The Amazon Dream Doctor

The old information network, the one operating for the last few million years, is woven into the psyche of the human race.  It can be accessed through a variety of channels, mediums, shamans, telepaths, dreamers, and priests, who had to be able to access the Divine Spirit in order to adapt to the environment.  Often these were early warning systems, where the enemy was and how they would approach, hunting tools, where the buffalo were and how to find them, game attracting directions, paint the house with pipe stone pigments to get animals close enough to kill easily.  We still have this information network hard wired into our human bodies.  We don’t access it very often.  We have so many robotic helpers on the Internet and in our homes and offices that we forget about the Original Operating System.

One of my colleagues, an actor and body worker, has a direct link to his OOS through his dreams.  Recently he told me a dream with precognitive features.  It both predicted and described what was happening in our psychic world.  On the eve of a South American Yaje Ceremony which the dreamer knew was happening, but was not himself intending to participate, he dreamed he was at work in a Wellness Center.  He was asked to stay late and work on two new clients, an old Native American Chief, who would be wearing his feather headdress during the massage and a European adopted by Chinese culture.  Both men were white skinned and accompanied by female helpers.  The Chief is the first client, but the dreamer is surprised to discover the relationship is reversed.  Rather than his working on the Native, the Chief is working on him.  Within the action of the dream, the Dreamer understood this odd turn of events.  His way of working on the client was by allowing the client to work on him.  The Chief and his assistant do some kind of psychic surgery on the therapist’s back and then the roles reverse to the normal scenario, the Chief is on the table; his body is very old.  While the therapist dreamer is working on the Chief, the second client arrives.

The second dream client in the Wellness Center is, like the Indian Chief, very old, and talkative.  He’s European, has a short grey beard, very lively eyes, frail, and is also accompanied by a woman.  He tells the dreamer that he is working in the lineage of Padrinho Sebastiao Mota de Melo.  This excites the body worker, who is also in the same tradition.  He enthusiastically tells the woman helper that he would like to invite the old man to a Santo Daime Work.  The assistant smiles and tells the dreamer that he, the old man, would not have the patience for such a ritual.  This confuses the therapist, who knows that the ritual is essential to the practice of the old man’s supposed lineage.  He also tells the dreamer that he was adopted and forced to learn a Chinese language which he could not understand, something about Peking and how he couldn’t understand the customs of his household.  He explains to the body worker that his (the dreamer’s) music has brought him to the Wellness Center and that life has a way of organizing everything synchronistically.  After doing body work on this client, the dream therapist goes outside to find the Indian Chief out on a patio.  His assistant is not with him.  The dreamer asks how he is doing, as he looks to be in bad health.  He says he has a problem with his throat.  The body worker offers him some tea, maybe Chinese green tea, but the Chief says he would prefer different tea.

This is a very long and detailed dream.  Obviously the dreamer has an unusual ability to recall his dreams.  He recently found me, his friend and mentor, in a Santo Daime Work.  I value the information conveyed in dreams, so the dreamer finally has someone who takes his psychic dream world seriously.  He is planning to share this dream with me, the mentor, so it is not too surprising that there is information intended to be communicated specifically (symbolically encoded in the Old Language of Story) and directly to me. There is also an intensity in the paradoxical and reciprocal relationship of the therapist to the client(s) which is important information.  Let’s see if the dream can be unpacked.

Starting at the end of the dream, with the second client, it was obvious to the dreamer that the old man was a lot like me, his mentor, but was not Michael Melville.  The dream image is symbolic, and archetypal.  The old, frail man is embodying an ancient psychic pattern, one which has a sacred spiritual tradition.  This is communicated in the dream in a way which connects with the dreamer’s religious practice.  He assumes the old man will be pleased and happy to attend a Santo Daime Work.  But the feminine archetypal helping image says the elder wouldn’t have the patience for the ritual.  That suggests that even though the dreamer’s inner masculine father/grandfather archetypal energy is aligned with the dreamer’s (ego’s) spiritual path, he is impatient with formal structures which are social and lengthy (like the Santo Daime tradition’s Works).  This communication comes not from the masculine, but from his assistant and intermediary, the anima in Jungian psychology.  At least this is one of her many forms.  In the dream the feminine is doubled, both the Native and European are helping the ancient masculine leaders.  This is exactly the way men should be balanced.  The feminine is within and taking an active role in the health of the outer personality.  There is obviously good communication in this picture.  The feminine is honest and clear, but her communication confuses the male therapist.

One of the ways I am like the dream image is in the reference to the Chinese tradition.  I have been reading and consulting the ancient Chinese Book of Transformations for the last forty years.  It is my orientation.  Definitely Taoist and nature based, the I Ching is my philosophy.  And I have only read it in English translation.  I don’t read or understand Chinese.  I never struggled with the picture language because I had Wilhelm’s German translation of the Chinese text in Baynes’ excellent English.  Since the original Chinese is a picture language and very symbolic in nature, it would make sense that a European like me would have difficulty with the original Chinese, but not with the symbols per se.  And there’s also the way the unconscious loves to play with sounds, how the brain associates sounds.  I Ching, the name of the book, sounds like Peking (Beijing) the name of the Chinese capital.  If I were the client in the dream, I would likely be talking about the I Ching and synchronicity.

Going back to the beginning of the dream there is the curious phenomenon of a late appointment, someone unscheduled and hence requiring the therapist to stay over his regular time frame.  And not only is there one old man, there are two.  Considering the dreamer’s involvement with the Brazilian Santo Daime tradition, which is openly acknowledged by the European client’s disclosure that he is following the lineage of Padrinho Sebastiao, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the other client is going to be more traditionally indigenous.  Sebastiao looked very European.  He was a well respected medium in the Spiritist tradition when he met Mestre Irineu in 1967, who had founded the Afro-Brazilian religion in 1930.  The tea in the tradition is ayahuasca.  It was given to Irineu by the indigenous people of Peru. Sebastiao became Mestre Irineu’s protege and apparent favorite.  The resultant envy and negative projections by Mestre’s community members forced Sebastiao to leave after only three years of relationship.  He founded a separate line of the Daime tradition deep in the jungle, one which used Santa Maria (cannabis) in addition to the Daime. When he founded his line of the Santo Daime tradition at fifty years of age, Sebastiao was thin, industrious, and frail, suffering from a heart condition which eventually killed him. Madrinha Rita, his wife and companion, was much more resilient, more indigenous looking, and has out-lived her husband for more than twenty years.

So let’s look at the curious image of the indigenous chief in a feathered headdress working on the therapist as a kind of reciprocal body work.  Feathers on the head are symbols of spiritual power and connection to the heavens above.  Birds fly high into the sky and travel easily where humans cannot.  They are excellent symbols for the divine character of intuitions, transmissions, insights, prophetic visions.  The bird’s eye view is from high above the human condition.  We recognize a person’s status and ability by adorning them with symbols.  In indigenous cultures the birds are interconnected with humans.  Chiefs are leaders in their tribes and their symbolic rank is indicated by the feathers in their hair, just like our European ancestors, who wore crowns or were depicted with halos.  We know from the headdress that the client is both a chief (he’s called that by the Wellness Center facilitator) and a spiritual leader.  And this is the kind of client who always wears his “crown” indicating that it is more of a spiritual attribute than simply decorative.

The healing work of the younger man, the therapist, is paradoxically reversed.  He heals the old man by allowing the old man to work on him.  After that has been done, the body worker can put his hands on the old Indian’s body.  The dreamer has never attended a Yaje Ceremony performed by a Chief, but he has heard me talk about my experience.  The night of the dream people prayed, drank ayahuasca (yaje), and meditated, allowing the medicine to work on them.  In the Colombian Amazonian tradition the Yaje is the Teacher and the Doctor, so it would be well symbolized by a very old chief who is first working on the therapist.  The serpent power is considered feminine, so that aspect of the Yaje would be the assistant, the woman helper, who is oddly “working on” the therapist along with the Chief.  The therapist understands at some level that this is how the medicine works.  It works on us.  It transforms our neurological networks, cleans and resets the pathways to and from the brain.  The dreamer experiences psychic surgery of the spine, the foundational part of the neurological system.  This is exactly what happened to me in 2006 at my first ceremony with the Yaje.

During the cleaning part of the ritual called the “limpia” in Spanish, the shaman sprayed me with water.  Although it was symbolic of the rain in the forest, he called it “the white dog” which chases the dis-ease and shows the shaman where it hides in the patient’s body.  Then with the help of the eagle energy, the shaman can grasp the psychic disturbance to be removed so the body can heal itself.  That was the explanation “up front” before the ceremony started during my private audience with the shaman.  But when it was my turn to be cleaned, it wasn’t an eagle working on me.  The man who sprayed me with the vodka water infused with Amazonian herbs and flowers went behind me and put his hand on my shoulder.  Well, it should have felt like a hand, if it were human.  That’s what I expected, but that’s not what I felt.  The “hand” had very sharp claws, more like a very large cat’s paw.  And then the shaman opened his mouth and rested his teeth on the top of my head.  Once again these weren’t feeling like human teeth, more feline than anything else.

Yana Puma

Having had cats my entire life, I “knew” that something like a mountain lion was working on me.  Then he told me to lean forward at the waist.  My bare skin felt the nibbling at the base of my spine.  The “cat” was extracting something from my back where I had broken it in an auto accident 40 years before (almost to the day).  On the fourth attempt he got purchase and pulled.  I could feel it leaving my body.  Very strange experience, but refreshing.  It changed my attitude toward yaje completely.  The Yaje was the Doctor, the shaman/puma Her assistant.

My friend’s dream occurred the night before I attended the Divine Yaje ceremony.  What is especially odd about that is that I had told him I would not be attending the ceremony.  Late in the day, when the dreamer was at work, healing people’s bodies with his amazing hands, my sister convinced me to change my mind and attend the ceremony.  The shaman?  Yes, the man conducting the Yaje Ceremony was the same man who did psychic surgery on me six years ago.  In terms of the imagery of the dream, the dreamer functioned as my stand in.  He has done to him what I have described was done to me.  And later that night the shaman, who does look Hispanic and not so indigenous (like his father) was wearing the feathered headdress of the Amazon Rain Forest, working on his clients, cleaning them off and transforming their energy.  He also cleaned all of his assistants when they were finished working on the “clients”.

During the Ceremony the energy is always new and robust.  When the Healing and Cleaning function is over, one can see that the Yaje Ceremony is an ancient and tired symbolic form.  In the imagery of the dream the Indigenous Healing way is not doing well.  The body of this tradition is old and unhealthy.  There is something wrong with the throat.  The European therapist wants to offer tea, but the Rain Forest wants a different kind of tea.  What it needs seems to be the ayahuasca, the yaje, the Santo Daime, in order to heal itself.  The problem is that modern civilization is destroying the Rain Forest, the source of the plants which compose the Medicine.  If we want to be healed by the Yaje Doctor, we have to work on the preservation of the Amazon Rain Forest.  We have to heal the planet, if we are to heal ourselves.  Healing the ancient indigenous Doctor means healing the Forest and that cannot be done without the tea.  No forest, no tea, no tea, no Doctor, no healing, no future.  That’s what I mean by the Original Operating System.  It has all the information we need to heal the planet, we just have to understand the code, the old language of symbol and metaphor.  And that is precisely what we do not understand.

Our analytic, scientific, literal language predominates, like the left brain which uses that kind of thinking.  In order to heal ourselves we need to remember the language of the right brain, the old speech of our ancestors, and using both communication systems in their highly evolved forms talk to ourselves.  Balance is needed and can be accomplished.  We have the tools and the teachers available.  We are aware of the problem and our dreams are continually providing us with the information we need to heal ourselves and the planet in the process.  Like the Christ consciousness told us long ago, “pick yourself up and walk, you are healed, now go show the authorities it is possible!”

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About Michael J. Melville

People describe me as a Spiritual Catalyst because their spiritual evolution speeds up when they share their process with me. Discussing dreams, addictions, sacred medicines, family histories, or personal relationships moves one closer to the core, where the inner child dwells. Once contact with her/him is made, growth resumes.
This entry was posted in Dream Interpretation, I Ching: Book of Changes/Transformations, Jungian Psychotherapy, Native American Traditions, Philosophy and Psychology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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