Openfoot doesn’t much care for organised religion or religious terminology and will not be mentioning the G word again. He views the growth and development of any individual’s psyche as an entirely natural phenomenon, part of the natural order of things. He much prefers Jung's concept of "individuation" and "self realisation" or Buddhist terms such as "awakening", "the self discovered man", "seeing directly into one's nature" and "attaining enlightenment and liberation". In Openfoot's neck of the woods at least these terms do not seem to carry so much baggage.
The main motivations in constructing this site are:
- To give expression to a theme that has formed a central strand of Openfoot's life and although it would not be fair to say that he has previously swept it under the carpet away from the gaze of others, he has probably not given it as much public disclosure as he might.
- To give support and reassurance to others who might find themselves on a similar path; as the works of others have provided support, reassurance and encouragement to him.
- To present the phenomena and experiences encountered in themselves, in as raw a state as possible, and free from religious and paranormal interpretation.
- To provide a real life example which demonstrates that working methodically with your dreams is a realistic and readily available method of following the path to awakening; of exploring the universal human birthright.
This site is after its time, rather than ahead of its time. Its treatment of its subject harks back to another era when early scientists, no longer content to accept the explanations of tradition and folklore began to observe and record phenomena directly rather than dutifully accepting what others had previously said about them.
Openfoot largely dismisses interpretations of these "spiritual" phenomena based on the supernatural, the religious, the occult or any other form of fruitloopery. He regards such formulations as misconstructions and misinterpretations of the type of phenomena reported here. He is well aware that in reporting such things he leaves himself open to accusations of creating his own individual form of fruitloopery.
However, Openfoot is in no doubt of the reality of the experiences, the existence of the phenomena. How could he be when they have had such an impact on his own life?
He is impressed by the universality of their occurrence, being reported from all cultures and spanning thousands of years. Throughout history they have been a basis for myth and legend, fairy tale and novel alike, and continue to provide ideas and narratives, either consciously or unconsciously, for much modern film and media. It is on the universality of the phenomena that Openfoot would wish to dwell rather than on the thousands of culturally specific interpretations which have caused so much confusion.
“Rambling through interior landscapes” seems to sum up the approach. In these pages I am reporting back on my interior travels. Make of them what you will.
The Dream Diaries: From April 1972 until September 1995 and beyond Openfoot kept a record of his dreams in a series of notebooks. There are well over 400 dreams in the entire series although not all are reported here. This stuff is straight from the unconscious and presented now almost exactly as written at the time. Some "doodle sketches" from the notebooks and other illustrative materials, including some of his own watercolours, are included alongside the text.
Sketches: These are mostly line drawings but there are also some montages as shown above. Some of these represent dream images, some try to depict the psychological and emotional forces that were buffeting Openfoot at the time. Some were produced shortly after the experience to which they relate while others have been prepared recently, specifically for this website. A slideshow of many of the images used on this site is also available via the Sketches page.
Jottings: Openfoot’s humble efforts to put into words the feelings and thoughts that accompanied his attempts to comes to terms with and to integrate dream and other experiences into waking consciousness. They include some published essays.
Openfoot doesn't consider himself to be a writer or an artist. He doesn’t see these reporting formats as quality prose, art or poetry. Rather they are the equivalent of the material that you would be likely to send to your own friends or relatives when on a foreign expedition or holiday. They are then the equivalent of postcards, digital photos, e-mails, tweets and the like or, in earlier an age, the watercolours and letters sent back home from a Grand Tour. Something intended to convey the sights and sounds, the nature and flavour of the journey. Something that anyone could produce if so inclined.
If this site is of assistance to even one fellow internal rambler Openfoot will consider it a job well done.
May your voyages of exploration be blessed with good fortune
May you overcome the challenges they present
May you delight in the freedom and liberation of your homecoming
In the relative nature of things
There is all ways
To be discovered
In the absolute nature of things
The eternally new
P.S. And just in case you're wondering the experiences related on these pages are not the product of drugs or any other dodgy substances whatsoever. So there!