Are You a Dreamer?

Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Martin Luther King Jr. had one. So did Susan B. Anthony. And Harvey Milk. Malala Yousafzai has one now. All those who speak out for human rights and freedom have dreams, no matter what country or century they live in. Artists too are dreamers. As are musicians, poets, and storytellers. Monet and Maya Lin. Jason Mraz and Indie.Arie. Toni Cade Bambara and Mary Oliver. Dreamers are visionaries, conduits, soul-speakers. There is a dream within them that has to be verbalized, vocalized, lived out. It can be a yearning or a lament. A celebration or a revelation. Whatever form it takes, it is an expression of the heart and soul that transcends the individual human form it comes through and becomes universal.

In truth, we are all dreamers at the soul level. It is what makes us human—and divine. Each of us carries a dream inside us. When we speak our inner truth and wisdom in the world, we are sharing with others what is unique to us. A special spark of creative awareness that can move mountains and create miracles. Not everyone is Michelangelo, but everyone is their own version of Michelangelo. You don’t have to be famous to live your dream. In fact, fame can be a distraction. All that really matters is that you allow your soul’s voice to sing in whatever form it takes.

How do you make that happen? Well, you can’t really “make” it happen; the key is to allow it to happen. Let life flow through you. In other words, live your life so openly and fully that your soul just naturally expresses itself in all that you say and do. Be a risk-taker; step over the edge of predictability into the unknown. When you do this, you activate the dreamer within who can see possibility beyond circumstance, beauty beyond pain, transformation on the other side of “reality.” The dream that comes from your soul, when expressed fully in the world, becomes humanity’s dream as well. Truly.

The energy of your life affects all other lives on the planet, whether anyone knows your name or not. We are all so connected that every thread in the tapestry of life is interwoven with every other. As in the classic “butterfly effect”: the butterfly that moves its wings on one side of the world changes the direction of the wind on the other. We are all butterflies on this planet, dancing in the wind of our individual and collective destinies. When we allow ourselves to become the dance and the wind, we transform and are transformed simultaneously. That is the magic of becoming one with something greater than your own life. You align with a choice you made before you were born, and suddenly there is nothing that can stop the dream within you from expressing itself.

We are living at a time of accelerated planetary evolution and transformation. Polarities and divisions are dissolving within us and around us as we see with complete clarity the possibilities for harmony, balance, and self-expression in this world. That dream is awakening inside each of us. It is a human dream, a soul dream, however it is expressed and lived out. May we all open to and celebrate the dreams unfolding in our hearts.

“So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles…
Here’s to the ones who dream.”
—Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Your Soul Plan

Photograph © 2014 Peggy Kornegger
Okay, the way I see it is that God (infinite beingness) and I (my soul) sat down to talk (merge energy essences) before I was born to create a plan (cosmic overview) for my current lifetime (incarnation). After my birth, I forgot the plan, but God didn’t. Everything I experience in my life is here to remind me. As long as I resist “what is,” I am not aligning with my soul’s purpose, who I came here to be. When I surrender to God and the flow of divine energy in “what is,” I too begin to flow and to flower into my soul essence. The ego or personality self takes a supportive role, and my soul rides the wave of expansion and unfolding that life is meant to be.

We all forget. It’s part of being human. But life is here to remind us in every experience, every event, every person we meet. We can awaken to the greater overview for our lives and for life itself. Now, during this time of radical upheaval and transformation on the planet, possibilities are revealing themselves in unexpected ways. The veil is thinning between this human world and the Source consciousness from which we came.

That dynamic energy of unlimited potential created this universe, of which we are an integral part. We hold the same unlimited potential for creativity within us. When we stop trying to understand and control the events of our lives, when we let go at the deepest level, we suddenly step into the same energy and power that created the universe. We too are creators. When we allow the flow of life instead of resist it, we become aware of our own divine creative energy, our soul purpose. And we begin to flow with it. We create as God creates, because we are God, every one of us. We just have to recognize the reflection of divinity within and all around us.

I’m sharing this perspective because that is what happened to me. When I let go at the deepest possible level, it was like a clogged drain opened up. Everything began to move forward at a faster, dynamically inspired pace. Quite literally, when I took my foot off the brake, God accelerated! That’s the best way I can describe it. There was a magic to the day-to-day experience of my life. Every choice I made, every action I took, came from a deeper place within me. Thinking and feeling and doing were all part of one soul expression in this world. I became acutely aware of being a spirit expressing itself in human form, part of the greater Spirit of universal consciousness.

“What is” is not a concept, an obscure spiritual teaching. It’s your life. It’s God/dess in physical form. Open to it, accept it unconditionally, and you will begin to experience the miracles you are surrounded with all the time. And now is the time for miracles. The world is on fire with possibility. The old paradigms are shattering all around us, in spite of the desperate attempts of those trying to shore them up. Humans are incapable of building any wall that will keep God out. And God lives in every human on this Earth. Look around; you are surround by angels. Really look in the eyes of the next person you encounter. God looking out at you. In every animal’s eyes, God. In every tree or flower, God. Let all the walls fall down, and remember the true nature of life and of you: limitless being, beautiful in its ever-changing creative uniqueness. A miracle, shining into radiant visibility.

Stop Suffering

Photograph © 2017 Peggy Kornegger
So much of our personal suffering is self-imposed. We struggle against the way life is unfolding, trying to force certain outcomes. When we fail, we are miserable. Our minds replay our supposed failures over and over again, triggering memories of past “failures” so that finally we are drowning in an avalanche of suffering. We see ourselves as victims, barely able to carry on beneath the burden of unfulfilled dreams, of life’s unfairness. The promise of abundant possibilities and self-fulfillment seems to elude us again and again. What if we are only living out our mind’s perception of life—a self-constructed illusion that keeps us trapped in struggle and unhappiness? Our personality self, or ego, which is connected to the mind, engages in the world at the level of effort and trying. Our souls exist in connection to a Higher Self, or God. When we completely surrender to something greater than our own individual personality selves, we let go of suffering as a way of life.

I’ve been learning about the power of surrender for a number of years. The first level for me was to recognize that life is not about one-focus doing, it’s about being, out of which doing arises organically. When you surrender to something that is beyond the mind, beyond the will—whether you call it God/dess, universal consciousness, source energy, the name doesn’t matter—you step into the flow of life. I found that the more I let go of desired outcomes and objectives, the more I felt connected to that flow. Life unfolded perfectly without my even trying. Now, by “perfect” I don’t mean everything was necessarily what I wanted to experience. What was perfect was my letting go of it being perfect! At a deeper level, I accepted all of life’s experiences, not just the “good” ones, those my mind thought should happen. When I did that, I stopped suffering: on some level, everything was “good,” because it was part of a greater soul plan for my life.

Not everyone believes in soul plans. I do—perhaps because I’ve repeatedly experienced the power of that trajectory, that connection to God and soul purpose. Recently, I was working hard at learning a new kind of writing, one that I had never attempted before and knew nothing about: a play. The idea of doing it was exciting; the day-to-day reality was at times intimidating, overwhelming. I persisted because of my own internal commitment to do it, but I proceeded at the level of effort, of difficult daily mental work and figuring things out. There were moments of inspiration, but overall, I was not experiencing the flow that I have come to know in my writing when something beyond my personality self takes over and speaks through me. In spiritual writing, which has been my main focus in recent years, this connection comes easily for me. I am a conduit, and my own particular writing abilities are in service to that. In attempting something new, I felt none of this.

The solution came, of course, in letting go even more. My morning prayers of gratitude and surrender expanded to the point where I was only asking to be of service to God: “If this is what I’m here to do, please show me the way. I surrender to whatever my soul’s agenda is.” Last year, during a health crisis with my eyes, I had surrendered in much the same way, and everything opened up around me. This time I went even deeper, and once again I was lifted out of the entanglements of my own fears and efforting into connection and flow. I began to hear my characters’ voices in my head and transcribed their conversations into the play. I witnessed their lives unfolding, just as mine was. My mind became the tool of my soul and helped me actualize the creative flow I was experiencing. I stopped struggling.

And the miraculous byproduct of this new level of surrender was an even deeper relationship with God, the spirit within that is always with me. The vast loving energy of a universe that is eternally ready to support our soul’s evolution here on Earth. One morning, as I was praying at the end of yoga, on my knees in child’s pose, surrender went through my body like electricity, like a flood, leaving me shaking, with goosebumps all over and tears streaming down my face. The divine connection was so powerful that I felt an inner vibration for days afterward. Now, day to day, I feel even less attached to the outcome of anything, in writing or in life. I’m here to live my soul’s purpose, and I accept wherever that takes me. Suffering or struggle, if it arises, passes very quickly when I remember that one guiding principle.

 

Time Passing, Time Standing Still

Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
At times, it seems that our lives are moving so fast that we can’t catch our breath. At other times, it can seem that we are stuck, that time is standing still. Yet, past, present, future; birth, life, death; and time itself are all mental concepts, distinctions that we humans invent and superimpose on the world as we try to make sense of it. Beyond the mind’s created parameters is eternity. Occasionally, we touch it with fleeting awareness: In moments of great love or great loss, the mental boundaries fall away, and there is just presence without beginning or end. The deeper we live into life, the more we open to this perception.

Over the course of a lifetime, if we are lucky, there can be a gradual disengagement from the arbitrary cognitive constructs that seem to hold life together but actually keep us from seeing the infinite universe we are part of. Mark Nepo calls this “the realm of light,” in which all else falls away, and we burn brighter. William Blake writes of holding “Infinity in the palm of your hand, and Eternity in an hour.” Poets and mystics help us step over the threshold of the world we perceive as real into a limitless open space of sheer beingness where time passing and time standing still become one.

One night last month, for no particular reason, I thought of my parents and the ages at which they had died: 81 and 94. It gave me pause. I don’t often think of my own age, and I usually perceive the future as open-ended. But, of course, we have no idea how long we have on this Earth. I could live to 100+. Or I could die tomorrow. Thinking of my parents’ deaths made mortality more “real” somehow. I asked myself: In the time left to me, how do I want to live? Or to quote another poet, Mary Oliver: “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” A question I have usually answered in the living of it—embracing the full adventure, aware of each precious unrepeatable moment. The answer evolves as I evolve.

Last year, in the midst of a health crisis, I answered that question with a prayer in which I surrendered my separate human identity to something greater: to divine connection, in service to God/dess. That moment of surrender shifted everything for me and continues to, on a daily basis. When I thought of my parents last month, I surrendered again—to the unknown trajectory of my own life and death as a physical form here on Earth. The human ego, or personality self, struggles to survive at all costs, but our souls are eternal. When the personality surrenders to the soul’s greater wisdom, an inner alignment of human and divine takes place. We start to experience life as beautifully orchestrated, beyond time. We step into a flow of living energy that is limitless and multidimensional.

Only the soul sees this greater universal picture. In recent years, I’ve found that there are some experiences that cannot be described, that elude language entirely. They are encounters of the heart and soul that are primordial and timeless. Only in silence are they fully received. When we are present at a birth or a death, when we hold another close to our heart with love, when we experience God’s presence—these are times of wordless immersion in the mystery of life. Time ceases to exist. These are the truest moments of all, when we know that everything is unfolding exactly as it’s meant to. My life, your life, all of life, is of a piece, a miracle that defies description.

The Woman Who Feared Infinity

© 2015 Anne S. Katzeff / Artist
© 2015 Anne S. Katzeff / Artist
If you’ve seen the film The Man Who Knew Infinity, based on the life of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, you will recognize the reference above. Ramanujan was a highly advanced mathematical genius with relatively little educational background in the field. He was primarily self-taught. His theorems and ideas were brilliant, ground-breaking, and 100 years later are still being studied. According to a number of sources, his work was inextricably connected to his deep devotion to his spiritual practice. In the film, his character explains: “An equation has no meaning to me unless it expresses the thought of God.” Other great scientists and mathematicians have recognized that same connection; Galileo, for instance: “Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.” Ramanujan lived and expressed this truth. His unconventional mathematical thinking, often revealing the effects without the cause, or proof, came from a place within him that was connected to the infinite, to God. Because of this, he became a clear vessel for God’s light of universal truth to shine through him.

I watched The Man Who Knew Infinity twice, weeping each time, moved by something beyond the poignancy of Ramanujan’s life story. I identified with his connection to God and the infinite that defined his life. Infinity has defined my life too, but almost in reverse. All my life I have feared infinity, run from it in terror—until finally I found that I was running from something that would change my life forever. Through my work with Panache Desai, I stopped running and faced infinity. In the process, I discovered that infinity was divine, was God—something Ramanujan knew all his life in the deepest part of his soul. He was an embodiment of that spiritual truth. He lived it. He began his life at the place that I am just now experiencing.

For whatever reason, I was given the life path of moving through intense fear in order to discover profound divine connection. I am the woman who feared infinity. Yet I am becoming the woman who now recognizes infinity as the deepest, most powerful immersion in universal consciousness. Fear is really the reverse of knowing at the soul level. It is the last barrier to embracing the Great Mystery and merging with God. As I let go of fear more and more, I come to understand what cannot be expressed in words but only felt intensely in the heart. To be human is to fall through the black hole of fear, confusion, and aloneness into the light of a love that is completely unconditional and unlimited. This is God.

Perhaps that is the journey we are all on in our own unique ways. Some individuals, like Ramanujan or Panache Desai, have a clarity of vision that lights the way for those around them, who then in turn share that light with others. The light of knowing, which we all carry deep within us, is the soul’s shining wisdom. When released from the fears that surround it, this knowing lifts us to a place of harmony, peace, and continuous spiritual connection. Some would call this living with the Bigger Picture always in view. We are able to see clearly what the purpose of life on Earth really is: to become clear vessels for God’s light to shine through and illuminate the world around us.