Talk at Caen, France, WWII Normandy Memorial

And now for something rather different!

On the 14th of this month I will be leaving for Amsterdam where I will be spending three weeks aboard the three-masted schooner Regina Maris teaching conflict resolution and life skills to 34 bright Gymnasium students from all over Germany. I will be leaving the voyage at Tenerife, Canary Islands, on the 8th, and they will continue to the Caribbean for a six-month work-learning program, accompanied by teachers in all their schools subjects. These students will be actively running the ship under the supervision of the crew.
I have been asked by the organizer of this trip, Johan Krieger, to also prepare some remarks to the students for an American view of WWII when we stop at Caen and he gives them a history lesson regarding the war.
Here is a draft of my remarks. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I would appreciate it….

 

Reflections on my view as an American on the war, its consequences and lessons from both.

My father was a dentist on board a mine sweeper in the Pacific.

He was just like your grandfather or grandmother probably was, – a small gear in the war machine, convinced of the justness of his cause, totally brainwashed. Mostly, he was simply doing what he was ordered to do, just like your great uncles and aunts were, a prisoner of his scripting and collective groupthink.

His ship was the first to dock at Nagasaki after the atom bomb was dropped.

The devastation was total.

75,000 civilians died from that one bomb;

My father found a picture in woven silk of an eagle sitting on a pine tree in the wreckage of a girl’s school. It hung in my home all the years I grew up. All that time I had little awareness of the lives of the students and teachers this picture had witnessed or the horror of the destructon of its home. Try to imagine an atom bomb dropped on your school, in your home town.

Many years later Dad developed testicular cancer, which he attributed to exposure at Nagasaki.

Regardless of the culture we grow up in, we are scripted by the values of our parents and our culture.

Like a fish swimming in water, we are unaware of both the water and its quality, just as a fish learns to tolerate polluted water if it wants to survive. So it is with us humans as we grow.

The values I was scripted in were that the United States was a democracy that stood for liberty and justice for all. I learned that the US won WWI and WWII and brought great prosperity and freedom to Europe as a result.

I learned that American culture and values were the best in the world, and a lot of the world agreed, watching its movies, imitating its fashion and art, adopting its governmental and economic system, and accepting its military bases on their soil.

As a boy I was interested in archaeology and thought I might want to become an archaologist. Therefore, when I was offered the chance to travel to the Middle East for five weeks to visit Italy, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan I jumped at the opportunity, just as you did with the opportunity to take this voyage.  It shaped the course of my life in many ways, just as this voyage is likely to change yours.

But this was in 1963, four years before the 1967 war in which Israel annexed the West Bank. There were no walls or Israeli military presence; Jerusalem was mostly Palestinian and you could travel back and forth between Jerico, the Dead Sea, and other points on the West Bank with ease. I met many Jews and many Arabs and got to know them as people.

My experiences traveling at an early age taught me something important, just as I hope your voyage will teach you:

We are one planet, one humanity. When you get to know individual people in Russia, in Israel, in Palestine, in Turkey, in Syria, when you get to know individual immigrants from these countries who have come to Germany, you can’t hate or fear them. Your heart will go out to them as you see that they are very much like you.

We frame the way we look at WWII and the struggles of our times all wrong. Life is not about the good guys and the bad guys. Life is about respect and treating other people the way we want to be treated.

War only happens when you first depersonalize an entire nation. When you go and meet the actual people, you find that they are as alive and rich with memories and abilities as you are, and in everyone there is much to admire.

Similarly, fear and hatred of immigrants in Germany today only happens because you don’t know these people as individuals. The solution is to get to know some of them, to listen to their lives and concerns.

I say this because, basic to the values exported by the US is a “good guy-bad guy” mentality. I grew up on it watching endless Westerns, in which cowboys and US Soldiers were the good guys and Indians were the bad guys. Then there were the endless war movies that brainwashed us with the same message: the US and its allies were the good guys and the nasty Germans and Japanese were the bad guys. Then there were the movies in which the Russians were the bad guys. We had McCarthyism and the “Red Scare” in the early 1950’s, in which communists were the bad guys. And today we have “Russophobia,” in which the US government and media are determined to make the public think Russia is bad.

Why?

My belief is because the US economy requires enemies to survive. Like Sparta in ancient Greece, the US economy is built around war and exceptionalism.

Do you know what “exceptionalism” is? It is the belief that I am better than you. It could be because of my values (liberty, justice, democracy), religion (Christian/Jewish/Buddhist), culture (iPhone and Western entertainment, arts, and fashion), form of government (Democracy), race (Caucasian), or even gender (Patriarchy has ruled the planet for millennia).

All of this is directly related to the causes of WWII:

Did you know that major US figures were supporters of Hitler and the Third Reich?

US Senator Prescott Bush, father of President George Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush planned a fascist coup to overthrow President F.D. Roosevelt.

Did you know he was a director and shareholder in companies that profited from doing business with Nazi Germany, even after the US had entered the war?

If you want to know more about that, ask me about it later. I have the details: (The firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s. The Thyssen’s were Germany’s most powerful industrial family before the war. Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen’s US interests. Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler’s efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. Bush has been linked to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. At least three of the companies Bush had control in were shut down by the government in 1942 for violation of the “Trading With the Enemy Act.” By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world’s largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler’s build-up to war. “This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich’s defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted.”)

US companies that collaborated with Hitler prior to and during WWII were:

Coca-Cola, specifically Fanta. Coke played both sides during WW II; they supported the American troops but also kept making soda for the Nazis. Then, in 1941, the German branch of Coke ran out of syrup, and couldn’t get any from America because of wartime restrictions. So they invented a new drink, specifically for the Nazis: A fruit-flavored soda called Fanta. (Source: New Statesman)

Ford. Henry Ford was an anti-Semite. He was Hitler’s most famous foreign backer. On his 75th birthday, in 1938, Ford received a Nazi medal, designed for “distinguished foreigners.” He profiteered off both sides of the War — he was producing vehicles for the Nazis AND for the Allies. (Source: Reformed Theology.

Standard Oil. This was John D. Rockefeller’s company. It was split up into what we now know as Exxon British Petroleum and Chevron oil, The Luftwaffe needed tetraethyl lead gas in order to get their planes off the ground. Standard Oil was one of only three companies that could manufacture that type of fuel. (Source: MIT’s Thistle)

Chase bank. A lot of banks sided with the Nazis during World War Two. Chase is the most prominent.

They froze European Jewish customers’ accounts and were extremely cooperative in providing banking service to Germany. (Source: New York Times)

IBM.  IBM custom-built machines for the Nazis that they could use to track everything… from oil supplies to train schedules into death camps to Jewish bank accounts to individual Holocaust victims themselves. In September of 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, the New York Times reported that three million Jews were going to be “immediately removed” from Poland and were likely going to be “exterminat[ed].” IBM’s reaction? An internal memo saying that, due to that “situation”, they really needed to step up production on high-speed alphabetizing equipment. (Source: CNet)

Random House publishing. Random House’s parent company, Bertelsmann A.G., worked for the Nazis… they published Hitler propaganda, and a book called “Sterilization and Euthanasia: A Contribution to Applied Christian Ethics”. Bertelsmann still owns and operates several companies.

Kodak. During World War Two, Kodak’s German branch used slave laborers from concentration camps. Several of their other European branches did heavy business with the Nazi government. Wilhelm Keppler, one of Hitler’s top economic advisers, had deep ties with Kodak. When Nazism began, Keppler advised Kodak and several other U.S. companies that they’d benefit by firing all of their Jewish employees. (Source: The Nation)

German companies you know that collaborated with Hitler prior to and during WWII were:

Hugo Boss. In the 1930s, Hugo Boss started making Nazi uniforms. The reason: Hugo Boss himself had joined the Nazi party, and got a contract to make the Hitler Youth, storm trooper and SS uniforms. That was a huge boon for Hugo Boss… he got the contract just eight years after founding his company… and that infusion of business helped take the company to another level. The Nazi uniform manufacturing went so well that Hugo Boss ended up needing to bring in slave laborers in Poland and France to help out at the factory. In 1997, Hugo’s son, Siegfried Boss, told an Austrian news magazine, “Of course my father belonged to the Nazi party. But who didn’t belong back then?” (Source: New York Times)

Volkswagen. Ferdinand Porsche, the man behind Volkswagen and Porsche, met with Hitler in 1934, to discuss the creation of a “people’s car.” Hitler told Porsche to make the car with a streamlined shape, “like a beetle.” And that’s the genesis of the Volkswagen Beetle… it wasn’t just designed for the Nazis, Hitler NAMED it. During World War Two, it’s believed that as many as four out of every five workers at Volkswagen’s plants were slave laborers. Ferdinand Porsche even had a direct connection to Heinrich Himmler, one of the leaders of the SS, to directly request slaves from Auschwitz. (Source: The Straight Dope)

Bayer. During the Holocaust, a German company called IG Farben manufactured the Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi gas chambers. They also funded and helped with Josef Mengele’s “experiments” on concentration camp prisoners. IG Farben is the company that turned the single largest profit from work with the Nazis. After the War, the company was broken up. Bayer was one of its divisions, and went on to become its own company. Aspirin was created by a Bayer employee, Arthur Eichengrun. But Eichengrun was Jewish, and Bayer didn’t want to admit that a Jewish guy created the one product that kept their company in business. So, to this day, Bayer officially gives credit to Felix Hoffman, a nice Aryan man, for inventing aspirin. (Source: Alliance for Human Research Protection, Pharmaceutical Achievers)

Siemens. Siemens took slave laborers during the Holocaust and had them help construct the gas chambers that would kill them and their families. In 2001, they tried to trademark the word “Zyklon” (which means “cyclone” in German) to become the name a new line of products… including a line of gas ovens. Zyklon, of course, being the name of the poison gas used in their gas chambers during the Holocaust. A week later, after several watchdog groups appropriately freaked out, Siemens withdrew the application. They said they never drew the connection between the Zyklon B gas used during the Holocaust and their proposed Zyklon line of products. (Source: BBC)

The point is that fascism is good for business in any country because it maximizes profit at the expense of employees. Why? Because fascism is essentially government controlled by business interests. Business wants cheap labor to cut costs and boosts profits. Fascism is the form of government that minimizes worker rights and maximizes control by plutocrats.

Did you know that US policies toward Judaism were also racist and barred Jewish immigration from Germany, even when the government knew that Jews were being exterminated in concentration camps?

If you want to know more, ask me later about the details: (“In the United States, antisemitism, which reached high levels in the late 1930s, continued to rise in the 1940s.  During the years before Pearl Harbor, over a hundred antisemitic organizations were responsible for pumping hate propaganda throughout the American public.  Furthermore, especially in New York City and Boston, young gangs vandalized Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, and attacks on Jewish youngsters were common.  Swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans, as well as antisemitic literature were spread.” “In Congress, antisemitism was a factor explaining the common hostility towards refugee immigration. antisemitism explained Congress’s actions that blocked all likely havens of refuge for the Jews.  For example, Congress passed a Visa policy that allowed only a minuscule number of Jews into the US, and supported Britain’s policy that placed tight limits on refugee entry into Palestine.” “If the American public and even worse, its government, looked down upon the Jews within their own country, why would they care about aiding Jews in Europe?”

(“In a speech delivered on September 11, 1941 at an America First rally, Charles Lindbergh claimed that three groups had been “pressing this country toward war”: the Roosevelt Administration, the British, and the Jews—and complained about what he insisted was the Jews’ “large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.”  In an expurgated portion of his published diaries Lindbergh wrote: “We must limit to a reasonable amount the Jewish influence. … Whenever the Jewish percentage of total population becomes too high, a reaction seems to invariably occur. It is too bad because a few Jews of the right type are, I believe, an asset to any country.”)

Of course, Americans are not taught their history of anti-Semitism in school.

Did you know that after the war the US secretly encouraged the immigration to the US of thousands of high-ranking NAZIs and employed them? Werner Von Braun, director of the US rocket program that eventually landed men on the Moon in 1969, is the most famous example. He designed V2 rockets for the Third Reich at Penemunde that rained down on London and SE England, killing hundreds.

I did not know any of this. I am ashamed and embarrassed to say that it took me years to slowly wake up and realize I had been brainwashed, just as you have been.

The internet is amazing. It has taught me a lot of things about WWII:

In the same month as D-Day, part of an operation that caused about 100k German military deaths, the Soviets launched Operation Bagration, which caused about 800k German military deaths.

Did you know that the US only came into WWII in Europe on the side of the allies after the German army had been crushed by Russia? Germany was defeated on the Eastern front. It is estimated that some 85% of the German army was destroyed by Russia. The back of the German army was broken in 1941 when Russia and the weather defeated the Wehrmacht at the gates of Moscow, where Germany lost some 400,000 soldiers and the Russians lost even more. Hitler’s generals knew the war was lost, but Hitler went on to further defeat at Stalingrad where he lost 730,000 and the Russians over 500,000 soldiers and another 500,000 civilians.

Did you know that while the US lost some 114,000 soldiers and no civilians in WWII, Russia lost 1,800,000, or about eighteen times as many soldiers and at least 15 million civilians? Total Russian war deaths were probably between 25 and 30 million. The Soviet Union as a whole lost well over 30% of its population. This is a HUGE number. Compare it to total German casualties of 9,000,000 or some 11% of its population. The US lost 1% and other allies lost a total of about 5%.

Did you know that in polls, over a decade later, many East Germans still preferred the pre-1989 Soviet system over the Western system?

If you want to know more, ask me later: (“Large numbers of ordinary workers lost their jobs, but so too did thousands of research workers and academics. As a result of the purging of academia, research and scientific establishments in a process of political vetting, more than a million individuals with degrees lost their jobs. This constituted about 50% of that group, creating in east Germany the highest percentage of professional unemployment in the world; all university chancellors and directors of state enterprises as well as 75,000 teachers lost their jobs and many were blacklisted. This process was in stark contrast to what happened in west Germany after the war, when few ex-Nazis were treated in this manner.” “After unification, 2.2m claims by non-GDR citizens were made on their homes. Many lost houses they’d lived in for decades; a number committed suicide rather than give them up.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/nov/08/1989-berlin-wall)

All this relates to the present immigration crisis in Germany and to the future of Germany.

After the war, Germans were so caught up in guilt for the actions of the Nazis that they swung to Political Correctness. They refused to interfere with the cultural preferences of immigrants. As a result, Turks and other Arabs were not forced to assimilate into the culture as they were in the US. They did not have to learn German, they could be taught in their own schools, they could work in their own neighborhoods. They could culturally remain Arabs, not Germans. This was not a fault of the Turks, nor is it today the fault of various groups of Arabic and Islamic immigrants. It represents a failure of the German system to force the assimilation of immigrants into German culture. Just as the US had to resort to forced bussing of students to integrate society, so Germany could do something similar if it wanted to solve its immigration crisis.

Because the problem is not the number of immigrants – Germany absorbed far more after WWII – and it is not because these immigrants are Islamic, because other countries, including the US have absorbed Islamic immigrants for decades. The problem are the policies of the German government that date back to WWII war guilt.

After the war Germans were extremely grateful to the US for the Marshall plan for rebuilding the economy. You probably have read about that.

Did you know that the Marshall Plan and NATO was not created to help Germany or Europe rebuild?

According to Hastings Ismay, a British soldier and diplomat, NATO was created to “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.” The Marshall plan was created to block Soviet expansion into Europe.

It has succeeded to this day.

Do you know how many nuclear weapons the US has on German soil?

At least 10 to 20 at Büschel AFB.

Do you know that these make Germany a target in case of a war between the US and Russia?

Do you know how many US bases there are in Germany?

36! With 35,000 American soldiers!

Do you know that the US has spying infrastructure all of over Germany and was listening to Angela Merkel’s private conversations on her Handy, as well as other officers of the German government?

Did you know that the sanctions the US and the EU have imposed on Russia have hurt the German economy much worse than it has hurt the Russian economy?

Losses to the German economy are at least 6 billion a year.

Do you know why Germany puts up with all of this?

It is a combination of money and fear.

The US is Germany’s largest export market.  The US can impose economic sanctions on Germany if it does not comply, as it has on France and Switzerland.

The Nuremburg Court set out principles necessary to prevent the atrocities of WWII from ever happening again.

These include:

“The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.” and

“Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle 6 is a crime under international law.”

The Geneva Conventions of 1949 set out international laws to protect prisoners of war and non-combatants.

On January 11, 2002, the United States announced that it was refusing to abide by the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war – in violation of the Third Geneva Convention.

Germany uses its alliance with the US to shield it from the responsibility of taking control of its own foreign policy. War guilt still hangs heavy on Germany, plus following the lead of the US has brought both economic security and protection from responsibility for war crimes committed by Germany in its alliance with NATO. These include the housing of US drone facilities at Ramstein and Stuttgart that are use to conduct assassinations in contravention of international law. This has been in collaboration with the German government.

Also, German arms sales to sponsors of terrorism, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Germany is the number 3 exporter of arms in the world.

In my opinion, I am sorry to say, the US is more controlled by fascist interests than it was before WWII.

What you can do:

Refuse to look at people and nations as “good” or “bad.”

Judge individuals, not groups.

Do not judge individuals in a group until you get to know a number of them personally.

Anyone can now do this easily on line.

Refuse to support national policies that work against the greater interests of Germans as a whole and the  human rights of everyone.

Be aware that German media is largely controlled by Washington and reflects its policies. Be skeptical of what you hear in German media.

Don’t buy products from companies that don’t support human rights.

Don’t vote for politicians that do not protect the human rights of ALL humans, not just some.

Remember the basic rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated. This includes witholding judgment until you have good evidence, because this is what you would want others to do toward you.

Refuse to call anyone who kills other people, particularly on the orders of others a “hero.” This includes soldiers. At best, they are unwitting accomplices to crimes.

Stand up for the powerless: women, children, and those who have fewer opportunities and resources than you do.

Remember that you have received great gifts by virtue of where you were born and the family you were born into. Most others have not received such gifts. Therefore, your undeserved gifts place on you a responsibility to use your life to give back to those who have less.

 

Posted in Cultural Dreams, Finding Yourself

Torching Bodies: The Transformational Power of Nightmares

When I share personal examples of Integral Deep Listening (IDL) interviewing, such as this one, it is not to imply what your own answers to your own interview will look like but to help you understand how and why the process works in order to encourage you to experiment with it on your own. That way you test the methodology in your own life and find out if it works for you by making it your own.

This particular dream was a low-grade nightmare, more of an image I couldn’t shake than something that wakes one up with sweats. The fact that it stayed with me was enough to prompt me to practice listening to it in a deep, integral and respectful way to see what it had to say.

This interview is not typical in that in the second part the original character, plus two other characters in the dream, are interviewed. Usually, the originally interviewed character transforms into a different element and the interview continues with it. However, this interview shows how one can use this format to interview several characters at once without creating a Dream Sociomatrix.

As always, we start by listing three life issues. This is to make the interview relevant to whatever concerns you today, in your everyday life. Because, if IDL doesn’t improve your everyday life in concrete, meaningful ways, why use it?

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Preparing for this trip on a clipper, the Regina Maris,from Amsterdam to Tenerife for three weeks with 34 adolescents, to teach them conflict resolution and life skills. I am making a bunch of power point presentations.

Organization: I have a lot of projects going; I need to do a better job of clarifying my priorities and focusing.

Balance: Always work to do there.

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

I am watching some man with a flame thrower ignite bodies piled up in a long heap that is supposed to form a dam to keep rising waters out. Some are not dead and I see body parts writhing in pain. I don’t understand how a dam made from fried flesh and bone is supposed to keep out rising waters.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

Urg. Takes a lot to get me awake enough to even remember a dream. The rising waters might be associated with all the flooding from three hurricanes in a row this year – on at Houston (Harvey), Irma and now Marie.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

Flame thrower

Flame Thrower, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

I am torching these bodies. I torch whatever I am pointed at.  It’s not up to me; I’m a tool. 

Flame Thrower, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I do my job well. 

Flame Thrower, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I can’t afford to get emotionally or morally involved. I can’t afford to be empathetic, because I have no control over how I am used. 

Flame Thrower, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

I represent his automatic routines, his habits, his digestive system, for instance, which has to digest whatever he throws at it, pretty much, and so I can’t afford to get emotionally or morally involved or empathetic. Physical, mental, emotional, sexual digestive systems are all the same in this respect. We all pretty much are instruments; we rarely express autonomy. And that is a good thing, because if we did, we could not fulfill our functions.  This holds true even when we are either abused or not used optimally.

Flame Thrower, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I see no purpose in torching these bodies. It doesn’t make any sense to me. So I would not be doing that, number one. Would I like to be something that has more freedom of action? I have a function and a role to play.  I don’t mind staying a flame thrower, but it would be nice to be able to transform into other things, like say the ocean or these bodies.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Bodies, what do you think of this dream?

We think it is terrible! First, we are being treated disrespectfully and cruelly! Thoughtlessly! Second, how on earth are we supposed to stop the water just because we are burnt? It makes no sense! 

Water, what do you think of this dream?

Seems pretty stupid to me. How are these bodies going to stop me? Looks like a totally unrealistic solution to me.  Besides, what am I endangering? Nothing. So what’s the big deal? This is an unrealistic reaction to a problem that doesn’t exist!

Flame Thrower, Bodies, Water, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Flame Thrower: 10 I have no fear

Bodies: 0: We’re victims! We’re powerless! We have no options in this dream! If we could change it, of course we wouldn’t be in it!

Water: 10 Nothing is going to stop me here. Even if I were stopped, so what? It wouldn’t change or affect me.

Empathy, 0-10.  Why?

Flame Thrower:  0: As I said, I can’t afford to feel empathy.

Bodies: 0 We don’t want to have empathy! We want others to have empathy with US!!!

Water: 0 I don’t need empathy, I simply am what I am.

Wisdom, 0-10.  Why?

Flame Thrower: 0 I don’t need any. I have structural competence, and that reflects the wisdom of my design.

Bodies: 2 We are wise enough to know this is unjust!!

Water:10 I have the wisdom of ages of experience, of being the sum of the awareness of all that I contain.

Acceptance, 0-10.  Why?

Flame Thrower:  10 Nothing not to accept.

Bodies: 0 This is intolerable! Acceptance is insane!

Water:10 I accept whatever comes.

Inner Peace, 0-10  Why?

Flame Thrower:  10 Nothing to get stressed out about.

Bodies: 0 How much inner peace would you have if you were being tortured??

Water: 10 I am deep and vast; nothing disturbs me, even storms on my surface or global warming. Sure, I change, but none of my changes disturb me.

Witnessing, 0-10.    

Flame Thrower: 10 I am highly detached, since I don’t get involved in what I do.

Bodies: 0: I am totally subjectively trapped in my experience.

Water: 10: I observe whatever I contain; since I transform into steam and water, I observe the sky and everything on the surface of the earth and within it, where I penetrate, as well as the within of all beings who take me within them.

   If you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

Flame Thrower: I could not function as a flame thrower because I would have empathy and compassion.

Bodies: We would not be here; this dream would not be happening. Maybe we would don asbestos suits and disco dance in the flames! Ha ha!

Water: I would flow where I wanted and the people and land would adapt to my coming and going.

How would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

Flame Thrower: He would be impersonal and detached when he needed to get a job done. He wouldn’t let feelings, empathy or rationalizations get in the way of him focusing on his priorities.

Bodies: If he was like me in the dream he would be the victim of what comes along, like we are in this dream. He would submit to circumstances, regardless how stupid, meaningless, cruel or irrational they were. Assuming I changed? Then he would act to take charge of circumstances, whether awake or dreaming.

Water: He would go where he wished and do what he wished and let the world and others adapt to that.

If you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

Flame Thrower: He would set about his work in a very impersonal and detached way. He already does this regarding many things; he needs to build on that and extend that ability. Being me will help him because it is an area of my expertise. 

Bodies: He would realize that he puts himself in my position far more than he needs to, has to, or is good for him, whether in waking or in dreams. Notice that this is not in a dream a matter of him waking up in the dream, but rather of any particular perspective within a dream waking up and saying, “I want to change and I will.” But regarding his waking life, it is mostly a matter of being more like the Flame Thrower or the Water.

Water: If he were more like me he would do his own thing and enjoy the sense of freedom, oneness and peasure that being me entails, even in the midst of one fish eating another and storms.

If you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle Joseph’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1. Preparing for this trip on a clipper, the Regina Maris, with 34 adolescents, to teach them conflict resolution and life skills. I am making a bunch of power point presentations.

Flame Thrower: Stay objective, focused, professional. Have confidence in your skills.

Bodies: Turn it into whatever you want! You do not have to play the victim of circumstances!

Water: You will be riding on me. Get in touch with me. Enjoy my power, depth, freedom, and timelessness.

2. Organization: I have a lot of projects going; I need to do a better job of clarifying my priorities and focusing.

Flame Thrower: I am good at that. Make a list and become me in tackling it.

Bodies: You don’t have to feel victimized by your choices or responsibilities. Remember that you always have choices. Exercise them! Be creative!

Water: Beneath your priorities, beneath your business, there is always me. Become me and you will feel stable, balanced and whole, regardless,

3.  Balance: Always work to do there.

Flame Thrower: Balance is mostly a matter of simplicity. Less is often more. See how simple you can keep your thinking, your feelings, your relationships, your life and see what happens.

Bodies: To get out of the Drama Triangle you first have to realize when you are playing the helpless victim, the persecutor or rescuer. Then you have to choose a response that is not one of the other two. You already do this some, and you can work at doing it more. I urge you to practice it in your dreams.

Water: I am always in balance, Become me and you will feel your balance, find it and live within it.

________, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?

As above.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

Flame Thrower: When he wants to get something done as quickly, easily and efficiently as possible.

Bodies: When he recognizes he is in the Drama Triangle and wants to get out.

Water: When he wants to get in touch with a deep, timeless, deeply enjoyable sense of balance.

Why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life? 

Flame Thrower: To help him understand that empathy and compassion toward others and himself sometime get in the way and are not the solution he needs. 

Bodies: That victimization, misery and suffering are optional and represent an absence of creativity and objectivity. Also, that this is a problem that can be solved. As it is, his life will become richer and easier.

Water: To connect him with a deathless sense of the presence of life. 

Why do you think Joseph had this dream?

Flame Thrower: To wake him up to multiple transformative perspectives he can take in his daily life and dreams that move him into lucidity. 

Bodies: To dramatize how he plays the victim unnecessarily, whether in dreams or awake, help him wake up to it and see that he has options. That is lucidity that matters. 

Water: As above: to connect him with a deathless sense of the presence of life.

Why do you think the guy using the flame thrower was in the dream?

Flame Thrower: That was you being mindless, not aware of what you were doing because you were running on automatic, not thinking it through. You are much more this way in your dreams than in your waking life, but you need to be more vigilant in both areas. Being me will help.  

Bodies: He personifies your unintentional cruelty based on ignorance and/or thoughtlessness. You have extraordinary power, represented by the flame thrower. You have to think through, “Is this the right tool for the job?” “Is this job even necessary?” Instead, you go on automatic.

Water: Agreed. That was you not thinking things through.

Why should Joseph pay any attention to what you have said? Aren’t these just a projection of Joseph’s own wishes and desires?

Flame Thrower: I can make his life a lot simpler and easier. He will be more efficient and happier with the results he produces. 

Bodies: The Drama Triangle is subtle. Learning to wake out of it in all states is an advance in both objectivity and creativity, both of which will immeasurably enhance the quality of your life, moment to moment. 

Water: To appreciate the opportunity that being shocked into rememberance represents and to make use of such opportunities. 

Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for Joseph: 

What have you heard yourself say?

A lot.  I need to take a more instrumental approach toward my everyday life. I need to not only be more vigilant about how I am victimizing myself but how I can move out of powerlessness or a sense of being trapped or without choice.  I need to remember I live in a vast, unlimited reservoir of potential and to make the most of it, luxuriate in it.

If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Listen to and use wake-up calls. Take them seriously, Integrate them into your daily life. You won’t regret it.

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:

Many. But perhaps the most important is to read over this interview often so that I do not forget, to ponder it and how I can integrate it into my life more fully today.

For more information about the Drama Triangle, go here.

Posted in Dream, Escaping Victimization, Nightmares!

Accessing Your Life Compass: An Example

Your dreams can and do work to show you how to differentiate your scripting from your life compass. Often it takes interviewing to see beneath your own projections onto your dream and to view it from multiple embedded perspectives which together, tend to clarify the priorities of your life compass. However, once in a while, if you pay attention, you will have a dream that is crystal clear and that will smack you awake to your extraordinary and unique potentials. Here is one such example from a dream I had in my early twenties:

There was once an Anglo-Saxon king vacationing on an island in his kingdom, holding a torchlight audience with a group of his subjects on this island. Curiously, as he sat on his throne, one of his legs was propped up on a stool because he had broken it somehow. Even more curiously, his leg was encased in a white plaster cast.

Unbeknownst to the king, his guards or his subjects, at that moment archers in small boats were secretly landing on another part of the island and creeping up on the audience from behind.  They surprise the king, his guards and the crowd with raised bows, taking him hostage and demanding his gold.

The king was in a predicament. He had to either turn over the wealth of his realm or be taken prisoner. The king thought: “People think I’m wealthy, because I’m king, but I’m not wealthy. My family lost its gold in wars during my grandfather’s time.” Not knowing what to do, there was a suspenseful moment in the evening torchlight, with the people watching the king to see what he would do. Then one of people in the surrounding crowd happened to look at the king’s leg and shouted, “Look at the king’s cast!” Some of the plaster had worn off, revealing the warm golden hue of gold shining in the light of the torches’ fire. The king thought, “What is this? How can this be?”

Then it dawned on him: In his grandfather’s time the kingdom had come under siege. To protect the wealth of the kingdom, his grandfather must have had all the gold taken to the royal foundry and forged into the shapes of common everyday implements – spoons, forks, knives, chairs, doorknobs, chairs, and covered with natural dirt, wood and metal alloys, so that they looked like humble, everyday objects. Then they were secretly distributed throughout the homes of the common folk of the country in order to keep the wealth of the Kingdom secret, so broadly distributed that it was uncollectable by conquerors.

Realizing this, the king then said to the threatening archers, “I have no wealth. It is everywhere, distributed throughout the kingdom.”

Now the archers and the people did not know what to do. For the archers, holding the king for ransom would do no good; he had no wealth and without that wealth the people had no loyalty to him and no reason to buy his freedom. The people did not know what to do. The wealth had given the king the power to rule. Now he had none. What should they do? Dethrone him?

But the king’s subjects now had all the wealth they wanted or needed; they didn’t have to depend on the king for anything. To decide what to do with their king, they considered not whether they feared his power, since he no longer had any, but whether he had been a good king or not. They decided that he had, and based on how he had ruled, not his power or status, they chose to keep him as their ruler.

There are several implications that the world view that this dream teaches has had for IDL. This dream/story shows that about seven years before I developed Dream Sociociometry, the precursor to the dream and life issue interviewing protocols that are aspects of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), there were emerging potentials that were heading me in that direction. These perspectives were telling me, “Power and wealth rest on character, not on status or accumulation; wealth is everywhere; it is abundant. Do not base your “right to rule” on whether you have power or status. Base authority on the character that this or that perspective personifies, whether it is yourself, as king or queen over your life, a “deplorable,” or even a dream cooking pot. When closely examined, you may discover that any of these are made out of gold.

Life is abundant; we do not have to live in fear of scarcity. Yes, scarcity does exist and is real, and the way to deal with it is to confidently focus on whatever resources are available. We, as the “king” or “ruler” over our “subjects,” that is, our feelings, thoughts and actions, have to earn the “right” to rule through the integrity and generosity and respect we show not only others, but the microcosm of perspectives which are our “subjects,” in that they are dependent upon us for their expression and health. Our authority, a place of privilege, is not a “given,” and can and will be taken away if we abuse our prerogatives enough for a long enough period of time. Such abuse generally takes the forms of indulging in this or that form of addiction, whether cognitive distortions (telling ourselves lies that make us sick), blind obedience to childhood scripting we should have discarded years ago, enslavement to physical habits of smoking, drinking, drugs, excessive sugar intake, overwork, chronic rescuing followed by burnout; emotional addiction, such as continuous immersion in the Drama Triangle in the three realms of relationships, thought and dreaming, and addictions to forms of anesthesia, such as mindless surfing the internet or pursuit of activities that neither nourish ourselves or the communities in which we live.

Such a dream offers a powerful, authentic, autonomous and totally unexpected alternative to one’s life script. It provides a script, a life direction, a set of priorities that has nothing or very little to do with the socio-cultural expectations in which we were raised. If we listen to such perspectives, become them, and let them soak into our sense of self at depth, they possess impressive and fundamental transformative potentials.

Power comes from the distribution of power widely among the various interior constituencies and emerging potentials that depend upon us. When we demonstrate respect, particularly to the lowest, most useless and mundane, we are validating our right to self-governance.

You don’t have to rely on such “archetypal” and overt dreams to put you in touch with your life compass. Any time you interview ANY dream character from ANY dream or the personification of ANY life issue of concern to you, you can receive recommendations from perspectives that are emerging potentials which align your life priorities with those of your life compass. The result is much saved time and misery and a degree of authenticity that is impossible if you do what most of us do – spend your life living out the role expectations and life script that you learned as a child from your parents, teachers and peers.

Posted in Life Compass

An example of working with a “day residue” dream.

“Day residue” dreams are mundane. You think, Oh! I dreamed of a fire because of the indigestion I had last night from eating that whole pepperoni pizza! Then we quickly forget the dream because we are sure we know why we had it and that it is not important. Integral Deep Listening (IDL) takes another approach. It makes such assumptions and then suspends them and asks one or more character in the dream for their perspective, their sense of why they are in the dream. In the following example of interviewing a dream character using the IDL dream interviewing protocol, we we shall do just that and look at the results.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Dietary moderation coming off my fast. Less sugar intake. Fewer second helpings.

Longer meditations; more sense of inner peace.

Generally an even more positive and confident mood.

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

I am looking at a circular object that is flat and that has three segments stretching out from the center. It is perhaps a foot across. A group of people were in danger because of it.

Why do you think that you had this dream?

Last night, June 29, 2017, the last night of my latest 84 hour fast, I wanted a distraction so I watched a Star Trek movie in which a villian named Krall had a similar looking device that he was using to destroy stuff. A good example for working with obvious day residue.

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

Circular weapon

Circular weapon, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

I see the very few who would use me for the destructive purposes for which I was created.

Circular Weapon, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I am extremely powerful.

Circular Weapon, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I am too powerful to be used wisely; it is better if I did not exist.

Circular Weapon, what aspect of Joseph do you represent or most closely personify?

Grandiose fears that he is much more capable of destructiveness than he actually is. People are resilient; in fact, at his worst he hasn’t a great deal of potency, in the sense of a great deal of ability to hurt others. 

Circular Weapon, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I would like to be a very common, practical and accessible power for great good in the world. Perhaps something like a real vajra, a lightning bolt of discrimination and wisdom, mixed with empathy and compassion. I would like to be used to cut through confusion and fear to get to clarity, truth and empathy.

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Vajra, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence, 0-10. 10 Why? I am quite powerful; I symbolize both the indestructibility of a diamond and the irresistible force of a thunderbolt.  I cannot die because I do not exist; I am imaginary. The worst that can happen to me is that I am not used.

Empathy, 0-10.  10 Why? I am clear and selfless; that means I do not filter information or get between what is said and the hearing.

Wisdom, 0-10.  10 Why? I can discriminate truth from falsity and confusion from clarity.

Acceptance, 0-10.  10 Why? It is not my job to make the world right or good but I am here to serve those who wish to make it so.

Inner Peace, 0-10  10 Why? I have no worries or fears.

Witnessing, 0-10.  10 I observe everything.         

Vajra, how would Joseph’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He would be confident, clear, wise and compassionate.

Vajra, if you could live Joseph’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

I would take refuge in me, that is, identify with or become me regularly in order to build his identification with my qualities. 

Vajra, if you could live Joseph’s waking life for him today, would you handle Joseph’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

Dietary moderation coming off my fast. Less sugar intake. Fewer second helpings. I would take refuge in my ability to discriminate.

Longer meditations; more sense of inner peace. Become me. It will get easier.

Generally an even more positive and confident mood. Become me. I am both.

Vajra, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Joseph’s life?

Doubt and confusion. I generate clarity.

Vajra, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Joseph to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

As above.

Vajra, why do you think that you are in Joseph’s life? 

I am the antithesis of this dream and the fantasy fears it reflects.

Vajra, why do you think Joseph had this dream?

In this dream he was contemplating his capacity for evil and destruction as a consequence of the portrayal of same in the movie he watched.

Vajra, why do you think (some dream event happened) or (some character) was in the dream?

The group of people reflect his fear of his ability to harm others.

Vajra, why should Joseph pay any attention to what you have said? Aren’t these just a projection of Joseph’s own wishes and desires?

I am more balanced, aware and clear than he is.

Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for Joseph: 

What have you heard yourself say?

Becoming the vajra will strengthen these qualities in me.

If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Do not amplify fear or confusion but do not ignore them either. Instead, meet them with clarity, wisdom, discrimination and empathy.

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:

Become the vajra when I am afraid, worried or confused and when I meditate.

Comments: It is easy to write this off as wishful thinking but several factors work against that. First is the autonomy of the vajra. It doesn’t share my perspective. It is much more confident than I am. Secondly, its sense of authentic potentiality. Third, it feels like an authentic response to the reality of the circular weapon. There was no sense of a desire or need to turn the circular weapon into something else; it felt like that is what it wanted to do because it felt it was too powerful and too dangerous for any productive use. There is no denial that this dream was caused by or dealt with day residue. Indeed, the vajra itself said, “In this dream he was contemplating his capacity for evil and destruction as a consequence of the portrayal of same in the movie he watched.” Regarding the perfect scores, this is generally not a desirable pattern because it is so perfectionistic as to be unrealistic.  However, this vajra does not care whether I think its scores are perfectionistic or unrealistic. It scores the way it wants to score.

My plan is to respect the vajra by listening to its recommendations and following them. I do have a vajra; I’ve had one for years. But I have mostly used it as ornamentation and not invested myself in it. Now I will. My intention is to practice becoming it when I feel fear, worry or confusion and when I meditate as an experiment. I will see if it is an effective means of amplifying within me the qualities it personifies.

Posted in "junk" dream, Dream

Dream Sociodrama Interviewing

Dream Sociodrama differs from Moreno’s psychodrama and role-playing methodologies that are derived from it, such as Gestalt and Constellation Therapy, in that auxiliaries do not inhabit the life issue or dream of the protagonist and then project their interpretations onto the protagonist. Instead, each member makes the life issue or dream of the protagonist their own and each responds to the questions as if it were his or her own dream or life issue. This shifts the focus of the experience from the protagonist to the group and changes the process from personal therapy to collective awakening. For a detailed description of Dream Sociodrama, see Dream Sociodrama.

IDL Dream Sociodrama Protocol

Joseph Dillard, LCSW, Ph.D.

What are three fundamental life issues that you (the protagonist) are dealing with now in your life?

(The group votes on a life issue to focus on, but all three are addressed in the Dream Sociodrama. Alternatively, a dream or nightmare is used.)

Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 

Why do you think that you had this dream?

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?

(The group can vote on which character from the dream to interview. Generally, either a threat, such as an attacker or fire, or a neutral, objective character, such as a house or car, is a better choice than a lover or family member, alive or deceased.)

(The following questions are first answered from the perspective of each auxillary as if they had the life issue or the dream; they are not attempting to become, project onto, or interpret the experience of the protagonist. They are speaking for and about themselves as they address the protagonist. Later, after the responses of auxillaries to the entire questionnaire, the protagonist is given the opportunity to answer any of the same questions from their own perspective.)

(Character), look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see… 

_____, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

_____, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

_____, what aspect of (the speaking auxillary) do you represent or most closely personify?

________, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)
(The following seven questions regarding qualities are used in individual dream and life issue interviews but are optional for Dream Sociodramas.)

________, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence, 0-10. Why?

Empathy, 0-10.  Why?

Wisdom, 0-10.  Why? I have what wisdom I need to be myself and to accept it.

Acceptance, 0-10.  Why?

Inner Peace, 0-10  Why?

Witnessing, 0-10.

________, how would (the speaking auxillary)’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

(Character), if you could live (the speaking auxillary)’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

________, if you could live (the speaking auxillary)’s waking life for him today, would you handle (the speaking auxillary)’s life issues differently?  If so, how?

________, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of (the speaking auxillary)’s life?

________, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for (the speaking auxillary) to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 

________, why do you think that you are in (the speaking auxillary)’s life? 

________, why do you think (the speaking auxillary) had this dream?

________, why do you think (some dream event happened) or (some character) was in the dream?

________, why should (the speaking auxillary) pay any attention to what you have said? Aren’t these just a projection of (the speaking auxillary)’s own wishes and desires?

Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for (the speaking auxillary; later for the protagonist): 

What have you heard yourself say?

If this experience were a wake-up call from your life compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:

Posted in Dream Sociodrama