Sacred Dream Technologies with Colette Baron-Reid & Machiel Klerk
(uplifting music) - Hi there and welcome to Inside the Wooniverse a podcast brought to you from the corner of Fringe and Main. I'm your host, Colette Baron-Reid, and joining us today is a very, very interesting man. His name is Machiel Klerk.
He's a licensed mental health therapist, international speaker, dream worker. He's an author, a social entrepreneur, and founder of both the Jung Society of Utah and the online organization, Jung Platform. He's fascinated by ancient and modern healing traditions.
Machiel has traveled all over the globe studying dream technologies and techniques with dream therapists, shamans, and Jungian analysts alike. Machiel says that his dreams have shown him where he was in life, gave him direction for the future, and have even connected him with loved ones on the other side. This is my territory. Machiel even credits his own dreams for a restored sense of excitement, purpose, and passion in life.
Welcome, Machiel. - It's so great to be here, Colette. I've been looking forward to it. - Me too, me too.
I am all about Jung, Jung has influenced all of my work. I never got my degree because I ended up, you know, doing the intuitive work, et cetera, but I am a Jung all the way. So I was so excited that you've come on here and you're gonna' talk to us about your dream work, et cetera, but I just really wanted to tell you, whoa, I love it. So let's talk about you. When did you become interested in the marvelous, magical, and life-enhancing world of dreams? - Well, that really magical world really was encountered when I was in the depths of my own trouble.
And so I think for many people, when you run into trouble, or a one-way street, or are really suffering, you start looking for some way out. And in a Jungian term, synchronistic event, I stumbled upon the works of Carl Jung and I started to read that. And then I got insight on how I could read my own dreams. And then the magic of the dream life, and the sense of support, and the expanding worldview started getting me out of the pit. And that was in my early 20s.
I had lost my father when I was young, at the age of 10. My culture and my family wasn't good at dealing with grief. So that was all pent up, unresolved loss and grief.
I was living in Amsterdam and on a certain moment, smoking too much weed, which made me really lethargic. And so I was just sitting on the couch becoming increasingly depressed and had no sense of purpose. And in the depth I found a little light that, by sticking to it, helped me reconnect to a sense of purpose. And life has been much better since.
- Wow. You know, we have something in common because I discovered Jung, also, when I got clean and sober. Although, you know, my parents didn't die until a few years later. But yeah, I really understand that sense of purposelessness. And then, you know, the synchronistic events that happened that brought me, and actually brought me to start to study Jung, which was 36 and a half years ago when I first was introduced to Jung.
And it all made so much sense to me. And I went to a Jungian analyst from the beginning when I got sober. So there's a lot to talk about today. - Yeah, and just to add to that, as you of course know, is that Jung was deeply involved in the founding of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous.
And a lot of his thought makes sense for people struggling with excessive use of substances or any form of addiction. - Yeah, and I think also too, you know, the shadow content, the shadow work that he, you know, he's famous for, using dreams, but using the symbolic imagery and archetypal imagery around the shadow that is so important. I even remember, you know, what is a famous saying of his, "Whatever you don't bring out from the shadows seemingly come to you as fate." Right? So this is a very fascinating arena.
So I'm gonna' say, you know, you refer to yourself as a dream specialist, and so do other people. What really, how did the journey, because I know you have so many stories and I just really wanna' hear them. So I wanna' know how you got from I'm depressed, with smoking too much weed, and not able to deal with my feelings, finding Jung, and then ending up where you are now, you know, quite famous for the body of work that you have now.
- I initially, of course, didn't know that dreams would play this much of a role, but I started to write them down, followed it, read extensively Jung, and got really good in that tradition. And after that, I traveled through Asia for a year, and that broke me open to different worldviews and, again, different traditions of engaging with the dreams. Some were less interpretive, more looking at the nature of dreaming to understand the nature of reality. And others were more embodied. So it was a long journey through education. I did a master's degree in a school that somewhat favored this approach and a massive amount of self-learning.
And I think just as with you, and also with the cards, there's not a real educational path that's laid out. It's a personal calling combined with a certain obsession and desire to learn. And then you find all these other teachers, and books, and traditions that you learn from. So I studied with people that were good at lucid dreaming, other dream teachers, and my own dreams continue to suggest parts and journeys. My dream started to suggest, go back to South Africa where I was born.
I grew up in the Netherlands. The first four years were in South Africa. And there I encountered the local Sangoma, the medicine man, that teach me their way of being with the dream. So I really studied many different traditions and then found some synthesis in myself, and that is how I ended up here. And then I wrote that book, through which we're connecting today. - So you went to Asia, that was your first stop.
So we know that Jung was very interested in the I Ching. So did you have any immersion in that particular tradition? Because you said, right away, you said it brought me into a different way of seeing things. Do you wanna' go a little bit deeper on that? - Well, yes, because Jung was so involved with the I Ching, I also started to explore it very early on when I discovered Jung. And to my own amazement, the wisdom of it, the synchronicity of it was so striking that I was caught. And that was the first divination tool that really spoke deeply to me.
And then I did study a little bit of (indistinct), just on the side. And the Sangomas in South Africa did teach me their way of throwing the bones. And so I love divination, and I think what I developed in one of the dream approaches is what I somehow call a dream divination. You ask your dream a question, you can ask the cards, et cetera. So yes, initially the I Ching spoke deeply to me. And what really changed for me was I lived in a bit of dense world.
So I had some sense that there was something behind the world, but I didn't know it, it was a belief. And through the experience of dream, I started having experiences that there was indeed an organizing principle in the depths of our soul that organizes our lives. And that if we turn towards it can be supportive. And just to have that sense that there is a supportive source, mystery, that is on our side, on my side, and on all our sides, was life changing. And then I had dreams in which I reconnected with my dad. And that I really, that in my experience was, oh, I'm really connecting with my dad.
He's living in the other world and life goes on after death. And so, personally, a belief changed into an experience. And I understand my experience can be flawed, but it is for me, a lift experience, which I take serious. - Don't you think every experience is flawed? I mean, it is what it is.
You know, an experience is an experience. It's really our perception or perspective on the experience is gonna' define how we see that, right? - That's right. - So, if we go back again to working with the I Ching. So imagine that, if you will, and knowing, some of our listeners may not know what it is, right? So it's the Book of Changes. And, for me, also, when I first discovered it, I realized that and was very helpful to see that I was always going to be, and this is what I teach in my school, a story in motion, right? That everything was always in motion.
And anytime you try to find that rigidity, you know, of trying to keep certainty, it's like grabbing a butterfly that's running around, right? So it's like we're trying to keep certainty. And I think the I Ching has been, although I must say, I don't know if you feel this way, don't you feel sometimes that it wants to slap you on the wrist? (both laugh) Like I think it could be nasty sometimes. But it's very honest, right? I mean, here you are here and here's where you could fall in a hole. So it is the kind of divination tool that speaks about, you know, synchronicity and movement of events, that nothing is ever separate.
Would you say that's true? - Yeah, I love how you phrased that, a story in development. And the more we know that we're actually a story in development and that nothing is fixed, and that nothing really reaches its end point, because the end is automatically a new beginning. You get away from I need to arrive somewhere in a certain way, or I need to hold onto this. Because if you do that, you are also gonna' be in trouble because things change. And, yeah, you're in some form, whether it's a kind of a circular form or a spiral form, life continues to develop.
And the I Ching gets formed to that in a marvelous way. But it also opens the door that if you feel stuck, stuckness is maybe a phase, but after stuckness. - And it can, yeah, there's something else.
- Always. - Yeah, and there's always an inherent lesson. So, you know, the modernized versions of it.
I know that, I can't remember what his last name is. Wilhelm, that's the, - [Machiel] Richard Wilhelm. - Did translation. Richard Wilhelm. Richard Wilhelm is the one that I prefer. I know there's quite a few different translations of it, but I like that one, I like the poetic quality to it.
'Cause that's sort of how divination is, like dreams, dream is poetry. It's not meant to be exact. And I was dying to ask you, so last night I had a dream. A friend of mine was eating a whole bunch of really delicious potato chips, but special chips that were really rich in calories. And in the dream, I said to her, "You shouldn't eat those, you know?" And she looked at me, she goes, "You can eat whatever you want."
(both laugh) I was like, what kinda' dream is this? 'Cause I asked for a dream to come on today and I'm like, what the hell? Is this me telling me that I could have the chip truck on the way home today? (both laugh) In my story in motion do I get to eat chips? - Well, let me propose a way of thinking about it. - Okay, and then we'll talk later. - So instead of asking the question, what does this mean? One can ask the question, what is happening or what is the experience? - Oh, what is happening? - Yes, so you get a storyline.
And in your case, there is a character that loves to indulge, and that loves to eat chips, these delicious chips. And then there is you who is, no don't do that, don't do that. But the character has some arguments and feels it's okay.
And I wonder then is, oh, it looks like both these, let's say these figures, you're currently a little bit more, I think, identified with, you shouldn't do that. But the other one is also active. And so you have this character inside of you that loves to indulge, and that has good reasons, and there is something to it. But the character is also the danger just to get out of hand.
And you know that, so you say, "Hey, hey, don't do that." But how do you honor the fact that you have this character living in you that loves to indulge. So one way is don't do it, but then you get this tug of war.
And so what other ways would there be that you can allow that, otherwise it goes in the shadow, If you, - Right, exactly. - Say, I don't want this. Then you repress it and then it jumps over you. And before you know you have the chips that this character thinks would be delicious.
(both laugh) - So this brings me to the idea that, and I'm glad you brought this up, that it's not about asking what does this mean? But you can say, what do I make it mean? - Yeah, yeah. - Right, it's like with a dream, rather than analyzing the pieces, it's like, what do I make it mean, what am I making this mean? So which character am I most identifying with? And both and, and I think that's my experience with dream work as well. It's like all the parts are meaningful, they're all meaningful. So I wanna' go back again to what you talked about, going back to South Africa, where I believe you live now. - No, actually I live in the United States.
- Oh, you live in Utah. That's right, oops, sorry about that. Yes, but you went back, is this where you went to learn the bone readings and the dream technologies there? So I wanna' learn a little bit more about that. I think the audience will be really interested in hearing about this.
- About 10 years ago, at once out of the blue, I hadn't been in South Africa for years, and out of the blue I had a dream in which I was in the plane, landing in Johannesburg, capital of South Africa. And I had a sense of coming home. And in the dream I was crying and I was so touched. And I was surprised by that because I hadn't really thought about South Africa that much. And then I was watching a program on TV about South Africa, and I felt like I was connected to the streets and the atmosphere.
And I read something about a person here in Santa Barbara who was a medical doctor and also studied with the Sangomas, and he had written a book about that. So I read a book, I called him, we had a conversation, and then I decided to go back to South Africa. And I very easily came in touch with, through some contacts, with the indigenous healers. So I would be picked up by someone, and we would drive either into somewhat of the wilderness or one of the townships. They would be surprised to see a person from the west have this interest in their technique, but they would throw the bones and they would be surprised and say, "You're one of us." - Oh wow.
- We need to teach you this. And I was initially a bit hesitant, like, okay, well I feel really flattered, but that's okay. And so I took, and, - That's an honor.
- Yeah, it was a deep honor. And something in me was a bit trepidatious to, - Scared, yeah. - To jump into that. Came back a year later, the same thing with other Sangomas happened. And then the second or third Sangoma I was sitting with, he said, "Now it's enough."
So he put me in his car, we drove to a shop, we bought the cloth that you need as the initial, and he said, "I'm gonna' start the initial initiation with you this afternoon, we're starting." So I was a little bit dragged into it, but was also excited, and honored, and scared, and all these things at the same time. And then he started to teach me one, the practicality of what the stones, and bones, and et cetera mean, but especially what they call is to see with the spirit eyes. And this must make relevance for you and the cards, of course, it's one you can learn the cards but really how can you be intuitive? How can you see through the world, behind the world, be in touch with the guides and the ancestors in order to be this vehicle that delivers the message, and how they do that. He helped me teach that. And then other things that came with it, I would sit with him and then there would be the whole day clients coming in and he would just, you sit next to a person and he would just teach you.
So there's not, again, a structured curriculum, but you just sit with someone and then they say, "What do you think?" And you think, What I think? What do you think? But then you get in that state and once I noticed, oh, I have actually an affinity to it and if I trust myself to fall into it. And I think that, I don't know if that's your experience as well, but that initial trust of daring to believe the first thing that comes up and go with that, that is almost always one of the key elements to getting into it. So that was the beginning of the journey.
- I love the way you described this, just the way you even did it, like saying, oh, I was like, I don't know. You know, it's the way that we deny the sacred. It's the way that we deny the invitation, right? It's that hero's journey where we refuse the call. The call is there. I mean, you did go there and then all of a sudden, no, no thanks, I don't really wanna' learn this.
And then meanwhile, they're bestowing a great honor on you, given that they are indigenous people. You are not an indigenous person, but they claimed you as one of their own, that's a big deal. So there's two parts of us, I think, that when we are confronted with this sacred, 'cause we don't live in the sacred, you know, certainly in the west we don't, you know, we don't revere it the same way.
And it's not as simple. We complicate things. And so the resistance to that and the mental high jinks, you know, get involved and then, I can't do this. But then it isn't you doing it right? Because if you see with the eyes of spirit and you hear with the ears of spirit, it's not Machiel, it's not Colette, right.
- Yeah, yeah. - And I think for people listening to this, this pertains to all of our intuitive faculties. We don't have to go all the way to South Africa to study with an indigenous person.
It's like you have to know that you do this all the time. Deny and listen, deny and listen, deny and listen. - Yeah.
Great how you touch upon that. And I think for all of us is this, how do you nurture this relationship with yourself, and build self trust, and your own inner self already knows. And how can you lean into that to allow that to come out? - Do you have any favorite stories from that time? - Well, one that pops into mind is, it goes through stages, the learning process. So in a certain moment one of them tells me, "I need to go to your place, where you do this in the United States and sacrifice a cow." And I just imagine my office.
(both laugh) - Bring a cow into your office. - I think, no. (both laugh) I said, "That's not gonna' work where I live." But it's really necessary otherwise you can't go on. I'm like, "I know, I can guarantee you we'll get in trouble if we do that." (both laugh) - Okay, and then what happened? - I could convince him and we did another ritual.
And these rituals are also so important to grind up this reality and open it up to the other world so that these two worlds merge. And they have marvelous rituals, drumming, and the tribe comes together, and you get in a different state. And once you've been in that state, it is easier to reenter because you know how to get there. And just like when we get in these states to do the reading that you're in a slightly different state of consciousness.
And ritual is one of the ways to get there. And not in schematic, oh, I need to do this, but something that invites spirit to be present and yeah, I call that ritual, but it's a great. - It is ritual. I call that ritual, unless we come up with a better word, that seems pretty good. (both laugh) So you come back from that. So you obviously had some pretty amazing experience with them.
And did they make you a lineage keeper, this sounds like they did, that you were meant to do this. - Yep, they did. And then in the United States, I also spent about two years with a African shaman called Malidoma Some and he was from Burkina Faso and was really steeped in that tradition, and in the western tradition.
So that was great because he spoke fantastic English and that helps with just learning stories. But on the eve of my final initiation, I had this dream after I had the ritual and in the dream spirit throws the bones for me. And it's only one stone that, normally it's in a set of stones and bones, one stone and it is in home suggesting it's time to come home, it's time to come home and who you are. And that was the dream. And I was like, ugh, because I continue to have trepidations. Can I do this, should I do this? You know, my western mind was somewhat blocking, maybe some insecurities.
Am I really supposed to do this? Then the dream comes where spirit says, "It's time to come home in who you are." I was like, okay, now I feel that in good consciousness, can do this work. - So did this particular African shaman take you through any specific dream rituals? Was that part of your initiation? Because so far it sounded divinatory and ritual based. So when did the dream piece come into play? - Dreams is somewhat an integrated part of their tradition. So very often in the morning they would ask what is the dream? They ask the patients that come to visit them, what is their dream? But they don't distinguish so much between dream, as an event at night, but far more like out of reality, the dream reality continue, you open your eyes and it continues to be here, but it is just maybe here where this hand is, or here. And so the dream continues to be part of it and they see that this world of dream is inhabited by, what they call ancestors.
But ancestors is just a broad name for anyone that passed on, including people that might never, or figures, that might never have been here, spirit guides, or other beings that live in the other world. And so they imagine that the world of dream is constantly present and that we need to have a living relationship. And they also think that we in the west, in general, have disconnected from this reality. And that that makes us in danger because we think too much, that we're operating by ourselves instead of that there's a whole team, that is on standby ready to help us.
And so that notion of that the dream is a world that is coexisting, inhabited by characters, and that you not necessarily interpret the character, but you build a relationship to the character. So the character in your dream that says, "Oh, you can have this chip." Maybe you make a drawing of it and then start talking to it and figure out, okay, how do I relate to this voice that clearly is here, and what do you need voice. Oh okay, it's chippies, accept chippies, what else do you need? And then you get a different way of relating to dream figures.
- Yeah, and you know, it's funny, I shared that with you. I mean, because it was kind of ridiculous. When I woke up this morning going, come on, couldn't you give me something more interesting? But I really got that it was about permission.
And I think when you sit there long enough, you know, because I also think too that we can be in great denial. There's much deeper meaning to our conversation, for example, 'cause in the west we deny and then we act out in ways that are extreme. And out of this disconnection, right. But when you recognize the abundance of what is there then you make healthier choices.
It's not about food ever, it's really about, you know, giving yourself permission to just be. You know, and not escape that being ness. And I think all of us are going through that right now. - And the beauty of that figure is a certain form of enjoying life and indulging in the sensual pleasures of life. And you don't wanna' deny that either. So how do you find a relationship to sensuality, pleasure, and whatever else is in that.
But then, yeah, totally. If you cut that out, it comes back. - Just outta' curiosity.
Did you ever go to Mongolia or to Siberia to work with some of those shamanic practitioners? - No, I was in Mongolia in my tour through Asia and in Mongolia I actually broke my ankle running after a cap. - Oh, that's very sad, that's very sad. So, but you didn't visit any of the shaman there? 'Cause they have a very steep shamanistic tradition. My great grandmother was Mongolian, so I was just curious.
So let's go back and talk about the ancient dream technologies that you learned. So was there any specific one that, I think what I gained outta' this conversation so far is that what you learned tells us that the dream state has nothing to do with nighttime. Is that correct? - It is nighttime, but it. - It's really about two different realities. - Yeah, that coexist. That is one big piece of how I see it.
- So now let's talk about the practice of it, right? Based on Jung's idea of synchronicity in the dream world, I'm bringing this up because you founded the Jung Platform based on a dream that you had. So that's kind of, I'm leading you to that in 2011. So let's dive into that.
- Yes. I had a spontaneous helpful dream at night, in which I float above the Lake Zurich and I see Carl Jung's house. And his house in Kusnacht at the lake. And I see his yard, and a dock, and he has built a square concrete platform and he's working on it. And it is this little older, very vital Jung. And he's putting some beams and then he sits in a chair reading a book, and I all see this.
And then the whole scene comes to a standstill and Jung and the platform disappear. And I'm little bit wondered, and then a voice behind me says, "Now you have to draw it identical to how it was." And I'm a bit surprised, and find myself with a pencil in my hand, and I make a line, which is more straight than I thought I could. And then I woke up and I took that dream as a suggestion or almost a mandate to build a platform for Jungian psychology.
But that was building on Jung, it was new, it was attached to his (indistinct). And just like Jung, interested in any tradition that takes into account another world. Whether it's an unconscious or spiritual world.
And so initially I said to a couple of people, "Hey, I had this dream. Do you wanna' build a Jung society?" - That's cool. - And people here in Salt Lake and people said, "Yeah, yeah." So with a team of five people, we built it. And to our own surprise, hundreds of people showed up.
And so it really resonated in the local fabric. And then I took the same concept, after two years, also online and started building programs on the shadow, and synchronicity, and archetypes, and then African spirituality, and karma in your life. And we have now over 150 programs. And so that was really a vocational dream that came to me and continues to inform me.
We have now a whole company with 20 people working there that do this. - So isn't that amazing how the two realities can be bridged together. I mean, you're demonstrating that. You take the information from the dream and you realize that it has value.
So I think a lot of people in the west, they don't pay attention or they just see it as in face value. They don't ask those questions. You know, who are these characters? Because they're typically asked, they're all parts of ourselves. And then what would that mean? And then the voice that is behind, that's also interesting. 'Cause that's the observer, the witness, you know, the witness that says, "No, I am the higher source." This is your job next.
So, and if you build it, they will come and they did. You have people from all over the world taking these courses. And 150 classes, that's a lot. That's a lot. You've been working hard. (both laugh) Yeah, no, it's great.
I love that you had said earlier, a couple of times actually, we said that we've become so disconnected. And I do think, also, I think because Jung was a psychologist, people hear, oh, it's psychology, it's safe. Even though he was like right into divination and right into all this, and it's very woo-woo. But they're oh, oh, that's psychology, I can go there. Because then it makes it safe. But the truth is, is that you're entering into this other world, this other reality, you know, that Jung, that was his active imagination.
Everything that he taught, that he described was, you know, was from those realms. I don't know, do you have The Red Book? - Yes, I have The Red Book and I've wrestled myself through the Black Books, even. But yeah, that's a wild book. That describes what you suggest, this other world coexisting and how do you relate to it.
And once you do, you actually really get in touch with a sense of purpose. And the characters there are the embodiment of your talent. And if you can embody that and bring into the world, you feel purpose and meaningful. And sure life goes up and down, but it gets color again. And it's much better than sitting in a slightly enclosed world as what I had before I started reading it. - Smoking dope.
(both laugh) Not that there's anything, I'm not saying anything guys. If you wanna' smoke dope, go ahead. But it's really the metaphor of being cut off. - In my case, it knocked me down. I became lethargic, it was a crutch.
It was not, hey, I can smoke just once in a while and that's fun. It was chronic and not fun - Right, chronic and not fun. You have a recent book, which is fantastic, It's called Dream Guidance. And in the book you talk about connecting to the soul through dream incubation.
I wanna' hear it from you what dream incubation is according to you. And then we can talk a little bit about the oracle at Delphi where you incubated your dreams there. So it's an ancient tradition. So tell me about this from your perspective. - Dream incubation is a very simple technique. It is asking your dream a question before you go to sleep in order to have a helpful dream that guides you for any problem, suggestion that you have on your life path.
So it's not unlike asking the I Ching, or the bones, or the tarot a question, but here you ask your dream a question to get an answer. And that works very well, especially with questions that are emotionally relevant or have to do with your life path. And that's in a nutshell what it is. - Do you have a story at all about anything that comes up that was interesting around somebody who incubated a dream. I know you have millions of stories 'cause I've read your book, so give us a good one. - Yes.
Well, I recently worked with a man who was just divorced, wanted to get back into dating life, noticed that it didn't really flow that well. And he said, I wanna' actually wanna' find a life partner. And then, that's a great question. So he identified that problem that he wanted to find a partner but couldn't really connect well. And then he reflected a little bit longer on it and he said, "Well, probably in order to find a partner, what I really need to figure out is what is my biggest blockage in my dating life?" And so that was the question that he settled on. He wrote it down, then he engaged in a ritual.
And in the ritual it's just that you spend some time on letting the dream, or the larger awareness, or the mystery know, this is really important to me and it means something, so I'm gonna' make a drawing. And he made a drawing off a heart with a question mark on it. He wrote something to the dream like, this is really important to me, love to hear it. I will write down the dream if it comes tomorrow, if I don't understand it, I will puzzle on it. And so it doesn't matter what you do, but you engage in some expression, of some intent, of wanting to hear an answer.
Then he went to sleep, had a dream, the next day he wrote it down and he reports in the dream, "I'm driving in a tunnel in my car, there's a car before me. And I think that in the distance I see a mountain lion, when we get closer, I notice, oh no, it's a tiger. I get really scared and I start backing out." And that was the dream.
And again, instead of, which is also a good question, what does it mean, but if you ask what is happening, because then you do not need to be a wizard in symbols. Anyone can start that way, what is happening? And you almost take it as if it is a movie that you need to describe. And so he said, "Well, what's happening is I'm driving in a car, I think I see something dangerous, I get closer, I see something that I get really, really scared for. And when I see something that I'm scared for, I'm backing out."
And then the question is, well, do you read it against the question? If the biggest blockage in your dating life is when you see something that you get really scared for, you back out, then you can start to work with it. So that's in a nutshell, an example. And the steps that are encapsulated in it is identify that you have a problem, formulate a really good question, as you know, closed questions aren't good. Should I do this, is not great. One question at a time.
Step three is ritual, four is sleep and dream, and five is write down the dream and work on it. And by doing this a bit longer, I wanna' emphasize to people, don't discard a dream. Take it as if you asked this wise compassionate counselor that lives inside of you for advice. It answers and if you don't understand it, don't think, oh nonsense. But very often you already thought about it and now the answer comes from a different angle than you assumed.
So you need to puzzle maybe, or throughout the day it comes in synchronicity, or you open a book, or someone says something. But those are the five steps that are described in the book but that everyone can apply to their own life and get support from the dreams in that way. - You said something that really, it was important because you said that there's a part of you that, and you named that part, there's the wise teacher, the wise part, the wise being inside you that knows. So there's the one who knows is inside you, so you could maybe write the letter to the one who knows.
Or you could imagine that they're sitting on a chair, that'll be waiting there when you wake up. The one who knows is gonna' give you the dream. There's ways to play with this. I think this could be very interesting and imaginative. And I think that's what I know, that Jung is your main, the point.
But everything that you've learned around the dream technologies is about relationship. So it's a relationship to that part of you and to that world where the guides are, et cetera. So what is your favorite ritual and one that you like the most before bed? Like to ask for a dream? - Oh, I like to figure out a ritual that is thematic.
If I have ask question that is thematic to the question. So if I'm stuck. Recently I took a bunch of clay and just pushed it together and I said, that's how I feel and I don't like it, I'll try to accept it and it would be really good if you could show up and help me with this. And so I try to do thematically a ritual.
And I think any ritual for people that wanna' try this is if it comes from the heart, follow your imagination is a good ritual. But classic rituals are light a candle, do a prayer, but spend some time, be genuine in it. And that is what is the effective ingredient. - Yeah, I like that you said that it's the idea that it comes from the heart. Otherwise you're kind of going through the motions. And I always like to innovate things anyway.
I always find that classical eventually gets stale. I mean, I don't mean to disrespect tradition, I'm just saying that sometimes you have to make it your own. So there's a real relationship between the dream world and the work that you do in creativity. So you talk about numerous musicians that have had their music come to them in a dream.
And my Oracle cards have come to me in dreams. And also I've had a song come to me in a dream that I wrote for my husband years ago when I was recording artist. But you say the good stuff comes to you in the middle of the night, why do you think that is? - An assumption is that we're already in the other world. So we're more connected to the other world and our mind is not filled up with trouble or anxiety, which has a tendency to close us off. And that's also what sometimes ritual does.
It just opens us up. So you become in the frequency that you can receive the insights that are generating on a different frequency. So I think at night in sleep we're in a different frequency or in an open space that our genius or spirit can say, "Here's a beautiful song for you Colette."
And you would be open enough to hear it and not be distracted, or immediately start writing, or something to that extent. That's my assumption. - That's interesting. Yeah, 'cause it is, it's true. It's a gift, it's given to you, but you're there, it exists already somewhere.
And that's kind of the genius, the story about the genius. It delivers it to you and it needs somebody to bring it to life and if you, you don't bring it to life, somebody else will. It's like, here, here's this gift. Go do something with it. I think it's very cool.
So many of your students and clients have done this, but let's move from this to a more dramatic, if you will, arena, which is become actually quite popular right now. Everybody talks about trauma right now. It's become quite in the zeitgeist. So in the west there's this desire to get rid of trauma. While your practice uses an embodied imagination technique to help your clients, can you expand on this? What is embodied imagination to you and how can you use this to heal trauma? - Embodied imagination is, imagination would be so almost another word for the other world. So a daydream, you read a book and you see the story fantasies or the images that come to you or the dreams at night and they present themselves both as worlds and as images.
But you can also experience them in your body. So a person who has trauma might see the attacker, but still has that has the whole body will tense up, or a person sees the bomb goes off but the trauma lives in their body. So the emotion, the image lives in the body. And so these complex challenges as trauma cannot be resolved just by thinking it, it requires the body and an emotional approach. And dreams can digest the trauma experience. Initially you will see that in a trauma dream, almost the identical situation is being relived.
And if it's further, you will see maybe at first it is the real rapist comes in the room and later on it becomes the wolf that tries to take the blankets off. And you know that the traumas has been digested already. But in that experience, in the dream, you might have other elements in that room that you also can connect to. And if you can sense them, and can sense them in your body, and can feel safety, and then you can have a little bit of the scariness.
It's almost like we are an alchemical vessel where there's some cluster of energy that is stuck. But by bringing in different forms of energy in the body, it will start dissolving the cluster of trauma and releasing the images that belong to it and the emotions. And then actually in many cases, the trauma can find a place and a person can heal.
- Do you ever work with EMDR with your clients as well too? 'Cause I found that to be incredibly helpful. - Yeah, EMDR is also actually a technique that takes into account imagination and the body. I'm not doing it, I tried it myself, I think it's great. I know the research, Bessel van der Kolk, other Dutch guy.
Who has also very favorable about it. I happen to work with the dreams, which has an overlap. And that's just my territory. - Yeah, I like the idea, the overlap because when you think about that, you're using your imagination to bring images forward, et cetera.
So do you actually work with people in their waking dreams when you work with them? Or do you ask them to dream and come and talk? How does the dream technology work for you? - Both is possible. People very often come in with a nightmare, which is usually rooted in the trauma. Then we start working on that nightmare. And we just take a little bit of the scariness and we really center on embodying safer feelings so that that scariness gets a place and can release. But technically you never work on a dream, but you work on the memory of the dream. And so you can, any form of memory you can work with.
So it can be a daydream, can be a fantasy, can be an image, and it can be a dream. And that is imagination, so you work with imagination. Memory is imagination.
- And we're completely memory based creatures. Our subconscious or unconscious, it's all based on memory. And if we can create new memory from the old, right. You can just remember the feeling stayed and you don't need to have a brand new dream to come to you. You could say, well, you know, I've had this recurring dream.
Yeah, that's really interesting. If you had a chance to ask Jung one question, what would it be? - Oh, I love that. Well, it would probably be something as what would you love to see in the Jung Platform? Do you feel I that I honor it in an helpful way. - Oh, this is cool.
So why don't we play with something. All right, you know that Jung loved divination. And the consciousness of Jung and yours and my joint memory of what we have learned from Jung could help us ask a question that would be reflected back to us through this Oracle card deck called the Shaman's Dream. So bottom line is let's pull a card together to see anything else that we need to take a look at. And maybe in specific relationship to your question that you would ask Jung.
Are we game? - We're totally game. - All right, here we go. I'm gonna' pull a card for you, for Machiel. If you could ask Jung a question, what would it be? Gathering around the power of community.
Right. So perhaps because the question that you asked was what else, or like, what would you like to see in my platform? Right, that was your question. The answer is gathering around the power of community. And it is about more ways to bring people together so that they don't feel alone. Does that make any sense? - It totally rings true.
And in that initial image, Jung was building that platform, he was putting some beams as if he wanted to create a structure where people could come together. He was reading a book and I've always, with the Jung Society of Utah, we have this community, but online, I've never taken it to the next step. But it has always been, we wanna' provide programs, we wanna' provide community, but I've also always known it's a bit on the back burner. So now I take this as, oh. And it is really interesting because earlier this week I asked a dream, "Jung Platform, what do you want to see happening?" So also this topic was alive. So it's so synchronistic and I will take this serious and we will build more community and this is the direction we'll take.
- Yeah. Well good, because also the art, I have a phenomenal, I've worked with this particular artist for a number of my decks. And their mushrooms and as we know that mushrooms, right, mushrooms connect all of life, the concept of fungi, you know, working also under the surface we don't see it. But there's an entire world that brings all of us together that we can't live without that these represent. So that this is the symbol of it being embodied, which is the mushroom.
But the whole other piece that we are connected in ways we just can't see. So that having, giving the structure right, I think you just got a good reading here from the universe. I think the Wooniverse has spoken and it's now time for the tea time party. So are you game to enter a different dimension of the Wooniverse? - I love it. - Woo- hoo! Welcome Connie Diletti, Connie is joining us. She is our executive producer of Inside the Wooniverse.
And she's also an outrageously talented medium and intuitive. - Outrageous. - Yeah, outrageous. And that's her side gig, her side hustle.
Anyway, Machiel and Connie, you're gonna' start, Connie, with a question. We're gonna' have fun now. Not that wasn't fun, it was all fun.
I could totally nerd out with you like nobody's business. - I was taking notes, that was an incredible conversation. I love the question, what is happening? Who even thought to ask that, because it's like, what does that mean? Like as if you have all the answers? No, the answers are unfolding, what's happening? Great question. - Right, so it's so synchronistic, I love it, Okay you ask him the fun question. - We're gonna' start with something really soft.
What would you say is your most unusual talent? - Oh. (group laughs) Well, what is my most unusual talent? - Maybe you have a few, top three. - If you ask my family, they will list off. - Yes, let's ask your family.
- Patch them in. - Well they would probably say that I am good at imitating other people. The only thing is I cannot imitate the American accent very well. But normally I can do accents in Dutch really well and people, and get into the way they behave. - Can we see or hear one of your maybe like, do you have any celebrity impersonations or one of the? - No, its more that I do the neighbor or someone. - The neighbor, okay.
- That's amazing, can you do a neighbor? I would still love to see a neighbor. - Well then I, but it's more like, it's a real neighbor that was there and then I'll can imitate just the way they work. - Okay, okay, it's improv, okay. That's amazing, that's great. - I have a good one, what is your worst bug related story? You've done travels all over the world. You have to bump into some bugs, Honey.
- I was in Cambodia, I believe, and they had just made dinner and there were these spiders this size, poisonous spiders that they would eat. - They'd eat them? - Yeah, so that was dinner. So not only the legs but then also you could eat the body of the spider, but you have to be really careful because part of the body was really poisonous. - Oh my God, they're doing this, is this like a special? - Welcome. - Like ceremonial dinner, welcome, welcome.
Have a poisonous spider. - Don't eat the poison sack, enjoy. I would love to see your impersonation of that offering. - That would have freaked me out completely.
- Okay, so if you were immortal for a day, what would you do? - Gosh. Well I probably would jump off the mountain just to see how it would be to fly like that. - That's a good one. - Yeah, maybe I would be trying to, I would try to figure out how I could use that in some positive fashion, or have fun with it.
- Flying will do, flying's good. - What would you do, Colette? I feel like you're sitting on like 10 things you would do. - I would also fly, I would also fly, but I, here's what I would do if I was immortal, I would figure out a way how to go in the ocean and discover where those aliens went that I saw flying into the sea when I lived in Dominica. I saw that with my own eyes, nobody can take that away from me, I saw it.
I was only like eight, so I wasn't on drugs. Okay, I was eight. So I saw this, I saw it. So I would like to figure that out.
I'd also, since I'm immortal, I would actually like to record like a brand new album of music, which I haven't done because I, you know, I don't have time. So if I'm immortal, I'll have lots of time. And I would like to learn how to cook.
Like, you know, I would like to learn how to cook Thai food. There's lots of things that I would do if I was immortal and then I could eat whatever I want because I'm immortal. - You need those calories, yeah. I love it, I love it. - My turn, oh, ooh.
What would you name your autobiography? - A Life with Dreams. - A Life with Dreams. - That's so nice. That's so nice, yeah. - That's pretty cool - I love that. - Yeah, I like that.
- Are you working on that? - No, but that, this one I've thought about once. - Oh, okay. - I'll hopefully wait another 30 years before I have to really think about that. - Yeah, that's great. - Okay, I have a good one. What are your weirdest superstitions? - So superstition, you mean, what do you mean with the superstition? Rituals that I do or things I'm afraid for.
- Like Friday the 13th is bad luck if you do this. - Oh, okay. Because I was thinking one of the weirdest fears I have is that they lock me up in jail.
And that is a repeating dream. That fear does keep me in check. I don't do weird stuff that would really lead me there. - No. (group laughs) And in dream work I figured out it also very often has more to do with being stuck, but it was, that's somewhat of a fear I have. The superstition is, well I have more positive superstitions.
So every day, I have this little red stone that represents the ancestors. And if I don't have it with me, I start feeling like, oh, do they know? - Where are they? - Do they know I'm here, like, hello? That's interesting, you know, for me it's the finches outside my window. Like I know it's gonna' be a good day if all the finches come. It took me weeks to get them to come to this feeder, 'cause I typically, I live on a farm, so I don't like to feed the wild animals, but one day I gave in and then it sat there forever.
But then when they come, I don't know why, but I have this thing that if the finch come and if there's five of them, 'cause five is usually a number I don't like. For some ungodly reason. Well, 'cause I'm a two in numerology, but you don't need to know about all that.
But yeah, if the finches come, I know my day is good. So I'm gonna' keep feeding them just in case. I better fill up that food. - And how about you, Connie, what is your weird superstition? - Oh man, I'm also like a stone person, like gemstones. So if I'm about to do something and I have a little protection stone or something.
If I can't access it, like, oh God, am I still protected today? Or saying like just giving thanks, saying, you know, little prayer. Man, I'm a Scorpio. I have like a thousand superstitions. - Superstitions make the Scorpio.
- It's like just everything is like, but you know what? Also, I feel like there's one thing about animals. It's like a crow, so the one crow, one crow is sadness, two crow is joy. For some reason that is in my mind from school. And so if I hear a crow, I'm like, how many crows was that? Yeah. - Wow, I have the crows. 'Cause the crows come and eat.
They come and I love them. They're humongous where I live, they're huge. they look like ravens, but I know they're not, 'cause they don't have the thicker beak, but they come and I always feel like, ooh, like the structure, because their universal law, the structure of my day is going to go well. I have a lot of positive superstitions, like all these like good things.
- Me too, more positive. I was recently, I had the outline of a talk and then I walked under a tree and at once all the crows flow out of the tree, and I was like, first I was like, oh, what's happening? And then I was like, hey, this is strange. I couldn't place it but I thought maybe the structure is good. - Right, instead of like, it could be terrible.
It would be just like awful, it's a murder of crows. Why do they call them a murder of crows? So everyone, what a great conversation we had. For more information about Machiel and all of his offerings, head over to machielklerk.com. You'll see it in the show notes. A transcription of this conversation, quotes, highlights, and more links can be found on our show notes page, which you can access via the link in this episode's description or by going to itw.com.
Thank you so much, Machiel. I can't wait to go to sleep tonight and dream. - Thank you, it was such a pleasure to be with you, Colette, and nice to share time with you, Connie. - Yes, you too, thank you. - Oh, what a great conversation.
So what did we learn today? Well, wow, you know, certainly I learned that the dream scapes of our lives are alive. You know, your dreams are important. You can communicate with your dreams, you can learn so much about yourself. That is so true. And never ask what does it mean, ask what's happening. I think that was something that was very, very important to learn today.
Especially if you're interested in dreams and dream divination and what a fascinating man. Anyway, thank you for listening. Until next time, I'm Colette Baron-Reid. Be well. (upbeat music) (upbeat music continues)