Dream Patterns in New York Spirit

1844097358New York Spirit published my article “Dream Patterns,” based on my book Dream Patterns: Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Our Waking Lives. Check out the magazine and check out my book.

Posted in Books, Dreams | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Octavia Butler Anticipated President Trump

butlerOctavia Butler is one of my current favorite authors.  She shocked me while reading Parable of the Talents, which came out in 1998.

In the 2030s, America was falling apart due to economic decline, global warming, and political corruption.  Mob violence, murder, robbery, arson, and even slavery are widespread.  Then there arose Senator Andrew Jarret as a presidential candidate promising to restore law and order.

He wants to take us back to some magical time when everyone believed in the same God, worshiped him in the same way, and understood that their safety in the universe depended on completing the same religious rituals and stomping anyone who was different.

The above is not particularly Trumpian.  But…

Jarret supporters have been known, now and then, to form mobs and burn people at the stake for being … Moslem, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or, in some parts of the country, a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or even a Catholic. …

We have a presidential candidate whose supporters attack his opponents.  Most importantly and specific, Butler shows him responding in ways reminiscent of Trump’s responses to the Charlottesville attack, to being endorsed by former and current Klan leaders, to his supporters calling for assassination, coup, or revolution if Clinton won.

Jarret condemns the burnings, but does so in such mild language that his people are free to hear what they want to hear.

One way that Trump differs from the above is that during his campaign, while he never openly endorsed white nationalists, he did openly and repeatedly encourage his supporters to attack opponents at his rallies.

As for the beatings, the tarring and feathering, and the destruction of “heathen houses of devil-worship,” he has a simple answer: “Join us!  Our doors are open to every nationality, every race!  Leave your sinful past behind, and become one of us.  Help us to make America great again.”

Trump, despite his support from and for white nationalists, has also said his movement is open to all races, though, unlike in the book, it’s not really true.  As stunning as the inclusion of “make America great again” might seem, remember that Butler, like Trump, got that from Ronald Reagan.

Candidate Jarret, like candidate Trump, made grand promises about restoring jobs and order.  But, as President, Jarret failed to deliver.  Support for him declined.  And then people got turned off by Jarret’s violent Crusaders.  Americans, except for a die-hard core of supporters, came to see him as incompetent and ineffective.  So Jarret did what every struggling despot does, he started a stupid war – with Canada and newly-independent Alaska.  People rallied to him temporarily, but then, as the war dragged on and their husbands, brothers, and sons died, they turned against him even more.  Jarret left office hated and isolated.  We’ll see.

All quotes are from pages 19 and 20 of the 2007 Grand Central Publishing reissue.

Posted in Books, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Dream Patterns Trailer

Watch the new trailer for Dream Patterns: Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Our Waking Lives.  Available now at local bookstores and major online booksellers (Amazon, Books-A-Million, and Barnes and Noble).

Posted in Books, Dreams | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“Dream Patterns” in Inner Self Magazine

1844097358My article “Dream Patterns: Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Our Waking Lives” has appeared in Inner Self magazine.  Read it here.  For a deeper look at how to work with your dream, see my book Dream Patterns from Findhorn Press.

Posted in Books, Dreams | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Saturday Zen Humor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Anatomy of Antifa

noanarchyI think of this as an addendum to my Anatomy of Trumpism series, in which I spend much time denouncing President Trump’s encouragement of violence.  We, of course, just saw the lethal consequences of his rhetoric in Charlottesville. Trump claimed that there were many good people in the Nazi rally and that there very bad and violent people among the counter-protestors.

Unfortunately, Antifa and their allies are giving Trump’s supporters just enough cover on that score to allow them to not have to outright denounce Trump’s defense of Nazis and neo-Confederates.  And, unfortunately, left-wing violence produces the same dangers as the right-wing violence that Trump encourages.

Here’s a helpful Atlantic article on Antifa and their violence.

One of my concerns about right-wing violence is the way it deligitimizes government institutions.  And that is a stated purpose of some of the right-wing groups, like the Three Percenters and the fans of Cliven Bundy, who espouses a belief in the supremacy of county governments and who outright said he rejected the legitimacy of the national government.

Antifa also explicitly seeks to deligitimize government institutions.  While I’m sure their base is now broadening, Antifa began in America as an anarchist group.  Everyone of the Antifa folks I, as a former anarchist, have known were anarchists.  While their stated purpose is to confront fascists now before they gain any real power, they also seek to create revolutionary conditions in which the left overthrows government to presumably leave a stateless, socialist society in its wake.

Liberals and others who, in reaction to new openness of violent white supremacists, now find themselves sympathetic to Antifa should beware.  Antifa does not represent your values.  They are not trying to create a tolerant, open, and equable society; they are instead trying to eliminate the foundations upon which we might create such a society – the state.

They do not believe in the right to free speech.  How could they?  You have to have a state to enunciate and defend rights.  They’re anarchists; they want to destroy not just our current government, but government in any form.  We must defend free speech for all, not just for people we agree with.  We certainly cannot allow a group actively trying to destroy government to decide who gets to speak and march and who doesn’t.  Maybe they’ll come for you next.

We are right to challenge and denounce fascists, white supremacists, and their defenders – Trump.  We do so to defend or promote a free, open, and equable society.  If that is our ultimate goal, then we must denounce those on the left who would also undermine that society.  Antifa is not our ally.

Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Dream Patterns” in the New Age Journal

1844097358New Age Journal published an article based on my book Dream Patterns: Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Our Waking Lives.  Read it here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dream Patterns is out on Tuesday

1844097358Findhorn Press is releasing my new book Dream Patterns on Tuesday.  I have many upcoming radio shows to discuss it.  To find shows to listen in to, check out my new Media and Events page or follow me on Twitter at @IntegralPA.

About Dream Patterns: Revealing the Hidden Patterns of Our Waking Lives:

I’ve been studying my own dreams for almost thirty years now.  I was often frustrated in my early years of interpreting my dreams.  Back then, I was following the dream-dictionary approach of almost every book on the subject.  These books ask you to interpret every element of every individual dream to find the meaning of that particular dream.  This usually resulted in incoherent interpretations.  I’ve found psychoanalytical approaches, especially Jungian approaches, to be very useful – but for only a small number of dreams.

jmiller_web1Dream interpretation finally opened up for me when I realized that the real value of dreams isn’t in individual dreams, let alone individual dream elements; it is in the long-term patterns.  By studying the patterns that appeared in my dreams, I am able to recognize and then transform patterns that exist in my waking life.  It is this method that I teach in Dream Patterns.

Posted in Books, Dreams | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Anatomy of Trumpism, Part VII: Democracy

9781400033911Read Parts
I: Foundations
II: Dilettante
III: Liberal Delusions
IV: Conservative Complicity
V: Violence
VI: By Definition
VII: Democracy

Why did you expect anything else?

I intended to end this series by talking about the inherent instability of democracies (like probably all forms of government). I was going to go back to Plato’s Republic and 17th-century English Republican Henry Care to talk about the ways democracy and egalitarianism tend ultimately towards tyranny.

Then I saw Robert Merry’s article in The American Conservative. There was no point in me writing much more. So, to build on his article…

The stability and longevity of democracies isn’t a given. In fact, quite the opposite. We, like members of any polity, should expect the eventual failure of our government. That failure can mean a shift towards tyranny. It can mean complete collapse and the long-term reconstitution of one or more new states. We might be talking centuries from now – or decades. All we know for sure is that the American experiment is mortal.

Mortality doesn’t mean giving up. But we cannot rely on our “system” to protect us from tyranny or even to govern us decently. Those things occur through constant vigilance and struggle. But – and more importantly perhaps – we must also constantly reinvigorate the legitimacy of our institutions. For the last forty years, it is exactly this legitimacy that the radical wing of the Republican Party has been attacking. Delegitimize the press, the courts, schools, international institutions, and any other institution that might stand as a bulwark against the unrestrained power of capital – all, of course, in the name of freedom.

Of course, our institutions must actually be legitimate. So the legitimacy of our police must not depend on us turning a blind eye to police killings; we must reform our policing so that it is seen as legitimate by all. The legitimacy of the press will come, not just from us resubscribing to newspapers and not talking about the press as the “enemy of the people;” the press must actually be competent, critical, and adversarial. For Congress to be legitimate, the US Senate must, regardless of political party, recognize the authority of a President to nominate judges to the Supreme Court. At the same time, we must all see the benefits of the legitimacy of these institutions as greater than whatever partisan benefits we might gain through the destruction or undermining of these institutions. Otherwise, we put aside our personal and immediate interests for the greater interests of all.

Posted in Books, history, Politics | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Learning Languages, Part I: Your Teacher

jmiller_web1I’m a lousy language learner. I’m probably not supposed to say that if I want to learn a language. But the fact is, I’ve had life-long problems with memorization that have affected my ability to learn music as well as languages. I suspect that I have a truncated phonological loop. Basically, I may have a unusually limited short-term memory capacity and, therefore, a lesser ability to shift things from short- to long-term memory. Nonetheless, here I am ten successful months into learning Welsh.

I tried to learn languages many times before – and failed. But I’m finally succeeding. I’ll post a few tips and principles explaining how I now seem to be succeeding.

Principle 1: Unless you’re a baby, no one but you is going to teach you a new language.

I have a Welsh tutor. We meet online once a week for an hour. He gives us homework, corrects us, encourages us, answers our questions, and gives us an opportunity to engage in conversation. But if I relied on him, I’d never learn Welsh – and that’s not a criticism of him as a teacher.  It’s just a fact of life. When you’re a baby, your family may be willing to spend hours every day teaching you your first language, but no teacher can do that. You’re on your own.

I use my tutor as just one part of my self-directed learning. Along with his homework, I spend another hour every day studying. I use flashcards for memorizing vocabulary. I use various online tools. And I study additional grammar books. I also listen to Welsh music and television nearly every day to submerge myself in the sounds of the language.

You are your own language teacher. You have to take responsibility for your own learning.

Posted in language, Welsh | Tagged , , | Leave a comment