The Cosmic 2 x 4

December 10, 2012

The Cosmic 2 x 4, © Lorne Craig

Last weekend I did a workshop on Explore Your Dreams and Intuition in Victoria and began to reflect on the ways the Soul will attempt to help us course correct when we are not fulfilling our deeper purpose. At first a nudge, then a push and eventually if we are unable to adjust, out comes the gentle persuader otherwise known as the cosmic two by four. When exploring this gift of intuition, I like to recall Emily Dickenson’s insightful quote, “the sailor cannot see the north but knows the needle can”. The soul in this case is the needle and the ego the sailor but because they speak different languages, it is easy to head off in the wrong direction while assuming we are following our soul’s guidance. This is the moment the soul then will attempt to apply a course correction.

It all seems a little unfair at times. Once we commit to the journey of the Soul, we have to learn a new language. The Soul speaks in many languages including symbol, metaphor, synchronicity and serendipity but of course is always interpreted through an ego whose languages are thoughts, feelings and sensation. When working with intuition we always have to be on guard for the ego’s interpretation to suit its agenda and maintain its security. I have observed that when we try to interpret intuitive signs through the mind, we can easily get misled; it is then that the Soul may resort to getting our attention, at first gently and then with a little more persuasive power.

I have had many in my life from a broken ankle on Grouse Mountain to breaking down in Sault St. Marie. However more recently it was the encounter of my calf against a bus seat caused by a very erratic driver that painfully got my intention. I was returning from the workshop in Victoria and had just stood up to assert control over my suitcase and backpack when the bus lurched forward and threw me backwards. It could have been a lot worse as my body managed to regain the seat however my calf was given such a whack that momentarily I could not move. I hobbled off the bus and lurched cautiously home.

When something like this occurs, I realize there are a variety of possible causes: I have been a victim of a random act that has no cause, it is to slow me down for an unknown reason or the Soul is applying a course correction. In this situation rather than curse fate and forget about it, I commence an inquiry that normally starts with asking the question of one of the oracles or divination tools that I use. Once home I nestled down beside the fire and pulled out my I Ching. This is an ancient Chinese divination tool that requires you to throw three coins six times. These result in a hexagram that is ascribed a number that indicates the reading. As I threw the coins I knew there was something significant occurring. Four of my six throws consisted of three identical symbols (these are called changing lines), always a sign of an important message. The reading was 39 Obstruction – surrounded by obstructions you must first retreat, then seek direction of the sage. “what is called for is a retreat into self-examination and self-correction.” It seemed to confirm that a course correction was required.

It did not take me long to comprehend the intent of the incident. It will take a little explaining so bear with me. I love all things connected with Hobbits so when an ad for a free application showed up on my iPad, complete with the characters and music from the movies, I could not resist. It seemed like a harmless little strategy game balancing resources to build a village and forces to protect it. I began to play but over the weekend of the workshop I became somewhat obsessive. I played Saturday night after the workshop until 1.00 a.m. in the morning then played for three hours traveling home on the ferry. It had turned from a mild fascination to an obsession and I had no idea why.

The next morning I went to the gym and put on James Hollis’s remarkable audio book “Through the Dark Wood”. He was talking about addictions and suggested an idea that seemed to make sense of my recent experience. Addictions are basically anxiety management systems; we all have them; they only become problematic when the cost of the system gets to be too high. He posed some questions, “How do you reflexively react to stress? Where do you habitually go to when reacting to stress.” He observed that we all have them and they protects us from painful feelings and allow us to numb out, and to distract us from our own lives. The next part put my experience into context. Addictions have an obsessive compulsive component to them that show up when an idea imposes itself on our ego. We find ourselves doing something without really knowing why.

My game that started as a harmless exploration, had become the way I coped with the anxiety of the weekend. Harmless in itself however my soul wanted to remind me that it was time to be conscious and see it for what it had become. I haven’t banned myself from playing however I have become more conscious about it and avoiding the game playing me. The needle had spotted something that the sailor had missed.

Behind Every Cloud

December 10, 2012

I am staring in horror at a revised itinerary sent to me by Aeroplan for my return from London to Vancouver in April. I have been routed from London to Toronto, Toronto to Calgary then Calgary to Vancouver. Can it get much worse? I have to be at Heathrow by 7.00 in the morning; I will not get home until about nine in the evening; that is going to be about 23 hours of travel for a flight that should be half that. Surely they are kidding, it feels like some kind of cosmic joke.

I pause for a moment and take a deep breath; in my worldview I commit “to learn and find meaning from the experiences of my life.” I take another deep, calming breath; I still feel irritated by the aggravation of having to sort this out but I know I need to stay calm and observe the desire to become triggered. I suspect this yet another exploration of my complexes around fairness, not getting my own way and likely overall patience. I call Aeroplan and try to short cut the automated system by pressing zero. It works; I am on hold for an agent; one never knows just how long this can take but it is a surprisingly brief interval before I hear a response. Then nothing; I can hear her but she can’t hear me. After a few increasingly frantic hellos, I give up and sit, bringing my attention once again to the breath; it helps to calm and bring on a more reflective state. I decide to draw a rune; I get Defense; unenthusiastically I drop it back in the bag; it is a familiar symbol; it’s all about being tested and having patience, “right action during a trying time”. As I write this I realize that my commitment to learn from life does not mean I always enjoy it!

I resolve to do the best I can and pick up the phone once more. Eventually I get through and this time we can both hear each other. At first it is somewhat frustrating; she understands my concern but explains patiently that sometimes the schedule changes so the airline has no choice but to rearrange my plans. She offers me an alternative; I leave Heathrow a little later which will be more convenient, then fly to Montreal then on to Calgary before flying to Vancouver. I am staggered, if anything this routing will take even longer. I focus on my breath and explain calmly that this still requires two stops. “Well I am sorry but they have cancelled the London to Calgary flight,” she tells me, “so you have to stop somewhere to get to Calgary.”

I observe my increasing irritation, I can see the complex doing its work; I take a deep breath and state clearly, “But I have no desire to go to Calgary, I am just trying to get home.” It is the breakthrough moment, “oh I thought you wanted to go to Calgary.” “No I live in Vancouver, I was routed via Calgary by Aeroplan.” There is a pregnant pause and I sense a ray of light at the end of the tunnel that is not a train. She tells me there is only one direct flight from London to Vancouver at 10.25, could I make that? I suppressed my joy and said that would be no problem. She puts me on hold, as she has to talk to her supervisor. I notice I am holding my breath. Is it possible that this cloud has the perfect silver lining? I force myself to breathe and try not to get too attached; it is not easy.  She returns to tell me that it will take twenty minutes to finalize but they will book me on the direct flight. Now my delight is unrestrained, “You are my hero” I say, “Thank you for making my day.

It is only when the revised itinerary arrives that I can fully hold my good fortune. Flight AC 855, Executive First to Vancouver, on a brand new 777 and no $75 change fee, it does not get any better than that. A couple of Rumi poems come to mind. The first is from a longer one titled A Great Wagon “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want, don’t go back to sleep.” The other begins like this, “This being human is a guest house, every morning a new arrival. A joy, a meanness, a depression, a momentary awareness, welcome and entertain them all….. Still treat each guest honourably, he may be clearing you out for some new delight.” The wisdom of the Sufi master over eight hundred years ago, he seemed to be a depth psychologist long before Freud and Jung.

Explore Your Dreams and Intuition Vancouver March 24th

December 10, 2012

Explore the magical mysterious, revealing world of dreams and intuition. In this workshop you will learn to understand the inspiration that dreams can bring, to  review the feelings, energy and consciousness within a dream, as well as activate the intuitive faculties of your imaginary world.

Discover the Amazing World of Dreams

Discover how to increase your recall, differentiate between dreams that have value and those that are the outpouring of a preoccupied mind. We will consider the different types of dreams that occur during sleep and learn to interpret the signs and symbols that may be really meaningful and practice dream partnering.

Learn the Languages of Your Intuition

We will work with active imagination through meditation, poetry, drawing and cards to identify themes that may have particular value for you. This workshop will focus on an experiential exploration of ways you can access your inner voice and the different languages that it uses.

Vancouver Full Day Workshop 9.30 to 5.00 Sunday March 24th 2013 Cost $125.00 (includes lunch)

What Others Have Said

It’s wonderful to work with Trevor who is so knowledgeable and passionate about exploring dreams. I would recommend his sessions to anyone interested in learning more about themselves through understanding their dreams.” Vaune Kolber

“You are a great listener with strong insights.  You also have a subtle style that gave me “the guard rails to hold onto” while I found my own way.  You were well organized to keep us moving forward.  Your positive energy helped create a safe place.”  Barbara Beasley San Francisco CA.

“I found the sessions I was able to attend to be simply excellent.  I loved the opening meditations, your flow in bringing the content into application, and your style in honouring of individual input.   Thank you for showing us a craft that you have obviously invested time and energy in mastering.” Joyce Gwilliam

About Trevor Simpson: Trevor is a Spiritual Coach, author of the book Life’s Little Book for Big Decisions, and leads groups on Decision-making, Exploring Dreams and Training Your Intuition. For more see