A Dream and Commentary from Year 2015
Hal Stone, Ph.D.
In 1973, after a very busy year of preparation, the Center for the Healing Arts opened in West Los Angeles. I was the Director of the Center; Edith Sullwold (now deceased) was the Associate Director and Jacquelyn McCandless (recently deceased) was the medical director. Linda Sussman was the Administrator. In addition we had a regular board of five members that included my cousin Herb Gelfand. It was Herb and his wife, Beverly, who gave me the financial support that allowed me to lead the development of this remarkable organization. They have always been there as a support when it was badly needed.
In addition, we had a sixteen member Council of high-level professionals that met weekly and that developed and supported our operation with the proviso that if I needed to do something on my own that that I felt had to be done, then I would do it and we would argue about it later. This proviso was a very important one for me. I believe in a democratic process, but there are times in running an organization when someone has to act and not wait for consensus. Otherwise the system breaks down - something I have seen happen many times.
In the early years we were an educational group and we presented to the community a very wide range of teaching and training programs representing a very wide range of theoretical models. During the first two years we had three sets of twelve-week programs and in any single week we presented fifteen to twenty different programs. On weekends we had one or two full-day programs going on. Our taste in programs was very eclectic and covered a very large range of treatment and teaching modalities.
Beginning in the third year we began to implement a cancer research program. We were at the cutting edge of the Holistic Health movement and it was early in this period that we were introduced to the energetic healing work of Dr. William Brugh Joy. It may be the case that energetic healing work has been around for thousands of years but the reality is that very few of us knew anything about it and it was really like fresh water was falling into mouths that were quite dry even though we didn't know that they were dry. It was really the beginning of a profound revolution in the field of healing and the Center was deeply impacted by the work.
Since the time that I separated myself from my professional identity as a Jungian Analyst, I have always been very eclectic in my outlook on transformational work. In my life as an analyst I felt quite judgmental towards all other systems of work other than the Jungian. In a fairly short period of time, things had turned around for me rather dramatically and I involved myself in individual Psychoanalytical work, in Group Psychoanalytical work, in interactive groups of all kinds, in Gestalt work (both group and individual), in neo-Reichian work, and in work involving symbolic visualization. The Council group at the Center represented all kinds of approaches and I took advantage of all of them. I valued dearly all of my Jungian training and experience but I didn't have a title any longer or a sense of any particular professional identity.
The emergence of energetic healing work began to shift the balance of energies into a very different path. The registration for our programs moved strongly in the direction of energetic healing and spirituality. It wasn't a black and white shift but it was a very decisive shift. With it, there also developed a very loving environment at the Center and the idea of learning how to love unconditionally and how to develop our own compassionate nature started to become paramount. We believed that at the Center we needed to learn how to love unconditionally and we also needed to develop our own compassionate nature. We could still fight and raise our voices at meetings of the Executive Council but the movement towards unconditional love became something like a mantra. It wasn't just the Center that moved in this direction. It was also the times in which we were living.
Somewhere during this period I had a dream that I was walking in the slowest way possible. My arms were out to the side and when one part of my body moved then another part had to balance it. Every part of the body felt to me like it was a part of the Center collective in which I lived. It felt like a walking crucifixion except without the level of pain that would be there in a real crucifixion. There was however a feeling of being a walking cross and I could not let one part of it get too far out of line. This is the tension that I began to carry in a stronger and stronger way until I left the Center in 1979.
On the other hand I loved love! I loved loving and I loved being loved and it created a very strong energy field; the Center became enormously well thought of and successful in what we were doing. We introduced almost every leader in the field of holistic medicine during these remarkable years of activity. I flowed along through it all but never could I solve the love problem that I felt so deeply.
During this time Sidra and I were constantly working together on our relationship and we loved each other very much. That didn't stop us from having some very negative interactions and it didn't stop us from working constantly on our bonding patterns. Also, I began my life as a therapist in 1951 and, over the years, I had seen a good deal of the inside of many closets belonging to a wide range of people. Many of these people were strong advocates of teaching people how to love unconditionally, but I did learn a good deal about their lives while exploring all of these darker spaces. Something was off. Maybe something was wrong with me, but the river we were on was flowing too strongly and so I flowed along with everyone else.
In 1979 I decided to resign the directorship of the Center. It was time. The tension of carrying the multiple opposites I have spoken about had tired me out. It was also just time to move on. During these years when I was at the Center, Sidra was the Director of Hamburger Home, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls in the heart of Hollywood. She had started working there in 1972. When I called her the afternoon that I had resigned to tell her of my resignation, I was met with the remarkably synchronistic information that she had also resigned that day from the directorship of Hamburger Home. Both of us had decided on that day to resign without any specific joint plan to do so. We were both shocked by this remarkable synchronicity and yet these synchronicities were so much a part of our life together that, on another level, this was something quite ordinary. Clearly, our lives were moving into a new phase and we didn't know what it was going to be.
THE DREAM OF THE CAVE OF LOVE
I didn't really know what I was going to do with myself professionally after I left the Center. I began to do energetic work full time and I remember a very special moment when I was working on someone energetically. She was lying on a massage table. I was standing behind her with my hands under her head and I began telling her about herself and what was happening and what was going to happen.
This had never happened to me before in this particular way but I realized that certain centers had opened in me that were allowing these pictures and thoughts to be spoken by me. When I realized what was happening I knew immediately that I didn't want to go this route. I didn't want to use my psychic abilities in this way. I didn't know what it was I wanted to do or needed to do, or what belong to me to do, but I knew with absolute certainty that it wasn't what was happening now.
I stopped that process and it was a short time after this that there emerged the dream that I have only realized in these later years was a Source dream that helped me to separate from my spiritual identification and continue my journey into the unknown. As I have done before, I am going to use the third person to describe Hal the dreamer. The dream ego gives us a picture of the primary self. By writing the dream noting the dreamer in the third person we are supported more strongly in our separation from the primary self and in the development of the Aware Ego process.
The Dream of The Cave of Love:
In the dream Hal is in a deep tunnel under the earth in India. All the many people from the Center were with him including staff and cancer patients as well as others generally interested and/or involved. We were a large group. We had been walking for a considerable period of time when we came to a cave and inside there were hundreds of people who were ready to greet us. They were wonderful, loving, caring people and food and drink was prepared. The name of the cave was written in large and attractive letters and this cave was called THE CAVE OF LOVE.
Hal and his friends were all mixing around with their new friends and people were starting to drink and eat. It was as though we had all come home. It seemed like a grand and joyous celebration. We were home and it was beautiful -- but there was that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of Hal's stomach. Something was wrong. He knew this feeling too well and he had suffered it for too long.
Hal moved away from the inner group and stopped at the outer perimeter where he could observe and not be lost in the middle of things. He needed perspective and after a few moments of separation, and then quite suddenly, Hal got it. Suddenly he knew what the problem had been and he knew what the problem was. His people were enchanted by love. Enchantment was the key.
Hal called out as loud as he could to get their attention. He told them that this was not their home. This was only one of the many way stations that we had to explore in a constant stream of stations. Hal didn't know what might be out there when they left. But they could enjoy this place for only a short time and then they had to leave.
His talking was to no avail. They were enchanted by love. He was alone again in his life and he had to go back into the tunnel and continue the journey but he was all alone again. Then Hal remembered Ulysses in the cave of Circe. He wondered if his dear friends and colleagues were going to be turned into something awful just as the companions of Ulysses turned into pigs. They were just going to be drinking enchanted love cocktails until they awoke from the long sleep that was ahead of them. Hal felt a deep sadness but he also understood how they felt and how they must stay.
He now understood the love dilemma that had so confused him in his life. He understood why enchanted love had caused him so much difficulty. It wasn't real. It was a Self or a combination of Selves that had developed within the Center and especially within the New Age culture of trying to be loving and compassionate. It was the mantra of so many beautiful teachers. Conscious love was something else. He could feel the difference. He couldn't yet tell what was missing from the enchantment but he would find out. To try to love was to bury the opposite of loving – to bury the part of you that carried so much of the dark side of our disowned instinctual energies.
With a sad heart that was also now filled to the brim with a new vision of possibility, Hal left the cave and walked alone into the tunnel. He looked back at all the happiness and contentment and he felt the sadness more for them than for himself. He didn't know where he was going but he was on the journey again and it felt right. He had done this before and he would do it again in the course of time.
Hal moved along the tunnel path for what seemed like a long period of time, just as time might pass in a fairy tale. Eventually he began to enter new territory. The tunnel began to widen and then off to the left was a new cave and this cave, too, was clearly labeled. It was called the CAVE OF POWER.
As Hal entered the cave there was a huge body of water without an end in sight. It was like a giant lake or a giant river or a giant ocean. Moored in the water close to him, was a very large and very modern motor driven yacht – possibly 60 to 70 feet long with multiple engines. This yacht belonged to the Shah of Iran and it was Hal's job to learn everything there was to learn about the operation of this powerboat and how it operated in the world at large. There would be many other things to learn in this Cave of Power. After he learned what he would need to learn he would then leave the Cave of Power and go back into the tunnel until the next stop.
The dream ends here.
So what did I learn from this dream after I lived with it for a considerable time? I realized that enchanted love happens when we try to love and try to be compassionate. The key is the word "try". When you try to love then you also try not to be unloving. You begin the burial process of those nasty selves that live inside of you that are not very attractive to deal with when enchanted love, when spiritual love of all kinds, is so available. Who wants to deal with negative bonding patterns and the profound complexities of relationship when spiritual love is so available. Spiritual love can be a wonderful thing but this must not be at the expense of how one deals with the central relationships of one's life. It became clear to me that we could have both.
I learned that to accomplish my allotted task in life required the use of power and I learned too that Power moves very deeply in our psyches and it is very easy to get taken over by it and that is just one of the risks of the trade – to develop the conscious use of power by using it through an Aware Ego process. The good news is that you can have it all once: the Aware Ego process can embrace and channel the energy of Spiritual reality and love on the one side and the Power Selves that are necessary for our survival on the planet
So it was that in 1981 Sidra and I bought our farm in Mendocino and started our travels around the world. Without any serious financial backing to all of this we learned, slowly, the ins and outs of how to operate of the Shah's Motor Launch. It began slowly at first in 1982 and then from 1986 to the year 2000 a period somewhere under fifteen years we moved around the U.S. and the world plying our trade. For about ten of those years we were probably on the road six months a year. When we got home from these trips we had our own work schedule and things to catch up with and take care of.
The love that our world needs is not the enchanted love of those who teach you to be loving and who teach you to be compassionate. This is a learned kind of loving and compassion that is not grounded in the dirt and dust of the earth. The dirt and dust of the earth is related to our instinctual energies and for so many of us these instinctual energies remain largely unconscious. If you study in the Cave of Power and honor what this learning center has to offer us, then you don't have to kill your own power center in order to develop your own loving faculties.
As I have said, Power can be a relentless master and it is a real piece of work to stand between the power of the Shah's boat and the vulnerability and heart opening that goes with a loving energy. Conscious loving is not for 'nice' boys and girls nor 'nice' men and women. It is about embracing all that there is within us and then climbing through valley after valley of opposite energies until there is a 'you' that is strong enough to embrace them all. Along the way we begin to feel the authority of - the power of - a new kind of territory, and a willingness to separate from whatever cave it is that you have been living in when that time has come.
Source energy will not allow us to live in cocoons forever. Instead, it functions in the galaxies as a cosmic divorce lawyer or divorce court that constantly forces us to separate from whatever it is that we are married to. This Intelligence interceded on my behalf many, many times in my life and this dream was one of a number of major turning points for me. I very much recommend this particular Divorce Lawyer, a branch of the Organizing Intelligence of the Universe, before you consider physical divorce. It is not particularly easy to do but the rewards are quite profound.