Tuesday, May 23, 2017

New Lease on Life! Helping Veterans with PTSD Nightmares

Posted: 23 May 2017
Updated: 28 May 17

The Challenges!

On Easter morning (April 16) I dreamed: saying goodbye to family and friends before passing on. However, when I get to military veteran colleagues with PTSD nightmares,  I can't say goodbye and decide to stick around.

A week or so earlier (March 24) I had dreamed of being with my younger brother,  a  retired USAF officer, Vietnam vet with PTSD, who is 100% disabled. In the dream he and I are alone in a small room. He is sitting silent in a chair as I go over and put my left arm around his shoulders. Looking into his eyes,  I see them begin to tear up. Before I can say "I'm sorry my actions have hurt you", I wake.

I shared that March dream with wife Birgitta before getting up that morning, as we generally do on awakening. Later that day I called one of my sons, now 50, a professional documentary film maker, to share it with him. He was adamant: "Dad, you must tell your brother that dream! And before you finish your conversation, you must acknowledge how much of an asshole you've been."

Timely advice! Because the dream came just two days after a third week of conversations with a local VA social worker regarding applying for VA compensation for my own PTSD from Cold War days. This request had never occurred to me until my brother suggested it months earlier, regarding veteran benefits he thought I may qualify for. Taking his advice, I applied and the VA scheduled a meeting with one of their social workers.

During the third weekly session the social worker asked again (as she had asked twice before) "Why did your brother suggest you apply for PTSD compensation?" I still could not answer confidently then as before. Then she explained that it would be unlikely that I could qualify for such compensation, "because although PTSD never goes away, you have managed yours in a positive way. Most veterans are not able to do this and so they need extra assistance to function." 

Then she asked about the quality of my relationship with my ultra conservative brother. I answered that it was cordial, but not intimate, as it had been so many years earlier. There had developed a deep chasm between us due to profound differences in religious beliefs, experiences and practices. "Can you see any way to bridge that chasm?" she asked. "No", I replied, "I have accepted the situation as is, without expectation for change."

When I called my brother to tell him the dream after my son's urging, I could tell he was moved, although he remained silent. But, when I added my son's admonition, he cracked up and couldn't stop laughing.

A few days later he called to ask if I had written the dream down. When he heard yes, he asked me to send it to him, including the back story (above). The "chasm" had been bridged!

On our fourth and final VA session regarding PTSD compensation, I told the social worker the March 24 dream, which had come just two days after her and my third session. She was delighted. Then I told her about my dream work process and asked if she would like to experience the technique herself. She agreed and was surprised by its effect on her own dream and its simplicity.

She then asked if I would consider presenting this technique to local veterans who were struggling with PTSD nightmares and that there were at least 2,000 in local and outlying areas having such experiences.

As amazing as it now seems to me, that application had never occurred, even though I'd had decades of experience applying it practically in business, educational and church settings. I jumped at the chance to offer a pilot workshop tailored to veterans with PTSD.  This is what led to my Easter dream.

The social worker and I have now worked out a pilot presentation for local vets, beginning with a small group (10 maximum), anonymous, no charge, informal basis for two hours. Depending on how that pilot workshop goes, we are prepared to offer an on-going seminar, where vets can interact with and track each other's progress. It has been my experience that the technique works best over a period of time, typically six consecutive weeks of two-hour sessions.

May 25, 2017.  Since writing the above I have approached a leader at the local VFW in Los Alamos with the above idea and received his enthusiastic response. A third initiative was suggested a week or so after that by my oldest son, who lives near Chicago and who has been developing a mini organic farm and retreat on his property. He had been hoping his dad would relocate there. When I told him about both of the above initiatives, which would keep me in this area, he suggested a Skype connection with PTSD veterans meeting at his place. What a pleasant, simple and practical suggestion!

So now there are three independent initiatives in process, which is about all I can handle for the time being. We expect to launch them after I return from the June conference of the IASD, [International Association for the Study of Dreams], where I will present a workshop.  These three initiatives are scheduled to begin after the first of July.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

DreamTime, Spring 2017

Posted: 4 May 2017
(Click on pages below to enlarge)
See pages 11-13
Dreams in the Industrial Environment

Last fall I happened to call the headquarters of IASD, the International Association for the Study of Dreams, seeking information about possible publishers for my CREEI book regarding my practical experience in working with the structure of dreams. I was surprised to learn that the international office was near the University of California at Berkeley (from which I'd graduated in engineering in 1960) and that the man in charge of the office had heard me sing 24 years earlier at the last meeting of that association (summer 1993) held in Santa Fe that I had attended. This was before the organization became international. Back then, since the incoming president and I were personally acquainted, she had invited me to sing "Beautiful Dreamer" to open the Santa Fe Conference. The now current Berkeley man told me that that had been his first IASD conference and that he had remembered my song, since it was an unusual opening. We both thought it ironic that after all these years, he and I should now be talking. So we took the liberty of getting more personally acquainted during this first phone call. 

On hearing my story about how the CREEI process originated in an engineering company, he asked me to consider writing an article for the IASD's annual magazine and put me in touch with the managing editor. Below is the content of that article, just now published.

Page 11 below. That's me today.

Page 12 
Engineering Department 1987.
(That's me with hand on hip; Betty in center; Gene to photo right, behind me; Linda in back row far left, peeking out behind tall guy)
Final Page 13.

To be continued....

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Suzanne Giesemann at 2015 IANDS Conference

Posted: 16 February 2017


At lunch with Suzanne Giesemann (R) and oldest son Nick Kovalenko (L)
 in San Antonio on September 5, 2015
for annual conference of International Association for Near Death Studies

Gift from Suzanne Giesemann

Suzanne had been one of the four morning keynote speakers during the IANDS conference and had passed out this coin to luncheon guests, which she had designed and made to give out for such occasions.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Moroni and the Swastika

Posted: 20 Jan 2017
Updated:  23 Jan 17
Published in 2015
I have only begun to read this important book, having received a complementary copy from its author, David Conley Nelson, only days ago (16 Jan 17), after lamenting to him via FB my having lost my purchased copy at the 2015 Sunstone Symposium before reading it.

It is even more important than I originally thought in 2015 in lieu of the recent U.S. presidential election and the ironic voting results in the state of Utah.

When I first became aware of Moroni and the Swastika at the Salt Lake City Sunstone Symposium at the University of Utah, I snapped up a copy because its title spoke to my own fascist streak experience in the Mormon culture of my upbringing and also my professional experience with Soviets in the early 1970s. My first impression on seeing the book's cover in 2015 was to remember a dream from late February 1979 (scroll to 25 Feb 79 in this hyperlink), the night after finishing the last session of a 6-week experimental seminar sponsored by Professor Terry Warner of BYU's philosophy department called "The Moral Values Seminar". In the dream I am disarming an old Mormon ecclesiastic (FLC), who used to be my bishop (1956-58) and eventually became a regional representative. He is dressed in a Nazi officer's uniform and about to strike a member with an upraised saber. In the dream he is Hitler's nephew! In outer life he had also been the stake president who presided at my return to the church in 1975 after my having been excommunicated (for the first time) in absentia in his stake in 1966. As strange, crazy or symbolic as the dream might seem to others, I felt comforted, confirmed and now free of the Nazi-like Mormon ecclesiastic leadership I once revered and supported.

My intent in posting this thread is to record my own experience while reading Nelson's chapters in terms of Mormon-to-Mormon rather than historian-to-historian (which I'm not). This is much like the process I did in 2009 in terms of scientist-to-scientist (which I am), while first reading friend Arnold Mindell's magnum opus Quantum Mind: The Edge between Physics and Psychology, a process that took months.

To be continued....

Friday, December 9, 2016

Two great pix of Michael's mother

Posted: 9 Dec 2016

Self Portrait (Sept 2016)

In her house on Oct 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thai dinner in Seattle with Andrew, Michael, Maris & Bodhi

Posted: 9 Dec 16

L to R: Bodhi, Maris, Michael and Andrew
Bodhi (age 6) and Andrew (age 23) are my youngest and oldest Kovalenko grandsons, respectively. Andrew is Steve's oldest.

Friday, May 6, 2016

IDL Interview of "Putin" in recent dream

Posted: 6 May 2016
Updated: 18 May 16

Vladimir V. Putin

This is a continuation of an Integral Deep Listening interview of 'Putin’s Mystery Visit', which occurred on April 26, 2016, and was administered by Dr. Robert Thomsen using Joseph Dillard's IDL protocol. 

11 May 16. Joseph Dillard (JND) then responded with valuable counsel. His comments are added on 11 May 16.

If a second character had something especially important to tell you, which would it be? Vladimir Putin

Mr. Putin, are you a character in Eugene’s dream?  Yes

Mr. Putin, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see.  I see a world in great confusion and contradiction and moving in directions that are very troubling, especially to my own people and elsewhere.  It is a very dangerous time.   

Mr. Putin, would you please tell me what you look like and what you are doing?  I have a great responsibility to my people to recover a reputation that has been tarnished and damaged by unfortunate decisions by my predecessors.  It is my responsibility to bring stability and a new credibility and respect to my country, to my people, and to the greater Russia, Slavic Enterprise.  It is a historic opportunity that I take very seriously.

Mr. Putin, what do you like most about yourself in this experience?  What are your strengths?  I think I am very committed.  I think I am intelligent.  I think I am strong.  I know who I am and where I am going and what my destiny and responsibility are.

Mr. Putin, what do you dislike most about yourself?  Do you have weaknesses?  What?  I don’t know.  I had a background that was very tough and sometimes irresponsible.  I learned that in the trenches I made some difficult and sometime very troubling decisions, but I can’t let that dissuade me.  I know I have faults, but I hope they are not too terrible to prevent me from doing my work.

Mr. Putin, what are your weaknesses, what are your faults?   I think sometimes I make decisions too fast.  It can be very embarrassing and troubling, and it can be very destructive in the long way, so I have to be careful.  I am not careful enough.

Are there any other weaknesses?  I think I have said enough.

Mr. Putin, what aspect of Eugene do you represent or most closely personify?  I think I identify with his sense of destiny, his sense of purpose.  He is sort of a mystical sense, a mystical sense of self. 

Mr. Putin, do you want to say anything more about that? No.

Mr. Putin, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?   No, I am here for a reason and I know it is very precise purpose.  I am where I belong right at this moment.  

Where are you at this moment?  I have come to have conversation with Evgeny Nikolayevich.  He doesn’t yet know what it is, but I am looking forward to coming to an understanding with him.   

Mr. Putin, how would you score yourself 0-10 in the following categories?
              Confidence        9.5 – There are times when I make decisions too fast, so I need some strong people around me to help me with this.  It is difficult to find these people.                 
    Compassion      7 – I certainly have compassion for my people.  I do not have compassion for fools and for people who are trying to block our progress or who are trying to interfere with the destiny.  But I can use my forces or resources in a strong way that you would not call compassionate.
              Wisdom              7 – There are times I have made some unwise decisions, so I cannot claim great wisdom.  I need wise advisors.  It is hard to find them.
              Acceptance        5 – I accept my people, I accept responsibilities.  I don’t accept fools.  I don’t accept traitors.  I don’t accept people who are trying to take us over or are trying to manipulate us.
              Peace of mind   5 – I would like to have greater peace but it all depends on what else is happening in the world.  I feel responsible for much of this, so some of this is troubling to me. 
              Witnessing         (No number) Well, I see a great destiny.  I see the world in a grander way than most people.  I see the past that has been greatly distorted and distorted, and in some cases vilified and not appreciated.  I see a future.  I see great possibilities technically creatively in the arts, music, as well as technology and architecture, and invention.  It is a troubling but grand time too, to see, to understand what the world is.

Mr. Putin, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?  I think so.  I think of some great Russian writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.  I admire Solzenichen, though he was a difficult person.  I admire Pasturnak for the beauty of his writing and his understanding.  I admire some of the great saints.  One person comes to mind, that is Pavel Florinsky.  Some of our wise people we have not treated well and we have lost the benefit of their great wisdom, so I . . . I am afraid I have lost the question.  

The question is if you scored tens on all of the six qualities of confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing, how would you be different?  I would be more of a leader for my people than I am now.  I am having to grow.  Sometimes it is difficult, but I wish I were a tens, as you say, more, so that I had a better connection to not only my people but also to other peoples, other countries.  That is one of the reasons that I am here to talk to Evgeny Nikolayevich.  He knows things.  We have known him.  That is why I am here.  He knows things, and because we know him he has certain qualities that I wish to engage and discuss with him. 

11 May 16. JND: I am hearing that Putin has come to learn from Eugene. Is that correct? (This is a theme I have seen in interviews that has surprised me and generally surprises the dreamer: there clearly exist innumerable perspectives that regard us as their guide, teacher or hope; many look to us to generate purpose, clarity and direction. When this message comes to us from figures that are in positions of vast authority, as Putin is, the challenge is how to accept the mantel and responsibilities of such leadership without moving into either grandiosity or avoidance.)

Mr. Putin, how would Eugene’s life be different if he naturally scored like you?  I think he would be less happy than he is.  He would be less successful in his life than he is.  I don’t think he would like to score like me.   

11 May 16. JND: Again, this sounds like the answer of a supplicant to me, of someone who is not viewing themselves as the answer but instead is coming looking for answers, for pieces of a puzzle that they think the dreamer has, whether he realizes it or not. (We generally do not see ourselves as having the answers.) But that is an assumption. How do you view it, Mr. Putin? Dr. Dillard, you have interesting and insightful things to say. I am always willing to listen to intelligent and well intended people. Evgeny Nikolayevich also has interesting and insightful things to say. Because of his unique heritage and experience, I have questions to ask of him. We will keep these just between us for the present.

Mr. Putin, if you could live Eugene’s waking life for him, how would you live it differently?  This is impossible question.  I don’t have the wisdom or understanding to speak about this.  I have nothing to offer him in the way he lives his life.  I have come to discuss other things. 

11 May 16. JND: Mr. Putin, it is clear that you want to have a conversation or conversations with Eugene, but not now and not in this format. How will Eugene know when he has respectfully responded appropriately to your request? How will he know when he has provided you with the information you think he has that you are wanting? He will know at the time.

Mr. Putin, if you could live Eugene’s waking life for him today, would you handle his life issues differently?  If so, how?  (this question was not asked)

Mr. Putin, what three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of him?  (this question was not asked.)

Mr. Putin, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Eugene to imagine that he is you and act as you would?  I think this is a stupid question!  He would not act as I would.  I cannot imagine this.  It would be stupid. 

JND: (Ditto to my comment above about some characters coming as supplicants rather than as role models.)

Mr. Putin, do you do drama?  Do you get into playing the victim, persecutor, or rescuer?  Yes, I do.  I do drama, especially when I am making too quick decision.  If I can react and then it might be troublesome to get out of this situation.

11 May 16. JND: And this is a good reason why Putin does not want Eugene to become him or live life from his perspective.

Mr. Putin, what is your secret for staying out of drama?  I don’t.  Actually I enjoy the drama.  It makes the spice of life, you know.  Why not?  Poets thrive on drama.  Artists thrive on drama.  It is just stupid.  Make art.  Make drama, make opera, make poems, make literature, and what is a basketball game or a football game or a swimming if it is not drama?  Competition is drama.  It’s good.  It’s good.  Dancing is drama.

11 May 16. JND: Putin’s point is well taken. I would only add that there is a difference between getting into a role or activity and losing ourselves in it, losing our objectivity or our sense of who we are as someone separate from a relationship, a professional identity, a religion or political affiliation. Drama only becomes a problem when you find yourself in one of its three roles of victim, persecutor or rescuer.

Mr. Putin, you are imaginary.  Why should Eugene pay attention to anything you say?  Evgeny Nikolayevich is aware of new dimensions that we value very much in our country.  Ask the question again, please.  

Why should Eugene pay attention to anything you say?  Because he knows that he perceives that we have something of value for him.  He also perceives that he can offer us something of value.  He takes my appearance in his life, in his inner life, very seriously obviously, and I am there deliberately to engage him in a level that he has been working on for many, many years and for much of that time we have been aware of him.

Mr. Putin, why do you think that you are in Eugene’s life?  Because of what he offers, potentially has to offer us.  That is why I am here, to discuss this. 

How do you want to discuss this with him?  I want to – we will have a conversation, just he and I, one to one.  He will ask me questions.  I will ask him questions.  He will have something to say to me, I will have something to say to him.  And this process that are asking now does not do this.  I cannot do this as long as you are here making these sometimes stupid questions.  I need to be alone with this man and you will need to get out and go away. 

11 May 16. JND: A very strong, insistent directive!

I will do that when we are finished here, and I appreciate that.

11 May 16. JND: A great, respectful response!

Mr. Putin, how is Eugene most likely to ignore what you are saying to him? He will certainly not ignore what I am saying.  He takes me seriously.  I take him seriously.  There is no way, no way that this is possible.  It is at the heart of his own destiny, his own motivation.  I know this.  I know this.  We have studied him over a long period of time.  We know him well.  He has been transparent.  This is why we are attracted.  We know him.  He is not hiding.  We hide.  He does not.  He does not need to hide.  We do.  We would like to know more of his secrets.

11 May 16. JND: So it is a relationship of mutual respect. And yet we are hearing that Putin is a perspective that hides! This is ironic, because you cannot get to be much more public than Putin! While it is clear that he has kept aspects of his personal life private, mostly related to his daughters and wife when he was married, he has been very up-front with his attitudes, expectations and opinions, at least as best as I can tell. I find the real Putin pretty transparent, in that his conduct seems to me to pretty well reflect what he has said. One thing that this Putin has said that I have wondered about is that he sometimes does things too quickly. On the contrary, I have seen repeatedly how people complain that the real Putin is much too deliberative and is not decisive enough. I have not agreed with this assessment, but instead have seen him repeatedly give opponents enough rope to hang themselves. So I would think that Eugene has knowledge of a different Vladimir Putin than I have.

Mr. Putin, what would you recommend that he do about that?  Nothing whatsoever.  I trust him and I trust why I am here.  Whatever is going on he is aware of.

11 May 16. JND: I hear considerable mutual respect!

Mr. Putin, why do you think Eugene had this dream?  I think it is he yearning, and we have noticed this.  We have felt it, and we have felt that this is the time to make contact.  I remember the time when he came to our country and contacted one of our people, and proposed a conversation, proposed a relationship, but it had to be done at a certain level, but that is what we are talking about now.  This was many years ago during the millennium celebration year.

Mr. Putin, is there anything else that you would like to say to Eugene?  Oh, I have much to say with Evgeny Nikolayevich, but not now and not with you.  

Mr. Putin, thank you very much.  

Eugene, you can come back now.  He didn’t mess around! 

Eugene, what have you heard yourself say?  “He didn’t mess around!”   Yeah, we’re going to talk turkey.  We are going to talk some very straight talk about issues that have been very deeply embedded in me for a very long time having to do with the old country.  Not only to do with the old country, but other things, the relationship with this character is key to things that are critical to me in general and in a broader sense I think that is inferring that the conversation with Putin will have implications elsewhere in my own life and not necessarily with him or his country. 

11 May 16. JND: So how are you planning on carrying out this dialogue? Will it be a question and answer dialogue at your keyboard or in some other way? Do you think Putin has preferences about how to proceed? Joseph, I have begun a keyboard dialogue in a way I have conducted them with other notables in the past. However, this one seems a bit different. I am experiencing pauses and silences, which I must honor.

Eugene, if this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?  That is the question!  I am not sure I can answer that.  I think I will be able to answer that after I have had a conversation with Putin directly. 

Joseph Dillard asks us to look back over the interview and list the specific recommendation that were made, and that would be to talk directly with Putin, and not through an IDL.  Yeah.

Is there anything more that you would like to say?  I don’t think so. 

11 May 16. JND: At this point, Eugene, how are you feeling about this dream when you compare how you felt, what you thought about it, the assumptions you made about it first while you had the dream and then afterward, when you first remembered it? Good question, Joseph. I have developed greater knowledge of V.V.P. since the dream and because of your suggestions. However, the basic reason for his appearance in my inner life remains the same. My main concern is not to say too much.

11 May 16: JND: One other thing: The reason why Putin may want this in a private format is because he wants to know your secrets. This is not a private, secretive format! Just be sure that when you have your conversations with Putin that you ask him what secrets you have that he wants to know about, or tell him your secrets and see if any of them are what he wants to hear about or know about. Then keep it a secret, and only share with others those parts of the dialogue that Putin gives you permission to share. That is not about being mysterious; it is about respecting the relationship. Again, thank you for this counsel, Joseph. I do not yet know the kind of secrets he thinks I have that would be of any value to him, but I am mindful that we will have to agree on what to make public. I hope to make as much public as possible because of my own belief it will be useful to my own people. But, it remains to be seen how this will play out. I can sense within all kinds of conversations and exchanges going on at deeper psychological and spiritual levels in me as well as in him.

14 May 16. Anon1 said
I'm surprised you post so much re Putin, given that your inner P wants it to be private, and Dillard seems to agree.  I can understand why you would want to write it (and more), but puzzle about posting it. 

I replied: If you read the last post [above] in this three-post thread again, you will see that there is a one-on-one dialogue now in process, which isn't posted and won't be posted unless "V.V.P." and I eventually agree on it. We have yet to get this agreement negotiated.

For the time being this blog post thread ends here.