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Saturday, December 16, 2017

On the Nature of Dreams


Imagine a distant garden, far away from the world´s ups and downs, a place where you really can rest, sleep and heal, such as The Garden of Epicurus, Wang Hsichih´s The Orchid Pavilion, or The Last Homely House in Rivendell.

In order to understand the nature of dreams you must simplify your life. In old days this meant to become a nun or monk. Today you can do this through the philosophy of idleness.

Dreams are a continuation in the sleep of the thinking in the awaken state. The awaken state´s thinking is primarily characterized by words, while the thinking in the dream state primarily is characterized by images. When you fall asleep the thinking in other words dissolves in images.

The thinking´s structure is the personal, collective and universal images in time. So, in dreams you experience the thinking´s structure. The personal and collective images work in past and future, while the universal images work in synchronicity with the Now (the Now is also connected to consciousness, Wholeness and reality - in my booklet, Philosophy of Mind, I have described these connections).

The collective images are the area of primordial images, archetypes, religious images, symbols, teachers, higher worlds, other dimensions etc. They are form-formations of energy, creative up-tensions, a kind of matter, though on a highly abstract plane. These images exist in other words in the actual movement of the matter, and therefore not only in your mental activity, but also outside you in nature. They reflect themselves in your personal images, more or less vaguely.

Only you yourself know what your personal images are, but usually you don´t understand the conflicts. Due to the challenges of the Now the Ego is created. The Ego is the source of your conflicts. The Ego makes resistant against the Now, and therefore in fact against reality. This resistance consists of problematizing the Now by evaluating, saying yes and now, accepting and denying, comparing with earlier and hoping, desiring or fearing something else.

In this way the Ego creates a line of thought distortions of reality.

Feelings arise where the mind and the body meet. They are reflections of the mind in the body. Feelings can also be a reflection of a whole thought-pattern. A thought-pattern can create an enlarged and energy-charged reflection of itself in the form of a feeling. This means, that the whole of the thought´s past also can create a reflection of itself in the body. And if this past is filled with pain, this can show itself as a negative energy-field in the body. This is the emotional painbody.

In the concrete dream-content, which can be personal or collective, the universal images work in form of symbols. The symbol is a telescopying, a representing quintessence of the informationquantities, which the wholeness of the universal images contain. In this way the symbol-function of the dreams has a developmental function, which works with the person´s developmental level (the level of realization-work and ethical practice). This means, that dreams seek to put together, to synthesize and join, what the Ego in the awaken state has divided.

The developmental function tries to show you the map of your spiritual history, the dreaming tracks and songlines in the artwork of your spiritual life – your progressive karma. 

But therefore it is also impossible for the Ego in the awaken state to understand the dreams. It can well be, that the Ego finds that the dreams cost identitical clarity, but the Ego can logical seen not understand their function. Much dream interpretation is therefore completely deceptive. The Ego must let go of its desire after control.

Furthermore the dream state is connected with the body. When you fall asleep the energy flows away from the head and down into the body – you can feel it when you become sleepy, and your feet´s becoming warm. And therefore dreams are more characterized by feelings than by thoughts. The typical feelings in dreams are characterized by the five existential categories of suffering: unreality, division, stagnation, anxiety and meaninglessness. These are in Meditation as an Art of Life inextricable linked with the painbody.

Feelings are the body´s reaction on the thoughts. Feelings arise where the thoughts and the body meet. They are a reflection of the thoughts in the body. The thoughts create a build-up of energy in the body. It is this energy, which is the feeling, and it is in this energy the images of the dreams show themselves. In order to understand a dream you therefore have to try to feel it rather than to think it. And if there is conflict between a positive thought (all of your desires and longings) and a negative feeling, then the thought is a lie and the feeling is a truth.

The five existential categories of suffering are a part of your life-situation. In this way suffering has a past and a future. The past and the future form an unbroken continuum, unless the Now´s releasing power is activated through your aware presence, which is the goal with Meditation as an Art of Life. Behind all the different circumstances which constitute your life-situation, and which exist in time, there in other words exists something deeper, more essential: life itself, your being in the timeless Now itself.

If you activate this deeper dimension you will get the opposite categories: reality, cooperation, movement, safety and meaning.

The Ego-weakening, and the dreams´ connection with the body, causes that the energy-laws of life work much better in the dream state. In other words: dreams balance the energetical swings of the thoughts. And dreams seek to finish unfinished situations.

If you follow your dreams you will see, that wherever and whenever the Ego´s awake life - on the background of evaluations using opposites - has slipped out in one extreme, then the dream-process seeks to balance this imbalance by insisting on the opposite extreme. If you awake were too gentle, the dreams depict the more stubborn and unfriendly sides in your personality. If you were too negative, the dreams seek to bring the positive aspect into light. And each and every time the Ego in the awake life reacts on the challenges of the various situations, by using the past, an unfinished situation is left behind. The dreams seek to finish this as good as possible. As you know you are cursed to re-live the same dreaming themes again and again – until you begin to examine yourself, and change and restructure your thought-patterns, so that you can let go of the situations.

So, firstly the dreams have a developmental function through their symbol-function (progressive karma). Secondly the dreams function with reference to bodily and energetical balancing and regulation of the swings of the thoughts (compensatory karma). This, the self-regulating system of the dream-process, is a Sisyphean task though, as long as you in the awake life don't help.

This help is Meditation as an Art of Life. In my booklet The Nine Gates of Middle-earth I have described the typical phases of this journey, as seen in relation to the chakra-system.


Your dreams, and the five existential categories of suffering, will typical revolve around three of four themes (it can be less or more). The themes are due to particular painful/problematic events in your life. Jorge Luis Borges says something important about ordinary dreams:

“A curious feature of my nightmares – I don´t know if you share this with me – is that they have a precise topography. I, for example, always dream of certain corners in Buenos Aires. I´m on the corner of Laprida and Arenales, or the one at Balcarce and Chile. I know exactly where I am, and I know that I must head toward some far-off place. These places in my dreams have a precise topography, but they are completely different. They may be mountain paths or swamps or jungles, it doesn´t matter: I know that I am on a certain corner in Buenos Aires. I try to find my way.”

I think Borges here tells us something very common to all ordinary dreams. The thought (the dreamer) is lost in an endless split, and he tries to control the situation without luck. The horror is the negation of control. The content of the dream will normally be about childhood, your hometown, your school, family, the time where you lost the innocence of childhood, as well as later traumas; all elements of your painbody - in all kinds of variations. All characterized by that you try to find your way; either concretely as a search for the way home, or as an attempt to figure out how to manage situations. Without luck. The painbody is the material for the dreams. If we want to enter into unordinary dreams (lucid or astral dreams) we must let go of our will to power.

The first step in Dream Yoga is to be clarified over what kind of themes your dreams typical revolve around. Therefore you must begin a process of remembering your dreams. You can do this by writing your dreams down in the moment you awake. Later you won´t need that.

In the booklet The Nine Gates of Middle-earth I clearly emphasize that you must begin working with the lower chakras before you can move to the upper chakras in a balanced way. If you start this work (when following my teaching), your dreams will normally change character from compensatory karma (balancing thought extremes, and finishing unfinished siturations) to progressive karma. The chakras are now being processed. This will show itself in an increasing experience of quest dreams, dreams where you are on a journey, visiting strange and unknown places, and are meeting unknown people, all in a balanced and pleasurable way. 

In the same booklet I also sugggest that you let your dreams be your teacher. But again: don´t let yourself be fooled by the "interpretation bias". The whole thing happens by itself. Treat the dreams as a whole (a gestalt). The secret is to allow the dreams to be your teacher (you can for example ask them in a prayer to teach you), and allow them to work according to their nature. You wake up with a certain feeling and direction in the mind. Normally, when you aren´t in spiritual practice, you´ll also wake up with a mood and direction from the compensatory aspect of the dream. But here you normally will let your ego´s daily life and ideals move you back into the usual pattern (the Sisyphean work). If you are in a spiritual practice, and for example practice the morning meditation, the message from the night´s dreams as a whole, will more and more be allowed to get through as intuitions and ideas. 

Where dreams, without a daily spiritual practice, will try to get you to change certain things in your life, dreams, with a daily spiritual practice, will focus on corrections of this spiritual practice.

The Art of Pilgrimage theme is a theme which my free Ebook Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien is revolving around.

In the later development your dreams can become lucid and even astral. The states of dreams can be grey, lucid and astral, which again correspond to the personal, collective and universal images in time. In the grey state you don´t know you are dreaming. In the lucid state you know you are dreaming, but you don´t know you are lying here in this bed and are and sleeping. In this state the creativity of the consciousness is set free in a fascinating degree.

In the astral state you know all this, and your consciousness can so to speak follow the dissolvement of the thoughts out into the astral worlds of the collective and universal images of time. In this state you can leave your body and use your dreambody to travel elsewhere, meet other astral travelers, and receive teaching from dream masters. In this state you´re like Peter Pan.

Again the secret is to let the dreams teach, to allow the spiritual practice to become a part of the dreams, so that you in dreams are seeking spiritual guidance, and not are following the ego´desires. You can for example seek churches, temples, or other places which seem spiritual to you (it could also be places like Rivendell or Lothlorién in The Lord of the Rings). You can stumble upon written messages, which contains direct teachings, and finally you can meet concrete teachers (though still in symbolic form). In connection with this it is important that you find a religion which suits you; with this I mean a religion with a long tradition for spiritual practice, and which is lying in your own ancestral roots. In this way you are supporting the already existing material for the spiritual dream content, instead of adding further layers of conditioned reality (see my article The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice). This doesn´t mean that you can´t be inspired by other traditions though. 

My own personal spiritual practice consist in a combination of Nordic shamanism, Christian mysticism and Tibetan Dream Yoga. But I don´t teach Tibetan Dream yoga like a Tibetan teacher, since this involves the ability of spiritual transmissions linked to tradition and lineage. I use what I can use in combination with Nordic shamanism and Christian mysticism.

Since its first publication I have been fascinated by the fantasy table-top role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, probably because it contains all these elements from quest dreams (see my booklet on Dungeons and Dragons). This is also relevant in combination with my website Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy. In my view you should not understate the implied philosophy of pop cultural phenomena. 

And, in connection with Dungeons and Dragons: the area of the collective images of time is a  dangerous place full of pitfalls.  As explained in my booklet The Nine Gates of Middle-earth, it is quite easy to open the upper chakras, but very difficult to open them in a balanced way. To open them in a balanced way requires that you work with your lower chakras first, and to open the lower chakras is more difficult in the sense that you have to realize your shadow. The internet is swarming with methods to open the third eye chakra, and psychedelics are also a means to experience openings of the third eye. And with these methods you can have incredible dreams and visions, and you can experience lucid dreams and astral projections, and believe you are close to enlightenment. But if this happens in an unbalanced way you will just add further layers of conditioned reality; further layers of psychological and mental constructs. The worst is that such a movement, in New Age, is supported by a problematic metaphysical theory called idealism, an idea that doesn´t allow you to discriminate between subject and object, dream and reality, fact and fiction. You therefore have a metaphysical justification for getting completely lost in this masked ball (in my view this is a demonical trick). I call this The Borgesian Nightmare (see my article on Jorge Luis Borges, who deals especially with the absurd consequences of philosophical idealism). The cult-classic The Arabian Nightmare, is a novel by Robert Irwin, where the narrator in a similar way moves into a labyrinth of stories, dreams and visions, where it becomes increasingly difficult to discriminate between dream and reality. The special touch in this latter novel is that it deals with kundalini and, in my interpretation, an unbalanced third eye awakening.

These literary examples deal with the nightmarish consequences of unbalanced openings of the upper chakras. But you can also have ego-inflated, euphorical experiences, which completely removes any possibility of critical evaluation (see my article The Ego-inflation in the New Age and Self-help environment).

Central in Dream Yoga is the discrimination between subject and object, dream and reality - and what is lie or illusion, and reality. All original wisdom traditions have knowledge about this. The Dominican mystics call this step discriminatio, the ability to discriminate between how the energy is used temporal or religious. And despite that magical thinking actually can create something magical, then in true spirituality it is still something temporal, or relatively (black magic/occultism), which will create negative karma if practiced. The Orientals call it viveka, discrimination, the ability to use your will on that part of the energy, you can steer yourself, and steer it towards exercises, prayer, mantras, meditation, instead of towards career, worldliness, self-unfolding, as for example the New Thought movement wrongly preaches. Hereafter you let the process work by itself.


Tolkien made it clear that enchantment would not be possible if you couldn´t discriminate between dream and reality. Enchantment is precisely enchanting because of the sense of something real, or true; that is: something you haven´t produced yourself.

The most philosophical provocative part of his essay “On Fairy-Stories” is what Tolkien says about fairy stories being “true”.

It is…essential to a genuine fairy-story…that it should be presented as “true”…

Probably every writer making a secondary world, a fantasy, every sub-creator, wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it…the peculiar quality of the “joy” in successful Fantasy can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth. It is not only a “consolation” for the sorrow of this world, but a satisfaction, and an answer to that question, “Is it true?”…In the “eucatastrophe” we see in a brief vision that the answer may be greater – it may be a far-off gleam or echo of evangelium [gospel, good news] in the real world…All tales may come true; and yet, at the last, redeemed, they may be as like and as unlike the forms that we give them as Man, finally redeemed, will be like and unlike the fallen, that we know (“On Fairy-Stories”, pp. 87-90).

Tolkien found the process of writing The Lord of the Rings to be one of discovery rather than creation. Tolkien´s son Christopher said of his father´s writing: “I say discover because that is how he himself saw it, as he once said, ‘Always I had the sense of recording what was already there, somewhere; not of inventing’ (Silmarillion, Foreword, p. 9).

So, in spiritual practice it is of vital importance, that you begin to practice Harameditation (or other supporting religious/spiritual exercises), if there should occur lucid and/or astral states. This consists quite simple in stopping the fascination of the anti-spiritual (ego-based) experiences and temptations, and instead focus the awareness in Hara, and therewith lead the awareness in towards the source of consciousness. As mentioned: you can also seek after spiritual places and persons.

This will lead the consciousness towards the more universal images of time, which work in synchronism with the Now.

If you remain in, or explore the astral worlds of the collective time, which the astral state gives access to, then you in other words distract your awareness in past or future. This can cost awakenness and life energy. In addition it can cause Ego-inflation and other spiritual crises.

It is in other words very important that you do not move accent from awake day to dreams and sleep, do not use drugs or one-sided development techniques, which promise you great experiences concerning either lucidity or astrality.

You have to have patience. Even for people with a regular and well-ordered practice (2-3 hours every day) there can pass weeks, months or years between the reflections into the processes of dreams and sleep. However if practice is appropriate, the spiritual consciousness will with time automatically penetrate the nightlife´s vegetative forms of consciousness.

The nature of dreams is equivalent to the nature of death.

Three reminders:

1)  Let the dreams work by themselves as flowers.

2)  Don´t interfere in their self-regulating system with interpretations, psychedelics, or similar.

3)  If you interfere they will get more distorted. You will add further layers of your own conditioned reality, further psychological and mental constructs.

Dream Yoga is about fertilizing the nightlife´s own vegative forms of consciousness.

Related:

Philosophy of Mind (In the above I talked about the "Wholeness of the Universal Images." In this article I show how consciousness is akin to the Wholeness, and different from mind. It is in this Wholeness the universal images are lying as a kind of dreaming tracks and songlines. Kant called it the transcendental apperception. Tibetan Buddhists call it Rigpa. It is this Wholeness which function as the synthesizing, healing and progressive factor in dreams).

The Nine Gates of Middle-earth

Philosophical Counseling in Rold Forest

Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien

Nordic Shamanism and Forest Therapy

The Value of Having a Religion in a Spiritual Practice

Other related links:







Paranormal Phenomena seen in Connection with Mystical Experiences (this article is about the nature of symbols).

Monday, December 11, 2017

On the Nature of Longing


In 1939, as Europe braced for the worst, J.R.R. Tolkien completed the first half of The Fellowship of the Ring, emphasizing how terrible riders in black could terrorize even the peaceful oasis of Frodo´s beloved Shire. The Ringwraiths of Middle-earth added a touch of evil not present in Tolkien´s previous novel, The Hobbit. In The Fellowship, the Black Riders are messengers of a greater evil brewing in Mordor. However, within the parallel perils of Europe in the twentieth century and Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, Tolkien elegantly writes of safe havens where even in the darkest times, songs of love are sung under starlit skies. Nestled in the perfumed mountains of Rivendell and the ancient forest of Lórien, many of the elves of old knows what to hold on to, and what to let go of.

It is not unexpected that Frodo should be healed (though never cured) and reunited with Gandalf and Bilbo at the house of Elrond in Rivendell. Readers of The Hobbit already are familiar with the charms of The Last Homely House, the westernmost outpost of the elves. “That house was, as Bilbo had long ago reported, ‘a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.’ Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness.” In Rivendell the Nine Riders of the enemy are turned back, Isildur´s sword is re-forged and given to Aragorn, and the Fellowship of men, dwarves, hobbits and elves is formed. Despite, or because of such hard work, there is joyous singing, day and night.

The elves of Rivendell are famous for their singing. In the Christian story of creation, the New Testament tells us that in the beginning, there was the Word. In Tolkien´s spin, we are told that in the beginning, there was the Song. Before writing The Hobbit, Tolkien laid out the origins of Middle-earth and how the happy elves found a home there. Though The Silmarillion was first published in 1977, four years after Tolkien´s death, it contains the history behind Middle-earth that Tolkien had been working on for much of his adult life. As it begins, the creator of the world, Ilúvatar, made the Ainur, or Holy Ones, and gave them the power of song. The voices of the Ainur, like innumerable choirs and musical instruments,

Began to fashion the theme of Ilúvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Ilúvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went into the Void, and it was not void.

Both elves and men (Quendi and Atani) were created as important players of the world´s symphony. But though the race of men will do great things, Ilúvatar proclaims, it is the elves who “shall be the fairests of all earthly creatures, and they shall have and conceive and bring forth more beauty than all my Children; and they shall have the greater bliss in this world.”

Tolkien´s Rivendell and Lórien are places you long for. Every kind of longing contains a glimpse of a longing after the universal vision and song of the Universe. Every longing is a thought. Your thoughts are words and images, which work in the river of time, which also is called Heraklit´s River.

As the Indian philosophy claims, then this stream not only contains your personal history, it also contains a collective and universal history – together a history, which consists of images. These images are form-formations of energy, creative up-tensions, a kind of matter, though on a highly abstract plane. These images exist in other words in the actual movement of the matter, and therefore not only in your mental activity, but also outside you in nature.  So, your thinking rises from an endless deep of images, which flow in the actual movement of nature.

The Indian philosophy claims, that the movement of time in itself is a negationpower. Time is one great negation of the Now´s unmoved being, which is the unmanifested, the actual source: the Good, the True and the Beautiful (God, Brahman, Ilúvatar). The negationpower is in that way the power behind the world´s manifestation. This manifestation, the Indian philosophy claims, has arised on the background of a mighty universal vision, which originates from past universes. In this way, the future arises, and an outgoing creative movement; a movement, which can be compared with what they within science call The Big Bang. In the outgoing movement, the great vision becomes, because of the negationpower, shattered in many images, which now become a kind of memories about the great vision. In this way, the past arises, and a longing back towards the origin, the unmanifested. And then a destructive backmovement is created.

In that way, the movement of time consists of two universal movements, which we could call the outgoing movement and the backmovement. Future and past, creation and destruction. These two movements are reflected throughout the universe in a multiplicity of different lifecycles; they are Samsara´s wheel of up-cycles which are followed by down-cycles and vice versa (for example life and death, success and fiasco, joy and sorrow) – all this which lie behind the law of karma and rebirth. This universe is for example considered to be a reincarnation of a past universe, the same way as a human being is considered to be a reincarnation of a past existence.

So the images in the movement of time is shattered reflections of the great vision of the universe, and are background for the manifestation of the holy scriptures of India, the Vedas, which are claimed to have been ”heard” by wise men (the so-called Seers) in the dawn of time, and by word of mouth delivered over oceans of time. They are shadows, dreams, masks, mirrors, fables, fairy-tales, fictions, music and songs. The Vedas therefore both include the most sublime and difficult available philosophy, as for example in the Upanishads, and good folktales as Ramayana and Mahabharata (with the famous Bhagavadgita), which with its clear ethical messages is told in village temples, to the children as bedtime stories, and which is inspiration for great poets as Rabindranath Tagore.

But the thinking´s past (memories, knowledge, traumatic bindings) and future (plans, projects, ambitions) can easily become a never-ending self-circling activity. All sovereign and self-forgetful life-expressions (which are flowering in Rivendell and Lórien) are coming from the Now, while the circling life-expressions are coming from time.  Guild-feelings, regret, anger, complaints, gloom, bitterness and all forms of lack of forgiveness, are created by too much past and too little presence in the Now. Discomfort, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are created by too much future and too little presence in the Now.

Tolkien´s Middle-earth, you could say, is in the same way filled with many dangers, and after the newly-formed Fellowship leaves the comforts of Rivendell, the participants are beset by snowstorms high atop Caradhras, and orcs within the Mines of Moria. Before they escape the Mines, the members of the Fellowship suffer their greatest loss, as their guardian wizard and mentor Gandalf falls into darkness at the bridge of Khazad-dûm. But just when all seems lost for the weary band of travellers, they reach Lórien, a magical forest where elves live and sing in the treetops. Like Rivendell, Lórien is a place for spirits to rise. It is the safe haven of the Now.


Tolkien, like many existentialist philosophers before him, believes that meaningful happiness does not come from ignoring the dangers but from facing the pain and still affirming life. As we read Tolkien´s famous essay on the author of “Beowulf,” we get the distinct impression that Tolkien might be speaking of himself. He discusses the artistic impulse, “looking back into the pit, by a man learned in old tales who was struggling as it were, to get a general view of them all, perceiving their common tragedy of inevitable ruin, and yet feeling this more poetically because he himself removed from the direct pressure of its despair.”

Living through two world wars, Tolkien himself had seen his share of despair and ruin. The Lord of the Rings was written during the years 1936-1949, among the darkest years in England´s history.

Galadriel has a darker side to her as well. Galadriel had tried to make Lórien “a refuge and an island of peace and beauty, a memorial of ancient days,” but she was now “filled with regret and misgiving, knowing that the golden dream was hastening to a grey awakening.” What has so filled the strong and seemingly ageless Lady of the Wood so with regret?

Perhaps the cause of Galadriel´s growing unhappiness is that she remembers too much. She never really forgets the curse hanging over her from ages long gone. Though Frodo and Sam see only settled bliss, Galadriel feels the burden of being a stranger in a strange land. She can never be fully happy in Lórien, because she can never entirely let go of the past. Tolkien judges this clinging to the past to be an “error,” a futile attempt to “embalm time.” Holding on to perfection in an imperfect world is an ultimately tragic attempt by the elves to “have their cake without eating it.” As long as Galadriel harbors an irrational desire to turn back the clock, her songs are mournful and slow. Her curse reminds about Karen Blixen´s fate.

The mythologist Joseph Campbell´s theory of the monomyth (The Hero´s Journey) is in the same way exceedingly conservative and founded on a deep nostalgia: for him, the cure for modern problems is found by returning to earlier notions of spirituality and moral virtue. In promoting a “living mythology,” Campbell harkens back to a lost “golden age” from which we have fallen, but to which we can return with effort and guidance of a “sage.” This might have to do with the inspiration from Jung. It is a reductionism, a psychologism. And herewith there is the danger of ending in idealism, and the same psychologizing, emotionalizing and therapeutizing ideology of our society, which New Age and Self-help stand for.

I have therefore supplied this with my own metaphysical naturalism, and with this a philosophical principle, namely to examine, whether the karmic talk and experiences of the experts and clients remove their energy-investments in the actual reality. If focus is displaced backwards, then the collective time has taken over and spiritual seen there therefore happens an escape. Such an escape is seen both in Freud, Jung, Rank, Grof, Janov, rebirthing, regression. None of these people and theories can therefore be said to work spiritual. And if they use the karma idea in that way, it is no longer a spiritual help, it is a collective displacement of the focus backwards in time and therewith out of reality and into the unreality of the collective time.

The genuine karmic structures do not lie in the collective time, but in the universal time, which works in synchronism with the Now. If the karma idea is used spiritual seen correctly, then the focus, instead of being projected out in something afar (past lives, a guru, birth, the future), will be present in something very near, namely only in the most intensive experiences of this actual life, and after that: in this actual Now with its possibility of realizing your innermost. It is your awareness in the now that will find the progressive karma, and this awareness you can of course only practice yourself.

The progressive karma is our inner light. And that is also the bright side of Galadriel, her rational and wise side. Tolkien teaches us to trust that inner light and be strong enough to leave old problems behind. When Frodo freely offers Galadriel the One Ring to rule them all, the very Ring that Galadriel has coveted throughout the ages, she refuses, knowing full well that with the refusal comes her own demise. Though the Lady of the Wood has stayed too long, she can still find happiness by remembering who she is, while walking away from the pronouncements of her past. “’I pass the test,’ she exclaims. ‘I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel’”.

More than any other character in the tale, with the possible exception of Tom Bombadil, Lady Galadriel is imbued with the existentialist´s affirmation. As Frodo leaves the friendly borders of Lórien, she presents him with the symbolic light: The Phial of Galadriel. It was a crystal phial filled with water from her fountain which held the light of Eärendil's star - the light of the Two Trees as preserved in a Silmaril: a "star-glass." 

“It will shine still brighter when night is about you,” she promises. “May it be a light to you in dark places.”


And perhaps that is all that is meant by Tolkien´s imaginary elves. The elves find happiness when they trust in themselves. This self-confidence helps them sing throughout the darkest night, and leave the shores when the music ends. May their world be a light to us in our own dark places.

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