Electric Dreams


Eternal Return

Eugene Marks 

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Marks, Eugene (1997 April). Eternal Return by Eugene Marks: Reprint of Interview with EM. Electric Dreams 4(4). Retrieved July 26, 2000 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  

We printed the interview with Eugene in ED4(2) but not the story of the Eternal Return. To contexualize the story in light of dreams and dreaming, I am re-printing the interview at the end the story

Eugene Marks has a unique story and comes from a gnostic-like space of direct experience when talking about dreams, life and spirit. His own spiritual path has been what I would call a journey into authenticity, and no social or artificial barrier has turned him back from this pursuit. Though drawn by the deeper pulls of the inner soul, Eugene continues after six decades being creative and giving in the outer world, as is evidenced by his mix of storytelling and endless encouragement to others on the path of discovery via the latest global technology, the World Wide Web. Like many travellers through the 60's, Eugene finds that while you can't ever come down, the trip is now kinder and gentler, and intertwined with a variety of inner personalities that occasionally come together in manifestations that remind one of Jung's Self and which Eugene calls Wanderer. Dreams seem to be an essential part of this new style, but the direction on his compass is still the same, to the heart of the lion, from the heart of the lion.


Richard C. Wilkerson (RCW): The first part of your life seemed to be more about uncovering a sacred mystery, now you seem more involved in the process itself of revealing. Kind of a shift from content to process. Do you see this in your dream work as well?

Eugene Marks (EM): In my earlier development, when I was focused upon uncovering and then becoming who I really was, my dreams helped me to become conscious of all aspects of my psyche, allowing each of them to merge together into a new being, the person I really was. Nowadays, knowing who I am and focused instead upon living out my life in the world with consciousness, my dreams are helping me to steer my way. Several years ago, I had a dream in which I was a pilot, steering my boat through a watery maze, one filled with many dangers and obstacles, many twists and turns--much as life really is. In my dream, I piloted my boat through all this unerringly, without ever looking ahead, standing there at the tiller of my life. I didn't need to look ahead, my dreams themselves were leading me into my future.

(RCW): The theme of wise persons and guides seem important in your journey. Do you find the renewed collective interest in shamanism parallels this desire for inner journey theme? Are there differences between your view of guides and shamanism?

(EM): I see this renewed interest in shamanism and the inner journey as coming from our need for an individual experience of Spirit. The shaman has always been the one with the direct connection to Spirit. The shaman has always been the master of the inward journey towards wholeness of being. I was greatly influenced by Carlos Castaneda's earlier books--his compelling image of Don Juan, the stern but loving teacher of wisdom. However, it was my experiences with acid that led me directly into shamanism. I came to see that magic really was alive. I also came to see that, whenever I'd try to direct the magic, it would turn against me, would leave me really--but that, whenever I'd let go of my ego instead and let the magic flow through me, with its own creative will, the whole world would become magical.

(RCW): The Boy and the Genie story seems to be a variation of the Guardian at the Gates mythic cycles, except that the boy becomes the guardian himself rather than simply getting past the Guardian. He seems to offer all of us in that situation a clue, picking up the rock where he was stationed and taking carrying it with him. Could you elaborate on how that might work?

(EM): The Genie represented those automatic, clockwork, psychic defenses that allowed me as a little boy to put my near death experience behind me and go on with my life. Years later, in the High Sierras, when I finally penetrated these defenses and became conscious of that experience again, it became my job to protect and cherish that hidden treasure, the rock that a part of myself had been marooned upon for all those years, a rock that carried all the feelings and images experienced by myself as that little boy. It was all that he'd had to cling to. By picking it up in his dream, by carrying it with himself always, he had decided to become conscious of both the terror of falling and the wonder of floating towards the white light. With the rock, he would never forget what he had gone through. The I Ching, in the Hexagram, The Arousing, says that "when a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences." My rock is a constant reminder that by finally accepting fear, I have overcome it in my life.

(RCW): The theme of death and re-birth is prominent in your work and experience. Do you feel this is a personal path or something we must all deal with?

(EM): This is definitely the way that I've gone through change. Perhaps, however, my life has been conditioned by my beginnings. Not every little boy dies and is reborn before he is eight. However, in my life today, I'm always striving towards an inner centeredness, one in which I'm no longer identified with any particular psychic structure but with only the ongoing process of change, hoping that, from this centeredness, I might be able to now flow towards the new within myself no longer needing the death.

(RCW): How might others needing rejuvenation find a re-birth experience in a gentle way, or is there no Lamaze method when it comes to psychic re-birth?

(EM): For me, rebirth has never been gentle, although, whenever I've gone through my changes, I've always felt great love and support from the universe. Once, lying in great fear and pain upon the earth, beneath my favorite tree in the High Sierras, I realized I was crushing some little flowers beneath me. I started to get up when they spoke, telling me that they loved me, that the purpose of their life was to give me joy and comfort, and that they wanted me to lie upon them. I felt then that the earth was truly my mother and I was at her loving and flowery breast.

(RCW): You mentioned spending a lot of time on the psychic
backroads, perhaps what Jungians call Shadow-Work. Then, after being abandoned by your wife, you realized there was more work to do, perhaps what the Jungians call Anima work (that she leads us to the Self, but we can't substitute Her for the Self). Was there any indication that this work was coming about via your dreams?

(EM): My life definitely suggested that this work was to be my next step. The reason I had crashed and burned after my wife had left me, taking our daughter with her, was because I had projected my anima onto her, rather than relating directly to this side of myself. This problem remained with me for a long while, however, because I was also projecting my anima out onto acid and my wild way of life. It actually took until three years ago, some twenty years later, for me to finally get the message. I had a lot of high adventures and a good life in between, but my spiritual development had by then grown stagnant. One night though, I had a dream in which this crazy woman was visiting my house, yelling and screaming at everyone and completely out of control. My friends and I were all terrified by her. In my dream, I didn't see how I could help her, although she kept telling me that I was the only one who could. Waking, I was blown away by this dream, and, because it was so powerful and demanding, I listened to it. Eventually, I came to understand it to be saying that if I didn't listen to my screaming and crazy anima, really listen to what that side of myself was trying to say, she would take me over, and I really would go insane myself. These past few years, I have listened to her and I have come to see how one-sided I'd become--and today, because of her influence, I'm finally becoming whole and centered in a way that will endure.

(RCW): Its clear that Jung was an early influence on your view of dreams. Have you stuck with the Jungians on what the dream is, or have other people influenced your ideas on the dream?

(EM): Jung was the major influence on my spiritual life in general, certainly with respect to the dream. I've also been influenced by my many patients over the years. However, my main teacher has always been the dream itself. Each of our dreams comes from a deeper, wiser part of ourselves, whom I call the inner teacher; and, as in any relationship, as the relationship between the dream and ourselves unfolds, it becomes unique, with its own language and style. That part of myself that speaks to me through my dreams and I are old friends by now, and we have our own unique ways of understanding and relating to one another.

(RCW): The issue of who the authority is on a dream's meaning has been prevalent the last few years. When you approach dream interpretation, how do you decide who the authority is?

(EM): The dream itself is the only authority really, and if it doesn't like how you've related to it, it will come right back at you again, telling you so. Besides the dream itself, the person having the dream is the only other who can really say what the dream means. Because of this, when I listen to someone else's dream, I try to stay out of it. Sometimes though, folks share a dream with me, without sharing anything but the dream, and then ask me what it means. I'm psychic, as we all really are, and so I can usually give a good stab at understanding it. The other day, however, my daughter told me a dream about a captive whale. My understanding was that the whale represented her death and rebirth potential (in the belly of the whale), it being all tied up, caged. Her understanding however--and it was her dream after all--concerned another aspect of the whale, one especially important to her--it's primal and unifying song. She's a singer herself, with a whale of a talent, and is having trouble liberating her voice from its cage of fear.

(RCW): In Gestalt and much Jungian dreamwork, the images are subjective, about the dreamer himself/herself. Other explorers feel the imaginal realm is independent of the ego and these personal dream images are only cloaked in personal garb, but really live in the imaginal realm independent of the ego. Having experienced many levels of the imaginal realm, do you have any thoughts the ownership of the dream image?

(E): Consciousness itself owns all images. And consciousness is a manifestation of the dance of energy that the physicists are now calling the universe. Together, the consciousness and the energy are what people have called God. John Sanford, a minister and Jungian analyst, once wrote a book called, Dreams, God's Forgotten Language. I guess you could say that God owns our dream images.

(RCW): Another new trend is to move away from the interpretation of dream imagery altogether. Lucidity has helped bring some of this about, just playing and goofing around with dream characters talking the place of the Journey. Do you find this is a cultural move in general, that the journey of meaning and value is changing?

(EM): Jung always said that it was more important to experience the dream than to understand it, and what better way to experience the dream than by being awake within it? Although I agree with this, I do like to see the meaning in a dream too. I know of no way besides the dream to see so clearly into myself, and I'd be a fool to ignore the wisdom that results for doing so. I've had only one waking dream myself, and that was just a short while ago. I am interested in lucidity in dreams, but I have almost no experience with it. I do think that this approach to dreams is very important, knowing that one of our main spiritual tasks today is to be at home again in the world of imagination, able to live within this reality as fully as we now do that of the senses.

(RCW): One of the last visitations of your deeper self, Wanderer, that you mention is that of the rainbow brother, in which the conjunction of the opposites of the one and the many are brought together in the idea of talking care of oneself yet remaining open. Can you elaborate on how this might be brought into dreamwork and our lives?

(EM): With respect to dreamwork, I think we all need to be responsible for relating in an open, conscious and healing way to our own dreams, making sure that we understand and are spiritually moved by their message. We all need to take care of ourselves, and what better way than by being one's own teacher and therapist. With respect to our lives, I think we all need to remember that we won't need government and bosses just as soon as we can take care of ourselves. As for being open in our lives, it's one high that we'll never come down from. Being open seems scary to most of us, yet it's so easy, once we've accepted ourselves as we truly are. It's rewarding too. Our lives become much easier and simpler, as we come to see that the truth does indeed set us free.

(RCW): The Net is now allowing people from all corners of the globe to share dreams with one another. Do you feel this will change the way we journey to the essence of things and that the essence itself might be changed.

(EM): I'm not sure the Net will change the way we journey, but it will certainly change the pace of it. The more people share themselves, the more people will share themselves. I'm hoping that it'll be so much fun that we'll all be sharing ourselves real soon. I'm not sure the journey will ever change, but I do know that the essence itself will always change. For each of us personally, the essence is always just what we're working on for our personal and spiritual growth in the here and now. For all of us together, the essence of things is always where we're all going collectively--hopefully these days towards an open and honest group head, a shared awareness that will let us finally get past all our seeming differences to the oneness that we all really share.