Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Crone Love April 2, 2011

Here are my associations to the dream from my previous post. I’m in a place like a Jewish kibbutz (somewhere foreign to my conscious orientation: i.e., the unconscious). I’m met by an admired professor friend (symbol of my positive anima), and three or four crones (images of the wisdom and authority of the deep feminine). I’ve brought gifts (my strong desire to connect with my unconscious contents?); but, surprisingly, the elder women give me sweet-smelling herbs and spices (symbols of the feminine, nature-based mystery wisdom which awakens the body and its senses and brings physical and spiritual healing in natural, organic ways). The dream says I know the value of these gifts and look forward to using them in the future (I want the wisdom of the Great Mother and hope to use it wisely someday).

Wait! I’ve just had a huge “Aha.” The seeds for this blog were planted some twenty years ago in this very dream! For all who have inquired about the meaning of the word, Matrignosis, the answer is in the last sentence of the above paragraph: “The dream says I know (from the Greek word, gnosis, meaning knowing or knowledge, particularly intuitive, esoteric knowledge of spiritual truths) the value of these gifts….I want the wisdom of the Great Mother (from the Latin mater > matrimonium) and hope to use it wisely someday.”

Matri. Gnosis. Matrignosis means “knowing Mother wisdom.” I consciously made up this word a little over a year ago, but hadn’t realized until now that twenty years before that Dream Mother told me via this dream that the Grandmothers were giving me gifts I would want to use some day. And I am using them. To name and write this blog! Do you see why I trust the wisdom of my dreams? My ego could never come up with this stuff all by itself. We are not alone, my friends. All we have to do is turn within where our teachers are waiting to bless us with extraordinary gifts.

Back to the dream. It ends with me crawling away through a darkened theater feeling nervous, yet confident and decisive. (Another Aha! Did this dream also inspire the title of my book, Dream Theatres of the Soul?) The way I feel in the dream describes my waking-life emotions about my new course of action. My determination to understand myself had led me to dreamwork but I felt I was breaking the Old King’s rules (the unspoken agreement of collective culture to discount femininity and the life of the unconscious) by entering this dark and foreign land, and occasionally a dream like this would show me my ego’s fear of censure.

For me, the dream’s highlight was my warm welcome from the mysterious, benevolent grandmothers. Their acknowledgment of me confirmed my worth and their gifts felt like the rarest of blessings. There were no strings, no reservations, no sense I had to behave a certain way or believe certain things to be acceptable. They were prepared for my arrival, wanted me there, loved me as I was, and offered their gifts freely.

Being known and loved by them was enormously validating. Yes, I received this assurance from a dream, but my soul doesn’t care where profound feeling originates. It entered my consciousness anyway, and I still cling to it like a lifeline, for at times I need the reminder that I am good enough and an ancient maternal Source loves me no matter what. In retrospect I believe the unconditional love of this Source is the ultimate meaning of the crones’ gifts. Perhaps even the ultimate meaning of life.

You can find Healing the Sacred Divide at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.


Gnosis: The Wisdom of Experiencing August 14, 2010

When my God-image was wholly masculine I was like a computer in a darkened room. My head was a storehouse of data and my mind was a whirlwind of non-stop activity filling every corner of the screen with a continuous flow of thoughts, words, ideas, questions, and concerns. I knew many facts and theories about the outer world, and I knew how to make them sound and look good, but I understood little about my inner life. In effect, the bright screen I presented to the world was only a pinpoint of light in a vast darkness. Meanwhile, beyond my dark room was an unknown universe of light, feeling, meaning, sensation, and beauty.

My introduction to that universe was gradual. In the 30 years between 17 and 47 I underwent three crises of meaning triggered by life experiences that compelled me to question the purpose of my life and the spiritual beliefs I looked to as guides. Each time, after searching for new sources of spiritual sustenance, I was given a glimpse into the realm beyond: twice by way of physical, sensory experiences that had no traditional, logical, or scientific explanations, and the third time by way of some “big” dreams that provided invaluable guidance. Through these experiences my believing was gradually replaced by knowing that something sacred existed in me that had nothing to do with my ego. I knew it because I had experienced it.

I had no idea where my experiences came from or why they happened, and I can prove nothing about them to anyone. But they happened, these physical, sensory, life-altering, inner events. These “feminine” spiritual awakenings. These gifts of grace. And they changed me, inflaming my languishing spirit and restoring meaning to a soul that had practically dried up for lack of it.

Jung pointed out that “the ideas which form the content of every religion are not primarily the product of an externally originating revelation, but of a subjective revelation from within the human psyche.” For him, for the Christian Gnostics, and for everyone who has ever struggled to overcome the limitations of the spirit of the times which does not address the spirit of the depths, a new kind of certainty arises from unexplainable, personally compelling phenomena. Belief in outer authorities simply cannot stand up to an interior event — whether it is a powerful new insight, dream, vision, synchronistic experience, or profound emotion — which opens our hearts and fills us with awe, wonder, reverence, compassion, and meaning.

Once Dr. Jung was asked if he believed in God. His reply was something like, “I do not need to believe in God; I know.” In Jungian psychology our minds and spirits are equated with the masculine principle and our bodies and souls with the feminine principle. Dr. Jung’s reply indicates that he had experienced the Great Mystery in the feminine Way that originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, and that he had used its unique language to inform and enrich his own spiritual journey. His recently published The Red Book is a brilliant testament to the value of this way of connecting with the Mystery as a life-transforming spiritual path.

Personally meaningful spiritual experiences give rise to gnosis, the spiritual knowing that transforms our ego’s heroic struggle for consciousness from single-minded self-centeredness into centeredness in the Self, the source of all our spiritual striving.

What spiritual experiences have helped you become more centered in the Self?


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