MP3 R.D.Jansen - What Dreams Are Made Of
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NEW AGE: Healing, NEW AGE: Ambient
WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF R.D.Jansen
Synthesist-psychologist R.D.Jansen takes a musical journey to the center of the heart looking for the unconscious musical sources of his dreams. ____________________________________________________________________
1. EGO DISMANTLED. Sigmund Freud thought that when we fall asleep our Ego is "dismantled" (kinda like Windows crashing). He called the resulting dream state "Primary Process", (DOS?) a primitive, contradictory and creative state of consciousness, where language is understood only concretely, yet symbolic abilities reign supreme, where thoughts "condense" like rain clouds, yet memories, like psychic black holes, can attract so much negative energy they become dangerous. Primary Process is where dreams are born, and where music is created. Listen.
2. DORADO El Dorado was the mythical treasure city of gold sought by the Spaniards. For a guy 24 years old, fresh from Wisconsin, the gold was in the sunshine of San Francisco in the Summer of Love, 1967. Three of us rented a huge three bedroom Victorian flat right on the panhandle for $238 a month total, including utilities. We worked downtown and had famous clients like Grace Slick or guys from the Grateful Dead. There was so much marijuana smoke in the air over the audience at concerts that you only had to inhale to get high. In the Haight-Ashbury district grass was $10 a lid on every street corner, and pharmaceutical grade LSD, $5 a tab. At Henry Africa's singles bar on Polk street, Irish coffee was 50 cents, and three-ounce martinis were 75 cents. If you became hungry, you could get a full pound of cheddar cubes with a basket of Ritz crackers for 50 cents more. It was not unusual that magic summer to make love to several new people in the same day. Every girl was on the Pill, there was no HIV and antibiotic shots that killed every STD bug dead were available at the Free Clinic every morning, (a nice couples thing to do after breakfast), or you could just buy tetracycline caps from your local drug dealer. The Beatles had just released Sgt. Pepper and crack cocaine hadn't been invented yet. El Dorado indeed.
3. FLOW If you find yourself going in circles, it's usually because you have nailed your own foot to the floor. As the Cheshire cat said to Alice, the trick is to make ourselves disappear, isn't it? The way to make your unhappiness disappear is to let go: not of your unhappiness but of your self. No matter what stupid pursuit the constitution guarantees seek instead an ego-less state of doing. Seek Flow.
4. HEART NOT STILL (Haiku)
My heart still fails at love!
In two billion heartbeats
I have learned nothing.
A typical resting human heart beats about one million times every ten days, more than three billion beats in a lifetime, depending upon how much excitement you have had. The only other thing I can think of that is near that number is the age of the universe.
5. EARLY MASS As a young Catholic altar boy, I arose at 5:30 AM to serve early mass. I showered and dressed in the predawn winter darkness, then rode my bike to the church in the bitter cold, which often froze my wet hair stiff. The church was quiet and warm and always smelled of incense and the burning beeswax of flickering votive candles. Early mass was a low mass, so the organist, a wrinkled and ancient nun named Cecelia, did not sing, but instead improvised holy-sounding chords for the entire time, while the priest and I mumbled hypnotically in mysterious Latin.
Because of the ungodly hour, early mass was always assigned to the newer, younger priests and was never well attended, especially in winter. During one particular winter, when I was eleven, the only person regularly attending the early mass was a local housewife who was in love with the handsome young priest saying the mass. One could blame this tragically common state of affairs on the intimacy of the confessional, in which transference could easily get out of hand, so to speak, as sins of the flesh were discussed, indeed, sometimes breathlessly narrated, in lurid detail. The lady in this instance was married, platinum blond, and generously buxom. Even more interesting to altar boys, she had taken to dressing like a streetwalker in a desperate attempt to interest her chosen priest. When she stripped off her leopard-skin fur coat and swayed and clicked up the center aisle on four-inch heels to take a perfumed and well-cleaved communion she generated a blast of eroticism that almost blew out the candles on the altar. The priest gave no visible response to this outrageous presentation. But as I held the gold communion plate just one grubby handspan above her heaving bosoms the sidestream effect alone was enough to give me a woody in my cassock. During the rest of the mass I would steal glances at her as she knelt alone in the empty church petulantly verifying her assets, adjusting a bra strap or straightening a nylon stocking, then looking, with some exasperation, priestward. Of course she sometimes noticed me watching, but, alas, to her I was just a little boy, a classmate, in fact, of her own son.
Perhaps the solitary housewife was comforted by the old nun's rambling organ music. She may have recognized the same tragic yearning, the same desperation. The eighty-year-old nun had spent the last sixty years playing the organ and teaching children to sing. As those years passed her petite body had slowly withered, unseen and unsung, beneath her starched and shapeless medieval costume. For half of those years she had secretly wondered if the bridegroom she had married, gold wedding ring and all, when she was a naive Wisconsin farm-girl of 20, had not been just a figment of her childish imagination. At the time she had spoken her "marriage" vows she was certain that she had actually heard Jesus reply. She wished she could have recorded it on her wire recorder.
But that was sixty years before, a time before recorders, before airplanes, before electric lights even. As the memory of His voice had begun to fade she had discovered that playing endlessly resolving chord sequences on the organ at early mass reassured her somewhat and made her feel, if not young again, at least holy.
When the old nun played she did not notice the sad young women in the church. When she opened her eyes at all, Sister Cecelia focused on the altar, transfixed and entranced by the young men who always looked to her like her husband, Jesus.
6. BABIES This wistful, sentimental, hesitant waltz called Babies is a tribute to the prettiest of human dreams. For childless, fifty-something baby-boomers the idea of making those ungrateful little pink and blue things remains an irritatingly potent dream source even as we wobble toward the grave.
7. DARK GRACE The great St. Augustine is supposed to have looked at a poor drunk lying in the gutter and said, "There, but for the grace of God, go I". Augustine is generally commended for his humility for having said this, and God, as always, is commended for His generosity. Of course the unnamed drunk looking up at the wealthy saint could also have said, "There but for the grace of God, go I", and it would have been just as true. From the perspective of the disadvantaged, God and His grace don't come out looking nearly as good.
8. LIGHTNESS We easily fly, we often float, but are we really lighter when we dream? Does our dreaming brain think it still swims for a living? Could it be that our ancient dream-maker just doesn't realize that we now carry the saline ocean with us as our bloodstream?
Perhaps the lightness of dreams is something more than that. Saints and mystics speak of a lightness of being so intense that is almost painful. Contradiction is the nature of the universe, and when that is revealed, by use of koan, meditation, joke or nocturnal dream, a heavy burden is taken from our shoulders. For a brief time we are back in the Garden, innocent again and lighter of being.
9. ESCAPE TO SEA A cherished source of dreams is the freedom we think we will have if we escape to sea. Much of the boating industry is fueled by this fantasy.
Escape and adventure aside, the sea is also an important dream symbol of the unconscious, of the receptive depths of our psyche, where true freedom resides
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