow side and while we may be unique in what triggers our darker nature, I find that people’s shadows are very similar. On the extreme side most brutal dictators act and even often look the same. Most serial killers have much more in common than they are different. The kids who have done the all the recent school shootings all seem eerily similarly. I believe this hints at evil being more of an archetypal aspect of our nature and therefore somewhat impersonal. It’s not to say that the shadow should be entirely disowned but by depersonalizing any evil aspect of it, it loses some of the power and control it has over our lives.

What do you think about when you lie awake in bed?

If there was ever such a thing as nothing or non-existence how did the universe come into existence? Or if there never was such a thing as nothing how has the universe always existed?

Artwork Justin Gray Morgan

What artistic medium do you use to express yourself?

Though I spend a lot of time working in various design programs on the computer I value the connection to a piece that occurs from working with my hands. I grew up drawing so a pencil and paper hold a special place in my heart. I also use a compass and square for creating geometric work. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time painting. Each medium has its inherent qualities and I enjoy working with it and experimenting to learn what the medium wants to do and how it behaves. Usually I discover something from working with a new medium in a new way that influences my work across the board.

Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind?

Besides the obvious threats of a virus, asteroid or that mankind itself is its own worst enemy, I’m interested in how something abstract like ideas or information can present the greatest danger to mankind and the rest of life on Earth. Over the past centuries information systems like religion, language and politics carved the earth into various territories and shaped the globe. Though we don’t fully realize it presently, in the coming years we will begin to recognize that the primary thing shaping our world are these somewhat abstract equations, algorithms and mathematical information systems. I saw an interesting ted talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world) that explains how these algorithms are literal transforming and terraforming the earth, overlaying this abstract space onto the physical world. What I see could be a threat is that these algorithms are now run at such incredible speed, sometimes even close to the speed of light that they have far exceeded the comprehension or control of humans. These processes are in a way so far removed from the natural reality they could “behave” in ways that have no regard for human life or the ecosystem. On a mythological level I think these algorithmic information systems could be viewed as demonic in that they are supernatural because they literally operate outside of the forces of nature. There are countless myths and fairly tales about people serving demonic forces because of the promise of great riches and power or of a scientist or magician whose creation has become out of control, like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.

Although there are many negative possibilities I don’t hold a bleak outlook for the future of mankind. I think despite our many problems what we are experiencing are growing pains. I believe we are really still in our infancy as a species and despite all our shortcomings there is a bright future ahead for mankind.

Time is Art Co-creator: Magenta

magenta, time is art film

Magenta is an artist, healer, and systems engineer. She is the Executive Director of the Evolver Network, an open-source community platform for sustainable planetary culture. She designed the HiveMind festival as a community forum to coalition build among organizations and leaders devoted to healthy ecology, spiritual realization, and right use of technology. Magenta has served as editor and curator for Aorta Magazine, a magazine for female and trans-identified radical political artists. She advocates for the legalization of entheogenic plant medicines, and educates about the history of global shamanism. She teaches psychic skills through a lense of chaos magic, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and the physics of light. She is also an illustrator, collective marketing strategist, and designs clothing using recycled materials. To bring all this under one “job”, she calls herself an imagination healer – reminding people of our collective power to create the reality we truly want to live in.

As part of an on-going series of features on the co-creators in the film, Time is Art, we put together some pressings questions for them. Enjoy Magenta’s inspiring answers.

Has a dream you had ever come true?

Every day. I believe in dream walking – that the different states of consciousness are permeable. The Toltecs and Tibetans have practices for learning this. Basically, I try to be in tune with my dream consciousness and be aware of what images I’m walking forth into. Ayahuasca taught me a lot about how to do this. I hold firmly in mind many expressions of a global society in balance with the Earth. I’d like to draw these someday, but for now I meditate on it and encourage others to remember that it’s possible for us to create Eden together, we’re sort of just deluding ourselves that we don’t have power to do that, or…. Maybe it’s taking us some evolution to work together in a way so we take care of each other.

What’s a song that has special meaning for you?

Luzmila Carpio’s “Ama Sua, ama llulla, ama qhella.” I’m learning it now as my first quechua song. She wrote it in defense of the indigenous cultures of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

Recently a 6 min clip featuring Jennifer’s inspiring conversation with Magenta in Dolores Park, San Francisco was featured on RealitySandwich.com

If you could time travel, who would you like to meet?

Tesla, definitely. You can all time travel astrally so, I recommend giving it a try.

If you woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would you do first?

I don’t think I’m afraid of anything. This has gotten me into trouble in the past but I’m getting a little smarter about it. When I’m living in a place that doesn’t have a lot of fear in the culture, I walk outside and greet the sun and plants and dirt and open my being to being alive.

If you could spend ten minutes with your ‘hero’ alive or dead what would you ask them?

Mark Lakeman of City Repair in Portland. How can I help share the practices your community is doing? – http://cityrepair.org/

What is one influential film that you feel has affected the collective unconscious, positively or negatively?

Future dystopia movies (and books). When do we get Hollywood movies about a world that is peaceful and balanced. Imagine how shockingly beautiful that could be. CGI is so advanced – I have friends who know how to do the most exquisite digital 3D modeling… I suppose most people like drama and fear, but I also think we’re addicted to and trapped by it, and that there is a vast infinity of “other” possibilities that I hope start to open up, especially as entheogenic culture becomes more mainstream and starts to mature so people start creating art and businesses as expressions of their experiences and knowing more is possible. There’s a lot of singular egoism in that culture right now, people in awe of the personal visionary experience, and people in true need of deep personal healing. But I’d like to see more collective action emerge. We’re working on that through the Evolver Network. I spent three years developing a concept for a media company, it just needs to be written up so we can ask for seed funding. Once TEN is up and running stable I can jump over to that project, or allocate some energy to getting the tech built out for it.

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

How to awaken your imagination again. I do this in a weekly class and through social media and everyday play.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

I know I process sensory experience differently than most people. I’ve been trying to understand what’s going on there, I’m very synesthetic – I hear and feel images, I feel and see sound, I experience all my senses linguistically as if I’m making shapes with my mouth, most things I experience kinesthetically, like my body is moving as the thing. It can be overwhelming, almost like being a baby, just always in a space of interconnection and not having much of a handle on boundaries.

What do you love most about yourself?

Enjoying creating beauty.

Would you like to know about all your previous lifetimes so you can learn from your mistakes?

I don’t think I’ve been incarnate before, at least that’s the answer I get when I go to the Akashic Hall of Records or whatever hippy people do to find this sort of information.

How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

Liberation to be, express, and receive love.

What makes a person beautiful?

I find people who aren’t guarded and have done a lot of healing work on themselves beautiful. I like seeing people’s hearts shining and their bodies free to create.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Right now my laptop and projector, so I can keep making the Evolver Network happen. If I could be computer free, probably a set of watercolors and paper, toothbrush. I have one nomad friend who only has a backpack of possessions, and I’m amazed that she always ferries objects around to gift to people – special pieces of clothing or crystals… She gifted me a rainbow tail made of alpaca fur, all the way from Peru.

When does silence convey more meaning than words?


What music do you listen to to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?

Huun Huur Tu. They’re a throat singing band from Tuva. It’s a culture that still has nomads. All their songs are about how specific places are so beautiful. Their singing is about singing the spirit of place – with throat singing you hear the harmonic overtones of what’s around you, the sound glances off of objects in a prismatic way. It’s very fun to do.

What is your favorite fictional story? (novel, movie, fairytale, etc.)

Flatland – it’s a story about math. The main character visits different dimensions where people can only perceive parts of him/her/it.

What artistic medium do you use to express yourself?

Visual art – painting, drawing, graphic design… Business… Dance… Music… Poetry… Clothing design. I <3 art.

 Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind?

Our intellectual constructs – to some extent I think the way most modern cultures use language gets us into trouble and disconnects us from the way other species use language and communicate with themselves and with us.

 What does God mean to you?

The infinite-sided polygon! I like to joke that “I’ll see you another side of the infinite-sided polygon”. I love God. I wish more people were more playful with the concept. A chaos magician friend of mine once told me to be aware of BS – belief systems. I started a tumblr to collect the sacred pattern art of many different world cultures – Shipibo, Celtic, Islamic, crop circles, and more… to show that these cultures are all talking about the same thing. They’re literally drawing the same (or quite similar) patterns when they represent the sacred. I need to spend some time adding to it, but it’s here: http://psychedelicpatterns.tumblr.com/

How do you know when it’s time to let go of something or someone?

I’m terrible at this. I usually wait until something quite aggressive or insane happens. I *have* to stop doing that. Or start being smarter about when someone is coming to me for healing, and take the step of making a formal container for that instead of doing it with friends and lovers.

What have you witnessed that has strengthened/weakened your faith in humanity?

What’s happening right now is phenomenal – so many projects and initiatives, social entrepreneurial endeavors… people are coming to a shared understanding that we can work together and address big systemic problems by taking ownership over our actions, and sharing with each other. Moving from competition to… I really feel like we’re approaching hivemind or insect consciousness as a species. Maybe we’ll stop being a parasitic insect on the planet, maybe that will happen very soon.

What are some of your favorite books?

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Kandinsky… The Media Ecosystem by Antonio Lopez… Empowering Public Wisdom by Tom Atlee… Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Fillipo… Les Guerilleres by Monique Wittig… Pale Fire by Nabokov… Glyph by Percival Everett… Postsingular by Rudy Rucker… My Journey with Aristotle to the Anarchist Utopia… A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys… anything by Bruno Schultz and Mark Leyner… You Bright and Risen Angels by William Vollmann… J.G. Ballard… Out of the Silent Planet (it’s a C.S. Lewis book – the next two in the series get too Christian preachy for me, but that one is a very strange landscape)… Philosophy in the Flesh by Geroge Lakoff and Mark Johnson… HERmione by H.D… Jorge Borges… The Tuning of the World by R. Murray Schafer… The Palace of Memory by Frances Yates… Visionary Architecture: Unbuilt Works of the Imagination by Ernest Burden… After the End of Art by Arthur Danto

What do you think we could do to best improve the education system?

Stop having a top-down approach. More autodidactism. Learning by working on actual, not abstract problems. Intergenerational collaboration.

Who is one of your favorite philosophers, spiritual leaders or adepts?

I like how Arthur Danto writes about art.

Have you ever had contact with beings other than human beings? If not, do you believe other entities or beings exist beyond our third dimensional reality?

All the time. I don’t identify as particularly human – identity is a weird construct, and humans are particularly sophisticated spiritual channels. I’m not arrogant enough to think I know what reality is or what the extent of life is. My intuition is that it’s quite infinite, and that the astonishing diversity of physical life-forms on Earth are a sliver of indication of what’s possible with other types of lifeforms. I suppose I’m an animist in a way… I experience sounds and minerals and art pieces as sentient beings in a way, perhaps it’s all vibration organized in particular ways, some of which we can see the way we’re told is possible to see, and some of which we can’t. I think the world would be healthier if more humans opened up to the extended landscape of sentience and interconnection. We run around in all these silly language channels and the capitalist industrial complex, giving our life force away to others instead of basing our actions on physical, intuitive presence with each other. This has to change, it’s going to. I have some friends who believe what’s actually going right now is some kind of extra-dimensional parasitism, why the excessive resource extraction and poverty gap etc. I think people are just trained to be blind and limited by self-reinforcing systems we’ve created, but who knows. Media is incredibly powerful and I don’t think people understand that – billboards and mainstream TV, I recently started seeing TV once in a while again and it’s shocking the behavior programming that is permitted, it’s criminal – police state has it backwards. Time to monkey wrench the matrix – everyone will like it, it’s much sexier on the other side, trust me.

Do you think the majority of human beings will ever live in true harmony with nature in this lifetime?

Maybe next generation, 100 years. I’m opening to it happening much faster, I’m doing what I can to make that happen.



Dreamwalking with Toko-Pa

An authority on Dreams, Toko-pa blends the ancient, mystical traditions of Sufism with Western psychology in her approach to dreamwork. Following a three-year internship at the Jung Foundation of Ontario, she returned to her roots to study mysticism, mythology and shamanism. She founded the Dream School from which hundreds of students have now graduated and wrote Awake and Dreaming, a documentary series forVision TV. Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News and BBC Radio and has over 40,000 online followers. She is currently working on a series of Dreamwalking books exploring the dynamic reciprocity between waking and dreaming. Sometimes called a “midwife of the psyche,” Toko-pa’s work focuses on healing personal & ancestral trauma, reconciling paradox, and facilitating sacred grief & ritual practice.

The film crew was also blessed to be able to feature Toko-pa in the documentary film, Time is Art. The scene is a powerful dream interpretation. Jennifer and Toko-pa talk about a reoccurring nightmare and since their session, Jennifer has not had the nightmare.

Enjoy this preview of her presentation from the Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree this past September. Support the event by purchasing the full length video – the most popular video from the symposium!

Time can serve or inhibit us

time is artThe background of each of us is irrelevant. It is the foreground that matters to the rest of us. Who is it you are today? How do you spend your moments while we are sharing them?

It doesn’t matter what took place before now. Not that these things don’t have value, they do. When we were involved in them they mattered very much. Now that they are a thing of the “past”, they do not.

Time is an aspect of the day to day that can serve or inhibit us. It is held in our mind and its relative effect takes place there as well. It doesn’t really exist – there is no such thing as “time”. A “time-piece” has been invented, that moves brilliantly and we’ve all agreed that the rotations signify a specific measurement. That is all it is.

Why bring up “time” or the “past”? It is these ideas that define our days and shape the view we hold about the possibilities for our lives. What you feel capable of is in part defined by how many “years” you’ve been here, by how those “years” have been spent and with whom. There are walls on our dreams of the “future” and chains holding us to our “past”. These things are not truth. They are fabrications held in the mind; they are thoughts.

There is a story of a man who was locked in the freezer car of a train in one of the Scandinavian countries. He died. When his body was found, it showed all of the clinical effects of having been frozen, yet the freezer was never turned on. His mind killed him.

Our minds are doing the same. Any limiting or inhibiting “fact” held there can be reversed. All thoughts are malleable and can change. Often it is those that fly in the face of “reality” that project us the fastest and furthest into our dreams. A life spent re-defining yourself to others around you seems unproductive unless you are interested in staying there.

Continue reading “Time can serve or inhibit us”